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Death Finds a Way: A Janie Riley Mystery by Lorine McGinnis Schulze
Janie Riley is an avid genealogist with a habit of stumbling on to dead bodies. She and her husband head to Salt Lake City Utah to research Janie's elusive 4th great-grandmother. But her search into the past leads her to a dark secret. Can she solve the mysteries of the past and the present before disaster strikes? Available now on Amazon.com and the CreateSpace eStore
|The Peer Family in North America in 6 Volumes are available for sale!|
Search Engines: Good Genealogy Finders?© Lorine McGinnis Schulze
We all love Search engines -- "Oh boy, I can type in my ancestor's name and in 30 seconds I'll know if he's on this site!" Not so..... in fact, I reluctantly set up a Search engine on Olive Tree Genealogy. I hear you gasping "What??? How can I find my ancestors without a search engine, why wouldn't you want one on your site??" I didn't want one because researchers often skip over the data and just type a name or two in a search engine. When they get no results, they leave, disappointed. But why did they get no results? Are there really no records on their ancestor? OR, did they miss them? 90% of the time, the visitor missed that sought-after ancestor. They also missed my new (free) databases and my Resource Guides.
Why does this happen? Partially it's because of how the free databases are put online for you. I don't change the original records. They go online exactly as written. If the document records your ancestor John Aloysius Simpson as "Jno. Simson" that is how you will find it on Olive Tree Genealogy. I don't change it to what I think the name is. Most of you will search for "John Simpson" because you know that is his name! Will you think to try variant spellings? Will you think to try abbreviations or alternate names such as Jno., Jonathan, J. J.A.? What if he were recorded under his middle name instead of his first? Will you type that into the search engine?
How about the name that I can't read on the original document - the one I have to record as Si[?]. Will you find that by using a search engine? I doubt it - but you'd have spotted it and recognized it as yours IF you browsed the databses - because then you'd have seen his first name, his age, his occupation and his place of origin. But you will only spot that on a browse (hunt) through the site pages.
Remember too that spelling wasn't exact in previous centuries. It depended upon the education and cultural background of the person recording that name. It also depended on what they heard! So Simpson may be written as Simson or Sympson or Symmson or.....even Samson or Sampson. If I or a volunteer misread the entry and though that the S was an L, that will really throw off search engine results!
No search engine is perfect. No transcriber is perfect. Researcher need to find the best way to use specific search engines (read the Help instructions, every search engine is different, be sure you know what the search engine allows for a query and how you must enter the words) Don't treat Search engines as the ultimate answer to your quest. They aren't. Use them, but then take the time to do a thorough browse of the data on a site. The search engines for Olive Tree Genealogy are at the bottom of each page - there are two. One searches for Olive Tree Genealogy Ships Passenger Lists, the other searches everything else on my site.
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