The web site Google Book Search is a vast site of digitized volumes that are online and available for your review. While some of the newer books only have excerpts available, there is a vast collection of older volumes for which copyrights have expired and are available in full format. With the proper techniques, you can find some rich volumes on early history of various region and even complete genealogies.
On the opening screen, at the end of the search bar you will see a link for Advanced Book Search. This is the one you want to use because it will be most useful for your purposes. Next to the button that says Google Search is a drop down box, check this box to return 100 results. Now under the blue bar, check the radio button next to Full View. The full view returns only results where the full text is available online. To give you an example, down the page where it says Subject, type in "genealogy" and hit search button at the top of the page. As you scan the search results you will find that there are even titles referring to England and Scotland, books about customs, and complete family genealogies.
Now go back to the search page and type in Virginia history, the first book that is in the list is "Makers of Virginia History." Click on the title and scan the table of contents. You will see that this book contains some valuable photographs and biographies of people important in Virginia History.
Now if you type "genealogy" in the subject box and in the blue shaded box that says "with all the words" type in Jones you will get results for genealogies that contain the last name Jones.
Google books is an invaluable resource for the genealogist, it is well worth the time to play around with the search features and find out exactly what it will do. I have enjoyed reading many local histories from this site and it has answered many questions I've had and raised others for research. These local histories often mention the names of relatives, or mention new ones. These are also valuable for the early photographs and even photographs of persons that they contain. So here is your gift to renew your genealogical spirit. Happy Hunting.
Source Information: GenWeekly, New Providence, NJ, USA: Genealogy Today LLC, 2008.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Genealogy Today LLC.
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