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Genealogy story made me think

By By Penny Randall / staff writer
June 30, 2002
When planning to write the genealogy story for today's paper, I began to think about my own family history.
This made me go home and look for the blue-bound book with the gold letters "Alsobrooks" engraved on front.
Several years ago, my father's sister, Lorene Alsobrooks Moss, was part of a team that researched the Alsobrooks family history.
The book follows our family tree back almost 200 years 1800 to 1989. I was 15 when it was published and I can recall receiving it as a Christmas present that year.
I can remember the papers piled high on the table in the formal dining room in my aunt and uncle's home in Nashville. It was like a yearly ritual for me, my younger sister and brother to visit them in the summer.
Aunt Lorene, a retired teacher, would always mention little things about our family history. We would be riding down the road probably on the way to the mall or piano lessons or the library and she would talk about our great-grandfather or our great-uncle who did this or that.
I'm sure you can image that a 10-year-old was more concerned back then about going to the mall instead of what her aunt was saying.
My aunt, now in her 80s, is a dignified lady and proud of our family tree. Looking back, I wish I had paid more attention to her because now I'm 28 and have a 17-month-old daughter. I want to be able to tell Olivia about her family history.
So, I began thumbing through the book last week. I found my father's name, then my name and my siblings' names.
I found that our family name was traced back to England, where a group of people lived by a brook near a grove of alders trees hence then origination of my family name.
Through the years, spellings have included "Allsbrook," "Allsobrook" and "Ausbrooks."
From England, the family came to Halifax County, N.C., and in the early 1800s moved to Stewart County, Tenn. This is where my father was born in the small town of Erin, Tenn.
To this day, the Alsobrooks family is alive and well in Erin. My aunt owns a home across the road from the Alsobrooks family farm, where I would play in the creek as a child.
It has been several years since I've been to visit them. But as I sat and listened to the ladies who volunteer their time at Meridian Public Library helping others research their past, I began to think.
I'm so glad my aunt took the time out of her life to help research our family's history.
Extraordinary women
Recently I've written several stories about "professional women." The series was meant to showcase the extraordinary women we have in our area.
When I started the series the objective was to talk with women who had contributed, in different ways, to their community or profession.
I found women who are talented, brilliant and most of all, love their work.
Sarah Abernathy, a family nurse practitioner at Family Health Care, went back to school to better herself.
Assistant District Attorney Lisa Howell gives up time with her 6-year-old son to get to know the families of crime victims.
Debra Brewer, a registered nurse and clinical manager at Riley Hospital, is also a licensed minister. She heals the body and the soul.
And then there was Capt. Betty Evans, the only woman to hold the position of chief of detectives at the Meridian Police Department.
Last, but not least, were the women of the Wesley Belles, who I had the pleasure of hearing sing. They are the epitome of a true Southern Belle.
All these ladies have one thing in common they are extraordinary.
Reader-written stories
In Wednesday's Connections section of The Star, there was a request for cooks. I know there are excellent cooks in our area, but I don't know about all of them.
I'm asking you for suggestions about people I can call and feature in the paper. You don't have to be a professional cook, just someone who loves to cook.
On a similar same note, I welcome our readers to write stories for us.
Is there something happening in your life that you would like to share with us? Does your family have a reunion coming up? Share with us something special in your community.
If you have any questions, please call me at 693-1551, ext. 3216.