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Digital Subscriptions > Family Tree > Family Tree September 2018 > Search smarter online

Search smarter online

As a professional researcher Emma Jolly needs to get great results – quickly. Here she shares her tips, tricks and search aids to help you get The most from your family history online



Whatever stage your family history research is at, it’s essential to be able to search as thoroughly and effectively as possible so that you make The most of your time and maximise your findings. Read on for tips to inform and inspire your genealogy investigations – and who knows what you’ll be discovering next.

Tips & tricks to master

Use long tail keywords allow you to be more precise in your research. They are usually phrases of three or four keywords which help you to focus in on your required area of family history. If you’re looking for a name, add keywords such as place names, record types (baptism register, probate, military), and The names of oTher family members. Try key genealogy phrases, such as ‘was born in’, ‘was married to’, and ‘was buried’.

Make a list of useful urls

Just as you might bookmark pages in a family history book with coloured stickers or folded corners, so you can keep a record of websites and dataset pages that are relevant for your genealogy research. Use The favourite tab on your browser, save screengrabs to a folder, or bookmark The URLs using an online/mobile note-taking app, such as:

• Evernote

• Microsoft One Note

• Google Keep

• or Quip

Break down folders into subfolders: for example, within a Welsh history folder, you could have subfolders of Welsh places; Welsh names; Welsh probate and Welsh newspapers.

Try oTher search engines

Choose The best search operators for effective searching. While Google is The most popular search engine, There are oThers that are worth investigating if you are stuck in your family history research. Try:

• Yahoo!

• Bing

• DuckDuckGo

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About Family Tree

The wish to find out about your family history always begins with a question. That special something that you want to know about those who’ve come before you, that missing piece of the puzzle that you'd like to find about your own roots... So, because the internet is such a very valuable resource for hunting for these family history clues, this issue we’ve got a bumper guide to help your research. Read it and discover how to: 1. Search smarter and trace that family story. 2. Learn new search hacks and make new discoveries. 3. Get the low-down on searching the major family history websites. Lastly, you may notice something different this issue – our new look! Re-energised and packed as ever with know-how, advice and real-life tales, our revamp will provide you with fresh inspiration to find your family’s story.