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Family Research Using Google

Updated on November 13, 2019
Pamela99 profile image

I enjoy writing about personal experiences with my family. I am interested in traveling, any culture, ancestry relationships and animals.

Family Research

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Google Searches

When you are looking for information about a relative using Google, it can be very helpful to use Google as it searches websites. Type in the name, such as John Brown. Sometimes you will get a good response using just the name, but it may need to be a bit more unusual then the name I used. You may see the Brown family and then you can see if that family listing contains your relative.

Next, try using quotation marks, such as “John Brown” and this will limit the number of results. You can also add other terms, such as “birth” or “obituary”. When we are searching for common names we can definitely get too many results to our search. An better example would be John Brown from Boston, MA but it still may show up multiple times.

If Boston, MA is not where he is from, you can place a minus sign before -Boston, MA to exclude that result from showing up again. The minus sign can be placed before dates or another similar name that keeps popping up. There is no space between the minus sign and the term you are attempting to block. You can also exclude specific sites, such as wikitree.

Computer Research

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Search Websites

If you want to search for a specific website, use ‘site:SITEURL’ before a term. An example would be: site:familysearch.org “Brown,John”-Boston, MA. You do not use the ‘http’. You can also combine names, such as: John AND Mary Brown.

AND is the command word, so it must be capitalized in this case. To include a particular term use a + before the word you want to include, such as: “John Brown” +genealogy. Additionally, if you have an idea of a date for your ancestor, such as: “John Brown” 1830..1840. Do not use a space between the periods.

It is possible to search only web page titles. For example: allintitle: “Brown, John”. This method is not used by genealogist very often, but it is a good search tip. For instance, you can search multiple dates without having to enter each one separately. You can also exclude a specific date, by using -DATE, such as: -1838. You can also use terms like AROUND(1) in between terms, as an example: “John Brown” AROUND(1) or “John Brown” AROUND(10) to limit the number of pages where John Brown would appear. Your results will be greatly improved.

Google Books has a large array of books, and they even have newspapers. You might even find an obituary. Google Scholar is another site that might aid you in your search.

Using Google for Genealogy Research

Set Up Google Alerts

You can set up Google alerts to receive emails when new information is posted about your family research query.

  1. “Go to www.google.com/alerts.
  2. Type in your search term for your ancestor or topic.
  3. Then, choose ‘Show Options’ to narrow your alert to a specific source, region and/or language
  4. Select ‘Create Alert’”

Then, Google will notify you when the search engine indexes a particular page that matches the terms you have chosen. You can choose how often you want to receive emails.

Another feature of Google is Google Earth, and it is a great online map of the whole world, which is free, three-dimensional, interactive, multi-layered, and it is crowd-sourced. You can zoom in and zoom out.

There is a great deal of extra content as well. It is great to identify hometowns and even specific properties. It is possible to find a school, churches, cemeteries and old buildings that may relate to your ancestor’s life.

Family Tree

Source

Open Street View on Google Maps

Way to see an Open Street View:

  1. “Using Google Chrome on your computer, open Google Earth.
  2. Click a place, or search for a location.
  3. Zoom in to see the area in more detail.
  4. On the bottom right of the screen, click Pegman .
  5. Click a highlighted area. The circles or areas colored blue can be seen in Street View.”

The Google Genealogist (Part 1)

Check for New Genealogy Records

New records are added to the internet daily. Google actually has a website to search for new genealogy records. Check New Genealogy Records on the Internet regularly for new records that may now be available. Google is certainly a good way to conduct some of your genealogy research or to conduct any type of research.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2019 Pamela Oglesby

Comments

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  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    2 weeks ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi again Luis, It takes quite a bit of research to find family members. I Luis.

  • Luis G Asuncion profile image

    Luis G Asuncion 

    2 weeks ago from City of San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan, Philippines

    I am starting to search. I found one, but of course, I do not know if he's related with me. Luis Asuncion, the same name with me. A baseball player in Spain. Since, we were just conquered by Spain for three centuries, there's a possibility.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    2 weeks ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Maria, I may have too many interests as it seems I run out of time pursuing my interests.

    I hope you are doing well. You know I always like to hear from you. I hope you have a nice Sunday as well.

  • marcoujor profile image

    Maria Jordan 

    2 weeks ago from Jeffersonville PA

    Dear Pamela,

    This post proves that a good nurse is also a detective! Excellent, useful information for all of us.

    Have a peaceful Sunday.

