Your Guide to Finding Ancestors with Google
Often your search results in too many hits to wade through...you need the power of Google's ADVANCE SEARCH
You want to find out something about your Powers Family, specifically John Powers who was born in 1788 in County Cork Ireland, married in Ireland, Matilda Moore. He died 1862 in Flint, Genessee Co. Michigan (this is a made up example; don't add him to your family tree!)
If you get results from a large genealogy site, e.g. Rootsweb, the results list may show a link to "more results from... " Clicking that link will bring up other hits from that site.
Get a "file not found" message when you click the link? Go back to the results page and click "cached" to bring up a cached version of the page.
Download the Google Toolbar so you don't have to keep going to http://www.google.com to make your searches. In addition to quick searching, this toolbar offers many helpful features. I particularly like the bookmarks tool, which allows me to save bookmarks on the web, so I can add them and find them from any computer. See the toolbar button gallery for a choice of Google tools. Here is a YouTube video that shows one helpful you can use the Google Toolbar for genealogy.
Remember to use Google Images to see if you can find picture. Adding the words post card may find local pictures.
Search Google Books to find text in books that have been scanned. Some books are available for viewing on the web; some will refer you to where you can find the book. In the Google Books Advanced Search you can limit results to
You can search a selection of books included because of their genealogical value at the Google Thomas J. Kemp's Book Library
Google Alerts will notify you by e-mail anytime the crawler finds a new instance of your search term. I've found that the results are not always new data, but I cheerfully accept whatever is offered. For the one time it hits, it's worth deleting the misses.
Matthew Combs "Surname Suggestion List" helps you run a search for multiple spellings of a surname, although you still must run each search separately. You can combine the names with other word choices. This is very handy, but must be downloaded on your (Windows) computer. Some results may be to searchable sites; the fact that such site is included does not necessarily mean that your ancestor will be on that site. This feature is a mixed blessing; it allows you to more easily find hidden data, but it also substantially expands your list of hits that have no relevant results.
Build a custom google search to crawl a list of websites.
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