I didn’t want to pay for a membership to Mocavo, but it can be useful even without the paid subscription. This site is a search engine but it focuses on genealogy searches so you don’t end up with all the clutter that searching a name on Google brings.
Since I once signed up for a free trial, Mocavo sends me reminders and links frequently. I click on those and it shows a thumbnail view of what it found. When you click on that, the site asks you to subscribe.
At that point, most searchers just say “darn” and abandon it. Look again at the snippet it shows you. If it looks like a match for the person you seek, you can use the clues it provides to sometimes find the same information on Google.
Here’s an example of how it helped me. My search was “Abraham Tower.” It brought up this:
Full text of “History of Dubois County from its primitive days to 1910″
… H. Burt, Abraham B. Tower, John … later Governor Hovey, was its colonel. It served its country in Missouri, Tennessee, Arkansas, Mis- sissippi, Louisiana, Alabama, and Texas. It took part in the sieges …
This is somewhat cryptic but I wanted to read the whole passage. As usual, I couldn’t click through to see the content. I took this phrase “Full text of “History of Dubois County from its primitive days to 1910″ and searched it in Google. That brought up a site with the full text of the book for me to read online. I could even search within the text.
I found that Abraham Bates Tower was a charter member of the E.R. Hawn Post #266 of the G.A.R. that was located in Birdseye, Indiana. It was chartered 28 December 1883. Other charter members were Eleven R. Huff, S.M. Nash, S.V.C., E.H. Baxter, John W. Mason, E.E. Inman, Robert McMahel and Fred Miller.
This was useful information for me, showing where my ancestor was in 1883 and that he was active in the G.A.R.