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Narrow Searches to a Specific Town, City or State

If you want to refine your genealogy search to a specific geographic area or to several regions (such as a couple of towns, cities or districts) then use the Any 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]
Any of These Words [Chicago Peoria]

image of a Google search for specific towns
When you do a search using Any of these Words, you don't need to put an OR statement between the words. Google will do that for you.

Tip – Use the AnyThese Words line in the Advance Search to narrow genealogy searches to a specific geographic area.

How to Exclude Certain Words

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 None 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 None of these Words line you would enter new york.

image of Google search excluding terms
This search will technically exclude any result containing the word new or york, which obviously includes the word new york.

Tip – Use the None of These Words line on the Advanced Search page to exclude unrelated records from your search.

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