Toni Armstrong '18

Toni Armstrong

Toni Armstrong

Possibly the most exciting moment in my research this semester was finding the name "Lois Marie Perkins" on a birth record from 1928. Lois is one of the living descendants of the sprawling family tree I've spent the semester researching. Finding her name meant that I could link her into the tree, back five generations to the family's patriarch in South Carolina, King Perkins. I sat down with two other descendants later, Wendy and Kim, who are a generation younger than Lois. Wendy and Kim are six generations away from King Perkins, and Wendy still lives nearby where Bullard took his photos. For me, Wendy and Kim were a live connection from the present day through to the Bullard photos and even further back – to people who had walked and lived and on the same streets I had walked. Through many (ongoing) iterations of the ever-growing family tree, I've seen so many connections: of families marrying neighbors that they lived close to in South Carolina and in Worcester, of families moving in and out of each others' homes, and the paths and milestones that these people lived not so long ago.

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