@ Copyright Anne R. Murray – The Main Focus. This material can not be reproduced or copied in anyway or fashion.
After almost two years of promising my elderly mother that I would someday write a book about our family history, that someday has come. Initially, I had planned to combine several short stories into one book. After minimum research already, I come away with What have I gotten myself into? History gives a good piece of information, but it also contains written errors. Looking online at ancestry archives last night, I found flaws, according to details given by my mother and maternal grandmother.
I found that our family is derived from the largest family in America. All my family lineage comes from European descent. Part of my descendants are from Scotland. Notice I said part. Part of my family lineage is from England and another line is from Ireland. I am a mixture of all three families, like many other families in America. I am a descendant of the Hairston Clan. Originally coming to America in the mid-1700’s, they settled here in Pennsylvania from Europe. They settled into nine plantations over the Southern region: Virginia, North Carolina and Mississippi. One descendant of the Hairston family moved to Oklahoma in the 1800’s.
The research articles recorded a history rich in agriculture, plantations, cotton fields, livestock and slavery. That last part hurts. I am not African-American, but I am ashamed to say my descendants owned slaves to work their land. They were the wealthy landowners and prominent business owners. At one time, there were a total population of about 5,500 slaves recorded on all nine plantations. The Hairstons: An American Family in Black and White by author Henry Wiencek, featured on CBS News, described the reunion and kinship of both black and white members. The Hairston reunion organized in August, 1931, in North Carolina. The Hairston Clan was founded many years later to bring solidarity to family unity and kinship.
Though history may conflict with today’s standards, it is history no less. I believe embracing the past in unity, brings about healing for what our descendants did or did not do. We all have a past, no matter what we abhor or detest. One detail I do know. You can not undo history – it is a part of where we came from and our roots.