Monday, December 31, 2007

The Ghosts of Christmas Past.....

I remember hearing stories from my Aunt Cousin Lizzie Neal Bagley of the Christmas' that she enjoyed in the 1920's and 30's. I call her my cousin Aunt Cousin Lizzie although she was really a cousin but she was so much older than me and it seems odd to me to refer to her sometimes as cousin when she was the first cousin of my great-grandmother, Annie Bell Johnson Green. Their mothers, Jane Green Neal and Elizabeth Green Brown were sisters.

Ironically, Aunt Cousin Lizzie Bagley referred to my great-grandmother as Cousin-Auntie Lou because she was much older than her and seemed more like a aunt than a cousin.

Anyway, back to her Christmas stories. Aunt Cousin Lizzie shared many stories with me of what Christmas was like during her childhood in rural Plain Dealing, Louisiana area. She told me how excited she and her brothers would get about the upcoming holiday.

She said that back in those days, they did not have Christmas trees like we do now. Rather, her father Ephraim Neal, Sr. would go out in the woods and cut down a holly berry tree and put it it the house with hollies still in tack. There were typically no ornaments or lights to adorn just the natural beauty of the bright red holly seeds with the decorative shaped leaves.

Her father, Ephraim would "put up" a turkey or pig, meaning that he contained in a pen about a month before Christmas and feed it only corn or grain in order to cleanse it out and make it more consumable for the upcoming holiday.

She also spoke of how my "Big Mama Anne Bell Green" who was a great cook by all accounts would come spend the whole week of Christmas with her family and cook up all these scrumptuous dishes in preparation for the big occassion.

Aunt Cousin Lizzie said that they would often smoke a turkey or ham and "Big Mama" would glaze and cook it to perfection! She would also cook collard greens, green beans, black eyed peas and other vegetables obtained from their garden. She would make up hot water cornbread and/or skillet cornbread, macoroni and cheese and a flavorful cornbread dressing that would make you want to slap your mama! But, you had better not try it, because those sisters did not play in those days!

Dessert would include her home made sweet potato and pecan pies, lemon pound cake and a 3 layer coconut cake that she beat until her arm got tired. Aunt Cousin Lizzie had me salivating so much, I ended up preparing that coconut cake myself one Christmas and it was the hit of the day!

When Christmas morning finally arrived, there would be a gift under that holly berry tree for everyone. Usually, the gifts would include one toy for child-a doll for the girls and truck for the boys and a brand new suit of clothes or shoes.

The main joy came from the presence of family and giving thanks to God for his many blessings. After dinner, they would go to Church and give thanks and praise to God for sending his Son.

What a wonderful Christmas! I will be forever grateful to my late Aunt Cousin Elizabeth(Lizzie)Neal Bagley for sharing her wonderful Christmas story and I will do my best to past it down to future generations so that they too can experience her Christmas.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Christmas 2007

Christmas has come and gone. It was a wonderful celebration. For me, it was a wonderful day. I arose early that morning to enjoy various television celebrations of Christ across the globe and a production of the Nutcracker on Ice followed by the Disney Christmas Parade.

I then proceeded to prepare the meal that was to be enjoyed later on that day. My menu included Spiral sliced ham, collard and mixed greens w/smoked turkey, cornbread dressing, macoroni and cheese, yams, corn and a green salad. This was a light dinner by past Christmas standards.

This year, I preferred a small intimate occasion and dinner rather than the big "Hoopla" that ensues most Christmas.

My son arrived in the early afternoon bearing gifts for his Mom and was most gratified by the ones he received. He has evolved into such a handsome and mature young man who has in head on straight for his age.

We later went to my mother's house for more food and dessert and to watch movies. My niece and her family joined us later in the evening and we enjoyed each other's company. We returned home in the early evening in light rain.

Christmas, this year was a time to reflect on my life in past years and of my goals and priorities for the coming year. It was also a time to celebrate the birth of Christ and remember the ultimate sacrifice that he paid for me and the world!
It was a time to count my blessings and be glad for all that God has allowed to do and see.

