User Home Page Book: In Search Of Rodger: Foreword
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ForewordThe "In Search of Rodger 1710-2003" book, got started in 1992
at the 1991 family reunion,when I asked Aunt Nana why the
family history was so short?
Indiana Jones was my aunt, she asked me to help do the family
history for the next family reunion.For as long as I could remember
Aunt Nana, had been doing the family genealogy
for theFamily reunions.So I agreed to do some research,,
since I was retired and had some timebetween my fishing trips.
Little did I know at the time that it would endup being
a eleven year journey, that is eleven years and counting.
I started out trying to find out who my great grandfather and mother were?
Were they enslaved?or were they free?The answer to these and other
question has lead me on a eleven plus year genealogy journey.
I have been to every Courthouse, library, andcollege within a six county radius,
Hyde, Craven, and Pamlico counties. Also Lenior, Beaufort, and Carteret
counties.In Hyde County where my family was first found.
I walked on the same dirt roads and fields they slaved in.I went to the
slaveholders homes and checked their personal files on micro film, and
the court archives. I trace them through the census, Bill of sales, Wills, Deeds
and other court papers.I looked in every nook and cranny I could
think of.Some times it drove me to tears, but I kept on looking,
I kept on searching.I had to know the answer to all my questions,
and the more I learned the more I wanted to know.How much did they
sell for?Who brought them?How old were they?Who were their
parents? Where in Africa, and from what tribe did they come from?
What was the name of the slave ship, and who owned it? And on an
on an on.As you can see this can go on and on until it becomes a complete
obsession, all consuming.I'm sure you have realized by now it can be
very expensive.I have not bothered to even try to add up the cost,
but I know it's in the thousands.Thank God for the computer and the internet,
without them I could not have found as much information as I have.
I have to also thank God that our ancestors were so valuable,
the slaveholders kept very good records of their property.
Every transaction was well documented, all nice and legal.
As I was looking at the old records I would be hoping that the owner
of my family would sale them or put them in their Wills,
because then they would be listed by names and some times age,
and if I was lucky their would be a description of them. How tall,
weight, complexion etc..,It was at these times that I would pause
at the micro film page and visualize my ancestor, and who in the
family they would look like.These were the most tearful times,
it was at these times that I knew why I was doing the research,
and that it would never end.I could not stop until
I brought them back to life,each and everyone of my family.
My finding them and telling the family about them gave them new life,
it made them real.They were no longer lost in the dusty pages of history,
now their story could be told.Now their children, children,
children will know them, and their stories.
My search for Rodger has lead others to research their families roots.
I hope it will be an inspiration to you to start your search.
Your family is waiting to be discovered by you.
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