10 May 2010

Free Genealogy Books Using Google Books

Google Books has a great number of books online that are available for you to read for free. They make great resource tools while doing your family history or help you through a brick wall. And, if you are like me, you just don’t have room any longer to store all those purchased books – no matter the subject matter! Maybe you are interested in just a specific chapter of a book and don't want to go to the library or buy a copy.

If you have not signed up for a Google account, do so. Some books are complete and some are limited in the number of pages you can view.

How do you view the books? Just click on the link below and you will find the book online. You can use the zoom feature to increase the size of the text; click on the ‘+’ magnifying glass icon until you see the text the size you want it. Then you can click on the ‘-‘ magnifying glass to make it smaller. You can also click on the icon that looks like two pages side-by-side to display the facing pages.

Even though many of these books have pages missing because they are still under copyright, you will most likely still benefit from checking here first. It might help you decide whether you want to purchase the book or not.

Here is a sampling of what you will find online: (All have pages or a chapter missing unless specified.)

The Complete Beginner's Guide to Genealogy, The Internet, and Your Genealogy (Karen Clifford)

How to Do Everything with Your Genealogy   

The Source: A Guidebook to American Genealogy   2006 version.

The Genealogy Sourcebook - 1997

Genealogy Online   8th Edition  

Genealogy Online for Dummies - 5th Edition

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Online Genealogy - Second Edition

Geography and Genealogy:Locating Personal Pasts

The Sunny Side of Genealogy - A Humorous Collection...

Pocket Guide to Irish Research - Second Edition

Researchers Guide to American Genealogy - 3rd Edtion

Professional Genealogy: A Manual for Researchers, Writers, Editors - 4th Printing 2005

How to Climb Your Family Tree: Genealogy for Beginners

The Hidden Half of the Family: A Sourcebook for Women's Genealogy

The Mayflower Descendant: a Quarterly Magazine of Pilgrims - Volumes 10 and 11 (complete)

The Mayflower Descendant: a Quarterly Magazine of Pilgrims - Volumes 17 and 18 (complete)

There are many, many more books, magazines, and other publications listed at Google Books. Some are complete, others partial, and others are thumbnail clips only. You can narrow down your search to just full print books, partial print books and those in public domain. If the book is still in print and available, you can select the links on the left to find the book and see the availability and  price.

At Google Books you will find genealogy books based on locality, surnames, novels, etc. Just use the Google Books search box towards the bottom of the middle column to the right. -->  ...or click here to go to the Google Books page directly. If you want to go to the advanced search, click here.

FYI: Google Books cover a wide variety of topics besides genealogy.


  1. This is such a good reminder, Sue! I've been using Google Books more and more and am always amazed at what's available for FREE! Nice article!

  2. Google Books is also full of local histories, town reports, compiled genealogies by surname, etc. If you have minister ancestors, you'll find sermons and church histories. If your ancestors went to college, there are yearbooks and alumni books. Lots of city and town directories. You never know what you'll find!