"Tales of pioneer hardship and deprivation have been told many times. Yet still we remember in wonder, that people accomplished so much with so little; that men and women with simple tools, their bare hands, and their own inventiveness cleared the land, drained the swamps, made their own clothing and provided their own food. Through all these difficulties God was with them and they wanted their children educated intellectually and spritually." from Norfolk Street United Church history

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Google Your Family Tree - Unlock the Hidden Power of Google

Book Review from Genealogy Newsline

by Daniel M. Lynch; 2009; 352 pp; Soft Cover; 8.25x10; Indexed; ISBN: 978-0-9820737-1-1; Item # DL1

Since the last Newsline, one of the major genealogical events was RootsTech, which took place here in Salt Lake City. Over 3,000 people showed up for the conference. Several lectures were about using Google for genealogy. One of the speakers was Dan Lynch, the author of Google Your Family Tree. As we all know, Google is by far the most popular Internet search engine available to us today. The Internet is also loaded with genealogical and historical databases, web pages, indexes, photographs, video and stuff we never even thought of before. Finding and accessing these resources is our challenge – and it looks to me like if you know how to harness the overwhelming power of Google, you may – just may – be able to break some of those genealogical brick walls you have before you. If nothing else, you’ll certainly be able to locate data that will fill in holes and add richness to your family story.

Dan's book can help. First off – and maybe more important than anything else, Dan explains though words, illustrations, and pictures just how to search “smart.” Sure – you can just type in that string of words that you think may be on the Web somewhere, but then again, you might want to type words that will bring you the results you actually want. The first three chapters of the book, as well as Appendix E (see below) really get down into the nitty-gritty of searching.

Chapters 3 through 14 deal with Google applications that enhance the family history research experience. Apps like Language Tools, Google Books, Google News Archive, Blog Search, Images & Video, Google Alerts, Google Maps, Google Earth, Google Notebook, and the Google Toolbar all have direct application to our genealogy search.

Google is truly helping genealogists open up the resources of the Internet – and Dan’s book makes using Google easier and more produce than ever before. Every genealogist with a computer can profit from the volume.

The following is directly from the Table of Contents:



Chapter 1 – Search Engine Basics The Foundation of all Google searches, this chapter describes basic functionality, screen layout, use of keywords, basic commands, and syntax

Chapter 2 – Interpreting Web Search Results The anatomy of Google Web Search results and the powerful commands that can be accessed from links appearing within your search results

Chapter – 3 – Advanced Search Techniques A detailed description of advanced search techniques, both command-line entries as well as those used in the Advanced Search Form

Chapter 4 – Language Tools Using the foreign language capabilities of Google, including automatic language translation, International content search, and Google’s offering worldwide

Chapter 5 – Google Books Tapping the content archives found within Google’s growing online digital library and tips for using these books in your family history search

Chapter 6 – Google News Archive Stepping beyond the current-day news into the rich historical news archive, learn to use the time line feature to quickly sort through historical results

Chapter 7 – Blog Search An in-depth look at searching through and using blog postings as an effective means to conduct your family history research

Chapter 8 – Images & Video Bring you research to life with pictures and video by learning special tips for getting the most value from Google’s image and video archives

Chapter 9 – Google Alerts Search while you sleep! Discussion and step-by-step instructions for using Alerts to make Google work as hard as you do in finding your ancestors

Chapter 10 – Google Maps A look at the indispensable tool for researching places and unique integration with Google Local and Street View

Chapter 11 – Google Earth An in-depth look at one of the most addictive of all Google applications, you’ll be able to “travel” to the home of your ancestors and anywhere else you desire

Chapter 12 – Google Notebook Google Notebook enables you to keep your research organized and available – even when performed on different computers – and easily shared with others

Chapter 13 – The Google Toolbar An optional add-on requiring download and installation, the Google Toolbar offers a host of one-click wonders; also includes brief mention of Google Chrome

Chapter 14 – Other Tips and Tricks More than a dozen additional features of Google that are too good to ignore, even if they don’t have a direct connection to genealogy research

Appendix A – Getting Started in Genealogy A condensed step-by-step guide for those just starting to trace their family tree

Appendix B – Top Sites for Genealogists An overview of the leading free and fee-based websites for genealogy, including a top-ten favorites list and dozens of other useful resources from around the world

Appendix C – Other Internet Search Engines A look at the useful features of more than a dozen other Web search engines

Appendix D – Web Search Engine Defined The history and evolution of Internet Search Engines, courtesy of Wikipedia

Appendix E – Syntax Summary & Quick Reference A concise listing of Google commands and syntax with examples of their use for genealogy


Google Your Family Tree is available at the FRPC website, and can be purchased with FREE SHIPPING within the United States through Tuesday, March 21, 2011. In fact, all new orders for U.S.A. delivery over $25 placed at the FRPC online genealogy bookstore before Midnight MDT on Tuesday, March 11, will be shipped FREE. Sorry, orders shipping to Canada and other countries have the normal shipping fees.

From Genealogy Newsline Vol 1 #2, Tuesday, January 18, 2011; a publication of Family Roots Publishing Co. LLC - www.FamilyRootsPublishing.com

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