By Connie S. Hall
The past two weeks I’ve been away on vacation touring some of our great country. I found North Carolina and Virginia full of early American history.
During the last four days of my trip was a gathering for the Mathieu Agee descendants. This was an extended family gathering for my grandfather who came to this country from France during the Huguenot movement. He came with an uncle when he was but a young man of fifteen in the year 1700.
There were more than ninety people at this reunion, and most of them I’d never met before. They came from many states, and many religions. The only thing everyone had in common was they were related to this one man, and they wanted to know more about him and those who came after him.
Many times, I have pondered if certain people were my friends before I came to this earth to live. As we assembled, I was surprised some of these strangers seemed so familiar to me. I was sure I had known them before. It was as though we had been friends for years, and they are no longer just distant cousins. I know the friendships I developed last week will continue for years.
The speaker the last evening encouraged us all to not just look for dates, but to look for the skeletons in the closet. Find an interesting story from their life. This is what makes family history come to life. Everyone would rather hear a good story about something that happened instead of just that he was born, married, had children, and died. Genealogy isn’t just finding the facts it’s about seeing our ancestors as real people. We should walk the paths they have walked by telling their stories. I would like to encourage everyone to dig up those stories about the past.