April is National Procrastination Month

kickingmyself AND…I don’t even think that’s right, but I’ve put off looking it up. Fitting, right?

Anywho..it’s been a while since I’ve posted. But life gets in the way of pleasure. However, I have purchased (finally!!) the Spencelowry.com domain. It was off limits for a while and I had to settle for the previously owned spence-lowry.com…which I hated. Who knew you could hate a dash so much. But, your domain name is like your internet home and I’m happy to finally have the one I’ve wanted.

In the spirit of procrastination, I’ve been procrastinating a lot lately. As stated early, life has gotten in the way and whenever I get down time, I just don’t want to think about anything. My grandfather contacted me 6 months ago about an event going on at Albermarle Museum. He gave me the name and number of a person attending and hosting part of the event. Well..that was some time in November and I was preparing for my husband’s deployment. I just didn’t have the time to give it my attention. But, I wrote down the info and saved it for a later date.

Well, today was the later date. My dad called me yesterday to tell me to call my grandfather about the museum. I even put off that call. Then my grandfather called me the next day (TODAY!) about it. SOOOOO…I finally fought my procrastination and called the number from 6 MONTHS AGO. and now is the moment in which I kick myself….

This man is related to William Jordan Thornton and has information on my ancestor Cora Alpenia Howard. You know…the same one I’ve been trying to find info on for…idk…a few years now. {insert mind blowing meme here….yeah}. Lets just say…I was just blown away at what he was able to tell me about Cora. Although I may have been relatively small information, just knowing another African American person is researching my county (Pasquotank) was enough to get me excited. I mean..I was excited AM excited (hence the post today).

Just imagine if I would have done this sooner! UGH!

The Big Secret…

When you’re shaking your family tree, a few nuts are bound to fall. However, sometimes a few skeletons fall also. I’m wondering, do you say “Hey..look at this skeleton bone that just fell” or do you dig a hole and bury it never to be found again?

When I say never, I mean, only to be found by the next person in your tree looking to shake it a little.

Everyone has a big secret in their family tree.  Some directly related to the person doing the researching.  Does that give you a right to make the secret known or do you wait for permission from all parties involved to blurt it out??  Some secrets can change the dynamics of an entire family.  What do you do with this information???

I survived…

Me and my cousin/best friend.

 I survived planning a successful family reunion! I don’t recommend do it alone! 

What is a successful reunion? 

  • Everyone arrived safely
  • We didn’t run out of food…not even for the late arrivals
  • Everyone had a great time
  • Everyone enjoyed the change!!!

We did our reunion a little different this year.  Since I was the one planning it, I changed alot of the traditional things we do during the reunion.  I was worried that I would get some resistence.  I was worried that we wouldn’t get a large turnout.  But I was wrong. 

I think the family was ready for some change. 

This year, we held the reunion, not in traditional Elizabeth City, NC.  But in Orlando, FL.  Nor did we hold it at the usual ‘last weekend in August’ that we have had it just about every year.  I moved the date up about 2 weeks to correspond when the kids were still out for summer break.  We had just over 100 people in attendance.  Which is awesome.  Granted when it’s in Elizabeth City..we have more.  But, a good majority of our family stays there.  So, being at the reunion is not a traveling event for them.  I was happy that we had a great turn out at this year. 

Many people took advantage of turning the reunion into the summer vacation.  Being in Orlando made it easy! 

Now I need to a vacation to recover!

Late Follow up on Wordless Wednesday

I didn’t get a chance to finish writing about this picture before. A family emergency arose and I had to put everything on hold. Now that the emergency is over and the family reunion planning is almost finished, I can get back to my roots.

So, about the picture…

My daughter and my mother are pictured above on their way to visit their roots.  My mother was so exicted and my daughter seemed miserable.  I mean, what a mean mom she has for sending her on an all expense paid trip and her getting her passport stamped before me!! 

Of course, there roots are my roots too, but I didn’t get a chance to go.  Way to expensive and I can’t take that much time off from work.  But, this was an amazing opportunity for my daughter to go and visit relatives in Ethiopia for a month over the summer. They went to Mek’ele in the Tigray region of Ethiopia.

As you can see the look on my daughters face..she’s wasn’t looking forward to the trip. In all honesty, she didn’t want to go. But, I told her that she didn’t have a choice. She wants to travel and traveling isn’t always going to be spa and resorts. Plus, she going to see family. What 12 year old gets these kinds of opportunities? As good experiences go, I think this one was perfect for her.

So, for a month, she stayed with my aunt (my mom’s sister), uncle, great grandmother, and 8 cousins. She got to see that simple luxuries like…underwear was a complete anomaly to her female cousins. Not that they were poor, it just wasn’t something that they wore. She got to see that her 12 year old cousin does just about everything that her mother. All the cooking, cleaning, even child rearing. A far cry from my American child who grumbles over just washing dishes.

Not so surprisingly though, she really enjoyed herself. Stereotypes that she left home with faded away. (she said, “it’s not as hot as FL..actually, FL is hotter!”). She was able to see London for a short time (“People really sound like that… “)

All in all, even though sending her sent mommy into the poor house temporarily, I’m glad she was able to get the experience she did. When she’s 20+, she’ll be happy about it too. But as a pre-teen…she’s just annoyed again…

Freedom Tweet 2010 #FreedomTweet

This is a repost from the Carnival of AA Genealogy.  I wanted to help spread the word. 

What is FreedomTweet 2010?

Where will FreedomTweet 2010 take place?

What will we do?

  • Tweet about FREEDOM using Hash tag: #FreedomTweet

What is the goal for FreedomTweet?

