A New Genealogy Website went Online Today: Genealogy Gophers

Are you looking for a genealogy book? More Than 40,000 digital genealogy books now fully searchable and downloadable for free at GenGophers.com. I had a chance to use the site for a while today and will say that I am impressed. I have been using Google Books, Archive.org, and numerous sources of digitized books for years. The new GenGophers web site searches genealogy books and only genealogy books, looking for the information you specify. Best of all, the site is available to all free of charge.

Here is the announcement from Dallan Quass, founder of GenGophers.com:

More Than 40,000 Digital Genealogy Books Now Fully Searchable and Downloadable for Free at GenGophers.com

A new website enables genealogists for the first time to have free, easy, and precise searching of family history books

SALT LAKE CITY – Researching family histories online is an activity that has begun to come of age. Thousands of family history books and magazines are available to be searched directly from multiple websites. But searching through these websites and combing through the jumble of information they return can be a frustrating, costly, and fruitless process. The newly launched family history website, GenGophers.com, solves these problems by providing precise and free access to the industry’s most effective online search tools and a growing library of more than 40,000 downloadable family and personal histories, local histories, and genealogy newsletters.

Many searchable book websites, like Google Books and archive.org, make it difficult to restrict their searches to genealogy-related books. The result is that online searches for names, dates, and places return lists of thousands of potential books completely unrelated to genealogy.

GenGophers.com is the only website that – completely for free – returns genealogy book results only. Results include the publication name and a snippet from the page showing the highlighted search terms:

Click on the above image to view a larger version.

The pages and publications returned in a search are then downloadable for free by users. “In addition to focusing our searches only on genealogy books, our search engine also employs a completely different approach than those used by other book-searching websites”, said Dallan Quass, founder of GenGophers.com. “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.”

GenGophers.com is financially supported by ads and Google Consumer Surveys, which asks users a few market research questions once per day to view the free books.

About Genealogy Gophers:
Genealogy Gophers has the most easily searched and retrieved family history books on the Web. Search tools based on artificial intelligence algorithms significantly increase the chances of finding relevant search term matches compared to typical word search engines. Relevant pages and books can be downloaded for free from the GenGophers.com website.

Click on the above image to view a larger version.

39 Comments

This is great info! Thanks a million for this!

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Hmm, I wonder how they managed to get a digitized copy of my cousin’s copyrighted book. A digital copy is available on FamilySearch. Other than that, it’s only available in three libraries in the world.

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    —> I wonder how they managed to get a digitized copy of my cousin’s copyrighted book.

    Easy. GenGophers.com does not have the book. FamilySearch.org has it.

    As mentioned in the above announcement, GenGophers.com is a SEARCH ENGINE that points to books that reside in other web sites. None of the books, or nearly none, are stored on GenGophers.com.

    GenGophers.com works somewhat similar to Google with one exception, it only searches for genealogy books. When you click on a link in GenGophers.com you are then taken to the web site where the book resides.

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    Wonder if this meets the FamilySearch terms of agreement.

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GenGophers licensed the books from FamilySearch. FamilySearch gave us a list of books we could search, which included your cousin’s book. (To clarify, we store the books on our servers with FamilySearch’s permission for faster delivery.) If your cousin isn’t comfortable with her in-copyright book being searchable on GenGophers, let me, dallan at gengophers.com, know and I’ll remove it. And if others have out-of-copyright books or books they own the copyright to that they would like to see added, also let me know. Our goal is to be the best search engine for genealogy books on the Web.

Liked by 2 people

    My e-mail bounced to Dyllan – so how to contact him regarding removing my book?

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    Marti, familysearch records come up in my google searches frequently, and this is no different. Its just saying, “Hey, familysearch has a document that might help you!”
    I have no connection to this genealogy search engine, but I don’t understand at all your reaction.
    Walker

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    Like I said before – IF I did not still have books for sale – I wouldn’t care. As it is, anyone can download the whole book or parts of and print what they want and the meantime my remaining books for sale are setting in my closet.

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Define “genealogy books.” That’s the immediate thought I had and the one I keep coming back to. Do you mean family histories, Dallan? Or are you really including all the different kinds of digitized books genealogists use — local histories, yearbooks, alumnae/i publications, phone directories, state registers, church histories, autobiographies, architectural histories, fraternal membership directories, on and on?

If it’s just family histories, that’s great — but it would be helpful to know that, so that I don’t frustrate myself looking for the rest on GenealogyGophers and instead stick with Google for the broader list. For me, finding results outside of family histories is the best part of searching on Google, but everyone works differently and I know people who will be ecstatic over this site. 🙂 And I’m always happy to see more genealogy sites pop up, especially free ones, so thanks for that!

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Sadly only US-related stuff … no use to me!

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Brilliant! I have already found many things I hadn’t seen before and I can see my brick walls beginning to tremble before they come crashing down. Thank you!

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    Brazil … Very few sites have anything. FamilySearch has so little that’s indexed for Brazil and the image-only stuff is far from easy to navigate even though I speak the language.

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Great site. First inquiry led to exactly what I was looking for.

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This site works with Chrome, but appears not to be compatible with IE 11.

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It’s been a busy day – we’ve already had _a lot_ of traffic! I’ll check into compatibility problems with IE 11. We’ve tested IE 11 but obviously not enough.

