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December 31st, 2008 at 6:32 am

Google Your Family Tree

Noted genealogist Dick Eastman, who edits Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter, recently published a note on a new book to help genealogists use modern search engines–not just Google–to perform family history research.  Based Dick’s review, the BFA website administrator–that’s me–purchased a copy that arrived yesterday, and I’m half-way through it already.  Google Your Family Tree (FamilyLink.com, Inc., paper, $34.95) is an excellent way to harness technology in family history research.  Author Daniel Lynch is not only a genealogist, he’s a practicing Internet entrepreneur.  If I had to write a one-sentence review of this 350-page paperback, I’d simply said “It’s about results.”

Lynch shows readers how to use basic and advanced search features to focus their searches and filter results.  But that’s not all, he shows you how to use Google Images and Google Video to find visual images to illustrate family histories, how to use Google Maps and Google Earth to explore family history locations current and pasts, and how to use Google Books and Google News Archives to conduct research. Google Language Tools will help translate foreign content.  The book contains visual aids to show you how to use these tools, not just describe them.  There are even descriptions of top free genealogy sites and how to use them, as well as a basic guide to starting a family history.

Lynch describes other search engines, and notes which ones are likely to be most helpful to family history researchers as well.    In my opinion, if  you want to seriously improve your research using the internet, this would be an excellent addition to your library.


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