FreeBMD Saved Searches

This page gives you information about how to use Saved Searches so that you can make better use of FreeBMD.

What is a Saved Search?

FreeBMD provides you with the facility to save the results of a search and then to easily perform the same search at a later date. When you repeat the search the results you see are only those that are new since you saved the search.

Being able to exclude previous results from a search is useful because as new entries are continually being added to FreeBMD, you need to do your searches on a regular basis to see if there is new information. Saved Searches simplify this by showing only the entries that are new since you saved the search.

How to do a Saved Search

Do a search in the normal way, by going to the search page, specifying the names, etc. you want to find and then clicking on the Find button.

When the results are displayed click on the Save Search button. You will be asked to give the name for a file that will be created on your computer and into which Saved Search information will be downloaded. You may choose any file name and location for this file but the default filename is (where the capital letters are replaced with the date and time). We recommend you choose a filename that will enable you to remember the purpose of the Saved Search.

When you want to perform this search again, go to the search page, put the name of the file (as above) containing your Saved Search in the box under Saved Search (or use the Browse button to search for it on your computer) and click on the Find Additional button.

The results page will show you only the entries that were not in your Saved Search. Click on Show All to see all the results. New entries will be shown in red. Having done a Show All you can use Show New to view again only the entries that were not in your Saved Search.

Please note:

The results from a Saved Search

Only those entries that are new since the search was saved are shown in the results. In order to determine if an entry is new, FreeBMD uses surname, forename, age (if present), volume, district and page criteria.

Deleted entries

It is possible, though unusual, that there are entries that were in the Saved Search but which are not there when it is run again. This can happen when an entry is corrected, for example to put it in its correct quarter.

When viewing only new entries (Show New), a count of any deleted entries is displayed.

When viewing all entries (Show All), a list of deleted entries is given at the end of the results.

No differences

If performing the Saved Search gives the same result (i.e. there are no new or deleted entries), a message indicating this is given. If the only difference is deleted entries this is also reported.

Replaced entries

Very occasionally the information in an entry is changed. If this happens between saving a search and repeating it, any entries which have changed are shown as both a new entry and a deleted entry.

Saving additional entries

Once you have examined the additional entries you will probably want to save them together with the original results, so that next time you run this Saved Search you see only further additional entries. This can be done quite easily.

Having clicked on Find Additional and reviewed the additional entries, just click on Save Search. You can then save this as a further Saved Search, or, if you give the same filename when asked, you can overwrite your original search. You will be asked to confirm that you wish to overwrite the file.

Viewing a Saved Search

If you want to see what the original results of a Saved Search were, put the name of the file containing the Saved Search in the box under Saved Searches (or use the Browse button to search for it on your computer) and then click on View Saved.

You will be shown the criteria used for the search (e.g. surname, forename) as well as the results. Note that the results only contain the information used for the comparison, in particular there are no discontinuity indicators (changes of shade), no submitters and no links from any of the entries.

Please note that it is not possible to view the contents of a Saved Search file offline - you have to use View Saved. Save your searches with a meaningful filename to ensure you know which search is in which file.

If a Saved Search fails

You need to be aware that a Saved Search can fail because it finds too many records. When you do any search there is a limit on the number of entries that FreeBMD will return. By its very nature you are expecting a Saved Search to return more records than it did the previous time the search was run and if the total number of records (not just the additional records) exceeds the limit on the number of entries it will fail.

So what should you do?

You need to split your Saved Search into a number of more specific searches. For example, a Saved Search for Births, Deaths and Marriages can be split into three, one for each type of entry. To do this use this split facility, which allows you to split on Type (Birth, Death, Marriage) or Date range.

The process you need to go through is as follows:

Firstly, you need to decide how you are going to split up your Saved Search. You may find that you need to use the Count facility of search to determine how many results your split Saved Searches would return. For example, if you separated Births, Deaths and Marriages but the problem was that Births was returning more than the maximum such a splitting would not provide a solution.

Secondly, use the split facility to load your Saved Search - you will be shown the criteria that have been used to create the Saved Search.

Now, using the Type and Date range selections define the subset of the original search you want, and then click on Upload File to create your new Saved Search. You can save this on your computer in the normal way, using whatever filename you find convenient. You can create several new searches from the one original.

You can now run your new split Saved Searches in the normal way.

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