By: Allie Webb

As Mother’s Day approaches I think of how blessed I have been in life to have one of the sweetest Mothers. But on this holiday I often wonder about all the women down thru the generations in my family line.

I recently dove into the world of my ancestry, even going so far as to do the so called ‘Spit test.’ I have to agree with the lady on the television commercial I’m sure we’ve all seen, that it does not seem appropriate for a ‘Southern Lady’ to spit in a tube, but never the less, I gave it a try –

I have come to learn my family immigrated here from Great Britain back in the sixteen hundreds with a few hardy souls coming from Ireland and Scotland, I guess that explains why there are so many with gorgeous red hair in the family.

But the stories you can find from the different historical databases on the internet helps to bring the individual people to life. I’m not sure when census record keeping began, but I searched all the way back to when my family arrived in America and found records were scanned in and recorded every ten years.

There is a wealth of information in the records, names, ages; even the occupation of the adult individuals in each household was listed. Then you can find marriage licenses, birth certificates, death records. Occasionally I was lucky enough to find newspaper articles to give me a small glimpse into the lives of my ancestors and photos from as far back as the late eighteen-hundreds, putting a face to the person.

The history shows how strong these women were. Beginning with the two wonderful Grandmothers I remember who were born at the beginning of the twentieth century, all the way back to women who lived during the Revolutionary War and before. Supporting their husbands, and raising their children.

As I searched these records I found the graveyards where members of the family were buried. I was fortunate enough to be able to visit many here in Gwinnett County. My Grandparents and Great-Grandparents were all buried at churches that I was happy to see are still active and take wonderful care of their cemeteries.

But unfortunately, it was with sadness that I found my Two x Great-Grandparents thru my Four x Great-Grandparents were in cemeteries that had been sadly neglected. Land that had started out as private family plots were left to nature as families died or moved away.

 The inscription on the grave of her great-grandmother (five generations removed) in a small cemetery on the outskirts of Buford.  Photo courtesy Allie Webb.
The inscription on the grave of her great-grandmother (five generations removed) in a small cemetery on the outskirts of Buford.  Photo courtesy Allie Webb.

I know the souls have moved on, but it seems we are losing bits of ourselves as these places are lost. But, among the weeds and trees beginning to grow around the graves, I discovered beautiful tombstones with poems engraved on them that helped to heal my heart a bit with their messages. There was one in particular that I’d like to share on this special day.

From my Great-Grandmother’s grave five generations back, born in 1797 and moved on to Heaven in 1870, not long after the Civil War. The love her family must have felt for her to leave this beautiful tombstone –

We shall meet again Dear Mother in a brighter home than this – Where the anguish of this world of ours is lost in deathless abyss

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