Thursday, September 19, 2019

Fall-Time For a Beautiful Drive

By Debra DuPree Williams @DDuPreeWilliams
A view from the Cherohala Skyway
Fall. It’s finally creeping in on us here in the mountains of Western North Carolina. While some of you, two of our sons included—one in Austin and one in Tampa—are battling temps hovering in the nineties, our high today and tomorrow will be in the mid-seventies at the highest. Our lows? A nice, comfortable mid-forties to mid-fifties range. Believe me, I know. I feel your pain.

My sweet hubby pulled out our Fall d├ęcor this week and we got that placed around our home. I don’t go over the top. Simplicity is the operative word here. Besides, it’s about all I have time or energy for. One thing I’d like to do is add potted mums to our front porch. I love Fall colors and potted mums make one’s home seem so warm and inviting.

Thursday, September 12, 2019

But God-It's All About Trust

By Debra DuPree Williams @DDuPreeWilliams
Last week I shared a bit of the publishing process with you. You can see why it takes so long for a book to become a book and not simply a manuscript. The publishing process is long and there are many steps involved in bringing that book to market.

One thing that has happened in recent weeks is the publishing house I signed a contract with has recently been acquired by a larger company. My original house was Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas and the imprint I was under is Firefly Southern Fiction. None of that has changed. I will still be under the Firefly Southern Fiction imprint. 

Thursday, September 5, 2019

The Birth of a Book

By Debra DuPree Williams @DDuPreeWilliams
Something a little bit different this week. I thought I’d catch you all up on what’s going on with my soon-to-be-published book, Grave Consequences, A Charlotte Graves Southern Mystery.

I appreciate your patience as we await the birth of GC as I affectionately call it. Believe me, I realize it seems like forever ago that I began talking about this book. Well, the publishing process is long, y’all. Longer than most of us realize, I think. Any of you authors out there want to chime in, please feel free to throw in your two cents. Or a dime’s worth, if you have that much to say.

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Every Family Has a Story

By Debra DuPree Williams @DDuPreeWilliams
A couple of years ago, I wrote a blog post in which I asked the question, who do you think you are?  That question had never been more relevant than in the weekend I wrote about last week about attending the Nansemond Indian Nation’s Pow Wow.

As I looked around and spoke with people there, it was quite apparent that we had all come from descendants of Bass-related persons. In other words, we were all cousins, no matter the color of our skin. And our skin tones varied from very dark, to those like me with blond hair and blue eyes. Yet, we can all trace our heritage back to one or two people from whom we descend. My family’s story is old and rich. And it is multi-ethnicity.

DNA Testing

As DNA tests become more prevalent and as more and more people are tested, I think it will become even more apparent just how closely related most of us in these United States are. This is even more so for those of us whose ancestors weren’t born here, but who came on one of the earlier ships. We are part of those people who came from all corners of the old world and left a Europe who refused to allow freedom of ideas and freedom of worship. My European family came very early in the 1600s. That was one side. Another side was already here.

They were the indigenous people of these lands. People who were forced from the lands they had called home for generation upon generation. That they managed, somehow, to find common ground (no pun intended) and to get along, even marry and have families with one another, to me is nothing short of a miracle.

Learn the Truth

We must read again the histories of how this country was formed. The story we’ve long held to be true, the one we were taught in school about Pocahontas, has now been proven to be false in great part. How many have bothered to learn the true story? And this is just one story. How many others must there be?

Just this past week, the descendants of The First Twenty and Odd, celebrated the four-hundredth commemoration of the arrival of their ancestors. How many even know who the First Twenty and Odd are? I must say, I didn’t know until about two to three years ago. Again, part of our history never taught in our schools. How many of us are descendants of those people? How would you know if you’ve not been told?

Find Your Story

What is your family’s story? Were you a part of the indigenous peoples? Were your ancestors on one of the early ships to arrive on these shores? Did your first ancestors here come in the great wave of immigration in the 1800s? Unless you delve deeply into your lineage either via a DNA test, a paper trail, or both, you may never know of your rich heritage.

