Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Bird by Bird

In her book Bird by Bird, Anne Lamott tells the story of how her brother, ten at the time, was faced with a report on birds due the next day.  He had put it off for three months and now was faced with what appeared to be an insurmountable task.  Their father sat down next to his son and said, “Bird by bird, buddy. Just take it bird by bird.”

This is also sage advice to genealogists when taking on large projects.  This quote came to mind when I thought about the huge project of supplementing the research of Frederick Browning Agard.  I shall fill out the lives ancestor by ancestor.

In that vein I went to HeritageQuest (free through our public library) with the goal of revisiting Mary Louise Catlin Cleaver’s book, The History of the Town of Catherine.  My search on the name “Agard,” did not bring this book up in the listings, but as I scrolled through I found the most interesting typewritten manuscript by Louise Huntington Bailey Jarvis.  The manuscript, dated 1947, contains short biographical sketches on a variety of family names. The title is: Some Ancestors and Descendants of Samuel Agard and Florence Williams Huntington Bailey.  I found birth, marriage, and death information on both Dr. Gilbert David and Anna Maria Agard Bailey.  I learned when the Bailey name changed from Baley and that the name is of Kelto-British origin.  I will go back to this document to glean more nuggets on the Agard family line.

This manuscript is a gem, and I just happened to stumble on it.  I encourage researchers to keep HeritageQuest in mind for its unique census search applications as well as digitized books, and PERSI.  

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