Family trees intrigue me. That hasn’t always been the case. At one time in my life I could have cared less who my great greats were. But, a seed was planted by my Aunt Alice Algood when I was a small child.

She and my uncle, Reuben Algood, had come to the farm for a visit while they were on leave from the Army. They were newly weds and Alice was very much interested in our family tree.

She had heard about some of Reuben’s ancestors that were buried in a small church cemetery a few miles west of our farm. So, as fate would have it we all piled into a couple of cars and made our way out to the middle of nowhere Mississippi and found Smallwood Cemetery where a lot of our ancestors were buried.

I had never heard the terminology “Ancestors” before that day. When we arrived I was so glad to get out of the car that I started running across the graves and playing hide-and-seek behind the tombstones. Alice called out something like, “Ricky be careful. Don’t you know you are running across the graves of your ancestors?” To which I replied, “I don’t have any “And-Sisters”. All I have are brothers.

She reminded me of that little encounter many times over the years. But, the genealogy seed was planted and as I grew up I became more and more interested in my “And-Sisters”. I wanted to learn more about them and where our family came from.

So, where did I go to get information on my family? Aunt Alice, of course. She knew it all… or so it seemed. She had spent years and years going through documents at old courthouses picking out our family members from census rolls, land deeds, obituaries, wills and marriage records.

I have to admit that my record keeping is nothing like hers. With my limited resources I use the borrow and swipe method. I’m certain she would not approve of my haphazard way of getting information or keeping track of our family lineage. But, at least I am trying to keep tabs on my family so I can pass that information on down to my children and grandchildren when they get old enough to appreciate the heritage they have been born into.

I suspect the author of this website can attest to getting information and tips on keeping accurate documentation on our family from Alice Wright Algood, too. Alice planted a lot of genealogy seeds over the years. If you are looking at this website I am certain you have probably seen some of the fruits her work. Her seeds have taken root.

I’m not great at math. It was one of my weaker subjects in school. But, I am guessing a generation can more or less be measured in 25 year increments. If that is the case we Algoods have been in this country about 330 years. That is 13.2 twenty five year periods. Now, factor in the equation that each of us have a set of four grand parents and that doubles with each preceding generation. If you are following my train of thought keep doubling the grandparent trail back 13 times and you will discover we have about 16, 384 grandparents in our Algood family since Aunt Alice traced our roots here in America back to the 1600s.That is a lot of folks. I am certain she didn’t get around to finding out all of their names, but she left us quite a legacy to start with.

Sadly, we lost one of our best allies in family research when she passed away this past March. I miss her not only for what she did to preserve our family heritage, but for the friendship we shared, too. Even at 84 she left us way too soon.

So, this article is in memory of Alice Algood. We are forever in her debt.

Now, here is your assignment should you choose to accept it. Go out and find out all the names, birthdates and the dates of death of all of your 16,384 grandparents. If that is too much for you to handle then at least plant a seed in one of your young relatives hearts so they will grow up to appreciate their family heritage.

Do it for Alice.

Rick Algood
May 13, 2010


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