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Friday, May 8, 2009

Enhancing your online genealogy searches

Do you know if your ancestor is already been researched? Do you know if the information is available on the Internet? Both of these questions should be some of the first concerns in addressing any research goal. There are quite a few options for online searches.

Although Google does not search the entire Web, it is a good starting place. However, the other search options may provide valuable information not easily found with Google. Here is a list of some of the popular search sites:

Google
Alta Vista
Yahoo
DogPile

Ask

This list could go on and on. There are two majorly different search engines on the list. Google and Yahoo are single entities. Search engines like DogPile and Webcrawler search a number of individual search engines at once.

Just for comparison, try to search for the same relative on each of the search engines. For example, I used Henry Martin Tanner born in San Bernardino, California in 1852.

Google found 188 results, with nearly all of the hits being my ancestor. On the other hand, Alta Vista found only 19 results which were mostly all my ancestor. With the same exact search, Ask found 10,800 hits but most of the hits were irrelevant. Yahoo found 11 items, nearly all of which were relevant. I could go on, but each of the search engines found something relevant and some of the results were specific to a particular search engine.

You may wish to try different search engines to see if you can find information not on any of the others.

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