Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member

Drawing up an internet research strategy

From: Growing and Sharing Your Family Tree

Video: Drawing up an internet research strategy

If you been working on ancestry.com, at some point you're probably going to start thinking like "I've exhausted the possibilities for one or more of my family lines. I am going to want to venture outside of ancestry.com." But what I want to do here is give you a basic approach, a strategy on how to broaden your search, plus I want to tell you about a few major websites that are definitely worth visiting. First up, let me tell you about a few types of websites that you can find on the Internet. Topping the list is a website aggregator. Now you know there are about 250,000 or more genealogical related websites on the Internet, which is an insane number and so you need to try to narrow that down.

Drawing up an internet research strategy

If you been working on ancestry.com, at some point you're probably going to start thinking like "I've exhausted the possibilities for one or more of my family lines. I am going to want to venture outside of ancestry.com." But what I want to do here is give you a basic approach, a strategy on how to broaden your search, plus I want to tell you about a few major websites that are definitely worth visiting. First up, let me tell you about a few types of websites that you can find on the Internet. Topping the list is a website aggregator. Now you know there are about 250,000 or more genealogical related websites on the Internet, which is an insane number and so you need to try to narrow that down.

Well the website aggregator has links to those kinds of websites and topping the list is a site called Cyndi's List, and I'll explain Cyndi's List to you in a separate video. But for now, just be aware that there are several aggregators and Cyndi's List is probably the main one you want to go to. There are major records repositories. You've seen ancestry.com. There are a couple of others you might want to visit. So again, think about the types of websites you want to go to is aggregator, repository and then newspaper archives. If you're looking for things like obituaries or articles about somebody or a business listing, you go to the newspaper archives. If you are looking for someone's family tree that might somehow dovetail with yours, you go to a family tree website.

There are message boards where you can talk about surnames that you're researching. You can find immigration records as you've seen in ancestory.com. So if you are looking for specifically immigration records you can go to sites that have those like Ellis Island. You can go to library websites that can help you with card catalogs for specific libraries, but there are also card catalogs for thousands of libraries in one place that can help you track down books that you can either check out using an interlibrary loan or you can go to those libraries to view them if they are reference copies. You can track down cemetery information online at a couple of large sites that track cemeteries and headstones and then you can use the search engines online if you're going to use that as part of your strategy.

So here is the research checklist that I've created for you. I'd say first of all, look for the easy ones: census, military, Social Security Death Index, immigration and citizenship. Those are pretty easy to find at sites like ancestry.com and you're probably going to exhaust those at some point and move on from there. Then you are going to want to go to vital records and legal documents. Those are not so easy to find online. They're generally not online usually because of privacy issues and also because of just the cost of putting them online. In those cases you probably have to go to the courthouses or to the county offices to get these.

You'll probably have to pay to get these records. Newspapers are online in kind of a spotty fashion. One newspaper might have some stuff online, another one might not, but there are big aggregate websites out there that have archives of old newspapers that go back oh, let's say a hundred years or so and might have thousands of newspapers online. So, if you're looking for something like obituary or like maybe your family member's business might be advertised there or there might be an article that includes somebody, then you want to go to those newspaper sites. There are books online and frequently people write entire books about a particular family tree and so for example, I know that the Hendershot family has been documented very well and I could go online and track down the Hendershot family and find whether there is a book available for that.

Now it may not be something I can view online. At least I know where it is and I might be able to do an interlibrary loan, where I could go to my library locally and then they can work out a deal to get the book come from the library in which it resides. Many times though these books are reference books and they won't be let out of the libraries, so you need to have somebody go to that library where it is and make copies of the salient pages. But anyway, at least you can track down these books. You can get help online. There are websites out there that give all sorts of research tips. Even tips about how to search online, so you can find things about how to research particular countries or how to track down the history for the area of where your ancestors came from.

And finally there are places where you can share your family tree and those message board sites where you can look at your surnames. Internet searching tips, I'd just suggest you go right to Google.com, www.google.com. It is the best search site. There are other ones out there that compete with it for sure, but I suggest you go there and do your searches for things like a surnames. You might say something like a surname and then put the word genealogy after it or family tree after it and you'll be amazed at what you can track down that way. To narrow your search, I suggest you use quotes. You put a quote around a phrase that you want to find inside a website, a very exact phrase.

So for example, if you put quotes around George Washington, you'll find sites that have the phrase George Washington. If you don't put quotes around it, you'll get sites that have the word George and sites that have the word Washington and sites that have both words. So you want to narrow it down to just the sites with George Washington. You can use a hyphen or the word NOT in uppercase in front of a word to exclude sites that have that word. So for example, you might want to go to sites that say Washington but you don't want the ones that say George Washington. So let's say a family member's name John Washington, you'd search on John Washington but exclude sites that have the word George in it.

