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Do your Web searches miss the mark? Don't give up: Learn these secrets to smarter online research, and you'll find answers about your ancestors in no time.
 I love a challenge, especially when it comes to finding ancestors on the internet. Give me a name, date and place, and i'm off to the races. Hours fly by unnoticed, dinner goes uncooked and vacuuming is far from my consciousness. Nothing exists but the puzzle.

If you've given up “real” online research in favor of quick searches, you're missing the best part of Internet genealogy: the fun of focusing your detective skills and the Net's limitless resources to turn a tangle of clues into a tidy solution.

By researching online, I've wrestled some of my toughest problems to the ground. I've found distant cousins, regenerated dead-end branches and added hundreds of names, dates and places to the blanks in my family tree. You can, too, if you try these tricks for smarter searches.

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