Christmas in this country has become so commercialized. It is sad to me that most people, especially our youth don't know the true meaning of Christmas. They do not know or remember that Christmas is meant to commemorate the birth of Christ and how God in his mercy and grace sent his only begotten son born of the virgin, Mary to save the world from sin and death.

Many do not know that Christmas is a time to remember that eternal life became possible with the birth of Christ. Instead, they think it is all about snowmen, pine trees, ornaments and gifts. They don't realize that the true Gift that lasts a lifetime and beyond is the gift of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.

So that was my Christmas. A time to remember how Christ was born so that we might all have life eternally.

So Mary Christmas to you and hope your Christmas was wonderful too.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Plain Dealing, Louisiana


Plain Dealing, Louisiana is a sleepy little town nettled amongst pine and Dogwood trees. It is located about 30 miles north of Shreveport, Louisiana in Bossier Parish.

It is the not too distant ancestral home of many of both my mothers'and fathers' relatives.

It was initially occupied by the Caddo Indians which is short for "Kadohadacho." They also occupied much of the adjoining Caddo Parish along the Red River and were well known for their beautiful leather goods, pottery and clothing.

History has it that they decided to sell their land and move further into Texas. It is more likely that they were forced out because of the appeal of the area for its natural springs and abundance of livestock.

Years later my mother and my Aunt Gladys spoke of how they as children in the 1940's often found remnants/artifacts of the Caddo indians previous presence in the area such as jewelry, pots and pans, bows and arrows, clothing and such that were often unearthed by their respective fathers when plowing during the planting season. My mother kept a lot of her finds but unfortunately it all burned in 1966 with my great-grandmother Anne Bell Green's house. However, her eyes still light up in awe when she remembers how beautiful those indian relics were.

According to the official history of Plain Dealing, In 1839 it was a vast, unsettled wilderness in 1839 when the Gilmers, who were among the first settlers of North Bossier Parish, arrived. George Oglethorpe Gilmer and his oldest son, James Blair Gilmer, bought from the United States Government thousands of acres of land on both sides of the Red River. Also, George O. Gilmer bought 5,000 acres a few miles from the Red River where he found beautiful rolling hills and pure springs.

The community of Plain Dealing was, for a short time, known as Guernshein, a name of a prominent stockholder in the railroad company. The name was soon changed to Plain Dealing after the Gilmer former Virginia plantation.

The area attracted many more families, most of them wealthy Plantation Owners from other southern states who brought with them their families, live stock and slaves.

The town was chartered April 24, 1890.

The Gilmers moved to and established Plain Dealing Plantation which was as mentioned previously was which was supposedly named for their golden rule of honesty and integrity.

Most of my ancestors and relatives arrived in the area as slaves of the Plantation Owners from South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, Kentucky, Virginia and other slave states.

Many labored in the fields and households of these slave owners for up to 25 years after they arrived in the area until slavery ended in 1865. Most remained and worked as sharecroppers, cooks, field hands, cotton pickers and the like until the mass exodus in the 1960's when most of them relocated to the big cities in California, Michigan and Missouri.

Present Day Plain Dealing still has a small town feel. The current population is about 1,048 as of July 2006.

In this town, there is love, beauty, honor, respect and good home cooking. The people are very warm and welcoming and hospitality is second only to a love of God and family values.

The homes are cozy and inviting and situated in a rural setting with many sprawling green acres, pastures, gardens and often times livestock.

Congratulations, Cousin Kelvin Cochran

I would like to send out a hearty congratulations to my cousin, former Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran of the Shreveport Fire Department. He has accepted a new position as Fire Chief of the Atlanta Georgia Fire Department and will head a department of 37 fire stations and 1,045 employees (sworn and non-sworn) as of January 2nd, 2008.

The City of Shreveport recently gave him a wonderful celebratory send-off and the Mayor declared it, Kelvin Cochran day!

He is also First Vice President of the International Fire Chiefs Association.

I just want to say how proud we are of you Kelvin. I know all your family in Shreveport will miss you but we are all so proud of you.

Thank you for representing the Brayboy, Jefferson, Hines, Pressley lines so well!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Reverend Anderson Burney

In Memory of Reverend Anderson Burney

My great-grandfather was Reverend Anderson Burney who was born in the Brundidge/Monticello/Tennille areas of Pike County, Alabama in 1866. He was the son of former slaves Prince and Jennie Burney. His father, Prince was born in Florida and his mother in Georgia. Prince was of African and Native American ancestry. Anderson was their first free-born child. Oh what a blessing he must have been!

