It’s been almost a month since I’ve posted anything. But, I haven’t abandoned the blog. I’ve been busy trying to manage a lot of tasks.
Anywho…last month on the 20th, I went to the Black Family History Day in Morrow GA. That was a 5 hour drive for me, but it was my first genealogy related trip since starting my research in 2007. I can’t even begin to describe how much I enjoyed it! There were so many African American people that were knee deep into their research. Me, on the other hand, I’m only about toenail deep in comparison. It was at the NARA in Morrow, GA and they gave excellent presentations regarding resources to use when researching your ancestors. Many resources I didn’t know about. Especially since I’m just getting started with my hands on research and doing less internet research. Also, I was able to meet Melvin J. Collier. Melvin is one of my friends on Facebook and I was extremely delighted when he instantly recognized me. He’s the author of Mississippi to Africa, A Journey of Discovery and I got a copy of my book signed. One day, I could be worth some money 😉
I highly recommend this book researching their African American ancestors. Melvin shows you in his book how he traced his ancestors and the tools he used specifically to get the information. I’m half way thru the book and I’m jealous of the pictures he has of his ancestors!!! I’m only 2 years in, but I haven’t turned up treasures that he has.
The following weekend, Feb 27th, I went to Elizabeth City, NC. My father, daughter and myself left Thursday morning for our 9 hour drive. I was excited on the way up. My plan was to spend all day Friday at the county clerks office researching my ancestor, Buenna Spence. Friday came and my dad dropped me off at the county clerks office. However, I made a rookie mistake. I didn’t make sure they had the book I needed before I left. I did call and made sure that I could access their records and hours of operations. But, when I got there, the book I needed, 1922 court records, was sent out to archives. DARNIT!!! I didn’t let myself get upset. I just got to know the other dusty records they had on hand. And they have a lot!!! This was my first time doing research in a courthouse and I just wanted to look at everything. I viewed wills from 1800. I was loving every bit of it. I didn’t find anything about my ancestors because I was just ‘looking’. I didn’t know what I was looking for since my original mission was squashed. But, I made a decision that I’ll go back for an entire week. That way, I’ll have more time to do what I need to do.
The most important part of the trip was sitting and taking to my grandmother and grand uncle about stories they heard and people they know from around town. My grand uncle has a lot of stories because he would sit and listen to his mother when she told them about family. Not many of the other siblings, my grandmother included, listened to their mom when she talked about ‘olden days’. But my uncle did. I need to get back there and sit with him and pick his brain.
Last but not least, I think I know exactly where the Millpond Burial Ground is. This is a picture of a spooky old house that I would need to past in order to get to the field where the cemetery allegedly is located..(that was a long sentence). I got was so excited to be able to see the house that’s on the map in person! We also went to Gallop Cemetery on Blindman Road. Thursday and Friday in Elizabeth City were cold but dry days. However, Saturday, the day we went to look at cemeteries, it rained!! It was freezing! But, I had my tail outside taking pictures of headstones…in the cold and wet. Nothing but adrenaline was pushing me at that point. I’ve never been in a cemetery before, so I don’t know proper cemetery etiquette when it comes to the dead. So, I just said, ‘Sorry’, if I stepped on any graves.
I didn’t recognize any names on the headstones in my family tree. But I took pictures of all of them. My cuz, Tina, is researching her dad’s side of the family and several of these names are in her tree. I plan on posting the pictures to Find A Grave once I get some time.