Walt's Look Around: Finding and Claiming Family - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Walt's Look Around: Finding and Claiming Family

Posted: Updated:

You'll hear the sound of chain saws on many Saturdays right now, drifting up from the woods back on top of a little knoll in the Mt. Charity community. There used to be a church that stood here but it has been gone a long time. And the graveyard associated with it had been neglected for years until recently. Mary Gray felt a need to clean it up again, and her enthusiasm caught on until friends and neighbors and family are all giving up their off time to help. Mary says this is especially important to people coming back to the community wanting to see the graves of their family members.

Mary Gray: But a lot of people come home across the years, the older people and they be asking about it and want to be brought over here and at the point we COULDN'T bring them over here with all this growth.

Walt: And as the old growth is cleared away, a growing sense of community, and family, takes its place. And living family members are reconnected with their predecessors. Minnie Myrick has found some of her kin.

Minnie Myrick: And I've been able to find two of them which is cousin George Myrick and aunt Lula Myrick.

Mary Gray: It's about 30 headstones altogether around. And then we got about 20 or 25 names of people that don't have a headstone but we're still in the process of doing research.

Minnie Myrick: It's very important because family should stick together. Nothin' is no good without a family. I don't care what you have, how much you come in contact with. If you don't have family you don't have anything.

Walt: And it's not just the older members of the community who feel that way. The youngsters are discovering where they came from, too. Like Breion Myrick, who attends Casey Elementary in Jackson, but is back home helping out on the weekends.

Breion Myrick: Well, I finally found some family here. And I didn't know. So, I found out.

Mary Gray: The young people's interested in it because a lot of them didn't know it was here.

Breion Myrick: Helping the old people be family again, is really nice to do.

Walt: As undergrowth is cleared and even damage from storms like Katrina is tackled, it seems like old and young alike are discovering roots in themselves that run a lot deeper than any roots on any of the trees they are cleaning up.

Copyright 2011 WLBT. All rights reserved.

Powered by WorldNow