Have you included Google Books in your search of family history? The site, located at https://books.google.com, is a treasury of information. Since the Google Books project started in 2004, millions of books have been digitized and added to the database.

Some books were provided by publishers and authors, and some were obtained from the collections of universities around the world. Many books at Google Books are very old and rare.

A digitized copy of a book is free to read and download, if the book is out of copyright and is considered to be in the public domain.

If not in the public domain, snippets of a book can often be read at the site to determine if the book will be helpful.

In addition to the digitized pages, several other details are listed for each book. Examples are the name of the author, date of publication, name of publisher, ISBN number and a list of archives that have the book. After recording those details, contact your local librarian with the details and request an interlibrary loan. (A small fee is charged for interlibrary loans.) Through the site, you can also learn where a book can be purchased.

To help researchers locate helpful books, the Google Book site provides a search box in which keywords are entered. To obtain the best results, enter very specific keywords.

Instead of entering “Fisher Family,” enter “Fisher family of Camden County.” Instead of entering “Haddocks,” enter “Haddocks of Missouri.” Instead of entering “Baptist churches,” enter “Baptist churches of Missouri.” To be more specific, enter “Roaring River Baptist Church.” Instead of entering “Roaring River” (there are hundreds of Roaring Rivers around the world), enter “Roaring River of Missouri.” Google Books then lists digitized books that include that topic.

When I entered “Haddocks of Roaring River,” the site listed several resources. Among them was “Haddocks of Roaring River,” written by Diana Jean Muir and published in 2018. Another book listed was “Legends of the Haddock Family,” written by Orpha Vaughan Haddock and published in 1978. A third source is “Haddock Heritage,” written by Donna Cooper and published in 2018. In addition the site listed several other books.

When I entered the keywords “Roaring River in Missouri,” the site listed resources for learning about early families in the area. One of the books was “A Living History of the Ozarks,” written by Phyllis Rossiter and published in 2010. Another title that looks helpful was “A History of the Baptists in Missouri,” written by R.S. Duncan and published in 1882.

After a useful resource (that is public domain) is downloaded, keywords can again be entered to narrow the search. When a keyword is entered, the site lists the number of times that the keyword is mentioned in the book. Since the site lists the pages, researchers can click on each entry to read those parts of the book.

Suggestions or comments? Contact Frankie Meyer at frankiemeyer@yahoo.com.

Trending Video