How to Fill in the Family Tree Using Google Searches

Google is a search engine that allows you to search for websites that may list your family. I would use Google as a way to find my ancestors only if I was desperate to find an elusive one. You may not find any family members because no one has entered them on the internet. Someone who has researched the entire family tree might possibly have put it on a website and you might possibly find it but use caution here as it may be full of errors.

There is no way to escape the regular methods of producing a good genealogy. Start at home and find all the documents you can on your ancestors. Visit the public buildings that house vital records such as birth, death, marriage and divorce. Find pertinent land records. Search censuses for the family you are researching.

On Google, I just put in my brother who was a medical doctor who published several articles. Not one hit. Of course this was several years ago that he published the articles and he has been dead for a few years. I put in my name and found an article I wrote on the Irish 1911 census. Certainly no genealogy for my family name.

Google does not have a search capability for names using soundex. There are millions of names that sound similar. Not much help there. It does ask for alternate spellings if it thinks that is necessary.

Google admits it cannot find all the genealogy information online. I would say they cannot find much if you just enter a name. You are able to access records through the one hundred plus web sites by putting the name of the web site into Google. For instance, put ancestry and Google will take you right to it. It is a paid site with some free records.

Thousands of people researching for their ancestors have created web pages for all to see. Some of these are neglected with dead links. You may access one of these directly on the Google website.

Google supports the Search Advice website. Enter all the information you have on your ancestor and it will point you to a website to look further. I tried it and it pointed to Ancestry.com. where you can sign up free for fourteen days.

Every time Google returns search results, it provides a link to similar websites for each website in the search results. Just click on the link called “Similar Pages”. That may prove helpful.

Google is not case sensitive which is helpful if you use all capital letters by mistake. Genealogists prefer to use the lower case. The ~ sign is used to find websites that contain a synonym of the word following it. You could enter a surname ~ genealogy and Google would return any website with those words.

If you want to search for certain records within the Ancestry.com website you would enter the records wanted site with the URL of the genealogy website. If you search for a website based on the title of the site, you can use the keyword allintitle, such as allintitle: genealogy. I tried it and it came up with a lot of interesting sites.

You can not beat free genealogy sites like Rootsweb and the Mormon Church records and your own research and interviewing relatives to fill in your family tree. You can not just type your name into Google and make a quality genealogy.

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