It's a way to narrow down your search. Finally, when you get to a website that has a let's say a long, long webpage with all kinds of words on it, you can't find the spot in the webpage where your family member's name is listed, you can find that word by simply going to the Edit > Find In/Find On This Page feature inside your browser. If you've got Internet Explorer or Firefox or some other browser, you just go to the top of the browser to the menu line there and click on the word Edit to get a drop-down menu and select Find In or Find On and then type in the word or the phrase that you need to find and click Enter and you'll find that word on the page and can find other instances as well.

So that's the basic collection or types of Internet sites that you can look for and the strategy you can take to narrow down your search at those sites.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Growing and Sharing Your Family Tree
Growing and Sharing Your Family Tree

43 video lessons · 6622 viewers

Jeff Sengstack
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 5m 52s
    1. Welcome
      1m 6s
    2. Why grow your family tree?
      1m 43s
    3. Workflow for growing and sharing a family tree
      1m 51s
    4. Using the exercise files
      1m 12s
  2. 39m 37s
    1. Installing Family Tree Maker
      1m 29s
    2. Introducing Family Tree Maker
      4m 38s
    3. Standardizing names, dates, and locations
      1m 59s
    4. Getting started with Family Tree Maker
      4m 50s
    5. Including source information
      3m 29s
    6. Adding more names: children, spouses, unrelated individuals, and parents
      6m 0s
    7. Inputting notes, facts, and media
      7m 36s
    8. Fine-tuning information
      5m 45s
    9. Viewing and printing simplified ancestor charts to identify gaps in knowledge
      3m 51s
  3. 16m 44s
    1. Going on a treasure hunt
      1m 20s
    2. Getting photos and documents onto your computer
      12m 12s
    3. Using DNA to trace your roots
      3m 12s
  4. 12m 56s
    1. Finding others who have researched your family tree
      5m 4s
    2. Importing family tree files
      5m 10s
    3. Talking to older relatives
      1m 1s
    4. Visiting ancestral locales
      1m 41s
  5. 24m 10s
    1. Leafing through Family Tree Maker's ancestry hints
      2m 44s
    2. Installing Family Tree Maker's viewer
      1m 34s
    3. Merging ancestry hint document data into your family tree
      12m 23s
    4. Saving documents and linking them to individuals
      7m 29s
  6. 24m 53s
    1. How the internet can help you
      3m 53s
    2. Drawing up an internet research strategy
      5m 28s
    3. Tips, tricks, and techniques for searching Ancestry.com
      7m 43s
    4. Reviewing the major internet genealogy sites
      7m 49s
  7. 48m 18s
    1. Associating place names with people and events
      8m 55s
    2. Adding, viewing, and linking images and media to people
      9m 41s
    3. Customizing and printing charts
      9m 34s
    4. Backing up, restoring, and exporting files
      5m 46s
    5. Setting the home person
      57s
    6. Finding relationships
      1m 19s
    7. Sorting children
      1m 1s
    8. Replacing terms
      1m 11s
    9. Making facts private
      2m 35s
    10. Moving data items
      1m 42s
    11. Reviewing data
      2m 7s
    12. Merging two trees
      3m 30s
  8. 7m 49s
    1. Creating family history audio recordings, videos, slideshows, and DVDs
      3m 43s
    2. Collaborating and sharing online
      4m 6s
  9. 2m 17s
    1. Goodbye
      2m 17s

Start learning today

Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.

Become a member
Sometimes @lynda teaches me how to use a program and sometimes Lynda.com changes my life forever. @JosefShutter
@lynda lynda.com is an absolute life saver when it comes to learning todays software. Definitely recommend it! #higherlearning @Michael_Caraway
@lynda The best thing online! Your database of courses is great! To the mark and very helpful. Thanks! @ru22more
Got to create something yesterday I never thought I could do. #thanks @lynda @Ngventurella
I really do love @lynda as a learning platform. Never stop learning and developing, it’s probably our greatest gift as a species! @soundslikedavid
@lynda just subscribed to lynda.com all I can say its brilliant join now trust me @ButchSamurai
@lynda is an awesome resource. The membership is priceless if you take advantage of it. @diabetic_techie
One of the best decision I made this year. Buy a 1yr subscription to @lynda @cybercaptive
guys lynda.com (@lynda) is the best. So far I’ve learned Java, principles of OO programming, and now learning about MS project @lucasmitchell
Signed back up to @lynda dot com. I’ve missed it!! Proper geeking out right now! #timetolearn #geek @JayGodbold
Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.


Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ.

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.


Mark all as unwatched Cancel

Congratulations

You have completed Growing and Sharing Your Family Tree.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.


OK
Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member?

Become a member to like this course.

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses.

Get started

Already a member?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any lynda.com page and choose Site preferencesfrom the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Are you sure you want to delete this note?

No

Your file was successfully uploaded.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.


Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from lynda.com.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

   
submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.