On Day 24 of Family History Month, let Google do your research and email you the results. You just need to set up some Google Alerts.
I set up a Google Alert for “Family History Month” and here’s an example of an email I received (image below).
To set up your own alerts, go to https://google.com/alerts. The image below is what you will see when you’re on the Google Alerts page. They offer “Alert suggestions” you may want to look through.
Some things you may want to create Google Alerts for include: a family name you’re researching, surnames, a surname and “DNA”, genealogy, family history, genealogy apps, or even your own name.
I’ve created an alert for an ancestor and put his name in quotation marks so Google will only alert me if the entire name appears as I’ve typed it in the quotation marks. You can see in the image below, Google immediately returned any appearances and the only one they could find was from an OnGenealogy blog I wrote.
You’ll be prompted to enter an email address where they should send your alerts. Before entering an address, you’ll probably want to select “Show options” and filter your request. (See the image below.)
The first filter is “How often would you like to receive alerts?” Your options are:
As it happens
At most once a day
At most once a week
I use once a day but I only look at my Google Alert emails once a week. I just like having the option to look at them more frequently.
The next filter is “From what sources?” I leave it on “Automatic” and let them come from any source, but depending on the type of alert you choose, you may want to filter by source.
The next filter is “Language”
Then you can filter by region of the world. In the case of “Abel Waters Wells” I would select the United States and Canada because I’m trying to obtain information about Abel Waters Wells while he lived in those two countries.
Finally, you can ask Google to apply a qualitative filter on your search results with:
Only the best results
Now you can enter an email address where you’d like to receive these Google Alerts. It doesn’t need to be a Gmail address.
I prefer to use a Gmail account because they sort my mail for me. The image below is an example of what my email looks like. I have five folders where Google sends my email: Primary, Social, Promotions, Updates, & Forums. There’s also a + tab if I want to create another folder for another type of email.
Google makes pretty good guesses as to what type of mail each item is, so my most important mail goes into my “Primary” folder and Promotions, etc, go into other folders. If Google guesses wrong, I drag the email to the appropriate folder and Google asks me if it wants me to always put future emails from that sender in that folder.
Here’s an example of an email I received from Google Alerts for an alert I created for Genealogy.
Google Alerts is a fun way to put the internet to work for you. Happy Family History Month and best in your research!