Sometimes you make a discovery and it’s as though you’re the only person in the world who has a clue. And then, there are times you learn something only to realize that you’ve made your way to the midst of others holding the same belief. Reading but a fraction of the many thousands of miles of available records on microfilm, I believe NC Archives is THE place in our state to learn who you are. Today at this wonderful place I made a discovery and it’s one like none I’ve made before.
Today’s visit started out like many in the past. But then, putting a quarter in the microfilm printer, I expected the machine to spit out the survey for Exodus Whitley’s land grant along the southern extent of Stony Run. You see, I’m trying to work my way up the creek in hopes of learning more about the neighbors of my Burris family. Reaching below the machine to retrieve my copy, I realized that besides my copies, there were actually two more that somebody had left in the machine. It’s a common mistake and in glancing at the papers, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.
There before me was a copy of a return for John Poplin, Assignee of Benjamin Hathcock. Who is Benjamin Hathcock and what difference does it make? For the last six months I’ve spent countless hours working on understanding my Solomon Burris family history. Solomon’s daughter Nancy Ann is believed to have married Benjamin Hathcock. And, back in Chatham County NC, there were earlier connections between the Hathcock and Poplin families …as well as with the Taylor family. Note that Solomon’s wife Judith’s maiden name is Taylor and their son was named Taylor Burris. I’m researching all of this and yet, from the machine, out spit two copies of related records. Simply magical! What are the odds?
Sometimes spirits walk and in this case I have no idea what they were doing. For sure, someone was at archives prior to my arrival and they too had interests akin to mine. To whoever you are, I’m sure you miss the copies you left behind. It’s a small world but I can only imagine all the people who could have printed and left behind such copies. I’m amazed as this crossing of paths likely occurred amongst cousins. To whoever you are, I hope to see you at the Burris Reunion coming up in October!