Lucky to Have Photo Taken with 6th Great Grandparents

William & Martha Forman Brooks, 6th great grandparents
William & Martha Forman Brooks, 6th great grandparents

Three things that I love about Robin: 1) Like me, she grew up on "The River", 2) She loves family history as much as I do, and 3) She's recently retired and wants me to tag along on her bucket list of genealogy adventures.

For me, "The River" was the Mississippi, flowing slowly past my hometown of Dubuque, Iowa. For Robin, it is the Pamlico, which is the Tar River, which flows under a bridge in Beaufort County and magically changes names. It continues to the Pamlico Sound and into the Atlantic Ocean.

Robin and I have had several adventures this spring, all blog-worthy, but the theme throughout has been locating (so far) seven generations of her ancestors. We've honored them by adding new cemeteries & photos to FindAGrave, cleaning their gravesites, and restoring their headstones so they can again be easily read.

We've had so much fun, traipsing around Beaufort, Hyde, and Carteret Counties in North Carolina, where her family has resided for hundreds of years. In comparison, my family trekked westward from the moment they arrived on this side of the Atlantic. They settled in Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, Iowa, and Kansas, never staying long enough to establish generations of family, like Robin's family, has done.

Robin & I on the ferry between Aurora and Bayview, NC
Robin & I on the ferry between Aurora and Bayview, NC

Our very first adventure stop was at the Benjamin Gaskill family cemetery at Maule's Point. The flat-lying stone slabs were covered with leaves and dirt and not visible at first look. Knowing there were five graves, we started raking back the soil. We were able to uncover Robin's 3rd great-grandparents, Benjamin & Martha McClaud Gaskill. We cleared the cemetery of leaves and debris and cleaned the stones. Doug put up fence to mark the corners of the cemetery, in an attempt to keep farm machinery from accidentally running over the graves.

Benjamin Gaskill Cemetery restoration
Benjamin Gaskill Cemetery restoration
Benjamin & Martha McClaud Gaskill, 3rd great grandparents
Benjamin & Martha McClaud Gaskill, 3rd great grandparents
Doug installing fence
Doug installing fence
Cemetery restoration completed
Cemetery restoration completed

After three trips to "The River" and hundreds of miles of driving down roads with names like Mouth of the Creek, Great Ditch, Gum Swamp and Slatestone, Robin has been photographed with 22 grandparents. She assures me there are still more grandparents to find, photographs to take and graves to clean. As Robin's "Clacky", I can't wait!

Where will you hunt your ancestors? Are you lucky enough to have deep roots within a couple of hours' drive from where you live? Or, are you like me and need a multi-week cross-country adventure?

There are more "Adventures of Robin" to share, but until then Dig into More I Hunt Dead People Stories already posted...

2 Comments

  1. Cynthia Dixon on May 27, 2022 at 5:24 PM

    Oh my!!!! You ladies continue to prove to me how awesome you are!!! Robin, let me know if you get around to our mutual Sublett family!

  2. Sandra P on May 28, 2022 at 10:34 AM

    I love this so much! Two of my friends on the road having fun and hunting dead people. ❤️

    Like Robin, my people have been here in NC for 200-300 years, having previously settled in Virginia after traversing the big pond from the British Isles. I need to get serious about tracking down the graves, especially my patriot.

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