The use of the general Internet search engines is invaluable, especially Google. There seems to be nothing it can not locate, if it is on the World Wide Web. Google Books is a wonderful addition, quickly locating a certain name, place or historical event in a digital book copy within moments and on the exact page.
Of course using a search engine will also produce findings totally unrelated to the ancestor or ancestral hometown you are investigating. An example is the surname ‘Kershaw.’ It is not a common name in the United States, but on a Google search you will get all types of listings for the well-known ‘Kershaw Knives’ product, not exactly what is needed for a family tree.
So enter the new search engine named ‘Mocavo,’ which only provides genealogical related results. This free site will locate anything on the Internet related to family history using the key name or term you placed. Not only databases, there are family web sites, genealogical societies, Federal and state archives, cemetery listings, message boards and even genealogy blogs related to your key word are available and located through this search engine.
One of the best ways to search is placing the names in quote marks. If ancestor’s name is David G. Everhart, place that name in quotes. You can even narrow the search with the person’s name and a hometown; such as “David G. Everhart” Maryland I MD (include the full name of the state or the abbreviation with the capital letter ‘I“ in between). That example with just the name produced 37 sites and with the state name added, it was narrowed down to 15 usable sites within seconds.
Placing a hometown solely can produce some interesting results. Searching the town of “Hanover, PA” produced many historical events in the town and the names of people involved. For example, there was the June 1924 coal mine explosion in Hanover, PA and a site was shown with names and ages of some of the men who died or were injured in the explosion. Reviewing such an event can generate information about an ancestor you may have never been aware of from other research.
This search engine can cover some 50 billion words and dates, which is quite a listing. A special note is that the search will find items that are on free genealogical sites. If certain data is tied to a subscription fee database, then that information is not shown on the search engine results. Overall, a very good and new method to searching on the Internet.< Return To Blog The Mocavo family search engine is linked on the Genealogy Blog site. The site is: http://www.mocavo.com/ It has 4 billion names to search. There is also an advance search box to use. Good luck.