I became familiar with the genealogist, Bonnie Flythe, and her knowledge of the Flye, Fly, Flythe Families several years ago when my younger brother, Geoffrey, e-mailed me that he had contacted Bonnie about our maternal line of the Flythe family. Geoff was quite excited about Bonnie’s insight into our family. Our mother knew only of her immediate family and very little, if anything, about her ancestors. So Bonnie’s information about our ancestor, Elisha Fly, of Edgecombe Co., NC was very exciting for all of us. But that was the year 2001 and the temporary end of the story. Nothing further was done to research the Flythes.
Being recently retired, I was interested in writing about my own surname, Risch. For over 20 years I have been researching my own surname and had collected enough material that I felt I could begin writing narrative about my family. But I wanted to be sure my material was valid with documentation and I joined Ancestry.com for further research. While doing so in late 2010, I also became interested in looking into the Flythe family again, which really meant researching the Fly family and the various iterations of the surname. There were many Flythe and Fly family trees on Ancestry but there was one tree that kept popping up on my searches. I realized the tree belonged to Bonnie Flythe, whom my brother had corresponded with several years ago.
I contacted Bonnie to ask if she would consider giving me access to her family tree on Ancestry. I explained to her that I thought we were related in some way and would like to ask her some questions about her research. Bonnie responded almost immediately and even called me “cousin.” She was very helpful in showing me where I fit into the Fly/Flythe branches, of which I found out there are many . I cannot explain in words the emotion I felt the first time I received access to Bonnie’s family tree on Ancestry. A whole new world opened up for me. All of a sudden, I realized I knew nothing about genealogy. I only thought I did.
Bonnie is my 5th cousin, 1 times removed, according to the chart below. Bonnie and I are descended from probable twin brothers, Enoch and Enos Fly, born to John Fly (ca. 1741-1804) and Susannah Johnson (1747-1795) on January 19, 1776. I am descended from Enoch Fly and then his son, Elisha Fly; Bonnie is descended from Enos Fly/Flythe and then his son, Solomon Flythe. The Fly name change to Flythe in Northampton Co, NC is discussed here on this site.
Sometime in February 2011, Bonnie and I started communicating through almost daily and weekly e-mails. I had a lot of questions and Bonnie began to teach me about the complexities of the genealogy world. She was always talking about finding proof and documentation. Bonnie doesn’t put much stock into family stories or legends. After chasing some of the in-family stories and legends of the Fly/Flythe families, I understand why.
Over the next couple of years we talked on the phone a few times and became fast friends. Bonnie indicated to me that she wanted to publish her work on RootsWeb and several months later, we began to work together on proof-reading, rewriting, and adding new material to her original body of work. Some weeks later, we decided to start working on the design of a website. I had some experience in website publishing where I had worked and I offered to build this website for her. After a time, Bonnie readily agreed.
As per usual, I bit off more than I could chew, so I had to learn to write HTML code; and learn what Cascading Style Sheets and Java Script were used for. My experience with web design was severely lacking and I had to take a “learn-as-you-go” methodology. Bonnie was patient with me and now after many months, we have a website about the Fly/Flythe families.
It is likely I would not have gone down this path if it were not for Bonnie Flythe and her dedication and patience, but I must say, it has been most rewarding for me. As someone once said, "You're not a good family historian if you don't travel down unexpected paths." I have learned so much these past two years. I want to thank Bonnie for giving me the opportunity to participate and help with this wonderful project.
Bonnie and I hope that you will find some of your own roots here. If you find a discrepancy or if you have information that should be added to the site, contact Bonnie using the Contact Me link at the top of any of the pages, and we will give it our immediate attention.