Popular search engines like Google can get you started in your family history research, but genealogy search engines like Mocavo have a strong database and an active community of enthusiastic genealogists ready to help you with your research. The Top Ten Reviews Bronze Award goes to Mocavo because of its interactive community and widespread database. You can find records of all types from countries all over the world. If you run into a research snag, you can ask other Mocavo members for assistance. In addition, you can upload your own sources from previous searches and work to help others in their hunts for their ancestry.
Unlike many other genealogy search engines, Mocavo searches only require an ancestor’s first and last name. You can add keywords, such as dates and locations, to receive more specific information. For example, a good search entry would be “Joan, Smith, Ithaca, New York.” Upon seeing your results, you can broaden or narrow your search based on proximity preferences, document age, keyword frequency and dataset size.
If you’re hunting for a specific document, you can begin searching specific documents directly from the homepage. The homepage has direct links to searches for essential birth, marriage and death records, as well as obituaries, newspapers and military records, to name a few. In the Mocavo database, you can search U.S. Census records from 1790 to 1940, which is a wide span when you consider the United States’ relatively young age. The materials are typed and transcribed into an easy-to-read grid, and you have the option to save the scanned document or simply read the information directly on the website.
In regard to features, Mocavo doesn’t have it all, but the most important ones are covered. One of the most important features a genealogy search engine can have is an easy and reliable family tree maker, which this search option has. This feature is extremely useful when researching your family history because it allows you to map out your heritage as you discover it. Having an online repository for your genealogy work means you can complete it anywhere. So, even if you have to travel to a county library for research, you can access any files you store on Mocavo quickly.
As your tree grows, you can decide to share it with other Mocavo users. Family trees are valuable tools for spotting connections between families. You can also access trees created by other Mocavo users to inform your own work. Each ancestor in your family tree has a profile that you can add details to and see direct family relationships for spouses, parents and children. Further, each relative profile contains links to their surname group and documents associated with them. While Mocavo is missing a couple features, such as DNA testing, its easy-to-use family tree charting and accessible document storage make this only a slight inconvenience.
Community features are important to genealogy search engines and other family history sites because all families are connected somehow. Our ancestors did not live in isolation, and even centuries later, neither do we. In a time of online connectivity, working with other genealogists makes data collection and learning happen faster. Mocavo has several features to help you connect with other users, such as the Karma boards and surname groups.
Genealogy Karma on Mocavo encourages users to help each other with their research troubles. This can be things as simple as taking pictures of headstones or digging through a nearby library. You can volunteer to help others or ask for help from your fellow users. It is important to note that this feature is mainly for users in the United States. Signing up to participate is simple, and all you have to do is enter the state and county that relates to your family. Surname groups connect you to people with the same last names as your ancestors, increasing your chances of finding more sources related to you. In these groups, you can access shared documents from other users and post queries about ancestors.
While there are resources available on Mocavo, this genealogy search engine falls flat when it comes to customer support. For research support, the most help you’ll receive comes from other users. Site support comes from the FAQs and email tickets. However, email response times are slow and there is no phone contact option. Thankfully, the site is relatively easy to use, so you likely will not need much help.
Features, community and an abundance of global sources makes Mocavo a great tool for genealogists of all levels. While the level of user interaction is encouraging for a genealogy search engine, it is at the expense of site support options. Most of the research help available on Mocavo comes from other users instead of hired experts. While you can find answers through email and the FAQs section, support falls short when compared to Mocavo’s other outstanding features.
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