I Came So Close

To being able to be the North Carolina GenWeb Site Coordinator for one of my main counties of interest, Edgecombe County, North Carolina! Turns out someone beat me to the punch to request it when a notice was sent out that the county was adoptable. I have roots there and just submitted a profile to be included in the upcoming Heritage of Edgecombe County book. That would have been perfect!

But, I was able to take on a different county instead, Martin County, and I think I can do well by it. Martin County lies between Edgecombe County & Washington County (another one where I have roots), so I will at least be familiar with some family names I think I’ll see there.  I’ve also come across several mentions of the county in the Roanoke Beacon newspaper (of Washington County), that I’m transcribing. 

I won’t be able to start any official site maintenance duties until my class this month is over, but I’m already to develop some ideas for site organization.  It’s been one year since I became site coordinator for Blount County, TN and I’ve really enjoyed the opportunity to help contribute to the genealogical needs of researchers interested in that county. I hope to continue helping for this new one!

Show & Tell

The call for submissions to the 55th Carnival of Genealogy has been announced and the topic is Show & Tell! Participants are charged with sharing an “…heirloom, a special photo, a valuable document, or a significant person that is a very special part of your family history.”

To this end, I’d like to share this picture of my grandmother, Alice Elizabeth McNair as part of her high school graduating class.  To accompany the picture, I also have her original commencement program as well! These two are part of my treasures because of the fact that I have a photo and the program.

My grandmother is pictured 2nd from the left in the front row of girls; as the picture shows, there were 13 graduating members.  Last year, I made contact with a distant cousin of my grandmother’s who is also related to one of the other girls graduating that year.  I’m not sure which one she is, but the cousin informed me that the girl had passed only a few months prior to us talking. I was able to send her copies of this photo and the commencement program for her to share with my grandmother’s deceased classmate’s children.

The high school my grandmother graduated from was Plymouth Colored High School in Plymouth, Washington County, North Carolina.  I am pretty sure that somewhere, I have her diploma as well (or, my mother has it).

New Acquisition

Genealogy work for me has been varied for me these past couple of days. We recently went on vacation to Florida and had a wonderful trip. I’ve got more info on my main blog and some pictures as well.

As for genealogy – while I was away, I did get a goody in the mail. I’ve posted before about Somerset Place – a large plantation in Washington County, North Carolina. I was so curious that I ordered a copy of the book from a bookseller online. Only cost $3. I am glad that I ordered it too. While I doubt I’ll find any connection in my family to this plantation, it does provide some insight into plantation life at that time. If you’d like to know more about it – it is in Google Books.

Somerset Place

I have just learned some very interesting history of Washington County, North Carolina (a county where I am focusing part of my genealogy research).

I was looking at the 1860 slave schedules and found an entry for a Josiah Collins who owned 328 slaves and had 37 slave houses! This immediately piqued my interest and a quick search revealed that Collins owned Somerset Place, apparently, the third largest plantation in the state of North Carolina during the antebellum period.

Apparently, the site manager has done extensive research and written a couple of books about it. There is also an organization for slave descendants. I will have to keep my eye on this just in case I come across any slaves that may have been part of that plantation. The Official Website is at http://www.ah.dcr.state.nc.us/sections/hs/somerset/somerset.htm.

A few resources for extra reading…
1. Generations of Somerset Place by Dorothy Spruill Redford
2. Somerset Homecoming: Recovering a Lost Heritage – by Dorothy Spruill Redford
3. “Re-interpreting America’s History – African American History” by Kendra Hamilton
4. “Somerset Place – A Colossal Slave-Built Plantation” – by Bridgette A. Lacy