Search Engines for Genealogical Research
Although Google is the most widely-known and comprehensive search engines for locating genealogical information at present, many other search engines are also useful. The fierce market competition between the better-known search engines should only serve to make genealogical research easier.
Many websites are added each day to the Internet. If you have searched for information on an ancestor more than 60 days previously, it is worth searching again. The information changes at an amazing rate on the Internet. Websites with frequent changes often get updated in the search engines daily, if not every week or two.
A search engine 'crawls' or 'spiders' the web based on what is already there. If a new link is added to a website somewhere, and it is not already in the search engine's database of sites it searches, the search engine will go to that link and 'spider' it for its contents and add the page or entire site to its database, index its contents, and make that site's contents available for searching by way of the search engine. This can happen anywhere from once a month to daily depending upon how frequently that site is updated.
No two search engines contain the exact same database. Any one search engine may contain listings of sites that another search engine has missed. So if you do not find an ancestor in one search engine, try another, or better yet, try a compiled search engine, or 'metacrawler'.
Specialized Genealogy Search Engines[edit | edit source]
- AncestorSearch - builds a Google search for you that is optimized to find web pages mentioning your ancestors. The search returns a more focused set of results by using advanced Google search techniques including exact phrases, forward and reverse name order, alternate name spellings, logical operators, etc.
- Mocavo - launched in March 2011. Read reviews by Dick Eastman, Jordan Jones, Randy Seaver, and the Allen County Public Library staff.
- Linkpendium's Genealogical Data Search
- Kin Crawler - Kin Crawler is a genealogy SPECIFIC search engine. They have indexed thousands of genealogy homepages, ancestry trees, family history message boards, state/local genealogy resources, and much more
- Zabasearch - people search
Major Search Engines[edit | edit source]
Some search engines to try include:
Compiled Search Engines (Metacrawlers)[edit | edit source]
These search multiple search engines at one time.
- SearchBoth - allows you to compare results from two search engines of your choice
- Mamma 'Metacrawler' that searches nine different search engines.
Tips for Searching[edit | edit source]
Most search engines now have different sections for research, such as web records, images, videos, maps, etc. When researching information in books, try using the WEB function first, as it will also provide you with documents, articles and papers not included in the BOOKS function.
For maximizing search engine results, try some of these tricks from Family History Daily.