Monday, April 30, 2012

April Travels

This has been a busy month for You Go Genealogy Girl #1.  I flew to Washington, DC the day after Easter.  A few days later I took Amtrak to Wilmington, Delaware to meet cousins I had not seen since 1994.  Latrer my cousin from northeast Tennessee met me at Lexington, Virginia and we traveled back to his home in Mountain City, Tennessee.  After a few days there, I came back to the DC area and flew back to Nebraska.

Old Swede's Church in Wilmington, Delaware
It was all the things I did between these jaunts that have provided me with memories that will last forever. Because I love cemeteries, I was on a constant lookout for anything that resembled a tombstone.  At Wilmington my cousins and I visited the Old Swede's Church.  My Swedish ancestors attended church there.  The next stop was nearby at the wharf where we saw the restoration of the Kalmar Nycklel, the ship that brought those ancestors to the New World in 1638.

My cousins who met me live a few miles north in Pennsylvania.  Time was spent there catching up on our lives, having a family open house (with lots of great food) and of course, visiting cemeteries.  While I was in Virginia I spent several days at the City of Fairfax Regional Library where I found an excellent collection of books, maps and film.

The trip to Tennessee also included North Carolina and was non-stop each day in my quest to visit as many libraries, museums and cemeteries as we could fit into the day.  I had not seen my Tennessee family since 1997.  So, once again a lot of visiting to catch up on our lives.  This also included seeing a Wyoming cousin who had flown to Tennessee the day before I arrived.  We had not seen each other for over thirty years ... that's way too long to go without family connections.  These are all first cousins and so our memories include being together as children.

Mountain Laurel Inn - Damascus, Virginia
We made a trip to Abingdon in Washington Co., Virginia where I spent hours in the Washington County Historical Society in the old depot.  They have a fantastic collection of documents, photographs and books and I left with many copies.  Before we arrived in historic Abingdon, we drove through Damascus in the same county.  While there we turned up the lane of the Mountain Laurel Inn.  This used to be the home of my Rambo relatives.  It is now a beautiful Bed and Breakfast.  Unfortunately it will not open for a few weeks, so we were unable to go inside.

Met a cousin on the NC mountain top!
The next day we drove to Ashe Co., North Carolina.  I have so many ancestors buried there that almost every cemetery will be worth visiting.  My cousin stopped the pickup in front of our Aunt Bertha's old house.  It is well kept and still as pretty as it used to be.  We drove up the trail beside it as I wanted to locate an old cemetery I had visited many years ago.  It is overgrown.  My cousin kept driving his pickup further up the trail which seemed to run perpendicular.  At the end of the road we saw a lady who had been out for a morning walk.  Even from there the mountains were still higher and higher.

We visited with the lady only to discover that she is a distant cousin.  I quickly snatched my iPad out of my purse and began reciting our relationships.  We share an ancestor who is buried in that overgrown cemetery.  You never know where you'll find cousins!

Next on our trip was the Ashe County Historical Society Museum in the old courthouse in Jefferson, North Carolina.  From there we went to West Jefferson, North Carolina to Ashe County Public Library.  There is a nice genealogical collection in the library.  I whizzed around through books trying to use as much as I could in the amount of time we had for our visit.

Easily this trip could have been expanded into several months.  As the sun would set in Tennessee and the peepers and whip-poor-wills began their chirping and singing, I wished for more daylight hours to locate cemeteries.  I needed time to visit courthouses, libraries and relatives.  With all of my genealogy on my iPad I was pleased with the portability of it, along with the use of the camera and video in the iPad.  I kept notes on Evernote and Drop Box along with PDF Printer.  The iPad was a great way to show my cousins their ancestry and old photos.

In a few days, You Go Genealogy Girl #2 and I will be together at the Nebraska State Genealogical Society conference in Grand Island.  She will be back here in North Platte on May 16th and we plan on making a research jaunt together here in Nebraska.  You got it .... the girls are on the "run."

Ruby --- You Go Genealogy Girl #1

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