Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Wordless Wednesday


This beautiful mushroom was in the cemetery in Everetts, NC in which many of my paternal ancestors are interred.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Walking Among the Ancestors - My 2014 Research Trip

Yes, it's almost been a year since I took the long overdue trip to the ancestral home county and with this post, I'm finally talking about it to someone else besides my family.

You would think that as long as I've been researching and as long as I've lived in North Carolina (most of my life) that I would have made a trip to the ancestral home county eons ago. But through the years I've learned that the ancestors call you back to the research and where you need to be on their time frame, not necessarily yours. And I'm glad I was finally able to heed the call to head to Eastern North Carolina.

In reflecting back on my trip, it was probably best that I waited all these years, because while I didn't really learn a lot of new details on the paternal side of my family, I probably wouldn't have gotten to visit the ancestral cemetery, see land that my great grandfather owned and that still remains in the hands of my Grand Aunt Goldie's descendants. I owe those discoveries to my second cousin Clifford Curtis, Grand Aunt Goldie Everett Johnson Hyman Benton's grandson, who accompanied me on this trip. In turn, I was able to enlighten him about some of our ancestors.

So, let's begin. After work, on Thursday, Sept. 11th, I made the trek to my cousin's house in Raleigh. We would get up early the next morning to begin our journey to Martin County, NC.

We first ventured to the county seat, Williamston, where we went by the courthouse and the Martin County Library.


I didn't find any new information at either place. Most of the records that I was looking for had been sent to the state archives and there were no copies on site. I spent the majority of my time trying to educate cousin Clifford about our heritage and also trying to obtaining clearer copies of documents I had downloaded online.

After leaving Williamston, we stopped in Everetts, the ancestral town.



For me, this was the highlight of the entire trip.

First cousin Clifford took me by the family property, which was owned by our great grandfather and which Cousin Clifford's line of the family still owns.




Clifford said that our old family home was just on the other side of those trees to the left in the second picture. None of the direct descendants of my great grandfather, Peter T. Everett, have lived here in over 40 years, so Clifford and his brothers rent the land out. It is currently planted in soybeans.

It was kind of surreal standing in that grove between the fields of soybeans and feeling the presence of the ancestors all around me.

Clifford then took me a little further down Goldie Road, named after his Grandmother, where we decided to get out and do an up close and personal inspection of the cotton. Note: this land is not our family's land.



After we finished our off road adventure viewing the family land, we stopped by this little cemetery, where Clifford said is grandmother, grandfather, and uncle were buried. Little did I know I was about to discover the final resting place of a few other ancestors, too.


Sadly, I still have no clue as to the name of this cemetery. I thought it was named Everetts but when ever I made a request on Find-a-Grave for photos, I was always told that there wasn't a marker and yet, I found all but one of the requests I've made through the years.

First there is Grand Aunt Goldie, my grandmother's big sister, and Cousin Clifford's grandmother.




Cousin Clifford's grandfather and Aunt Goldie's first husband, Rev J. Henry Johnson.


Right next to Rev. Johnson, was my Great Grandmother. The discovery of my Great Grandmother's grave brought me great joy as I didn't even have a clue where she might be interred as that part of her death certificate wasn't completed. The other weird thing about Grandmomma Edith's death certificate is that the state has a copy of it (I got my copy through Ancestry) but the county doesn't have a copy of it.


And right beside Great Grandmother was Great Granddad's second wife Della, who died 7 years after Great Grandmother. I imagine that had to be hard on Great Granddad, losing not one but 2 wives in less than 10 years, all while raising your grandchildren and working your own business. Great Granddad was a merchant (he owned a store) at this point in his life.


Other relatives buried in this cemetery were Cousin James Henry "Buddy" Johnson, who was cousin Clifford's uncle.


Rev. William Alonzo Everett, Clifford's and my 1st cousin 2x removed.


But there was one grave missing that would have made this journey complete, that of my Great Grandfather. Cousin Clifford and I scoured every inch of that cemetery looking for him and we had these stickies all over our clothes to prove it.



But Peter T. Everett is either not interred in this cemetery or if he is there he doesn't have a stone. There is one other possibility, too, the grave might be damaged.

There was this grave, beside Aunt Goldie's that for some reason my gut tells me it's my great grandfathers but it's cracked and caving in and there's very little left of the inscription on it to be able to make out anything.


All in all though, it was a wonderful trip, and I thank Cousin Clifford for going along with me and being my guide.

----------
All of the pictures in this post are a part of the personal collection of the owner of this blog.





Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Wordless Wednesday

Wow, it's almost been a year since I went to the ancestral home county (Martin County, NC) and I've still not posted about my research trip. So, today begins the discussion of the trip.




Goldie Road is named aver my Grand Aunt, Goldie Everett Johnson Hyman Benton. The small NC Town in which Goldie Rd is located is Everetts, NC. The name Everett is also my paternal grandmother's maiden name.

