Google Alerts: A Powerful Family History Tool

I set up Google alerts to tell me when Google finds anything on the web containing the names of my ancestors. It picks up a lot of spam sites, but probably 2-3 times a month it comes up with something good. Last Sunday I checked my alerts and it had a link to a BYU record of LDS immigrants in the pioneer days. To make a long story short, I found excerpts from a diary of my great great grandpa, William Henry Freshwater.  I didn’t even know he kept a diary.

The reference quoted on the site was to a book I knew I’d seen once at the local library, so I checked it out and found an even longer excerpt of his journal. If anyone out there knows where the rest of his journal can be found, PLEASE TELL ME!!! If you know of a site, send me a link. If you have access to actual hand-written books, I’ll bring my digital camera, and in 20 minutes make a full digital copy of it. I’ll even give you a CD of the digitized version so you can share it with others if you want.

Anyway, I’ll post the excerpt of his journal right after this entry and call it, The Diary of William H. Freshwater.

Gotta love modern technology. It is completely reshaping our approach to family history!

By the way, if anyone would like to learn how to set up a similar Google Alert system for your own ancestors, I’ll be glad to post a simple step-by-step tutorial. Just let me know!