Roots to the Past

Diana Tibert
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Updating your search

Some websites are launched on the Internet and that's where they sit, day after day, year after year. Their hosts had something to say or to share, and, once done, the website never changes. Like everything on the Internet, it remains forever unless the server shuts down. Even then, the website was probably cached by Google or stored in some other closet (such as the Wayback Machine) for perpetual viewing.

However, many websites grow and expand at an amazing rate with new content added on a weekly or even daily basis. The majority though are updated monthly or yearly. How can you tell if a website has been updated, and if so, what new content has been added? Usually the date of the last update is noted at the bottom of the home page. Many websites have a "What's New" page, so visitors know immediately what's been added since their last visit.

Individuals can learn about updates by subscribing to update notices, by being on genealogy mailing lists where announcements are posted, or by occasionally visiting the site. Some websites, such as Cyndi's Lists ( are constantly being updated, so check back on a regular basis.

I try and visit informative sites a few times a year. Although, I admit, sometimes I forget. When I do remember, I'm usually pleasantly surprised by new search results. For example, when I saw the notice posted to a genealogy list that the Nova Scotia Historical Vital Statistics site was updated, I searched the new data for a family connection. I found several records I had not previously viewed.

Another reason to revisit websites, even those that haven't been updated, is that you may have new surnames or new information that may lead to further finds within its pages.

If you're like me and have an uncommon name, you've Googled it a few times in the past. If you haven't run the search lately, you should do it again. It's surprising what is added in just a few months. Below is a short list of websites and their most recent updates.

Atlantic Canada History ( Last Update: May.

Newfoundland Grand Banks ( Last Updated: July 26: A link to recent updates is near the bottom.

Nova Scotia Historical Vital Statistics ( Last Update: July 14: The births (1909), marriages (1934) and deaths (1959) have been added, increasing the database by 26,693 records. This includes the delayed registrations for those born in 1909, but not recorded at that time.

Parish of Pennfield, Charlotte County, N.B. ( Last Updated: July 23: Click the What's New button to see what was recently added.

Provincial Archives of New Brunswick ( Last Update: May 17. Check out their What's New section for new additions to the website.

To find websites that have seemed to have gone the way of the dodo bird, search using the Wayback Machine ( This site has captured the history of the World Wide Web and has archived it for your use. It contains "56 billion captures of over 10 billion web pages from as far back as 1996."

Diana Lynn Tibert is a freelance writer living in Milford. Submit a query. It's free!: RR#1 Milford, Hants County, NS, B0N 1Y0; email:


Organizations: Google, Nova Scotia Historical Vital Statistics, Newfoundland Grand Banks World Wide Web

Geographic location: Atlantic Canada, Milford, Charlotte New Brunswick Hants County

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