Blog, genealogy

Ancestral Trails

Day 334

You know those hotel points you accrue when you make room reservations? We had a bunch of them due to expire, so we decided to make a one night hotel reservation to save the points. But where to go for a quick one-night mini vacation?

We decided to go north to try again to find the burial place of my great-grandfather. We drove up to West Jefferson, NC and traveled a short distance on the Blue Ridge Parkway. It is so beautiful anytime, but especially lovely when the clouds are low.

In West Jefferson and Sparta we spent some time digging through old records. Not much luck, unfortunately. I was able to confirm a few things and managed to fill in a couple of gaps. But such is genealogy. You must be in it for the long haul.

We plugged in the GPS coordinates for the place where I believe my ancestor is buried. We got within a mile. Then this:

Some notes we found later on indicated the cemetery is buried until heavily overgrown brush covered in poison ivy. The notes said you would need a machete to cut through the trees and brush. There was a list of all those interred and my great-grandfather’s name was not listed. That does not mean he is not there, but there is only one way to know for sure.

There is something about this area where my ancestors settled that grabs me and makes me feel at home. It is almost like it is an integral part of my DNA. We even joked about buying some property there.

Who knows. The next trip we may be more successful.


18 thoughts on “Ancestral Trails”

  1. So sorry you still can’t find him but you sure had some beautiful scenery to enjoy! Hope the hotel was nice too. 😍

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  2. Such detailed digging into your past is interesting for your readers, as it involves such research, and exploration. I know where my grandfather is buried, in a huge cemetery in south London.
    The cemetery was allowed to be ‘reclaimed by nature’, then later tidied up and managed by volunteers. At one time, my family would go there a few times a year. I haven’t been back to that grave for over 35 years.
    Best wishes, Pete.

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    1. That looks like a beautiful cemetery, Pete. Did you know your grandfather? Might make a nice side trip next time you venture back to London.

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      1. Yes, I knew my maternal grandfather well. He died aged 65, when I was almost 13 years old. I didn’t know my Dad’s father at all. He had only seen me once as a baby, apparently, as he had separated from his wife quite young.
        If I am ever in that area again, I will certainly try to discover if his grave is still visible. 🙂
        Best wishes, Pete.

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          1. Yes, he had Angina for many years. He died in his sleep whilst staying in a holiday caravan in Essex. There is a great story of how my Dad and two of my uncles propped him up in a car, drove him 50 miles back to London, then put him in his own bed. And all to save the hassle of a post-mortem in a different district, and the cost of bringing his body back for burial.
            You couldn’t make it up! 🙂

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          2. Oh, wow, Pete. That is quite a story. You’re right, you can’t make that kind of thing up, although I can see it inspiring one of your serials.

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  3. Well, you don’t know until you try. It sounds like adventure to go exploring with a purpose but you get to enjoy the scenery either way.


  4. I resonated with the sense of feeling at home in a place you never lived. I feel that way about New England and did long before I did the genealogy and learned my forebears lived within a few miles of our present home in 1635.


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