Rev. Anderson Burney met and married the beautiful young Caroline Knox, the daughter of former slaves William and Louisa Knox also of Pike County, Alabama.

The couple relocated in the early 1900's with their children in tow to Plain Dealing, Louisiana. Their children were Katie, David, Paul, Bessie, Tessie, William and Fred.

God spoke to Anderson and led him to become an ordained Baptist Minister and Pastor of Egypt Hill Baptist Church in Plain Dealing, Louisiana.

I can only guess why Anderson was so eager to answer God's call. After all, he like many other African Americans had a lot to be thankful for. He had narrowly escaped being a slave since slavery only ended a year before his birth. God had brought an entire nation of slaves out of bondage and Anderson chose to tell his community and the world about it. And further that through faith and belief in Christ that eternal life and freedom was also there for the asking.

My father, Jewel Burney had many fond memories of attending the soul-stirring church sermons of his grandpa Anderson. Others have recounted stories of attending church at Egypt Hill including my late cousin Elizabeth (Lizzie) Neal Bagley. She also related that they held school there back in the 1920's to 1940's.

I have also heard many stories about his first lady, Caroline Knox Burney. She is described by all as a gentle, caring and loving spirit with always a kind word to say.

I did not know my grandfather in life but his memory was kept alive by his children and grandchildren who knew and loved him and knew of his passsion and dedication to the Lord.

I never had the privilege of hearing one of his powerful Sunday sermons but I am sure that as a vessel of the Lord God Almighty he helped bring a lot of souls to eternal life through Jesus Christ and that he himself is currently is the presence of the Lord.

Reverend Anderson Burney was called to Glory in April 1952. He is buried in Caldwell Cemetery in Plain Dealing, Louisiana.

Although, we did not meet in life, grandpa, it is my prayer that we shall someday we will meet in Heaven!

1 Colossians 25-29

25 Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God;

26Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints:

27To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:

28Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus:

29Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Thanksgiving Leftovers

Well, the Thanksgiving Holiday has past and it leaves behind a bounty of leftovers.

What to do, what to do? Well, I remember hearing stories of how my ancestors and in particular, my great-grandmother Anne Bell Johnson Green never wasted anything. My mother who resided in her home for much of her youth, tells the stories of how she created the most wonderful meals from leftovers and whatever food items came her it raised, planted, bartered or some unfortunate creature that wandered into her yard.

As well, in my own youth, I remember my mother and older sister preparing delicious meals from the holiday leftovers. Lets face it, cornbread dressing tastes better the day after anyway!

With that in mind, I have been on a leftover meal mission! My target, the remains of the Thanksgiving Guest of Honor, "The Esteemed Turkey!

Day 1- Asian Turkey Breast Salad-A mix of romaine salad greens, sliced turkey breast, cranberries, mandarin oranges, chopped green onions, tomatoes w/an light asian dressing

Day 2-Turkey Pot Pie-2 empty Pies shells, one coated w/lowfat marg and sprinkled with herbs, chopped turkey mixed w/fresh vegetables, herbs, cream of celery soup foldered into pie crust topped with top crust which is brushed w/light margarine and sprinkled w/herbs and then baked for 1 hr @ 350 degrees.

Day 3 Turkey Salad-Chunks of Turkey blended w/fat free mayo, relish, olives, onion, celery, red bell pepper, garlic powder, paprika-raisins and cranberries optional. Can be served on a bed of lettuce or eaten w/bread or crackers

Day 4 Turkey Soup-Chopped turkey, Turkey Leg &/Or Wing simmered with fresh vegetables such as carrots, corn, green beans, potatoes,tomatoes, onion, bell peppers, garlic seasoned w/bay leaves, fresh basil, curry, savory. Eat hot with crackers. Can be slow-cooked in a crock pot.

Day 5 My favorite greens, collards, turnips, mustard slowly simmered until done with leftover turkey leg/wing and/or thigh. Just add water, seasonings such as salt, pepper, onion, garlic, Mrs. Dash herbal blend and eat. I prefer to simmer the turkey parts first to make a broth and add greens last to absorb the flavor.

