I wasn’t able to drive for a few years. My birthday is in the summer, so I asked my husband Aaron to take me to Mecklenburg for my birthday. He’s visited the area with me several times over the years. He took me to meet new friends, visit farms and cemeteries, and get pictures of things I wanted to remember. I also love to write, but grammar is not my thing. My high school English teacher would often give me an “A” for content but mark the page up with red, for all my grammar errors. Aaron helps me with that now. He also reads my drafts to tell me if things are confusing or not explained enough. I also test lots of visual ideas and charts with him, for this website, to see if they make sense to someone other than myself.
I met Anne Willson almost 15 years ago and we’ve been working on projects together ever since! She’s not even related to me, but she knows my family tree inside out. I like to joke that we don’t have a DNA match, but we have the best friend gene. I think you would be amazed at how well she knows the connections of Bracey and Blackridge families. Anne visited Mecklenburg with me in the summer of 2014. We tested out GPS tagging using our phones so we could try to put things on a map. That eventually led to the GPS map on this website. Anne moved across the country, so we worked on that map together over what is currently called Google Meet. I sent her plats, we took turns sharing our screen. We both had our Photoshop programs open, I read her information from deed books, and we built it together.
We’ve done projects together over video every week, for many years. Whenever I get stuck, I video call Anne to brainstorm ideas. I run story ideas by her and ask her how she would show things in pictures. We study maps, plot DNA charts, and test ways to visually share ideas. We also look for new ways to find answers to our genealogy questions, using newer technology. Anne is an admin on the Mecklenburg Facebook group and my Mecklenburg Ancestry.com tree. The majority of my Google Drive folders are shared with her. When I have a bad day with my health challenges, and I want to think through a genealogy puzzle, I call her and she looks stuff up for me. She’s even read deed books with me and helped me chart groups of people to try to better document my Mecklenburg roots before 1800.
Anne and Aaron have helped me with a lot of behind the scenes types of things, so I can share my research with you. I’ve had a lot of fun making Mecklenburg discoveries with them. I wanted to publicly express my thanks, and thought you might like to know a little more about two of my best friends.