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The Top Genealogy Search Engines

written by: •edited by: Bill Fulks•updated: 10/17/2010

Online family tree research can be achieved with the right software and resources, but finding the right resources can be tricky. Using targeted genealogy search engines is a great way to quickly get to the answers.

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    Finding and Using Genealogy Search Engines

    Anyone researching family trees and genealogy should be aware of the vast selection of resources available to them online. Among these resources might be indexes, vendors of ancient maps, and newspaper archives.

    One of the most important tools for anyone researching genealogy is a search engine. This might be the search function on a census records website or a more general engine specializing in returning results from genealogy sites.

    It might even simply be a standard search engine that you have instructed to only search for specific search terms.

    Let’s take a look at the options!

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    Top Genealogy Search Engines

    CyndisList top genealogy search engine - This ad-heavy website doesn’t really provide any useful information until you get to the bottom half of the first page, but the Google-powered search functions provides excellent results. - Provides a selection of interesting tools, such as a surname finder and a variety of advanced Google search options. These can help you search newspapers and even for living people via online phone directories. You will also find search engines for those looking for African-American, Native American, Jewish, and Eastern European ancestors. – This top resource also features a search engine, enabling you to either search the entire World Wide Web or just the site itself. There are literally thousands of websites linked to from this key library of information. If you're not already aware of this website, you really should visit it straightaway!

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    Possible Results of Using Genealogy Search Engines

    Before going click happy on this collection of resources please bear in mind one thing – you might find yourself paying for access.

    The vast majority of genealogy search engines featured here have affiliate relationships with the popular family tree websites like, and as such your search may take you to a page of results on such a site. There is a good chance that clicking to view individual results might require you to sign up and that requires a fee. This is largely unavoidable, and is the current face of such websites.

    Beyond this possibility however, there are many search options on offer from these search engines.

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    Using Advanced Search Engine Options

    Intelligent use of the tools provided by Google will allow you to search the web itself for specific genealogy-related subjects.

    using the right search phrases can give better resuts For instance, you can use intelligent search terms – rather than searching for birth records in France, simply search for the term “french bmd" to return suitable search engine results.

    Meanwhile, if you wish to search one specific genealogy resource, use the website name in your search term. For instance if I was looking for London parishes at, I would enter in Google: London parishes

    These search tools should set you on a journey of fascinating genealogical discovery, all from the comfort of your PC or laptop – enjoy!