The FreeFind search engine provides a useful tool for searching the Family Ties web site. However, like most search engines, it is not fail safe. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
Choosing your "words":
Entering the name "Laura Engels" or "Laura+Engels" will return a number of entries or "hits". Unfortunately on this site they are all for the name "Laura" with no "Engels". The search engine responded to the "Laura" keyword, giving you the false impression that you might find a "Laura Engels". Using only the surname as your keyword would tell you immediately there are no Engels entries on this site.
Using your browser's "Find" feature:
Once you vist the designated page, use the Find feature on your Internet Explorer or Netscape browser. One way to access "Find" is to click on the "Edit" in your browser's toolbar at the top of the browser window, then select "Find". Or use the shortcut: hold down the "Control" key while clicking the letter "F". When the Find box appears type the name/word that you are searching. If the word appears on that page, it will be highlighted. Be sure to click again, as it may appear in more than one place on that page. Using the Find feature will save you time skimming the page.
Don't assume anything!
When using the Find box, do not assume that the way you are typing the name is how it appears on the page. A FreeFind site search for "William Keehne" turns up a number of hits. Upon visiting the Keehne family page, however, typing "William Keehne" into the Find box shows an ominous "!" and "Finished searching the document". This translates to "NO MATCHES". Do not give up hope :) The entry on the page is actually typed "William Henry Keehne" and Find does not equate the two variations. When using the Find box for a specific page, you might want to type the
first or given name, without the surname. Doing so on the Keehne page would highlight several entries: William Lester, William Humes, William Henry Kearey, as well as the target: "William Henry Keehne".
More than just a name: Your searches do not need to be limited to the names of individuals, you can search for just about anything, from placenames to census indexes. However, do keep in mind the limitations of the search engine itself.
Site Map: The FreeFind program also provides a Site Map of Family Ties. The map gives you a bird's eye view of topics available on this site.
Suggestions: As you use both the FreeFind search engine and your browser's Find box, please pass along any suggestions on how to more effectively use these devices.