A Leave Out Option?

They probably will never do it, but an improvement that I would like to see on the search at Ancestry.com is a “leave out” option. There are times when I’d like to search most of western Illinoileaveouts or even most of “downstate” Illinois without including results from the Chicago area.

While I realize that this search may result in me missing the person of interest, every search restriction does that. What would be nice would be a way to search the entire state of Illinois without including the greater Chicago area.

I know Illinois is not the only state that has one large city that sometimes overwhelms the search results.

It would help my searches sometimes to be able to filter out that part of the state where my people didn’t live but where the majority of the state population does.

I’m fully aware that my person of interest may actually be in Chicago and that I won’t find them with that approach. I understand that. That’s not a new problem. Whenever a search is restricted in any way, “hits” may be missed.

This would just give those of us searching in certain states (New York State is another one), a way of more effectively narrowing our search results.

And that would make for a better user experience for this user.



6 thoughts on “A Leave Out Option?

  1. I’d go for that, even a broader version. Mostly because when I say someone was born in, for example, Illinois–and I know this, it’s a definite–I don’t want to see people born in New York, Florida, California, etc, etc, ad nauseum. Even when I click on exact for that field, I get the EXACT. SAME. LIST. Ancestry’s the worst of these.

  2. You can “exclude” Chicago by using the -minus sign in front of it in the keyword field and checking exact but you have to fill in another box. I experimented with one of my guys who only lived in Pennsylvania briefly, but New York the rest of his life, and the only hit I received was the 1870 Census in Pa, which is correct. I put Pennsylvania in the “Lived in” box and checked “Exact” then I entered “-New York” (no quotes) in the keyword box and checked “Exact”. Here are some additional search tips:

    • Could you do a screen shot of search window before you hit search? I’m not getting the same results with the “-Chicago” when I try this on the 1930 census at Ancestry.com.

  3. My wife’s family has relatives named ‘Seely’ – I sure would like to be able to ‘leave out’ all the Seely mattress ads when I am searching newspapers!

  4. Carol Anne Kuse says:

    AMEN! That’s one reason I am dragging my feet on resubscribing to them. I know there is a lot of data on there that I need to use, but the hassle to get to it.

  5. Wendy LaRocque says:

    I agree with you admittly. I put in Massachusetts and they come back with half the states with them. So then you have to search the whole results because you don’t know if your relative is somewhere in the 15 matches you have found.
    It would be wonderful if they fixed the problem.

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