Sunday, November 23, 2014

Googling your ancestors the smart way

It's always a good idea to google your ancestors. There are family history websites out there that are specific to certain surnames. People write blogs about their ancestors. There are government websites that allow you to search records that you can't find anywhere else.

But you need to be smart about it. Focus on one of the places that your ancestors lived.

For example, I've been trying to find records on the family of James and Rebecca McDonald. They emigrated from Ireland to New Brunswick in the 1830s or 40s, but I can't find them before the 1851 census and I don't know where in Ireland to look for them. I don't even know her maiden name. I've searched my family history sites with some success, but it never hurts to google, so I did.

I typed in "Alma, New Brunswick McDonalds"

Not the smartest search ever. But if I ever want some fries in Alma, I'll know where to go.

So I changed it to "Alma, New Brunswick genealogy" and eventually got a list of New Brunswick cemeteries. Here's Rebecca in the United cemetery in Alma, with a death date and a maiden name I didn't know before. Gone but not forgotten. 

I'm still a long way from tracing them back to Ireland, but a maiden name sure isn't going to hurt!

Photocredit: tiverylucky

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