This is the year that all my Tipton family research is coming together. Now that I’m retired, I can devote more time to researching our common Tipton family history. Not only am I researching names and dates of births and deaths, but I am looking for old photographs and stories. The photographs and stories enable history to come alive for those of us who are interested in our origins.
From the time I was about 10 years old, I wondered about where my parents and their parents came from. What were they like? I especially wondered about my father’s parents and grandparents since his family wasn’t originally from Pennsylvania. My father knew little of his origins because his parents brought him to Pennsylvania when he was only about 10 years old. All I knew was that his family was a “hillbilly” from someplace called “Pigeon Roost.”
Now fast forward to 1994 when my brother John “discovered” Pigeon Roost. I still remember so clearly when John called me where I worked in Philadelphia to tell me “Ronnie! I found Pigeon Roost! It exists!” He was making his phone call from the Griffith General Store in Tipton Hill, North Carolina. I cannot adequately describe my feeling of exhilaration upon hearing this groundbreaking news. I still have that feeling to this day.
In the spring of 1994 I left my job and took a week off to visit my brother John and his wife Barbara in Greenville, South Carolina for the first time. It turns out that Pigeon Roost, North Carolina was only 2 ½ hours away from Greenville. John rented a van and off we went to the mountains of western North Carolina, near the Tennessee border with Johnson City, Tennessee. What a thrill it was the first time we traveled up one of those “hollers.” It wasn’t quite “Deliverance” (we weren’t going for white water rafting although John and his church group would do that later) but it was a experience of a lifetime.
From that trip I decided to actively research the Tipton family history. It has been a long journey. For a period I was actively researched the Tipton family history. A couple of return trips were made to interview relatives. Pictures and videos were taken. I was on a roll for awhile then I had a twin whammy hit me. My computer crashed and I lost my job. Life interrupted.
It took a while to rebuild my genealogy file and even longer to get established in a new job. In fact, it too took long. I lost several years. By the time I got back to actively researching my family history, many of my older relatives had passed on, thus taking their unique knowledge with them to their grave. It saddens me to know that information is lost forever.
But there is good news. I am back. I have restored my files and am building them everyday. For safety, I now back up my files on a regular basis. As an added measure of safety I now post my research on Ancestry.com for all to see. Anyone who is interested in my research only has to send me an e-mail and I will be glad to send them an invitation to view my family tree. There is no cost, you are my guest. One of my big fears these days is if something happened to me suddenly that all my research would be lost. As those of you know who have been also researching Tipton family history, the sudden loss of someone like Charles D. Tipton of Texas can happen any time. I plan to stay around a long, long time (I’m 67 now) but one just never knows.
This morning a long time Tipton family research, Robert Tipton Nave, sent me a link to a new web site for Colonel John Tipton. Colonel John Tipton was the half brother of my direct ancestor, Major Jonathan Tipton III (1750-1833). I’ve added this link to my blog. I will be glad to add any other links to my blog that the reader thinks will be of interest to the Tipton history.
In these economic hard times and fear of security in this world, the one thing we have that is comforting is the knowledge of our shared family history. Finding out about our ancestors; seeing those old photographs and the similarity to our present relatives is priceless. Join me on my journey into our shared family history.
For those of you who are interested you can e-mail me at the following address: