A trip back in time
In September of 2001 I took my first genealogy research trip to Tennessee. Two distant Ownby cousins and I planned to spend at least 10 days touring the area and researching in courthouses.
And we did.
We met up with other distant cousins and spent time in the towns and ate way too much country cooking. We based ourselves in Murfreesboro, Cannon County. We were actually researching several families but that's another story for another book.
Along the way we were directed to property that belonged to Eli Craig Ownby and some that is still in family hands.
Tobacco drying shed on land still in possession by an Ownby descendant.
The creek featured in A Twist of Tobacco.
Of course yours truly (on the right) had to wade in the creek like a little girl. After all Queen was my great Aunt.
View from the road where Eli and the children lived after the war.
I'm afraid this chapter of my research story doesn't have a happy ending.
Did I mention it was early September, 2001?
On the morning of September 11, 2001 I was drinking coffee and reading a book in my motel room waiting for the other girls to get awake so we could go back to the Rutherford County Courthouse. We had a big day planned.
The phone rang and it was one of my cousins. She said "Are you watching the news?"
I said, "No, why?"
She was crying and said "Turn it on channel (whatever)"
What met my eyes was unbelievable. A news commentator was standing in front of the burning tower and as I watched and talked with Kena on the phone the second plane hit.
700 miles from home and our families. We packed within thirty minutes, checked out of the motel and headed home. The three of us cried the whole way. Scared out of our wits, we took back roads and what should be a 10 hour trip took u two days.
It was a couple of months before I could even look at these photos taken on that trip. I've been back several times and the pain of that morning has lessened.
I thought it time to share some of my story with my readers.
This series of books is a true labor of love for me.