Quick Guide to Mocavo Genealogy Website

Quick Guide to Mocavo Genealogy Website

We'll show you the best ways to discover your ancestors in the genealogy databases on the Mocavo website.

Membership Options

 Level  Benefits  Cost
 Basic  browse and search individual datasets and census indexes, create an online family tree  free
Gold  the above, plus searching all databases at once, advanced searching, high-resolution document images, downloading records, Discovery Alerts, stored browsing history, educational webcasts

$9 a month or $100 a year


Launched in 2011 and acquired by Findmypast in 2014, Mocavo uses a powerful search engine to find your ancestors in a variety of sources, including US censuses from 1790 to 1940, city directories, yearbooks, biographies and free genealogy websites. Its collections also include thousands of family histories and other books, many of which are unavailable on other genealogy sites. Free Basic members can search individual databases of records and view (but not download) matching records. You’ll get the most out of the site as a Gold member, which lets you access advanced search features, download records, and more.

Search strategies

Set yourself up for success on Mocavo with these strategies:

Search for a person. Mocavo’s simple search form, which Basic members can use, lets you search on a person’s first and last names, and keywords. A search on an unusual name, Henry Shaubut, produces 76 matches in local history books and city directories. Basic members are prompted to join when clicking a match; the prompt links to the database containing that result, so you can search it individually if you don’t want to join. You won’t be able to download the record, but you could take a screenshot.
The Advanced search, available to Gold members, adds checkboxes to search for alternate and nicknames, and similar last names. You also can add a date and place of birth, marriage and death, with a range for the date. Try different combinations of search terms, such as a name plus an exact date of birth, a name plus a year and place of birth and a name plus an occupation or the spouse’s name as a keyword.
Filter your results. Filters to the left of your search results let you narrow matches by category, date range and location. Search on just the name William Pennington and you get more than 32,000 results, but when you filter the results by location to North Carolina, the top matches are books describing my relative’s role as a comptroller of customs there before the Revolutionary War.
Get matches to your family tree. Any member can build or upload (as a GEDCOM or a file from any popular genealogy software) a family tree on Mocavo. Then the user can attach records from Mocavo to people in his tree. With a Gold subscription, the site’s Smart Trees technology will suggest matches to fill in the gaps in your tree.

Power-User Tips

Get discovery alerts. Gold members can save their searches and Mocavo will run them automatically. Mocavo will email you Discovery Alerts whenever it finds new connections to your tree.

Post in surname groups. To post queries and find others researching the same surnames as you, look under the Community tab and click Groups. You’ll be able to search and join groups, and access the groups you’re in.

View family trees. You can view Mocavo members’ public trees. Click a letter to browse trees titled with surnames that start with that letter. You can’t yet search for individual ancestors in family trees.


Helpful Links

From the March/April 2015 Family Tree Magazine 

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