Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Wordless Wednesday

Frank Everett
Abt 1860 - 20 Sep 1938



This is one of the many Frank Everetts among the ancestors on the paternal side of my family. This particular Frank is my Great Grand Uncle and was my Great Grandfather, Peter T. Everett's, older brother.

The picture was obtained from cousin Cornell Slade, my 2nd cousin 1X removed, who is the grandson of Frank. Cornell had emailed me this picture several years ago but it got buried down in my emails. I didn't discover it until recently when I was trying to clean out some of my emails.

Monday, April 24, 2017

#A - Z Challenge 2017 - T



T is for Thomas Langston Jones, my uncle.

This post was originally done September 23, 2009 for Wordless Wednesday although it really was a Wordy Wednesday.

Wordless Wednesday - The Uncle I Never Met



I never met my uncle T. Langston , as everyone in the family called him. In my adult life, I determined that the T stood for Thomas and so now when I talk about him, I always call him Thomas Langston. Uncle Thomas' grad school student ID is one of only two pictures that I have of him and I just recently discovered the student ID (it was tucked behind his Masters diploma). Uncle Thomas drowned, along with his girlfriend, while attending grad school at the University of Michigan. Dad and my aunts and uncles always relayed that Uncle Thomas, who couldn't swim, and his girlfriend were on an outing on the Huron river when their boat capsized ,and both Uncle Thomas and his girlfriend drowned. Now his youngest niece, that would be me, always thought there was foul play but I've been able to finally put that thought to rest. You see along with the student ID was a clipping of his girlfriend's memorial / funeral service, which stated she drowned trying to save him after their canoe overturned.


Monday, April 17, 2017


M is for Martha Jones, one of my paternal great grandmothers. 

I've not done much research on my great grandmother of late. This was the very first post I did on my great grandmother back in 2009. 

Another Great-Grandmother Mystery


Just like my great-grandmother Fannie on my maternal side, one of my great grandmother’s on my paternal side has haunted me for years.

She’s the one that seems to push me the most amongst my North Carolina ancestors and yet she’s the one I know the least about. She’s the one that I always felt like was denied her rightful place amongst the ancestors, and that’s it always been up to me to tell the world about her.

Unlike like my maternal side, very few stories or information about the ancestors were handed down on my paternal side. So it’s been dogged determination with the few snippets I did get that have allowed me to even get a small glimpse of her.

And so here is what I knew when I begin this search

1. My aunt, Martha Edith Jones, was named after both of her grandmothers.
2. My dad always said that Mary Williams, who he and my aunts and uncles called grandmother wasn’t really my granddad’s Mom. Dad always suspected that Mary Williams was my granddad’s aunt.
3. On occasion, dad mentions that he thinks granddad had some siblings.

What I know and have discovered through the years



1. On my grandparents’ marriage license, granddad lists his mother as Martha and she was still living when my grandparents were married (Dec. 27 1914).
2. On the 1900 census, Hamilton, Martin, North Carolina, there are three families listed for dwelling, 110.
  • Family 121, General Williams and his wife, Mary E.

  • Family 122, Je* Williams (female), age 70, is listed as head. With her is Joseph Williams, age 16, listed as her son and Clansy Jones, boarder, and Leter Jones, boarder.

  • Family 123, Martha Jones, head
3. I’m fairly confident in stating that (1) this is the Mary E Williams that reared my granddad (granddad’s death certificate list General Williams as his father and Mary Elizabeth Jones as his mother. My grandmother was the informant on granddad’s death certificate), (2) Clansy is my granddad, Claudius, and (3) the Martha listed is my great-grandmother.

And now, the headaches, frustrations and questions

1. Where were Mary and Martha between 1880 and 1900? Based on the 1900 census, Mary was been born abt. 1872 and Martha was born abt. 1877. To date, I’ve not been able to locate either of them on the 1880 census. I've also never been able to locate them or granddad on the 1910 census.
2. What happened to my great-grandmother after 1914? I’ve not located her on the 1920 or 1930 census. Did she marry?
3. Who is Leter Jones? Is it possible that my grandfather had a twin? On the 1900 census both are listed as being born in 1892 with granddad being born in July and Leter being born in August.



