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 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 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 on June 19th all around the theme of FREEDOM in observance of Juneteenth!

Genealogy: The new reality show

I don’t watch much TV so I’ve missed the recent shows regarding genealogy research.  The episodes that I’ve seen of WDYTYA or Faces of America

Although, I like the concept…I’m not to gungho about sitting down and watching these 2 shows.  The fact that they’re based around celebrities.  People who may be casually interested in the genealogy.  Sure, they want to know where they come from.  But, I’m curious how many times did the sit down and open up a dusty book in the back of the Clerk of Courts, sneeze, while they painstakingly search for some sliver of info relating to their one ancestor??

I mean, sure the celebrity shows brings in the ratings.  And yes it does make for interesting TV.  We’re all curious to see if we could possibly be related to a celebrity somewhere in our tree.  But, I think it’s time to incorporate the real deal into the mix! It’s time to help the person that has been researching their trees, but due to limited resources and time, they keep hitting brick walls. 

But, the funny part is..I started writing just now and my mind took a side track.  Or the ancestors made me stop for a few minutes.  When I stopped, I visited my BF (blog friend) Luckie to see what she’s been up too.  Her very blog today is about what I was already thinking/writing.

The ancestors lead us when we begin this journey…sometimes they let us stand..sometimes they make us walk..others..we’re running!!!  Way to go Luckie!!!

Where do you research?

Being an out of town researcher, I rely heavily on online research. Although there are occassions where I’ll be able to travel to NC to do some hands on searches.  The only problem is, those occassions are few and far between.  So, where do you do most of your research online?

Personally, I also rely heavily on for all my online research.  I know that’s not the cream of the crop..but that’s where I first started.  Before I start my research again, I want to know where are the best places to go {online} to research. 

Where have I been?

I know you’re all waiting with bated breath as to where I have been in these past few months…;)
Well, first, I got married in November. Not a big wedding…not even a wedding. It was very “Hey, I’m getting married on Friday..can I take the day off?” kinda thing. Which for was PERFECT!!! I’m not the one to want a big wedding or have a big blow out. I believe in the K.I.S.S. philosophy. And it was just that..simple. What a great day!! So, married life has taking up a lot of time…with the whole newlywed syndrome. We just like to cuddle.

Second, cuddle time aside, I’ve been planning our family reunion 2010. I actually started in February of 2009 but now that we’re only 160 or so days away from the big event…I’m stressing a little bit. I’m doing most of the planning by myself. However, my dad and step mom are there for me to bounce ideas off of. With that, it’s taking up a lot of my time that I had for being online.

Third, and the biggest time consuming part, WORK! Yeah, that place I go to that pays the bills, has taken up the rest of my available time. *sigh* I used to be able to balance everything but with the changes at work, it’s been hard. I’ve had to travel and train others. Thinking that I may have time when I’m out of town for online ‘work’ was a misconception I had. So, with that, I had to take a hiatus from the things that kept my mind working. However, I’m trying to slowly get myself into it.

But, I’m still in the genealogy world. I haven’t stopped. I’m still the webmaster of the Family Research Society of Northeastern NC. Hopefully, in the coming month, I can actually get some research in.

Sumter County FL, Wants to Relocate Possible Historic African American Cemetery…

This cemetery is owned by the county and they want to move it so the land can be developed for other purposes.

This cemetery has relatives long forgotten. However, this doesn’t mean that those relatives should be moved from their final resting place. Especially, since this may be the oldest in Busnell, FL related to runaway slaves. The cemetery is more than likely over 100 years old and the fact that people were buried there as recent as 1956 would tell me that this little known cemetery is a family cemetery. A place where black folk have been laying their family to rest.

From my own experience, we placed our dead among family. We used the same area, same cemetery, same city to place our family members. The person buried there in 1956 would indicate to me that, those placed their before them were family. Not just a random black person.

Where is the city going to be moving the cemetery? We don’t know. But, according to the County Administrator, Bradley Arnold, they plan on placing it in a more appropriate location. What does that mean, and where is that exactly????

The sad part is, even if the development falls thru, Sumter County still plans on moving the cemetery.  What kind of foolishness is that?? Where is the new cemetery going to be located??? These bodies have been resting here for possibly more than 100 years and the county wants to simply move them for possible finanical gain.  That’s right POSSIBLE.

I hope and pray that the family members of those buried here speak out. 

Read here

and here

No joint researchers

I have been crazy busy lately at work which has left me not time to blog, let alone think about genealogy. I know sad!

But, since starting my search 2 years ago, I have come across ZERO fellow researchers.  Granted, I’m researching 2 specific counties in NC (Pasquotank and Camden) and 4 surnames: Banks, McCoy, Lowry & Spence.  Still no one.  Not one descendant from these other lines are researching the tree…that I know of.  

Why is that? Why aren’t more people, mainly African Americans, researching their roots? Is this not important??