52 Ancestors 2018 Edition: Week #1 Ophelia Jones Bryant
Prompt for Week 1 "Start." Some ideas include starting with yourself or whoever the "home person" is on one of your family trees. Maybe you focus on the person who got you started in genealogy or the ancestor you wanted to find first. You could talk about a relative who started a business.
I know I've already written about her many times on this blog. It just seemed fitting to start this year's 52 Ancestor Challenge with my maternal great grandmother Ophelia Jones Bryant. After all, she's who my genealogy journey began with.
You can learn about Ophelia in these posts
52 Ancestors --2015 Edition: #7 My Inspiration--Ophelia Jones Bryant
Great Grandma Ophelia Went To Summer School
According to the website Behindthename.com, the name Ophelia was derived from the greek word ophelos, meaning help.
Help. Wow, now that's extremely fitting. My journey to discover my ancestors has done nothing but help me. Ophelia was my inspiration. When I was a child, my maternal grandmother Mary Bryant Harrison Horton had a picture of her mother hanging in her bedroom. It was Ophelia's kind and yet mysterious eyes that would haunt my thoughts over the years. When I became a mother, I finally had the time and opportunity to learn more about the owner of those eyes. I signed up for a membership to Ancestry.com and away I went.
One by one, I learned about my ancestors and their stories. I found mothers, fathers, farmers, ministers, chauffeurs, teachers, and carpenters. I found property owners and renters. I found former slaves and a few free people of color. I found a few troubled souls who battled addiction. I found people who followed the righteous path and those who struggled with their poor decisions.
Most importantly, I found my people. Each had a story, a name and a lesson to be learned. Learning their stories and struggles helped me and continues to help me. Through them I have learned about my own strengths and weaknesses. I am they and they are me.
So Ophelia, help ...you have helped indeed!