Monday, April 10, 2017

#A - Z Challenge 2017 - I



Thanks to my friend Renate, Into the Light, I'm trying to participate in the 2017 A-Z Challenge, which can be found at http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/.

The Letter I is for Iola Everett Jones, my paternal grandmother. This post was originally posted in 2010 as part of the 2nd edition of the Carnival of African American Genealogy - Grandma's Hand.

Grandmomma Jones
Iola Luvenia Everett Jones


Late 1960s
From the personal collection of the owner of this blog


This is my second post for the second edition of the Carnival of African-American Genealogy. As mentioned in my post about my maternal grandmother, this carnival has been a tough one for me. As previously noted, it’s not that I never knew my grandmothers but that I really didn’t get an opportunity to know them.

I was a bit older, 8 to be exact, when my paternal grandmother died. While I had her a bit longer, as fate would have it, father time had mentally taken her away from me a few years before. Even so, while no single moment sticks out for me the way the last visit with my maternal grandmother does, I know that my paternal grandmother and I had our special moments.

For the first few years of my life, Grandmomma Jones stayed in Winston-Salem, NC, where she and granddaddy settled after leaving their home county in the eastern part of the state. While I always seemed to get sick off the fumes that seeped through the floor of daddy’s old Ford, I always enjoyed and looked forward to the trips to my grandmother’s house. However, I must admit that the house itself always seem to terrify me. I always had a problem with basements, so the cellar of the Big House was especially terrifying.

From what I know about my grandmother, she was a resourceful and strong woman who like Jesus fed the masses with very little. Unlike my maternal grandparents who farmed, my paternal grandparents were more city folks. However, that doesn’t mean they struggled any less. In fact, it seems like they may have struggled more. Grandmomma’s small garden provided just enough for her to feed her family. Grandmomma Jones could make practically anything from greens and squash and that’s how she and her family survived.

Grandmomma Jones endured the death of her first born who drowned while away at grad school and her youngest who only lived a few short months. She also survived having cancer in not one but both breast, which was totally unheard of at that time, the survival that is.

Grandmom was definitely proud to be a grandmother and was proud of her grandkids. My mother tells the story of one summer, when most of Grandmomma Jones’ grandkids had descended on her. My cousin Valerie and I were still babies and I think my cousin Lafrieda was there and maybe even cousins Jay and Claudius. We were all outside, and grandmom was holding me. One of her neighbors came by asking where all these babies came from and Grandmom proudly proclaimed these are my grandbabies.

Eventually Grandmomma Jones’ health started to fail. Around this time, her daughter, Aunt Martha, who lived in my hometown, decided to build a house and have grandmom move in with her. So, the last years of her life were spent in my hometown. Given the fact Aunt Martha’s house was < 2 miles from our house, for awhile I had the double pleasure of having both of my grandmother’s near. Even though at this point in time there was little interaction due to her health, I still enjoyed spending time with grandmom and always went bounding into Aunt Martha’s house with a hey grandma and plopping down beside her for a awhile.

Grandmomma Jones departed this world on April 5, 1969. It occurred over Easter break while Cousin Valerie and Aunt Emmanuline were visiting. Grandmom stumbled, lost her balance, and struck her head. Eerily, Aunt Martha’s death, which occurred almost exactly 31 years later, happened in the same manner.

As with my maternal grandmother, I wish we had had more time but I will always be grateful for the time that we did have together. I still feel the pride that she exuded in having me / us as her grandkids and would like to think that if she were here that she would be proud of the work that I’ve done on her ancestral line.


#A-Z Challenge 2017 - G



My friend Renate, from Into the Light, turned me onto this blogging challenge a little over a week ago. I immediately decided that I would participate as it would help me get back to blogging but as you can see, here I am a little over a week later and haven't posted a thing.

