Thursday, March 31, 2011

Experiment with What You Know is in There

When learning how a new database search interface works, experiment with wildcards and other search functions using names you have already located in the database. This is the best way to learn how search terms work, especially when the FAQ page is not well-written or non-existent.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Go Minimal

Remember when searching any database, use as few search terms as possible. The more terms entered, the more specific the search and the less likely you are to find the desired entry. Avoiding entering in ages or places of birth unless absolutely necessary and start by entering in those items least likely to be incorrect in the original record.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Now Operational

"Search Tip of the Day" is now operational. This blog will focus on quick tips and suggestions for searching specific websites and databases. Our focus will not be on interpretation and analysis of records, but rather on quick, short ideas for searching online indexes. We'll discuss ideas for both free and fee-based sites.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Chart Search Options

When searching any online database, if you don't find the person within a few searches make a chart listing all the possible search combinations there are. You aren't going to remember them otherwise and refining your search is impossible if you've not been keeping track of how you have searched.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Google Books--Full Names

Try searching for each ancestor at Google Books If the name is too common try adding the name of a spouse or the name of the county where the ancestor was known to have lived.