Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Monday, February 23, 2009
Finding Postcard Years Later
Several years ago, I went through the papers of my maternal grandparents and found this postcard which I had written a few weeks after my ninth birthday. I’m not sure why I didn’t address the card to both of my grandparents. Perhaps I sent Grandma a separate card, but if that actually occurred, she did not keep it.
Observations About the Postcard
I had just begun fourth grade when this postcard was written. Three things come to mind as I look back at this.
First, I thought that I learned to write in cursive during my third grade year, but if this is my signature, and then we would have learned cursive writing in the second grade. This is evident with the way I wrote the majority of the postcard in print and my name is signed in cursive. Also behind the cursive print, I can see that I printed my first name, but then erased it. After carefully, looking at the signature, I began to suspect that my mother may have written my signature in cursive because I remember the shape of her “D’s” when she wrote her name “Dorothy.” I looked at her signature on my birth certificate, and the writing looks similar. Today, I was looking for other documents with her handwriting, but can’t find them right now.
The second observation about this postcard is that I’m amazed that this card, which I wrote in pencil, is still readable after 36-years.
My third observation is that I referred to my grandfather as “Grandpa” instead of “Granddaddy” like I always remember calling him. Did my nine-year-old mind think that Grandpa was the proper way to refer to him in writing? Or did I actually address him as Grandpa during this time in my life?
Cousin Greg’s First Birthday Party
My youngest cousin Greg, not “Grey” as I spelled on the postcard, turned one about a week after our arrival and a big birthday party was given to him by his parents to honor this occasion. The postmark on the card was October 16, 1972, which was a Monday. I remember that Greg’s party was on a Saturday afternoon so I must have written the postcard sometime prior to the event, and mailed it on Monday.
Back to VirginiaWe stayed in New Jersey for about eleven months, but did not return on the Greyhound bus. Instead, we traveled home by a car that was driven by my grandmother’s youngest brother.
Sunday, February 22, 2009
- Copy the award to your site.
- Link to the person from whom you received the award.
- Nominate 7 other bloggers.
- Link to those sites on your blog.
- Leave a message on the blogs you nominate.
Additionally, as a recipient of this award, I am required to nominate seven other blogs. Below, is a list of my nominations for the “KreativBlogger Award.”
- Steve’s Genealogy Blog by Stephen Danko
- Begin With Craft by Valerie C.
- Creekside Cottage Designs by Melanie
- The Blessedness of Believing by Linda Meadows
- Genealogy – Photograph – Restoration by George Geder
- Life in England by Maria & Rodney
- Food, Family, and Fun by Crystalcav
Thursday, February 19, 2009
After receiving the results, I inputted them into the www.mitosearch.org website and found one exact match both on the HRV1 and HVR2 sections. I emailed this new genetic cousin and she and I have been communicating through email in order to compare our family trees.
Her oldest known ancestor on this matching line is her great-great grandmother, Anne Gannaway Welborn who was born around 1834 and lived in Randolph County, NC after the Civil War.
The mitochondrial DNA is passed through the female line and our common ancestry may have occurred either within a genealogical timeframe, or hundreds to thousands of years ago. For the sake of my new genetic cousin and me, we hope that this common ancestry occurred during a genealogical timeframe and that we are able to discover the specifics of the kinship.
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Monday, February 16, 2009
Nevertheless, the copy of my first grade class photo was not damaged. The class photo was a card about 5 x 7, with an individual picture of each student, the teacher, and school principal,. Another first grade photo was discovered many years later, sometime after the year 2000, when I discovered one in a photo album which belonged to my grandmother’s sister Mary.
The dress I am wearing in this photo was bought for me by my mother’s brother and sister, and it was one of my favorite childhood dresses. My aunt and uncle bought me several other new outfits to begin my first grade school year. This dress was passed down to each of my three younger sisters, who always inherited my old clothes. Guess that was a little advantage to being the oldest.
Sunday, February 15, 2009
Genealogy is a hobby full of papers, electronic files, and heirlooms. The more documents we find on our family, the more the paper piles up. As a result, the excitement of finding information on our ancestors is overshadowed by the weight of piles of papers.