So, my goal is to start today and then, hopefully go back and get caught up on the days I missed. Now I admit, some of these may be previous posts from years gone by but at least it will hopefully, finally be a start in getting me going, again.

G was the letter of the day for this past Friday, April 7, 2017. I've decided to use G for the surname Gaynor and to highlight a post that I did in 2011.

Wordy Wednesday - A Name But Still No Clue


What do you do when you have a name but still have no clue who the person is?

Per the inherited photo album from my Aunt Martha, the man pictured above is William Gaynor and he's one of our cousins.

During my research I've never come across any Gaynors, so I have no clue how he fits in. I'm not even sure where he was born and raised, and I definitely have no clue who his parents were.

Aunt Martha also had pictures of some of Mr. Gaynor's descendants and per conversations with and letters from Aunt Martha during her lifetime, some of the Gaynors settled somewhere in Texas. Yes, when I was a beginning genealogist, I made the cardinal mistake of not being interested in the collateral lines and it's always coming back to haunt me.

Aunt Martha always wanted to know how and where the Gaynors fit it. Perhaps one of these days I can unearth the answer to that question.


Since this was originally posted, I have tried to do a bit more research on the Gaynors. I followed the trails of his son, Hollis Burke Gaynor, whom my Aunt Martha used to also keep in contact with. Unfortunately, Hollis passed in 1999, 9 years before I would finally get back to my research and nearly 20 years before I would really start trying to research the Gaynors. I hope that perhaps, I may one day be able to get in touch with some of William Gaynors other descendants and be able to solve this mystery. 




Monday, March 13, 2017

February 25th - Genealogy Showcase.

Wow, another year has come and gone and still no real research going on. Life has definitely taken over, again, no mater how hard I try to not make it so.

Even so, I'm trying to stay active in genealogy in some form or fashion.

Because I'm too lazy to even copy and paste the entire write up of my most recent activities to Conversations With My Ancestors. You can go to my other blog, Georgia Black Crackers and read up on what I've been up to so far this year.

In case you can't figure out the hyperlink above, here is the link. http://georgiablackcrackers.blogspot.com/2017/03/february-25th-genealogy-showcase.html.



Saturday, February 6, 2016

Year to Date - 2016

It's hard to believe we are already well into the second month of 2016. I had meant to start out the year with some fresh goals and ideas for what I planned to do this year with regard to my research but I've been busy so far this year. Although, I've not been working on my research, per say, Ihave been busy with the activities of the African-American Heritage Ministry at the church that I attend.

Last weekend, we sponsored an event to kick off our Black History Month activities. Although there weren't many young people in attendance, one of the goals of our ministry is to help the younger generation know of the sacrifices of earlier generations. While everyone knows of the noted historical African-American firsts, etc., the goal of the event was to make the congregation aware of those notable firsts within our own congregation. We started out by having people fill out a survey. From there there were some members of the ministry  that called the respondents to get some answers to follow-up questions.

One of the people that I got to interview was Don Hudson, who now resides here in Charlotte, NC. In 1971, Mr. Hudson became the first African-American football coach at a predominately white university when he became the coach at Macalester College in St. Paul, MN. You can read more about Mr. Hudson here.

Today, our ministry gave a Beginning Genealogy presentation.I was one of the presenters and this marked the first time I did a presentation to someone other than family. While I was up to the 11th hour working on my portion of the presentation, I had fun preparing and giving the presentation. I'm thinking perhaps this may have marked the beginning of my next chapter in my genealogy journey.

The ministry has more events planned for the remainder of the month such as a visit to The International Civil Rights Museum in Greensboro, NC. However, I'm not involved in any more activities until the end of the month where I'll be leading a viewing and discussion of the movie Selma.

So, as you can see, while I've not been busy with my own research and history, I have been busy with other genealogical and historical activities so far this year.

Hopefully, after I get through this some what hectic month, I can get back to working on my research.

So, until next time.