  • Drive folks to Twitter.com on June 19th to *tweet* at least once answering this question?  What does FREEDOM mean to you?

When will we need to *tweet* again?

Who can participate?

  • Given that FREEDOM is subjective, FreedomTweet is open to EVERYONE! We all can identify with being and/or desiring to be liberated from something, right?! FreedomTweet is for the entire community!

Is there anything we can do now?

  • Yes! Starting today through June 12th genea-bloggers should write about the history of Juneteenth and promote other celebrations happening across the country! If you write a post about FreedomTweet and/or Juneteenth, please email us at CoAAG2010@gmail.com and provide the URL!

Please spread the word about FreedomTweet 2010 with your employers, churches, schools and community organizations — everyone is invited to join in the celebration!

Anything else we should know?

We MUST get the FreedomTweet message viral — using all our collective networks to circulate the news! With a community effort, we could easily see several thousand folks hitting Twitter.com on June 19th all around the theme of FREEDOM in observance of Juneteenth!

Carnival of AA Genealogy

Although I missed the Carnival of African American Genealogy the past few months..i wanted to write on the one that seemed easiest… Grandma’s Hand: Grandmothers and their influence on the family.

Mine comes from a different perspective. More tragic for those who want to know their family I suppose.

Many of you know that I have been in search for my grandfather, George Washington Bolden. He would be my father’s dad. However, trying to find him has been one of the most difficult searches to date. Maybe because he’s closer to my heart than the more distant ancestors. I don’t know who he is, but I would love to. I see the pain in my father when the subject comes up. He disparately wants to know who this man is. What child doesn’t want to know their father? Just think about all the siblings, nieces, nephews, aunts, etc that he doesn’t know. Who knows..maybe we’ve crossed paths and had no idea.

But, this is how a grandmother, a mother can change the course of your family and it’s research. That traditional relationship of grandmother and child escapes many of us in my generation. Maybe due to distance or cross words between cousins. Maybe it’s due to jealousy of how one grandchild is treated compared to others. Either way, the relationships we have are very different than those I’ve observed.

Back up and running.

I’ve been able to get my blog pointing back to http://blog.spence-lowry.com.  I don’t know what I did to my DNS…but I jacked it up.  Now it’s back working..WOOHOO.

So, new developments.  I’ve been asked to be editor of the Family Research Society’s quarterly newsletter.  I’m currently the webmaster for their site.  But, being editor..WHOA.   I know I won’t have the time.  So, the president, Sharon Gable, suggested being co-editor with the current editor.  Hmmm..that could work. 

Family research has been slow lately.  Kind of hit roadblocks with every turn.  I hadn’t blogged about them because I keep hoping for the ‘AH HA’ finding to write about…so sad.

Planning the family reunion is TIME CONSUMING to say the least! I’m doing it alone and there is alot to do!

I know I’ve missed several of the Carnival of African American Genealogy!!! Ugh!! I hate that!  I swear I can’t find time in my day *cries*. 

About Mount Carmel Baptist Church.  My first thought for the church was how upsetting!! That has been the church that many of my ancestors and current family members were raised.  I have uncles and cousins who are deacons at that church. 

Then on the flip side, the family researcher in me just kept thinking..WHAT ABOUT THE RECORDS????? *sigh*.  Unfortunately, when I spoke with the secretary last year, she said that she didn’t know about any records.  I was hoping to find information about Great Great Grandfathers sister, Cora Alphenia Howell.  She got married in that church in 1955 and hoping to find more information about her.  I know she had children and one daughter was named Inez.  *sigh*

Who’s ready for the 2012?? I’m ready to see the 1940 census!!!

Fire of Home Church

Today, a fire destroyed a 147 year old church in Elizabeth City.  This church was the home church of my family for many years and possibly had records related to my family research.  It’s sad to know that information and history may have been lost thru this fire.  Many ancestors were baptized, married and laid to rest in this church.

No one was injured in this early morning fire.  However, the church building appears to be a total loss.

Fire destroyed a 147-year-old church in the Newland community of Pasquotank County early Sunday morning.
Fire officials weren’t sure what sparked the blaze that completely gutted Mt. Carmel Missionary Baptist Church on U.S. Highway 158. The Elizabeth City Fire Marshal’s Office is investigating.
Robbie Whitehead, chief of the Newland Volunteer Fire Department, said passers-by notified emergency dispatchers about the blaze about 4 a.m. Sunday.
By the time firefighters arrived a short time later, the church was fully engulfed in flames, Whitehead said.
The Newland VFD, joined by firefighters from the South Mills Volunteer Fire Department and the city of Elizabeth City, battled the flames for more than an hour, bringing the fire under control about 5:30 a.m. Approximately 50 firefighters responded, Whitehead said.
By noon Sunday, all that remained of the brick church was a smoking hulk. The church’s menu-board sign announcing Sunday services and a gold-painted bell, both of which sit in front of the church, were not damaged.
Right now, fire officials don’t have any idea how the fire started or where in the church the blaze began.
“When (a fire) becomes fully involved, it’s hard to tell that at this point, Whitehead said.
Whitehead said firefighters had spoken to several of the church’s deacons, and none had any idea how the fire might have started. Church officials told Whitehead that parts of the church were at least 147 years old.
There is nothing right now to suggest the fire had suspicious origins, Whitehead said.
“Right now the investigation is going on,” he said.
Fire investigators from the Elizabeth City Fire Marshal’s Office visited the fire scene earlier Sunday and are expected to continue their investigation today, Whitehead said.

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