Thursday, February 21, 2008

Google Toolbar Site Search

In addition to the Google Toolbar Word Find Highlighter to immediately pinpoint all occurrences of word or surname on long web pages, the Google Site Search is another great use for the Google Toolbar when genealogy searching. You can use it to:

  • Search a site that doesn't have its own search engine. You will find that many smaller genealogy sites, and surprisingly some larger sites, do not have a site search.

  • Search a site whose site's search doesn't work very well. One example of a site search that doesn't work very well is the free library. See Searching the Library Using the Google Toolbar.

Download the free Google Toolbar. When the Google Toolbar is installed on your computer, it automatically appears along with the Internet Explorer toolbar.

Once the Google Toolbar is installed on your computer, go to Settings, then Options on the Toolbar to choose the options you want displayed on your toolbar. I highly recommend "Search Site" under the "Options" tab and "Highlight" and "WordFind" under the Buttons tab.

I also like the Google Toolbar pop-up blocker. Can't imagine surfing the web without it.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Using Google Picasa's Sort to Find Photos on your Computer

Picasa, Google's Free Photo Organizer, locates all the photos and images on your computer and organizes them for easy finding.

Use Picasa to keep your scanned photos organized for free.

The folders of photos in Picasa are organized by year created, but if you have a large number of photos on your computer, it can sometimes be helpful to change the sort to more easily find a photo. You can change the sort order of all of your folders in Picasa by clicking on View > Folder View > then select
  • Sort by Creation Date,
  • Sort by Recent Changes,
  • Sort by Size, or
  • Sort by Name.

If you don't know the year, selecting Sort by Name will arrange your files alphabetically and remove the year markers.

You can also sort your photos within an album or folder. Right click on a folder or choose Folder > Sort by. You can then sort your photos by
  • Name,
  • Date, or
  • Size.

Examining the photos by a different sort order not only helped me find the photos I was looking for , but also helped me discover duplicate photos I had taking up computer space I needed.

In addition to changing the sort order to find photos, you can search for photos by album, photo name, caption, keyword, or by color using the Picasa search box in the upper right corner.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Most Popular Male Names

A while back, I did a post on the Most Popular Female Names in the 1990 US census. I thought it was time to give equal time to the boy names. Here is a list of the most popular male names on the 1990 US census. This is a very different list from the most popular baby names of today because the 1990 census lists includes all ages - from newborns to those who are over 100 - everyone who was on the 1990 census Most Popular Male First Names on 1990 US Census

  1. JAMES
  2. JOHN
  6. DAVID
  10. THOMAS
  12. DANIEL
  13. PAUL
  14. MARK
  15. DONALD
  16. GEORGE
  18. STEVEN
  19. EDWARD
  20. BRIAN
Compare these names to the top 20 male names today, and you can see how a persons first name may help place his birthdate.  Scroll down on that page and you can see the popular names by region and decade which may give birth clues to some names in your family tree.

You can go to the US 1990 census database at httpp:// to search for the popularity of your own name.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Google Currency Conversion

In my genealogy research, I inevitably am writing to someone in Europe where the language, currency, and time zone are all different.

I can get help translating with the Google Translation Dictionary and Google Search Translation and get help with Google time zone conversions. Now, Google's searchbox can be used as a currency converter.

Google Currency Convertor

The format is:

pounds in dollars

where Google gives the following results:

1 British pound = 1.9486 U.S. dollars

So, if I am told a book I want to buy costs 50 euros, I can enter into the Google searchbox

50 euros in dollars

and Google answers

50 Euros = 72.49 U.S. dollars

Even if you don't know the name of the currency in a country, you can still use the Google Currency Convertor.

The format is:

currency of romania in usd


currency of romania in US dollars

The answer from Google

1 Romanian lei = 0.389681 U.S. dollars

Another way to ask the same thing:

romanian money in us money

For the Google currency calculator, the words money and currency are interchangeable.

Google helps make conversions a little simpler in my pursuit of family history. Other Google Conversion Helps :