SortedByName.com and Google Search Issues

The website SortedByName.com contains scanned and transcribed documents that may be of great help to you in your genealogical search. The files, such as death and birth certificates, are indexed alphabetically and are free for users to access. Here’s a quick view of what the scanned in certificate might look like:

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While this is an amazing site, I’ve encountered one rather annoying problem when trying to access it through Google – when I do a Google search, find who I’m looking for, and click on the link, I often end up on the wrong indexed page and can’t find the relative I was searching for.

Take for example my search for an ancestor named Josephine Keil. When I search for this ancestor on Google, the link to the Sorted By Name websites is listed like this:

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While clicking on this link does take me to an alphabetical listing, my ancestor is not included in the list. Here’s what the top and bottom of the page look like:

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As you can see, the page only lists last names that start Keh-. After many frustrated Google searches, I believe I finally figured out why the links don’t work the way they should. Sorted By Name is most likely adding so many new entries on a regular basis that Google isn’t able to process the changes into its search engine quickly enough. Names that were indexed to a page one day may be moved down to another page the next day as more records are added to the site.

One way around this frustration is to click the “Next Page” link until the entry you are looking for comes up. Unfortunately, that may turn into many, many clicks.  Another way is to click on the letter in the top area that corresponds with the person’s last name you are looking for.

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Once you click on a letter, Sorted By Name will narrow down the indexed pages by allowing you to look at the first and last entry of each page in a long list. In my case, I would simply find the page that contains the last name Keil.

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When you click the list you need, you are taken to a page with the list of names broken down even further.

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After you click on the final list of names, you’re taken to a page of alphabetical entries that looks like this:

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I know from other research I’ve done that the ancestor I’m looking for is in this list and my search on Sorted By Name has been a success. Each entry contains links that will allow you to look at whatever documents are on file for your ancestor.

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When I click on the link for George Hirrick, I am taken to a transcribed summary of a scanned death certificate. By clicking the view the record image link I can then see a PDF version of the original document.

Sorted By Name is a resource that contains very, very valuable information. It can be a little tricky getting to the data from a Google search but getting around the issues can be quite rewarding when you see the original documents related to your ancestors.

Please feel free to leave any comments, tips, or suggestions on this subject in the comments section.

Chuck Herrick

Charles Herrick is the Founder and CEO of Full Family Tree, LLC. Since founding the company two years ago, Chuck has drawn on his twenty plus years experience in ecommerce and information systems in order to shape his dream of a free social genealogy platform into FullFamilyTree.com.

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