Another idea is to use the word ’allintitle’ (all in title) then a colon and the phrase such as Bridge genealogy. The example is: allintitle: Bridge genealogy. Google will find the requested phrase, capture some additional genealogy web pages about the surname usually buried deep in the search results.
The tilde ~ symbol is Google's newest operand. Now you can look for a particular keyword, plus all its synonyms (words having the same or nearly the same meaning as another word). Indicate a search for both by placing the tilde sign ~ immediately in front of the keyword. In the search box type the surname then a tilde ~, and next a topic such as genealogy with no spaces in-between. So the line would read Wilson~genealogy.
The use of the tilde ~ is great for words like genealogy, family history, family tree, or ancestry. Instead, write it with the tilde in front of the keyword, such as ~genealogy. Not every genealogy webpage actually uses the word genealogy.
Google has a ‘Google Directory‘. Using the Google search box, click on the hyperlink titled directory. Then, do the searching for a surname like Johnson with the Society > Genealogy > Personal Pages > J. Now web pages containing Johnson as a surname will appear. This will provide hundreds of personal web pages created by researchers.
Many times a surname has several spellings. Use ‘OR’ also with different forms of the same topic or surname. You might have Smith OR Smithe. Also, any combination with name and location like Smith OR Smithe North Carolina will increase results.
If you are looking for an ancestor’s obituary, place the surname such as Henderson obit OR obituary OR obituaries. Note the short form, the singular and the plural are used to get the most responses. This applies to abbreviates with states. You have to include the different ways a state would be written such as FL OR Fla OR Florida. A reminder, there are additional old style abbreviates for states like with Pennsylvania there is Penn. and Penna.
When doing a person’s full name, search the various ways such as John Edward Johnson, John Johnson, John E. Johnson, J. E. Johnson and J. Johnson. The ancestor may have even been known as Jack Johnson or Edward Johnson or Ed Johnson. During a search Google can provide an alternate spelling. Try these variations even if you believe that your surname was always spelled the same way.
Images are the best items for any researcher. Using the link at the top of the Google search page, titled ‘Images.’ There you can search for photos of ancestors, hometowns, churches, cemeteries, ships, businesses and schools. There could be images of documents such as wills, military papers, census, tax rolls or yearbooks.
Using Google is an essential tool for all genealogy research. Using it effectively is most important.