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Discover tricks to search Google and create citations more efficiently

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Have you moved past the basic Google search feature? By just incorporating a few basic tricks, you can narrow down your search results by hundreds of thousands of results and find more of what you are looking for on Google. Genealogists will love the examples included here. They will be able to find books and other resources more swiftly.

The following examples reveal useful searches for genealogists, but you can substitute your desired topics.

1. Locate a living relative

rphone: "Robert Chick"- This will provide the residential phone listings for Robert Chick. Narrow down the search by including the locality.

See results: rphone: "Robert Chick" Illinois

2. Find definitions

define:genealogy- Get a list of definitions for the word "genealogy."

See results: define:genealogy

3. Find resources for more than one related topic

genealogy ~social ~media- Search the resources for genealogy which also include social media.

See results: genealogy ~social ~media

4. Exclude specific topics from a search

Vance -North Carolina- Search for resources for Vance which do not include North Carolina.

See results: Vance -North Carolina Notice the results show for South Carolina.

5. Locate specific resources

South Carolina ~Vance -North Carolina -Zeb -Zebulon ~Kincaid

Incredibly, the above search led to results mentioning ancestors in resources which where not known to exist previously.

See results:

South Carolina ~Vance -North Carolina -Zeb -Zebulon ~Kincaid

Of the several results, the UPPER SOUTH CAROLINA GENEALOGY & HISTORY, a periodical of the Piedmont Historical Society is of the most interest. The following periodicals can be ordered which is quite exciting:

  • Sketch and Family of James Kincaid (1753-1801) of Fairfield District, S. C. , pg 81
  • A Vance Family Record (Laurens District, S. C.) , pg 82

Relatives of Zeb Vance of North Carolina live in South Carolina. They intermarried with the Kincaid family. Excluding North Carolina, Zeb, Zebulon, and including Kincaid in the search led to this successful discovery.

A useful citation tool

Use EasyBib to create citations for all those books, newspapers, websites, and journals you discover on Google. Just choose the correct format and click "Cite this." It does not get any easier than that.

The following Google Book mentioning the descendants of Nathaniel Vance was discovered from in the search results above.

Old Southern Bible Records: Transcriptions of Births, Deaths, and Marriages from Family Bibles, Chiefly of the 18th and 19th Centuries

The following citation was created using EasyBib.

Lester, Memory Lee Alldredge. "Nathaniel Vance." Old Southern Bible Records: Transcriptions of Births, Deaths, and Marriages from Family Bibles, Chiefly of the 18th and 19th Centuries,. Baltimore: Genealogical Pub., 1974. 317-19. Print.

To learn more visit:

How to find anything on the internet

Google Guide

Google Search Stories


  • Profile picture of Michael Hait
    Michael Hait 3 years ago

    For published books, the EasyBib tool is a great idea--the citation style for books varies little between MLA, CMOS, and other citation guides. However, this tool does not help when attempting to cite original records. The best reference for citation of genealogical and historical records is EVIDENCE EXPLAINED by Elizabeth Shown Mills (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 2007; second edition 2009). This reference is based on the Chicago Manual of Style, but provides more details for many of the records used by genealogists.

  • Profile picture of Robin Foster
    Robin Foster 3 years ago

    Thank you Michael! EVIDENCE EXPLAINED is the best resource for genealogists!

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