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Mocavo: A Comparison of the Best (?) Genealogy Search Engine versus Google” – Mocavo is a search engine that many people have never heard of. However, it is designed for use by genealogists and often can find information that is buried within thousands of “hits” when searching on Google.

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  1. 1. Mocavo A Comparison of the Best (?) Genealogy Search Engine versus Google
  2. 2. • Dick Eastman – April 25, 2015
  3. 3. Today’s Slides may be found at: cavo
  4. 4. What Is Mocavo? • It is a search engine… and more. • Unlike other search engines, limits its searches solely to genealogy sites. • Searches on are not limited to names. • You can search for towns, states, occupations, relatives, or any other text information you think might be included with an ancestor's name. • Whatever you specify, the search will be limited to pages on genealogy web sites.
  5. 5. What Is Mocavo? Unlike other search engines, Mocavo limits its searches to approximately one million genealogy-related web sites and has "extra logic" that is good at finding surnames and locations embedded in free-form text, along with a number of other enhancements.
  6. 6. Mocavo • Was created by Cliff Shaw: – created GenForum about 20 years ago, now the number one community for genealogists (now owned by – Created GenCircles and Family Tree Legends (both are now owned by – Created, the industry’s only automatic tree backup solution.
  7. 7. Mocavo searches: • genealogy message boards • state and local historical societies’ web sites • the Library of Congress • National Archives • Ellis Island • Find A Grave • the Internet Archive • Allen County Public Library’s Internet Archive records • and…
  8. 8. Mocavo searches: • Social Security Administration’s Social Security Death Index • World Family Tree developed by the popular Geni family tree service • various U.S. state archives • tens of thousands of genealogy sites built by individuals & societies
  9. 9. Mocavo searches: • Only U.S. sites
  10. 10. Second Page
  11. 11. With the exception of the sites being searched, operates in much the same manner as Google and most other search engines. Mocavo always displays the full URL of the web site(s) found, along with a line of text from the site that contains the words you searched for. Clicking on the URL displays the original web site. never "hides" anything; the original web site is always displayed in its entirety.
  12. 12. Why not just use Google? While Google is the go-to search engine for most of us on a daily basis, your search for an ancestor is most likely to bring back millions of search results for living people that have no relevance to your research.
  13. 13. Mocavo • Mocavo even found pictures I had not seen before of one of my seventeenth-century ancestors' homes.
  14. 14. Mocavo • Perhaps other search engines would have found it if I had structured the proper search query. Mocavo easily found the pictures when, in fact, I didn't even know that the pictures existed.
  15. 15. Mocavo’s Free Services vs. Paid Services Paid Services Add: • More Relevant Searches • Wild Card Search • First Name Alternatives • Sounds Like • Intelligent Date Searching • Date Ranges • GeoSearching (US Only) • Exclusions“New Content” Email Alerts • Automated Family Tree Alerts
  16. 16. Mocavo Silver & Gold Pricing • 7-day free trial • Free Basic Membership • $7.00 a month for Silver Membership • $9.00 a month for Gold Membership • Cancel at any time
  17. 17. Mocavo’s Free Services • Historical Record Storage and Sharing Platform – Genealogists may self-publish high-resolution documents that are automatically digitized using OCR and made searchable – all for free. – Mocavo users may upload historical records, such as photos, books and documents, to their accounts. Records can be uploaded several different ways: via a Web browser, Mocavo’s new smartphone apps, by email, or through the popular Dropbox service. – All documents optionally become visible to everyone on the Internet or may remain private at the uploader’s choice. – Mocavo users retain full ownership of their records, can delete them at any time, and control whether or not their records are shared with the public.
  18. 18. Mocavo’s Free Services • iPhone and Android Apps • Mocavo’s new iPhone and Android smartphone applications enable users to take pictures of historical records, photographs – even entire books – and have them automatically uploaded to Mocavo’s historical record storage and sharing service. • Users can also perform Mocavo searches and access their Mocavo accounts through the smartphone apps.
  19. 19. Mocavo’s Free Services • The Mocavo Genealogy Search Widget • Designed and developed specifically for genealogy websites and blogs to help your readers get the most out of your web site’s data. • The Mocavo Genealogy Search Widget simply requires you to choose your desired widget from our widget page, copy the code and paste it into the desired spot on your website or blog. Once implemented, you’ll have the power of Mocavo’s genealogy search engine right on your site, allowing those who visit your site or blog to search your content with ease.
  20. 20. Mocavo’s Free Services Mocavo has the BEST Social Security Death Index (SSDI) search engine available online. While other genealogy sites are restricting access to the SSDI, Mocavo has expanded their SSDI capabilities, all free of charge.
  21. 21. Mocavo’s Free Services Mocavo has the BEST Social Security Death Index (SSDI) search engine available online. While other genealogy sites are restricting access to the SSDI, Mocavo has expanded their SSDI capabilities, all free of charge.
