Google Tools for Genealogists: Four Resources to Enhance Your Family History

Go beyond simple web searches and take advantage of Google’s other built-in tools, which can be just as helpful for family tree research. This course will explore four of the tools best suited to help you with your genealogy: News Archive and Timeline, Book Search, YouTube and Google Earth.

This course is also available as independent study. Click here to learn more.

COURSE BEGINS: There are no sessions currently scheduled for this course. It is available as an Independent Study course, and as part of the Google Master Class course.
TUITION: $99.99 ($74.99 for VIP)
INSTRUCTOR: Lisa Louise Cooke (Bio)


  • What each tool does, and how to apply each tool to genealogy through sample searches and step-by-step instructions
  • How to identify historical books and articles about your family and view them online (or offline)
  • How to document your family history in multimedia and virtually visit and research ancestral places
  • Tactics to find genealogy-related videos and create a personal “library” of helpful research footage


  • People who want to enhance their online research beyond basic searching
  • People who would like to gain confidence in navigating the web


  • A free Google account (sign-up instructions will be provided)
  • This course assumes you understand the basics principles of genealogy and have done some investigation into your family history. If you are a total beginner, consider taking the Discover Your Family Tree course before enrolling in this class.
  • Students should have a basic understanding of how to use their computer and the web. If you’re new to the web, consider taking our Computer Boot Camp class first.

Lesson 1: Google News Archive

Praise for this Class

“I loved taking this course. It was so well laid out, with plenty of information to help with my research. The content and assignments made me dig deep for back stories.”

  • Overview of Google News Archive
    • Types of content
  • The Timeline feature
  • Sample search
    • Basic family history themed search
    • Incorporating the timeline into the search
  • Advanced archive search
  • Keys to success
  • Exercise

Lesson 2: Google Books

  • Overview of Google Books
    • Types of book content
    • Accessing content
      • Type of book views
  • Sample search
    • Advanced search
    • Viewing books
    • Viewer tools
    • Search within the book
  • Keys to success
  • Exercise

Lesson 3: YouTube

  • Overview of YouTube
    • Concentrating on the search
    • Beyond search
    • Playlists
    • Favorites
    • Video sharing
  • Sample search
  • Keys to success
  • Quiz

Lesson 4: Google Earth

  • Overview of Google Earth
    • Downloading and installing the program
    • Getting around Google Earth
    • Navigation
    • Search panel
    • Places panel
    • Layers panel
  • Locating ancestral homes and locations
  • Historical imagery and map overlays
  • Photos
  • The power of street view
  • Family history tour maps
    • Placemarks
    • Adding photos
    • Adding paths
    • Saving your map
    • Recording and playing
  • Keys to success
  • Exercise

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