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Google Your Family Tree – Unlock the Hidden Power of Google, by Daniel M. Lynch; 2009; 352 pp; Soft Cover; 8.25x10; Indexed; ISBN: 978-0-9820737-1-1; Item # DL1
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.
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