Hello, my name is Rachel Brown. Back in July of 2004 I went on a trip with my Aunt Joyce (Turner) to Somerset, KY. We went down for only one reason and that was to find out more information on our family history. Truth be told, we were looking forward to having fun and relaxing as well.
My interest in my family's history started with a class I took in college, Multicultural Studies. We had to do a final project on our family. We had to include where our family had originally come from, how that had identified us culturally, and how that affected our personal identity. This was a difficult project because I had no clue where my family was from. No one in my family knew anything about our nationality, except for the fact we were American.
I had heard my Grandpa say he thought our family was from Germany. (He was way off!) As fate would have it he had passed away almost two years prior so I could not ask him any questions. I had some serious work ahead of me! I started searching internet sites and had minimal progress. However, by the end of the semester I still was not any closer to finding anything of significance. I gave my presentation, but was not satisfied with my results.
When summer break came my aunt asked me if I wanted to go to Somerset, KY. She said we could track down more information about our family. A small break sounded like just what I needed after a hard semester. I also had an itch that I needed to scratch. The lack of success when it came to my school project had left me wondering even more.
I knew that I needed more information to go on or when we got down there we would just run into a lot of dead ends. I don’t remember exactly when it happened, but I finally got the lead I needed while I was researching one night. The lead was a small one, but it was enough to give us just a little more information. This enabled us to find the cemeteries where are ancestors were buried.
While we were in Kentucky we had the privilege of meeting my Grandpa’s cousin Bernell and his wife Rosene. He was very helpful and gave us even more information, including an old family picture. Our family had not stayed in touch with relatives who still lived in Kentucky so it made searching for information hard. Since my Grandpa had passed away a short time before it was interesting to hear Berrnell’s stories about my Grandpa when he was a kid.
Over the years I have continued to find information to add to my collection. Of course, I do not know how valid some of the information is. However, I do have more of an idea of “who I am” when it comes to my heritage. If only I could take that class again!
- Rachel Brown