Ancestry Top Tips and Hot Keys

Live show air date: July 23, 2020
Join me for Elevenses with Lisa, the online video series where we take a break, visit and learn about genealogy and family history.

Get your official Elevenses with LIsa mug here.

Get all the past episodes of Elevenses with Lisa and show notes here.

Here’s an outline of everything we covered in this episode about Ancestry Hot Keys and Top Tips.  If you’re thinking of getting a subscription to Ancestry® learn more here. Thank you for using our links. We are financially compensated at no additional cost to you. Thank you for supporting this free show and show notes. 

Our Usual Starting Place

If you keep looking in the same places you’ll keep finding the same things.

Our usual starting places include:

  • Search > All Collections
  • The Hints on Our Family Tree (But Only 10% of Ancestry® Records Appear as Hints)

Add the Card Catalog to your list of usual starting places. You’ll find it in the menu under Search > Card Catalog.

Navigating to Ancestry's Card Catalog

Navigating to Ancestry’s Card Catalog

The Ancestry®  Card Catalog Includes Unique Treasures

You will find unique items such as old maps, county and regional histories, postcards, film reels and more.

In the card catalog you can filter in the left-hand column.

Card Catalog Filters

Ancestry® Card Catalog Filters

Historic Maps at Ancestry®

An example of one of these wonderful map collection is the U.S., Indexed County Land Ownership Maps, 1860-1918

  • Nearly 7 million records
  • Extracted from about 1,200 maps
  • Indexed by property owners’ names
  • Indicate township and county boundaries
  • Can include photos of county officers, landholders, and some buildings and homes.
  • You can filter this collection by state. Each collection will have different options for filtering and browsing.
Historic Maps at

Look for Historic Maps at

Top Tip: Use Multiple Approaches

Searching by title, keyword, singular and plural all bring up different results. Unless you are looking for something very specific, it’s usually most effective to try multiple approached. Doing so ensures you don’t miss anything. You can also search strictly by filtering. Example: Maps + USA + Virginia.

Search for genealogy records with filter on Ancestry

Searching by filters only.

Regional and County Histories at Ancestry®

You can find county and regional histories by filtering to Stories, Memories and Histories.

Example: U.S., County and Regional Histories and Atlases, 1804-1984

Regional and county histories at

Regional and county histories at

This is a browse-only collection of “more than 2,200 volumes of county and regional histories from California, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.

Historic Postcards at Ancestry®

Narrow your search by first filtering down to Pictures.

Ancestry Top Tip: When search on a computer, user Control + F (Win) or Command + F (Mac) to access the Find on Page search box. Enter the word you are looking for to jump straight to it when reviewing a long list.

Control + F finds words on the ancestry page faster

Press Control + F (Win) on your keyboard to search for words on the page.

WWII Newsreels at Ancestry®

This collection contains all 267 issues of the ‘United News’ newsreels. The films average about 10 minutes each.

Top Tip: Ancestry® Hot Keys / Shortcuts

Use these hot keys at Ancestry to navigate and search quickly. 
Genealogy Gems Premium Members: Click here to download the Hot Keys cheat sheet image as a PDF for printing. 

Ancestry hot keys and short cuts infographic

Ancestry hot keys and short cuts

Ancestry® Hot Keys / Shortcuts for Search:
r = Refine your search
n = New Search (cleared search fields)

Ancestry® Hot Keys / Shortcuts for Records with Filmstrip Navigation:
p = previous image
n = next image
f = toggles filmstrip off and on

Ancestry® Hot Keys / Shortcuts for Accessing the Record Side Panel:
d = Details of the record
r = Related Records
s = Source for that record
(These don’t toggle the side panel)
i = Reveals the Index for the record (toggles)

Ancestry® Hot Keys / Shortcuts for Navigating Search Results Lists:
Some results lists can be navigated with hot keys.
j = move forward through the list
k = moves backward through the list
Enter = opens the selected record in the list

Another Unique Collection at Ancestry®:

Historic Catalogs of Sears, Roebuck and Co., 1896-1993

Ancestry Top Tip - enter page number to navigate quickly.

Enter a page number to jump quickly to another area of a large collection such as the Sears, Roebuck and Co. Catalog.

Ancestry Top Tips Recap:

  • Use the Card Catalog
  • Understand Search  and account for variations
  • Explore Unique Collections
  • Use Hot Keys to search faster.
Ancestry Top Tips

Ancestry Top Tips Recap

Watch episode 16 on how to create a family history video with Adobe Spark Video.

Gwynn asked about the app on Android. Adobe has said that the Android version is coming soon. So for now, the website version of Adobe Spark Video is the way to go. Start at my Bargains page here and click the Adobe Spark image. In the upper right corner of the landing page you can get a free trial and set up your account, or you can click the 20% off special which will prompt you to create your account and then will give you 20% off the subscription (limited time offer – see website for details.)

Prize Winners:

I received many creative and entertaining video entries and selected two to win a 1 year Genealogy Gems Premium membership. The membership includes over 5 videos classes with handouts, the exclusive Genealogy Gems Premium Podcast (180+ episodes to date) and ad-free downloadable show notes handouts for Elevenses with Lisa.

Winner #1: Suzan Siegel – The first video was a scrapbook of her granddaughter’s Coronavirus memories. The other was dedicated to her ancestor, Hazel Linnie Budd Siegel, called “The Early Years.”
Winner #2: Vicky Fravel – “An Ancestor A Day Keeps Boredom Away” 

Live Chat PDF– Click here to download the live Chat from episode 17 which includes my answers to your questions. 
Show Notes PDF – Genealogy Gems Premium Members click here to download the show notes PDF for this episode. (Log in required.) Become a Premium Member here. 
Ancestry Hot Keys Printable Cheat Card – Genealogy Gems Premium Members click here to download the PDF. (Log in required.)

Set your reminder here for episode 18.

In this episode you will sit in on my consultation with genealogy expert Kate Eakman as she helps me try and bust a brick wall. Will we do it? Tune in to find out and pick up on some great strategies for any genealogy research dilemma. A must watch also if you have Irish ancestry. Plus you’ll learn what you can do to get the most from a professional researcher.

Thank you for Sharing and Supporting this Free Show

If you enjoy this show and you want to keep them coming, you know what to do: click that Thumbs Up icon for me on YouTube. This helps our distribution tremendously. Simply click where it says YouTube in the lower right corner of the player above and it will take you to the video on YouTube where you can click the Thumbs Up icon.

(Excerpt) Read more Here | 2020-07-25 00:04:06
Image credit: source


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here