Sunday, September 7, 2008

Prayer of Thanks

Finally I reached the beginning. It all began in Rutherford North Carolina in around 1817, and continued in Eastern Tennessee in 1869. I won’t be able to explore Rutherford for another 3 days, but I’m sitting in the Newport, Tennessee, Comfort Inn as I write this blog.

I’ve exhausted the accessible and inter-library books, newspapers, microfilms and fiche, as well as online and database searches of the family. I’ve received the results from a preliminary 12point DNA - I know, basic, but it was all I needed to get 11/12 match all with the surname Morris in Ireland, Scotland, and Wales, no trace in Africa which is what I was trying to locate. Logically the last step, at least for me, is to now scour the local courthouses, see the land, try to connect the dots, and fill in the holes (and there are many).

So today I landed in Charlotte and drove the 3 hours to Newport Tennessee through the majestic Appalachians, crossing the so well-researched French Broad River, imagining the rugged path they crossed on horses December of 1869. I minded the speed limits closely 65, 55, 70, as to slowly take in the terrain, the sites, the greenery, the home-place of Wiley, the slave, the blacksmith, the man who paid for his own freedom in 1855. The man who successfully established his family in Rutherford and Eastern Tennessee, in spite of his less advantageous start in life as a slave.

As I did the trek, I could only say a continuous prayer of gratitude thanking God for His generosity in opportunities, and my ancestors for their ever-growing flicker of American hope .

Kathleen Brandt
Accurate, Accessible Answers

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