There is no greater thrill to us as seekers of the past than to learn of a new genealogy site with new sources. Correction....with old sources that have a new life.
I recently came across GenGophers.com which is in its Beta testing. The premise of the site is to allow digital access to old books. Right now, there is no fee to search.
The catch is a survey pops up. Complete the survey and you're in the book. For my survey, I was given a number of internet services and asked which I used in the last 30 days. After my one question survey, I saw the page of the book I was viewing and was given the opportunity to download the complete book. I then had to manually scroll through the book to the page I had seen. In this case, it was pg 2737.
Here is the screenshot I saw:
The site asks for the first and last name and then a state or country. At this time, entering a county is not an option. A family member's name can also be entered. The biggest difficulty for me so far is knowing I need to look in more than one state for the same person. The beauty is seeing the names of the books for person and a small snippet of the text.
At this time, the group is also asking for feedback so I expect it to get easier to search in more specific locations.
These books have been digitized by FamilySearch, so there is confidence it will be done correctly and get better over time.
According to the website, there are currently over 40,000 books available to search either by text or title. This group is also utilizing a technique call information extraction, which promises to result in better searches.
This is exciting. What is more exciting is they have another 60,000 books on the way.
Another tidbit of information on my search-- I had to use three names
before I could find one. Even though the names I chose were not common,
they weren't on the hit list--yet. One day.......
Ahhh, genealogy. You'll find me sitting in the sun seeing if I can find a gopher-ful of treasures.