Sunday, May 10, 2015

A Mother's Love ~ Happy Mother's Day Edna Mae Vandelia Frances Parker Allen Deer

Mothers mean the world to their children.  The bond/relationship between them is very special.  My grandmother Edna was a very, very special woman.  She loved hard and cared deeply for her children (grandchildren/great-grandchildren).  She also sacrificed many things to give the best to them.   On this Mother's Day, I would like to take this opportunity to let her know how much she was loved.  She was the kindest, funniest woman, who was also a great cook.  She could fix anything from scratch (she used to laugh sweetly at me for having to measure my ingredients).

There is nothing in the world like a mother's love.  On this Mother's Day, I want to give thanks and send love to my grandmother in heaven.  We were so blessed to have her in our lives.   Her legacy lives on in all of us.

My father, called "Junior" by his mother was the apple of her eye.  She loved him dearly and was very proud of him.  I think she also spoiled him a bit.  :)  I asked him to write something about her for this post.  Read in his own words,  his special take on the poem "M-O-T-H-E-R" by Howard Johnson.  I call it "Ode to Mama".

"M" is for the million things she gave me,
"O" means only that she's growing old,
"T" is for the tears she shed to save me,
"H" is for her heart of purest gold;
"E" is for her eyes, with love-light shining,
"R" means right, and right she'll always be,
Put them all together, they spell "MOTHER" 
A word that means the world to me. ~Howard Johnson



M ~ Is for the million things she gave me...
     Of course, she gave me life and taught me how to respect and how to appreciate it.  She once said, "even a dog deserves respect because it's living just like you".

O ~ Means only that she's growing old...
     Growing old was not in her, and I'm praying that I have her genes.  Up until she left us, she was always spry and chipper.  She hid her age very well.

T ~ Is for the tears she shed to save me...
     Shedding tears I will never forget, It was the day I left for the military.  It was almost like a scene out of a movie.  She was standing on the station platform crying as the train pulled put, getting smaller and smaller until she disappeared.  I tried to be a man, but I also shed a tear.

H ~ Is for her heart of purest gold...
     What more can you say?  I don't think anyone could ever say a bad word about my Mother.  She loved everyone and would do just about anything for anyone, even if they were not family.

E ~ Is for her eyes, with love-light shining...
     Eyes I made cry when she found out I got in trouble with the law.  After seeing her face and seeing her crying, I swore to myself I would never do anything to make her cry again.

R ~ Means right, and right she'll always be...
     Yes, she was always right.  Even today, I do the things she emphasized that is right to do.  There is a famous saying that she used and instilled in us, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you".

Put them all together and they spell MOTHER
     A Word That Means The World To Me...

For me, you put them all together and they spell MAMA, and that's the Word that means the world to me.

Johnson, Howard. Meaning of Mother. Retrieved from

Multiplicityme2too (2012, September 24). Kem A Mother's Love. Retrieved from

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Friend of Friends ~ The Slave Name Roll Project

(Miss Fiyah @Pinterest)

As a descendant of slaves, I have struggled to find information on my enslaved ancestors.  For me, this information has been hard to come by because slaves were rarely mentioned by name.  Even on the slave census schedules, you will mostly find the name of the slave owner with the slaves listed only by age and gender.  I know a few people who have been fortunate enough to come across a slave census that lists the names of their enslaved ancestors (lucky them).  Heck you might even get lucky like I did and find a mention of your ancestor in a newspaper article (Saw George Washington).  There are other documents such as wills or court records that list the names of the enslaved.   The one problem with that documentation is not every has access.   Thanks to a newly developed project that is about to change.  I am excited, honored and proud to introduce The Slave Name Project.

The Slave Name Roll Project, formulated by +Schalene Dagutis, is the result of an idea she had based on +Cathy Meder-Dempsey's three-part post about slaves listed in her ancestor's will.   The goal of this project is to make the names of the slaves and owners available to the descendants.  This accessibility will enable descendants find their ancestors through a search engine on the internet and perhaps break down a brick wall in their genealogy research.

The inspiration behind the Slave Name Roll is Cathy's post "Black History Month: The Slaves of James SIMS, Part 1".  I find it fitting that Cathy's blog is titled Opening Doors In Brick Walls because it is through her three-part post that she will be "opening doors" for others.  Please take a minute to read her brilliant post (this series is in three parts).  She has done an amazing job researching and sharing valuable information/documents about her ancestors and the people they enslaved.

The creator of this amazing project Schalene is also the author of a great family history blog named "Tangled Roots and Trees".   Here is her post on the Slave Name Project.   It is because of her that so many people are now sharing their ancestors personal information.  Information that they may have kept hidden because they were ashamed to learn that their ancestors were slave owners.  These slaves deserved to known and through this project their names will be honored/documented and remembered for all to see.

Thank you. Schalene and Cathy for leading the way on this project.  I admire you both for having the courage to start this dialog.  You both wrote about slave owners in your family's history, a history that so many of us in this country share.  It is my hope that others who share that history follow your example and join this project.   The Slave Name Roll ensures the names of those enslaved will be remembered.  I am so excited about this project.

I cannot wait to hear about the first person who finds their ancestors and breaks through a brick wall.

The Waterloo Press in Waterloo_Indiana on Thu, Feb 22, 1912