Don't Underestimate the Power of Google!
April 12, 2012
A couple of weeks ago, I read a handout from the recent RootsTech Conference for a class titled "Genealogy Internet Gems." The author suggested "The Big Three" as the first places to look when you are searching in the genealogy realm: Ancestry.com, FamilySearch.org, and Google. This really hit home today when I was helping a customer look for some names in her family tree from the early to mid-1800s. We found a couple of things on Ancestry and FamilySearch, but not as much as we hoped to find. On a whim, as she was ready to leave, I put in the name of the last person she was searching for with quotes around his name plus the county name where she knew he had resided. What I came up with astounded me and gave me goose bumps. There, before our wondering eyes, was a detailed listing of a manuscript collection that had letters from the California Gold Rush, military papers from the Kentucky militia, financial records, and newspaper obituaries; all for the family she was searching, and all collected together in one place! To make things even better, each letter had a synopsis of its content.
As a researcher, Google can be very powerful and will, given the right search terms, put you in touch with what is out there. And the beauty of it is, you can run the same search next week, and there is the possibility of additional results as more and more documents in the world are digitized and more institutions list online what is in their collections. So my lesson learned is: don’t underestimate the power of Google!
Midwest Genealogy Center