The full text of this article is available to Plus members only.
For full access to all of our articles, please Join or Log In.
Not a Plus Member?
November 2010 Toolkit Tutorial: Refining Google Surname Searches
If your Google surname searches produce oodles of irrelevant hits, use our tricks to construct queries that work like magic.
Unless you have Axelquists or Birtwistles in your family tree, your Google surname searches probably produce oodles of irrelevant hits. Web searching becomes especially frustrating if you’re tracing ancestors with common or “search-unfriendly” surnames—monikers that double as other common words, such as colors (White), geographical formations (Hill) and buildings (Church). Look for a John Snow, particularly in winter, and you’ll get every newspaper, TV and radio web page warning of an impending snowstorm.

Fortunately, you can solve this problem using Google’s built-in search “operators”—special characters that force Google to customize the search your way. These operators, which include the plus sign (+), minus sign (-), and quotation marks (“ ”), all work together in a system known as “search engine math” (so-called because of its resemblance to algebraic equations). Using the tricks shown in this tutorial, you can construct queries that work like magic, turning those irrelevant hits into a new set of genealogical discoveries. 
To continue reading this article
Share |
Did you enjoy this article?
Please share it!
Recent Blog Posts »
Recent Articles »

Free Genealogy Downloads

Genetic Genealogy Toolkit
In the Genetic Genealogy Toolkit, you’ll learn about the three major types of genetic genealogy tests—mitochondrial (mtDNA), Y-DNA and autosomal DNA (atDNA)—and what these tests can accomplish for your genealogy.
Only available in Feb., this collection has a retail value of $209.96, but is yours this month only for $69.99!

They're going fast - get yours today!

©  F+W All rights reserved.