Patricia Greber, blog author from the website My Genealogy Life, has shared this blog as part of our ongoing “How I Solved It Series”.
This blog explains how she conducted a Google Book search which brings up snippets of information on an ancestor. The snippets provide enough information to hire a researcher to look at the original court records in Chicago that results in a treasure trove of information.
Covering all your bases when doing a search for your family should also include a great resource that Google has called Google Books. How to find this treasure trove of information is by using the Google search bar and either typing in ‘Books’ or on the Google toolbar is a More button which creates a drop-down menu, pictured below.
Either search will bring you to another search bar that will just search Google Books. I have tried numerous combinations to see what can be found about my family. One search I did was the maiden as well the married name and location of my great-grandmother to see what if anything would appear.
And the results were a little shocking –
The first three results all were about my family and a court case that had taken place in Chicago…WHAT? What was I seeing, I quickly clicked on the links to see what more I could find out about this case.
Not much more information was available –
I was not able to access the full entry from, but it was enough information for me to hire a researcher to dig into the records held in Chicago.
What was found was over 50 pages of depositions from my great grandmother Carrie Jordan, her husband and daughter as well as from her brother James Norton and his family. It seems that after James & Carrie’s aunt Harriet (Laprise) Milligan had died and there was a dispute about her will as she had incorrectly named James Norton as Richard Norton.
The depositions describe numerous visits by aunt Harriet to Quebec City and Montreal where the Jordan and Norton families were living. I was able to get a feel for the relationships between family members, Peter Jordan describes taking the train with Harriet and how they talked about her sister Hannah Pozer Jeffery. I wish I had been in on that conversation, but sadly the person asking Peter the questions didn’t ask as much about the family as I would have liked! The focus of the questioning wasn’t about family history per say, more about names in the family and confirming that James and Richard were the same person and just an error made by Harriet in her will.
Really this is one of THE best finds I have had and it was all thanks to Google Books.
I would like to encourage you to give Google Books a try and use many combinations in your searches, you may discover something unexpected about your own family!
If you have a story idea or a blog that you’d like to share as part of this series, please let us know about it in the comments.