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Some weeks back, I finally got in touch with my cousin. I greatly enjoyed our conversation. I learned more about her and our family. What is of note for this space: According to my cousin, our family has held a reunion every year, in the same spot, for who knows how long! What a shocking twist! I did not know this, I never heard of this. So, I went to my mother. She expressed that she knew of there being a family reunion, but after my great aunt died, her father’s sister, she lost touch in that regard, as my great aunt used to hold them at her house.

Apparently, since our aunt’s passing, the reunions have been held at a community center in a nearby town. I am hoping I have not missed this year’s event and can find out where it is being held. I really want to attend!

I have recently connected with a first cousin on Facebook whom I hadn’t seen or talked to in years. Furthermore, we didn’t get to know each other very well, if at all, growing up. I lived in various places throughout the U.S. and overseas, and she stayed in a city other than where the majority of my mother’s side resides.

Too, there is bit of an age difference between us. My mother was the baby of the family, with a significant age difference occurring between her siblings.

My travels as a youth, and the gap concerning our existence on this plane, helped to create the reality of my cousin and I not knowing much about one another. Hopefully, that will soon change.

My cousin has agreed to allow me to interview her, largely regarding my grandmother, who passed before I was born, and grandpa. I didn’t realize she was able to know my namesake, and did not think to ask, but, in my reaching out to her, this was revealed.

I will gather a set of questions tonight and make the phone call to my cuz very soon — hopefully before the week’s end.

I give thanks to my ancestors for seeing this come to pass. May this lead to more knowledge of my family, those who have transitioned and those presently in their earthly form.

Ashe’

Tonight I called my grandpa, to check on him and to see how he was doing. We always have such lively conversations. Most of the time we are catching up on each other’s lives and that of our family members. This evening, however,  in addition to the usual, I decided to ask him some questions of his time as a youngster up until now, and that of some of our kin who have since passed.

I used to ask such questions, of grandpa, before, but stopped for a while as it became bit of an emotional time for him and I did not want to further upset him. Over time, when I tried again, I limited my questions to one or two — maybe three. Tonight, I asked if I could ask more of these types of questions and he agreed. Additionally, throughout our conversation, I made sure to go at his pace and guage how far he was able to go. Well, grandpa had a lot to say! 

I do not wish to delve into everything here, but I do want to mention that there are many stories of our family tree that I want to look more into and now, thanks to grandpa, I know where to begin.

Need some help coming up with questions for family interviews? Try this list to get you started.

A recent school assignment has helped me to break through, what I thought was, a brick wall. My classmates and I were instructed to write a brief biography of an African American woman and how we knew of them; it could be anyone — internationally known, alive, or not. I chose my late grandmother whom I posted about before. In revisiting some of her records, I came across those of other family members, in particular, my great-grandmother B. Blue. Somehow, I had previously overlooked the listing on her death certificate of both of her parents’ names! Perhaps I wasn’t at the time looking for them?? In seeking more information about each parent, I have been able to go back another generation on my family tree via census records. I was also able to find information about a great uncle. I am very thrilled about my recent progress.

I typed his name into the search engine several times before, along with the name of his wife and the county where, I had strong reason to believe, he was born.

Nothing.

I added an estimated date of birth.

Nothing.

Death.

Nothing.

I eventually moved on and sought information pertaining to other members of my tree. Earlier this week, however, I typed his name — Jethro WARREN — into the engine again and instead of including the name of his wife and the county in which I had strong reason to believe he was born (Harnett) — I simply selected “North Carolina.” Imagine my surprise to see the yielded result.