Thursday, July 1, 2010


I met an artist friend of my Mom's yesterday at an art show.  She's a lovely lady and it's always fun to catch up with her.  She asked what I'm doing with myself these days and so I told her about my little project tracing my genealogy.  A bit later she was back with the same question, only she wanted to know what I was doing artistically.  I thought about it for a moment and realized I'm not doing anything artistic at all at the moment.  So I told her I was in a creative slump.  She said good, before long I'd be back at it with more energy than ever.  I think she's right and I trust that when the time comes, the familiar creative juices will flow.  For now I am continuing to research my family lines. 

My grandmother always said she was from North Georgia (only she pronounced it "Georgee.")  She would often say that the further you went up the mountain, the meaner they got.  She said her family lived at the very top!  I pictured hard working gritty gun-toaten mountain folk.  I compared notes with my cousin and realized that all this time I've spelled my grandmother's maiden name wrong.  I was missing one little letter.  I entered that change at  Suddenly a whole world of information opened up and I kept finding more and more.  My grandmother was always a question mark in my genealogy, I know my other three grandparents were ethnic Swiss Mennonite but she was raised Baptist and came to the Mennonites after she married my grandfather.  He was a chef, she was the head of service at a restaurant in Atlantic City.  They married and he decided to return to his Mennonite roots, bought a farm in Rockingham County, Virginia and farmed for the rest of his years.  He died two years before I was born, my grandmother sold the farm and had a home built just outside of Harrisonburg where she lived the rest of her life.  She died on Valentine's day, a number of days after her 90th birthday. 

My grandmother's ancestors are from Philadelphia, North Carolina and Virginia.  Beyond that they are from Ireland, Scotland and Wales.  This continues to be an interesting process.  At times the process is tedious, at other times the discoveries are very interesting.  I am enjoying the journey!

One of these days I'll get back in the studio, but for right now... this is exactly where I need to be.

Here's to heritage, the known and the unknown.  
God knows.
-Carmen Rose

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