FamilySearch Collection name doesn't come up when performing a collection search

I crafted a citation and decided to see if I could get back to my record following my citation.  Within the record set, FamilySearch gives us this name for citing the collection –"México, Tamaulipas, registros parroquiales, 1703-1964." When I went to the FamilySearch search page and pasted the collection name (in quotes above) it doesn't return any results.  Ultimately, I need to start typing Mexico, Tamaulipas... and collection suggestions populate that actually call the collection "Mexico, Tamaulipas, Catholic Church Records, 1703-1964". Now I am confused as to which to use in my citation. They even use both names on the landing page of the collection in different places.

The citation I crafted looks like this:

Los Cinco Señores (Santander Jimenez, Tamaulipas, Mexico), Entierros [Burials], Dec 1819 - 1844, numbered and unnumbered pages in chronological order, folio 10, 1822, No 3, Jose Leonicio Gonzalez 28 November; accessed as "México, Tamaulipas, registros parroquiales, 1703-1964," database with images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 19 May 2022), Santander Jiménez > Los Cinco Señores > Defunciones 1781-1845 > image 121 of 257; paróquias Católicas, Tamaulipas (Catholic Church parishes, Tamaulipas).

What would be your suggestion?

Submitted byEEon Fri, 05/20/2022 - 09:06

Ah, yes, agonzaleswithans. You’ve discovered a problem. You’re also wise to test your website citation after crafting it, using a different browser, to see if it works when your downloaded pages are no longer in cache.

Using the collection name that appears in FamilySearch's recommended citation, I hit the same snag you noticed. At > search > collection

  • when I typed "México, Tamaulipas, registros parroquiales, 1703-1964" into the search box, I got no results.
  • When I typed in your second option, “Mexico, Tamaulipas, Catholic Church Records, 1703-1964,” I was taken to the search page for that collection.

There, the problem is obvious:


FamilySearch's database uses one collection title (an English-language title), while its wonderful, ready-made citation uses a Spanish-language title that the website's search engine did not recognize.

The screenshot above also includes a piece of information that we’re wise to use in our identification of the URL: the collection number.

In fact, using the full URL for our citation’s landing page

would bypass the problem you’ve flagged (the collection title that doesn't work in the "Search Collections" search box).

As for which collection title to use, EE would use the one that does work when it’s typed into the search box for collections. It’s also the one that appears repeatedly in the path to the image and on the image page itself

Beyond this, your example gives us several other issues to discuss.

Search options

The landing page for the collection gives us two ways to approach the records: (1) a search box for name, place, and year; and (2) “Browse all 199,328 images.”

Many users of the collection will automatically turn to the search box. However, when I used the search box and entered the three required pieces of information, as given in your citation (“Jose Leonicio Gonzales,” “Santander Jimenez,” and “1822), I got no hits. Even when I added the diacriticals, I got no hits.

Fortunately, your citation includes the path. EE would include the word “Browse” in the path to direct the user to that feature, thereby sparing them the frustration of using the search box.

On the other hand, if you choose to use the ark URL, you could eliminate the path entirely.

Title of volume

Your draft citation begins with

Los Cinco Señores (Santander Jimenez, Tamaulipas, Mexico), Entierros [Burials], Dec 1819 - 1844, …

Within this pattern, these pieces of information would represent

Name of Church that Authored the Record (Location of Church), Title of Volume

However, the title of the volume (as given on the tag stuck onto the cover imaged at 110) is

“Entierros, S-Jiménez, Tam.” [Burials, S-Jiménez, Tam.]

The first page of the volume, where a full title often appears, gives us a different identification …

“Libro perteneciente à la Fabrica de esta Parroquia …” [Book belonging to the Governing Board of This Parish …]

The rest of this identification, on what would normally be the “title page,” does not identify the book as a burial book.

Given a choice between the label on the book’s cover and the wording on the first page, EE would use the more explicit wording on the cover. EE would also put it within quotation marks to non-verbally say “These are the exact words you’ll see on the cover if you have the right book.” 

