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Friday, May 21, 2010

Genealogy - Researching Names - Don't Forget the Obvious

I use a lot of different programs when I am doing genealogical research.  I tend to rely on my favorites like Ancestry, Cyndi's List, and Family Search.  Recently while doing some research on a family that has baffled me for years, I decided to "Google" the name.  I do this every once in awhile but never really got anywhere with this name.  Well, yesterday I Googled my ancestor.  Wow!  I was so excited.  I found a pdf file of 87 pages that included some great information about this ancestor and his line.  I had forgotten the obvious. 

It is amazing to see how much is on the Internet on just about everyone.  I was talking to my husband about this and he made the comment that he wouldn't be on the Internet because he does nothing online.  So I typed in his name, low and behold, there were two pages of things attached to his name.  Needless to say, he was shocked.

So as people and companies are putting more and more information online, don't forget to keep checking the Internet by typing their name into the search field.  It helps to add something specific a birth year or location or say something like "Jacob Smith Genealogy".  Don't forget to check a few different search engines as some may have information that others do not.  Try Google, Bing, Yahoo, Alta Vista, and Dog Pile (compiles Google, Bing, Yahoo, and Ask).

So as you are doing your research, don't forget the obvious.  We check search engines for everything else, don't forget to check your family names and see what comes up.  Have fun!

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