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    Friday, March 30, 2007

    Yes, Robert there really is a Santa Claus...

    Today we left civilization--no cell service (thanks to Nextel)...Thank God for an Internet connection here at the hotel.

    After leaving Jackson, we drove to Doty Springs Cemetery in Attala County Mississippi where Robert's family is buried. When we arrived, there was a lady and three men at the cemetery building a gazebo. I spoke to the lady and introduced myself. After talking a few minutes we discovered she was a cousin of Robert's (I should have known). She was very helpful and told us of some folks we needed to speak with -- specifically her 89 year old mother who help maintain the cemetery for 30 years. They went back to building and we began photographing headstones. We finished two and a half hours later after 272 of them. What a workout -- try squatting 272 times in 100 degree weather -- who said genealogy was made for wimps! We can now call Robert an official "red neck". His neck is so sun burnt he can barely move.

    By this time it is lunch and we are making our usual trip around town trying to locate something for Robert to eat. By this time, he has officially decided to "fast". i.e. there are no typical fast food restaurants here--LOL! He ended up eating a box of Vanilla Wafers and drinking a Dr. Pepper for lunch. I didn't mind, I was wanting to get to the county courthouse. I can always put my stomach on hold for research time. By this time, he is getting ill and asking why I want to go to the courthouse anyway. He actually made the statement, "I really didn't plan on stopping there." My response was something to the effect "Carpe diem" i.e. Seize the Day, HELLO we may never come here again! After several choice words he agreed to stop by...

    At the courthouse we were able to get copies of his family's original marriage certificates. I had copied them at the Mississippi Archives but the microfilm copies were horrible! Glad we were able to use the digital camera. The staff was hesitant about me looking through the tax records so I had to stop. I asked where we could find property records and they sent us down the street to the "Chancery Court Building". There we found property records of Robert's great grand parents. While looking through the property indexes, I came across references to a book I could not locate and began asking the staff where I could find it. After the third inquiry I learned it was in the basement! She volunteered to go look for the book -- of course I couldn't stand it and had to ask if I could walk down with her. When she opened the door I almost screamed when I saw what was there!
    She and I looked for a few minutes and was not able to locate the book. She said she had to leave to pick up her children from daycare so I asked if I could stay and continue to look. She agreed. When she left I did the genealogy dance -- you all know the one I'm talking about :) There were so many records, I could not look fast enough! I ran back up stairs where Robert was making copies with the staff and told him I needed his help. He said he would come down in a minute. I went back to the basement and browsed through more stuff. Impatient within a few minutes I ran back up stairs and quietly as possible told Robert, "You really NEED to come help me... NOW!" While walking down the stairs he was fusing about me interrupting his copying -- I said, "Hold that thought....wait til you see what is down here!". They had all the county newspapers dating back to 1897 bound in binders, every Order, Minute, Docket book you can imagine, land plats, and original Confederate Pension applications signed by the pensioners! All this and more and we had only two and a half hours before they closed -- a genealogy overload! After a few minutes of me bouncing around showing him everything thing I had found, he smiled and said "Guess we're coming back to Kosciusko, Mississippi after all!"

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