Thursday, September 20, 2012

Search Engines

The records most have heard about through ads are the ones held at  Census records come immediately to mind. Surprise, surprise. surprise.  Researching by just entering a name on a search engine has netted me much information about my family. In fact, I was astounded by the number of entries for some names.  Course, I was one of the very few who actually looked at search pages number 4 and higher.  Point, I found myself two hours later, finally getting to search results that were basically the same as those earlier.

I was even amazed at the number of lateral names that came up in this search.  Now, here is where you will need to be very careful in clicking the links.  This is how I came across some photos, articles in the New York Times that pertained to my ancestors and their friends, colleagues and clan.  I've come across relatives names mentioned in books that had been written.

When I mentioned some of the documents to my mom, more information about our family was unearthed.  She gave me names of people I could talk to as well as more of the history of our village. Other family had more information about how many of these books were written.

Search engines can point you in directions to follow. They can't if you don't have much more information than a name, so try to have as much info as you can if your ancestor has a common name. A couple times, while searching for something completely different, pages have come up.  So have a few key words that might help you in your search.  And have a notes file on your computer for copy/paste of the url (and a description of the contents) where you found the page as bookmarking can quickly get to the hundreds if you're not careful.  The Wayback Machine isn't as helpful if you don't have the url.  And many pages have been taken down at someone's request.

I will be featuring interviews with tribal historians. Family Legacy is much more than genealogy, as my journey to trace family history has taken many turns.  One thing I've learned is to stop the knee jerk reaction of anger when reading some of the documents. Featuring tribal historians may help us to see things in a different light.

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