Do you have ancestors that you’ve searched Google for repeatedly over the years? If so, now you can quickly limit your search on AncestorSearch or PeopleSearch to only include pages created or updated in the past 24 hours, week, month or year as shown by the red boxes below: This will catch pages that are either NEW or UPDATED in the timeframe that you specify. Also, be sure and check out the other enhancements to the tools over the past couple of years. Have fun searching!
Does doing a Google search for your ancestors turn up a ton of results from those annoying People Search websites? Now you can easily INCLUDE or EXCLUDE those websites from your search based on a new enhancement to AncestorSearch on Google Search! Now you can filter your AncestorSearch search results to EXCLUDE or to INCLUDE ONLY search results from major people search sites and social media sites. The options look like this: You can view the full description of the new functionality below the AncestorSearch tool under the heading “NEW! How to Filter Search Results from People Search sites and … Read more
According to an internet study, Google is adding an average of 68 MILLION new web pages to its search index EVERY DAY! What if one of those new pages contains a mention of your ancestor? Think of all of the possibilities: new archives coming online all the time, old books and newspapers being scanned, people writing genealogy blog posts, newly indexed records becoming searchable…and so much more. So how do you make sure you don’t miss something important? To make it easier to remain informed about new pages that contain a mention of your ancestor, you can now SET A … Read more
“So what is your website all about?” I increasingly get asked some form of this question about randymajors.org Research Hub. A BRIEF BACKSTORY: Back in 2006-2010, the randymajors.org website was a fairly small collection of blog posts about family history plus some of my photography. Then, in 2011 I launched the AncestorSearch on Google Search and Historical U.S. Counties on Google Maps tools primarily aimed at genealogy and historical research. FAST FORWARD TO 2018: I decided to broaden the appeal of the mapping and search tools to a more general audience by launching the present-day County Lines on Google Maps tool. I continued to … Read more
Back in December, I announced a way to get access to all of the map tools AD-FREE and FULL-SCREEN. I’m pleased to announce an AD-FREE option is now available for AncestorSearch on Google Search as well! The functionality is identical, but with no ads: The ad-free versions of the map and search tools are formatted to work equally well on your smartphone or tablet too! All the details are on this page: NEW: Enjoy ALL of the map and search tools AD-FREE and FULL-SCREEN! GOOD NEWS: If you have already signed up for access to the ad-free map tools, you now … Read more
QUICK LINK TO THE TOOL: AncestorSearch on Google Search For a change, this post focuses on Google Search rather than the Google Maps tools on this website. If you’ve tried searching for a mention of your ancestors (or living people) using Google Search, you’ve no doubt run into this little issue from time to time: 175 MILLION results? OK, this might take a while… Enter AncestorSearch on Google Search, a free search tool that uses Google search enhancements so that you are much more likely to find mentions of the ancestors (or living people) you’re looking for that are otherwise … Read more
Thank you to the 182 people that provided valuable feedback via the user survey I had running over the last 30 days on the randymajors.org map and search tools. This post provides a brief summary of the feedback, as well as a handful of enhancement ideas that came from the surveys. First, what are people using the tools for? Given the history of this website, it’s no surprise that the largest proportion of users use the tool for genealogy purposes, especially the Historical U.S. County Boundary Maps and AncestorSearch: Google Custom Search tools. However, it was quite interesting to see … Read more
With many tools getting quite a lot of usage on the randymajors.org website, it’s a good time for me to ask users what I can do to improve the tools. I’d be grateful if you would take a few minutes to provide feedback on the tools you use by following the links below. Your feedback will help ensure I focus on the things that are most important (including new tools you wish existed!). Please click links or images below to be taken to the survey for that tool. Your responses will remain anonymous. (Visit the tools using the links on … Read more
In my last post, I mentioned my recent articles I wrote for Family Tree Magazine. There are now slightly modified free versions of the articles available on their website. The “Moving Targets” article is recast as “How to Use Old Maps to Find Missing Ancestors“, and my case study is found as “How to Use Old Maps & City Directories to Research House History“. I hope you enjoy the articles!
Many thanks to Family Tree Magazine for featuring me in their May/June 2017 “5 Questions” Q&A column, part of their regular “Genealogy Insider” section. In other news: Who knew I was an insider? :) It was also great fun co-authoring an article with Sunny Jane Morton in the same issue of the magazine. Previewed on the cover as “4 Ways to Find Ancestors with Old Maps”, the 8-page feature article beginning on page 48 is called “Moving Targets” and provides genealogy research suggestions for what to do when the ancestor you are researching apparently falls off the map. The article … Read more