Meet the Genealogy Gophers

Did you know that there are thousands of digitized family histories, regional and local histories, genealogy magazines along with how-to books, gazetteers, newsletters, and medieval histories freely available online? Organizations like Project Gutenberg, FamilySearch, Internet Archive, Google Books and educational institutions have been hard at work for years. That’s both good news and bad news. While there are a lot of freely-accessible publications available, finding them can be a challenge. That’s where Genealogy Gophers comes in. The Gophers have built an amazing search engine that will not only find the publication, but find – and display – the information that matches your search. In the example below, I’m looking for information about my ancestor, John Lewis Gervais, in South Carolina.

Sample Search Results

 

Within seconds I had two pages of results with excerpts showing the information matching my search. Clicking the title will display a screen that includes source information for that publication along with a reader opened to the page where the information on my ancestor appears.

the reader screen

In this example, there is only one page referencing my ancestor. The orange pointer you see at the bottom of the reading window is a bookmark to that page. In publications where there are multiple results, you will see additional pointers. Click on a pointer to move to that page. There are also controls to navigate forward and backward in this book, enlarge or reduce the view and more. Notice the link at the top of the reader to download a PDF copy of the publication.

Genealogy Gophers is free if you don’t mind responding to a number of surveys. If you don’t like surveys, a $19.95/year subscription will remove them.

 

Using PERSI for Genealogy Success

Using PERSI for Genealogy SuccessWhat Is PERSI?

PERSI, an acronym that stands for the “periodical source index,” is the largest subject index in the world for genealogy and local history periodical articles.“

It literally is your world into thousands and thousands, if not millions, of pages of published family historical work,” said Taylor. “PERSI includes all sorts of databases and data sets that have been produced by societies and other organizations for many, many years.”PERSI currently offers more than 2.5 million subject level entries and is updated on a quarterly basis. As more and more publications are indexed and as newer publications are added, the PERSI database grows.“

And PERSI isn’t just for the United States,” says Taylor. “It covers society publications in Canada, in Ireland, in Great Britain, and all over the world. So it’s a fantastic resource for you, even if you’re looking beyond U.S. genealogy.”

Learn more about Using PERSI for Genealogy Success at the FamilySearch blog.