Since beginning this hobby in 1994, I have tried various filing methods such as notebooks and an ancestral number filing system. However, none of these methods have worked effectively for me. Many new genealogist use a notebook to organize their paper documents. I used a notebook also when I began this hobby in 1994. However, after accumulating many documents, a notebook did not work for me. A few years ago, I discovered the Family Roots Organizer Video in my local public library. Later, I purchased my own copy of the video which I watch periodically. (Note: Family Roots Organizer presentation is now on CD through Legacy Family Tree Webinars. Click here to order.)
The foundation of this filing system for genealogy papers is based on a color-coding system for the pedigree line. This method recommends using one of four colors for each of your four grandparents.
I modified this filing system to suit my needs. I’m not sure why I didn’t use the exact colors for each grandparent that were suggested, however, the four-color method still works no matter what colors are used for each grandparent. I also choose to use color file folders for both ancestors and collateral family and green hanging folders for all families. I use highlighters on the hanging file folder tabs for each surname. I choose the following colors for each of my grandparents.
Red, Green, Yellow, and Blue colored file folders are included in the spring colors of an assorted box of folders. Orange is also included in the spring colors and I adopted this color for my growing collection of DNA related files. The fall colors of an assorted box of file folders includes Grey, Maroon, Royal, Teal, and Purple. From this box, I have chosen Purple folder for my files related to white families in my research who are either slave owners, suspected slave owners, or some other relations to my family such as employer, landlord, or neighbor. I use the remaining colors for personal files such as bills and other financial related files.
Since using this color system for my ancestral files, I can now immediately indentify from a distance the category or grandparent to which each file belongs. By the way, this color filing system can also be used with notebooks, instead of file folders. Some genealogists use white notebooks and place a specific color cover and strip in spine for easy identification.
For more information, on using the color filing system, watch the preview video below:
Saturday, February 14, 2009
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Monday, February 9, 2009
Today, thanks to Internet resources such as YouTube (video) or Playlist (music,) I can still enjoy the funky pop music sound from my youth.
Most African American girls had their favorite Jackson whom they admired and even dreamed about. My favorite was Jermaine, but I don’t remember why I liked him the best. Perhaps I developed a crush on him after he debuted his first single solo in 1972 called “Daddy’s Home.” I was nine years old in 1972.
Some of my favorite songs by the Jackson Five were ABC, I’ll Be There, I Want You Back, Rockin’ Robin, and Sugar Daddy.
Jackson Five Websites
The Jackson Five: Biography
The Jackson Five
Classic Motown: Jackson Five
I’ll Be There
I Want You Back
Friday, February 6, 2009
On Tuesday night, February 3rd, I received a phone call which gave me another "Happy Dance" moment. It was a call as a result of a letter I wrote to a pastor requesting information on former members of his church. In my blog posting on Finding Church Trustees Through Newspapers and Other Sources, posted on October 1, 2008, I wrote the following about my research of the Trustees of Veanus Chapel House of Prayer, which was a church organized by and named for my great-great grandmother Luvenia Jeffress Bullock (1864-1951.)
"I plan to write the church regarding my research and ask for information on their history. I hope to also find people in this church who are either descendants of the Bynum, Booth, and Suitt families, or who would remember any of these individuals. I also hope to visit this church before the end of the year."
On October 13, 2008, I wrote a long letter to the current pastor of the church (Friendship House of Prayer) where Trustees Bynum, Booth, and Suitt were once members. In the opening paragraph, I stated the reason for my letter.
"I am interested in learning about the history of your church. The reason for my interest is that I discovered that my great-great grandmother, Luvenia Jeffress Bullock (1864-1951) was associated with former members of your church (Estora Bynum, Sarah Booth, and Georgia Suitt). These three individuals were named on deeds related to Veanus Chapel House of Prayer, which was a church established by my great-great grandmother Luvenia around the early 1930s. I have traced the existence of this church through the 1960s and the three individuals named above were named as Trustees on several of the deeds for Veanus Chapel."
The letter also included a brief history of the three locations of Veanus Chapel Church. Attached to the letter were a variety of documents which further explained the information I had uncovered. The attachments were:
- Photo of Grandma Ven and a lady (see photo above.) In my letter, I asked for an identification of this lady.
- Article from my “Find Your Folks” genealogy blog entitled ‘Finding Church Trustees Through Newspapers and Other Sources.”
- Land Deeds of property for Veanus Chapel House of Prayer Church from 1951, 1955, and 1966 where either Estora Bynum, Sarah Booth, and/or Georgia Suitt were named as Trustees.