Regarding the books, to date all of the books are coming from http://books.familysearch.org, so we’re relying upon FamilySearch to determine what books constitute “genealogy”. We’ll be adding another 60,000 books from FamilySearch over the next few months. In addition we’ll start including books from archive.org and other free sources (as many as we can find). In those cases we want to include both family and local histories, directories, registers, etc. We want to be as comprehensive as possible but with relatively few books that are irrelevant to genealogists. Next week I’ll post a questionnaire on the site asking people to help us identify key words and phrases to look for in the titles of books (e.g., city directory, church history) that we ought to search from archive.org, and suggestions for sources of free books from Europe so we can strengthen our European coverage.

Thank-you for all of the kind words!

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    Thanks for being so responsive! Any new resource for genealogists is a good thing, and especially any that stays free.

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Excellent! I’ve already started playing with it. Thank you for another tool for my toolbox. This plus Elefind for newspapers will be a great time saver.

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Amazing. I found an article I had written a quarter century ago – and had completely forgotten writing.

Liked by 1 person

I just tried it and found the search option a bit clunky. The first and last name fields do not have to be “a” name, so the name Britain Adams, comes up with 6,000+ hits–most of which appear to be Great Britain.

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My recently published (2012) and copyrighted book is also listed (Miramonte Arizona History). I e-mailed Dyllan to have him remove the full book. I don’t mind that the Title page, Introduction and Table of Contents be shown, but since I still have books for sale, I don’t want the contents available for downloading and printing. Maybe later.

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Your book will be gone tomorrow (and I will let FamilySearch know as well).

Name vs place identification will get better over the next few months. (It’s a difficult problem: Virginia, Georgia, etc.)

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How does Genealogy Gophers pay their bills? Nothing is free, someone pays the bills.

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    According to Dick’s posting, they will have advertising and a daily survey.

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    I spent enough time here to get the questionnaire, which was much like the political ones I often get in email. But then I was given a form to fill out that wanted more personal information than I wanted to give them, so I closed the page.
    As for the information on the site, there is much to see. Most did not pertain to my family, but was things I’d have loved had they been for my folks. I do wish their indexes contained dates more often, and volume numbers. For instance, there was a quote from the SOUTH CAROLINA MAGAZINE OF GENEALOGICAL AND HISTORICAL RESEARCH that did no give volume or page. There must be at least thirty volumes of that magazine. Finding that quote would take days at the Dallas public library. (And I’ve spent them, years ago.)

    Betty Clay

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Every time someone fills out a Google Consumer Survey, we get a nickel. A nickel doesn’t sound like a lot, but they add up. We are a small company and work to keep our costs down so we can provide interesting services that are ad-supported.

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    Thanks for the definitive answer. 🙂

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    Carol Lee Vickery April 5, 2015 at 3:05 pm

    Thank you so much for creating this website. I just access, entered my 5th great grandfathers’ name and found family in the next county over, who are related. YES! Cannot wait to discuss “Joshua” with them. lol

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Currently google is running a test survey on the site. The survey has six questions:

1. Do you approve or disapprove of the efforts of the United Nations?
2. What is the following symbol: Yin&Yang or Peace?
3. Which of the following are continents?
4. Do you approve or disapprove of the efforts of the United Nations? (yes, this question is asked twice)
5. Suppose you had an opportunity to have a message you created read in front of your government officials. In a few words, what would you say?
6. In some countries, the President is the head of the government. In others it is the Prime Minister. To show you are still paying attention, please select five stars

If you answer all six questions you shouldn’t see another survey for a week. (If you do it’s a bug – please let me know through the Feedback link at the right-hand side of the site.) You shouldn’t be asked to answer any other questions.

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Here is a comment for the gophers.
I searched for Elbert Early. As usual, I got hits for Early this and that but not people. Another problem I usually have with his name is Elbert County GA showing up. Don’t
know if this can ever be solved. Until then, I will keep sifting. Thanks.

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I just spent a few minutes searching, but I will be coming back to do more. Personally, I get off track some reading snippets from books that I find interesting.
The idea is a good one, and looking forward to returning.

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I’ll be working on improving name, date, and place matching over the next few months. These are difficult problems and we’ll never get perfect, but we’ll definitely get better.

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I LOVE THIS SITE! I found an incredible amount of publications on my Stith family and one of them I think will help me connect the missing link I’ve been searching for!!! Thank you so much!!

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Do you have a Newsletter?
If so, please subscribe me !

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Jennifer Stribley March 10, 2015 at 9:59 pm

Awesome and amazing tool!! I love it.

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What about descendants of slaves?

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I wouldn’t mind my genealogy books used for this purpose. How do I find out how to do that?

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I’m replying to an old post to say that I can’t believe I just got results for my Bahamian searches. 🙂 Well done, Gophers! I’m happy to click your ads and fill out your surveys in exchange for this great service. It’s the best bargain I’ve found in a long time.

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Mary Beth Frederick October 6, 2016 at 1:24 am

I’m late to the gengophers site. Although I read your newsletter faithfully, I was taken up with family affairs when this article was published and didn’t test-drive the site. The Brown County Genealogy Society mentioned it in one of their newsletters. I hit the jackpot with my French-Canadian ancestors who were “up country” or in the Illinois country in the early 18th century, finding sources that other search engines had missed or listed so far down the results that I didn’t find them. Maybe it’s time to write another article about this great site; I believe it has many more books than it did in March 2015.

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