Welcome to my research tips and links web page. I can remember being told you could find information about practically anything you wanted on the internet. I would type in a few words that I thought best described the subject I was seeking for and nearly gave into frustration caused by very poor search results. Have you ever heard the expression, "If I only knew then what I know now?". Search engines were part of the problem combined with the solicitation dominance of people pushing pornography and scams. The reality of stopping unwanted solicitation is nonexistent and search engines like Google™ have special ranking systems to prevent websites from using false representation merely to get you to their website. I'm sure most search engines are making similar attempts to better serve us but the Google search engine was used twice as much as all other search engines combined. I don't remember the exact totals but they were astronomical.
I took my research to an extreme measure in search of information I couldn't quite link together. I actually imported the entire website built for genealogy research like rootsweb and put it on my home computer. Why did I do that? So I could search and filter records quickly using wildcards. I could search select records for names that began as BLA or ended in SIT or began with BL and ended in IT. This extreme effort allowed me to find errors in the transcription process that i wouldn't have found through the search engines. I found records logged as BLAMSIT, BLONSIT, BLONSET and BIANSIT that helped me fill in blanks in my research.
Why use Google?
Get a stop watch and time the seconds it takes to open the Google.com search engine. If it took more than 7 seconds to completely open call your local repair shop. LOL Now open one of these other two search engines MSN.com™ or GO.com™ and see how many seconds or minutes it takes to completely open. When their flash video finally loads and starts the multimedia promotional advertising you can finally begin your search. Meanwhile your friends using Google are already done with their research and signed offline. Fact: Google has minimal advertisement.
Start your search off with a keyword exclusive to your subject. Example: I wanted Family History Information Blansit. I started with a few different combinations of those four words and ended up limited or mixed results at best. Here's a better idea for you to consider. Open Google and type in Blansit, nothing more nothing less. You will retrieve every website in their database containing the word Blansit. Beings Blansit is somewhat exclusive to family names you get good results. You also would learn that their are flowers called Blansit. You should have roughly 1640 in your search results page and if you scroll down near the bottom and click on the "search within these results " link, you will get a blank field to enter another search word to narrow your search results. Try entering other words one at a time like family, photos or the State in which they lived in. You will soon be on your way to getting good results from your search efforts. It never hurts to read the help files on the website and try their advance searches.
If you dive into census records and are not finding the names you think you should try spelling variations. I found records logged as BLAMSIT, BLONSIT, BLONSET and BIANSIT and by looking at the writing in some of the original documents on microfilm I can hardly blame the transcribers.