Monday, January 24, 2011

How to set your “Favorites” on the NEHGS search site

There has been an ongoing discussion about the “new” NEHGS website at Actually, this website is no longer new, since it has been around since late last summer. The way things move so quickly with technology, I wouldn’t be surprised to see additional changes by now at the NEHGS site after six months. Most of the genealogists involved with this discussion on Facebook seem resigned to learning and liking the new ways of searching the old familiar NEHGS data bases. These are the same people who see Facebook changing every year, too.

What many people don’t realize is that the new search can be customized. This is a new feature I’ve found invaluable. I learned about it back in the August by posting a plea at the NEHGS fan group. It was immediately answered by Ryan Woods and Judy Lucy. (I love how it is possible to receive personal advice from some of the best NEHGS experts at this group!) I saved Ryan’s email reply, and I’ll pass along his hints here! My favorite database is the Massachusetts Vital Records 1841- 1910. In order to set this as a favorite, you need to follow Ryan’s directions.

When you click on “Advanced Search” you can see that there is a little box above the “Database” field labeled “Favorites only”. When you check this box, it will bring up your favorite or favorites for searching, but only if you have set your profile to remember any favorites.

To set your favorite search data base, in my case, the Mass VRs 1841 – 1910, click on “my profile” at the top of any page. Under the box for “Favorite Databases” you can click on the down arrow and highlight any database (in my case the Mass VR 1841- 1910) and then click the “Add” button. Your selected database (or databases if you select more than one) will show up as a list in the box below.

From now on, when you use the Advanced Search, any you select the box “Favorites only” you search will be limited to just your one or more selected databases. You can do a comprehensive search of those selections simultaneously. This would require three separate searches on the old website.

Please take a look at this help page for more information: and scroll down to “My Profile Page” and “Advanced Search Page Tips”.

Copyright 2011, Heather Wilkinson Rojo


  1. Thanks for posting this Heather! I didn't know about this feature!
    Karen Trearchis

  2. Thanks for this tidbit. I'm going to have to read all the postings for hints.

  3. Thanks so much for this Heather! I've just set my favorites.

  4. Thanks for this! I saw this on Twitter, and it's a very useful post.