Google Search Success for Genealogy - July 2023

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1 unit
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Whether you're just beginning to learn the vast capabilities of Google search or are an experienced web-junkie looking to leverage tools like YouTube and Google Books, this 4-week class on using Google for your genealogy research is right up your alley.

July 24, 2023 - August 20, 2023

Learn how to dramatically reduce unwanted search results and vastly improve the quality of those results. This course is packed with what you need to know to find more information, faster. You’ll start in Lesson 1 by learning what has changed in the world of Google Search. Then you’ll follow a specific Google search process designed for genealogy that will ensure you don’t miss a thing. You’ll learn about the unique tools you can use in your search query to explain to Google precisely what it is you are looking for.

After mastering Google search, in Lesson 2 you’ll learn how to use your new skills to find exciting and free videos at YouTube. You’ll be amazed to discover videos that can help you be a better researcher, provide context to your ancestors’ lives, and may even include your ancestors!

In Lesson 3 you’ll use your skills to dig into the virtual shelves of Google Books. There you will find historical books, magazines, periodicals, city directories, catalogs and even newspapers. You’ll learn how to use the built-in tools to capture and share specific text, and tips for quickly finding unique items such as maps and photos.

You’ll wrap up your search experience in Lesson 4 at Google Images. You’ll learn the unique features of Google Image Search and how to use them to find and possibly identify images and photos relating to your family history.

At the end of this course you’ll find yourself saying, “I thought I knew how to Google, but now I really know how to Google!”

What You Will Learn:

  • A step-by-step process for googling
  • How to effectively use search operators
  • How to alter your queries based on the type of search you are conducting
  • The secret to googling ancestors with common names
  • How to turn a discovery into more discoveries
  • What to look for at YouTube, Google Books
  • How to run reverse image search with Google Images
  • How to get the most from these different Google platforms
  • Unique and hidden features to look for and how to use them


Course Outline

Lesson 1: The Google Search Process and Strategies

  1. Behind the scenes of search
  2. Search goals
  3. The Google search process for genealogy
  4. How to formulate your search plan
  5. How to build an effective search query
  6. Search guidelines to remember
  7. Search operators
  8. Using the Advanced Search page
  9. Analyzing your results
  10. Revising and improving your results
  11. Capitalizing on results to make more discoveries

Lesson 2: YouTube’s Limitless Possibilities

  1. What to look for at YouTube
  2. Navigating YouTube
  3. Applying the Google search process to YouTube
  4. Customizing your search for YouTube
  5. How to capitalize on the videos you find to find more
  6. Exciting examples of video discoveries and how they were found

Lesson 3: Mining for Family History at Google Books

  1. Google Books – an overview
  2. Types of content available
  3. Accessing the content and understanding the various book views
  4. How to filter results
  5. Using the Advanced Search page
  6. How to navigate books
  7. How to download, share and clip text, pages or books

Lesson 4: Picture Your Ancestors Using Google Images

  1. What is Google Images
  2. Finding the Best Approach to Image Search
  3. How to Get the Best Google Images Results
  4. How to Narrow Down an Image Search to Only Old Photos
  5. Permission to Use Images Found with Google Images
  6. Reverse Image Searching
  7. How to Use Google Image Search on Mobile

Meet the instructor:

Lisa Louise Cooke is the producer and host of the Genealogy Gems Podcast and the weekly YouTube show Elevenses with Lisa (both available at her website She’s the author of five books including The Genealogist’s Google Toolbox 3rd Edition, and a podcast producer and instructor and columnist for Family Tree Magazine.


How do Family Tree University workshops work?

Take the course at your own pace! 

From the course start date, you’ll be able to log in to view and access your lessons and start interacting on the discussion boards. Your instructor will check in regularly to answer all of the questions and provide feedback. You will have access to your courses anytime, anywhere, with a computer, tablet or smartphone, and can study when it's most convenient for you.

After the course end date, the course will become read-only for one year. You will continue to have access through your dashboard to the materials, but the discussion boards will be closed. The materials are yours to keep. You can download them onto your desktop to access online or offline.

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