Sunday, August 19, 2012

Family History

Hardin Columbus Vaughn, Cecilia Belcher Vaughn and family. 

Back in 1977 when I was in the seventh grade at Meadows of Dan Elementary School, our teacher, Phillip Barry, gave us an assignment to investigate our family tree.  I was very lucky because my Grandpa & Grandma Burnette had always told me many stories about my ancestors and they both could remember SO much and SO far back that it was a piece of cake!  I also talked to my Grandpa & Grandma Vaughn and they told me quite a bit about that side of the family. Both sets of grandparents took me to see all of the family graveyards and they pulled out bunches of old family photos.  Without hardly any trouble at all, I got my family tree back to all 16 of my great, great grandparents. 

That school assignment fired me up to try to find out more and more about my family tree.  I remember my mom taking me to Stuart to the old library that was in a two story house just west of Moody's Funeral Home.  I remember pouring through records there and making some copies of documents that they had available.  On the Burnette side of the family, I could NOT get past my Great, Great Grandpa Burnette.  All that I knew was that he was called "Bill".  Yeah.  That narrowed it right down to about a dozen possibilities! I gave up on family research for a while after that.  

In college, I was talking every Appalachian Studies class that I possibly could and those classes stoked up the fires of my genealogy research again. This time, I made copies of lots of old family photos and made some progress on several different branches of my family tree.  Slowly, the fire died back down as I became involved with all of my college classes.

In the mid 1990s, I found a wonderful software program called "Family Tree Maker" where I could start plugging in all of my family tree information.  What a fabulous program!  I could add photos, stories, and documentation.  Plus, I could create booklets and charts.  I was in heaven!  I also started digging even harder to get more information to add to my family tree.  I visited graveyards, courthouses, relatives, special library collections and looked up things online since more and more people were starting to preserve their family histories online.  Of course, one has to be very careful when getting information from things posted on the Internet, but it can always give you ideas where to look and how to verify information also. 

A couple of weeks ago, I started getting the genealogy itch again.  I ordered some books through inter- library loan to start digging again.  Then, strangely enough, just this week someone started a group on facebook called "Mountain Top Families" for families in Floyd, Carroll, & Patrick Counties, Virginia.  I think that it is meant for me to start digging again!

Genealogy is looking mighty good after I spent all afternoon knitting only to realize that I made a HORRIBLE mistake 500 stitches back. I am totally disgusted. Perhaps I will take a break from knitting and work on my family genealogy once again.  

Copyright 2012--All Rights Reserved--The Wheel & Distaff by Kimberly Burnette-Dean.

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