The announcement of the fixes reveals that two of the biggest grips Scottish genealogists have had with the new website have at least been fixed:
- Marriage searches: finally it's now possible once again to search for a marriage using two surnames (one for the bride and one for the groom). This is a major improvement on the initial version of the revamped site, and one which genealogists will warmly welcome.
- Marriage results: related to the marriage-search fix, marriage searches now show both parties' names on the results page. This is another big improvement on what went before, when you had to click on a link to get a pop-up showing the spouse's name. That was fine if there were only a few results of your search, but quickly became tedious if there were more than a few results.
- Death searches: You can now search death records using an approximate birth year. This is another important change, making it far easier and a lot less hassle to find the death your looking for. We understand from our discussions with the National Records of Scotland that this was a particularly tricky problem to resolve, as the searches were behaving in unpredictable ways. This problem now appears to have been resolve successfully.
- Search forms: The labels and column headings have been improved.
- Return to image view: After reporting a problem with an image, you are returned to the image you were viewing at the time. A minor change, but any improvement in the page flow should be welcomed.
- Divorce and dissolutions: A gender field has been added.
Another consequence of the multiple results for the same marriage is that sorting the search results by "spouse surname" doesn't quite behave as you might expect. We've not done enough testing on the new interface to be sure, but the new system appears to group all results for the same marriage together.
These are however minor quibbles. The changes introduced are a major improvement to search functionality, and we'd like to thank the team at NRS for their hard work in fixing bugs.