Until a few months ago, I knew very little about the Blanchard side of my family. Aside from the fact that my grandfather was named Mayo, after the county in Ireland (according to family stories, yet to confirm this was the reason), I knew little, because there aren't any relatives near us. We keep in touch with our immediate family, but that is it.
After finding a family tree online, with excellent documentation, I have been able to take this tree back many generations. I am in the process of collecting my own documentation to prove all the connections.
One thing that astounds me, and excites me, as a history buff, is the amount of information on Google Books about Blanchards. A simple search of Amasa Blanchard, my 3rd great grandfather, brings up multiple options. Amasa was a popular name among the Blanchard's, so it takes some serious hours reading, to make sure I am following the right one. But it is so worth it! Snippets of his life, and of other Blanchards, really make the picture come together.
You may not have family information in Google Books, but definitely don't over look it as a resource to find things. It can be invaluable.