I don’t often get to see my high school friends, and I can’t recall the last time we gathered in numbers. Last June, however, we came together to celebrate Thelma Braswell Forbes and lift up her daughter, Dawn Forbes Murphy. I have known all of these folks since at least elementary school (or in the case of Thomas Lofton Jr., since birth), but only recently discovered that two are actually my cousins.
Felicia Wilkes Curry (in the gray teeshirt) and I share common ancestry in the Artises of Artis Town, Greene County, N.C., and we’re just two of many of that early 19th century family to wind up in Wilson. (Now that I’m thinking about it, an Artis Town post is probably warranted here at Black Wide-Awake. Stay tuned.)
Kimberly Bynum Deans (yellow shirt), via her great-grandfather James W. Cooper, is descended from my great-great-great-grandfather Adam T. Artis’ brother Richard Artis, which means she has Artis Town roots and is Felicia’s cousin, too.
Among the most rewarding aspects of researching for Black Wide-Awake are discovering, uncovering, and recovering lost family connections, both my own and others’. I was particularly excited to piece together the Taylor family puzzle, which linked three of my childhood friends (and possibly me to one of them, Gregory Wilkins, via an Eatmon ancestor). Wilson County is small enough that it’s not surprising that many of us share distant common roots, but finding out just who those long-lost cousins are is always a delight.