This week’s Snack was to complete 1 specific PERSI search on the Findmypast website. I thought about making additional searches as future Snacks, but decided to keep them all together so that a researcher can have all information possible before making a copy request or traveling to a library to find articles.
Here are some additional PERSI search terms to try.
- In Snack #5, we entered our County and State in the search box, but the PERSI team doesn’t know your County the way that you do. This time, enter the name of a town in the “Optional Keywords” box and you are likely to see articles you didn’t see in the County search. If the town name is a common one, add your State to the filter as well. This search works best for smaller towns. When I entered “Louisville” into the “Optional Keywords” box, I got over 10,000 hits. When I tried “Creelsboro” (a small town in Russell County), I got 9 results, 2 of which had not been tagged with the County name.
- If you get a decent number of results, go ahead and copy and paste them all into your tracking sheets. If you complete a sort to make the article titles alphabetical, it will be easy to spot duplicates.
- Note – if you try to enter a town name in the “Town/City” box and you don’t get a pop-up suggestion, then you haven’t really added that filter. That’s why I suggest using the “Optional Keywords” box instead.
- From the search page – enter your County in the “Publisher” box. Take a look at the choices that appear in the pop-up menu. Select the Genealogical/Historical Society you are interested in and click “Search Periodical Source Index” at the bottom of the filter box.
- You will get a list of all of the articles published by that group. But you might be surprised to find several different publications. Be sure to click on the numbered buttons at the bottom. If you’d like an example, try putting “Wayne County Historical Society” in the “Publisher” box. You will not only see “Wayne County Historical Society” but you will also see “Overview”, “Wayne County Historian”, “Wayne County Historical Society and the Old Jail Museum”. You might want to start a list.
- If there are multiple publications, you can go back to the main search page and enter the name of one publication in the “Periodical” box. When you complete the search, you will get a list of every article published in that Periodical. In our original search, you were seeing every article from that publisher.
- Do you see items you’d like to explore further for a specific ancestor? Add that article to that ancestor’s Research Plan!
- Start a new search. Click on the “Browse Periodicals” link and enter your State in the search box.
- See anything you never would have thought to look for?
- Put a check mark in front of one of the periodicals and click “Apply Filter”. This will take you back to the search page with your periodical added as a filter. Click “Search Periodical Source Index” at the bottom of the search area and you will get a list of every article in that periodical.
- Try to add multiple filters to narrow down your list. The one box that I personally find a little irritating is the “Subject” box. Let’s say I only want to see articles about the Military from my County. If I type “Military” in the subject line, I get multiple suggestions in the pop-up such as “Biography,Cemeteries,History,Military Records,Surname”. There does not appear to be an option for “Military” alone. When I select one from the list, I get zero hits even though I can see at least 1 record from my original list that has the category of “Military Records,Surname”. Play around with the different options and see if you can find some hidden articles that you never would have thought to look for on their own.