Wednesday, September 29, 2010

A Little FamilySearch Experiment

Taking a hint from Randy Seaver in his recent post, FamilySearch Beta Fail? Lack of Patience? Success!, I decided to do a little experiment with the FamilySearch sites.

Like Randy, I too have been sticking with the Records Search Pilot as opposed to FamilySearch Beta.  I had almost forgotten why, until I visited the Beta site today to run my little experiment.  I was going to share with you in this post why I prefer Pilot over Beta, but it was getting a little long, so instead, I will create a separate post. 

In Randy’s post he mentions that he was not able to retrieve an image in the Pilot site, even though it should have been there.  So he headed over to Beta, and after some creative approaches, was able to find the image of the record.

Several months ago, I had come across a few Ohio death certificates (database, Ohio Deaths, 1908-1953) where I would get the message:  The image is currently unavailable.  Please try again later.  So a few weeks later, I tried again, only to get the same message.  Mind you, not all of the images were unavailable (at the time it was two out of six that I searched for).  Yesterday, I was working on some different Ohio folks, and again, in some cases received the message I had seen in the past.  They were added to the list of the other two so I could go back at some point and “try again later.”  A few months ago, I had the image problem with most of the Michigan databases, but after a few days, they were all available.

After reading Randy’s post, I got to wondering if these images were available in Beta.  Wouldn’t you know, four out of five images were found (one had the following message in place of the image:  Image not available online).  So a big thanks to Randy for his blog post and putting the idea in my head.  Although I’m not thrilled with Beta, I guess I’m going to have to use it in these types of situations for now.


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