New, Free Digitized Books Site Launches for Genealogy Searches

By Diane Haddad

A new, free genealogy website,, will help you search for and download digitized books with family history information. Books come from FamilySearch, the Allen County Public Library and elsewhere.

You can keyword-search book texts or titles. Here’s the beginning of results for my text search for Teipel:

GenGophers website

You also can add a US state, Candian province or a country in the Place field, but I didn’t get any results with the place Kentucky included. That’s even though one search results was from “Kenton County, Kentucky index #1 …, ” an inventory of court records.

Thanks to this result, though, I now have several marriages to look up. Other matches came from city directories, county and family histories, the Pennsylvania Archives series and others.

Your search results include the name of the publication, plus a “snippet” view from the page showing your highlighted search terms. Underneath the snippet view, you’ll see a notation such as +2 more if multiple occurrences of the name appear in the book. Click to see a view of the page and to search inside the book. The search doesn’t automatically find spelling variants, so you’ll also want to try those.

You can download the publication from your search results for free.
GenGophers will return only genealogy-related books, unlike sites like Google Books and Internet Archive, says founder Dallas Quass. (If his name sounds familiar, it might be because he is a founder of the Foundation for On-line Genealogy, which sponsors the website along with the Allen County Public Library.)

He adds that GenGophers’ search will work better than other sites’ searches for genealogical research. “While other websites can only search for specific words contained in books, our engine uses artificial intelligence to first identify and index all people mentioned in a publication and then allows specific searches for names, dates, and places associated with them. This approach significantly increases the chance of discovering extended family connections, stories about the lives of ancestors, and bringing family histories to life.”

The site is supported by ads and Google Consumer Surveys, so you’ll be asked to answer a few market research questions once a day before you download a search result (you can opt to skip the question, too).