Over 70 people with local roots from 17 states, not including Virginia, convened on the Eastern Shore last week for the 8th Genealogy and History of the Eastern Shore (GHOTES) conferences Wednesday through Saturday last week.

The three day conference included presentations on the “Eastern Shore DNA Project” by Catherine Freeman and Jenny Barker, “The Miles Files” by M.K. Miles, a presentation on Capt. Leonard Tawes, ‘the Coasting Captain’ of Pungoteague by Paul Ewell, as well as others from Jim Matthews, Kellee Blake, Paul Ewell, Cara Burton and more. Dr. David Scott gave a walking tour of historic downtown Eastville. Jean Raleigh discussed how people on the Eastern Shore lived, their houses, furniture, tools, personal property, how they ate and more. M.K. Miles also lead a tour of the Francis Makemie Memorial Park, the old Crockett Store on Saxis and the Holden House on Pitts Creek.

“People are excited, engaged, have things to do with their projects,”  said Barbara Cox of San Clamente, California, a descendent of the Goffigans, and the founder of GHOTES. “At this year’s conference, people didn’t only find out who their great grandfather was, but how he lived.”

In addition to attendees from California, Oregon, Texas, North Carolina, South Carolina, Alabama, Louisiana, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Minnesota, this year was the first time the conference included a few families from the Eastern Shore.

Looking for her roots, Cox founded GHOTES in 1996. She connected with others via email who were looking for same thing. The first conference was in 1997. GHOTES has grown, with a Facebook page with 1,009 followers, all people with roots and connections to the Eastern Shore.

The next possible conference won’t be before 2020. More information can be found at ghotes.net.


Eastern Shore Firefighters