I use online books all the time in my family history research. From city directories to county histories to family genealogies, I'm always turning to online books for hints as to where my family might have lived. Here are some fee and free offerings that I've found helpful (and a few that I've never needed but that might be helpful in your research).
The Ancestry Card Catalog (I linked to a random page in their book search) has many useful genealogy books that are only available with an Ancestry Subscription. If you don't have a subscription at Ancestry you can always copy the title of the book and author and search the free sites to see if it's available somewhere else. (FamilySearch Books, Internet Archive, HathiBooks, and Google Books-free are the first places I would look.) Ancestry does offer a couple great resource books for free, please see below for more info.
MyHeritage Book Matching
MyHeritage has over 400,000 digitized …
I thought I'd throw this one out there because I was surprised to learn what a near monopoly the National Records of Scotland (Scotland's Archives) has on Scottish records, including census records.
There are censuses for Scotland every 10 years starting in 1801 (they didn't take one during WWII in 1941). Scotland has a 100-year privacy rule so the 1911 Scotland Census is the most recent census available to the public. The 1841 Scotland Census is the first year the censuses took names of residents so I'll start with options for this census. Spoiler alert: it's a tad bleak.
ScotlandsPeople - the online census website for the National Records of Scotland, i.e. a government-owned website. This is a fee site and it's not cheap. It is the only online site with an index AND images.
FindMyPast - this is a subscription site with an 1851 index, no images available
Ancestry - this is a subscription site with an 1851 index, no images available
FreeCen - this is…
The 1930 US Federal Census is a valuable collection for US family history research and subscription sites have invested a lot of time and money in their indexes, search capabilities, and extra features to help subscribers get the most bang for their buck.
Quite a few subscription sites have the 1930 US Federal Census.
Archives (Archives.com owned by Ancestry)
WorldVitalRecords (owned by MyHeritage)
Fold3 (owned by Ancestry, primarily a site for military records)
But, never fear, free alternatives exist, including:
FamilySearch - with a free index and images online
HeritageQuest - if your library subscribes to HeritageQuest, a product of ProQuest, you may have free access from your home, with a library card, to the 1930 US Federal Census index and images.
(Updated as of 1/4/2018) MooseRoots no longer has the 1930 US Federal Census available.
That said, I love to use a subsc…
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