------
This picture is part of the personal collection of the owner of this blog.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Mystery Monday and Motivation Monday - July 20, 2015

Hey folks, still struggling on the blog posting front, but things are progressing. Still working on the office decluttering but I'm almost done with what I'm calling Phase 1. Since I'm writing this post ahead of time, I may have even finished Phase 1 by the time this post to the blog.

The end of Phase 1 means two things, 1) I get to move on to garage decluttering for awhile but more importantly, 2) I  hope to be able to really focus on getting back on the genealogy and getting my genealogy files organized. You know I keep telling myself that if I didn't have to work, I would have the office totally back into organizational shape by now.

In the meantime, although I'm waiting for a reply, I actually did some real genealogical stuff this month. (This is the Mystery part of the Post).

As you know, from time to time when I'm bored, I google various ancestors names, hoping that something pops up. Usually even if something does, it's really nothing that benefits me but this time I'm may have come across something when I googled my grandfather's name, Harry Claudius Jones, for the umpteenth time.



Most everything that came up was either from my blog or information I had entered on Find-a-Grave. But there, at the bottom of the page, was something I hadn't seen before from Google Books. There appeared to be a hit in the Annual Catalogue of Virginia Union University. So, I clicked on the link. I still was not expecting much. This had to be some other Harry Claudius, right? But to my surprise, this Harry Claudius Jones, was from Everetts, NC, my grandmother's hometown and where my grandparents lived during the early years of their marriage.



Source: https://books.google.com/books?id=brJGAQAAMAAJ&lpg=PA63-IA79&ots=XlK1yQcW6a&dq=%22Harry%20Claudius%20Jones%22&pg=PA63-IA79#v=onepage&q=%22Harry%20Claudius%20Jones%22&f=false

He was in his second year in 1913. In 1913, my grandfather would have been 21 and about a year away from marrying my grandmother.

Since there seemed to be more than one catalogue contained in this listing, I searched subsequent years and found other listings for Harry Claudius Jones from Everetts, NC. My gut tells me this has to be my grandfather. After all how many Harry Claudius Joneses can there me from the same little small town in North Carolina. But the gut needs supporting documentation, so after consulting with my genea-friend, Renate, from Into the Light, I decided to write to the Virginia Union Alumni Association to see if they could help me.

I'm hoping that if there are some records that they will perhaps shed some light on my granddad's biological family, specifically my great grandmother Martha,  but more than anything, if this is my granddad, I'm just thrilled to learn about this part of his life. While his tombstone indicates that he received a Bachelors in Philosophy, I never heard dad or any of the aunts and uncles mention anything about granddaddy going to college. And my first cousins (all older than me) hadn't heard anything either.

By the way, since my genea-friend Renate lives in VA and often passes through Richmond in her travels, she has offered to stop by Virginia Union and do look ups if need be. If I don't hear anything soon, I may have to take her up on that offer or better yet, go myself during the Afro American Historical and Genealogical Society (AAHGS) conference, which will be held in Richmond this year. For now, though, I will try to be patient and continue to work on the organizing, and other life happenings.

Until my next post!


Monday, June 29, 2015

Motivation Monday - June 29, 2015

It's hard to believe it's been nearly six months since I've posted  anything to Conversations and as I stated many times both here and on Georgia Black Crackers, I can't promise this time is going to be any different but I pray and hope that this is finally the turning point where I return to my research and blogging.

Since today and tomorrow are the final days of the month for June, I'll just go ahead and move into the goals for July 2015.

If you've been reading the few posts that I've done this year on Georgia Black Crackers, you know that this past month, I've been steadily working on getting my office back in order, so my first goal for the month of July is to finish this project (Goal Date: July 31, 2015). Believe it or not, I've made tremendous headway in getting the office organized but still feel like I have a long way to go. When you are finding papers dating back to 2004, you realize that this is going to take longer than expected. I've filled my recycling bin to the brim three times now (it only gets picked up every other week) and still have more to add.

Other goals for the month are as follows:


  • Post about 2014 research trip to Everetts, NC. (Goal Date(s): Weeks of 06/29/15 and 07/06/15
  • If I complete the overall office organization, began the organization of genealogy files plus spruce up the file cabinet that contains much of my research information (Goal Date: 07/31/15).
  • A minimum of one blog post per week even if it's a meme.
  • Contact Virginia Union Alumni Association to determine if my grandfather attended school there (Goal Date: July 4, 2015). Since I've not been blogging, you don't know about this potential find. Hopefully, one of my blog posts will bring you up to speed on it.
  • As, with the maternal side of the family, determine exactly where I was in my research the last time I was seriously researching and develop a plan for the next research steps. (Goal Date: July 18, 2015).
Hope to see you later this week!


