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Sunday, March 11, 2018

Hidden Records on Ancestry – are you missing a trick?


Hidden Records on Ancestry – are you missing a trick?

Hidden Records on AncestryHidden Records on Ancestry – are you missing a trick? Did you know that not all the records on Ancestry are indexed? Did you know that Ancestry goes into archives and scans lots of books and printed material as well as the main documents such as parish registers and census? And did you know that a lot of these records even if they are searchable by name won’t come up on your searches or as a Green Shaky Leaf? And do you know where these genealogy gems are hidden on the website? Do I hear you say that no you didn’t know that? I thought you might not, which is why I am going to tell you all about them. I think of this part of Ancestry as a Genealogical Bermuda Triangle ! It is where great resources go and then seem to disappear and where no one ever finds them. Until now that is!

You might wish to print off a FREE Ancestry County Records Worksheet from the MadAboutGenealogy Resource Library to help you keep track of what you have searched. Click Here to access the Resource Library.

This post contains affiliate links – see disclosure for further details

This post has been re-written.

Hidden Records on Ancestry – how to find them

Let’s go through the process step by step…

  Log into Ancestry.

  Click on the Search tab at the top left hand side of the Home page.

  A drop down menu appears – click on Search All Records.

  You will see a normal Ancestry search form, now you are going to do what a lot of people don’t do! Work your way down the page until a map with the heading Explore By Location comes up.

  Click on United Kingdom and then chose which part of the UK you wish to search.Hidden Records on Ancestry

6   A large map of the UK will appear with a list on the right hand side of all the databases that have records for the whole of the UK.

  Click on the + sign on the top left hand side of the screen which will enlarge the map until you see small blue and white icons appear.

8   If you hover your mouse over an icon it will show you which county the icon represents and how many collections Ancestry has with information on that county.

  Note these collections only have information on that county, they will not be on the list that was shown in step 6.

10  Click on the icon for your ancestors county and a list of databases for that county will appear on the right hand side.

Hidden Records on Ancestry 11  Have a good look at all the databases and decide which one you wish to search first.

12   You will notice a column at the far right of the list of databases with figures in it. This indicates how many records are in the database, not how many names, but records. However some records have a 0. This indicates that the database has not been indexed and this is where some great genealogy treasure can be found.

13   When using these zero records you will probably find that they are printed books or pamphlets, if this is the case then go to the end of the book and see if there is a printed index there. Sometimes there is an index there and sometimes there isn’t, but it can be a great time saver if there is.

14   Keeping a record of which collections you have searched is important as you can then come back at a later date and check if any new databases have been added. I have noticed that Ancestry slips in the zero record databases without announcing them on their new records listings. So it is worth keeping a watch on your ancestral counties.

Hidden Records on Ancestry – SummaryHidden Records on Ancestry

Now you know about the hidden records on Ancestry I am sure you will find some family history gems in these little accessed databases, especially as they won’t appear as the shaky green leaves on your online Ancestry family tree or on a general search. Just work your way through my step by step instructions and you will soon be searching deep in the Ancestry Archives. Searching this way means you can be sure that you are making the most of your Ancestry subscription.

Happy Ancestor Hunting!

If you want to research these data-sets and you don’t have a subscription to Ancestry then do remember that Ancestry offers a Free 14 day try before you buy period – Click on the links below.

USA Readers – Click Here to access a 14 day free trial of Ancestry don’t miss this great opportunity!

UK Readers – Click Here to access a 14 days free trial of Ancestry don’t miss this great opportunity!

If you would like to access my Free Genealogy Resource Library simple fill in your details in the form below and you will get immediate free access. How good is that?!

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2 thoughts on “Hidden Records on Ancestry – are you missing a trick?” 

  1. Interesting, I’m in the U.S. and do not see “Card Catalogue”… and instead of “Record Collections” heading, I have “Products and Services”. However, if I go to the “Search” link, and scroll all the way to the bottom, there I will find a button for “View All In Card Catalog”.

    1. Hi Bonnie, Thank you for your comment about the difference between and I’ve just taken a look and can see where I find the Card Catalog button in the UK site is missing on the USA site. Also as you say the Card Catalog button is situated at the bottom of the drop down box under the search tab. I can see that I will have to search both sites from now on and give alternative instructions for my USA readers. Thank you for pointing this out, a great help. Have you subscribed to the MadAboutGenealogy mailing list, the link is the is the yellow band at the top of the Home page? I can promise not to bombard you with emails, but I always send out an email once a week with the latest genealogy news and also any breaking news that is so interesting and important I can’t wait to tell my readers plus of course any discounts or special deals for genealogy items Kind regards, Linda

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Passenger Sued Southwest Airline


A Passenger Sued Southwest Airlines for Exactly $74,999 and It's Totally Brilliant. Here's Why

People asked: "Why not just round it off to $75,000?" Here's why not.

CREDIT: Getty Images

You may have heard: A Southwest Airlines passenger is suing Southwest for landing at the wrong airport.

It's the kind of case we talked about back in law school, and I was intrigued enough to dig up the court complaint down in Missouri. I've included it at the bottom of this story. 

But I think the most important line in the entire filing is one most people have missed:

"Plaintiff is requesting damages in the amount of $74,999.99 and nothing more."

