Oct 3, 2013

She

Her story begins with a letter. It was thick and written by hand, an art form that has since been tossed aside for a keyboard and a screen.  In this letter were dates, names, and locations; family that she never knew existed.  But her story really began long before the letter, its genesis in a place and a country that is in her blood with a deep longing to return. Her ancestors are calling to her.  “Do not forget us”, they cry. “We are part of you.”

When she was in her mid twenties she met her great aunt from Georgia.  Her aunt lived in the same small town where the young woman’s mother was born. The Aunt was old and bent over from working endless hours in the carpet mill.  She told the young woman about the many hours she spent in the library digging for her roots. This was long before the internet and ancestry.com. Where books, wills, and the census were harder to locate than it is now. The young woman returned home wondering if she was intelligent enough to begin her own search. It seemed like it was a very daunting task.

William Sealsbury Campbell & Delphia Jane Massey


Ten years went by before the young woman thought to give researching a try.  Her mother passed away when she was 33 and the desire to know more about from whence she came was stronger than ever.  She was very unsure what to do or where to go for help. Then a friend told her about a woman, who’s IQ was equal to Forrest Gump, who could help with the research.  She gave what bit of information that she had to the researcher and waited in anticipation.  Before long a new generation was discovered.  Questions were asked and the young woman told herself that if the researcher can do this, then so can she.

Oh the quest wasn’t easy.  There was so much to learn, so many avenues to take to reach the same goal.  Then there were the names. Oh the names!  There was Wesley, Elbert, Seal, James, Archibald, James, and another Archibald.  Rarely did these men go by there first names, which made the digging all the worse.  Wrong names were listed on documents galore. In exasperation she wanted to bang her head on the wall.  She worked tirelessly to find the right names, the right connections. She ran into brick walls, and then by some miracle found a break through. On and on she went, trudging through paperwork like a soldier going to war.

William Sealsbury Campbell & Delphia Jane Massey
Each generation represented our country. They stood up for this great nation. Her family fought in World War I & II, the Civil War, the War of 1812, and the Revolutionary War.  Her mother would be very proud to know that her daughter found the path that was paved back to the beginning of this nation by her ancestors.  She felt honored, but most of all blessed.  When she found two relatives who fought in the Revolution, she then thought that she just might want to become a daughter.  Not just any daughter, but a Daughter of the American Revolution.  The application was filled out, the mound of documents copied and stapled together, then sent to the gods, hoping for approval.  In a few short weeks the answer came. Then she smiled.  

The “she” in this story is me.