Not everyone will have come early. Some are recent arrivals, and they have a story. They have families and histories. We all came from somewhere.

Have you traced your ancestry? Did you find surprises? Share your story with us. 


Thursday, August 22, 2019

Nansemond Indian Nation Pow Wow 2019-A Family Affair

By Debra DuPree Williams @DDuPreeWilliams
Cousins, Bob, Debbie, Rod, and his beautiful daughter.
There are moments in life that leave us breathless and our hearts beating to a new rhythm. Memorable moments. Moments we file in the deepest recesses of our hearts and souls. I had many such moments this past weekend.

My family and I attended the thirty-first annual Pow Wow of the Nansemond Indian Nation in Suffolk, Virginia. I had no clue what to expect as I’d never attended a pow wow of any kind, anywhere. Indeed, it wasn’t until about three years ago that I knew this was part of my heritage.

This one was special to me because it was my first and was held on lands in possession of my Mama’s family for centuries. Since before my European ancestors arrived in the new world, the Nansemond were here. They hunted and fished on those lands. They made their homes and raised their families on those lands. The name Nansemond is Algonquian for fishing point.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Roots Run Deep and Hold Fast

By Debra DuPree Williams @DDuPreeWilliams
This coming weekend promises to be a once-in-a-lifetime event. My husband and I are celebrating our anniversary. As part of our celebrations we will be traveling to Suffolk, Virginia, where we will be joined by our eldest son and his younger daughter. The four of us will be attending the 31st annual Pow Wow of the Nansemond Indian Nation. The place of my roots.

Y’all know that I’m a big proponent of tracking one’s roots. Had I not been so diligent in seeking family members who knew more than I about my Mama’s family, this weekend would pass me by just as the previous thirty Pow Wows did. But thanks to newfound cousins who were and are far more knowledgeable about Mama’s family than we ever hoped to be, we will be in attendance this year.

Unknown Stories

Mama knew precious little about her roots. She, of course, knew her parents though her father passed away when Mama was only seven. All she knew of grandparents on his side of the family was that her grandmother was Ellen and her grandfather was Andrew.

When my sister and I began the search for our roots back in the 1990s, we were armed with a great deal of information on our Daddy’s side. But Mama’s was almost a blank slate. It was only after I joined Ancestry that I connected with cousins who’d been working on this side of the family for over forty years. Their research and documentation were solid considering all the work had been done the old-fashioned way, by combing through records in dusty old courthouses and pouring through library microfiche. The hours this must have taken still astounds me.


One cousin volunteered to take a DNA test for us. It was at this point that we connected to unknown kin. We were able to piece together a family tree. The records we discovered—census records, marriage certificates, death certificates, land deeds, wills, etc. were tangible proof of the discoveries we made.

So, this coming weekend, we'll travel to Virginia to stand on the land that has been a part of the history of the Nansemond for centuries. A part of my Mama’s family. My family. My sons’ family. My granddaughters’ family.

There are no words for the overwhelming emotions as I write this. I will share photos and more reactions with you next week.


Join our conversation. Have you searched for your roots? Share your discoveries with us.


The photo above is of my Mama's family. Back row: Alberta Bass Cunningham, Rubye Bass Register, Beulah Bass Elmore, Bura Bass, 
Seated: Grandpa Wilburn Bass holding Mama, Dot Bass DuPree, Check Bass, behind in middle; Granny Ludie Smith Bass holding Doris Bass Blackburn, Mary Bass Derby.

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Around Every Curve--Surprise

By Debra DuPree Williams @DDuPreeWilliams
One of the many nice things about living in the mountains of western North Carolina, other than our beautiful mountains and all that comes with that, is there is always something new around the next curve. Our weekend outing was a testament to that.

As an author, I have accounts on many social media sites, and I have this weekly blog. To keep my posts fresh and to have relevant photographs to accompany these posts, I like to take my own photos. An advantage to this is, I don’t have to worry about copyrighted material. And, I add my own watermark so that my work cannot be used without my permission. Honestly, I don’t think I need worry about that as I am not a professional photographer by anyone’s stretch of the imagination. But, I do okay for someone who is clueless.