Search Engine Traffic Guide
Imagine spending several hours clicking from link to link and not finding anything that relates to your research. Wouldn't it be nice to be able to just type in your ancestor's name and see if there are any sites that contain that name That's exactly what search engines allow you to do. Search engines are programs that examine huge indexes of information generated by robots. Robots are programs that travel throughout the Internet and collect information on the sites and resources that they run across. You can access the information contained in search engines through an interface, usually through a form on a Web page. The real strength of search engines is that they allow you to search the full text of Web pages instead of just the title or a brief abstract of the site. For example, say that we're looking for information on one of Matthew's ancestors whom we found by using a lineage-linked database George Helm, who lived around the turn of the nineteenth century in Frederick County,...
General search engines send out robots to catalog the Internet as a whole, regardless of the subject(s) of the site's content. Therefore, on any given search you're likely to receive a lot of hits, perhaps only a few of which hold any genealogical value that is, unless you refine your search terms to give you a better chance at receiving relevant results. You can conduct several different types of searches with most search engines. Looking at the Help link for any search engine to see the most effective way to search is always a good idea. Also, search engines often have two search interfaces a simple search and an advanced search. With the simple search, you normally just type your query and click the Submit button. With an advanced search, you can use a variety of options to refine your search. The best way to become familiar with using a search engine is to experiment on a couple of searches and see what kinds of results you get. One search engine that has proven successful for us...
Your first stop on a search for a particular ancestor should be a search engine that's intended just for that purpose. Genealogically focused search engines are sites that dispatch robots that index the full text of only those sites that contain information of interest to genealogists. By indexing only these types of sites, you receive fewer extraneous results when you type in your ancestor's name as a search term. An example of a genealogy focused search engine is TreEZy.com.
Wouldn't it be nice if we never had to visit multiple sites to search the Internet This burning question led directly to the creation of meta-search engines, which use a single interface (or form) to execute searches using several different search engines. They then return the results of all the individual search engines back to a single page that you can use to view the results. The number of results from meta-search engines can be overwhelming, so it's important for you to have a good search term and to know something substantial about the person you're researching. That way, you can quickly determine whether a result is relevant to your search. You also need to have patience because you may have to trudge through several sets of results before you find something useful. Some general Internet meta-search engines include the following
Typically, you need to know events that your ancestors were involved in or geographic areas where they lived to use these sites effectively. Also, you benefit from the site simply because you have a general, historical interest in the particular event or location even if the Web site contains nothing on your surname. Finding Web sites about events is easiest if you use a search engine, a comprehensive Web site, or a subscription database. Because we devote an entire chapter to researching geographic locations (Chapter 7), we won't delve into that here.
If you're unable to find information on your ancestor through a search engine or online database, or you are looking for additional information, another resource to try is a comprehensive genealogical index. A comprehensive genealogical index is a site that contains a categorized listing of links to online resources for family history research. Comprehensive genealogical indexes can be organized in a variety of ways, including by subject, alphabetically, or by resource type. No matter how the links are organized, they usually appear hierarchically you click your way down from category to subcategory until you find the link you're looking for.
Clearly, search engines and comprehensive genealogical indexes can help you find information online about your ancestors. Wouldn't it be nice, though, if you could use both resources at the same time We're proud to say that one Web site does integrate full-text searching of genealogical Web sites with a comprehensive genealogical index. The site is, drum roll please, Helm's Genealogy Toolbox (www.genealogytoolbox.com). Helm's Genealogy Toolbox is one of the oldest genealogical Web sites growing out of a list of links first placed on the Web in September 1994. The site currently contains links to sites of interest to genealogists along with a search engine that indexes the full text of online genealogical sites. The directory of links is divided into three sections People, Places, and Topics.
So how do you find these online indexes Well, there are a few ways, depending upon whether you want to use a free site or a subscription site. First, you can check a comprehensive index site, search engine, or a site listing links to census indexes to find an index that was placed on a free site by an individual or group project. The Census Project is a volunteer effort to index the United States censuses and provide them online for free. If you can't find an index there, try a site dedicated to providing links to online census resources, such as Census Online (www.census-online.com) or CensusLinks (www.censuslinks.com), or a geographic-specific site, such as the county-level pages in the USGenWeb Project (www.usgenweb.org). Also, a number of independent sites have census indexes typically you can find them by using a search engine such as Google (www.google.com).