If EE added dates, as you have done, EE would use square editorial brackets around those dates to non-verbally say, “The title to the book doesn’t tell you the dates but to be more explicit I’m adding dates from FS’s cataloging entry” (or from my own examination of the volume, or wherever I got those dates from).

Folio No.

Your draft citation specifies “folio 10.” When we look at the image, we see a two-page spread; and the number appears only at the top right of the right-hand page. However, your entry is on the left-hand page. 

When you use a folio number, think “leaf.”  A "folio" is not the backside of one leaf and the front side of the next. It's a leaf or a sheaf of leaves. When we go back to the start of the book, we see that the book begins with number 1, placed on the front side of a leaf (right-hand side of the page).  Folio 1 covers that entire first leaf, front side (recto, meaning the right side) and backside (verso, meaning the reverse).  At image 121, the records that appear on the left side of the page are on folio 9, verso, which we might also write as folio 9v.

Layer 3

The ready-made citation from FS’s algorithm includes a third layer: the “citing ….” layer. In this case, however, there is no need to say what you provider is citing because your provider (FamilySearch) is not citing anything else that has not already been included in your citation.

Putting all this together, EE would suggest:

Los Cinco Señores (Santander Jiménez, Tamaulipas, Mexico), “Entierros [Burials] S-Jiménez, Tam.,” folio 9 verso, Act No. 3, Jose Leonicio Gonzalez, 28 November 1822; accessed as "México, Tamaulipas, Catholic Church Records, 1703–1964," database with images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 19 May 2022) > Browse > Santander Jiménez > Los Cinco Señores > Defunciones 1781-1845 > image 121 of 257.

Or, if using the ark (and its inherent risks):

Los Cinco Señores (Santander Jiménez, Tamaulipas, Mexico), “Entierros [Burials] S-Jiménez, Tam.,” folio 9 verso, Act No. 3, Jose Leonicio Gonzalez, 28 November 1822; accessed as "México, Tamaulipas, Catholic Church Records, 1703–1964," database with images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 19 May 2022).



Submitted byagonzaleswithanson Fri, 05/20/2022 - 15:12

Thank you for your input. I will definitely change my citations for this collection to the English version.

Regarding quoting the title, my first thought was to quote as you did, but I wanted to bring the dates into description, and they were not on the cover.  Also, in my examination of the book, I found the final year of the book that FS noted was not included. I translated the cover page in full and determined it wasn't helpful.  And noted the date at the top of the page was ambiguous representing neither the beginning or end year of the volume.  I could see on the image of the book cover there is some writing on the spine, but unfortunately the spine was not imaged. Bummer!

I do store the ark url in my database to easily get back to the record, but I am inclined to use the waypoints in citations in hopes it will remain accurate longer. (Perhaps I should use both?) I have already been burned on some of my original citations being off by a few pages to 100's of pages due to stale urls. It has been frustrating having to locate some of the records again if I didn't store both. And as you found in your search efforts, these records are not indexed.

And thank you for the further explanation of the use of the folio numbers. This sent me back to my current copy of EE and found your explanation in EE 6.8.  (Missed that!)

I will redo my citation to resemble your first suggestion, but will include the dates in square editorial brackets to further help identify the book.  I really do appreciate your time and thoughtfulness you put into the conundrums we present to you.


Submitted byChrisFBon Fri, 05/20/2022 - 16:45

If I may add something ... FamilySearch is a multi-lingual site. As such, the collection names are available in more than one language. Users who use the Spanish interface would have no difficulty find the collection name "México, Tamaulipas, registros parroquiales, 1703-1964."

Upload a document

Good point, ChrisFB. The logical extension of that would be that if we were accessing it through the English portal, and recording our findings in an English-language research report, we would use the English version of the database title by which we actually accessed the record. If we were in Mexico, using the Spanish language interface and recording our findings in Spanish, then we would use the Spanish version of the title by which we have accessed the language.

The confusing issue here is that FamilySearch's suggested citation has mixed the two of them, so that the Spanish-language title does not appear in the database for English-language users, even though other parts of the citation are in English.


Submitted byEEon Mon, 05/23/2022 - 08:43

agonzaleswithans, adding those dates into the title with square editorial brackets around them, is a very good approach.