What A Moving And Encouraging Afternoon!

The gathering

We met, offered our stories, tried to make genealogical connections and shared a meal. We hugged and laughed and continued to fellowship until late in the afternoon.  We shared and ate all under the gaze of the Washington’s in portraits around the hallways and rooms. Oh yes, the times have surely changed!

Finally We meet! Sarah & Joyceann At Harewood, WV

Finally, We meet!
Sarah & Joyceann
At Harewood Plantation, Charles Town, WV

How do I explain the emotions as I sat at the very dining room table my ancestors served under the gaze of Samuel W. Washington in the painting hanging high on the wall? I wonder what he was thinking…..And sat eating a meal prepared by his descendant and that of his brother John Augustine Washington’s too?

How to explain what I was feeling, walking up the steps and welcomed in through the Front doors. The doors of the very home that my ancestors helped to build and service, (there was a gentle whispering (Oh my Oh my).

Front Steps of HarewoodThe home of Samuel Walter Washington,(built in 1773) that his brother, George Washington visited and to stand in front of the fireplace where Dolley Payne married James Madison.  Bushrod Washington

To climb the staircase, our ancestors swept and mopped clean each day? To hold on to the banister, they carved and polished? I felt as a gentle breeze on my neck (was that a kiss from the past?).  Just imagine, I was standing near the grand hearth where people spent their entire lives day in and day out, keeping the fire going and cooking!

The Hearth 2@ Harewood

We learned a great deal today. (Since we can’t choose who our are parents we can’t hold to their deeds or misdeeds. We must learn from them. – Some say yes some say no)  I vote yes learn!…So realizing that we need to take any negativity and turn that energy into focusing on honoring our ancestors, their legacies to move forward in full support of discovery and peace.

James Taylor, one of the founders of the Jefferson Black Historical Society said it was high time for the young folks to come aboard to help keep us going! Will you help?

Our focus should be to  discover who our ancestors were. What of their characters and their struggles? Learning this, we will know who we are and prepare will be better to face our struggles with peace in our hearts.  

  harewood gathering 1 - Version 2

The gathering at Harewood

Top row: James Taylor, James Tolbert, Walt Wojcik, Mary Doaks, Maurice Ballard, Linda Ballard, George Rutherford (members of Jefferson Black Historical Society)
Middle row: Scott Casper,(author of Sarah Johnson’s Mt. Vernon) Joyceann Gray, (Descendant of Harewood Plantation Hatter slaves & Family Historian) Dolly Nasby, Dot Taylor(members of Jefferson Black Historical Society) Bottom Row: S.Walter Washington,(direct descendent of Samuel Walter Washington) Marilyn Morton,  & Leah Ferrell, (Hatter descendants) Sarah Brown, (direct descendant of Samuel & George’s brother John Augustine Washington).

About MsLadyJae

Joyceann Gray Retired US Army Independent Family Historian and Genealogist has a combined 40 years of service in the areas of communications, Real Estate Appraisal, and marketing. Her focus of combined colligates studies in Communications, Business Management, and Psychology. Gray's historical and genealogical research is on her family movements from Virginia to Canada and Liberia. From Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Kansas to Nebraska and from Canada to Nebraska. All during the 18th through the 20th centuries. Her goal is to bring alive the stories of achievements and legacies that her ancestors left for present and future generations. Of late she has presented some of her focus work on the Hatter Family, to the Middle Potomac History Researchers at the Josephine School Community Museum in Berryville, Virginia. Also presented to the African American Historical Genealogical Society (AAHGS) National Conference in Richmond, VA 2015. Shared also with the Jefferson County Black Historical Society and a link in the Jefferson County Library, Charles Town, WV. And on going contributor to www.blackpast.org.​ My personal quote is “You cannot know where you are going until you know who you are, you cannot know who you are until you know who came before… It is only then you will find your Direction and Reason for being.” J. Gray Love of God Family and life! Married to my best friend, I enjoy traveling, researching our families histories and who they were as individuals, also I enjoy cooking and making my family happy.

Posted on June 8, 2015, in Home Page. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Reblogged this on familytreegirldotcom and commented:
    My distance family (Joyceann) visits Harewood and shares her point of view being in the home of where her ancestors where slaves. More to come.

    Like

  2. This is a beautiful description of our once-in-a-life-time afternoon. No, I can’t choose my ancestors, but we can look them in the eye and address the legacy of slavery. I consider myself a lucky soul to part of the healing today, instead of the injustice of yesterday.
    Thank you so much for being there, Joyceann, and for sharing these deep feelings.

    Like

  3. James Green Jr.

    This gathering was an excellent step in reuniting two families linked through history, and moving beyond the dark days of our nation’s past. I hope there are many more encounters like this one. Thanks Joyceann and Sarah for sharing your thoughts and emotions. Take care, and be blessed!

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Site Title

“Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.” — Maya Angelou

People's Court

See, what had happened was...

Mississippi Ancestors

Beverly A Harper Research Blog

victori7's Blog

A great WordPress.com site

Majic 102.1

Houston, R&B, Soul, Radio, Texas, KMJQ

Gathering Family Untangling Roots

From Texas To The Carolinas, A Never Ending Search For My Ancestors

J.Gray Discovery Photos

www.jgraydiscovery.com

BitterSweet

Linked Through Slavery

Breaking down the walls

The greatest WordPress.com site in all the land!

%d bloggers like this: