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!
Good news: In an effort to improve the performance of the various map and search tools, the randymajors.org website infrastructure has been updated over several days this week. Action: As a result, if you experience any unexpected issues when viewing the map and search tool pages, try doing a hard refresh of the page using Ctrl+F5. If something still isn’t working quite right, please clear your browser cache, exit all browsers and go back in. This should solve 99% of issues, but if you still are having any trouble, please get in touch using the Help link at the bottom … Read more
U.S. county boundaries have changed over 17,600 times since America was settled in colonial times. Don’t sabotage your search for ancestors by not knowing the correct county for the historical years you are researching. While searching on Ancestry or FamilySearch, the free Historical U.S. Counties Auto-Checker extension for Google Chrome* automatically checks that the county existed in the year you are searching, warns of boundary changes, and links to historical county lines on Google Maps for the place and years you are searching! Install for free today and never let an ancestor fall of the map again! For a step-by-step … 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
After the infrastructure upgrade I mentioned in the last post, the increased speed of the maps enabled me to add much more detail to the very very large map layers (over 12 Gigabytes!) that comprise the Public Land Survey System (PLSS), also known as Section, Township and Range. When you open the tool, you will now be presented with a Google Map overlaid with township and range lines, including labels, such as this: Note the Township and Range labels above. For example, the box where the red dot is has a label “14N 67W” which is shorthand for “Township 14 … Read more
UPDATED MARCH 2020: NEW! Let this FREE tool do the work for you as you search on Ancestry.com U.S. county boundaries have changed over 17,600 times since America was settled in colonial times. Don’t sabotage your search for ancestors by not knowing the correct county for the historical years you are researching. While searching on Ancestry, the free Historical U.S. Counties Auto-Checker extension for Google Chrome automatically checks that the county existed in the year you are searching, warns of boundary changes, and links to historical county lines on Google Maps for the place and years you are searching! Install … 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
I’ve recently made a couple of enhancements to the Historical U.S. County Boundary Maps tool that make it easier to read and see the results of the search (see screenshot below). Thank you, The Family Nexus, for your article that had very nice things to say about the tool, and also made me aware that the text was a tad small. Another enhancement is the addition of a little “maximize” button above the “Go!” button that expands the map window for much easier viewing (see the little square in the top right of the above screenshot). Finally, one last enhancement is … Read more
Looking at search statistics on my websites, it seems the vast majority of people who visit this site are looking for a few tools I’ve created. So this post is simply to make it easy to find those tools, starting with the most popular: AncestorSearch using Google Custom Search Searches using the full power of Google, and automatically applies advanced Google search techniques so you’re much more likely to find mentions of ancestors that are otherwise buried in thousands of Google search results. Great for genealogy and also searching for living people. Linked to by over 100 professional and amateur genealogy sites, … Read more