Sunday, November 29, 2009

Yes... another entry (finally!)

I know this is supposed to be a journal on my quest for family knowledge and I have learned alot! Just haven't put it down on paper or the internet! :)

The last 4 weeks have been a Godsend. I have reconnected with some of my cousins I had lost touch with. These are cousins that are older than me and very instrumental in my research.

They have the stories, the memories (ooh and the pictures!) and I love it.

The picture to the right of the screen is of my Great Grandmother Della "Big Mama"Patterson. She was born in 1893 and died in 1971 - what a blessed life that was! At the time of her death she had already lost a husband my Great Grandfather Alfred Thomas Sr. (the left picture) through that union they had 11 children, 2 of which proceeded her in death, Twenty-seven grand children & Fifty great grand children (I had just made it to be included). Not to mention, Big Mama had remarried (a tasty tidbit I never knew about) I'm still researching Mr. Ike White - My Cousin Mae referred to him as Papa Ike, so the way I take it he was well loved by my family.

Hearing stories about Big Mama from my Grandmother Alberta (Mama) used to be fun. To be honest all of my family members have great stories. Reconnecting with these cousins really made me appreciate Oral History, especially in reviewing old records on my family, coming face to face w/ their signatures or some other documentation that they may have filled out. Some of these ancestors could barely read, let alone print or sign their own names. So they found a more artistic way to communicate. I get it, I really do. Truly makes me appreciate where I come from and why at times when I didn't understand, why they were so strict on me learning to read, write, speak well. They were preparing me to be their voice of the future. Okay, before I fall into a philosophical dream world (as I tend to do at times) back to the topic at hand, lol!

Now, this picture to the left is of Big Mama's husband and my Great Grandfather Alfred Thomas Sr. As you can see this appears to be a drawing. This is the only picture my Cousin Mae had. Which was a copy of someone else's picture, so I'm hunting the original down as well - hoping that someone wrote on the back of it. My cousin really didn't know her grandfather as he died when her and my father were about four & five years of age (Mae & my father are about 4 months apart in age). If my father were here, I know he'd know something. That's where I think I get my memory from, my father - we remember the tiniest of details, but forget the major things, hahaha - but hey people love me and my memory I remember the things they can't! :)

Alfred met Della in West Baton Rouge Parish. They were neighbors. I have a feeling that they weren't supposed to be together, because she married him @ the age of 14 (in 1907) and they made way to other parts of Louisiana. Now I'm still researching, so I don't know if this is true 100% (just speculation here) but when I do my research on her other sisters, they all married at 18 or after and stayed close to home. Alfred & Della married and hightailed it out of WBR. Sounds like a father with a shotgun to me, neighbor or not. I'll visit this again and let you know my findings when I do find out. Even my cousin Mae hinted to the fact that she only met one of Big Mama's sisters (and she had 3) she couldn't remember any Uncles, Great-Grandparents, cousins really from either side. Keep in mind that these family members passed in late 50's early 60's, so Mae (and my father for that matter) would have been old enough to remember any relationships they may have had... So yep... it appears to me at first glance, Alfred had a thing for Ms. Thing and she liked him as well and they jumped ship!

The writer in me loves imagining the stories on these lives, but the genealogist in me knows that FACT over FICTION is a MUST! So of course my hunch says one thing, but reality always wins and as soon as I know, I will report back.

I'm going to end this now - I promise to start blogging more - especially now that I'm telling others about this blog. Would truly hate to send them here to one or two postings.

Until next time Be Blessed & Peace Always!