Family Tree & Anthropology
Whether my family’s conclusions about my maternal grandmother and grandfather are true or just fantasy, we seem to have discovered a few things about them that not many blacks had the privilege to enjoy around that time. My maternal grandmother and grandfather seemed to come from very free backgrounds. However, whether it was just bad luck, a curse or society oppression, they never reached their potential. My grandmother born 1917 seemed to remember having a somewhat luxurious life as a young child, but did not know that some of the things she experienced was not ordinary for most blacks. My grandfather born 1923 seemed to experience a similar privileged life going to private school, but even meeting my great grandmother at one time, they seemed pretty ordinary to me.
I truly believe my grandmother is somehow related to Robert Reed Church’s family. Not only did my grandmother look like Robert and his children, but so did her first born daughter. And it makes it all the more interesting that her father had a mother with the maiden name of Church. My grandmother’s grandmother’s father was supposedly a Welsh. My grandmother’s father on the other hand…I have traced his lineage all the way back to a African island called Maurice where it seems black Creoles originated. And they seemed to have something. They were not poor. My grandmother never knew her mother. She’s not sure if her mother left her or if her father took her away from her mother. But my grandmother did remember being treated like The Little Princess. And she seemed to associate with that character. She remembered waking up and waiting on the side of her four postered bed to be bathed and dressed. She remembers wearing similar clothing with large bows on the back of her dresses and a large bow in her hair with beautiful boots. Her father sometimes would leave her with these people he referred to as his family while he went away to work. She said her father was a wrangler and he would send back to her large stocks of food in barrels, pigs, chickens, cloth material,clothes, and money to make sure she was kept. Later on in life of course, she lived like a pauper. But that’s a long story as to how she got there.
My grandfather had a mother who was highly intelligent and believed in properness. Something his mother got from her mother. They were a dark exotic looking people and had the respect of the town, whites and blacks alike. The whites that shared the same last name of my grandfather and his people never denied and actually embraced them as their family. They seemed to know when my uncles and aunts would come into that town with their father or grandmother. My grandfather along with his sister went to private school paid for by their maternal grandparents. Their maternal grandparents were tailors, shoemakers and caterers. Although, I must say my grandfather worried his mother a lot because he would skip school and the police would catch him sometimes and bring him to his mother. He started making moonshine with his white neighbors and his sister decided at an early age she was grown enough to be married so she left home. This sent his mother on a mental breakdown of some sort dealing with themand her husband. So my grandfather’s mother disappeared for a couple of years leaving her husband with the children. I guess it was a good thing she only had two children. She eventually came back to her household but never spoke of where she went. My grandfather’s mother was definitely a miser. I remember visiting her and my mother found all this victorian clothing they had and asked them about it. I guess they didn’t believe in banks because you would find old money and uncashed checks stashed everywhere in their house. Even in the 1990s, they still had all their old furniture in which a lot of it was antiques. Most likely their funiture, clothing and old would have fetched a bit over a hundred thousand, but there was most likely other treasures stored in their house we did not see so it could have been much more than that.
Though I would love to trace both sides of the family because they had such an interesting background, I would definitely like to trace my grandmother’s paternal paternal side to see if she was related to the black Church family and if we could find her mother….that would be a blessing to see her even if it’s on paper. My grandmother always felt she missed her mother and you could see the effects of it in her life because she would get upset if one of her children didn’t call her in a while. She just didn’t want to feel that abandonment that she so often felt throughout her life.