Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Tuesday's Tip - Census & Google Alerts

Last summer I attended the online webinar Google Alerts for Genealogists on High-Definition Genealogy by Thomas MacEntee.

Shortly afterwards I created an assortment of alerts using Google Reader. This simple tool has revealed an amazing amount of information. From genealogy articles, blogs and webinar announcements. There is no question the alerts have kept me connected and furthered my learning.

Today one of the most interesting alerts showed up on the site. Several weeks ago I created the "hindsley" + "census" alert. My goal was to see if 1940 U.S. Census information for the Hindsley family would be captured.

This morning the following alert was listed in Google Reader.

Robert Hindsley in the 1940 Census | Ancestry.com

View Robert Hindsley's 1940 US census record to find family members, occupation details & more. Access is free so discover Robert's story today.

Clicking the link lead to the following information on Ancestry.

Robert Hindsley in the 1940 Census

Age16, born abt 1924
Home in 1940
New Castle, Delaware
Household MembersAge
HeadThomas Hindsley 39
WifeFlorence Hindsley 35
DaughterRuth Hindsley 19
SonThomas Hindsley 18
SonRobert Hindsley 16
SonDonald Hindsley 14
DaughterJoyce Hindsley 10
…and 2 others (view record).
So exciting when a plan works! Next up is to discover how many ancestors actually show up in Google Reader.

Here are a few links helpful links to get you started.

Automate Your Google Searches - Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter

Google Alerts - Automated Web Searches for Genealogists - RootsWeb

Using Google Alerts in The 30CD : YouTube Video

Off to stay alert with additional ancestors. Happy hunting!


  1. Google Alerts is absolutely the greatest tool, but as with all tools, adding a little skill in use can make all the difference. I first learned about Google Alerts during my daughter's debate team days in high school. We quickly found that having an "Advanced Search" mentality helped decrease the number of extraneous hits--but there were always those out-of-the-blue alternative uses for words that we thought had only one kind of meaning! As in real-life searches for my "Flowers" family ancestors, for instance, I have to employ terms that help limit the results yielded or I get flooded with not-so-helpful hits.

  2. Jacqi,

    I agree, you need to use a wee bit of skill when creating the searches. One of the family line's is Ruth. That causes all types of trouble. Have you tried using "surname"? Was wondering if that could help bring down some of the results.

  3. Yes, Deb. I imagine you have to use something like "surname Ruth not "Babe" or something like that! Have to admit I have not been brave enough to cope with setting up alerts for all the "Jones" family yet!!

    This is a great idea, though! Adding "census" is the charm, that I will do!

  4. Wow this is really a helpful tip. Thanks for sharing!

  5. I love using Google Alerts with my genealogy. Now when I have a search term I check for in Google I don't have to remember to re-check it later when new pages have gotten indexed. I just create a Google Alert.

    By the way, I see according to Geneabloggers, today is the second anniversary of when you starteed blogging. Happy Blogiversary.

    Regards, Jim
    Genealogy Blog at Hidden Genealogy Nuggets