Making Good Use of Google

As I shared in my previous blog, genealogy has become a great passion of mine. As great as online resources like Ancestry and FamilySearch are, some of the best information on my family has come from Google. Here are some Google tips:

-Use quotation marks and lots of ORs.

If I’m doing a search for my great grandfather, here’s what I’ll put in the search box:

“Irving Aloysius Peers” OR “Irving A Peers” OR “Irving Peers” OR “Peers Irving”

To narrow the results, I could add Rochester OR “Monroe County” OR “Monroe Co” to the search box.

-Tell Google what particular websites you want to search.

Since I have a number of ancestors from Upstate/Western New York, the following websites have been very useful:

For those that have family who worked at Kodak, this website is a goldmine:

To search one of these websites for the specific terms I’m looking for, here’s what I’d put in the search box:

“Irving Aloysius Peers” OR “Irving A Peers” OR “Irving Peers” OR “Peers Irving”


Here’s another example:


As you can see, the search criteria leads to great results. Because old papers and records are being scanned and put on the web at an accelerating rate, repeat the same Google searches a few months apart. Last week I found out when some ancestors of mine were married just by searching what I had already searched months ago. Best of luck!

-Jesse Peers, Library Assistant

Published in: on March 4, 2014 at 3:29 pm  Comments (2)  
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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Way to go, Jesse. See also Google Your Family Tree — by Daniel M. Lynch, which RPL owns. It’s in LH.

  2. Great tips, Jesse. I use many of the search modifications you mentioned when looking for information on vintage items/brands/styles at work.
    Here’s few additional ways to specify your search with Google.

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