I started this journey over 10 years ago alone in the library looking through census records on microfilm. I wrote out my family tree by hand from the one funeral program I had of my Granny’s and the newspaper obituaries of my other three grandparents and my great grandmother. I hadn’t read any genealogy reference books at this point, and really didn’t know if what I was doing was correct. All I knew then was this research made me feel closer to my grandparents. So even after I had answered the questions my son had asked that started this journey, I kept researching.
My research led me on a quest to find funeral programs. I started out with one, my Granny’s. Now I have a collection of over 200. My research led me to find family photos. I started out with a photo of my family from 1988 to now having a series here on my blog dedicated to family photos called Wordless Wednesday. My research led me back to my hometown earlier this year when I created a display in honor of my hometown African American high school, WF Branch. That display led to an article in the July/August 2022 issue of Family Tree Magazine.
I had no idea when I made the phone call to the librarian at Arkansas State University, Newport to inquire about doing a display for Black History Month that she would say yes. Nor did I know then that I would end up creating two different displays (one for the local historical society and one for the library) and that I would be the guest speaker for Arkansas State University, Newport’s Black History month celebration. Never in a million years would I have ever guessed that I would be in a national magazine for any reason and surely not for anything family history related.
I have had a subscription to Family Tree Magazine for many years now. Family Tree Magazine has been on every genealogy gift guide I have done. I tell everyone who asks about beginning genealogy to go to their local library and read Family Tree Magazine. So for me to actually be in an issue means more than I can put into words. I want to thank Sunny Morton for the beautifully written article about my family, our family school, and the display.
Creating these displays has been one of the things I’m most proud of during this journey. I was able to celebrate and honor my family’s school, the school’s staff and students. I was able to share the school’s history and memorabilia with the community to ensure that the legacy of WF Branch continues on. Thanks to Family Tree Magazine WF Branch high school’s history will be available to people all over the world.