The Research Room

Undiscovered facts when discovered are like puzzle pieces that can be used to put together and make a more complete picture of history. 

- Frank Vance -

The Avery Museum Research Room provides a facility for genealogy research for locals as well as visitors.  The library is filled with hard to find out of print books on local history, which will aide any researcher with their search.  Museum Aides can also help patrons network with other family members in the area who may have old photographs or history in their collections.  There are extensive records, family genealogies and regional heritage publications as well as Family Bibles and interviews with local old-timers.  A computer is also available to do genealogy research on.  Several of the books in the Research Room are also available for sale in the Museum Store.    
Books on Floor



The first "Heritage" project of the Avery County Bicentennial Commission involved oral history recordings made by many Avery County residents including:  Mrs. Theron Dellinger, Myron Houston, John Hayes, Dumcie Cuthbertson, Corbett Johnson, Mrs. Ruby Stewart, Morris and Jessie Gragg, Cozie Taylor, Ivor Vance, Howard Wise, Ellen Wise, Frank Field, Emma Cornett    and Damon Vance.  These people told of their past, emphasizing customs and the way of life in     the mountains during earlier times.  These tapes will be available for listening in the Avery County Museum.

Double Line

Pen, Nib

Avery Folks










                  Lloyd Bailey

 Lloyd Bailey is the editor of a series of volumes entitled HERITAGE OF THE TOE RIVER VALLEY.  Each volumes contains information about persons, families, and interesting events in the counties of Avery, Mitchell, and Yancey.

     Three volumes have thus far appeared and a total of eight is planned.  They thus far have ranged from 300-550 large pages, triple column, with many photos, and are fully indexed.

     Future volumes will be about more families, individual, and historical events; cemetery records; military involvement from the French and Indian War to the present; old newspaper articles (Vol. IV, to be published by June, 2004); Native Americans and African Americans in the Valley.  Information that anyone can supply about any of these topics can be sent to the addresses below.

Additional publications about the area include: NEWS FROM YANCEY (out of print); A HISTORY OF THE METHODIST CHURCH IN THE TOE RIVER VALLEY; and IMAGES OF YANCEY.  There have also been extensive family histories (Bailey, 5000 pages in six volumes); Byrd (1,000 pages in one volume and two more of equal size in the works).  Other families of interest are Hampton, Honeycutt, McCourry, Ray, Moore, Deyton, Evans, Thomas, and Howell.

Lloyd was born on Jacks Creek in Yancey County and began to be interested in family history at age seventeen as the result of talking with his Bailey grandmother about ancestors, interesting and funny events during her childhood, and who is buried in old

abandoned cemeteries.


Lloyd has degrees in physics (Duke), is an ordained clergyman (Methodist, M.Div, Duke), and a PhD in Hebrew and Semitic Languages (Hebrew-Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion). He has published about twenty academic books and numerous articles in periodicals, dictionaries, and encyclopedias.  Now retired from teaching at Duke Divinity School, he is Barrow Professor of Religion at Mount Olive College and Adjunct Professor of Religion at Methodist College.


He is married to Judith Ann Long and has five sons (one of whom is very interested in family history).  Some of them can usually be seen with their parents at the Avery Heritage Festival each June in Newland.  



Conversation can be had by e-mail (, phone (919-489-8731), or by US Mail (4122 Deep Wood Circle, Durham, NC 27707).