Getting the most out of Google. Rosemary Kopittke. Google and family history. Can we really find out all about our family using Google? Obviously Google knows nothing about your family but you can learn to use Google to find many things which you may not know exist.
Getting the most out of Google Rosemary Kopittke
Google and family history Can we really find out all about our family using Google? Obviously Google knows nothing about your family but you can learn to use Google to find many things which you may not know exist.
Google knows nothing about family history • It simply compares what you type in with strings of characters it finds on the internet • beeston may be a surname or a place but for Google it implies nothing more than a string of letters • The results can come in many forms • web pages • books • images and videos • blogs, maps and much more
Keyword searching This is probably what we all do but do we understand how to filter all the results we get? • Single keyword search • Generally not much use – too many results • Worth trying for rare family names • Multiple keyword search • Will help filter out unwanted results
Google Suggest • Google tries to “suggest” searches you may be interested in • Based on searches others who live near you have done
Case & Common words Google is not case sensitive • It does not matter whether you use upper or lower case or even a mixture • Genealogy, GENEALOGY or gENealOGy will all achieve the same number of matches Common words ignored • and, or, if, not, the, to, etc
Basic search commands • AND to include multiple words • OR to include one word or the other • Minus sign “-” to exclude words • Tilde (~) to include similar words • “Quotes”to specify an exact match for the words inside the quotes • Wild card (*) to include unknown string sequences
AND beeston ANDderbyshire 624,000 results beeston ANDderbyshireANDmugginton 18,600 results
OR beeston ANDderbyshire 624,000 results beestonderbyshireORcheshire 942,000 results
Minus (-) beestonderbyshireORcheshire 942,000 results beestonderbyshireORcheshire-nottingham 371,000 results beestonderbyshireORcheshire-nottingham-castle 211,000 results
Tilde (~) beeston genealogy 105,000 results • “~” means it will find similar words • So for genealogy it will also find words like family history, family tree, cemetery etc beeston ~genealogy 1,160,000 results
“Quotes” francis beeston stockport 79,600 results “francis beeston” stockport 46 results
Wild card (*) “john beeston” derbyshire 1,110 results “john * beeston” derbyshire John F Beeston John Francis Beeston John the Baptist Church, Beeston 4,670,000 results
Plus (+) • Many people mistakenly think “+” is the same as AND • “+” means spell it EXACTLY this way • If no plus sign then “jump” would also return matches for “jumped”, “jumping” etc - this is called stemming • Not normally of much use in genealogy searches
Full search beeston 4,000,000 results ~genealogy beeston 1,160,000 results ~genealogy beeston derbyshire 370,000 results ~genealogy “humphrey beeston” mugginton 45 results
Maps & Places • Variously listed as “Maps” (top) & “Places” (side menu) • Locate and “visit” places on documents • General view plus a street view
Loading your own images • Benefit of having your images on the web • How best to name your images • file.jpg, DSP2098.jpg and IMG1479.jpg • humphrey_beeston_mugginton.jpg or kopittke_schwartow.jpg • Your description – should include as much information as you know and give some way for anyone interested to contact you
Google and family history Google can’t solve all your research problems but using it more effectively will add enormously to what you learn about your family.