I’m back…

…hopefully for good.

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.

New Years Resolutions…

I had the beginning of a blog post started earlier at work. But my attempts to email it to myself at home, caused me to accidentally delete it…DARNIT!! So now, I’m going to make the attempt to recreate it off of memory…oh boy.

Every year I make the attempt to make a resolution I think I can stick too. This year is no different. However, I think this years resolutions will be achievable. Because, I know you’re dying to know, I’ll list them for you.

  • Start taking the home study course from NGS. I want to start doing my genealogy research correctly to insure my information is accurate. Maybe one day, I’ll become certified.
  • Research Trips. I’m planning to take one in a few months to NC to take pictures of the cemetery on Mill Pond Road.
  • Treat my genealogy and family unity projects as a career. A career being different than a job of course. Career is something you want to do. A job is what you do to get by.
  • Get more into promoting my blog. I love the fact that I can do a search for ‘Spence Lowry’ on Google and Yahoo and my blog is the first to pop up.
  • Get organized. (Thanks to Msteri for the link) My records are some of everywhere and I have no real organization. More like, ‘I know where it is’ organized.
  • Post to my blog more constantly. The past few months I got caught up with doing a family reunion letter and creating a database for the family, that I let the genealogy slide a bit. I’m getting back on that horse soon!\
  • Possibly graduate my blog to a WordPress blog. I’ve noticed alot of people with wordpress blogs and I love what they can do with them. I have a domain name, I just need to look into it a little bit more.

Home related resolutions.

  • Only buy the foods I really plan on cooking. So many times I end up with meat in the freezer that eventually gets thrown out due to freezer burn. From now on, I will cook everything before I buy new. I think I’ll save more money that way.
  • Get organized. Yeah…home is a tad unorganized….still on the philosophy of ‘I know where it is’. I need to do better!
  • Pay off bills.
  • Eat healthy. Hopefully lose weight. But seriously eat healthier.
  • um…that’s about it.

I know I had more, but my memory sucks right now!!!

Life has settled….

….a little. Life changes constantly whether you want it to or not. Since my last post, I have moved, maintaining our family database, started working on scanning pictures, maintaining the family website and generally keeping busy.

The life changing event is the move. Don’t really want to elaborate but, I believe everything happens for a reason.

Now that I seem to have a little more time on my hands, and the projects are well on their way, I can get back into my research. I took a few months off because I was feverishly trying to get our first family newsletter out (Cousin Connections) by the first of December. Mission accomplished! With the help of family members on input and editing, the newsletter went out and the feedback has been great! The next issue is scheduled for March 2009.

We also have an ISSN. For those of you who don’t know, an ISSN is a unique 8-digit number used to identify print or electronic periodical publications. The benefit of having this is, our newsletter will be available for generations to come.

I may have created enough buzz with the family that they have started looking for the cemetery off of Mill Pond road. Heard it thru the grapevine, that some family members have actually taken pictures of some headstones at other cemeteries. I’m excited and hope to see those soon.

Thanks to Wendy who tagged me. I didn’t get a chance to complete it, but I appreciate being tagged and that I was still thought of during my hiatus!!

I plan on taking a research trip in February (depending on the weather) to Elizabeth City. This will be my first one and I’m excited about doing hands on research. Maybe I can find the court records that put my 2nd great grandmother, Cora Spence, in jail.

I don’t want you to think that I disappeared. I’m still here and will be in genealogy mode full force come the beginning of the year.


Oh My Genealogy!!!!!!!!

Mechie once told me to “the Ancestors are assisting us” and George Geder always ends his posts and comments with “Guided by the Ancestors”. Unless you research your family tree, you won’t understand this. However, those of us who are can feel themselves being lead in a certain direction.

Yesterday, while going thru my spreadsheet of ancestors, I stopped at Martha Lowry (B: 1899, D: 1916). She was only 16 when she died and I had already looked at her death certificate. The cause of death was unknown and the informant was James Armstrong, not her parents, which I thought was odd. Martha is the sister of the 2 sisters that married 2 brothers. However, yesterday I looked at the death certificate again and noticed something that I didn’t see before.

Place of Burial: Mill Pond Ground.

How did I miss this earlier?!?!?!?!?!?! Could this be the Hinton Burial Ground that has been eluding me for the past year?!?!

I have asked SEVERAL family members that live in Pasquotank and no one knows about the Hinton Burial Ground. However, after speaking to my dad about this one day, he did mention about a burial ground down the street from my great grandmothers house (Mill Pond Road). The same street several of my relatives have lived for YEARS! So, in recent days, I have asked several family members about burial grounds on Mill Pond Road. Low and behold, several family members remember a burial ground off a dirt road about 1 mile down the street.

I got chill bumps yesterday when I spoke with one of my cousins about it and he confirmed. If this is the Hinton Burial Ground, it’s an important piece of our family. The parents of our Spence-Lowry connection are buried here. Typing this is giving me chills!!!!!

I got chill bumps this morning when I spoke with my Cuz Tina and told me what her father said. “My father said that there is a cemetery on Mill Pond road. It’s at the end of the road.”

The hairs on my arms stood up for at least 2 minutes. I just kept thinking this must be it!!!!!

My dad is going to Pasquotank this weekend for a funeral. I’ve asked him to see if he could find this burial ground and take a picture.

If it is still there, I intend to make it my mission to get this restored.

*Update- I went back and looked at other siblings of Martha Lowry an found a sister of that was buried at Mill Pond Burial Ground also.*

**Update again-I was clicking on the Pasquotank County NC Gen Web site and then clicked on the Pasquotank County Government link. Wouldn’t you know, the county is trying to identify these unknown cemeteries!! I think I found mine.**

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