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How to Narrow Genealogy Searches to a Specific Town, City or State

If you want to define your genealogy search to a specific geographic area or to several regions (such as a couple of towns, cities or districts) then use the One or More of These Words line in Advanced Search. Technically, this uses the Boolean OR search function in Google. So, for example if you were looking for John Smith born around 1850 somewhere around Chicago or Peoria, you would enter in Advanced Search:

All These Words [1840…1860]
Exact Phrase [john smith]
One or More of These Words [Chicago] Or [Peoria]

image of a Google search for specific towns

Tip – Use the One of More of These Words line in the Advance Search to narrow genealogy searches to a specific geographic area.

 

How to Exclude Certain Words from a Genealogy Search

Sometimes, a number of records can come up for a person, place or thing that has no relationship to what you are trying to find. To avoid these records from coming up time and again in your searches, consider using the line in Advance Search that is called But Don’t Show Pages that Have Any of These Words. Technically, this is a Boolean NOT search, which Google identifies with a minus (“-“) sign. This will help you exclude multiple extraneous results that are not related to what you are trying to find. For example, suppose records from someone in New York keeps coming up in your searches. On the But Don’t Show Pages that Have Any of These Words you would enter [“new york”]. Make sure that if you want to exclude a phrase consisting of more than one word that you put it in quotes. If you do not put it in quotes then you will be excluding every record that has the word [new] or [york] in it.

image of Google search excluding terms

Tip – Use the But Don’t Show Pages that Have Any of These Words on the Advanced Search page to exclude unrelated records from your search.

 

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