This Genealogy On A Budget series presents links to free online genealogy databases, software and other items.
One of the best free online genealogical resources available today is Google Books.
Book Search works just like web search. Try a search on Google Books or on Google.com. When we find a book with content that contains a match for your search terms, we’ll link to it in your search results.
If the book is out of copyright, or the publisher has given us permission, you’ll be able to see a preview of the book, and in some cases the entire text. If it’s in the public domain, you’re free to download a PDF copy.
Google Books has thousands (and more) public domain books available, from the 1800’s and even earlier, free to download in their entirety.
Here are a few examples of free Google Books that I have found to supplement my family history research:
“Reports of Cases Argued and Determined in the Supreme Court of Alabama”- published in 1902, contains the Alabama Supreme Court’s decision regarding a case involving my second great grand-aunt’s husband, Dr T J Bettis (1839-1899).
“Transactions of the Texas State Medical Association”- published in 1892, contains the text of speech given by my second great-grandfather, Dr N B Kennedy (1837-1897), lobbying for the creation of a hospital for those affected by alcoholism.
“The Medico-legal Journal, Volume 12”- published in 1894, contains a 2-page bio of my second great grand-uncle, Dr T J Bennett (1854-1927), including date and place of birth, schools attended, wife’s maiden name and date of marriage, occupations prior to medicine, and location of first and current medical practice.
“Cases and Points of the Supreme Court of the United States”- published in 1908, detailing the Court’s decision in a murder case where my second great-grandfather Miles F Stanley (1851-1935) testified as a witness, contains several pages of his testimony.