If you think about it “exploring backwards” day after day is akin to traveling. I am traveling back in time as I research my ancestors. I take you, the reader, along for the ride. Recently, I have spent a good portion of my time focusing on my paternal side. The reason for this concentration has been in preparation of my upcoming travels to Georgia. I want to be sure that I use this time wisely. Is there something online that I do not need to focus on? Is there something in Georgia that I can only do in Georgia? These are the questions that I have had to answer.
You see, I have gathered my Aunt, a cousin and my sister and we are going to explore the homeland. Well, it is not the original homeland of the family, it is rural Georgia. When I think of it, I think of red clay, Swamp Guinea and the old white homeplace with the separate staircase. This is the place where my family has been since my fourth great grand-father; Samuel Whitehead (1760-1844) migrated from North Carolina to Oglethorpe County about 1785-1789.
I am super excited because I will meet in person some distant cousins that have become more tangible in recent years. Over the course of my explorations, I have made contact and corresponded with them. My cousin Sara, she and her brother own some of the key pieces of family property. Miss Kitty, my distant cousin’s mother still lives in the Steven’s family home. My other second cousin Charles seems to know where everyone is buried. I will write more when I return.
Until then, I will be exploring backwards.
There was about 400 miles between where we lived and where my Nordmark cousins lived. It was at Easter time that our two families got together. My Dad’s sister, Annette married a great guy, Don and together they had 5 children. Combine that with my family of 4 children, you had a full house come Easter weekend.
I believe we alternated years. One year the Whitehead’s would load up in the station wagon and make the trek to a northern Chicago suburb. The next year, the Nordmark’s would come down to a Cleveland suburb. I recall them having a van. Our parents must have done this because they realized how important family is to the development of children. Why else would they torture themselves for that trek? If you recall this was before video games, etc. So, I am not even sure what we did to keep ourselves occupied for 5 or 6 hours. Do you?
I think it is important to have interactions with your cousins. We share a similar family history. They are usually our first friends as children. They are the only ones to understand your crazy family. We each had a least one or two cousins that were of similar age. Jeff, the oldest, didn’t have anyone close to his age, and Joe(y) didn’t have one close to his age, but otherwise we had instant friends all weekend.
In our family, everyone remembers the famous Easter outfit that cousin Aimee wore one year. She was a box of Sun-Maid Raisins from head to toe. Otherwise known as the Sun-Maid girl, I have looked for the picture with her in full attire but I cannot find one, so below is the only one that I have. Maybe one of my cousins will share with me.
Joe, Krista and Aimee
So Happy Easter family, if you recall other Easter memories, please feel free to comment here. Until later, I will continue to be exploring backwards.