Insight #4 Search is a Game of Probabilities
As the previous example demonstrated, searching for a rare name line Ezra Pound is fundamentally much easier than searching for a common name like John Smith. This leads us to a useful insight when searching for your ancestors. Focus on the ancestors that have the least common name.
By least common, we don’t necessarily mean choosing your ancestor that has the least common family name. We mean the ancestor who has a combination of first, middle and last names that is the least common. Find that ancestor and then use the information you glean from that search result to look for other ancestors in the same family.
Insight #5 – The Shortcoming of Quotes
One commonly held notion of genealogy searches that is often repeated is to enter your ancestor’s names in quotes. There have been many articles and several books on the topic that suggest the best way to find your ancestors is to enter their names in the form shown below.
Putting your ancestor's name in quotes is the traditional way to search online.
The reason this approach is generally suggested is the logical thinking that most ancestral records are of the form <first name last name> or <last name, first name>. That may be true in a physical archive but on the internet, that is not really true.