Sunday, January 10, 2010

Google your family tree: unlock the hidden power of Google

Published in 2008, Daniel M Lynch has compiled a comprehensive guide to using Google for family history research. Basing examples on his family history research, Lynch provides basic information about Google and how it works, using advanced search, using tools such as Google Books, Blog Search, Google Alerts, Google Maps, Google Earth and Google Toolbar. The appendices deal directly with genealogy research including getting started in genealogy and useful websites for genealogists plus other internet search engines, a useful article defining web search engines, and a syntax summary with examples for genealogy searches.

Illustrating how quickly the internet changes, one chapter of the book deals with using Google Notebook which ceased taking new users in 2009 - Google Docs can be used to carry out a similar function - and one of the recommended sites, Family History Online (Federation of Family History Societies), has now been absorbed into Find My Past. However this is an extememly useful guide as to how to use Google in particular and the internet in general for family history research and I have now discovered some additional tools to use.

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