Tuesday, January 3, 2017

What I learned in 2016 Part One

Welcome 2017! Hope you're better than 2016.

Last year wasn't completely without merit. I learned many new things about my family history and also about myself. After attending the International Black Genealogy Summit in early September, I learned that I am an intermediate researcher and I need more challenging and informative conferences at that level. Of course, it is always a plus to mingle with like-minded people and to meet some of the experts in this field. Meeting and talking with Hari Jones and Kenyatta Berry was the highlight of the conference for me. Jones  is a writer, lecturer, historian, curator and motivational speaker. For twelve years, he was the assistant director and curator at the African American Civil War Freedom Foundation and Museum in Washington, DC. Berry, pictured below, is one of the genealogists featured on Genealogy Roadshow.

I learned the hard way how difficult it is to hold a family reunion. The Warrens and the Wilkins on my family tree met in late August. It was a labor of love for me. However, I'm afraid the result of this labor will be a "one of."

I took a trip back to Mississippi, hoping to uncover more information from the family cemetery in Summit. That was a big disappointment. I couldn't even find the tombstones I located on my trip three years ago or so I thought. After looking at the photos I took, I realized one of them was that of my great aunt Elizabeth Cotten Ames' tombstone, one I had discovered on the first trip. It seemed to have deteriorated faster than I would have expected.

Surprisingly, several new information surfaced in the last month of the year. Much of it came about because of the results from my DNA test, a gift that keeps on giving. More on that later.

I made no new resolution this year. The second edition of my family history is finished. There may or may not be a Koonce family reunion this year. I'm not even planning any trips for this year. If I had a resolution it would be to take it one day at a time and thank God for each day.

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