Finding the Karpinski Family: Step 3, The Cursory Online Search, Part 1

Please check out step 1 and step 2, if you have not already read them.

Step 3

You now have all of your information together and have spoken to any relatives related to your subject search, it is now time to broaden your horizons to the internet.  Every month, more and more information is placed online for genealogists, saving us time and money.   Additionally, despite what shows such as “Who Do You Think You Are?” show, most genealogists do not have the money to jump on a plane and go to the archives of a small village in their homeland.  Many of those archives will also tell you that their information is available online or through the LDS Family History Centers.  Traveling to distant (and not so distant) locales and seeing where your ancestors lived and worked is rewarding and enjoyable, but it is best to start at home and expand as needed.

Time for a Research Log

Over the course of your research you will look at hundreds of websites, books and documents.  Some of these will have information you want or need and some will not.  It is important to keep track of these items so you do not repeat your search and so that you have the correct source citations for every piece of information you have.  Often times, what you do not find in a document is just as important as what you do.

This is where a research log comes in.  There are a variety of research logs you can find on the internet and in genealogy books and programs.  Programs such as excel, RefWorks or EverNote also work for this purpose.  I prefer to keep all of my information in the notes section of my genealogy program.  The best research logs is the one that you will actually keep up with.  Start this at the beginning of your research and you will be ahead of 99% of the other genealogists I have met.

The Cursory Online Search: Recommended Sites

There are a billion websites which change daily; how do you know where to start?  Some of my favorite sites to begin looking at are:

You can search for a surname (particularly if it is an unusual one), a person’s full name or something such as “surname AND genealogy” “surname AND Buffalo, New York” or “surname AND birth year”.  Make sure to check out advanced search options and to view the help or FAQ for Boolean search options, which are different for every site.

My Cursory Online Searches

The Cursory Online Search: Karpinski

The Cursory Online Search: Szydlik

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