    Love,

    Maria

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    2 weeks ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Luis, I hope this information does help you with your searches. Thank you for commenting.

  • Luis G Asuncion profile image

    Luis G Asuncion 

    2 weeks ago from City of San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan, Philippines

    Wow. I appreciate your Google genealogy search. Although tried that before and no exact result. However, with your tutorial, it gives me a hint to try again for my somewhat a family history. Thanks for sharing.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    3 weeks ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Robert, I hope this does help you with Google searches for any reason. I appreciate your comments.

  • Robert Sacchi profile image

    Robert Sacchi 

    3 weeks ago

    Thank you very much for posting. I think this can help me in my Google searches.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    3 weeks ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Linda, I am glad the instructions might be helpful for you. I appreciate your comments.

  • AliciaC profile image

    Linda Crampton 

    3 weeks ago from British Columbia, Canada

    I enjoy exploring with Google Earth, but most of the other information that you've shared is new to me. Thank you for including it in the article, Pamela. The instructions that you've included are very useful.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    3 weeks ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Audrey, I am glad the tips in the article worked so well for you. Thank you so much for your nice comments.

  • vocalcoach profile image

    Audrey Hunt 

    3 weeks ago from Idyllwild Ca.

    I've been working on my family history so your article came at the perfect time! I actually didn't get past the first paragraph as I stopped reading long enough to try out your google tip. After an hour or so, (I was having such good luck checking out my genealogy) I continued on with your informative and helpful piece.

    A huge thank you!

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    3 weeks ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Ruby, You might put your own name and town in Google and you may be surprised to find more about yourself then you imagined. I tried that once,

    I am glad you found this article so useful and your comments are appreciated, as always.

  • always exploring profile image

    Ruby Jean Richert 

    3 weeks ago from Southern Illinois

    This is informative and easy to perform. Funny how one can type in a name and town and learn much. Helpful and useful hub.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    3 weeks ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Clive, I appreciate your comments.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    3 weeks ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Lorna, On one side of my family there are grandparents that were distant cousins. I am glad you found this artice informative. I always appreciate your comments.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    3 weeks ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Linda, I was thinking about genealogy when I wrote this article but by the end of the writing I thought it might be good for anyone doing research, even for an article. Thanks for your comments.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    3 weeks ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Ms Dora, I am glad you found this article informative. I appreciate your comments.

  • MsDora profile image

    Dora Weithers 

    3 weeks ago from The Caribbean

    Pam, I'm impressed with how much you know about Google Search. Thanks for the lesson. I can learn much from you.

  • Carb Diva profile image

    Linda Lum 

    3 weeks ago from Washington State, USA

    Pamela, this is great information for any type of search. What a great reference this will be for just about everyone. Thank you so much for putting this together. I've bookmarked it!

  • Lorna Lamon profile image

    Lorna Lamon 

    3 weeks ago

    I have almost completed my Dad's side of the family going back to 1808, and apparently my Mum and Dad were cousins twenty four times removed. Another informative and interesting article Pamela which really helps when trying to navigate Google.

  • clivewilliams profile image

    Clive Williams 

    3 weeks ago from Jamaica

    nice information to look up ancestry.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    3 weeks ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Liz, I appreciate your nice comments, and I hope people can use these methods for family or any other research.

  • FlourishAnyway profile image

    FlourishAnyway 

    3 weeks ago from USA

    Although I don’t do genealogy research my father does and I’m sure he will value this information. It was the first time I had heard much of it!

  • Eurofile profile image

    Liz Westwood 

    3 weeks ago from UK

    This is a very helpful guide to using google for family tree research. Your article is well laid out and easily digestible.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    3 weeks ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Linda, I have found while researching my family history that there is so much more information available now then there was previously, so maybe there will be a time to research your father's side at some point.

    It is fun to do, and there are several good programs to use, like familysearch.com, etc. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

  • lindacee profile image

    Linda Chechar 

    3 weeks ago from Arizona

    I have created a partial family tree and found some from my mother's side but my father's side from eastern Europe is difficult because I couldn't research my family's original Ukrainian Cyrillic surname. Anyhow, it's been fun to do!

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    3 weeks ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Bill, I am glad you found some useful information in my article. Google offers so much information on its different sites tha you could really use those sites for a variety of reasons. I appreciate your comments, Bill.

  • billybuc profile image

    Bill Holland 

    3 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

    Cool information, Pamela. Thank you! From time to time I'll look up old members of my adopted family and biological family, just curious more than anything else...this will be helpful the next time I get a hankering.

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