On the Internet, a search engine is essential. The most well-known and maybe most used is ‘Google‘. There is even now the saying; ‘Just Google it’.
To be more effective in your searching for your family history, here are a few tips or ideas to use the search engine more efficiently. Maybe you need to find a specific phrase or saying, first use quote marks at either end of the phrase and if there is a certain word you are unsure which to use, place the star ‘*’ key. For example; “Probate * of Madison County, New York” – this way it could be records, documents, scans, Wills, etc.
To locate all web sites on a certain topic or name, then in the Google search place in quotes: “Google site:Hamilton County.com”.
Photos – Photos – Photos — using Google can actually help you identify and/ or locate additional or similar photos. If you have a photo in the family collection, especially of a place you don’t know, scan that image. Then go to the section of Google called ‘Google Images’. There is a camera icon, click on it. It will change to ‘Search by Image’. Upload that scanned image (Choose File) you have on your computer. Don’t make the image too large, keep it under 2000 pixels. Also add some description or location in the file name plus alongside the image not just a number. If you don’t find any match the first time, always try again in a few months.
If you come across a term or word in a document and you do not know the meaning use Google by placing in the search box, “Define: — then the word you need a definition of ending with a quote mark.
Number one item to use with Google are their thousands of vintage newspapers, available free. Here in alphabetical order are newspaper titles, number of issues and the dates available. Not just newspapers from a hundred years ago but many covering the last 50 years. However, not every newspaper is available or all their issues. To help narrow down a search using a specific name or event, place that keyword at the top of a search for a certain newspaper. All the newspaper are scanned as they originally appeared and you can enlarge each page for easier reading. The newspapers are also useful for seeing the advertisements of a specific era, including the fashions, giving you insight about your ancestors’ lifestyle. You can right click to save the full page or a screen print for a certain ad or article. You never know what you might discover.
Photos: Google Icons, Toronto ‘Sun’ 1914 newspaper advertisement.
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