I begin virtually every search with Google. I don’t own stock in Google, or have any particular love for the search engine; however, there is no denying the overall search power of Google and the simple ease by which anyone can use the tool. That said, Google offers more than just basic search engine. There are many useful tools available from Google, beyond the basic search capabilities, and no one better to explain their value to genealogists then Lisa Louise Cooke’s. Her book, The Genealogist’s Google Toolbox: A Genealogist’s Guide to the Most Powerful Free Online Research Tools Available, offers thorough coverage of Google tools useful to genealogists.

While Google may have started as a basic engine, the additional tools Google provides for free makes it an excellent, all-around research assistant. Google Alerts for up to the minute web tracking, free email for all through Gmail, iGoogle is a search dashboard for your own system, Google Books, Google News, Google Translate, YouTube, Google Earth, and more. These tools can help the Genealogist improve and expand their research. But, does one learn to use all of these tools? More so, how can these tools be used together for research synergy? The Genealogist’s Google Toolbox is the perfect guidebook to successfully using all the above listed Google tools in your family history research.

According to Cooke, this volume is “right up to date,” giving the latest information about using the features of Google. This is a great guidebook, in that it’s heavily illustrated and geared toward showing the genealogist how to use many of the free online “tools” that Google has made available to us. The use of the “tools” is laid out in a step-by-step manner that anyone can follow. The first 5 chapters all deal with Google’s Search abilities, followed by chapters on Google Alerts, Gmail, iGoogle, Books, News Timeline, Translation, YouTube & Video, Google Earth (in all its glory!), Family History Tour Maps, and an amazing “How to” index at the back.


Table of Contents


Chapter 1 — Caffeine & Search Options Column

Chapter 2 — Basic & Advances Search

Chapter 3 — Search Strategies for High-Quality Results

Chapter 4 —Site Search & Resurrecting Web Sites

Chapter 5 — Image Search

Chapter 6 — Google Alerts

Chapter 7 — Gmail

Chapter 8 — iGoogle – Your Personal Genealogy Homepage

Chapter 9 — Google Books

Chapter 10 — Google News Timeline

Chapter 11 — Google Translate & Translation Toolkit

Chapter 12 — YouTube and Google Video

Chapter 13 — Google Earth Overview

Chapter 14 — Google Earth – Ancestral Homes and Locations

Chapter 15 — Google Earth – Organizing, Naming, and Sharing

Chapter 16 — Google Earth – Historic Maps and Images

Chapter 17 — Google Earth – Plotting Your Ancestor’s Homestead

Chapter 18 — Google Earth – Fun with Images and Video

Chapter 19 — Family History Tour Maps

Appendix — Find it Quick: The “How To” Index


Order your own copy of, or give as a gift, The Genealogist’s Google Toolbox from Family Root Publishing; Price: $24.50.