Googling Your Way to the Answer

There are a variety of times when a Google search can help your genealogical research. It can be in finding a definition of a term, transcribing a word in an old estate inventory, determining a name in a census record, etc. But keep a few things in mind:

  • The website where you find a definition of a word may not be as knowledgeable as you think.
  • Interpreting anything is about context–historical, social, etc. The first hit may not be close enough to your situation to be helpful.
  • The name you find on another website could be a mistake as well.
  • There may be specifics of your document or record that aren’t addressed in the website you found.

Google can be very helpful. But, like anything else, it is a clue. Always Google with your genealogical thinking cap on.

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