Thanks to We Tree (http://wetree.blogspot.com/2009/01/jump-start-your-genealogy-blog-52-ideas.html) for the inspiration of this week’s blog prompt: Have expertise in a specific area of study? Share your knowledge! If you’ve lived in the same town for 60 years, you have something to share. If you’re a librarian in your day job, you have something to share. If you read Civil War history books for fun, you have something to share. If you’re walking on this Earth, you have something to share.
I think my area of expertise, besides Powell and Spencer family history, would be online research techniques. Of course, I cover this extensively in my book, Genealogy Online, 8th Edition.
But to share briefly some pointers on this blog, here are some general tips on searching the Web for genealogy:
- Use phrases instead of single words in your searches. Type everal words that are relevant to your search. Typing Spencer genealogy Ohio will narrow a search well.
- Enclose phrases in quotes. Searching on the phrase Spencer family history without quotation marks will match all pages that have any of those three words included somewhere on the page, in any order, and not necessarily adjacent to each other.
- Searching with the phrase “Spencer family history” (with quotation marks) will usually get hits only on those pages that have those three words together.
- The more specific you are, the better. Searching for Irish genealogy databases will give you fewer, but closer, matches than searching for Irish genealogy. Use plus and minus signs in your searches. A word preceded by a plus sign (+) must appear on the page to be considered a match. A word preceded by a minus sign (–) must not appear on the page to be considered a match. No spaces can be between the plus and minus signs and the words they apply to. For example, entering
+Spencer -royal genealogy
would ask the search engine to find pages that contain the word “Spencer,” but not the word “royal,” with the word “genealogy” preferred, but optional. Most search engines would get some Spencer genealogy pages but leave out those that include Lady Diana, Princess of Wales.
- Every now and then, search for “geneology” instead of “genealogy.” You will be amazed at how many pages out there use this misspelling!