So there you have it. This was my left over Thanksgiving Turkey week. So far, anyway.

Believe it or not, I still have turkey left. Looks like its time to come up with more creative leftover turkey recycling meals!

Thanks Mom and Great-Grandma for the inspiration!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Thanksgiving Memories

A good time was had by all. Thanksgiving 2007 turned out to be a very nice occasion. I arose at the break of dawn and proceeded to prepare a meal for the holiday feast. On my dinner list was a smoked turkey, cornbread dressing, wild rice & italian sausage dressing, macoroni and cheese, green beans and potato medley w/mushrooms & onions, corn, collard greens w/smoked turkey, sweet potato pone w/marshmallows, green salad w/cranberries, mandarin oranges and pecans,croissants and sparkling cider. It was a hearty meal and rather delicious if I must say so myself.

In attendance was my son, Dane, my niece, Shawndra and my great nephews, Pablo and Zaire, the latter a whopping 2 months old!

After eating dinner and watching football and annual Macy's Thanksgiving Parade, we proceeded to Suisun, CA to my brother, Keith's home for dessert and family fellowship.

I brought along a carrot/red velvet/chocolate truffle & german chocolate cake sampler, pecan pie and apple pie that I had painstakingly prepared that morning.

I arrived to find a house full of my family which included my brother, 2 sisters, my mother, and a host of nieces, nephews, great-nieces and nephews, in-laws and cousins.
It was quite a gathering!

The spread of food was something next to specatular! In particular, the dessert table would have made Henry the 8th gasp in awe!

As the evening progressed, the subject of genealogy came up. In particular, a cousin of mine who shares my Brayboy lineage, shared that she knew of some other Brayboy cousins who resided in her native San Francisco which she believed to be cousins since they bore a strong resemblance to other know Brayboy relatives. I shared with her and others how the original name was Braveboy and that they and we were native american descendants of Lumbee and Tuscarora indian tribes that had been enslaved after being defeated in war.

My cousin also mentioned hearing tell of a relative on our Jefferson line that was an original slave from Sierra Lione in Africa. As we talked, I mentioned to her that I believe she was making reference to Betsy Taylor (her slave name) who was the mother of Issac Jefferson.

Family oral history has it that Betsy was brought from Africa as a young girl and enslaved. The story is that her father voluntarily allowed her to come to America after being coaxed by another African native into thinking that she was coming here to go to school and subsequently acquire wealth so that she could someday return to her native Africa to help out her family. Young Betsy was led to the ship only to find out the awlful reality that her life and freedom was being stolen away.

It is said that she was already slated to be sold to someone in Louisiana before the ship ever hit American soil. However, she kicked and screamed and "showed out so much on the ship that she was put off and sold in South Carolina where she was raped by her Master and bore her first son, Issac and my ggg-grandfather.

Betsy eventually made it to Louisiana afterall, when her Master relocated there. I found her on the 1880 census living with her son, Issac Jefferson and his family.

Betsy was a strong woman and she is still remembered over 100 years later by her family on Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Osmonds appear on Oprah

The entertainment world suffered a loss this week with the death of the patriach of the Osmond family. George Osmond, 90 passed away leaving to cherish his memory 9 children including Donny and Marie of former variety show fame.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Olive who died in 2004 and is also survived by 55 grandchildren and 48 great-grandchildren.

His daughter, Marie who currently appears on the hit show, "Dancing with the Stars," had dedicated a dance in honor of both her parents who she said met during their military service.

Following the elder Osmond's death, almost the entire clan, 130 members, were flown in for an appearance on the Oprah Winfrey show courtesy of the wealthy talk show host.

What a legacy! It is just amazing that all these people descended from the union of 2 individuals. This pales only in comparison to Adam and Eve!

God said be fruitful and multiply and they certainly did!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Life began in Africa

Scientists and Palentologists now believe what many of us have have surmissed all along is that human life began on the continent of Africa.

DNA and other testing suggests that modern man evolved in Africa within the last 200,000 years, not separately and all around the world as many previously believed.

