Unearthing My Family Roots is a blog for everyone...if you are interested in family history, genealogy, fun facts, or walking down memory lane, you will find a home here. My roots are mostly southern but my blog will cover topics as far as the east is to the west. Here's to family, friends and fun!
Saturday, February 28, 2015
The Day I Discovered the Family Bible - Part 3
By the time I was born, my Grandfather Garrison was already 69 years
old. I have no memories of the tobacco
farm. I am not even sure if it was still
a working farm. While growing up, however,
I did hear many stories of how they would have to work long hours out in the
fields, in the North Carolina heat, getting the tobacco cut and into the barn. They
would cut the leaves and take them to the tobacco barn to hang and cure with a
wood-burning furnace. Harvesting tobacco was a very hard and dirty job.
Today, the old tobacco barn is still standing, though in much disrepair.
At one time there were almost half a million tobacco barns in the state but
only about 50,000 are still around today.
Oh the stories it could tell!
The Old Tobacco Barn
My dad was career Air Force, and we traveled all over the world while he
was on active duty. We didn't get back to North Carolina often but when
we did, we always loved visiting with family. The Garrison’s had annual
reunions, which were huge and so much fun. There was usually a big horse
shoe tournament, complete with bracket charts to determine the ultimate
winners. Trophies were given and the
competition was fierce.
The reunions were not only an opportunity to see family, and for the
grown ups to catch up on things, but it also gave all of us cousins time to spend
together, getting to know one another.And
I had a bunch of cousins!There were
thirty some grandchildren and my brothers and I were some of the youngest.Someone would always step up and organize games for us
to play. Some of our favorites were Kick the Can and Capture the Flag. One
year we decided to play Kick the Can as it was getting dark.That didn’t end well.Two of my cousins came running around the
corner from different directions and ran into each other.There were some major bumps and bruises.All lived but lessons were learned.
On one of our trips back to NC, I remember sitting in the middle of the
kitchen floor, playing jacks.One of my
older male cousins got down on the floor and played jacks with me for a while.I don’t think he had a clue what that meant
to me.Well, forty some years later I
still remember it with clarity so I guess it meant a lot!These were always great times, but for my
family they were few and far between, so we treasured every moment.
Some times when we made it back to North Carolina, we would barely hit
the door and one my aunts and uncles would come get me and I would get to go
spend several days at their house with three of my cousins. I loved those visits. We always had a great time! My Aunt, the wife of my mom’s youngest
brother, ran a catering business and sometimes I would get to help out on some
of her jobs. It gave me a chance to
watch how she worked and she could run circles around all of us. She was and still is an excellent cook. We still love going to their house whenever
we get a chance. And an added bonus is,
I can walk right across the street and see another one of my aunts, my mom’s
second oldest sister. A true blessing
having them both still here and living close to each other. Grandma and Grandpa have long since passed
and, sadly, of their 12 children, these are the only two still living.
Grandpa and Grandma in their younger years
In later years
Terri's Tidbit for Today: If you are researching your family, don't forget to use Facebook for finding some clues. Many times there are genealogical or historical societies in towns or states that have a Facebook page. I joined one for North Carolina, recently, and listed a brick wall I had hit on one of my Great Great Grandmothers. Within 30 minutes I had a response from someone who helped me bring down that wall. Use all the resources you can to help you find some of those allusive family members.