  22. 22. Mocavo’s Free Services • Upload your family tree and Mocavo will search the Web for you. – Mocavo includes the capability for users to upload a GEDCOM file. Over the following days, Mocavo will search for information on more than one million genealogy sites on the World Wide Web about every person in your file and will send the potential matches to you by email.
  23. 23. Mocavo’s Paid Services • Free users and users of the paid Mocavo Plus service can both upload GEDCOM files to Mocavo. Users of the Free Mocavo Search will receive an email message once a week with information about three of the names in the GEDCOM file. Each week, a different three will be reported. • Mocavo Plus users will receive reports about ALL of the people in their GEDCOM files within 24 hours or so. • In addition, Mocavo Plus users may choose to receive an email message once a day or once a week, each containing information about any newly-found information about the people listed in the GEDCOM file.
  24. 24. Mocavo’s Paid Services • Both the free and paid background searches will search again and again forever, or for as long as the user wishes, looking for new information that has recently appeared on the web concerning the individuals listed in the GEDCOM file.
  25. 25. Publish Your Family Tree on the Web • If you do not already have a web site available to you, Mocavo invites you and everyone else to upload a GEDCOM file to Mocavo. • Adding your GEDCOM file will enable background searches as described previously. In addition, each user has the option of making the GEDCOM file's information available online for everyone to see. If the user chooses this option, the information in the file becomes visible not only to Mocavo, but to all the other search engines as well. The other search engines should be adding your information to their indexes. Should the user choose to not make the file public, all information remains private and only visible to the uploader.
  26. 26. Publish Your Family Tree on the Web • NOTE: Mocavo has a very strong ownership and privacy policy. • The person who uploads information to Mocavo remains as the sole owner of the information and has full control of the information at all times. All data is owned by the originator, not by Mocavo. No information is made public without the owner's permission.
  27. 27. Mocavo’s Paid Services • What are the biggest differences between basic search and Mocavo Plus? – Basic search, while free and searching the same data as Plus, has one search field and thus a limitation on what it will be able to find. – Mocavo Plus, on the other hand, has multiple search fields for specific queries, such as first names, last names, birth dates, death dates, etc, and has the knowledge to differentiate them all to bring you the best results possible.
  28. 28. Mocavo’s Paid Services • What are the biggest differences between basic search and Mocavo paid services? – Mocavo Silver and Gold provides all the benefits of Mocavo Free, but provides multiple research tools to help you make discoveries faster and with less effort. Mocavo Silver and Gold Search has multiple genealogy search fields for specific queries, such as first names, last names, birth dates, death dates, etc., and has the knowledge to differentiate them all to bring you the best results possible. It is a more efficient way of searching.
  29. 29. Mocavo’s Paid Services • Advanced Search • Wild card searches: For instance, a search for "Rosen*" will find occurrences of the name Rosen as well as Rosenfeld, Rosenfelder, Rosenfelt, Rosenfeldt, Rosenfield, and more.
  30. 30. All of Mocavo’s Services • Data extraction from free-form data – Unlike other search engines, Mocavo does a very good job of extracting data fields from unstructured data. In a statement in a web site of "Bridgett Murphy, b. in Ireland, d. 25 May 1871 in Minneapolis, Minnesota," Mocavo will determine that Bridgett is a first name, Murphy is a surname, "b. in Ireland" is a birth record listing the country of birth, and "d. 25 May 1871 in Minneapolis, Minnesota" is a death record with the exact date, city, and state of death.
  31. 31. All of Mocavo’s Services • Advanced Search will even search by dates, something not possible with other search engines that index free-form text. • Mocavo is also very good at decoding dates. It will decode 25 September 1871; September 25, 1871; 25 Sep 1871; Sep. 25, 1871; 9/25/1871; and other formats properly. Searches can be for exact dates or for the date plus or minus up to ten years..
  32. 32. All of Mocavo’s Services • First name equivalents: • Mocavo's Advanced Search will include alternate names when searching for individuals. For instance, you might specify a search for Elizabeth Jones. Mocavo is smart enough to simultaneously search for Eliza Jones, Liza Jones, Lizzie Jones, Liz Jones, and similar variants. • Any results for Elizabeth Jones (the exact name you specified) will be shown first, followed by the other possibilities.
  33. 33. All of Mocavo’s Services • Differentiates first and last names • Unlike other search engines, Mocavo often can tell that Elizabeth or Liza or Eliza or whatever name is found is a first name while Jones is a last name. • This doesn't work 100% of the time, depending upon the context in which those names appeared in the original web page, but it does work a high percentage of the time.
  34. 34. All of Mocavo’s Services • Adjacent counties • Even better, Mocavo even figures out that the marriage took place in Bergen County, despite the fact that the county name was not mentioned in the original web page. Mocavo can then optionally search nearby towns in the same county for matching records.
  35. 35. Where can you find Mocavo?
  36. 36. Today’s Slides may be found at: cavo