They further believe that there was only one prehistoric exodus from Africa, around 80,000 years ago, perhaps to what is now Yemen.

With this being the case, it is highly likely that Adam and/or Eve were black. Either way, God infused in their blood, the DNA instructions for the entire human race!

This evidence strongly suggests as does the Bible that all mankind descended from 2 people which means as the the Bible has always stated, that we are all related.

I believe that the relocation to other countries and continents over centuries more than likely caused a mutation in the genetic instructions of certain groups of people and may account for the different complexions and facial features. Aside from that we are all the same on the inside since we share the same distant lineage!

King Tut unwrapped

Yesterday, on Nov. 5, 2007, the mummified body of the 19 year old boy King Tut was unwrapped exactly 85 years after being discovered by Howard Carter in 1922.

Photographs reveal the tar-black faced skeletal remains of the once Egyptian King. His mouth is stacked full of crusty decayed teeth that point upward giving the impression that he had a pronounced overbite. The entire body looks like has been torched.

The body of the King, was removed from its original resting place to a new coffin in the high tech climate-controlled antechamber of his small underground tomb in the Valley of the Kings.

The purpose of the move accordingly to Egyptian officials was to help preserve the mummy, which has been suffering poor condition since it was first discovered.

Wrapped in many layers of linen and resin, Tutankhamun's body was nearly destroyed by Carter and his team, when sharp tools were used to remove his gleaming gold-and-blue death mask. Sources have also indicated that further damage has been caused by the body heat of the huge number of tourists who enter the tomb each year.

I have always been fascinated by Egyptian history and heritage. Part of the reason is naturally due to the riches and majesty that dominates its history and also because of its location in my ancestral land of Africa.

The country of Egypt sits at the northeastern tip of the Great Continent of Africa. It borders Libya and Chad to the west and Sudan to the south. The country boasts some of the greatest riches in the world.

Although, I have not yet traveled to Egypt, I have had the opportunity to view many Egyptian artifacts over the years in both New York at the Metropolitan Museum of Art which houses a large collection and also at the Louvre in Paris where the collection is even more massive than their New York counterparts. I was just enchanted with the awesome display of beauty and attention to detail in their clothing, art, sculptures and architecture.

Well, Tut, only God can say whether your soul lives on for an eternity but your mortal remains and memories have lived on centuries upon centuries. I guess the responsibility for that goes to the many hands and hearts that took the time and love to try to memorialize, preserve you and make your journey to the afterlife a pleasant one.

I can't say how you feel about being "upwrapped" but from one human being to another I hope that you are resting in peace and are in the presence of the King of All Kings, God Almighty!

Because you know now, Tut what the rest of us know only by faith:

Psalm 100:5
For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.

Psalm 135:13
Thy name, O LORD, endureth for ever; and thy memorial, O LORD, throughout all generations.

Psalm 145:13
Thy kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and thy dominion endureth throughout all generations.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

New Indian Governor of Louisiana

Louisiana elected its first Indian-American governor on 10/22/07. 36-year-old Republican Bobby Jindal became the first non-white Louisiana governor since Reconstruction and the youngest sitting governor in the country.

Pinckney Benton Stewart Pinchback (May 10, 1837 – December 21, 1921) was the first African American to become governor of a U.S. state. Pinchback, a Republican, served as the governor of Louisiana for thirty-five days, from December 9, 1872, to January 13, 1873 during Reconstruction. He is pictured below:

Thursday, October 18, 2007

My Native American Brayboy Roots

In my veins flows the blood of several Native American tribes including that of the Lumbee and Tuscarora indians.

My ggg-grandmother was Phoebe Brayboy Morris. Her 1st husband is believed to have been William (Billie)Brayboy. Their children were Billie Brayboy, Jr., Alex Brayboy and Jane Brayboy Jefferson, my gg-grandmother.

Phoebe and Billie Brayboy were former slaves brought from Darlington County,South Carolina to Desoto Parish, Louisiana by Boykin Witherspoon.

They were of african and native american ancestry.

In researching this line of my family, I discovered that the indian tribe that they were descendents of was the Lumbee and Tuscarora indians of North Carolina.

