I first became interested in our family history when I was a high school student in the late 1930’s. Very little family history had been collected or recorded. While still in high school I had my Grandfather, Rev. F.A. Prevatte tell me about his “War Between the States” experiences. His account has been preserved in the book, “Descendants of Furney Prevatte and Sally Nichols.”
Flora Prevatt Wilson of Lumberton and Durham, NC, and my older sister Pearl Prevatte Blake of Lumberton, NC both encouraged me in those early years. They pointed me in the right direction for my research, and consequently saved me a lot of time. While in college, I learned more about family research, and began collecting documents, census records, deeds, and wills.
Over time, my collection grew, and I learned that other branches of the family have also preserved history both in print and in digital formats. The question became, how do we preserve all this good work, and how do we continue to add to it as the years come and go? Moreover, how do we make it available to those who want to know about their heritage? Some material has been given to state and local libraries but it is better that we find some single resource, some way to house all the family history in one place.
That need was a driving force in the creation of the Society. A national reunion was held in Lumberton, NC in 1994 and in 1997 to gather family members to celebrate our common roots and to perpetuate the heritage of the Prevatt(e) family. It was determined that through a Society, the family can accumulate family information, stimulate contact among families, provide care for cemeteries, and publish documents and books related to our family history. The Society became a legal entity in 1999. With the support of its members it can assure continuity of the family record from generation to generation.
I urge every family member to not only provide the Society with family records so that they can be protected and kept permanently for the education of other family members, but to support the Society, through membership or other endowments. Finally, be assured that the Society is sensitive to any desires to keep certain records and information out of the public domain, should anyone request such privacy.
Manakin Episcopal Church
985 Huguenot Trail
Midlothian, VA 23113