Sunday, October 6, 2013

Mocavo Search Hint

Mocavo Search Hint

In yesterday's blog I stated that the yearbook pages with my dad's high school football photos and articles was discovered through a search on the Mocavo web site.  I got to thinking about it and thought I should confirm that by doing the search again.  I didn't want to give credit to the wrong search site.  I went to the Mocavo site and typed in "Delbert Ritchhart" and got the results as shown on the below screen shot.   As highlighted in yellow, there were 21 documents as a result of the search; but not the pages from the high school yearbook.  Assuming I must have made a mistake, I then checked Ancestry.com, Genealogy Bank, and MyHeritage; thinking I may have been mistaken.  Finally, I decided to go back to Mocavo.

Initial Mocavo Search Results

This time I added La Junta as a "Keyword".  That reduced the number of results to two, I also checked "nicknames & alternates" and "similar spellings".   However, the result still did not produce the yearbook pages.
Second Search with Keyword
I decided to do a search using my first name Del vice Delbert.  Below is the screen shot showing that there were 43 results produced, including the yearbook pages that I was originally trying to find!
Final Search--Del vice Delbert
What surprises me is that checking "similar spellings" and "nicknames and alternates" didn't result in picking up my first name Del rather than Delbert, as I entered it in the search template.

I think the lesson is that you have to try all different spellings and not trust that the algorithm will help you out.  Many of the search algorithms will search alternate spellings unless you check "exact spelling"; but that doesn't seem to be the case with Mocavo.  

The most important result of my search, however; is that I did confirm that Mocavo was, indeed, the site where I originally found the yearbook pages.  That is a great confidence boost for this 76 year old who sometimes goes out to the garage and stands there thinking "what did I come out here for"?