Celebrating The History and People of ENC from the Early Times to the Present
The Tuscarora Nation, the ECU Department of History, and the Family History Society of ENC are excited to present A Tuscarora Homecoming in conjunction with the ENC Family History Fair. It will be held over three days, July 23-25, 2015, at the New Bern Riverfront Convention Center and at Tryon Palace-North Carolina History Center.
Many of the Tuscarora, who now reside on the Tuscarora Nation, located near Lewiston, New York will make the trip to their ancestral North Carolina homeland under the direction of Vince Schiffert, Tuscarora History Group Liaison, who is working with history professor, Dr. Larry E. Tise of ECU, and David A. French of The Family History Society of ENC to organize this historic event.
The free opening program will begin on Thursday at 2 p.m. at the convention center with a welcome by New Bern Mayor Dana Outlaw and Craven County Commission Chairman Steve Tyson, both descendants of the 1710 New Bern Settlers, followed by a traditional Tuscarora opening called “Kanonyok.” The free ENC Native American and Settler History Symposium will feature five speakers who will discuss the Tuscarora, other Native American groups, and the European Settlers’ experience in Eastern North Carolina during the 18th Century. On Thursday at 7 p.m., a ticketed Southern Buffet Supper Program at the NC History Center’s Mattocks Hall will be the scene of the “Historic Maps of North Carolina” Exhibition opening, along with a short talk, “The Mystery of de Graffenried and His Many Maps” by Dr. Tise, as well as a Tuscarora Wampum presentation. The wonderful NC Regional History Museum will be open for self-guided tours for those attending the event.
On Friday, all events are at the convention center, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., the Family History Society of ENC will host their popular and free ENC Family History Fair in Heritage Hall. It is a time for the public to see exhibits by area libraries, museums, genealogical, historical, and cultural groups. Also, family and area history photo boards will be on display. It is free to display the boards and many people have made family connections at past fairs so please bring yours. Also on Friday, a ticketed Family History Research Seminar from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. will present four presentations, Finding Your Ancestors: In the ECU Special Collections, NC Room, and Online; In Burned Counties; In Court Records; and As Children In Records. On Friday at 7 p.m., a ticketed BBQ and Chicken Buffet Supper Program will highlight the “2013 Tuscarora Migration Walk” by the Tuscarora Nation.
On Saturday, all events are at the convention center, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., a free special Tuscarora Heritage Day will be held in conjunction with the ENC Family History Fair which will continue with exhibitors, photo boards, and free kids’ history activities. From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., the Tuscarora will host talks, crafts, and cultural demonstrations. Some of the Tuscarora activities will include beading, corn pounding, corn husk dolls, hemp fibers/cordage, and more. From 4 p.m. to 5 p.m., the Tuscarora youth will host a free exhibition Lacrosse and other Tuscarora games at Union Point Park on the Trent River Green next door to the convention center. Area Lacrosse players are invited to attend and join in playing. On Saturday, at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m., there will be free genealogy classes about using FamilySearch.org sponsored by the Harkers Island LDS Church; at 11 a.m., a free Finding Your Ancestors In Other Vital Records, and at 2 p.m., a free Finding Your Ancestors In The NC State Archives and Library both sponsored by the NC State Archives and Library. On Saturday at 7 p.m., a ticketed Seafood Supper Buffet Program will feature a Tuscarora Social with traditional dancing, drumming, and singing. It will be followed by a dessert and coffee reception hosted by the New Bern Riverfront Convention Visitors Center.
All Supper Buffet Programs and the Family History Research Seminar are $25 each per person by Friday, July 17, and $35 after, if available. You may send a check to FHS of ENC, 1822 S. Glenburnie Road, #112, New Bern, NC 28562 or you may register and pay online.
By Contributing Author, David French