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How do I use SuperSearch?

SuperSearch is found on www.myheritage.com/research. Its main search page is used for global searches and looks like this:

Main search page of SuperSearch main search page (click to zoom).

SuperSearch main search page (click to zoom).

There is a lot of useful content on SuperSearch to explore. To begin with, SuperSearch includes MyHeritage family trees, photos and members that are public – altogether more than one billion exclusive records from all over the world that, in most cases, are only available on MyHeritage.

SuperSearch also contains the world’s largest collection of historical newspapers, ALL the UK census records from 1841 till 1901 and hundreds of millions of UK birth, marriage and death records. We brought over content from other excellent sites under license agreements, such as tens of millions of tombstone photos and transcriptions, to make SuperSearch a one-stop search engine for historical records.

We’re constantly adding new data to SuperSearch, with at least one million historical records plus one million family tree profiles added each day.

Because SuperSearch is international, it has content relevant to all countries, with strong data collections from the USA, UK, Ireland, Australia and Canada. We’re rapidly expanding the data sets with the ambition to grow SuperSearch over time to be the largest worldwide collection of historical documents available online.

Here’s an example of a straight-forward search, looking for the last name Degenfelder:

SuperSearch results page for Degenfelder (click to zoom)

The first page shows 10 of 3,961 results, which include interesting and diverse content such as a gravestone photo from a cemetery in Ohio; a 1940 US Federal Census record; a Missouri Death Certificate; a California Death Record; an SSDI (Social Security Death Index) record; a MyHeritage family site where the site manager may be contacted; a Texas Tech University Yearbook where text and a picture of a swimming record in 1978 can be seen; a UK Marriage record from 1887, a newspaper article from the 1970′s and many more results in the following pages. This could be solid gold for anyone researching this last name.

You can also view search results in Summary Mode which shows them grouped by collections. Click any collection to see its results. This mode helps you go over results systematically, by collection. Below is an example of how Summary Mode looks like when searching UK records for SMITH.

Summary Mode (click to zoom)

You can run an advanced search to increase flexibility. Here you can search by events (e.g. birth, marriage, death, immigration and others), by relatives of the person you’re looking for, as well as by keywords (also available in the basic search).

SuperSearch advanced search (click to zoom).

SuperSearch walkthrough

You can search specific collections or categories, in addition to searching globally. Every collection and every category of collections have a separate search form specifically designed for them. You can navigate the categories and collections by using the hierarchy on the right-hand side of the main search page.

SuperSearching MyHeritage family trees (click to zoom).

SuperSearching MyHeritage family trees (click to zoom).

Here’s a quick search on the last name ‘Jones’ in family trees. Have a look at the content-rich results that are returned.
SuperSearch results from public MyHeritage family trees (click to zoom).

SuperSearching MyHeritage trees (click to zoom).

Clicking any result will show its record page. In case it’s a family tree individual, the record page is called a “profile page”. It contains more information about the person, including links to close relatives, and relevant photos.

Individual family tree profile (click to zoom).

Individual family tree profile (click to zoom).

You can click any photo in a profile page to see it in larger size.

Photo from Mary Jones profile (click to zoom).

Photo from Mary Jones' profile (click to zoom).

We’ve just seen a profile page for a person in a family tree, but note that every type of record is displayed in a record page most suitable for it when you drill down to see it. Below is an example of a 1940 census record page. The census image is displayed in our census viewer which allows zooming in to see the full details of the person and of other people in his/her household.

Zooming in on 1940 Census image (click to enlarge image).

Zooming in on 1940 Census image (click to enlarge image).

Record pages for newspapers will include highlighted text of your search terms to help you focus on the relevant article. You can save any image to your computer and even copy text from it and paste it into your family tree.

Newspaper page - with search result text highlighted (click to zoom).

Newspaper page - with search result text highlighted (click to zoom).

If you don’t know the last name of the person you want to find, don’t worry.You can use SuperSearch’s advanced search to find people based on their relationship without even entering last names. Here’s an example of a search for Peter. His siblings are called Anne and John, but we have no other information.

Searching by siblings (click to zoom).

Searching for Peter with no information other than sibling names (click to zoom).

SuperSearch will display results that match this criteria.

