I just sent this email to firstname.lastname@example.org. I hope I get an answer; I will let you know. The files I mention in the first sentence will appear at the end of the quoted material.
I attach two files. One is an image of a search for anyone with the name Hoover in Wood Co. Ohio (1880 U.S.Census) The second is the results list… notice how far down you have to read to get the first Wood Co. hit.
The results display is not helpful, but more to the point… it makes no sense. Why would the Wood Co. Ohio lists not float to the top?
My suggestion: tell searchers the order in which the search results display AND give users the option of sorting results by column. e.g. by birthdate or by name or by location.
In this case, sorting by location is problematic because of the thousands of results, I’d have to find OHIO, Wood Co…. so it would also be helpful to allow users to restrict results. I might want to restrict to place name includes Ohio Wood Co. but I might also want to restrict to place name includes Ohio, as I might want to look at other counties of interest also.
But something has to be done to help us make better use of search results.