Friday, March 9, 2007

Searching Rootsweb Freepages for surname data

One of the items on my "research to do" list for searching online resources for Bresee/variants surname data was to search the Freepages and Homepages submissions at If someone else has gathered information about this surname, and have posted it online at Rootsweb, I want to read it and evaluate it.

Another item on my list was to search the USGenWeb Archives for Bresee/variant surnames.

The searches I performed included:

1) At the site, I clicked on the Rootsweb Freepages link near the top of the page under Websites. This took me to the list of initial letters (A through Z) for the submitted databases, and I selected B for Bresee. I then did an [Edit] [find] for "bresee" and other variants. I found no specific submitted databases with Bresee/variants in their title. I could have gone through every letter in the alphabet, but I figured that searching the content of the databases would be better than searching the titles.

2) At the site, I clicked on the "Index of all Search Engines and Databases" link under the Search Engines and Databases section near the bottom of the page. The best way to search the Freepages and Homepages for surnames or keywords is to click on the "Search Thingy" link under the Our Most Popular Search Links section.

Inputting the surname "bresee" into the search box results in 131 databases on the Rootsweb site, ordered by the number of times the term is used in each database. Unfortunately, only one database has 2 occasions of Bresee, and the others have only 1 occasion. After looking through some of the sites, I decided that there were no extensive Freepages or Homepages with Bresee surname data.

This search engine also finds entries in the USGenWeb archives. Again, there were no significant (more than one) entries in any of the databases.

The same results held for the Brazie/Brazee/Bries/Brees/etc. surnames - there were no significant entries in the Rootsweb databases.

I decided to see if wild cards worked in this search engine. They do not. It ignores a wild card.

These Rootsweb resources are excellent when you can find information about your surname. I can cross those two entries off my "to-do" list.

If you haven't used these resources before, you might use these directions to determine of other researchers have submitted data for your surnames.


Craig Manson said...

I've really enjoyed following you on this sojourn. Good tips along the way!

Becky Wiseman said...

I'll second that! With your permission, I'm going to include the link to your Research Tips in the list of online resources for the upcoming beginner's workshop that our genealogy society is presenting next Saturday. These are some great tips because you provide examples of the searches you've made along with the results. Thanks a bunch, Randy.

Randy Seaver said...

Thanks, Craig - stay tuned for more - I'm only part way done with my to-do list! If only Cornelia would turn up on one of the sites...she's the proverbial female without parents at this point - I have quite a few of them, as do most of us.

Becky - please do include the link, or copy and paste it onto something you can use. You might want to group things together - I did it fairly haphazardly, and then added some items later. I would appreciate some sort of credit if you do edit the list - but these sites are not secret! I'm going to add a few more soon...

I will use the tips and the examples for a talk I will give down the road. I just don't know how it's going to end!

Cheers -- Randy