Search Engines for Genealogical Research
Although Google is the most widely-known and comprehensive search engines for locating genealogical information at present, many other search engines are also useful. The fierce market competition between the better-known search engines should only serve to make genealogical research easier.
Many websites are added each day to the Internet. If you have searched for information on an ancestor more than 60 days previously, it is worth searching again. The information changes at an amazing rate on the Internet. Websites with frequent changes often get updated in the search engines daily, if not every week or two.
A search engine 'crawls' or 'spiders' the web based on what is already there. If a new link is added to a website somewhere, and it is not already in the search engine's database of sites it searches, the search engine will go to that link and 'spider' it for its contents and add the page or entire site to its database, index its contents, and make that site's contents available for searching by way of the search engine. This can happen anywhere from once a month to daily depending upon how frequently that site is updated.
No two search engines contain the exact same database. Any one search engine may contain listings of sites that another search engine has missed. So if you do not find an ancestor in one search engine, try another, or better yet, try a compiled search engine, or 'metacrawler'.
Specialized Genealogy Search Engines
- Mocavo - launched in March 2011. Read reviews by Dick Eastman, Jordan Jones, Randy Seaver, and the Allen County Public Library staff.
- Linkpendium's Genealogical Data Search
- Zabasearch - people search
Major Search Engines
Some search engines to try include:
Compiled Search Engines (Metacrawlers)
These search multiple search engines at one time.
- SearchBoth - allows you to compare results from two search engines of your choice
- Mamma 'Metacrawler' that searches nine different search engines.
Tips for Searching
Most search engines now have different sections for research, such as web records, images, videos, maps, etc. When researching information in books, try using the WEB function first, as it will also provide you with documents, articles and papers not included in the BOOKS function.
For maximizing search engine results, try some of these tricks from Family History Daily.