Saturday, August 5, 2017

History in my Hand

Today, I visited the North Carolina Archives in Raleigh.

Wait... let me back up a bit.

I have been away from genealogy and this blog for a long time.  Years, in fact.  Then in the spring, I was in Georgia once a month to help my mom following her cataract surgeries.  So I had some down time.  I "met" a couple of new cousins online who sent me their family trees.  Mom and I drove to Dublin, Georgia, and met a couple of other cousins.  All of this lit the fire once again.  So for months now, I've been doing genealogy research.  Almost every night into the wee hours.  I've added over 1,000 ancestors/relatives to my Family Tree Maker database.  But yet I still haven't written a blog post.

Recently, I came to the realization that I have lived in North Carolina for 6 years and haven't done much research on my family from here.  So I started making plans.  To visit some places.  To find some documents relating to my Tapley ancestors.  Of course, I had been to the archives in 2012 and found some of these documents, but I needed to refresh my genealogy memory.

Now... back to the beginning of this post.

Today, I visited the North Carolina Archives in Raleigh.   I had an experience there that I want to share with everyone.  So here I am, back in the blogging world.

I found the Last Will and Testament of my 6th great grandfather, Hosea Tapley, from Caswell County, North Carolina.  It was supposedly written in October of 1780 and probated in June 1781.  Now I had a microfilm copy of this will.  I had even abstracted it here on my blog:  See Amanuensis Monday: Last Will and Testament of Hosea Tapley.  However, today what I found and saw and touched and photographed and copied was the ORIGINAL.  Yes, folded over in a folder, pulled from the back, where I assume there is a climate controlled room in which this 237 year old document resides.  I was overwhelmed.  In awe.  Almost teary.  To be able to see and touch a document that old, pertaining to my ancestor.  It was an amazing experience.

I don't know how anyone could not be affected deeply by that.

If we don't know where we come from, then how will we know where we're going?

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