Saturday, May 11, 2013

After 246 years The Circle Still Comes Together

What draws a family together after that many years?
Why would anyone really care to find their 5th cousin?
The strength of a Revolutionary War Family
A Presbyterian in faith family

My Aunt Annie Galbreath started all this, in the 1940's she
started doing research on our Mitchell family. Through the years 
she had heard stories of how her 2nd Great Grandmother sat on her
trunk filled with the family bible, in a cold spring house on March day and 
told a British Soldier
"you might burn my house if you wish but you can't burn it with me in it"
as she protected her Grandchildren.
In that trunk
her son Adam's family bible from when he married
Elizabeth McMachen in 1767
through the union brought
13 children

I am a descendant of Adam born in 1774 a mere
6 years at the time of the Battle of Guilford Courthouse

Aunt Annie somehow had contact with the family of the youngest son
Hezekiah Balch Mitchell
from Corinth MS
what was unbelievable was
the story of Grandmother Margaret Mitchell was the same?

That was 1947, the story had been carried down the same in
2 different families since 1781

The next part of the story did not happen until
I was sent a link to a gentleman who had written a book
A book about MY family...the Mitchell's

There it was again, the same story about Adam Mitchell
and his Mother Margaret on the trunk.
"Spring House"
How could that be?
I found a descendant of Rebekah Mitchell
born 1772, the oldest daughter
David Bowles, he is my 5th cousin but since 2007 we have spent
time together doing research, looking at the bible and visiting
The kinship and love we share is such a bond, he might as well
be my 1st cousin.

My cousin Mary and I go to the Coles County Genealogical
Society meeting. I overhear some say "Mitchell"
I excuse myself.."sir did you say Mitchell?"
yes he did!
Descendant of the oldest son
Robert Mitchell born 1767
He was visiting from Arizona and just happened to go to the meeting.
How did that happen?
Oh yes.......he knew the story

Then in 2010 I met Bob and Judy Mitchell
they were from my same line, John
What a joy to have them as cousins.
They have been to our reunions and have even written a song about Adam

They make the trip to Illinois every year to spend time with their
Illinois Mitchell cousins
We talk about "the story"

So David and I knew the story of
John, Rebekah, Robert and Hezekiah
what about the rest?

We have tried to contact James Mitchell family
who still reside in Tennessee.
Joseph died in his crib as a baby
Peggy never had any children
William has no living descendants
Jennetta and Elizabeth, we have no idea
and Samuel and David we do not know either

I did know a great deal about brother Adam,
he moved to Coles County to be near his brother John.
We found out recently what a amazing man he was.
In 1825 he wrote a moving petition for the freedom of a slave in 1825.
the words are moving, brings tears to my eyes with pride
that a Mitchell was fighting for freedom of a slave.
"that slavery has been transmitted by our by our ancestors does
not excuse in any degree" "when I am asked by my Judge
how many creatures possessed...........I wish to answer

I yearned to find a descendant of Adam.
I wanted to let them know what a family they came from,
what a legacy, a true American family who
had seen triumph and heart break but has endeared
for almost 250 years.

Well, last week it happened.
A email from a Find a Grave website, someone asking
to take a picture of Adam's tombstone.
I asked "are you a descendant"
"yes I am"
words I had longed to find in a email.
She knows nothing other than a name on a piece of paper.
I told her I had so much for her, but I did not want to overwhelm her.
I sent her the link to David's website so she could read a little.
Then I sent her the petition from Adam......
"this is so special! Your so right, this does make me proud"

Proud I am, that now the descendants of
Adam and Elizabeth McMachen Mitchell
come together after 246 years.
The circle continues to fill in.


ann said...

What a great story.i have a trunk in the garage where my husband,s great grandfather and siblings hid from Indians.

Anonymous said...

Hi Ann! Oh, I love this and how marvelous a book was written about your family! I know how blessed I am to still have my little mother and I hope your day is filled with wonderful memories of your little mother today, sweet friend.
Be a sweetie,
Shelia ;)

20 North Ora said...

Ann - How great that you have this fantastic info about your family. I don't have a lot about my family since my maternal grandfather was a full blood Cherokee born out in the country with no birth record of any kind.

Very interesting.


Sherry@Back2Vintage said...

Your family has such a rich geneological history! Thanks for sharing...good luck with future familial discoveries!

craftyles said...

I just started scrolling back on your blog, and see that you are into genealogy-me too. Then I saw Coles County mentioned-my mothers side is all from that area-Sullivan, Mattoon. We visited a few years back to do some research and it was wonderful. My mothers side was Martin and Waggoner. They were some of the original settlers. Maybe our kin knew each other. I'd love to go back someday and really check things out, now that I know more about my family. Just thought you'd like to know. I'm enjoying your blog.

Preppy Empty Nester said...

What a beautiful post. How wonderful to have all the info on your family!