Yesterday was one of those strange days when things didn't quite go as planned but also seemed to flow as if it were meant to be.
Honey and I woke up and had coffee. I saw her off to work as usual. I started getting my dance clothes ready and getting myself geared up for a day of ballet teaching. But then I get a call from Honey saying that she had a tremendous migraine and felt like she was going to faint. Needless to say I made her come home and I cancelled my classes for the day to make sure I was home when she returned.
By the time she got home she was fine (all is good now. I'm sure you all were wondering. This is not about Honey's migraine) and just wanted to sleep it off. So we climbed back into bed, she to sleep and me with the laptop.
While changing my blog header and looking at the photo of my great grandmother I started thinking. Hmmm... I don't know anything about my family. I mean sure, I know the basics: My aunts, uncles, their children, and my grandparents but that's it. Especially on my mother's side. My mom is not the most open person in the world. I don't ever remember her talking much about her family when I was growing up. Maybe that's because my mom is from Gary, Indiana and moved to the south long before I was born for college. That's how she met my father.
I realized that I didn't know my grandma's maiden name. And my great grandmother (pictured in my header), well I only knew that her name was Lula. Nothing else. That bothered me a little. Since I'm so into anything old, I want to learn a little more about where I come from. My family doesn't have a lot of things left over from times gone by. So I want to at least learn as much as I can and be able to see myself in my family.
So... I called up my mom and asked her what my Grandma's maiden name was...Harris... So that makes my great grandmother Lula Harris.
I went on ancestory.com and started a subscription and a family tree. It is actually kind of difficult to find your lineage if you are a person of color. Since, as we all know, blacks were slaves up until a hundred years ago and still considered less than a person just up until the 60s and 70s there is not much information on black families. So while ancsetory.com wasn't a complete bomb it didn't help too much.
Then I thought... Hmmm...why not Google my grandparents. It was a long shot but Honey was sleeping and I had nothing better to do. So I did. I only found a small amount on my paternal grandparents. Just my Grandfather's obituary and some Census records. So then, I Googled my maternal grandfather and things started showing!
One thing that popped out was a blog that mentioned Harold Cotten...my grandfather...
So I clicked the link and THIS popped up!!!
A small history on my grandfather's parents and siblings. Made by a woman I had never met, Jennifer. But knew at once she was part of my family because she spoke of a woman named Hortense as her aunt. Well, my mother's aunt is also Hortense.
So while I'm sure other family members know Jennifer, I have never met her. But found her on the interwebs!!!! How cool is technology!?!?!?!
She also has another blog that is all about her journey of finding information on our family. Her blogs have a wealth of knowledge about the Cotten (my grandfather's side) of the family. I haven't read through both sites in their entirety yet but I intend to. It's a little overwhelming but I can't wait to see what I find out. She also has a lot of helpful advice on how to research your own family tree.
What I have learned so far:
My family has an even bigger link to Louisiana than I ever thought. I thought it was only on my father's side but now I've found out, also on my mother's side!! I'm totally a Louisianan girl!!! And proud of it...
I have someone named Napolean in my family! Great name right! I know that is a random fact but I got a complete kick out of it!
I think I get my love for homemaking and all things domestic from that side of my family.
I also (as I already knew) get my love of nostalgia from them also. It seems that Jennifer loves old movies, vintage and antiques!!!!
I need to ask mom again about my great grandmother's name. The blog says that my paternal great grand's name was Lula also. The picture on my header is my MATERNAL great grand Lula... So either mom got it wrong or there was a Lula on both sides. Which I guess is not impossible but...
I still have a lot to read and find out. I'm totally excited! I wish I could get some photos to go with everything I learned. I'm just happy I found someone who can fill in some of the blanks. I've contacted Jennifer through her blog and am excited to connect with her.
I also want to learn more about my maternal grandmother's side. That woman in the photo is a mystery to me (I guess I could ask my Grandmother but she's not exactly an open book). And I'm interested in learning more about her... I'm not sure why but I feel a pull to her.
So that was my day yesterday. An interesting one if I say so myself. I know this was wordy, sorry about that. But I was so excited that I had to share!!!!
Here's to more research!
Sorry... No photos today...Just me yapping away! Back to your regularly scheduled programming tomorrow!
Do you know a lot about your family history???