Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Getting to know Charleston, South Carolina and some little known southern roots ahead of the national genealogy conference

Writing from Charleston, y'all!

Yes, I'm speaking with a Southern accent. I've only been here 24 hours. That's how I roll.

Cousin April and I left at 4 in the morning yesterday (that's Monday May 9th for anyone who, like myself, is easily confused)...we stopped for lunch in Hopewell, Virginia just southeast of Richmond where a distant relation of hers and an even more distant relation of mine, a Civil War veteran, is buried. We made it to Charleston in 15 hours, which is great time but a looong one-day trip. Since it was still light out (yay, daylights savings!) we drove around the historic section on the waterfront a bit before stopping for dinner. Charleston waterfront? Gorgeous. Old-school Charleston architecture? Everything you picture when you picture the Deep South. This is definitely where Rhett Butler came from.

So, the genealogy conference doesn't actually start until tomorrow. Today were some optional seminars and trips, and April went to one at the Charleston Public Library and I had signed up for a trip to the state archives in Columbia. I love archives, but I didn't go.

Here's the thing about Charleston. The city is architecturally and even culturally beautiful, as I knew it would be. I've been to South Carolina before but this was my first time in this city. I've been wanting to come here for awhile but not to see any museum or historic landmark or whatnot. I feel a connection to Charleston.

I don't feel connected to any American cities. My family came to America for the most part, landed in New York and said, "That's it. I'm done. That's as American as I get." All my American ancestry is in the New York metro area. Yes, I have New England ancestry too, but most people with colonial ancestry do. That's been well-documented and as a New Yorker you learn about it and travel there - there's nothing new to learn about it. But this deep-rooted American New Yorker has some Deep South roots, and those roots grew here in Charleston.

It's late and we have to be up early to check-in and begin a day of workshops tomorrow, so I'll end it there for now, but I'll update you later this week on both my experience at and review of the conference as well as share with you about my Story family and Ellis family and getting to know them a little better as well as a little more about this place they called home for three generations in the late 17th and early 18th century.

G'night, y'all! :)

1 comment:

  1. I understand this feeling. I grew up in SoCal but it's Louisiana that has a hold on me.

    Can't wait to hear more about the conference. Have fun!