Sunday, July 26, 2015

Sunday Search: Virginia Discoveries

Not long after the reunion dinner started, those of us in attendance were presented with new genealogical information regarding our family history. This was a revelation to many of those in attendance and I was rather eager to see this new research that was being brought to our attention. Within the blue folder, in front of the directory of those in attendance that weekend, there were two pages (206-207) copied from Joan Wheeler LaGrone’s book “Chronicles of a Nation” detailing the history of the original family surname.

While many saw this as an expansion of the family tree, when I read through the short excerpt I realized it was more like a collection of leaves that had fallen to the ground. We know which tree they came from but we can’t be certain yet as to from which branch they fell. However, it is great information to have and while I was familiar with the New Jersey connection (they retained a surname that more closely resembles the original), I was unfamiliar with the history of the surname as well as the more recent Civil War era stories that were relayed in the book.

While that new information satisfied the curiosity of many, there were many other opportunities throughout the week that really provided additional color to the leaves on my tree. Many of these revelations occurred during a conversation I had with a Monacan woman at the living history exhibit at Natural Bridge. It was from this conversation that I learned of John Redcross’s participation at the Battle of Yorktown during the Revolutionary War. While I previously knew of his general service and the company to which he belonged, I was unfamiliar with his participation at this celebrated victory.

This conversation also put some pieces together for me as I found out that many Monacan families moved to Eagle Rock at the same time as my ancestors. I was always curious as to why they chose to move there and this provided me with a logical explanation… they were part of a group that moved rather than as an individual family. Finally, when discussing additional details regarding the documents needed to prove our ancestral claims, she provided additional guidance as to what documents to use and where we should look for other supporting information. Thankfully, we already have many of the documents that were discussed.

The following day, as has been recorded on this blog, we traveled to the Monacan Indian Museum in Amherst County. Once again, the woman there to greet us was warm, inviting, and seemed genuinely excited to discuss our pursuit of membership in the tribe. In addition to the advice that was generously bestowed upon us (and my Aunt a few days prior), I came across a book on display in one of the cabinets that offered a couple of pieces of missing information… the death dates for Preston Johns and his wife Louisa Terry (my third great grandmother – mother of Marcellias Nicholas Love).

With so much new information, advice, and connections made I am definitely looking forward to putting a few more pieces together as well as filling in the application I picked up for tribal membership. While this entire trip was a revelation of place, these moments were a revelation of knowledge. All of these things – people, places, events, information, connections, etc. – make up who we are and I am looking forward to retelling this story to everyone but most especially my son.