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.

Link

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 right..so 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??

Researching Humans…

I just completed the newsletter interview with my 80 year old 1st cousin 2 times removed. She is the grandchild of my 2nd great grandparents, William and Harriet Lowry.

My cuz, Tina, is usually responsible for this, but she tried on several occasions get it done. However, this cousin was not available when she called. So I told her I’d try. BINGO – she was available.

She gave me some insight in to who my 2nd great grandparents were as people. She said that William was a fun man. He played with all his grandchildren and she remembers him having a garden that she would play in. He was short ‘about 5’ somethin’ and dark skinned. Harriet was a ‘big fat light skinned’ woman. She was also somewhat taller than her husband. She had long hair down her back. She enjoyed when this cousin would come over and cook for her. She also said that they both were very nice people.

Now, this cousin was only about 8 or 9 when her grandparents passed. So imagine…cooking at that age.

It was nice getting to hear what type of people they were and it helps put more humanity to the names. Hearing for the umpteenth time that Harriet had long hair down her back (from someone that actually saw here), is something. In African American genealogy research, it is often assumed that if an ancestor was noted having long hair or long dark/black hair, they must be Native American. Of course, this is just and assumption and we all know…you should never ass-u-me.

Surnames I’m Researching

I know I’m late but I’m trying to catch up. But, a few weeks ago, other blogger began posting the surnames their researching. I believe Geneablogie was the first one (I got a Note from him on Facebook).

For those of you who don’t know, the surnames that I’m researching are listed on the right side. I try and tag my blogs with the surnames I’m writing about.

Pasquotank County, North Carolina

  • Spence
  • Lowry/Laurie/Lowery/Laury/Lowrey
  • Banks
  • Williams
  • Ferebee/Ferbee
  • Howell
  • McPherson

Camden County, North Carolina

  • McCoy
  • Spence (Want to see if the African-American Spence’s of Camden are related to the Pasquotank Spence’s)

Hiatus

With writing a newsletter and the holidays coming up, I hadn’t had much time for research. I also hadn’t had that urge to focus on anyone particular for a while. Maybe my ancestors are busy too. I don’t feeling them guiding me towards an ancestor, but I do feel them guiding me towards unity.

See, with my family, we have had a separation for far to long. For reasons unknown to me, Spence-Lowry family has been a bit divided. This is my own opinion. My family may not agree, however it does appear that way. So, my quest has been to try to unite my family. The 2 sisters that married 2 brothers.

Usually our family reunion consists mostly of 1 sister and brother’s family. The Bessie and Ed side. However on the Rosa and Enoch side, very few come to the reunion. I can understand why. But, I’m not going to air that on here. But, what I want for the coming years is for both sides of the family to feel connected. I don’t want one side to feel more or less important than the other. There is a reason why we call it the Spence-Lowry family. Because it’s the 2 sisters that married the 2 brothers. We are strongly connected and we should remain that way.

OMG!!!!

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.**

View Larger Map

Now What?!?!

Now that my family reunion is over, I’m feeling a little lost on what I should do next. Of course I’m researching my family tree, but I had a project. It was to present the family tree at the reunion. Project completed. NOW WHAT?

I have several ideas in the works. Still working on the family website and trying to decide should I have one or convert it to the NING.com site. If I keep the website, I want to have pages for all branches of my tree (Spence, Lowry, Banks, McCoy). We’ll see what happens.

I plan on starting another project called “Millpond Project”.

I’ve been told for many years that everyone on this road is family. Now, I aim to prove it. After doing some quick research on a few different people on that road, I have been able to connect them back to my tree. In addition, since these are living family, I won’t be posting about them just their ancestors.

I am working on a mystery regarding a cousin. I didn’t have the pleasure of knowing him since he passed before I began this journey. He was the nephew of my great grandfather, Aaron Edward Spence. However, when I asked how. Of course, no one could tell me. Prior to the reunion, I was able to track his daughter down and ask her some questions about her father. It’s amazing what information you can find. More about this mystery on another blog.

The family network site is going well, and I like it much better than a Yahoo or Google group since it doesn’t have to be tied to having one type of e-mail address to use it. Thanks to Mechie for introducing it to me and thanks to my family who have signed on and invited more family to join!

Sad Story…..

….about family memories lost.

When my Great Grandmother Bessie passed away, her things were divided. As many precious things, some her children didn’t know what to do with. So, they left them in her home to make a decision at a later date. Her home is in our family so there were no worries of anything happening to them.

However, one relative came to live in Grandma Bessie’s house after her passing. Many of her things were removed when this relative moved out. Such as: a picture of my 2nd great grandparents, William and Harriet Lowry. These were Grandma Bessie’s parents.

The story goes that this relative took the picture to take to ‘someone’ to get copies made. But, this ‘someone’ lost the picture. Nor does this relative remember who this ‘someone’ is now.

I hope this story is NOT true. I hope that the relative is just hoarding the picture and other belongs. I hope that they weren’t just lost due to irresponsibility. Something so precious just can’t be lost!

I know I’m early into my research and people having quite opened up completely to everything just yet. But, I hope and pray that this is something that will come to light soon.

Our Family Reunion

A continuation of the Wordless Wednesday.

If I had to guess, this was our 1979 family reunion. In this picture is my uncle when he was probably about 20 or so. Also, the thick little boy sitting on the end, that’s my cousin Jo-Jo (I think…lol) This picture has my aunts (red shirt and the blue shirt) and a uncle (see guy with come over?)
The blurry person is my Grand Uncle Clement! He’s the one that was born about 3 months before my dad. That means my grandmother and great grandmother were pregnant at the same time.
And..the cute one in this picture is ME of course. That’s my cousin Michelle holding me.