Ancestry Library Edition
A Bellevue University Library Guide
What is Ancestry Library Edition?
Ancestry Library Edition is an online genealogy resource with 4,000+ databases of family information along with user-friendly search tools and comprehensive indexing. It includes billions of records in census data, vital records, directories, and photos from many countries worldwide.
How to access Ancestry Library Edition
Mouse over Find on the library homepage then click on Databases. Now click on the letter A under "Browse by title." If off campus, you will be prompted for your BU login. Once you are logged into one database, you are logged into all of them until you close your browser.
How to use
The homepage lets you start your search for your ancestors in a number of different ways. To search all records, click on Begin Searching, or search in one of the collections below:
- Search Census. Search census records from 1790 - 1940.
- Search Vitals. Search vital records such as birth, baptism, christening, marriage, divorce, death, burial, and obituaries..
- Search Military.. Search military records for your ancestors. Narrow down by these categories if desired: Draft, Enlistment and Service, Causalities, Soldier, Veteran & Prisoner Rolls, Pension Records, Histories, Awards & Decorations of Honor, News, Disciplinary Actions, and Photos.
- Search Immigration. Search immigration records including ship passenger lists, citizenship and naturalization records, border crossings and passports, etc.
When you click on one of the above, you will get a a form specific to these records. There will also be a description of the collection and which kinds of records it includes. There may also be search tips specific to the collection.
- Fill out as much information as you have. If you are sure of the information you have entered, mark the "Match terms exactly" box. Otherwise, it will also look for similar names, nearby places, approximate dates, etc.
- You may focus your search by choosing one of the options listed under the categories or collections, otherwise all collections and categories will be searched.
- When the results list comes up in the main area of the page,, the most relevant ones will be at the top of the list. By default, it will show the Records of ancestors that match, or partially match, your search terms.
- You may change this to show the Categories instead. This will list all the categories and subcategories of the various records searched as well as the number of results there are for each.
- In the left column, sliders next to each field you filled in on the search form, will how you how closely the results match your search terms. You have an option to edit your current search to get better results, or start a new search. Just below these search filters the number of results from each category searched will be displayed. Click on any one of these to see them.
Tips for Searching Results
When Ancestry cannot find exact matches to your search criteria, it may give you results that are similar in some way. If you are getting too many irrelevant results, try adding more information. If you are getting no matches edit your search.
- Names are often misspelled.in official records and sometimes dates are incorrect or approximate..If you are not finding what you are looking for, try removing the "exact" filter for the name and mark one of these options instead Sounds like, Similar, Soundex (variations of name), or Initials.
- Rather than specifying an exact date, mark one of the range options: +/- 1 year to +/- 10 years.
Quick Links on Homepage
Besides the ways to search listed above, at the bottom of the homepage, there are some Quick Links for commonly searched types of records. . Some of these are duplicates of the search types above. Others provide shortcuts to other types of information, such as
- Public Member Trees. These family trees have been compiled and submitted to Ancestry by users who have indicated that their tree can be viewed by all Ancestry subscribers. Very often you will find a family tree for a family member, however, Ancestry cannot guarantee their completeness or accuracy.
- Stories Memories & Histories. This is a collection of published family histories.,biographical sketches, oral histories, interviews, social and place histories, even royalty, and nobility genealogies.
- Pictures. These images can include photographs of individuals, families, homes, cemetery tombstones, as well as school yearbooks, images of passenger ships, U.S. Civil War photos, African American photos, even historical post cards from several countries, and access to the Library of Congress Photo Collection, 1840-2000.
- Other links include:Tax, Criminal, Land & Wills, City Directories, Schools, Directories & Church Histories, Reference, Dictionaries & Almanacs, Newspapers, Maps, Atlases & Gazetteers.
Help and Support
- Learning Center. Click on this in the bar at the top of the page for some helpful tips and tricks for using Ancestry.. They range from tips to getting started with your family history search to more advanced searching, and include among other things, tips for searching census, immigration and, military records, as well as searching for ancestors according to ethnic groups.
- Tutorials .Often while doing a search, a tutorial button will pop-up with tips to guide you.
- Message Boards. The world's largest online genealogy community with over 25 million posts on more than 198,000 boards.Search for content in message boards or find a board about a specific topic.