Undocumented tricks for surfacing buried ancestors using the AncestorSearch Google Custom Search tool

OK, maybe you won’t surface any actual ancestors with these tricks, but you very well may surface a number of buried web pages about them!  By using these tricks, I’ve found many additional web pages that were buried deep in the far recesses of the internet that mentioned my ancestors. First for some brief background.  As you can see, AncestorSearch has input boxes for First Name, Last name, as well as Alternate Last Name.  This is useful if you want to check alternate spellings for a surname, as in the example below where I’m looking for an association between two … Read more

If at first you don’t succeed… try AncestorSearch

The latest newsletter from UK webssite LostCousins.com contained the following story. It’s such a great example of a success story using my AncestorSearch tool that I just have to share it.  It’s an important reminder that exactly how you format your Google search really does make a huge difference in the results you get; AncestorSearch helps format your Google search to achieve more focused and successful genealogical search results.  See here and here for more background info, and give it a try — even for those ancestors you’ve searched for hundreds of times before to no avail. Here’s the story: … Read more

Find people on Google+ that share your interests

Google+ has really created quite a buzz!  It’s estimated to have over 10 million users already (see here), and readers of this blog will be interested to know that Google+ already has a large and active genealogy community. So, if you haven’t signed up for Google+ yet, and want to find people on Google+ that share your interests, I’ve built an easy search tool that may help you:  GplusSearch Also, if you’re a subscriber to this blog and haven’t been able to sign on to Google+ while its in “limited field trial“, send an e-mail to me at randymajors at … Read more

NEW AncestorSearch version 1.5: See Google Search results in real-time as you type!

This article refers to the AncestorSearch using Google Custom Search found by clicking the link at the top-right of this blog. Before I get to the exciting enhancements to the tool, I first want to say thank you to all of the people who have been using it (over 18,000 hits in the last couple of months), and the many compliments and write-ups from people who have extended their family trees as a result of the tool.  For example, Peter Calver, founder of LostCousins, stated in his 6 Jun 2011 newsletter “the first time I tried it, it led me to a new … Read more

Updated: AncestorSearch using Google Custom Search, version 1.1

This is an update to my original post, “Does this Google Custom Search help find records about your ancestors?“ You may recall that I built the AncestorSearch form as a timesaver for my own genealogical web searches, and I decided to share it on my website in case others find it useful too.  (As a reminder, the AncestorSearch form performs a Google search that is optimized for finding web pages mentioning ancestors by making use of  Google search techniques including quoted phrases, checking both firstname lastname, and lastname firstname order, placing the “OR” statements and parenthesis in the right places, and so on.)    … Read more

Does this Google Custom Search help find records about your ancestors?

[I’ve added an update to this original post here: https://www.randymajors.org/2011/06/new-ancestorsearch-version-15-see] I hesitate posting this prematurely, but I welcome some initial feedback from the genealogy community on a search form that I’ve built. I’ve built an “AncestorSearch” Google Custom Search form on my blog that I’ve been using to find records on my own ancestors, and it’s worked pretty well for me so far over the last several weeks.  I’m choosing to share it now in case others find it useful as well.  Basically, this AncestorSearch search form attempts to filter through much of the irrelevant noise on the web and return … Read more