Friday, April 25, 2008

"Google Your Family Tree" Web site and book

Dan Lynch has written a book titled "Google Your Family Tree, A Genealogist's Guide to Unlocking the Hidden Power of Google" and has launched a web site to promote the book - the web site is

At this time, there is no information about how to purchase the book on the web site. I'm sure there will be!

For genealogy researchers, there is a "Google Search for Genealogy" page at You can input a first name, a surname, a place name (and it will exclude a keyword) in the Search box and obtain Google results just like if you used Google's home page at Or so I thought!

I input "russell" as first name, "smith" as surname, and "oneida" as place name and the search string used was

"russell smith" OR "russell * smith" OR "smith, russell" oneida - ~genealogy

It found 423 results in 0.07 seconds with SafeSearch on, including my own blog posts about my elusive Russell Smith.

This is the easiest-to-use genealogy search combination that I've seen. It does several of the Boolean combinations that many searchers won't think about.

One problem is that many posts, web pages or databases don't use the word "genealogy" on them.

I did a similar search in Google and found:

Search string ["russell smith" oneida] - 982 results
Search string ["russell smith" genealogy oneida] - 735 results
Search string ["russell smith" ~genealogy oneida] - 545 results
Search string ["russell * smith" oneida - ~genealogy] - 255 results
Search string ["smith, russell" oneida - ~genealogy] - 310 results
Search string ["russell smith" OR "russell * smith" OR "smith, russell" oneida - ~genealogy] - 1020 results

I wonder why my Google search using the exact search string produces 1020 results while Dan's Google search has 423 results.

I hope that Dan Lynch will let us know when his book will be published.

My thanks to Jennifer on the Rainy Day Genealogy Readings blog for the link to the Google Your Family Tree" web site.

1 comment:

cheekygnome said...

Google searching can be finicky. The two search terms are identical and should produce the same results:

[term a] OR [term b]
[term a] | [term b]

The | character, called a "pipe" is shorthand for typing OR, yet I have seen several cases where the number of results differ between the search phrase using OR versus the one using the | shorthand.