Tech Tips: Improving Your Google Search

By Family Tree Editors Premium

Improve your online ancestor searches with these pointers from Search Engine Tips and Tricks, a Family Tree University webinar presented by Lisa Louise Cooke:

  1. Save time with synonym searches. Rather than run separate searches on similar keywords, include a tilde (~) before the term you want to find variations of. For example, ~train history also finds pages referencing railroad history and locomotive history.
  2. Set a date range. Want to eliminate matches on modern people with your ancestor’s name? Use a “numrange” to narrow your search to a particular time period: Type Jehu Burkhart 1790…1830 to nab results that include that ancestor’s name plus any year between 1790 and 1830.
  3. Fill in the blanks. Don’t want to remember these special search operators? Try the Advanced Search form for a guided approach to setting your search parameters.
  4. Hunt for histories. Google is busily digitizing and cataloging books with expired copyrights—including county histories. Look for them using the Google Books search.
Learn more strategies in the recorded webinar (available at Family Tree Shop) and in Cooke’s Google courses at Family Tree University. And don’t miss her Ultimate Google for Genealogists Collection, available for a limited time in Family Tree Shop.
Plus, learn how to improve your Google Searches in this short Genealogy How-To Video:

From the September 2010 Family Tree Magazine