Sunday, February 14, 2010

Using Google for Genealogy Research, Post 3 of 4: Google Things to Remember

Things to Remember When using Google for Genealogy Research (post 3 of 4).

Abbreviations – avoid searching using abbreviations. Google may not know that PA means Pennsylvania, nor does it know that CO is an abbreviation for Colorado and County. And, remember some websites may have used old abbreviations: PA, Penn., Penna. Tip: This website has a list of Old-Style State Abbreviations: http://www.searchforancestors.com/archives/oldstateabb.html

Google doesn’t know Soundex. Include in your search additional spellings. (Example: Smith, Smyth, etc.)

Google spell checker – can offer alternative search words for you. (Example: a search for Meyers, Google will ask “Do you mean Myers?” You might want to search Myers too.)

Remember initials and nicknames when searching. Initials and nicknames are typical, so try searching W. F. for William Franklin, and Bill, Wm, Will for William.

Stop words. (NOTE: Google ignores “stop” words such as: the, or, not, and, will, etc. If you want these words to be included in your search results, use + (plus sign). (Example: John Parham +will)

Website link won’t open? Bypass the pop-up blocker. Some sites open links in new windows (or “pop up” windows). If at first it doesn’t open, hold Control button and select link again. (Control button allows you to bypass the pop-up blocker temporarily.)

Tip: Create a website research log. While searching online, use Word or Notepad to copy and paste website URLs (addresses). Use same search results later on, but use Google’s “Show Options” feature to search by date (to exclude previously viewed websites).

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