I can not begin to describe how I felt during the AAGSAR BLOGFEST2014 announcement of the New Kids on the Blog. There were a lot of emotions all at once. When the post was released, I clicked the link and waited in anticipation for the picture that I had chosen to come up in the slide show. There she was, my grandmother, my inspiration. To see my grandmother, Maudie Sterling Edwards, amongst the ancestors of my fellow New Kids on the Blog roster as representation for Tracing Amy: My Ancestral Journey, brought tears to my eyes.
I want to share the reasons why I chose my grandmother to represent the introduction of this blog. See, this is not the first time that I have called her name. I wrote a tribute to her when I was in college (I will share that at a later date) and she helped me with every word. I truly believe that she must have known that I would be here, digging through records and helping to tend the roots of the family tree so that it grows to include the names of those before her that were unknown to me.
In addition to this, for as long as I can remember, I have been told that I look like her. My mother and her siblings often look at me and say, “you look so much like momma.” I know that I must bear a strong resemblance to her because elder relatives who see me for the first time look at me as if they have seen me before. After the squinting of their eyes and cocking of their head, they too begin a sentence with “you look just like…”. I just smile and say “I know”.
When I first started this journey, I started with her father, John Sterling, and her grandfather, George Sterling, both of Clarke County, MS. Soon after starting, I made my first trip home to find out more. My mom led me to the papers that my grandmother left behind and to my surprise, she had left me a treasure trove. Amongst her papers were old funeral programs and even an old family reunion booklet for another line of the family. I was delighted that she had kept these things and that no one had decided to throw them out after her passing. I made a couple of trips home in 2013 and decided that I must go through those papers again, for fear that I have missed something. And sure enough, I did. With each trip I found additional papers to help with my research. To top it off, I found a Bible of hers in which she wrote the names, death dates, and burial dates, and sometimes place of death of relatives. Just recently, I referred to the Bible and realized that she had left the death date and place of a relative that I had been searching for.
Research continues on the Sterling line, but my focus was shifted to work on her mother’s line, Bessie Stokes Sterling. Since connecting with the cousin that I mentioned in Collaborating with Cousins, I have learned that the family has been working on keeping and updating the tree for a while. However, I am starting to understand why my focus was shifted to this line. The research has brought me to the name of my 4th great-grandfather (her 2nd great-grandfather), Kelly Stokes. I can’t say that I fully understand what it is that I am looking for, but I know she will help me just as she has done before.
Thank you Grandma for sending me to AAGSAR! Also, thanks you to Luckie Daniels and the AAGSAR group for all of the continued support! #BLOGFEST2014
Many Blessings and Happy Searching!
© 2014 Amy L. Cole and Tracing Amy: My Ancestral Journey. All rights reserved.