Insight #9 – Clustering of Genealogy Records
Searching for genealogy records is a little bit like digging for gold. You can look for a long time and come up empty handed. Then one day while you are doing a search you can come across a rich vein of useful genealogy records. Why does this happen? Basically it occurs because genealogy records cluster.
Clustering occurs because many genealogy websites specialize in certain types of record (such as cemetery records) or in a certain geographic location (such as a small regional collection of towns). For example, if many of your ancestors came from one particular town, you may find the website of the local history society contains the best genealogy records for your family.
How can you take advantage of clustering when you are looking for genealogy records? Going back to our gold prospecting analogy, if you come across a search result that looks promising on a particular website, you should consider digging deeper into that website to see if there are any other related records that may be of use.
To do this, you use something called the “site:” command. Basically, the site command limits your search results to the one website that you specify.
Military records are a good example of genealogy records that cluster.
Consider the following example. Suppose you are doing a broad search for an ancestor and you see something on the Genuki website that looks promising. You want to dig deeper into the Genuki website to see if there are any more related records that might be useful. You use the “site:” command as shown below.
Use the "site:" command to narrow your search to one website.
The “site:” command works for any website. In this case, just substitute the Genuki website for the website that interests you.