Thankful Thursday

For the past couple of weeks, I have been visiting with my aged parents in Georgia.   From this visit, I was reminded of the goodness of God and how thankful I am that I did not have to visit a nursing home, or see them on a hospital bed.  My parents were always young at heart.  Dad, showing off his new car, and being in my mother’s presence after two years was precious.

During my trip I stayed with my mother.  You see my parents have been divorced for many years.    However, in the past 3 years, both of my parents live in the same state of Georgia.  I wanted to find something of value to do with my Dad that would be a lasting experience.   Looking back, I realize that time spent with my father as an adult is slim to none.

Remembering, how he looked forward to watching the weekly TV Series,   “Who Do You Think You Are” An idea came across my mind.  I called my father and asked:  How would you like to have your very own “who do you think you are” moment?  He was excited, and I was interested in searching out information on my paternal side from Savannah, Georgia. (Most of my research has been on my maternal side: US Virgin Islands)

We made plans to visit The National Archives at Atlanta.  As we entered the building, we were both quite impressed with the mural displays of historical pictures.  After viewing the wall display of World War I Draft Registration Cards of famous persons, we decided to begin our search with World War I draft registration card.

First, we were directed to fill out a research identification card application, once completed we were given a box of draft cards.    We looked up my grandfather Charlie Matthews.  Lo and behold we found his draft registration card as well as his brother’s.   As my Dad closely examined the draft card, his face had the look (as only folks who perform this “act of love” can relate when it’s your first find) of Fascination!  From draft registration cards, to census records, and a glimpse of the Freedmen’s Bureau.   It was a day well spent.

Yes!  The “Who Do You Think You Are” moment did occur when looking at the 1920 census.   Still, overall my Dad continues to make use of his research card, with his new interest, new set of friends, and as for me a new conversation with my father.  For that I am thankful!

 

By shelley dewese

As I continue to search out my history, I am discovering how much I did not know. The more information disclosed about my ancestry, the more I learn and understand how I am the person that has evolved today. My family's research efforts have taken me on an enlightening journey back through the past in the U. S. Virgin Islands (formerly Danish West Indies) and Coastal Georgia. As with most people of Afro-Caribbean descent, my ancestry stems from peoples brought together by colonialism and conquest; it stems from people thrown together, albeit forcibly, by the throes of enslavement. As a result, my DNA tells me that my people originate in Africa, Europe, England, Ireland, Scotland, France, Lesser Antilles, and Leeward Caribbean Islands. Two collections made my dream to research my ancestors in the Danish West Indies a reality. I have conducted extensive research using the St. Croix Population Database 1734-1917, a St. Croix African Roots Project product, and a research and document transcription effort sponsored by the Virgin Islands Social History Associates (VISHA). The other catalyst has been accessing the extensive photo, manuscript, and microfilm collections at the Library and Archives of the St. Croix Landmarks Society at Estate Whim in St. Croix. My heartfelt thanks go to all my cousins, extended "cousin-family," friends, and research colleagues from the St. Croix-based Virgin Islands Ancestry Discovery Group, for their input and collaboration. I also want to thank the UJima Genealogy Group in Coastal Georgia and GlynnGen.com; webmaster Amy Hendrick has introduced me to Southern History and its people. This site allows you to transform yourself to a time during the Danish period (1734-1917) when life was both complex and straightforward. If you have any questions, comments, or need assistance searching for a Danish West Indies ancestor, I invite you to drop me an email. Its.sheldew@gmail.com I especially appreciate the followers' encouragement.

4 comments

  1. what a wonderful idea. maybe i will share that with my dad clinton. he was so lucky to have a friend like your dad. from that friendship came the introduction to my mom. you know that the rest is our history as a family.

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  2. This was indeed a WONDERFUL post and the idea of you creating this special day for your dad will be something you and he will cherish FOREVER. Thank you so much for visiting my blog this week; I so appreciate you. I have enjoyed my visit her today as well and promise that I will not be a stranger. Take care!

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    1. Through that visit, I have recognized what we as hobbiest/or professional genealogist do is truly an act of Love. It was time well spent… Thank you for your comment.

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