Google Commands: How to Search More Effectively

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Google is a great way to search for genealogical information.  The following are ways to improve finding family information:

Google Helps

From Google Your Family Tree, by Daniel M. Lynch 2008


AND   Combines words. When no commands are in the search, Google will assume that AND is the command. AND must be


OR     To search for one word/phrase or another. OR must be capitalized.

“ “     To search for an exact phrase Example, "John Smith"

*        A wildcard used inside quotes. One asterisk for one set of characters; two asterisks for two sets; etc.)

              Example, "John * Smith"

-        To exclude a word or phrase. No space between the hyphen and the next word.  Example, John Kennedy -president 

+       To include exactly this word, excluding variants. No space between the plus sign and the next word.  Example, +foreset.

~       To find the keyword or similar words. No space between the tilde and the next word.  Example, Smith ~genealogy

..       To search for a range of numbers, like a date range. No spaces between the numbers and the periods. 

              Example, 1800..1900