Wednesday, March 31, 2010

CARNIVAL of AFRICAN AMERICAN GENEALOGY: GRANDMA HANDS! GRANDMOTHERS and THEIR INFLUENCE on the FAMILY!

A child is born with two sets of Grandparents, Maternal and Paternal.

My Mom and Dad split when I was around 3 or 4, but my Mom made sure we(my Brother and I) maintained a relationship with our Dad, his Mom and all my relatives as they say "On that side of the family'.

I was able to meet, know, and live with my Paternal Grandmother Lily Mathis and the Influences she had on me and the Family still remains in Us today.

I want to share my memory of meeting my Grandmuh(thats what we called her) and all her wisdom that I learned from spending my very first summer with her.

I was around 7 or 8 years old. My mom told us that we were going to visit our Dad. See although they were split up he still came over to our house and got us ready for school and stayed with us until my mom came home from work. So at this time all that had stopped and we were missing our Dad. I had no idea I was going to be spending the whole summer.

Seems like it took forever to get there(we lived on the Southside of Chicago and my dad lived on the Westside), but finally we pulled up in front and everyone was outside on the porch waiting on us. (thats where the kids hung out during the day and the adults hung out at night). We use to hear them laughing and drinking it seemed like all night.

My Grandmuh lived in a two flat dwelling. One of my Aunts and her family lived on the second floor and my Grandmuh, Dad, and my other Aunt lived on the first floor. I spent most of the time between the first and second floor that summer usually staying wherever I fell asleep. Although my cousins tried to make me feel bad about staying in one place or the other, my Grandmuh never did. I believe in my heart she was just happy to have my brother and I over that summer.

I was a shy little girl and when everyone came up to the car I got scared and refused to get out. No matter what my Mom and Dad said I would not move(I was stubborn also), but when my Grndmuh came down the stairs from her chair and took my hand and reassured me in that stern voice saying "everything is going to be alright". At that moment I knew that it was and I could not resist her and got my but out of that car.

I was lead up the stairs and put in a chair right next to my Grandmuh and thats where I stayed for the first couple of days of that summer. More mad at my Mom for tricking me. Not even realizing that I was hurting myself!

Now that I look back on things, I am so glad that I was stubborn as I was because thats where I learned most of my wisdom and how to read people. Thats where I learned some courage and learned how important family is.

I was tested so much that summer and all I can remember is my Grandmuh saying "If you don't go out there and take up for yourself, I'm going to whip your behind".

I was not having that. We all knew that Grandmuh kept a big stick and a switch by her Lazy Boy Chair where she sat and watched the Chicago Cubs BaseBall Games. With her feet in the air, she always wore stockings(knee highs) not matter what season of weather it was. When one of us got in trouble, we had to sit right next to that Lazy Boy Chair with that stick or switch on her lap. We would be under her in that chair wether we were in trouble or not one time she came down on one of my cousins that was under the foot part of the Lazy Boy as she was trying to get out of the chair. He was hollering, but she just said "Shouldn't been under there".

Although my Grandmuh did not have much money and propably could not afford to have my brother and I over, she always made sure we felt welcome and had no more or less that the other kids. My Mom would leave money for us with her, she would not let us spend it all up and she always knew when someone had talked us into asking for it.

When my brother ran off with my cousin one summer and no one knew where they were, we all banned together to look for them. When they showed up and my Dad whipped my brother ad hit him in the eye with a belt(my brother still to this day have problems with that eye), Grandmuh was apologizing to my Mom more than my Dad was.

See its those little things that I learned from my Grandmuh back then. Apologize for something sometime even if it is not your fault. Have some compassion. Care about others.

Every summer that I spent with her and my cousins, she taught and instilled in me something different. She taught me so much as a Grandmother would. I learned so much from her and I have passed it on to my children and I Pray that they pass it onto theirs. (WISDOM)

Grandmuh passed away when I was 14 years old. See at that time I was a little rebelious and she took me in and showed me a little structure. Although she was sick by this time, she still had that stern hand on the Family.

I never got our Family History from her, but every little thing that she did and taught us I carry with me every day and I would not change the time I spent with her for nothing in the WORLD!!


Saturday, March 6, 2010

SURNAME SATURDAY: MATHIS OR MATTHEWS WHICH ONE DO I USE?

I visited my Family History Center today to obtain a copy of a marriage record for my Paternal Great Grandparents Virgle Matthews and Alice Casey. I made a copy of the record, but on my way home my mind start racing and now I'm more confused as ever.

As you can see from the record my Great Grandfather Virgle signed the marriage record using the last name of Matthews. I can see it clear as day. The problem that I am having is my Grandmother Lily used the last name of Mathis. Which is my last name, my dad's last name, and all my Aunts and Cousins last name in between.

My mom always told me that my Grandmother never married, in fact I was never bothered by the fact that I have not gotten married because I just thought that I was going to be like my Grandmother(which is not a bad thing).

I'm starting to think that is not so. My Paternal Grandfather's name is suspected to be Al Peoples. I don't know anything about him, not really sure if anyone does because no one has ever really talked about him. I'm starting to think that maybe she did get married. She had to, thats the only way I can explain the use of the last name of Mathis. Althought they seem to be in the same Surname Family and I know after Slavery most African Americans did change their last name, but this is a bit much.

My grandmother was born in 1908 long after Slavery had ended. Then again maybe she just adopted the name. I know way back when you could obtain a Social Security Card without showing a Birth Certificate. I'm not sure. Its just that now I have so many question and not enough answers. The real problem is Who Do I Ask?

Friday, March 5, 2010

FEARLESS FEMALES: HOW MY PARENTS MET


Thanks to Lisa Alzo of the Accidental Genealogist, for National Women's History Month today March 5th I get to tell how my parents met, so here goes:

The story that I was given was that my mom was friends with my Aunt Mildred first. They met in school and once they became really good friends she decided to introduce my mom to her brother, my dad Allen Mickey Mathis. Here they are on their wedding day July 26, 1964, four months after my brother was born. Hmmmm I'm going to ask my mom about that one, but anyway as they say the rest is history. Thanks for listening.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

FEARLESS FEMALES: THE MARRIAGE OF MARINDA GRANBERRY

For National Womens History Month of March, The Accidental Genealogist Lisa Alzo came up with Fearless Females, and for today March 4 we have to post a marriage certificate or a marriage record and tell a little something about that marriage. So here goes:

This is the marriage certificate for my Great Grandmother Marinda Granberry to her first husband John Isiah Turner, they were married on November 26, 1904 in Lincoln County Mississippi in the city of BrookHaven. There was one child from this marriage, my Great Aunt Pauline Turner. It was a short marriage because John Isiah died at work June 15, 1904 in a milling accident at work. Marinda recieved $300.00 from his Workers Compensation Claim.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010