To get a bird's-eye view of available German genealogical sites, a good place to start is Genealogy.net (www.genealogienetz.de index_en.html). The site includes homepages for German genealogical societies, general information on research, gazetteer, a ships database, a passenger database, and a list of links to Web sites. Ahnenforschung.net (ahnenforschung.net) is a German-language genealogically focused search engine and index to genealogy Web sites.
Go to www.freebmd.org.uk and you'll find a description of the project and a link to the database search engine. Searching the database is simple. The more information you can submit, the fewer and more relevant will be the number of individuals discovered. The database contains information from the civil registration of births, marriages and deaths. This system of registration started in 1837 and continues to the present day. The
Also, most of the major search engines have links to registration or submission pages within their sites that enable you to submit your URL. Of course, in the interest of saving time, you can visit Add Me Site Submission at which forwards your Web site information to up to 14 search engines for free.
So you want to research your ancestors from Canada, eh Well, the first place to start is the Canadian Genealogy Centre (www.collectionscanada.ca genealogy index-e.html) maintained by Library and Archives Canada. The site contains information for beginners including what to do first, and search strategies for a variety of record types. Within the Guides section, see the online version of the Tracing Your Ancestors in Canada brochure (www. 01-e.html) if you are new to Canadian resources. Also, at the top of the Canadian Genealogy Centre Web page, you can find a search engine that provides results for the databases maintained by Library and Archives Canada.
A place to start your research is the CaribbeanGenWeb Project page at www. rootsweb.com caribgw . The project is an umbrella site for each of the individual islands that have their own project pages. The site contains a list of the transcribed data sets held within the CaribbeanGenWeb Archives portion of the project, along with a global search engine for searching those data sets descriptions of the mailing lists available for each island links to surname resources and some research tips. The individual island pages include
To find a family association Web site, your best bet is to use a search engine or a comprehensive genealogical index. For more on search engines see the sections Focusing on genealogically focused search engines and Browsing Comprehensive Genealogical Indexes later in this chapter.
Using search engines to find your ancestors Making the most out of online databases Using mailing lists Posting queries Contacting fellow researchers In the past, finding information on individual ancestors online was compared with finding a needle in a haystack. You browsed through long lists of links in hopes of finding a site that contained a nugget of information to aid your search. But looking for your ancestors online has become easier than ever. Instead of merely browsing links, you can use search engines and online databases to pinpoint information on your ancestors.
To find passenger lists, you can try using a general search engine or a genealogically focused search engine. This is a particularly good strategy if you don't know what the name of the ship was or the year that they immigrated. If you do know the name of the ship, a comprehensive genealogical index may be more appropriate.
Looking for genealogy blogs to aid in your family history research There are a lot available these days and the number is growing rapidly. Of course you can find them by using a general Internet search engine, like Google.com. Or you can use a couple of other simple options for finding blogs. The first is to visit the Genealogy Blog Finder search engine at blogfinder.genealogue. com . Here's how to use it There is a second, relatively simple way to find blogs. Go to one of the blog-hosting sites that we mention in the next section of this chapter and use the search functionality on the site to see if there are any blogs available through that service that fit your needs. For example, if you're looking for anything available on the Helm family in Fayette County, Illinois, you can search using the terms Abel and Illinois or Abel and Fayette. Although this method of searching is not difficult, it can become more time-consuming than the blog-specific search engine route.
This is a simple site that enables UK users to look up surname lists by county for the English section, Exchanges for Scotland, mailing lists for Wales and societies in Ireland. There is also a Places to Search section with a search engine powered by Ancestry.com and a few articles on either the census, parish records, probate or emigration.
John lived and worked in Thornbury, a small market town in South Gloucestershire, about 11 miles north of Bristol. I used the internet search engine Google to look for his occupation. I found the last will and testament - on www.genuki.co.uk - of a man called George Cossham who was a carpenter in the town. In it John Longman is mentioned as a peruke maker and it is revealed he had a tenement in the High Street.
I German The German Genealogy Pages (www.genealogy.net gene genealogy.html) focus on research of German, Austrian, Swiss, Alsatian, Luxemburger, and Eastern European genealogy. Also, Ahnenforschung.net (www.ahnenforschung.net) is a search engine dedicated to German genealogy.
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