Tomorrow I fly out to Asheville, North Carolina to attend another Road Scholar seminar. The topic is: The Women of Appalachia; Traditions, Stories, and Song. We will study the history of women in Appalachia, from the Cherokee to the early Scottish settlers. Centuries ago the British moved the Scots out of their crofts where families had lived for hundreds of years. They were farmers and told to go to the coast and be fishermen! They instead migrated to other counties in Europe and also to Canada and America. In America many settled in the Appalachian Mountains. They have been called Hillbillies, but their traditions, customs, and innate courtesy go back to their Scottish heritage. Having just returned from two weeks in Scotland, I am anxious to follow up on my Scottish ancestors! My father told me for years that I had a Cherokee grandmother who was named Tall Flower. She married a man named John Nolan and became Martha Nolan. Well, I found her on my family tree but her parents were not Indian. In fact, there was no trace of Indian blood.
I got my love of story from my father who was very good at telling stories. Since my DNA was 56% Great Britain, 29% Scandinavian, (many from Scandinavia settled in Scotland) 6% Eastern European (my mother’s mother was from Czechoslovakia), 5% Western Europe (I have no idea), and 1% miscellaneous in Mississippi and Tennessee. Hmmm. I’m beginning to think that was one of my father’s tall tales.
My curiosity is piqued, so we’ll see what I find out in North Carolina. I also hope to visit the Billy Graham Library while I am there. What an interesting trip to contemplate!