A Few Hints for Using a Search Engine

Remember the saying; “type your own given and surname and see what comes up on Google search engine”. That would be true of any search engine: Bing, DuckDuckGo, Yahoo, Ask!, Dogpile, Creative Commons and others.

The following are a few hints when using any search engine for your ancestors or family hometowns.

Many times a search engine will provide sites based on your present-day location, figuring it is relevant to you, even if you are searching about any ancestor’s hometown. To help avoid that, be as specific to the location you do want.

Also use quotation marks around keywords, such as ancestor’s names. It is one phrase then that the search engine is looking for. Use an ancestor’s nickname also. If they have a usual given name, use just that name to search. If you quote mark the name and then use a plus (+) and place the hometown plus state in quotes that also helps to narrow down the research.

If you want similar search records to a term such as ‘marriage’ use this wavy line (~) before the term marriage. That key with the line is in the upper left corner of the keyboard. With this symbol to search for synonyms, you could find weddings, married, bride, groom, licenses, wed, dowery, marriage bond, etc.

To locate information on an ancestor or hometown using a specific online site type — site:familysearch.com ancestors The keyword is ‘site’. This is useful for checking blogs and articles.

Another method to narrow a search is to use dates — a range of dates. Say 1880-1890 is a range, also 1904-1909, so it does not need to be a full decade. Make the range for a period you know a family hometown existed or that an ancestor lived.

Also, continue to check using a search engine, new databases, articles, blogs are added every day.

Photo: Search Engine Names.

Related Familytree.com Blogs:

Other Search Engines

Bios – My Genealogy Hound

Using ‘Google’ Search Engine

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