Finding a family book written about your ancestors is like hitting the jackpot for a family researcher. Some families have been written about extensively and others have not.
If you were lucky enough to be related to the fueding Hatfields or
McCoys, Daniel Boone, George Washington or Cornelius Vanderbilt you
should have no problem locating published works based on your family.
For the rest of us the problem is a bit more daunting.
Wouldn’t you feel foolish for laboring for months on your family history only to find out that someone had already done the work and published their findings in a book? Since the payoff can be big, a quick check of three of the largest book sources is warranted even if the probability of finding something is low.
My experience has
been that there is often unpublished books and data collections that genealogy minded relatives have created and are floating around. These
unofficial works, which may not even be bound, usually consist of family
trees and collected stories and photos. This is where the social
aspect of genealogy kicks in. If you're looking for help with family genealogy free search, make it known to your family members that
you are working on family genealogy and if they had anything to share,
you would really appreciate it. Next, we'll focus on the search for
The most obvious choice of where to find a family book is at Amazon.com. Even though they have one of the largest collections of books on the face of the earth, most are the more commercial titles and not the specialty family history type books you are looking for. It is certainly worth a shot to search for your ancestor’s name and see what you can find.
Next, try looking at Google Books at books.google.com. Google books has a large collection of digitized books whose content can be searched online. In the example below, I searched for my ancestor Joseph Hoesl, which returned 1,600 matches. You might also try searching for your ancestor’s home town, assuming they did not live in a big city.
The FamilySearch.org website, a service of the Church of Jesus Christ of Later-day Saints' Family History Library in Salt Lake City has a large collection of family history books, many of which are now digitized and available online.
If you were able to find your family book, then congratulations! If you struck out with your search, at least
you know with minimal effort, there is likely no low hanging fruit left on the
tree. It is time to refocus your
research effort elsewhere.
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