Try searching Genealogy Gophers to find 80,000 digitized genealogy books.

In the example above, I searched for my GG-grandfather, Hans Loe. Searching for Hans’s family is tricky because his birth patronymic was Christensen but his American surname (based on his Norwegian farm name) was Loe.

Genealogy Gophers sidestepped these details and delivered a screen full of results, mostly based in England. But the top hit was for a Searching Genealogy Gophersbook in the Family History Library in SLC for a location in Norway called Eker [Eger]. The title was distorted a bit by Genealogy Gophers not handling diacriticals very well. But a visit to WorldCat revealed that this book is titled A Genealogy of the Loe and Hoen Families from Østre Aker (Eker), Oslo City, Norway, Who Are Descendants of Hans Børgesen Loe Born in 1616.

This title was written by one E. Gundelach and published in 1914 in Oslo. And there are three copies in the world: one in SLC and two in Denmark. But it looks like Genealogy Gophers found a digitized copy.

These are my Norwegians, Hans’s family, in the right location at the right time – and that I’d only traced as far as 1690. Two or three generations that far back just searching  Genealogy Gophers and then some work with Google Translate? Happy dance!

Of course, searching Genealogy Gophers returns results from genealogy books published in many locations, not just Norway. I can’t wait to get started on my husband’s New England ancestors using this search engine. When we’d go to stellar genealogy libraries, like the Wisconsin Historical Society at UW Madison, we’d copy many many family histories for both his mother’s and father’s lines in Maine and Connecticut. And then he’d generously offer to find and copy the Loe family histories. And then I’d sadly tell him that we were late-19th century immigrants without published family histories. I’m so happy to have been wrong!

For other posts on genealogy databases, click here.