finding your roots

my great grand parents

jacqueline bright drew June 14, 2012

Hi my name is Jackie. I watched finding my roots on pbs on june 10, 2012 and was so amazed with the results of the two men that discovered their roots thanks to the show. I have always been curious about my paternal grand father simply because I knew nothing of his parents. I do remember when i was a girl grandaddy would proudly ride around with his caucasian sisters in his wagon. Yes his wagon. his name was Cephus Bright he married Sara Reid Bright to whom my father Charles Edwin Bright and his 9 siblings were born. The youngest Aunt Sarah is the only one left. Just really curious of where I come from. My father is deceased and i didnt get a chance to discuss this with him , if he even knew this information. My nephews fiancees mother died in a car wreck tonight june 10,2012, which saddened me and made me realize when my time comes what will any of my 9 children know beyond me and their father who was adopted and don’t even know anything about his own parents except their supposed names. He has a twin brother and supposedly several other siblings who they know nothing about except for each other. Two families historys in question. Would love to know where to start other than internet. Sincerely with much gratitude Jacqueline Bright Drew. I probably shoould have mentioned my 12 siblings. The same situation exist on my mothers side , I know my grandfather but not much of his parents. Some of my older siblings may know more than I but am really more interested in my paternal grandfathers parents at this time. I f you can help it would be highly appreciated. I know granddaddy Cephus Bright was born in 1890 and died in 1985.

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  • velda

    June 14, 2012 at 3:44 pm

    First off Jacqueline, I am so very sorry for your loss :(

    I have been a member of for nearly 7 years and searching for your relative Cephus Bright I found both a family tree and a 1930 census with him and Sara Elizabeth Reid Bright. They are listed as living in South Carolina. Would this be him? If so, I’d be happy to help you further, please contact me via email

    Velda in Canada

  • Garth Tuttle

    June 14, 2012 at 5:58 pm

    Please : it’s hard to read a good family story, when one misuses the word caucasian – since it was one of three old fashioned term developed to distinguish physical type ONLY, NOT COLOR –
    That said, I’ll go back and hope to otherwise enjoy what you posted – and hope next time you use White, when that is what you mean …

  • June 16, 2012 at 5:51 pm

    Hi Jacqueline, I’m not a genealogist, but you can begin your search using census records. You can also request the birth and death certificates of your loved ones as a start. There are great resources at your local library who can assist you in getting started.

  • June 17, 2012 at 6:09 pm

    was he married to Sarah Elizabeth Reid and die in South Carolina?

  • Tammy Granger

    June 18, 2012 at 1:36 pm

    Oh Good Grief! Nitpicking?? I think everyone knew what the writer meant.

  • Juliet Jones

    June 22, 2012 at 6:43 pm

    I want to encourage you to use the internet to find your ancestors. I think you can do a trial susbcription to for free. Start by entering as much as you know about your grandfather Cephus, you will likely find his name in a census record, along with others living at the same address. Good luck! It’s a fascinating hobby.

  • James Feenstra

    June 26, 2012 at 4:50 pm

    Have you tried using Ancestry? If you don’t want to purchase a subscription, a lot of public libraries maintain a subscription that will allow you to search their databases.

    Using the information that you provided, I located the family of a Cephus and Sara Bright living in Verdier, Colleton County, South Carolina, with children Sampson, Lillian, Herbert, Elizabeth, Virginia, Edwin (presumably your father), and Gerline.

    This family can be found in the 1930 Census for South Carolina, Colleton County, Verdier, Enumeration District 20, page 17.

    That could be one starting point for you.

    To go back further than your grandfather, you might want to look at the Social Security Death Index. Once you die, certain information becomes public record, including your name, your SSN, your birth date, death date, state of issue, and residence to which the last benefit was paid. A quick search yielded a Cephus Bright, SSN 251-12-3771, born September 30, 1894, died April 1985, and whose last residence was Colleton County, South Carolina.

    You can request a photocopy of your grandfather’s social security application, which will include the names of his parents. With this information you will be able to locate your grandfather in 1900 census, where he would likely be living with his parents.

    Here is the form to request the information:

    Hopefully that’s a start for you!


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About the Series

The basic drive to discover who we are and where we come from is at the core of the new 10-part PBS series Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr., the 12th series from Professor Gates, the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor at Harvard University and director of the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research. Filmed on location across the United States, the series premieres nationally Sundays, March 25 – May 20 at 8 pm ET on PBS (check local listings).

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