Genealogy Wise

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Whenever I introduce myself for Genealogical purposes, I always say "I am Luckie Daniels, a descendant of emancipated slaves from Washington-Wilkes Georgia".

It’s not spoken with any inkling of shame {to the contrary, great pride!}, nor is it intended to spur guilt. It is just who I am.

While I am not defined by Slavery, I would be remiss to ignore the impacts of the Chattel System upon myself personally, my Family and African-American Culture, as a whole.

Recently {for the record - not within this community} I was asked "why can't you just let it go Luckie and move on? Is knowing everything about your family's past really that important?".

Hmmm... there are MANY reasons but here are the two I'll offer today…

My 4th Maternal Grandmother Catie DICKEY {born. 1850} married my Grandfather James WINGFIELD in Wilkes Co. GA 1868. Grandma Catie had been owned by Methodist Minister, Rev. James Madison DICKEY.

From Family Oral History we know that Catie was brought to Wilkes Co. from neighboring Warren Co. and that she often reflected on the times she'd spent on the plantation of Master CODY with her Sister, Allie.

You see, Rev. Dickey arrived in Wilkes Co. by way of Richmond Co. {Augusta} in 1859-60 to oversee the reconstruction of The Smyrna Church and somewhere along the way, he acquired my Catie.

Catie's 1933 Death Certificate identifies Katie WILLIAMS as her Mother and Jim DICKSON/DICKINSON as her Father.

So what does this mean? That not only did my Catie leave behind her Sister, Allie but possibly a Mother and Father too. That somewhere in the world - heck possibly as near as Warren Co., there exists CODYS, WILLIAMS and DICKSON/DICKINSON descendants with whom I share blood. Not 15 or 10 generations removed – just a mere 4!

Next is my 4th Paternal Grandfather, Phillip CARTER {b. 1826} also from Wilkes Co. He married my 4th Grandmother Annie FAVER in 1869. However Grandma Annie was Phil's second Wife.

Family Oral History tells that while Phillip was a slave, out working the fields for the day, he returned to find that his Wife and Children had been sold. We're told that when Phil approached the owner to question him about his actions, he was "strongly encouraged" to forget about what had taken place and to "find a new wife and make more babies".

When I think about all the life circumstances my Catie and Phillip endured, as if these two were not enough, I am deeply, deeply saddened.

Imagine being a child at 10 yrs. taken away from your family by strangers and never seeing them again? Or, leaving out for work one day, only to return home and be told your family was gone. Forever.

This is why I can't let "it" go.

Because while I am incapable of changing and/or repairing the past, at the very least, I can devote a life's effort to do what I can to mend the shattered pieces it's left.


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Comment by Clydene Williams Cannon on March 13, 2014 at 4:58am

Excellent!  None of us should forget our ancestor's trials and tribulations -  We can only report it factually and it is what it is or it was what it was.  Sugar coating a very cruel past history is simply telling a lie about it.  None of us can alter history to make it look good.  We all must document our ancestors with honesty.  They wouldn't want it any other way. 

Comment by Teresa Hillis on June 30, 2010 at 8:59am
I agree with you knowing is so much better then not knowing.
Comment by Luckie Daniels on July 30, 2009 at 8:56pm
Great point Carolyn!:-)
Comment by Carolyn Preston on July 29, 2009 at 9:29am
Even if knowing everything about your family history isn't important (though I love the ability to honour my ancestors for their stories) it's fun! So why not do it if that's what you are into? Do you berate them for knowing every bit of dialogue from Sex in the City, or know the number of every train engine that goes through your town. No, so enough from them!
Comment by Luckie Daniels on July 14, 2009 at 6:06am
Thanks T for your encouragement! I've answered many questions & have TONS more to go! No chance I'll be quitting anytime soon.

It takes all kinds to make the world go round - including the ignorant!:-)

Comment by Lowcountry Africana on July 13, 2009 at 7:34pm
Our family heritage is our anchor in this world - this is our world, our home, our life, because it was given to us by our ancestors. We feel the connection to those who came before us. Why on earth should you, or would you, want to let that go? Our family heritage is a treasure given to us at birth. Forge on Chica! ---toni
Comment by Luckie Daniels on July 13, 2009 at 2:01pm
Thanks to you both Mary & Chastity! When I hear such silliness, I guess my mind instinctively thinks - obviously, you just don't get it! I don't even get upset anymore & I never, EVER consider the option of not doing Genealogy.

Of all the things I am capable of doing, this is what I was born to do!:-)

Mary - I love the fact that you can share with me the life challenges of your family. Often times, a person/people can think they are the only ones who have really suffered, however we know that is not true. Persecution and suffering is an equal opportunity employer isn't it?!

Chastity - For you this should be evidence that pulling together your family history is not hopeless. I started where you are. All of this information has come with time. And you are right, we should grab a bite being that we are neighbors & all!:-)

Thanking you both,

Comment by Mary Trogg on July 13, 2009 at 1:50pm
Why should you have to let it go? Is your family story any less important than mine? Should I let go of the fact that my ancestors fled persecution in Germany or famine in Ireland? Of course not and neither should you. This is our history. We need to know about those who came before. Their lives are what made us who we are. Don't let go, keep searching. We need to know everything.
Comment by CHASTITY on July 13, 2009 at 1:47pm
Oh my, Luckie, I wanted to cry reading your posting. I can't imagine either scenario. Let me just say that I want to commend you for finding that much info on your ancestors and for trying to mend the pieces of yesterday. I am honored to be your friend, and hey maybe we can hang out, since we both are only minutes away from one another.


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