When I find a record on Ancestry.com, the link contains data about the search I performed to find it, presumably so that Ancestry can provide a link to return to the search results. Here's an example:


While that data may be useful to me in the future, it makes the URL enormous. Just pasting that thing into Chrome's address bar slows my computer down for a few seconds*. Also, people I might share the URL with don't need the extra data.

How can I get a URL to the record which doesn't contain the search data?

I know that I could just delete the extra search parameters, but that would require remembering which of the cryptic parameters are necessary.

Is there a "permalink" or "direct link" button on record pages? I don't see one, but that doesn't mean it's not there.

* I'm not sure why because it's only ~300 characters; perhaps it's something to do with autocomplete

  • 1
    Good question Justin. I am believer in records having codes for them. The census of England and Wales has these, although findmypast and Ancestry don't give equal support for them. Ideally, the citation that Ancestry itself gives you should be enough to return to the relevant page. Of course, it wouldn't be sufficient if shared with someone using a different content provider.
    – ACProctor
    Jul 19, 2013 at 13:07
  • I was wondering about this as well. I have an ancestry.com membership. I've uploaded a lot of media. I had linked to some of the media in the past, but when I went back to it the URL was attached to different media. The linking system is dynamic and changes as I upload other media. I noticed there is a sharing function. I'm wondering if the URL it gives would be a permanent link. I'm hoping that is the case, but I'll have to check again later to see if it remains properly linked.
    – user4006
    May 20, 2015 at 23:07
  • @BenjaminDavidSteele Welcome to G&FH SE! As a new user be sure to take our 2-minute Tour because Stack Exchange sites work differently to discussion forums, bulletin boards and other Q&A sites. Here you are using the area reserved for direct answers to the original question but seem to be making more of a comment than an answer. If you are hoping for responses to your post I think it will be best if you can Ask a Question instead.
    – PolyGeo
    May 20, 2015 at 23:47

3 Answers 3


If you save the record (not the image) to your shoebox, and then access it from there, you get a shorter URL:


Sharing the record to Facebook (without actually sharing it) or Sharing via email gives you a similar URL:

  • Bummer. I'm going through the institution site which doesn't have those links. +1 anyways! Maybe someday I'll have my own subscription.
    – user47
    Jul 14, 2013 at 15:56

I can't say that it is a universal Ancestry url pattern, but all that seems to be needed is

http://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll? [search domain, here using the US site]
db=[database identfier, e.g. db=1940usfedcen]
&h=[individual record identifier, e.g. h=32553162]


[Another method to truncate the url is to click on a link from the record page itself].

  • 1
    You can save 2 characters by changing &indiv=try to &indiv=1
    – lkessler
    Jul 18, 2013 at 23:08

One way to overcome the size problem is simply to use a URL shortener. The following appears to link to the same page as your 300 char monster.


This does not actually remove the embedded search data and you need to be aware that all goo.gl URLs ... are publicly accessible but if security is not an issue, it may be a partial answer when working with a library (rather than a personal) subscription to Ancestry.

There are many such tools but I find the Black Menu extension to Chrome browser gives me ready access to this and other useful Google products (such as Map and Translate) while I am researching.

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