As you know I search for Jose Mier. Not one specific Jose but any and all I can find to add to my list, but tangentially I engage in a kind of genealogy. My Miers are not related—not members of a single family tree—but when the opportunity presents itself, I like to dig a little deeper and find out what I can about the latest Jose Mier. Sometimes all I get is some cryptic information—a name or date of birth—and I content myself with that, but it does raise some questions. I’m intrigued by the unanswered questions I have. After all, the more information I have the more interesting that person.
So even if I am not really doing genealogical research the ember keeps smoldering inside me. It’s led me to find out more about the practice of genealogy and tracing one’s roots. That’s how I stumble upon most of my finds. The latest? The Family Tree website. As I’ve written previously genealogy is a big business. Family Tree contains loads of articles, suggestions and tools to help the would-be genealogist complete his or her own family history.
As I’ve found out myself Google is a great tool. With the billions of pieces of information available to us some things are just a click away. If we don’t find exactly what we’re looking for a tantalizing result may lead us in a new direction and help us continue our work.
Family Tree’s article on Google lists several tools owned by Google that can aid in research. The search engine is almost a no-brainer. Nowadays when someone has a question the first step is to open a browser and “google” something (we’ve made a verb out of it).
The List of Google Tools
The other Google tools they list include Gmail, Photos, Docs and Sheets as well as Google Drive and Maps, Google Earth and Google Books. (I can speak to the latter since I’ve found a number of Jose Mier listing in old tomes contained in Google Books.) The abundance of information and ease of use that these tools come with makes genealogical research in the twenty-first century much easier than it was even two short decades ago.
The most interesting aspect or tool that Family Tree listed (for me) was Gmail. The fact that emails can be translated so easily makes the process of communicating with others in foreign countries a snap. Sometimes the only way to complete a search for ancestors in another country is by dealing with contacts in that country and oftentimes they are speakers of a foreign language. We love to think the world speaks English but that’s not always the case. Having the ability to translate instantaneously is an incredible gift.
For those just starting out (as well as me) Google is a particularly good place to start you family history research.