For a long time, people have been asking me why I don't like search engines. Why?

1. I think the narrow focus causes people to miss the forest for the trees. If you're searching for "McDonald" and a name is indexed "MacDonald" the search engine might, or might not, show it in the results.

2. You're going to miss out on some of the best parts of the website - stuff that can't be "indexed" like photos and PDFs.

3. You tend to have to leave the website you're currently at, and that can be a hassle or an issue with some users.

4. "Search engine" can mean Google to me, FreeFind to you, and to another person. Which one do I use?

That being said, I guess its time I get one on this site - its certainly got enough data now!

But, here's some words of advice BEFORE you zoom off and hit the "search" button.

1. Take some time to explore the site when you can. There's lots of content on here that isn't related to "names race genealogy" but can fill in the lives of your ancestors. Maybe your ancestor met at Bay View Park - and you can see what it looked like. Or maybe you remember days at the Mich-E-Kewis Park, or maybe your father worked for the Alpena Car Company - all things you can find more about here that might not be something you can simply search for a name and find.

2. Try to trace your ancestors through the different resources here. Trace the other people in town with the same name through the resources - you never know who might end up being related to you! This is typically called "clustering" and it can help you break down a brick wall.

3. Try different spellings of the same name. Try something like the "Surname Suggestion List" program for different ideas. 

4. Try different methods of going through the site with the search engine and without the search engine. The search engine will typically be delayed from indexing new content and if you explore around the site, you might catch something before the indexer nabs it.

If you're interested in more ways to search, or need some help figuring out how to navigate the site, please feel free to contact me at any time. I'm usually available!




Copyright 2004-2008- Concetta Franco Phillipps
2004 Jolene Kelly Pillars

1997-2003 by Jill Olmack

Updated 24 Jun 2008