Friday, January 2, 2015

Goals for 2015

It's so hard to believe that another year has ended and new one has begun and I'm sure I'll be saying the same thing next year at this time. The older you get, the more time just seems to fly by.

Even though, I didn't get much blog posting or research done, 2014 was a some what productive year. So here are a few of the happenings from 2014 (both genealogical and non-genealogical)


  • After living in my home state for the bulk of my life, I finally made the trek to eastern North Carolina to visit the ancestral home county. The ancestors had been calling me to do that for awhile and while I really didn't gain any new knowledge on this trip, there were a few exciting moments.
         I'm also reminded that I never did a post(s) about my research trip, so that is goal #1 for 2015.

  • This leads me into one of the more exciting finds from 2014 and it happened right as I was getting ready to go on that research trip. I discovered quite a few newspaper articles that mentioned my Great Grandfather, Peter Everett, and my Great Grand Aunt, Goldia Everett Johnson Hyman Benton. Once again, no great genealogical gems but since, until then, I had never come across any of my ancestors in any newspaper articles, it was the thrill of a lifetime.
          So, goal #2 for 2015 will be to blog about those newly discovered newspaper articles.

  • 2014 was also filled with sadness. Just as I was finally starting to come out of the genealogical funk that I had been in ever since my dad died in March 2011, I was once again back there as I lost my beloved companion of 14 years.


Shelby (2000 - Oct 28, 2014)

  • I did manage to get through 2014 without any new crazy health issues. Just a lot of follow-up on the 2013 issues, which caused me to go through a lot of sick time. So, from a health perspective, I need 2015 to be a sane year.
So besides the 2 goals already mentioned, what are the remainder of my genealogical goals for 2015. The usual ones - 

  • Get back to blogging and researching
  • Get the nearly 30 years of research I've done organized. One of these days I hope to hand all this off to  someone and I would like for them to be able to figure out what I've done.
  • Plan a trip to the NC State Archives, which is another one of those you would think that I would have done a trip there by now but I haven't.
  • Plan a family reunion for the descendants of Peter and Eadie Everett (great grandparents).
  • If time and funds allow, attend a genealogical conference, seminar, or class.
  • And most importantly, because life is so fragile and so short, do a better job of staying in touch with my family. 

I'm really looking forward to 2015 and hope that you are, too.




Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Wordy Wednesday - Aunt Martha's House

Picture of Aunt Martha's house is from 
the personal collection of the owner of this blog.


This is my Aunt Martha's house. Until this summer,  I never really thought I had a sentimental attachment to this house. But  this summer, the memories have come flooding back and it's been tough.

My Aunt Martha died in 2001. In her will she left the house to her younger brother, my daddy, and her younger sister, Aunt Emmanuline. Dad bought out Aunt Emmanuline's share of the house, so, when daddy died, the house passed on to me.

It was never my intentions to sale Aunt Martha's house. Since, I always wanted to have my own business, I started out thinking that I could be a landlord and it would be the perfect setup since the house was paid off and I wouldn't have to worry about making a mortgage payment. But even while daddy was still living, I came to the conclusion that being a landlord was not for me. That being said, I still couldn't motivate to do anything about the house. Well, that is until this year.

One day, back in the spring, I woke up and decided that I was tired of dealing with the insurance company that covers the house, decided I was tired of people calling me about the house, and decided that I was just tired of dealing with it period. So, I've been spending the summer trying to get the house cleared out, so that I can put it on the market. When this started, I didn't think it would take as long as it has taken. After all, some of this was done  while daddy was still living. Little did I realize, how much was still in the house.

So, this summer, I've been spending many weekends over in the hometown trying to get the house cleared out. This has taken longer than I had expected, and no, as of this post, I've still not competed the task but I'm pretty close.

Most of the summer my mother had been helping me try to complete the task, so I guess I didn't have time to think about things that much. But Labor Day Weekend was a different story.

I had contacted the Hospice Store in my hometown to come pick up most of the larger items on the Friday before Labor Day. My mother wasn't with me that day, so after the Hospice crew left and with the bulk of the house now emptied, the memories came flooding back and would not ease up. As I went through each room to compile a list of what still needed to be done, the memories rolled. I pictured my Aunt Martha talking to clients of the now defunct Cleveland County Teacher's Credit Union, my grandmomma in what was her bedroom, and the biggest one of all, the summers when my aunts, uncles and cousins would come back to North Carolina and descend on my Aunt's house for a few weeks. I truly miss those summers from that bygone era.

As much as I miss those times and as much as I would like to hang on to the house, I also realize that time marches on. I really don't have time to deal with the house. So, I'll spend the last few weeks of this summer and first weeks of the fall, completing the task of clearing out the house and finally putting it up for sale. And yes, I find myself explaining to my Aunt Martha, who loved this house, why it must be this way. And I hope that the next person or family that buys the house will be able to build their own memories.