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Today’s Tip:  I suggest you always give your searches ‘the one-two punch’!
Just like the palooka in the ring who sends his opponent to the canvas with the one-two combination, I suggest you just might have the same success with a one-two punch approach to your searches.
When I am looking for an ancestor, my first-punch is always a search with all of the most specific information I have.  I use first name, middle initial, birth and death info, geographical information, parents, etc.  I do this in Google, other general search engines, as well as more specific sites such as the OPC, Ancestry, Archives, Fold3 (old Footnote), GenealogyBank, Genealogical Associations and Societies, etc.  Often, this lands great information!
However, no matter what I find, I always follow up with my second-punch, an extremely general search of the same site, but only using perhaps the surname (if not uber-common) or the surname and an ititial and wildcard, etc.
This second-punch has often landed me some whoppers!  I find these general searches can bring up some alternative spellings, larger family groupings, potential relatives that I do not know yet, village names, etc.  
It takes some time and I will also go deep on these searches, but WOW have they brought me some great results, especially when you pair them up with what you have already found in your first-punch specific search.
Since I am not an expert in boolian logic, I don’t know why this combo seems to work and find differing items, but it always does for me.
So, put on your gloves, get in the ring, and when that bell sounds, come out of your corner swinging with your best one-two punch combination!  
I wish you good luck and good skills!
Onward To Our Past,
Scott

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