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Family History

Table of Contents

Following are the chapter headers as they appear in the Table of Contents for Google Your Family Tree. The 352-page text includes numerous screen shots, tables, and other diagrams that combine to make this a must-have book for every family historian — hobbiest or professional.

  • Foreword by Paul Allen
  • Introduction by Dan Lynch
  • Google Your Family Tree
  • Chapter 1 — Search Engine Basics
  • Chapter 2 — Interpreting Web Search Results
  • Chapter 3 — Advanced Search Techniques
  • Chapter 4 — Language Tools
  • Chapter 5 — Google Books
  • Chapter 6 — Google News Archive
  • Chapter 7 — Blog Search
  • Chapter 8 — Images & Video
  • Chapter 9 — Google Alerts
  • Chapter 10 — Google Maps
  • Chapter 11 — Google Earth
  • Chapter 12 — Google Notebook
  • Chapter 13 — The Google Toolbar & Google Chrome
  • Chapter 14 — Other Tips & Tricks
  • Appendix A — Getting Started in Genealogy
  • Appendix B — Top Sites for Genealogists
  • Appendix C — Other Internet Search Engines
  • Appendix D — Web Search Engine Defined
  • Appendix E — Syntax Summary & Quick Reference
  • Index

Foreword by Paul Allen, FUGA

Chief Executive Officer of, Inc. and co-founder of
Google is the world's leading search engine. And it is most likely the world's leading genealogy search engine. With hundreds of millions of users in more than 160 countries searching more than 20 billion documents, countless individuals have searched for their own name, or for their family names, or for individuals in their family tree.

But until now, there has not been a book written with the sole purpose of helping family historians use Google to discover their family tree. Google Your Family Tree is the right book, describing the right search engine, written by the right author, and released at the right time. I think it has the potential to help millions of family history researchers become more successful online.

I first met Dan Lynch in March 1998 while I was CEO of a (then) small startup company called Our website was quickly becoming the most popular genealogy website in the world. Dan expressed interest in what we were doing, and with his tremendous background in direct marketing and his clear passion for genealogy he was a great fit. After several meetings, during which Dan demonstrated the depth and breadth of his understanding of the genealogy community, he accepted a position with as vice president of business development. I had the privilege of working closely with Dan for the next few years.

Since leaving Ancestry in 2001, Dan has worked as a consultant with such organizations as The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation and (UK), has appeared on national and local television several times, and has been published in many leading genealogy publications. He has become a top online affiliate for major genealogy companies, and his website,, ranks No. 1 on Google, Yahoo!, and MSN ( for the phrase "1930 census". When he told me he was writing this book, my instincts told me this had the potential to be the best-selling genealogy book of all time. I thought it might outsell the very popular Netting Your Ancestors by the well-known Cyndi Howells, and perhaps in a few years, even catch up to Genealogical Helper by Everton Publishers, which has sold 1.2 milion copies in 11 editions, over a 50-year period.

As an internet entrepreneur since 1995, and knowing what I do about search engines and genealogy, I didn't expect to learn anything new when I read the manuscript cover to cover. But Dan delivered. I found myself several times shaking my head in disbelief that I've used Google since 1999 and didn't know several of the keys to successful research, from date range searches to historic newspaper archives to advanced wildcard searches. This book will help you understand some of the most powerful and sometimes hidden features of the world's best search engine by teaching you the simple commands and approaches that unlock this power.

And, that is the magic of this book. It takes one of the most common Internet experiences—a Google search—and puts it in a new light, making it seem brand new. I vouch for its usefulness for both the serious web searcher as well as someone that is new to the world of Google.

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