52 Ancestors #14 Favorite Photo Charlie Matthews

Charlie Matthews (1896-1941)  my grand-father on my paternal side portrait style photo is my favorite picture.  He’s well dressed and looks little prosperous.  Date of photo is unknown.

Charlie Matthews

He was the son of John Matthews and Amanda Allen-Matthews both of Barnwell, South Carolina.  Charlie Matthews was the youngest of six (6) Children.  He was born August 29, 1894 in Savannah Chatham, Georgia.

His US World War I Draft Registration Card revealed that he was living at the family home in Savannah Georgia.   The 1920 Census showed that he was 23 years old.  Charlie  married Anna Harris;  his occupation was a Tinner (roofer).  This same census also showed that his home was mortgage free.

Great Migration Image by Jacob Lawrence
Great Migration Image by Jacob Lawrence

Between 1920-1922 Charlie Matthews, alongside his wife and mother joins what is known as The Great Migration.  This migration is when a substantial number of  African Americans moved from the Rural South to the Urban North.

In 1922, Charlie and Anna Matthews first child is born in Harlem, New York.   I don’t know whether they left Savannah via Train, Boat or Bus; what I do know is that they were among the many migrants that anticipated a better future for their family. In 1941, Charlie Matthews died a Widower at 45 years old.

52ancestors-2015

sources:

1920; Census Place: Savannah, Chatham, Georgia; Roll: T625_240; Page: 41B; Enumeration District: 58; Image: 1151

New York State Census, 1925

By shelley dewese

As I continue to search out my history, I am discovering how much I did not know. The more information that is disclosed about my ancestry, the more I learn and understand how I am the person that has evolved today. As a native New Yorker, with deep roots in the Danish West Indies, now the Virgin Islands of the United States or commonly referred to as the United States Virgin Islands, I have always had a yearning to return to my maternal homeland. In September of 1976, my family and I relocated back to St. Croix. While living in New York, I was always telling my friends about my trip back home, but here I was actually waking up every day, walking among the streets and people that I have identified myself with all of my life. At the time, I was not involved in any genealogical work, but I knew there was a missing link that became completed after I was offered the opportunity to transfer Danish documents into a data base. That opened up my world and I realize that this was my niche. I now had the tools to explore and document my ancestry. Growing up, my mother always impressed upon her children the pride in being a “Bough”, which was her surname. Now I was able to track where that pride came from, through participating in family history projects and meeting new family, as we gathered together for the Bough Family Reunion on St. Croix in July of 2012. As I continued to research, I found my passion extending to photography. Sunsets and street art are my favorite features, as shown in my tumblr blog http://minkyadoo.tumblr.com/ I also began blogging, and found that it has help me to improve my writing skills. Through the comments and well wishes, I have been encouraged to continue to write the stories and events of my life. Whether or not your roots trace back to the Danish West Indies, you will find a beautiful tapestry of life that reflects our “baseball and apple pie”. This site affords you with the chance to transform yourself to a time during the Danish period (1734-1917) where life was both simple and complex. If you have any question, comments or need assistance in searching for a Danish West Indies ancestor, I invite you to drop me an email.

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