SuperSearch results for search by siblings (click to zoom).

You can do this in other scenarios too. Let’s say that you know the person’s first name, and his/her parents’ first names, but nothing else, you can search based on that limited information:
SuperSearch results for search by parents (click to zoom).
Searching for George with no information other than parents names (click to zoom).
SuperSearch results for search by parents (click to zoom).

SuperSearch results for search by parents (click to zoom).

Sometimes you may not know the exact name of the person you’re looking for, or that person may be found in historical records with a different spelling than the one you had in mind. Don’t worry. When using SuperSearch you can control how you’d like it to search names. It can match the name exactly or use the default setting that will automatically catch first name variations such as Bill and William; as well as likely last name variations. Separate matching options are provided for first names and last names in the advanced search form. This lets you run exact searches with pinpointed accuracy, or cast a wide net to catch as many plausible variations as possible, to find those elusive ancestors whom you’ve never been able to find before.

Advanced name search options (click to zoom).

Advanced name search options (click to zoom).

Here’s a search for the name ‘Bob Jameson’. As you can see, SuperSearch understands that Bob is a synonym for Robert and so displays results accordingly.

SuperSearch understands synonyms: Bob = Robert (click to zoom).

SuperSearch understands synonyms: Bob = Robert (click to zoom).

SuperSearch understands synonyms: Bob = Robert (click to zoom).

SuperSearch understands synonyms: Bob = Robert (click to zoom).

Please note that SuperSearch will even figure out the likely gender of the person you’re looking for. So if you search for a person called George, SuperSearch automatically infers that you are most likely searching for a male. This is useful because your search results may include initials, like Michael G. Smith, but females such as Rachel G. Smith will not show up because their likelihood of matching your search is very low. Such automatic deduction of gender is among the many unique features in SuperSearch and is not found in other search engines.

Once you receive results, you can refine them by collection, or by names, places and other common fields. This is called faceting and it is a very useful feature.

Refining SuperSearch results by name (click to zoom).

Refining SuperSearch results by name (click to zoom).

Keyword searches are often very useful because they cover many fields, so they can be used to look for a town or a person’s occupation. Here’s a keyword search within the MyHeritage photo collection for ‘Wedding’, which is useful for finding wedding photos, because it will look for the word ‘Wedding’ in titles and descriptions of photos. You can enhance this search by adding more criteria, such as the places and dates in which photos were taken.

SuperSearching wedding photos (click to zoom).

Keyword search results in photos (click to zoom).

If you find a photo that may be useful for your research and you want more information, you can contact the person who submitted it.

Contacting the photo submitter (click to zoom).

We mentioned the various collections available for you to search. You can search any collection individually if you wish to focus on it, instead of searching globally in all collections. Here’s an example for searching in yearbooks. SuperSearch has a very large collection of these books from schools and universities, and here you may discover your parents or grandparents as you’ve never seen them before.

SuperSearching the yearbook collection (click to zoom).

SuperSearching the yearbook collection (click to zoom).

SuperSearch yearbook results (click to zoom).

SuperSearch yearbook results (click to zoom).

SuperSearch yearbook results (click to zoom).

SuperSearch yearbook results (click to zoom).

SuperSearch is an international search engine. As well as searching through international records, you can also use the search engine interface in 38 different languages. No other genealogy search engine supports so many languages, and our goal is not only to make it useful in your language, but also to add global content that will be useful for family history research in your country.

SuperSearch is available in 38 languages SuperSearch (click to zoom).

SuperSearch is available in 38 languages (click to zoom).

Summary of SuperSearch features

1. Easily search for historical records of any person by first name and/or last name, with optional dates or places.
2. Search also by keywords, events, relationships and other advanced criteria.
3. Find people without even knowing their last name, for example, find 3 brothers in the same family using only their first names and relationship as siblings, or find all people born on a certain date or in a certain town.
4. Run a global search to cover all data collections at once, or drill down to search only in one collection or one category.
5. SuperSearch is smart enough to figure out the likely gender of the person you’re trying to find.
6. Choose between a mode that shows all results, and a summary mode that shows the count of matches from each collection.
7. Results arrive fast, typically within a second, ranked by relevance.
8. Refine results by collection or by any other common criteria.

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