Posted on September 18, 2017
While Archives.com has billions of family history and vital records, it isn't always easy to find what you are looking for. Use the tricks below to improve your search and help you find your family.
We may not have a specific record you are searching for, but we may have another record with the information about the person you are looking for.
To change a record type you can change or remove the filtering options on the left:
Or remove the filters all together to see the results from all record types.
Here are just a few examples of the information you can find in different record types.
Census Records: Birth Date and Location; Family Members; Residence Location; Date of Marriage; Occupation; Wage
Birth Records: Birth Date and Location; Parents' Names and Birth Dates
Death Records: Birth Date; Death Date; Family Members; Cause of Death
Cemetery Listing: Birth Date; Death Date and Location; Burial Information; Family Members; Obituaries (occaisionally)
Family Tree Record: Birth Date and Location; Death Date and Location; Family Member
If you haven't already done so, try removing "Exact" criteria from your search. Sometimes names are transcribed incorrectly, either by those who created the record, or those who transcribed and indexed it.
If you include name variations in your search, you will include those misspellings and mis-typed names in your search results and you might be surprised by what you find.
Records that more closely match your search criteria will be towards the top of your search results. You don't have to look through every record. As you scroll and paginate through results, and they don't look like they will help you, try tweaking your search or filtering options.
If you are overwhelmed by the number of results that matched your search, try using the filter options on the left side to narrow down by record type, location, date, and collection. Our search results are expanded to include records that have similar criteria, but by filtering, you will see only results that match your selections exactly.
You can also try adding "exact" to the name fields in the search results, just please note that you won't see any results where names have been misspelled or records where nicknames have been used. For example, if you type in Fred, you will not see Frederick in the results.
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