This article’s title “eBooks from Google eBooks and Internet Archive: A researcher’s gold mine!” aptly describes how I feel about including ebooks and online publications and libraries in my genealogy research.
Some of my best finds have come through using the Google genealogy research tools.
I believe in using primary sources as much as possible in my genealogy research. This is the only way to be sure the data is 100% accurate and safe to use.
Anyone looking at the sources in my genealogy database (see menu link above) will see that I consistently categorize the sources I use according to their quality.
One exception to my preference for primary sources is the use of publications such as magazines, newspaper articles and books. Errors in factual data such as dates, ages, etc. do occur, but what I find invaluable about these sources is the narrative. This is the one way to get beyond the facts and learn from the personal recollections and knowledge of others. This is how I learn the story of our ancestors.
In cases where these publications are the sole source I have at the time, I will continue to search for high quality primary sources for the factual information, but I will still document the data from the publications in the meantime as long as I’m careful to categorize its quality appropriately.
When selecting the proper source quality categories, I do so for each and every fact for an individual so I have a clear picture of the accuracy of each and every fact at a later time. The clearer, the better.
Two places I use frequently to find these publications are Google eBooks and Internet Archive. By using Google eBooks’ advanced search (click on image above for full size), it is possible to stipulate exactly what you’re searching for by a variety of means including:
- for text ‘with all of the words’, ‘with the exact phrase’, ‘with at least one of the words’, and ‘without the words’ (using ‘without the words’ can be invaluable for eliminating undesirable results);
- for full book views, limited and full views, all books or Google eBooks only;
- for all content; magazines or books; and
- by language, title, author, publisher, subject, publication date, ISBN and or ISSN.
Some of the titles I have found during my research include:
- “A History of Delaware County Pennsylvania,” by George Smith;
- “The History of Wales,” by Rev. William Warrington;
- “Annals of Yorkshire,” by Henry Schroeder;
- “Biographical Sketches of Loyalists of the American Revolution,” by Lorenzo Sabine;
- “A California Tramp and Later Footprints,” by Thaddeus Stevens Kenderdine;
- “Collections Historical and Archaeological Relating to Montgomeryshire,” by the Powys-land Club;
- “Kearsley’s Complete peerage, of England, Scotland and Ireland,” by George Kearsley; and
- “Farm and its Inhabitants, with Some Account of the Lloyds of Dolobran,” by Rachel Jane Lowe.
With the Internet Archive site, it is possible to search a variety of media types including the Wayback Machine (an archive of obsolete websites), moving images, texts, audio, software, education, forums and FAQs.
There are other places ebooks can be found but Google eBooks and Internet Archive are the ones I turn to most often for the best results.
Be sure to give either (or both) of these sites a try. You’ll be amazed at what you’ll find.