Genealogy Search Tips

Google and the Search for William Anderson

A visitor to this site asked about an obituary for William Anderson who was born in Mason County, Kentucky in 1806. We decided to try and find some information and started our search using Google.

We went to Google and keyed in "william anderson" 1806 kentucky mason. We didn't use birth, born, county or other potential keywords because we wanted to limit the search results. Our Google search returned about 52,900 results.

We looked at the first 3 pages containing the top 30 results and clicked some of the results that looked promising. We found a February 2008 post on the Anderson Mailing Lists archives at and we also noted that the April, 2011 Comment that appeared on this website appeared in the Google search results as well.

Here is part of what the February, 2008 post said: "...William Anderson born in Mason County, KY in 1806 and died in Norton Kansas in 1888. The birth & death dates were taken from William's tomb stone in the Norton Kansas Cemetery."

The post continued and provided an undated obituary for a William Anderson that appeared in the Norton Kansas Courier. According to the post this obituary was probably not for the William Anderson born in 1806 in Kentucky but it could possibly be the obituary for his father. We read the other posts in the thread but didn't find any additional information.

So we searched for "william anderson" 1806 kentucky mason in the rootsweb mailing list archives and received 38 matches from 37,890,278 documents searched at rootsweb. We discovered the name of William's wife, the date of his marriage, the names and birth dates of his children but no obituary.

So we went back to Google and searched for Norton Kansas Courier - the newspaper that published the obituary mentioned above. We also noted above that William Anderson was buried in the Norton Kansas Cemetery. We added the word newspaper and so our search was for Norton Kansas Courier newspaper. We looked through the results and found the Norton Telegram online but it didn't list any source for pre 1900 information.

So we searched for norton kansas historical newspapers 1888 and found the Kansas Historical Society and a list of Norton County newspapers on microfilm. Visit the Kansas Historical Society where you will find a number of Norton County newspapers with 1888 editions on microfilm.

Genealogy Search Tip

Find a Death Date

Bible records are a good source for your ancestor's death dates. They are also very credible sources because the death dates were usually recorded at the time of the death.

Family Bibles are most likely in the possession of one of your ancestor's descendents but sometimes copies or transcriptions of the records can be found online or at local libraries or genealogical societies.

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