The next post from Family Tree Firsts has been posted tonight. This will be a four part series on my adventures in genealogy. I promise, the ending will be well worth the wait!
I talk in my post about my desire to find the parents of Henry Arvin, from Port Tobacco, Maryland. I think his father was Edward Darnell Arvin, but I am having problems proving it to myself completely. This will be one of those instances where I have worked myself to the point I need to take a field trip.
In fact, my family did take a field trip to Port Tobacco last summer. It is just over an hour from our house when you take the 301 bridge over the Potomac River from King George County Virginia to Charles County Maryland. I had a plan, I was in search of the family homestead, graves and names, and I was not going to come home until I found them! We actually had a grand day wandering around graveyards from the colonial era, visiting the Port Tobacco historical town center, reading historical road signs, and exploring the state park where I think the family home may have been.
We found more than family history that day too. It was the middle of June, and the flags were still on the graves from Memorial Day. Flags were there honoring soldiers from the Revolutionary War on, and confederate flags for those who had fought for the south in the Civil War. That sparked an interesting lunch time debate with my son about honoring your ancestors, learning from the past, and how people move on and learn from those lessons. He has an interest in military history, which means these conversations are always a learning experience for him at 11 years old.
One place we spent almost an hour was St. Ignatius Church. It is the oldest active Catholic Church in the United States. The grounds have amazing views of the Potomac and the rolling vista's of Charles County Maryland. My husband dutifully helped me scouring the cemetery for any surname that may have been linked to my family: Darnell, Arvin, Montgomery and Padgett. I found one in this cemetery who may be a cousin; just need to do some investigation on that line.
My son's favorite bit of information from that day was learning that Port Tobacco had a connection to the assassination of President Lincoln. The civil war is his hands down favorite war to read about, but what can you expect from a boy who lives on a battlefield in Virginia?