Thanks for writing!And yes I understand now what you are saying about illiterate ancestors and how census takers et al just wrote down their names, and dates, and birth locations differently from record to record. And you are so right - it *does* feel like a giant jigsaw puzzle and I do love it -but it does take a long time to complete.Especially when you are working on about 10 various branches of the family.
I have found spellings for Gerard that include Girard, Genard, Garard, and Gerrard.And many different birthdates from record to record as well.
I still am trying to figure out how to make the bridge from Michigan to Quebec. I have the Gerards traced to the first one to be in Michigan in 1850 - Edward Gerard was 22 (maybe) and working in Saginaw area in the lumber trade as were hundreds maybe thousands of other single young men. But where exactly he came from in Quebec before that and who is parents were and where they were from - this is all still a very big mystery for me and my family.
I might just end up having to hire someone in the mid-Michigan area to do deep research since I am so far away in California.Anybody know any good professional in that area?