July 4, 2013

How to Use Google to Find Your Ancestors
Last Names of Nuevo Leon

I know that when you think about your Mexican Ancestors you do not think about Google. I hope that this post will change that, with this post, I will show you how to use Google to find your ancestors. My goal is that the next time you want to discover a Mexican ancestor, I want you to automatically think about Google and it’s various search capabilities.

In recent years Google has become a powerful resource especially for genealogist and hobbyists alike. More than 70 percent of all internet users search Google and it is also the place where millions of websites are indexed.

I have found hundreds of ancestors by just using Google. You might be thinking yeah right Google.

From my own experience, I have come out to find hundreds of websites and family histories that have been indexed by Google. Thus when you search for an ancestors name it is very likely that you will find them. If you are lucky you will also find stories and how your ancestor’s life’s intertwined with history.

Let me also give you a word of caution, if your ancestor does not show up on Google don’t assume that there is no information about him or her. Also, use the information you find with caution since it might also be incorrect. What I do is just use it as clues to find original documents or copies of original documents.

How to Use Google to Find Your Ancestors

Here are the two most helpful tips to use when using Google to help you find your ancestors. Remember you enter these techniques in Google’s Search Box.

To Find Exact Phrase matches Use Quotes

  • Moises Garza – This will only return results with Moises Garza.
  • Moises Garza Tanguma – This will only return results containing Moises Garza Tanguma.

Go ahead give it a try, this sorts out a lot of insignificant results. For example, when you do this you get exact results and not all results for Garza or Moises or Tanguma. Thus, this narrows down the search for your ancestors.

Searching a Single Site

  • site:raullongoria.net francisco rodriguez

You first enter site:followed by a website address and then your ancestor’s name. The above example shows me searching Raul Longoria’s website for Francisco Rodriguez. This technique will work for all websites and it is very useful.

Also, let me just let you know that these techniques are more successful when searching for ancestors five to six generations or further back since most of the time someone has already done the research and has posted it online.

Other More Advanced Google Search Options

  • For more advanced options you can visit Google Search Operators. I have yet to use these methods but I know that they might be useful to you.

Ancestor Search Using Google Custom Search

Randy Majors has developed a very useful tool to search Google for ancestors and I have used it many times. It simplifies the search entries and you don’t have to remember to enter any special characters as quotes.

I hope that you found this post, How to Use Google to Find Your Ancestors,  useful and if you did please share it using the social media. Also, let me know about your success stories using Google Search since I would love to read them.

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About the author 

Moises Garza

I have doing my family genealogy since 1998. I am also the creator of this blog Mexican Genealogy, and my personal blog We Are Cousins. To always be up to date with both of these sites follow me on facebook. To contact me or book me for a presentation, buy my books, and or learn more about me visit my personal website at www.moisesgarza.com.

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  1. I tried randymajors.com and the first search that I did almost immediately did away with a brick wall I had hit on my wife’s mother’s direct line. The search found a prenuptial marriage investigation file that covered the archdiocese of Durango and it provided a wealth of information that helped me go back an additional two generations (so far!) – that file is at http://lib.nmsu.edu/depts/archives/documents/ahadnmpi2.pdf. Thanks, Moises – you made my day! (I’ll be thanking Randy as well for his awesome tool).

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