Backtracking Our Ancestors Journey


From Texas to North Carolina

July-August 2013


During early summer of 2013 a gentleman from Houston TX named Joe was looking at some records that traced his family surnames from Henderson, to McMahon, to Lewis, to McMasters, to Foust, and finally to that of Kivett.  They mentioned four cemeteries in which some of these were supposed to be buried: Hollywood in Houston, TX, Horn in Greenville, TX, Mt. Zion in Lawrence Co., TN, and McMasters in Randolph Co. N.C. He and his wife Pat decided to make the trip to North Carolina by way of Arkansas, Missouri, Kentucky, and Tennessee - a Journey of Discovery to try to actually visit some of these long gone ancestors.  They asked cousins, sisters Carol and Janis, if they would like to take the trip with them.  Of course, everyone was so excited!


After some preparation, this foursome left out of San Leon, Texas on July 14, 2013 in a large pickup truck pulling a 5th wheel camper to actually backtrack their ancestors' footsteps. It was a long trip, in distance and in time, as these four made their way from place to place.  The complete story is also long, but filled with remarkable experiences.  Just a few highlights will be shared here:



Their first stop was Greenville, TX, where in Forest Park Cemetery (formerly known as Horn Cemetery) they found the stone marking the burial place of their great-great grandmother, Martha Caroline McMasters Lewis.



Next they visited Delaware AR, where their great-grandmother, Ora Zona Emmons Lewis was born. As is sometimes the case on such a journey, they walked through some cemeteries, but did not find anyone.


After sidetracking into KY to visit some living relatives, this foursome headed on to Lawrenceburg, TN in search of their earlier ancestors, John & Charity Foust McMasters at Mt. Zion Cemetery. After some extended inquiring about this cemetery's location and driving around in the rain, there it was! They soon found them!  And many others too.  Happiness reigned in the rain. John and Charity McMasters - their GGGGGG Grandparents!  They learned later that this couple donated this burial land to the church and, since it was his land, he was also the first person to be buried here.





From there it was on through eastern TN for a few days in Asheville, NC, before setting out for the final prize to be discovered - their earliest known ancestors: Peter and Anna Barbara Kivett.  There outside Staley, NC they actually found McMasters Cemetery.


"And there, we found them! Our ancestors!" "What an emotional experience!Carol says, “Without  their decisions, hardships, and determination, we would not have existed today.”





This adventuresome foursome made it safely back to Houston, and prepared the Power Point version where this journey is chronicled in detail. They felt so fulfilled that they included in their story about this journey, the following poem by an unknown author:


The name and date are chiseled out on polished, marbled stone.

It reaches out to all who care; it is too late to mourn.

You did not know that I exist; You died, and I was born.

Yet each of us are cells of you: in flesh, in blood, in bone

Our blood contracts and beats a pulse entirely not our own.

Dear Ancestor, the place you filled one hundred years ago

Spreads out among the ones you left who would have loved you so.

I wonder if you lived and loved, I wonder if you knew

That someday I would find this spot, and come to visit you.


It is with the kind sharing and combined expressed permission for display of:

 Joe Perry(III) and Pat Henderson

 Carol McMahon Long

and Janis McMahon Watson

that you are able to experience this Backtracking Their Ancestry Journey.

Credit also to Joe's Wife Pat, who is not seen because she was the trip photographer.

Many thanks to all of them.