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.


The Genealogy Column at Boston Evening News

The Boston Evening News was published from 1830 to 1941. Between 1906 and 1941, it featured a genealogy column in which readers would submit and respond to queries. It is estimated that two million names had been included in those columns. This collection is part of the archives at the New England Historical and Genealogical Society.

Recently they partnered with FamilySearch to digitize the collection. Several weeks later the scanning was completed and the collection is now browsable at (the NEHGS website). The Vita Brevis blog has details on the collection and tips for using it to learn more about your family.


Eastern North Carolina Genealogy Society Quarterlies Digitized

NEW RESOURCES Some of the Quarterly Review of the Eastern North Carolina Genealogical Society has been digitized and put online. “15 volumes of the Quarterly Review of the Eastern North Carolina Genealogical Society are now available on DigitalNC, contributed by the New Bern-Craven County Public Library.” A database of Nordic women in filmmaking is expanding […]

Details at ResearchBUZZ

Georgias Roster of the Revolution cover

Ancestry Found

I was browsing Amazon to check out the latest genealogy books when I found these delicious jewels – the Ancestry Found collection of history and genealogy DVDs. There are currently 88 DVDs available. Each state has one, there are several British collections and a number of special interest DVDs too. The Georgia DVD contains 96 books including:

  • Georgia’s Roster of the Revolution, containing a list of the states defenders; officers and men; soldiers and sailors; partisans and regulars; whether enlisted from Georgia or settled in Georgia after the close of hostilities by the Georgia Dept of Archives – (1920) – 654 pages

  • Historical Collections of Georgia : containing the most interesting facts, traditions, biographical sketches, anecdotes, etc. relating to its history and antiquities, from its first settlement to the present time ; compiled from original records and official documents ; illustrated by nearly one hundred engravings of public buildings, relics of antiquity, historic localities, natural scenery, portraits of distinguished men, etc., etc. / by the Rev. George White – (1855) – 688 pages

  • History of Clinch County, Georgia, revised to date, giving the early history of the county down to the present time (1916): also complete lists of county officers, together with minor officers and also sketches of county officers’ lives; with chapters on the histories of old families of Clinch County; also other information as is historical in its nature, by Folks Huxford – (1916) – 306 pages

Each of the books and publications included in these DVDs is a scanned copy of the original saved in searchable PDF format. They can be viewed on any computer.

Most of the DVDs sell for $5.95 with a $3.99 shipping charge. There are some special collections and multi-disk sets costing more. For example, the 5-disc Civil War collection is $12.95.

All of the publications and books included in these CDs are now in the public domain and it’s very probable that you can find any of them online to download at no cost. It would be easy if we knew the title and author of each publication. Ancestry Found has done the hard work of finding and scanning these books so we can easily find what we need.

Southern Bivouac

If you are researching Confederate ancestors, you might find these publications quite interesting. Southern Bivouac is a five-volume series published between 1882 and 1887 by the Southern Historical Association of Louisville. Their goal was to tell the stories of “private soldiers and ordinary people”.

The link takes you to the series at the Internet Archive. You can read/search the publications online or download copies in the format you choose.


GeneaPress: Doubles its Online Library to More Than 80,000 Digital Genealogy Books now provides online over 80,000 genealogy books and periodicals that are searchable and downloadable by Genealogy Gophers’ users for free. The online genealogy library has been built through a partnership with FamilySearch, and includes books and periodicals from their partner institutions such as the Allen County Public Library, the BYU Harold B. Lee Library, the Church History Library, the Family History Library, and the Houston Public Library.
The updated website has also recently been redesigned to include additional search features that make it easier for users to search for ancestors by name, date, and place, as well as to launch searches for and within specific family history publications.

GeneaPress: Doubles its Online Library to More Than 80,000 Digital Genealogy Books