Google and other internet searches can be great ways to find other relatives online, items that have been transcribed, pictures that have been posted publicly, blog posts about your family, message board posts about your relatives, repositories that may contain information, etc.

Of course all of that information should be evaluated for reliability, perceived accuracy, etc. Sometimes internet searches only find information that’s been shared and passed around over and over.

But there’s one thing that it won’t find.

Items that have not been put online, have not been digitally indexed, and are only available in paper format. Like the Revolutionary War pension payment record for a relative that documented her origins in the British Isles–when many postings about her online repeated speculation that she was a Native American.

Internet searches are great but they are only playing in the online sandbox. Sometimes you need to step out of the sandbox.



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