- Brief Biography of Luvenia Jeffress Bullock (1864-1951) which I had written this for the Souvenir Journal of the 100th anniversary of Saints Delight Holy Church in Vance County, NC.
At the end of the letter, I asked the following three questions. Some answers (provided below in bold) were provided in the phone call that I received this past Tuesday night from a granddaughter of Trustee Estora Bynum and his wife Annie. The granddaughter (Renee) is also a great granddaughter of Trustee Sarah Booth, who was the mother of Annie Bynum.
- Was Friendship House of Prayer formerly named Veanus Chapel House of Prayer? If so, when did the name change to Friendship House of Prayer? No, Friendship is not formerly Veanus Chapel. The former church name was Milgrove House of Prayer.
- Is there a written copy of the history of Friendship House of Prayer? If so, how can I obtain a copy? No, there is no written copy of the history of Friendship and Renee did not know when the church started.
- Are there members of your church who might remember any of the following? (Veanus Chapel House of Prayer Church, My great-great grandmother Luvenia Jeffress Bullock, or Estora Bynum, Sarah Booth, or Georgia Suitt) This question was answered with the call from the Renee, who had been given my packet by her pastor. She also said that she is the only one in her family who is still a member of this church where her grandparents and great grandmother once worshipped.
Another great bit of information learned from this phone conversation is the identification of the lady in the photo above standing to the right of Grandma Ven, who was identified as Georgia Suitt. Renee commented that Georgia Suitt was a pastor and minister of several churches. Some of my family members have said that Grandma Ven's church was pastored by a female minister. One cousin, who is now deceased, thought that the lady in the photo was Georgia Suitt, but she was not positive. Georgia Suitt's obituary is very short and does not mention that she was ever a pastor or minister.
Before ending the conversation, I got Renee's phone number and plan to call her later to ask more questions. Even though I had planned to visit the church last year, I did not make it there. I still plan to visit sometime this year. At least now, I know the name of at least one member. Although my specific questions were answered, there is still so much more to research about the Trustees of Veanus Chapel House of Prayer. I look forward to whatever new information I will uncover through my new contacts.
Thursday, February 5, 2009
The National Genealogy Society (NGS) will hold it's annual conference May 13-16, 2009 in Raleigh, NC at the Raleigh Convention Center. The theme for the conference is "The Building of a Nation: From Roanoke to the West."
I have attend two NGS genealogy conferences, one in 1999 and the other in 2007. Both were held in Richmond, VA which is my state capitol. The NGS conference is full of genealogy workshops on every subject imaginable as well as vendors galore. I'm looking forwarding to attending this great conference in North Carolina this May.
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
Monday, February 2, 2009
Blood gushed everywhere and my accident undoubtedly brought a halt to the boy/girl chase. I remember looking down at my left knee and I could see the bone in my knee.
The fifth grade teacher, whose name was Mr. Small, lifted me (a little first grader) from the playground and carried me to the nurse’s office. I don’t remember any other teachers coming out or what initial type of first aid was administered to control the bleeding.
After my mother was called to the school, I was taken to the emergency room of a local hospital where the gash in my knee was stitched up. Today, almost 40 years later, I still have a scar on my left knee as a reminder of this first grade accident and the painful lesson I learned about why you should not always follow the crowd.
Sunday, February 1, 2009
Another “Genealogy Happy Dance” experience occurred one day when I was in the Register of Deeds office in Vance County, NC looking birth certificates where Grandma Ven was named as midwife. During this visit, I found numerous birth certificates where she was named as midwife. As I looked through the 1936 book of birth certificates, I came across the document below which was in front of one of the stillbirth certificates. After reading it, I realized that this was a statement from my ancestor Luvenia. I wanted to scream and holler with joy, but held back since I was in a public place.
At this deeds office, copies had to be made by the staff. “This is a statement from my ancestor,” I exclaimed to the staff person as she made a photocopy of this document. My face was lit up with a smile from ear to ear and I felt that I had to tell somebody the good news. The staff person didn’t share my excitement and I don’t think she even responded to my statement. Nevertheless, I didn’t let this spoil my “Genealogy Happy Dance” feeling and spent the remainder of my time at the deeds office full of joy.
Dancing is an act for showing pleasure and joy. Happy dance styles vary depending on personal style, taste, and culture. It doesn’t matter if your “Genealogy Happy Dance” is a twist, a river dance or holy dance. What matters is that all genealogists experience this pleasure from time to time.
Chubby Checker and the Twist