You can find so much on the internet; it is just a matter of creating the right
search term and getting results from indexed pages. There are so many variations
to look for information, that it might be a good idea to create a spreadsheet of
various terms that you can copy and paste when you want to use them. You can probably
create at least 25 different ways to probe for the same thing and come up with different
returns each time. This is due to how the pages are indexed with key words and key
descriptions. Once you have exhausted one web browser then try another to get different
How to Search for Images
Finding genealogy images that are indexed and related to your family can be exciting
and provide further evidence of your family history. It is always nice to be able
to put a photo with a name. It brings the
family tree to life and personalizes the people
in it. Google has an image search that locates photos that are indexed through their
web crawler. In the left-hand side of the browser, you can see “Images”.
Click on it to be brought to the Images section. There is also an advanced feature
to narrow down inquiries, but first try a broad range of variations. This is a good
way to find tombstones and other documents on the internet.
Web Query Examples: tombstone “first last name”
image:tombstone “first last name”
image: “first last name” ~genealogy
Finding Genealogy Books
Try looking for books that are out of copyright (published before 1923). Google
and many other internet sites are digitizing them and most can be viewed in full.
Some may only show the title or a snippet of some pages. If this information can
help with your family heritage, try finding the book through a library or another
Try exploring periodicals to discover historical information about the town and
its people for a time period that you are interested in. Google has a search that
finds all kinds of publications. In the header, click on “more”. The
first link is Books. The Works Progress Administration is attributed to many genealogical
books that should not be overlooked. Try a variable of the example below when trying
to find your ancestors. By using the word Book in a browser, you may get results
that include forums and message boards.
Another internet genealogy site is the Family History Archive, which has a large
collection of published genealogy and family histories. The archive includes histories
of families, county and local histories, how-to books, magazines and periodicals.
Web Query Examples: “first last name” ~genealogy
“WPA” + county State
Book:first last name ~genealogy
Finding Family History Groups
Groups are a way to find other people through the internet with similar genealogy
interests usually broken down by surname or geographic location. Many of the groups
have links to specific websites that are geared towards their groups’ goals
and objectives. They have message boards so users can post queries. Members answer
research questions that usually offer helpful tips. You might be successful in trying
RootsWeb which has Message Boards and Mailing Lists.
Internet Phrases and Searches
Learn to create your own genealogy queries and use different web crawlers to see
what you can find on the internet. Click on the link for help with creating Phrases
internet genealogy searches.