I was busy preparing my holiday cards when my thoughts turned to gift-giving. What is the greatest genealogy gift that I could give to my family? The answer: Ancestral research findings.
Guess what? I, too, received the greatest gift.
I poured through our family ancestry records and discovered great finds via newspapers.com. I attached the newspaper clippings to my family members’ trees and also printed some records to share as part of my gift giving.
The clipping below was part of my gift to Cousin-by-marriage Florida L. Fisher Parker a year ago during the holiday season. She was overjoyed to see this clipping, her marriage license and other related documents that I uncovered through electronic methods. My discoveries also prompted Florida sharing funny and tearful memories about that great day in her life.
Florida, the widow of Ret. Col. Herbert Gerald Parker, is an enthusiast genealogist. She piqued my interest in genealogy while we all lived in Tallahassee, FL. Typically, I would visit with Florida and we would prepare documents for the family reunion. After the burial of her husband, my cousin, Herb, at Arlington National Cemetery in D.C., Florida chose to live near her daughter and family in Maryland. Distance and COVID-19 restrictions have grounded our travels and frequency of our conversations.
That’s why this year, I bundled up some new finds that are related to her deceased father, Dr. Miles Mark Fisher. During my research of her father, I discovered my greatest gifts.
- Gift #1: I learned that Dr. Fisher was the author of several books and articles. One of his books, “The Life of Lott Cary” is out of print. It is about the life of a former slave who toiled many years to earn enough to purchase his freedom and that of his family’s. He became a member of the clergy and also ascended into other high places.
- Gift #2: I learned that Rev. Fisher was the longtime pastor of White Rock Baptist Church, Durham, N.C. It was a church that was widely recognized nationwide and in its community for its social activism and highly touted black businessmen and civil rights leaders as congregants. He also initiated a program that held period racially integrated religious services.
- Gift #3: I learned that Dr. Fisher was a scholar. He was on faculty at Virgina Union and Shaw University.
- Gift #4: I learned the young scholar was one of the first “Negroes to receive the Ph.D. degree in philosophy and religion from the University of Chicago.”
- Gift #5: The joy that the printed articles bring to Florida’s life. She doesn’t use technology, yet, she is fond of receiving information about her family.
By sharing your ancestral findings with loved ones, you are giving the greatest gift of all during this holiday season and throughout the year.