Who do you think should manage Ferriday water?|
Story Archives: Indiana news anchor finds family 'legacy' in Concordia
- 2013 - 300 articles
- 2012 - 856 articles
- 2011 - 635 articles
- December 2011 - 46 articles
- November 2011 - 61 articles
- October 2011 - 52 articles
- September 2011 - 49 articles
- August 2011 - 56 articles
- July 2011 - 51 articles
- June 2011 - 73 articles
- May 2011 - 47 articles
- April 2011 - 45 articles
- March 2011 - 53 articles
- March 31st, 2011 (Thursday) - 2 articles
- March 30th, 2011 (Wednesday) - 9 articles
- March 24th, 2011 (Thursday) - 2 articles
- March 23rd, 2011 (Wednesday) - 8 articles
- March 18th, 2011 (Friday) - 1 articles
- March 16th, 2011 (Wednesday) - 7 articles
- March 10th, 2011 (Thursday) - 4 articles
- March 9th, 2011 (Wednesday) - 8 articles
- March 3rd, 2011 (Thursday) - 3 articles
- March 2nd, 2011 (Wednesday) - 9 articles
- February 2011 - 57 articles
- January 2011 - 45 articles
- 2010 - 1276 articles
- 2009 - 1591 articles
- 2008 - 1763 articles
|Indiana news anchor finds family 'legacy' in Concordia|
The word "legacy" has new meaning to an Indiana television anchor whose roots run deep in Concordia Parish.
Andrea Morehead says she now fully appreciates that a rich legacy was established in her family long ago and that it still lives and breathes in both Monterey and Ferriday.
"Now I truly understand what that means," said Morehead. "A legacy is whatever you do on this earth to make an impact on others. It is something that continues for generations and that is monumental. Now I know that thanks to my great-grandfather my family has a legacy."
Morehead's ancestors were residents of Monterey who in the early 1900s established the Doty Road Church of God in Ferriday. She's known that for many years, but a visit to Concordia Parish the weekend of Feb. 18-20 brought it home to her in an emotional way she didn't expect.
As co-anchor of the Eyewitness News at 5 p.m. and 11 p.m. for WTHR Channel 13 in Indianapolis, Ind., Morehead was recently one of 12 anchors for NBC affiliates across the country asked to participate in the program, "Who Do You Think You Are?" Nationally, the NBC show teams up celebrities with Ancestry.com to find their roots and answer questions about their past.
Morehead knew immediately that her journey would take her to a place she remembered sweetly as a summer destination for family and fun during the 1970s.
The daughter of the Rev. James Morehead and Jean Morehead, Andrea Morehead was growing up in Oklahoma City and later Grambling when she made those summer visits to the parish as a child. She later became an award-winning journalist.
Her great-grandparents, Arthur and Zula Lewis, lived and farmed at Monterey.
"There's an area there called the Blue Hole, a country road," said Morehead. "For lack of a better word, it's like a family compound. Everybody there was part of the Lewis, Finley and Wells families. All of us are related and we were the only people who lived on that road. We have our family reunions there. It just was such a wonderful time for me as a child. I have so many fond memories of playing with my cousins, running up and down the road, riding horses, picking pears and figs from the trees, crawfishing. It was just a happy time."
While visiting the Blue Hole on Saturday, Feb. 19, she ran into her Uncle Joe Lewis, who lives in Bastrop.
"He came down to fish and to check on the family property," she said. "We hugged and talked and had a great time."
Morehead, a cameraman and Anastasia Harmon of Ancestry.com arrived in Concordia the day before. They were hosted by Amanda Taylor and staff at the Vidalia Library, where Morehead interviewed Vidalia Mayor Hyram Copeland. There, she also reviewed census records obtained by Harmon.
Prior to the visit, Morehead said she wondered: "Would the past be bad? Would I be embarrassed by something that was found out about my family? I didn't know what to expect. I had a lot of emotions going into it. But I was excited about learning more."
She did know this: That an important sense of family was instilled in her since her childhood days. That's because while on his death bed in Monterey, Morehead's great-grandfather Arthur Lewis gave his family parting instructions.
"He said, 'I want you to stay together and love each other. I want you to get together and be with one another,'" recalls Morehead, who finds the story more meaningful as she grows older. "He passed away in 1966, so we've been having reunions ever since."
At the Vidalia Library, Anatasia Harmon with Ancestry.com provided new information on Morehead ancestors, information that only recently has become available through census records.
Previously, the family could trace their roots back to Morehead's great-grandparents, Arthur and Zula Lewis. But going back any further in time was sketchy until Harmon showed Morehead an 1880 document -- the marriage certificate of her great-great grandfather and great-great grandmother, Robert Lewis and Malinda Bailey Lewis.
"My grandmother (Albertina Lewis Tolliver) is still speechless," said Morehead. "When I showed it to her she just sat there. She didn't know how to respond."
Morehead hoped a study of slave records during a visit at Frogmore Plantation would reveal information on her great-great grandparents, but "it was not to be," she said.
In Ferriday, she found her family has left a lasting impression when visiting the Doty Road Church of God. While filming in the church cemetery, where many of her ancestors are buried, she met church pastor, the Rev. Simeon Green. In what sometimes seems like a small world, she learned that Green knew her parents and often visited her father when Green was in military and living in Indianapolis.
Green opened up the church doors and invited her back for a talk to the entire congregation during Sunday services.
"I didn't understand my family's impact until revisiting the church," said Morehead. "I found out that not only did they start the church, but they built it with their own hands (in 1909) and then in the 1960s they were able to upgrade to a brick church and that church is still there.
"I saw the pictures on the walls of my great-grandfather, Arthur Lewis, my great-uncles and other pastors. I felt the presence of my ancestors. To know that all of these years that people have been impacted and nurtured through faith at that church and that it began with my ancestors is miraculous to me now. I've been in the church before when I was a child but when you're a child you don't understand what all of that means.
"That is just monumental for me," she said. "I took away from that the notion that no matter how hard or whatever life may be that you can still overcome. It just really takes hard work and just working a plan to make it come to fruition."
Morehead said she was overwhelmed by the visit and returned home to her husband Archibald Allen, IV, and son, Ean James, talking nonstop about the Concordia visit..
"It's all I can talk about," she said.
Morehead's first of her two-part series ran Friday, Feb. 25. The second segment will air this Friday, March 4. The series can be seen on WTHR's website: wthr.com.
(SUBSCRIBE TO THE SENTINEL'S E-EDITION!)
|Frank Morris Murder Series|