This weekend the weather was pretty nice this past weekend in New York so I took the opportunity to clean some of my deceased family members headstones. The one of out of all of them that really needed it was my grandmother’s, her headstone had this green algae like stuff on it. My aunt bottled up some water, gave me a towel, a rag and a cleaning bush. I went to the dollar store and purchased a couple more items like Awesome (which does not contain any acid, ammonia or bleach) and a pair of rubber gloves. After a few good scubs with the cleaning bush along with the addition of Awesome and water I was able to get 95 percent of the green stuff off of my grandmother’s headstone.
Artensie Wesley Cox
Jessie L Cox Sr.
This is Artensie Wesley born 27 Oct 1917 and Jessie Cox born 25 Oct 1919 and they were my grandparents and since they recently had birthdays I thought it was only right to have them as my Friday’s Faces From The Past. May the both rest in peace.
Cotton field in Monroe County, Alabama
Cotton and Red Dirt from Monroe County
The last time I went on a research road trip to Alabama Back in 2014 I brought back some red dirt from Monroe County. Monroe County is the county where most of my father’s maternal line resided and it was also created on June 29, 1815 and it was named after President James Monroe. Before this trip I never had seen a cotton field in Alabama and when I saw one, also in located in Monroe County I had to pull over and I pick the cotton. I did feel a little weird picking the cotton, I was standing in a field similar to the ones some of my ancestors had to stand in and were forced to pick cotton from sunup to sundown. The dirt and cotton are my keepsakes from the from the past.
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While I was in Georgia my uncle told me my Great Grandfather Dock Waker was a deacon at the Magnolia Baptist Church, now known as the Magnolia Missionary Baptist Church, my grandmother Clittee Christian Walker also played the piano there. I am hoping before I had back on the road to head home I can look at some of the old church records to validate the oral history. I’ll keep you posted, in the meantime checkout this little video I made on my way to visit Magnolia Missionary Baptist Church.
I decided to take a trip south while I had some time and on my way to Alabama I made a stop in Georgia and while I was there I reached out to three of my DNA cousins (discovered via ancestrydna). Garron, DeVan, and Octavia, I was so glad Garron and Octavia agreed to meet with me, DeVan and I actually met two years ago briefly but we stayed in touch. Garron, Octavia and Mia (my DNA cousin who I met in Birmingham) still don’t know our common ancestor(s). Garron and Octavia are on my maternal side while DeVan and Mia are on my paternal side, DeVan’s great grandfather and my great great grandfather were brothers. Mia and I have a couple surname names in common, Moorer and Snow, while Octavia and Garron share Camden, Wilcox County. Of course I would have loved to figured out how I was related to my other three DNA cousins but just meeting them was pretty cool, we bonded over our love for genealogy and getting to know our family. I didn’t have to grow up with them to consider them or call them my cousin.
Garron, DeVan, Octavia and Mia
I stopped by to visit my Cousin Frank on my way to Baldwin County, Frank and I started talking about Wilcox County and he told me if I had time I should go visit the The Snow Hill Normal and Industrial Institute also known as the Colored Industrial and Literary Institute of Snow Hill. I even have relatives who attended the school, the historic African American school in Snow Hill, Wilcox County, Alabama. Founded in 1893 by Dr. William J. Edwards (great-grandfather of film director Spike Lee). The Snow Hill Normal and Industrial Institute grew over time from a one room log cabin to 27 building, a staff of 35 and over 400 students. The school was operated as a private school for African American children until Dr. Edward’s retirement in 1924, when it became a public school operated by the State of Alabama. The school closed in 1973, after the desegregation of the Wilcox County school system. Dr. Edwards is even buried on the property of the school, only a few building still remain today but it is still a site to see. I even have relatives who attended The Snow Hill Normal and Industrial Institute.
What are you doing to celebrate Family History Month? I’m going to on a research trip…