Google Genealogy: Range Search Operators

Google GenealogyBy Barry J. Ewell

The range search operators provide the ability to search information created between specific time periods. Details follow:

(..) Number Range Operator
Use the (..) number range search operator to search for documents/pages that contain numbers within a range. You can set numbers ranged for weights, dimensions, prices (dollar currencies only), and so forth. The Google search query can be written as follows:

  • (Text) (#)..(#)
  • (Text) (#)-(#)

You can use either two dots (..) or a hyphen (-) as the separator between the two number ranges. Make sure that there are no spaces before or after the separator. It is important to use a unit of measurement or some other word that indicates what the number range represents.

The following are examples of range searches:

  • ship passenger list 1880..1890 (Searches for ship lists between 1880 and 1990)
  • Jeremy Hansen obituary 1930..1935 (Searches for obituary between 1930 and 1935)
  • Roger Dewitt Pennsylvania 1901..1940 (Searches for Roger between 1901 and 1940)
  • $250..$500 laptops (Finds laptops that cost $250 to $500)
  • 14inch..17inch laptops (Finds laptops with screen sizes between 14 and 17 inches)
  • “science milestones”1910..1920 (Finds milestones in science that took place between 1910 and 1920)
  • president 1940..1950 (Finds the presidents between 1940 and 1950)
  • cars 30..50 mpg (Finds cars that get 30-50 miles per gallon)

Here are the same searches using the hyphen/dash as the separator.

  • $250-$500 laptops
  • 14inch-17inch laptops
  • “science milestones”1910-1920
  • president 1940-1950
  • cars 30-50 mpg

daterange: Operator
Use the “daterange:” operator which restricts the search to pages added or updated within a specified date range. Begin the query with “daterange:” Make sure there is no space between “daterange:” and the following number. When you use this search operator, Google will restrict the results to the pages that are within the date parameters provided. Dates can be written in one of two formats

Date format. YYYY-MM-DD (example: 2016-10-15 represents October 15, 2015). When you use this date format, separate the date ranges with two dots (..)

Julian date format. The Julian date represents the elapsed days from a particular date that happens to be January 1, 4713 BC. You can find the Julian date for any date by using a Julian online version tool. Enter “Julian Date Converter” into a Google search to find one.

For example, the Julian date for October 15, 2015 is 247311. Date ranges in this format should be separated with a hyphen (-)

I have used the “daterange:” operator to see if content specific to an ancestor or topic has been recently published or updated. The following is a sample of the date and Julian format for the date range January 1, 2016 to October 31, 2016:

  • Date search: Mary Jones daterange:2016-01-01..2016-10-31
  • Julian search: Mary Jones daterange:2457389-2457692