(Please note that all photos are property of sweet musings from the cove and may not be used or duplicated)
Thanks to the late Birdie Mae Barrett-Dunn, my paternal grandmother, we know our family genealogy. A significant amount. She searched for 30 + years so she could share with her children, grandchildren and her 1 great-grandchild their ancestory.
For example, we know that we have at least four Cherokee grandmother’s. The first Grandmother’s name was Little Panther, the second was renamed Ruth to fit more with the style of her English husband.We also know that the very first Barrett that settled in America bought 200 acres in the Paint Fork Valley of Buncombe County. Details. She tried her best to get as many details as possible.
I did not know she had done all this work until my last visit with her. My daughter and I stopped in for lunch on our way home. She was 92 years old. She pulled all her books out to show me. I was overwhelmed with joy and gratitude for her sharing and her hard work.
Over the holiday it all really hit home for me and my Dad. On Christmas Eve morning RCB, Erin, Andy and I headed over to the B&B that our family was staying in just one mile up the road on Ox Creek. (MRB was left to nurse a cold. After all, the grill master had to get well before the grilling that evening) We were promised a tour of the grounds, a visit with a calf, turkeys, chickens, peacocks (40 or more of them), cows, sheep and a donkey. Who wouldn’t want a tour on a gorgeous, sunny, cool morning of and equally gorgeous property with people you know and love?
We entered the house and my father led me to an article on the wall. As I read the article my heart and eyes welled up with tears of joy and sadness. The joy was that a Dr. J.G. Barrett was the original owner of the farm. He built the house. The deep sadness was the reality of just how much I miss my grandmother. My gratitude for all of her hard work was reignited.