Barry's Relatively Speaking: A Locked Door Is Opened

Posted on Oct 02, 2012

Barry's Relatively Speaking shares the personal experiences and stories of genealogists found in the Everton Genealogical Helper Magazine collection on MyGenShare.com. Mary shares the following experience.

In the geneaiogy class at South-side Virginia Community College, a young black student despaired of ever identifying anyone earlier than her grandparents. When told to begin her search by interviewing older relatives, she insisted, "All my grandfather ever wants to talk about is how beautiful my grandmother was!"

I prevailed upon her to let him talk about that, to question him for even more details about her grandmother. Maybe then, the grandfather would expand the scope of his reminiscences. Two weeks later, she excitedly reported to the class that her grandfather had told her the names of his parents and grandparents, the counties they had lived in, and stories of slavery recounted to him by HIS grandfather. Her excitement and interest were further stimulated on a class trip to Virginia Archives, where she located, on microfilmed records, the birth of her grandfather and the marriage of his parents, verifying her grandfather's information. With a stronger sense of identity and a stronger desire to compile a family history of interesting anecdotes which deserve preservation, this student has learned that knowledge of ancestors is behind locked doors of time only for those unwilling to try every key available for opening them.

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