February 14th, 2008

Paint me

My True Valentine Story

A few years before the American Revolution, my Great-to-the-tenth Grandfather, Valentine Hollifield, came across the Atlantic as the three-year-old indentured servant of a Scottish Priest. Both of his parents died on the voyage. He spent most of his youth in Maryland.

At the age of sixteen, he fled with his young love to Wake County, North Carolina, to what is probably north Raleigh today. He somehow acquired a farm and raised several children, most of whom eventually moved to Indiana and Illinois, when they were still "The Frontier".

Many generations later, my father's family ended up in Florida, across the street from my mother's family. The combined gang of thirteen kids ruled the neighborhood. Two different marriages link the families today.

And two centuries and ten generations after Valentine fled to Raleigh, I was the first descendant to return there. I've since lived in Berkeley, California and Paris, France, but Raleigh always feels like home.

Sorry about the rambling. Happy Valentine's Day.