Toe in the water….

The last 6 months have been quite a journey. New city; relocation. New and bigger job. Lost close family member (and great friend). I cautiously say we are getting back to the “new normal”. I’m attempting to get back into my research and this outlet; as time and energy permit. In a funny way, all of this, the good and the bad, have led me to believe my efforts are more important than ever.

I was sharing some of my research, related to members of my family with military service experience, with my son (under 6) the other day. It was great to have this resource to show him what came before and why its important. He was actually pretty fascinated with the pictures and some of the stories. This is definitely,….defintely worth it!

Thinking about coming back…..

Life certainly can throw you curve balls…..

Tools I Use

I’m going to start a new feature here at Timeless Reunion called Tools I Use.  I’ll state upfront that I receive NO compensation nor am I endorsing any product….but these are research tools that I wouldn’t do without.

I am a Legacy Family Tree user.  I think its a great program and it helped me start this hobby with minimal investment by offering a free standard version.  Legacy has a lively, often rambunctious, User Group (LUG).  A few months ago, one of the users began sharing a series of small programs that really added tremendous value to the research process.  One of those tools was Census Finder.

As most of the genealogy databases do, Legacy allows you to connect an event to an individual when you are researching their life milestones.  For example, my grandfather can be found in the 1910, 1920 and 1930 census records.  In Legacy, this creates three separate “event” records (now there’s a whole ongoing debate at LUG having to do with lumpers and splitters and I’m not going into that here).  I use Census Finder to read the Legacy database and provide a report showing, at a glance, whether an individual in your databases is missing a census record.  This is extremely helpful when I’m in the mood to fill in the blanks in my research and will be a terrific tool when the 1940 US census becomes available to distinguish which ancestors you’ve found in your research. Great tool!

Re-Post – Alice (D’King) Kimbro

The section below is re-posted from my maternal ancestor tab.  Partially because it’s one of my favorite ancestor stories.  The other reason is my discovery this weekend that I validated the story told in the pages of Ed Bell’s book with my independent research online.  I’ve sourced marriage of George and Alice, the Castle Street address, the number of children and their son Iz (or Iseral).  For those interested, I’ve included the pages from Mr. Bell’s book.

Alice reference in the The Lonely People

The Lonely People Page 2

Based on my research, most of my maternal line can be found in or around Murfreesboro, Tennessee.  One of the earliest ancestors I’ve found so far actually migrated (at some point) from Texas.  I believe this because I actually have a document which is almost as good a the slave narratives.  Ed Bell, the editor of The Rutherford Courier, penned a book in 1948 called, The Lonely People and their strange ways.  The book was about people living in Murfreesboro that Ed met during his time there.  My 3rd Great Grand-parents, George & Alice Kimbro (Kimbrough) were the subjects of one of his chapters, particularly Alice.  A copy of the text has been passed down for a couple of generations and I’m re-printing it here….

An afternoon in February with yellow winter sunshine coming down the small hill on South Walnut and reflecting across the shanties of Blackbottom…

A great bony Negro woman rocking on the porch of a house at the bottom of the hill, a dingy poodle dog at her feet, its belly turned up to the friendly sun… Aunt Alice Kimbrough, who had been living ninety years, talked about her youth, about when she was known as D’King, the champion wrestler of anywhere there is.

She was the most wrestling fool that ever wore a shoe polish skin, and no man nor woman could throw her down…  Except one man and she married him…The folks came from 500 and sometimes 5,000 miles to see D’King…They would flock on the fences like blackbirds to watch her grab them up and lay them on the cold, cold ground… When a nigger man or nigger woman got mean and talked to much, they said, “We get D’King to han’le you” and the bragger ran away and never come back again…

On D’King’s wedding day, when they were fixing her up with fine clothes to marry the only man in the whole world who could throw her down, a bigmouth yellow woman from the north country come along….The yellow said she never been throwed by anybody…”We get D’King to han’le you,” And the wedding guests said…But D’King was a busy woman…The barbecue was cooked, George and the preacher waiting…George was her true love…

D’King told them to go tell that fool ‘oman she had no crow to pick with anybody anymore except George…She was not wrestling again until she was a married woman…but her father said, “You no ‘oman less you kin.”…Which made her courage rise up till she laid by her bridal veil and went out to throw the bigmouth yellow from the north country…She made one pass at her middle and threw her so hard she hit the ground like a shook apple…Before the woman could get up D’King was back in the house ready to marry the only man.

D’King and her good friend who was name Cassie Ann were the strongest niggers anywhere there is…They could stand in a half-bushel measure and shoulder three bushels of wheat…If D’King hestitated, her father said, “You no ‘oman less you kin.”…Then she lifted it without one word more.

She was the healthiest pickaninny slave down in Texas…It was because she got so much sugar to eat…And the way she got all the sugar was by busting her bare big toe against a rock and running to the Missus to medicine it with turpentine and sugar…D’King ate the sugar off the toe and got fat.

After her marriage to George Kimbrough, she settled down because George done her good…He never called her fool or liar like all the other nigger’s husbands who called their women everything but a cedar bush…The night of the wedding there was happy doings at the white folks’ house and D’King and George got so many chickens for presents they had to get two somebodies to help carry them home…They lived together many years doing good and having seven children… Of these she was proudest of a double-jointed nigger named Iz… Iz hit a Kentucky mule in the head with his fist once and the mule didn’t live any more.

That was the tale Aunt Alice told me on a yellow winter afternoon a long time ago—I saved it to tell when she died.

George and Alice also had a daughter named Jennie.  Jennie’s son, Iss William Brown is likely Iz’ namesake.

Wordless Wednesday

Sisters-in-law Great Aunt Fannie Irene and Mama Tennie (my Great Grand mother)

Inspiration

A few years ago when I started this wonderfully obsessive hobby, I became very frustrated with the difficulty I was having documenting the first generation beyond my grand-parents.  I mean, these were people that lived during my lifetime in some cases; but woefully little documentation (let alone pictures) where available for me to put my hands on.  Now, if you’ve visited my little space in the world here, you know that I got over it.  In fact, recently I documented my 1,000th direct relative.

Pushing ahead through the frustration was due, in no small part, to my old friend Dr. H.L. Gates.  I became an avid fan, and purchaser of African American Lives I and II.  What encouraged me beyond the fascinating stories and details of lives long past was the fact that, even with extensive research time, funding and dozens of professional genealogists, sometimes there are just ‘blanks’ on your pedigree chart.  There just are… and it doesn’t mean you are a bad researcher or something is wrong with your family.  It simply means you haven’t turned over the right rock…..yet.

Well, it seems Dr. Gates is at it again…. and this time he’s tackling genealogy beyond black folks.

I’ll certainly be watching, and I hope others are similarly inspired.  In case anyone visiting here hasn’t seen AAL I or II, here’s a pre-view of II to get you inspired to watch….

Wordless Wednesdays – I’m back….

Wash Brown

After a wonderful holiday with family and friends, I’m back.  Life is hectic, so I’ll ease back in with a WW post featuring my wonderful Grandfather – Wash Brown.

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