My Colorful Roots and Branches
My Colorful Roots and Branches
I started researching my family genealogy after years of growing up hearing family stories and tales. My family has an unusual name which is “LIVELY”. My mother comes from a large family of 13 brothers and sisters and I have a lot of close cousins that are like siblings. I was the 32nd grandchild and there are many younger than me. The Georgia School Text books back in the 30′s said that my Great x3 Grandfather was one of the first Scottish Highlander Georgians that had a land grant from the King of England. And that he came over with Oglethorpe and fought in the War of the Bloody Marsh near Savannah (When England forced the Spanish out of Georgia back into Florida before the Revolutionary War). And that is also the story that has been passed down in family tradition. But the Town Court House was burned when Sherman came through with the Union Army and many of the records were destroyed.
We have maintained the family roots by having many hundreds of family land staying in the family in a small town of Georgia. About 50 acres of family land was deeded to the whole family and can’t be sold. Affectionately called “The Pond” ; has a fishing pond, swimming hole, play-ground, natural spring and large deep gully where my great grandparents hid during the War between the States with their cotton. We also have a screened pavilion and multiple other country structures and graves there. 2 of the churches that some of the ancestors founded are located close by. One of these; is the oldest Southern Baptist church east of the Mason Dixon line. Before the war, black attendees sat in the high baloney still there. After the war, the church became a mixed black/white church, but then later the black community, left the church and were granted money to form their own church, down the road, which is still there. The other church that was formed in the area is now in the back yard of my cousin and has been gutted out and is now used For a family barn dance every July 3rd; the day before our big family reunion on the 4th. The fourth brings many families from far and wide where the boys BBQ a hog all night long at The Pond and fresh lemon aide and hash is made all night long still made from old family recipes.
There are many graves in the area and old stories of making sugar cane and farming and stories of “not sparing the rod for fear of spoiling the child” are still told to each generation. I have become a detective searching for every wife and every distant branch as far back as I can go. I continue to find new and exciting things every time I open the computer or visit a library or Ga./SC museum. Now my search has expanded to a nearby Plantation and recently my resident state of SC. My research has indicated that my great x2 grandmother was given a dowry of a few slaves but my great x2 grandfather didn’t believe in slavery (he was a preacher) and made her free them, after they were married. Some remained in the community and became friends and share-croppers.
I have also done research on my grandmother’s side before she was a Lively and discovered she has roots back to the Tudors and Royalty and many English Castles. She can also be traced to The Isle of Mann to a castle where lived a Lady and Lord Cosnahan. I have found many famous poets, writers and painters on her side. Interesting enough MANY of my family NOW are also published authors, newspaper writers and artist.
On my father’s POOLE side, other than English which fought in the Revolutionary War, stationed right here in Camden, SC, I find multiple families inter-marrying and coming over at the same time to America from various Scottish Royalty lineages and castles. They came from Virginia to NC and then to Tennessee where he was born on the Missouri River Border. In Tennessee/Missouri, my grandfather POOLE married a descendant of the Scottish Clans and my father was born. It has always been told on his side that the family was English/American Indian but after my research I discovered he was mostly Scottish Royalty and I have yet to find the Indian line that his relatives still insist MUST be there, because the story was told for generations. My Father’s grandfather said they were related to Jesse and Frank James, the Outlaws, He also told my father as a child that he spoke to Jesse and Frank James one day, as they were crossing the Missouri River, by his house telling them to say “hi” to their mother for him. But I am still looking for the direct line there. Interesting though, as I know that my grandmother was a JAMES and I have found that there were 2 POOLE brothers that road with the JAMES outlaws. So I still have more to find and uncover!
On my husband’s side of the family ROGERS/MCLEOD/BETHEA/LEE which is from the Pee Dee Low country area of SC; we have also found many famous relatives. We have a direct ancestor of John Rogers “The Martyr” who was a former wig and died at the stake in England because he denounced the Catholic church of the Tudors and sided with Jane Grey as a Protestant. After he died, his wife and many of his 9 children came to America on the Mayflower and his son Rev John Rogers, Jr. formed a church. Some of the members traveled by wagon train to the NC/SC area of the Pee Dee because there was free land, advertised in Virginia. The oldest SC map shows the Rogers in this area of SC. Interesting on this side of the family, there are many preachers (my youngest son included) and most of the men play musical instruments BY EAR passed on by their McLeod gene, which is traced back to the Scottish Clan of the MacLeods which invented the bagpipes.
His mother’s side was American Indian and lived in the Pee Dee area of SC. His great x3 grandfather married a Indian girl, “Shasquash” and gave her a English American name, “Elizabeth DRIGGERS”. When she died they would not let him bury her in the church grave yard because she was Indian so they buried her in the woods, behind the church. There her grave still lies today! Her husband was buried in the church grave yard. The generation of our parents talked of moving her grave to the church yard beside him and did put a nice head stone in the original wood spot. But the current younger generation NOW, had decided to leave the signs of past history and the pathway leading to the special grave and head stone in the woods. Each year it is a JOY to hear the younger parents teach their children of family values and how we should learn from the unfairness of ethnic prejudice in America’s past history. Researching your roots will bring JOY AND SOMETIMES SADNESS but it will always bring an inner completeness, strength and confidence you never knew you had.
I don’t think my family is all that unusual as I am constantly doing research for friends and family and most people can find EXCITING AND MANY TIMES FAMOUS ANCESTORS in their lineage. I currently have a hodge-podge of mixed ethnic family. My Son in Law is from the elite MAKINDA Tribe of Tanzania, Africa. We have enjoyed learning their culture as he has lived in America since he was a young teen in boarding school but his parents still reside in Tanzania. My Daughter in Law is mixed Pilipino and still has a grandmother living in the Philippines. My first grandchild is adopted and is Polish and Russian with other countries. And my other daughter in law is mixed American Indian with her mother being born on a reservation in Colorado. So as you can see I have a wonderful unique family of colorful personalities and various ethic traditions. It’s fun and easy to get started researching your family. I did it and have never had a course to teach me and am only a novelty hands on genealogist.
One time at work, I was telling my boss about my hobby and she insisted that I couldn’t find any of her family because she was Africa American. I told her that was a misconception and that I would show her at lunch. At lunch she came by my desk and with in 5 minutes; I had found her Great x2 Grandfather on a census, living with a white boy and the census listed them both as share-croppers. She was so happy she burst out crying. I was happy to and hoped I had changed her mind about genealogy research.
I would love to be on your show or to have my story told. I think if people realize how closely we are all related and know the important of knowing who they are and where they come from, they will learn that America is full of a wonderful group of special individuals sharing this country. Most of the people I research end up being related to some one else I have researched, if they are early founders of a specific town or area of a state. It’s been fun and shocking to find a few friends related to me or family members married to cousins, if you go back far enough. Our family is very strong on finding out all sides, branches and roots of your ethnic make-up and teaching the children to appreciate totally who they are.
We should ALL CELEBRATE our SPECIAL UNIQUENESS and DISCOVER OUR ROOTS.
Pamela Poole Rogers