Thursday, January 7, 2010

A Never-Before Seen, Quite Fantastic Genealogy Collection


I can say with considerable confidence that I've come across a sizable collection of online, free books on ancestry and genealogy that no one's ever seen before.

How can I possibly know this?  'Cause I created the collection myself.  And I'm happy to now be able to share it with you.

World War I Honor Roll, 
from the U Michigan Library via Hathi Trust

I posted a few weeks ago about the Hathi Trust digital books collection.  This is a pretty new and quite substantial resource, comprised of millions of digitized books housed at university libraries and other distinguished collections.

A nice feature of Hathi is that they give users the opportunity to create their own collection-within-a-collection.  Hathi users have created personal collections of books on topics as diverse as Abraham Lincoln, Dime Novels, and Historic Bicycling.

There's even a collection on How to Be a Domestic Goddess (with 123 books, no less!).

And now, without further ado, I am proud to announce the world premier of the Free Genealogy Tools Ancestry and Genealogy Collection at Hathi Trust, henceforth known by its elegant acronym, FGT-AGC@HT.  

There's well over 2,000 books in the collection.  Many of them are family genealogies, with titles like:
  • An historical and genealogical account of Andrew Robeson, of Scotland, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, and of his descendants from 1653 to 1916
  • An account of Azariah Orton, of Farmington, Illinois, and his descendants (1900)
  • The Robinsons and their kin folk (1902)
There are some geographic titles:
  • 1800 census of Kent County, Delaware
  • Parochial and family history of the parishes of Tintagel and Trevalga, in the country of Cornwall (1877)
some deep-sounding reference works:
  • Passenger lists of ships coming to North America, 1607-1825; a bibliography (1937)
  • The abridged compendium of American genealogy; first families of America; a genealogical encyclopedia of the United States (1925)
and a fair number of mystery items:
  • Danmark-Norges len og lensmaend 1596-1660 (1885)
By the way, creating smallish collections at Hathi Trust is easy, but a large collection like this one, with thousands of documents, took some behind the scenes assistance.  My sincerest thanks to Jeremy and Chris for their fast and effective help.

FGT-AGC@HT is fully searchable and access is, of course, entirely free.  I'd love to hear your Comments as to whether it's a useful collection, and how you used it for your family history research.  Thanks.




Don't forget to also check for your family history at Ancestry.com and  NewspaperArchive. These are subscription databases, but they are among the most powerful research tools available for looking into family roots.


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