Some simple and effective tips on how to improve your online genealogy search from Family Tree magazine:
- Save time with synonym searches. Rather than run separate searches on similar keywords, include a tilde (~) before the term you want to find variations of. For example, ~train history also finds pages referencing railroad history and locomotive history.
- Set a date range. Want to eliminate matches on modern people with your ancestor’s name? Use a “numrange” to narrow your search to a particular time period: Type Jehu Burkhart 1790…1830 to nab results that include that ancestor’s name plus any year between 1790 and 1830.
- Fill in the blanks. Don’t want to remember these special search operators? Try the Advanced Search form for a guided approach to setting your search parameters.
- Hunt for histories. Google is busily digitizing and cataloging books with expired copyrights—including county histories. Look for them using the Google Books search.