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Ten Innovations in Online Genealogy Search


Think you know how to do online genealogy searches? Think again! This article provides tools and techniques to allow you to think outside the box when searching online for your ancestors.

The internet is always changing. One thing that never seems to change, however, is the difficulty that people have in conducting efficient online genealogy searches. It trips up almost everyone who looks for their ancestors. As a result, it is perhaps the most common genealogy brick wall problem of all.

Fortunately, we can help. At GenealogyInTime Magazine, we are always finding better ways to help people connect with their ancestors. This article discusses ten innovative approaches you can use to overcome genealogy brick walls associated with online search.

The methods we discuss in this article are derived from our own experience in designing and setting up our dedicated Genealogy Search Engine. This process has provided us with some unique insights that are both powerful and valuable. These insights can be easily translated into techniques you can use to help find your ancestors.

The Genealogy Search Engine continues to provide groundbreaking access to billions of free genealogy records. It searches thousands of local sites in the back corners of the internet looking for ancestral records. Roughly 80% of the records it finds are not available on subscription websites. For example, it is also the only search engine capable of searching the massive Google Newspaper Archive (see Genealogy Search Engine FAQs).

The Genealogy Search Engine is particularly popular with reference librarians, who use it to supplement their searches on Ancestry and FindMyPast.

Some Background

Before we set up our search engines, we combed through thousands of genealogy websites. The objective of the exercise was to learn how genealogy data was organized and presented on the internet. To put this in perspective, looking through thousands of websites is far more than a typical genealogist would look at over the course of several years.

The net outcome of our study is that it provided us with important information regarding the style, patterns and organization of genealogy data on the internet. We compared this information with our search engine logs that showed how thousands of people actually conducted their genealogy searches.

In many instances, there was a dramatic disconnect between the potential set of records that are available for search and the actual searches that people were conducting. This article is going to try to narrow that gap. We will share with you some of our most important observations in the form of ten insights.

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