Ancestor Searching Newsletter, Volume 2, # 8
Using Genealogy Search Engines: These days, anyone that’s interested in delving into their past can turn on a computer, connect to the Internet and have available a wealth of information. It’s been estimated that approximately 20% of what is on the Internet is genealogy related. With the ability to ‘surf’ at faster speeds, genealogical research has become even more intriguing and doesn’t require searching through dusty old records hidden in the recesses of some quaint courthouse and which would take hours if not days to search out. Today, you can easily conduct genealogy research on the Internet and find birth records, marriage and death certificates, contact information for others researching the same surnames and find relatives that were previously unknown, all of which were once much harder to achieve and took a greater amount of time to find.
Not only are there specific genealogy search engines that are now popping up almost constantly on the ‘Net’ but many times the regular ‘run-of-the-mill’ everyday search engines can accomplish the same desired genealogical results.
Each day there are more new web sites that come on line with information that is genealogy related. Many, for instance, overlook the use of Google to search for ancestors. To take advantage of it, type in the ancestor’s full name (if known) and surround the name with quotation marks. With some luck, you’ll find information on the ancestors in your family tree. Don’t forget to also to search Google by name, place, dates, type of records, etc. You may be surprised to find just how much information there is out there on the Internet that will aid you in your research process.
There are now many genealogy search engines and directories that can be used in researching. Just to mention a few, Family Search is a search engine of genealogy information databases maintained by the Family History Department of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It maintains databases of genealogy information, including a search of the information available from the Family History Library. Anything you find there is free. Then, there are subscription services such as Ancestry, One Great Family, World Vital Records, or My Tree. It’s best to try them out (trial period) if possible to decide whether they are worth the cost.
Also, check the genealogy directories that can help you find resources to locate your ancestors. A couple of directories that you might consider using are Cyndi's List and LinkPendium.
With the technology available today, your chances of finding your ancestors has become so much easier than even 20 years ago. Then you had to spend a lot of time writing letters. Now you can go to your computer and find more in one hour than your could find in months 20 years ago.
Fact: Spiders are programs or automated script which search for specific topic information (such as genealogy) in a methodical, automated manner. They are also known as web crawlers, ants, automatic indexers, bots, worms and robots.
The Huntsville Genealogical Computing Society will be having Sue Purves from the Mormon Church whose topic will be on the LDS Family History Software Updates. The program is scheduled for Monday, November 19th in the Auditorium of the Huntsville Public Library starting at 7 PM.
Sneak Peek: Coming in the December issue will be some of the details learned in the Cherokee Genealogy Research seminar sponsored by the Huntsville-Madison County Public Library this past Saturday (Oct. 27th).