Genealogy Tips · Researching your family history

Thursday’s Tips – Google

I use Google a lot.

I don’t have bookmarks for all the sites I regularly use, so I use Google to find them again.  I also find that sometimes it’s quicker to use Google to find a site, rather than go through my bookmark folders to find the link.  Also, sometimes the links change, and my bookmark is no longer valid. This recently happened with the GRO (UK) online index.  I wasn’t able to access the website using my bookmark anymore, and I wasn’t sure why.  I therefore tried using my mobile.  Since I don’t have any bookmarks on my mobile, I used Google to find the site, and was able to access it, so I then used Google on my laptop to find the correct link to add to my bookmarks.

Although I set up the Australian Cemeteries section on my website last year, I don’t use it myself.  I find it quicker and easier to Google the name of a cemetery, and then see what information is available online for it.

After I have exhausted the online resources I have on my checklist, my last step is to Google the name of the person, to see what else might come up. This doesn’t work well if the name is a common one, but it has helped me to find additional information.  I recently tried to find records for Minnie Stow/Woodbine.  The funeral notices for her mother had mentioned Mr and Mrs L Short, so I thought that she had probably married someone with the initial L and surname Short, but I hadn’t been able to find a marriage for them in New South Wales. When I used Google to search for “Minnie Stow Woodbine Short”, the first result was a link to the Short Family Tree website, which gave me her birth date (which I didn’t have yet), and gave me her husband’s name, and showed that they had married in Victoria.  I was then able to find other records to confirm the information in the family tree.

Another example of being able to find additional information using Google was when I had limited information for Herbert William Stow.  I knew he had married, died and been buried in New Zealand, but I didn’t have any information about his children.  I did a search on Google for “Herbert William Stow”, and found a link to his World War 1 service record on the Archives New Zealand site.  I wasn’t able to find the service record, but I did find his will, which listed his children.  I then Googled the name of the eldest son, and found a My Heritage tree for the family.  With this information I was then able to find other records to confirm the information in the family tree.