Thursday, January 23, 2014

An open letter to Charley

Dear Great great great uncle Charley,

I have yet to learn anything about you i feel like you want to be acknowledged. So far, the only thing I know about you is that you we're born around 1906 in Lewis county Tennessee. Your father was Tom wallace and your mom was Francis Craig. You had 5 siblings but i only have the names of 3. Henrietta Smith, Arbee C. Wallace and Canara Wallace. Arbee was my great grand mother. I wish i would have known to ask about you when i was younger because there is no one left that would remember you. You see, you died before 1927 but i don't exactly when and what year yet. you were so young and your sister Canara died young too, i guess not to long from the time you died. I often wonder what kind of man you were or would become had you not died so young. I had the honor of knowing your sisters, Henrietta and Arbee, and they were wonderful women. Even though you were long gone before i was born, i cant help but to think you didn't go far. It wasn't until maybe a year ago that things started to come together for me. My youngest son Jackson was born in 2008 and we have always called him peanut. My 2nd child, John, has never called him peanut. From the minute he was born, my son always called him Charley but to this day he can never tell me why. He just says that he feels like that was supposed to be his name and that's what he calls him. Was that you? I often joke and call him "my little old man" because people who talk to him always say "he's been here before". I have a lot of questions about our family and about you.
This is just the beginning, you and I will talk again. Tell the family to get ready because i need them to be ready to speak loud and clear when it's their turn.

Until next time unc.....................................

Friday, December 27, 2013

Are you related to such n such???

Are you related to such n such? No I am not and no I don't even know this person. Throughout my life i have encountered people who always try to tie me to someone else. You know how folks are. Same city, same last name and they automatically assume you are related. When my brother and i we're born, we were given the last name Christman. We we're the ONLY 2 Christmans in our whole family until i had children of my own. I can't tell you how many times we have had to explain why we're aren't Christmans and why we aren't related to and don't know any.

So, here's the story. My mom Vera married Jack. It is my understanding that at that time he was Joseph Christman his alias. They had my brother Orsby in 71. I was born in 72 but my dad is Derrick Mckissack and my younger brother Andra was born a year and 2 days later and his dad is Theodore Clay. I guess it was common for the child to have your married name even if hubby wasn't the father. 10 years after i was born, my sister Samuelrita came along and her dad is Samuel Thomas. Now it was told to me that when Vera and jack we're married, they left tn and went to Ohio where is people lived. I guess that wasn't her type of place so she didn't stay. now at some point about 3 or 4 years after that, jack decided he wanted my brother to be with him. I think he had my brother for a visit or something and decided not to give him back. He left tn with him and went to Ohio. He changed his name to Jack Tate and changed my brother's last name to Tate. Some wild story of abandonment was told and some documents we're forged and my brother was essentially kidnapped. I remember attempts to get him back whenever they came to town but none we're successful. Why would he risk coming back to town if he already had my brother you ask? He had family here and oddly enough it was also our family. My great aunt Henrietta married a Ross and Jack was related to the Ross' and we lived in the same neighborhood. Paths we're bound to cross at some point. Growing up, i would see my brother from time to time because his uncle would sneak and bring him to visit so he always knew his family. when he turned 18 he came back home and back to his family and the 4 of us are closer than ever. You would think this name thing would be a one time thing in a family but its not. My sisters last name is Larkins. Here's why, My grandma married and her last name became Larkins and they had a daughter, velvet. When they got divorced my grandma kept her married name so the 2 children she had after that also have the name Larkins, when it should be Hill.

When adding to my family tree i try to remember to make a note of the different last names and why they don't match up. 100 yrs from now i don't want my descendants to be confused and encounter any unnecessary brick walls. when i am able to, i plan on changing my last name and my children want theirs changed also, even if they marry. i need to be sure that we can be connected to my family. 

I know, hot mess right? Well, it is what it is. I'm glad i know the story behind it and not just going through life with a name and now knowing why.

Until next time................

Friday, December 6, 2013


So, as you know, i just turned 41 on 12-03-2013. I am a mother of 5 and i have never been married. Why? I never really felt the need or want to be someones wife. It may sound bad to most but as I dive deeper into my family history, it doesn't seem that uncommon. The one ancestor that has my attention the most right now is my 3x grand father James. I haven't learned much about him yet but i tell you he is in my ear big time. My family is one that has been blessed with a long life line, so the elders remember a lot on all sides of the family. Growing up, i thought it was common to know, not only your grand parents, but also your great grand parents. My great grand ma Arbee Cornelia Wallace  helped my grand mother Naomi raise me until she passed when i was 19. It wasn't until i was much older that i realized that that wasn't the norm. Some kids never knew their grand parents or they passed when they were very small.  Any who, back to the subject at hand. 41, never married, yada, yada, yada lol. As i venture back with each generation, i notice one thing they all have in common: short marriages. Is being bad at relationships or not even sticking around long enough to build something lasting genetically encoded in us? Who knows.

So in my search, i find James Wallace. Then i find James and Mary, then James and Mattie and then i find James and Gracie. What the what? So i'm thinking this can not be the correct information and this must be a common name in TN. NOT! Talking to my granny while researching, she confirmed that he is one in the same and yes he Married maybe 3 times (2 for sure) and had kids with each union. thanks a lot grand pa lol. Well, my granny as well as my great granny kept the obits of relatives that have passed which has helped so much in my search. I haven't been able to find out anything yet that has given me any indication as to what kind of man he was but i feel a strong need to know. Of his 3 ,um............situations, i am descended from the 1st one. He and mary had 3 sons: Tom, Robert and Lee Wallace. Tom had Cornelia, she had naomi, she had vera and TADA, me. Tom married twice to  Francise Craig and Tennie Mitchell. Francise is my 2x great grand ma. Francise had a sister, Gracie. Notice anything??? Ding ding ding, you got it, James married his sons sister in law. I wonder if Gracies kids with james called tom uncle/brother tom. This is just where my mind goes with this one, sorry.

Bottom line, no one ever stayed with anyone for a long period of time. I cant help but to wonder why. what was the dominant factor that pulled them a part? Hard times, different social circles or was papa just a rolling stone? What ever the case may be, I aim to find out.

I know i tend to babble and be all over the place but trust me, theres a method to my madness. Until next time.

Monday, December 2, 2013

I have struggled with starting this blog for a few weeks now. These folks just insist on going first, nobody wants to wait their turn. I usually like to be in control of situations but not this time. When i was a child, my grandma would say "you can't hear for listening". I never knew what that meant until i was older. As children, we are naturally nosey and always wanted to hear "grown folks" talking and then could'nt wait to "go run tell it", most of the time, getting the information wrong. Now that i'm older, I see that being nosey can be a good thing, as well as gossip. When i first started my research, i had no idea what to do or where to go. i spent a many a night confused and going in circles. i finally had to sit down and hear what was being said instead of running around trying to "tell it".

I will turn 41 tomorrow 12-03-13 and i wish i had enough sense 20 years ago to be nosey. Not only did i grow up with living grand parents, my great grand parents were alive as well. I once i wished i would have taken the time to ask questions, but now, not so much, even though it would've been nice to know a few things ahead of time. over the years i have learned so much and met so many people (ancestors), that i would dare have all the answers handed to me. This journey has been amazing and its only the beginning. I can't wait to spread a little gossip. Stay tuned!

"Girl, did you hear about what my 2x great grand daddy did?" 

Well let me tell you...................