The H/T (hat tip) for this Google Search Tip for Genealogy goes to the Delaware Genealogical Society, who gives these instructions to visitors searching their site.
I now use this Google search whenever I want to search a website for a specific ancestor or surname.
- Go to Google.com
- In the bottom, right corner, select Settings
- In the menu that appears, select Advanced search
- In the menu that appears, type your search term or terms into the “Find pages with” and then type the site or domain into “Then narrow your results by…” and “site or domain” and hit the Advanced Search button
- If your search term(s) appear on the website, it will show up in the Google search results.
An Example of how to use this Advanced Google Search for Genealogy
I have some Clawson relatives from Utah so I wanted to search the Utah Department of Heritage and Arts website for my first Clawson ancestor who lived in Utah, Hiram Bradley Clawson. I usually only visit their site to search their cemetery records, but this technique allowed me to search their entire site.
- I went to Google, selected Settings in the right-bottom corner
- then selected Advanced search
- then I followed the directions on the Advanced Search page to perform a search
- I typed “Hiram B Clawson” in quotes in the “this exact word or phrase” window and “heritage.utah.gov/” in the “site or domain” window and hit the Advanced Search button.
Google gave me five pages of results where Hiram B. Clawson’s name appears on the Utah Department of Heritage and Arts website. There’s no way I would have spent the time to find all these references to my ancestor at this site. As I said earlier, I usually only visit this site to search for cemetery records.
I can also try searching by his full name “Hiram Bradley Clawson” or by other partial names including “Hiram Clawson”, etc.
A DIY approach?
If you’re really good, you can look in the image above to see how Google formats this advanced search:
“hiram b clawson” site:heritage.utah.gov/
and then just format your searches correctly in the initial search window.
I don’t have the mental energy to commit this search technique to memory (I’ll surely add a space or make some other syntax error), so I’ll keep letting Google hold my hand and walk me through the process each time.
Best in your searches!