Genealogy Tips: Searching by Date

When looking for online information about your ancestors, it is helpful to search by date—either an exact date for a narrow search, or a date range for a broader search.

GenealogyBank's search page makes it easy to search either way.

Search by Date Range

With the "Date Range" box checked, you can easily search a range of years.

This is the most common search on GenealogyBank.

You will want to use this option to narrow down your search to the time period your target ancestor lived.

It is also handy for limiting the number of hits so that you can thoroughly review all search results in manageable increments.

Search by Date

You can check the "Date" box and it opens up more options for you to fine-tune your search.

You can enter a date or year in the "Date" box and then have GenealogyBank search for that exact date; within one year (before or after that date); within 2 years; within 5 years; or extend the search to within 10 years, depending on which option you choose.

You can also use different formats to enter the date. For example, you may search for:
  • 1842
  • January 1842
  • Jan 18, 1842
Be as precise or general as you want to be.

Sometimes you are not sure of the exact date an event took place; in that case you could enter the year.

Perhaps you want to browse through all of the issues of a newspaper for October 1878. Now, it is easy to do that.

Or search on an exact date in history.

In Colonial America it was common for an obituary to appear weeks after a person died, so you want to search on a broad date range. Perhaps there were also articles about an accident, extended illness or the gathering of family members. Similarly, use a broad date range search for weddings: perhaps there were articles about the couple's engagement, plans for the coming marriage, the marriage itself, and then the honeymoon. Simply plug in the specific date or year of the event and ask GenealogyBank to search all articles in both directions: the time leading up to and after the event.

Use this tip to save time and focus your search.

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