It never occurred to me to type into a web browser and see what happens. I’ve known for months that Google was digitizing books but I had no idea the service was out where you could get to it.

Visit and search for something. You’ll be amazed.This is a bonanza for genealogists. If there’s someone reasonably noteworthy you’ve had difficulty connecting to your tree, search for that elusive person. My elusive one is Arthur Briggs Farquhar. I’m a Farquhar (obviously). I also have Briggs blood in me. From what I can tell, A. B. Farquhar was born in Ohio (my grandfather was a Farquhar from Ohio) and he was a Quaker, as were my Farquhars until about three generations ago.

Thanks to Google Print, I’ve found the book American Grit: A Woman’s Letters from the Ohio Frontier. I don’t know just yet if this book will have any answers for me or not. But did I ever find a tantalizing line on page 20:

“When a family named Farquhar bought property near her in Ohio, she wrote home asking if they were related to her or not.”

Could this have been my ancestor Dr. Edward Andrew Farquhar’s family?

I can’t read the whole book on Google Print, but I can read enough to get a pretty good idea whether a book is worth pursuing further. And if a book only has one juicy tidbit about an individual, it finds it.

In 2002, Eric Schmidt said, “The speech I give everyday is: ‘This is what we do. Is what you are doing consistent with that, and does it change the world?'”

In this instance, “change the world” could be the understatement of the century.

But will the courts let it survive?