What Are They Looking For? Redux

It’s time for a much needed humor break, so welcome to the 2nd annual Festival of Strange Search Terms.  In August, 2009, I unleashed a flurry of amazingly bizarre yet true search terms that people used to “find” this blog in What are They Looking For? I have not been faithful at keeping track of the daily search terms and saving the “good” ones to make fun of publicize here – the free WordPress statistics thingy doesn’t archive every term and only counts the most recent unless you have many searches for the same terms.  Candidates for those multiple searches are not the, ahem, Exciting Topics but the “normal” searches like “Gene Kelly” (over 2,500 in the past year), Philadelphia marriage records (over 1,200), “meaning of What’s Past is Prologue” (300, usually around exam time), and the name of my childhood friend who I’ve only mentioned in two photo captions (34).  But I really should check every day because I’m guaranteed a chuckle a few times a week at the very least.  Once again, I’m amazed that people enter these phrases into the search engine of their choice.  And I’m amazed that they somehow wind up here using those phrases.  May I now present you with the best of the strange, odd, and downright scary search terms that have brought many visitors here in 2010 (note: these are actual search terms used):


can’t find marriage – Yeah, me neither.  Do you really have to rub it in?

renegade records philadelphia – Well, I’m certainly intrigued.  I’d love to learn more about these records myself…I’m sure I have a few renegades in my family!

someone came on a boat to united states – Here’s a hint…you might want to be a teensy bit more specific if you’re seaching for your ancestor.  I’ve heard there were actually lots of people that came on a boat to the United States.

only had six great great grandparents – Hmm.  I’m pretty sure you had sixteen unless there was quite a bit of either incest or first-cousin marriages.


german man – I really hope this wasn’t a beginner genealogist’s first attempt at a query!

my ancestors that are from the past – As opposed to your ancestors that are from the future?

unusual situation – I’ve mentioned a few in this blog, but you are looking for one because…?

what + (past)? – Haven’t + (clue)!


super-finder of passenger arrival record – Yes, that’s me!  How may I help you?

name labeling for babies – Labeling?!

family portrait dog 60’s – Many genealogists search for portraits of their ancestors.  Or their dogs.

regal family photo shoot – Oh, they must have been looking for the final photo on this post.

patron saint of parking – Thanks to Dr. Danko’s comment, I’ll get this one a lot from now on.

facebook from the past – I’m fairly certain my grandparents didn’t have Facebook back in the 1930s.


recruitment posters american revolution – Did they have them?  Wasn’t secrecy best when it comes to seditious rebellion?

shakespeare baptism act church – I can only wonder if the searcher wants to know about Shakespeare’s own baptism or one he wrote about.  Either/or, I’m relatively sure I didn’t write about it!

take me back to december 31, 1957 – Wait, let me gas up the Delorean!

what is “*” – Maybe this one belongs under “Make Me LOL”

may i ask what this is in regards to? – Funny, I have the same question!


the family of walburga schober – No, seriously, email me.  She’s my 4th great-grandmother!

So there you have it!  The next edition of this search term carnival will include more bizarre, freakish, and unusual ways that bring me more traffic!  If you’re a genealogy blogger, do you encounter these strange and unusual researchers?  Tell me about your best search terms!  Until next time, I remain the Queen and Super-Finder of Renegade Name-Labeled Regal Dog Portraits.  Hmm, let them find that the next time they search for an “unusual situation”!

6 thoughts on “What Are They Looking For? Redux

  1. Hi Donna,

    I like to look at these kinds of search terms too…I always wonder what these people were thinking.

    At least until I found myself typing a bizarre search term into Google the other day as weird as those you wrote about. I should have analyzed what was going on in my head when I wrote it, but I have the feeling nothing was going on in there at the time…I think that was the problem.

    A very funny post…as usual!

  2. Thanks for the chuckle! I should look at the search terms people use to get to my blog. I haven’t done that in a long, long time. Or maybe I should wait till I’m having a bad day and I need a good laugh… I’ll bet there will be some good ones!

  3. Pingback: Dziwne zapytania z wyszukiwarek | mrog::blog

  4. The above link is from my friend Maciej’s blog – obviously in Polish. He decided to do the same thing with the search terms for his blog. Now, I don’t read Polish very well, so I ran his page through Google Translate. If you thought the search terms were funny, you ought to see how funny the “translation” is!

  5. This would have been a good exercise for my English students in what it takes to get where you want to go. Oh, I think we called that something like “syntax.”

    Thanks for a good hoot!


  6. It gets better and better. First on my list for my next edition of Strange Search Terms is one I received today: “map of where most of the germans live in germany”. Things that make you go, “Hmmm…..” LOL

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