26 October 2010

Family wreath: Golden girls.

My mother's side of the family like to stay in one place - Eastern North Carolina. A few have left but most see no need to go anywhere else. Our ancestors came from Germany and liked the area so much they decided to make it their home. A local scholar has been preparing a book on the history of the families which includes some 6,000 people. At a recent family reunion he described a 'family wreath' which interconnects all the larger families in the area - it was not out of the ordinary to marry your third or fourth cousin when pickin's were slim! I am really looking forward to the book's release to read more about the area and see all the fascinating stories brought together in one place.
Being back home for several months now I've learned so many things I never knew as a child spending summers at Grandma's house. The same two-story farmhouse has been in our family for generations (you can see a bit of the house and its surroundings in some of these photographs), and it seems everyone in the little community has their own special memories associated with it. At one time three generations lived under one roof and people also rented out rooms upstairs - the house was brimming with non-stop activity. On Sunday evenings the house was a true gathering spot and you might even catch a short film at the old tent shows that passed through or slip on your roller-skates for a trip to the local store. Countless people were born or died in the house and when you stop to think about it all, it's pretty incredible. It is a very different place today but I'm so grateful to be surrounded by such a rich history. I've got some beautiful old tin-types to scan in for you but for now here are a few pictures of my more immediate relatives: my mother, grandmother and great-grandmothers, among others.

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