Barry's Relatively Speaking: Let Your Fingers Do the Walking
Posted on Jul 31, 2012
Barry's Relatively Speaking shares the personal experiences and stories of genealogists found in the Everton Genealogical Helper Magazine collection on MyGenShare.com. Gaynel shares the following experience.
When researching my father's (John Waley Guerard) ancestors, I was able to find out quite a lot of Information about his mother's side, but his father's side was another story. My father's parents were divorced when he was a baby. He never knew his father or father's family. I did find out the names of his father (Alexander Martin Guerard) and grandparents. Alex. Guerard was a blind, pianist and he had cousins by the name of Spratt in Atlanta, Georgia.
For me, the mother of four pre-school age children, it would have been difficult to find time and money to search through records of South Carolina and Georgia to find a key.
At the Oak Park, Illinois Library, the reference room contains phone books from major cities in the U.S. As I looked through the Spratts' In the Atlanta phone book I came across one H. Guerard Spratt.
I took the chance and made the long distance call. Sure enough Guerard Spratt was related. When he wa8 a boy, Alex. Guerard came to his home (In the 1920's) and tuned their piano. Guerard Spratt remembered his mother telling how Alex, had been blinded In a childhood accident.
Guerard Spratt and his wife Joan were so friendly and willing to help, I could hardly believe my good fortune. They gave me a copy of a booklet In their possession containing my grandfather going back to Jacques Guerard born 1640, France, plus several other valuable leads.