October 20, 2017

Google Books: A Surprising Source For Genealogical Documentation


My budget is pretty tight when it comes to genealogical research, so when I found I could add documentation to my family tree using (mostly) free Google Books, you can imagine my elation.


Most recently, [intlink id=”4040″ type=”post”]I found a book[/intlink] about Archibald Glasscock Register written by one of his descendants (G. W. Register Jones) and originally compiled by two of his daughters from letters he had sent to family members back in Greene County, Tennessee.

The title of this article is somewhat misleading in that the results of a search in Google Books doesn’t just bring back links to books, but any sort of written documentation that has been added to Google. It could be old newspaper articles, snippets from books, biographies, or even lists from surname newsletters. So far, I’ve just scratched the surface of what’s available.

My Book List On Google

My current preferred method of adding books to my book list on Google is on my PC, but you can also add them to your device using Google Play and read them on your tablet, e-reader or phone. Depending on the amount of storage you might have on each device, you’ll be able to start reading on one, stop, and then continue on another. For more detailed information please visit Google’s Supported reading device (“best for”) page.

Surnames I’m researching in Greene County, Tennessee are: REGISTER, CHANCE, YATES, KELSEY, ROBERTSON, HACKER and GLASSCOCK.


A G REGISTER – Man of God, Man of Gold

Register book

A G REGISTER – Man of God, Man of Gold

Archibald Glasscock Register, the son of Francis and Jemima Glasscock Register was born in Greene County Tennessee near Lick Creek on 24 February 1822. Raised in an era of comparative innocence and unspoiled nature in east Tennessee, even from an early age he was raised in a home whose focus was not just daily existence but with a foundation in their religion.

Gone To California

As a young man, word came to him of the gold rush in California that began in 1848. In 1852 Archibald, along with some other men in his community, made their way to the gold fields near Georgetown, California to make their fortune or die trying. The original plan, to leave from Charleston, South Carolina fell through for some reason and instead Archie and his party left from New Orleans and traveled to Independence, Missouri to go the overland route to Sacramento.

Archibald worked in the mines of Georgetown for several years. He may not have made a fortune, but in one of his letters home he did mention that he had sent some gold home to his family. He spent five years in California. By 24 June 1857 he was again home in the company of his family enjoying the comforts there that he had not known while he kept house in a dusty cabin during his mining days.

These Died in California and Oregon

You never know what other documentation might be in a book like this. I noted that some names were mentioned in A G Register’s cited letters in the book as those who had passed away during his time in California.

The father of Archibald Hartman, who is listed in the book as just “Hartman” died in Georgetown and is buried there. [I have since found that the Hartman mentioned was William Hartman, husband of Register’s sister Lucinda]. Hartman is buried in that town although I have not been able to find his grave in any formal cemetery as yet. Register mentions another man named McAll who died somewhere in Oregon and didn’t receive a formal burial. The third name mentioned was Robertson, and I’m still in the process of determining how this Robertson man is connected to Register.


All of the information about Archibald Register for this article has been extrapolated from the book created by his daughters entitled Life of Rev. A.G. Register By G. W. Register Jones (a descendant). The book is available in its entirety for free through Google books. It can be read as an e-book, downloaded in PDF format, or added to your Google library for later.


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