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Research Notes 2017-2-6

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 military histories freely available online? Organizations like Project Gutenberg, FamilySearch, Internet Archive, Google Books and a number of educational institutions have been digitizing their collections 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 searching for information about my ancestor, John Lewis Gervais, in South Carolina.

Genealogy Gophers Search sample

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

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 the book, enlarge or reduce the view and more. The Download PDF link at the top of the reader screen allows you 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.

This article was originally published at Genealogy 101 and is reposted here with permission. 


Amazon for Genealogy?

Are you an Amazon Prime user? For those who don’t know, it is a subscription service ($99/year) that gives Amazon users unlimited two day shipping on orders purchased from Amazon. With family stretched from one end of the country to the other, our Amazon Prime subscription more than pays for itself with the saved shipping costs. But that’s not all you get with a Prime subscription. There’s Prime Photos with unlimited photo storage for you and five others. You also get 5GB of online storage for other files. Add to that free access to a large selection of audio books from Audible Channels along with thousands of Kindle Unlimited books and magazines for reading on your Kindle (device or app). There are a number of free apps available for mobile devices – phones and tablets – making it easy to manage any of these services.

The Prime Photos is a wonderful option for off-site backup of your family photos – both current and historical. Not only can you organize them into albums, there is a special area for sharing selected photos with others. The Prime Reading service includes hundreds of genealogy books available much like a lending library. There’s no time deadline to return these books but you can only have eleven checked out at one time. The Kindle (app or reader) includes a highlighting feature allowing you to highlight text within the book. These highlights are saved to your Kindle account and are accessible even after a book is returned.

Genealogical support can be found in some of the strangest places . . .


February is “Donate a Book Month”. We are asking our members to donate a genealogy book for the Genealogy Section of the SE Branch of the Public Library. Bring the books to the February 18, 2017 meeting for presentation to the library. Any questions contact


Just a friendly reminder to our members . . . dues are due!


Recommended Reading

For those of you who are using the WordPress Reader to follow SAGS Support, we have started listing some additional genealogical sites you might find interesting. To add sites to your reading list, just click the Manage button next to Followed Sites in the left sidebar then enter the URL (address) to the site you want to follow.

We’ve posted a video demonstration on how to use the WordPress Reader. You’ll find it on the Member Guides page.

This week’s recommendations include:

  1. Want to know more about genetics? Blaine Bettinger’s The Genetic Genealogist is a great resource. Blaine is also the author of The Family Tree Guide to DNA Testing and Genetic Genealogy.

  2. James Tanner’s Genealogy’s Star is always an interesting read. By the way, he is the keynote speaker at this year’s North Florida Genealogy Conference.

Feb 2017 meeting promo

We are delighted to have Jim Vearil with us for our February 18th meeting. His program looks at how to use land records as part of your research. His presentation will explain why land records are useful and discuss the various types of land records – individual, state and public. He will also provide information on using surveys and maps.

Reminder . . . meeting times have moved back to the afternoon. Check-in begins at 12:45pm and the meeting starts at 1:00pm.

Final Notes

Each new post published at SAGS Support is automatically emailed to member subscribers and/or delivered to their newsreader. Research Notes is published every Monday morning and other articles are posted during the week. Subscribers have the option to control how often these updates are delivered. Look down at the bottom of this message and you will find a Manage Subscriptions link in the fine print as you see in the example below. Click it and you will be taken to the Subscription Management page. Use the Delivery Frequency column to change your delivery options from “Immediate” to either “Daily” or “Weekly”.

Fine Print

Sample of the “fine print” at the bottom of each post.

Also down at the bottom of each delivered post is a Comment button. If you would like to comment on something discussed in a post or ask a question, just click the Comment button and you will be taken online to the comment section of the post where you can share your thoughts and read what others have shared.

To learn more, download a copy of the SAGS Support Guide.

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