(note to self – get more pictures on this blog)
Last night I had the honor of meeting Maryann McFadden as a local library as a book signing. Remember I don’t read books, cover to cover, with this exception. I wanted to hear her speak about this book.
I was totally impressed, but from what I do in my spare time. Family History Research. She is obviously a writer, but her journey in how this book became real, might be the same or similar journey for us.
Someone nudging us along the way, dropping hints, following those leads, investigating (searching) other leads or hints, making sure we have the right information, evaluating the evidence, and writing it down. In Maryann’s case, writing the story.
This story is about a long, young lady, who was murdered in our little town. Swept under the rug and forgotten by most. But a monument in her honor, is at the highest point in the major cemetery in town.
Maryann told us what she believes is the Tilley Smith story. Tilly can’t be forgotten, and now we have her story told through a 21st century person Rachel. (oh, my Grandmother’s name was Rachel, and I need to tell her story). But I wondered how much of Rachel, is the voice of Maryann herself.
If I heard “between the lines” that Tilley has had a close eye on Maryann, dropping hints for years, hoping she would pick them up.
My earlier blog posts, and the ones to come (hopefully) I have mentioned that I could sit and home reading this book, and visualize the places that were in the story, making the story in the book real.
I’m not a reader, let along a writer, but I have done family research for another family, who is buried in this cemetery and have taken many, many pictures in the cemetery. I fact a couple of photos from this cemetery are in one of my talks.
One other, small event, that Maryann talked about at the book signing, and is in the book, I also experienced.
Being a murder, there was some references to a trial. That story is in a different book, but Maryann was called for jury duty in our local county. I sat in the same waiting room, and went into the same court room, waiting to be called. (fortunately for me, I wasn’t called). I knew about Tilley Smith, had taken many pictures of the monument, but didn’t make the connection until I read about it in the book and during the talk last night.
I was clearly reminded that WE, as family researchers, need to get beyond the Names, Dates, and Places, and get those stories that we develop “out there”. I have chosen a blog post or two, but beside the “cousin bait” use of a Blog, Telling our Ancestor’s story “out there” is another use for a blog.
DearMYRTLE and I have a Genealogy Game Show, “Who’s In My Line”, designed specifically for that purpose.
Bottom Line, after listening to Maryann McFadden, Follow those “voices” that we hear, some one (our Ancestors) want to be found! It’s our job to tell that story.
The Cemetery Keeper’s Wife
The Cemetery Keeper’s Wife (2018)