Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Arkansas Road Trip, Part 4

Day 4 would be our last day in Arkansas so we had to make it count. Unfortunately, the heat wave broke with a big rain that morning. Instead of tromping around the cemeteries, we saw the sights and sites of Russellville from our car, including Lake Dardanelle, the dam, the power plant, the scenic ridge that looks over the town and more. Thursday was also the beginning of BargainsGaloreOn64, but the crowds weren't too big. There's nothing sadder then a rained out garage sale.

We spent the late morning at Baker's Creek cemetery for quick photos, and Shiloh-Williamson for maintenance. It was raining the whole time. It's tricky to hold an umbrella while trying to remove grass from a grave marker.

After lunch, we visited a real relative. The day before, my dad called a man out of the blue. William Woodberry Williamson had 7 kids. My dad and I descend from #1. This man descends from #7. He and my grandmother would be first cousins. With this information and nothing else, he invited us--complete strangers--into his house.

We had a wonderful visit. We filled him in on child #1 (who left Arkansas for Oklahoma) and he filled us in on children 2-7. He even trusted us with his photos. I am in the process of scanning them now before I send them back. I have pictures of all 7 of WWW's kids. I never thought that would be possible.

Later, we went back to the Pope County Library. I left my name and contact info in case any Williamson hunters come calling. I also left a donation for the genealogy department to keep doing the good work they do.

The family visit was by far the best part of the trip. In talking with these people we learned of their children, our cousins, who moved all over the place and had more kids. With that knowledge and my own research I know that we have relatives everywhere, even in our own towns that we don't even know.

Just one of those funny things about family history...

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