Amanda Hunter, a registered nurse who lives in Central Arkansas, is very interested in exploring her family tree. She wanted to see how far she could go back into her family’s history and found through her journey a valuable perspective she applies directly to her own life.
“I’ve been able to get to 1817,” she said. “But I have a very distant cousin who has been able to go all the way back to 1750, which is my sixth great grandfather. She has all these records back to even slave schedules.”
One of the most interesting things Amanda has learned about her family is the story of James Pearcy, a civil war veteran.
“He’s on my dad’s side, my third great grandfather,” Amanda said. “I didn’t know that was even something in our family. I try to go once a year to visit his grave because it reminds me of the bravery he had to have to be a slave and still do that. One day I’d like to go to D.C. because his name is on the memorial.”
Learning about her ancestors like James Percy and others gives Amanda a perspective that inspires her to make the most of her time here.
“It really makes me realize that I need to make the most of my life because of what my ancestors went through. It inspires me to leave a legacy like they did.”
For those interested in pursing stories of their own family history, Amanda says patience is key. Sometimes it’s easy to find records and relatives. Other times, she says, it may take a while. She also recommends visiting cemeteries. And of course, talk to your elders about what they remember.