It's an odd number, right? It turns out there's a smart strategic reason behind the decision to use it--heck, I'd call it brilliant. Below, we'll go through this strange case, why the plaintiff is suing for exactly one penny under $75 grand, and what all of this means for you as a business leader.

(I've asked both the plaintiff's lawyer and Southwest Airlines for comment. Neither responded.)

The wrong airport

Quick, important fact: There are two airports servicing tiny Branson, Missouri: Branson Airport, which at the time had regular Southwest Airlines service, and the smaller Taney County airport, with a runway barely half the length of Branson's.

Somehow, the captain and first officer of Southwest Flight 4013 from Chicago mixed up the airports--which are only seven miles apart--and landed at the wrong one.

Nobody was physically injured--but at least one career was ended and things could have been much worse. Passengers allegedly had to wait for two hours after landing before being allowed off, while the plane was filled with smoke.

"We landed very abruptly with the pilot applying the brakes very hard. We smelled burnt rubber from the stop," another passenger (not the plaintiff in this lawsuit, as far as I know) told Forbes at the time, adding: "[T]he mood is somber now that we realized we were 40 feet from the edge of a cliff."

The passenger who sued Southwest, Troy Haines, lived in the area and had flown into Branson Airport many times, and says he realized well before the plane landed--even if the pilots didn't--that they were at the wrong airport, "with a much smaller runway."

He was "immediately struck with fear and anxiety over potentially crashing," according to his lawsuit, and he later "suffered severe mental anguish, fear and anxiety, including a panic attack which caused him to be removed from another airline prior to take-off."

That in turn led him to stop flying, which meant taking a job that didn't require travel--"at a substantially diminished salary."

Why $74,999.99?

Whether you think the lawsuit sounds reasonable or not, the big question is simply: Why not just round things up a penny and ask for $75,000.

The reason stems from the fact that there are two U.S. court systems: the federal system and the state systems. And, even if a plaintiff files a suit in state court, the defendant can sometimes move ("remove it" in the legal language) it to federal court. 

Most often, the defendant does this by showing that the plaintiff and defendants are from different states--but also that the amount at stake is more than $75,000. Suing for exactly one penny less than that blocks Southwest from removing the case to federal court.

"It's clear [the plaintiff in this case] wants to be in state court and is therefore staying under the monetary threshold for removal to federal court," said Paul Geller, an experienced civil litigator and a partner at New York-based Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd, who is not involved in this case.

"While I don't necessarily ascribe to it, there is a general overlay in litigation that plaintiffs want to be in state court, and defendants try to find any way to get to federal court (through removal, where permissible)," Geller continued.

"Flight Options Plummet at Branson Airport"

It's not that suing for one penny under the cutoff is a rare strategy. And, Geller went on to call the idea that state courts are always more plaintiff-friendly "an urban myth."

I think he might be right, in many cases. But here, several things make filing (and staying) in state court utterly brilliant, in my opinion. If you're a business owner, or you can ever imagine being a party to a civil lawsuit, you'll want to pay attention.

First, there's the fact that five months after this incident--June 4, 2014--Southwest stopped flying into Branson. 

You can imagine why this might make sense, business-wise: Taney County, where Brnson is located, only has about 51,000 year-round residents, although it is a tourist destination. Still, when Southwest left (along with Frontier soon after, the only other big airline that had served the area), the airport was hit hard.

In fact, the last time news broke that Branson might be attracting a major carrier, it was all part of an elaborate April Fool's joke on the part of Sir Richard Branson (same last name as the city), the CEO and founder of now-defunct Virgin America.

I don't know the exact economic impact of the airport's demise. But I'm sure it caused damage, as outlined in one newspaper article: Flight options plummet at Missouri's new Branson Airport. And I'm also confident that seeing your hometown dismissed as too insignificant for commercial flights has to sting.

All of which might make the plaintiff want more Branson-area jurors, while Southwest might want to everything it could to try this case as far away as possible.

50 miles--and a world away

The closest federal court to Branson is 50 miles north, in Springfield.

That means that if Southwest Airlines could remove this case to federal court, they'd be able take it right out of the immediate county where this all happened--a community that Southwest decided a few years ago isn't significant enough for its business.

And this isn't just about the location of the courtroom; to my mind it's about the makeup of the jury pool. Find jurors closer to Springfield, Missouri, and they might not feel one way or another about Southwest.

But pull together a jury in Branson, and a reasonable lawyer might imagine you'd wind up with someone who maybe knew someone who lost a job after Southwest and Frontier pulled out, or who is now inconvenienced by the lack of air service or who don't like that the big airlines think their hometown is just a punchline.

In other words, maybe you assume that a Branson jury would be predisposed to find for a plaintiff who lived in your town, and who isn't asking for all the money in the world--and would find against the giant corporation with the out-of-state headquarters that allegedly did him wrong.

So you'd want to keep things in state court, in Branson. And because the plaintiff asked for one penny less than is required for a removal to federal court, Southwest seems stuck.

Brilliant, to my mind.

Or else maybe this is all just about making it harder for Southwest's lawyers and witnesses to travel to the trial in Branson.

Because as we've seen, Southwest doesn't fly there anymore.