There are many ways to search for things at http://books.google.com in an attempt to locate genealogical information.
One approach is to try the names of an ancestral couple, either complete names or first and last names, using the maiden name for the wife.
Johann Ufkes Noentje Grass
Enoch Tinsley Nancy Dunaway
Might be worth a shot.
When viewing matches at http://books.google.com make certain to scroll down the hits and few a few pages as well. I found two different scans of a 1907 county book of biographies. One only had snippet views and the other had the complete book. Remember that it is always possible that Google has multiple scans of the same thing.
Try a search for the name of your ancestor and their spouse on Google Books http://books.google.com. You might be surprised at what you find.
Don’t forget when at the Bureau of Land Management site http://www.glorecords.blm.gov/PatentSearch/ to search for land warrants issued in your ancestor’s name as well. Keep in mind that these warrants may have been issued as patents in state where you ancestor never lived, if he assigned them to someone else.
Don’t search for warrants in the state where your ancestor lived. I just located two “new” War of 1812 ancestors who had warrants issued in states where they never lived.
And if you don’t know what warrants and patents are, read the FAQ section of the BLM site.
At the risk of oversimplifying, a “life estate” in property (generally a widow) is the right to use the property and receive income from the property during the person’s lifetime. They do not have the right to bequeath the property to someone or to sell it. Oftentimes a widow is given a “life estate” in a piece of property from her husband and in so doing, he specifies to whom it is to pass after her death.
If your ancestor was a landowning farmer and migrated from Point A to Point B, see from whom he purchased that first piece of property when he arrived in Point B. It might have been a relative or former associate, neighbor, etc. The owner of that property in Point B might have been looking to sell it and heard that his relative or former neighbor was thinking of moving. Worth a shot when you are stuck.
If records at the county level have not brought about success, consider town/village level records or township or federal records.
As you make copies of records, either on paper or in digital form, track the source. If you don’t do it as you go, the chance you do it goes down……
Are all the records you have for your ancestor showing him with his name spelled the exact same way? I have very few ancestors where their name is spelled the same way on each document or source. Chances are if your ancestor’s names are spelled the same way on everything you have that you have not researched as many documents as you should have.