Their surname, Brayboy originated from the surname Braveboy. I believe that over time and perhaps because of the slave and southern dialect, it became Brayboy although some still wear the name, Braveboy while others wear the name Braboy. Although the spelling has become varied over the years, I believe that most of the people descended from or wearing that name share a common ancestry and/or connection to the Lumbee and/or Tuscarora indians.

In addition, most of the Braveboy, Braboy and Brayboys that I have researched from previous years and today are listed as white, native american and african american.

So who were the Lumbee and Tuscarora indians and how did they wind up in my family and as slaves in the possesion of Boykin Witherspoon and other slavemasters?

Well briefly, the Lumbee indians originated from Robeson County, North Carolina and their tribal name originates from the Lumber River, which traverses Robeson County.

The Tuscarora indians were known as "hemp gatherers" because they used hemp to weave clothing, in particular, shirts. Their origins can be traced to Virginia and North Carolina in villages along the Neuse and Roanoke Rivers.

Well, history has it that many of the Lumbee and Tuscarora indians intermarried at some point. In fact, the name Braveboy is said to be a Tuscarora name.

Once the whites settled in that area, it was common practice for them to steal their women and children and sell them into slavery.

There was a well-documented war that took place known as the Tuscarora War of 1711–13. Most memorable, was when the Catawba indians of South Carolina led by white men including British citizens entered North Carolina and defeated the Tuscarora in two battles during 1712. The following year the South Carolinians returned, this time with more than 1,000 Catawba and Yamasee indians and quickly defeated the Tuscarora indians. Many prisoners were tortured to death, while another 400 were sold into slavery.

After the Tuscarora had left, the Catawba and Yamasee found they were subject to the same abuse that forced the Tuscarora to fight. British traders routinely seized the wives and children of Catawba warriors and sold them as slaves to pay for debts (usually whiskey). For this reason, the Catawba joined the general uprising of 1715 in the Carolinas (Yamasee War).

So that answers the question of how many of the Lumbee/Tuscarora indians among other tribes ended up as slaves. I have my own theory of how my Brayboy/Braveboy ancestors ended up in the possession of Boykin Witherpoon.

In reading Boykin Witherspoon's biogragraphy, it indicates that his maternal great
grandfather of our subject (Boykin), Samuel Boykin, an able South Carolinian, was prominent in its affairs. Prior to the Revolutionary War, he was Indian agent for the British Government, and served in the Revolutionary War as captain of a company of Catawaba Indians. I also verified through military records that Samuel Boykin was indeed an Indian Agent for the British Goverment and captain of Catawaba indians.

With this in mind, it is very likely that he was one of the men referenced in the many Tuscarora and Catawaba war accounts that was instrumental in the defeat and subsequent enslavement of surviving tribe members. Most of the historical accounts that I have read indicate that they were sold into Pennsylvania and South Carolina.

My guess is that Mr. Samuel Boykin retained some of those indian slaves himself and added to his own servant collection. I further believe that these indian slaves bred with his existing african slaves and over time, their offspring was inherited by his grandson, Boykin Witherspoon. Why were they able to retain the name, Braveboy/Brayboy? I can't say but I am glad they did because it turned out to be the only link we have to our native american ancestry.

Whether the Brayboys/Braveboys were in fact "booty" from the Tuscarora and Catawba Indian War or kidnapped like my african ancestors before or after that war, the fact remains that my line somehow ended up as slaves of the Boykin Witherspoon.

Although many Lumbees today identify ethnically as Indians, according to documentary sources they are in origin a mixture of European American, African-American, and Native American.

However, both the Tuscarora and Lumbee Tribes are recognized by the United States as a Native American Tribe.

Ancestors of the present-day Lumbee were first recognized by the State of North Carolina in 1885 as Croatan Indians, and have been requesting benefits from the federal government since 1888. In 1956, the United States House of Representatives passed a bill, HR 4656, better known as the Lumbee Act, which recognized the Lumbee as a Native American tribe.

We must remember the Braveboys/Brayboys and our native american past and preserve that history so that future generations can know the heritage in which they came from.

I will end this story with a Lumbee Indian Proverb:

"Pray to understand what a man has forgotten."

"In Memory of my Braveboy/Brayboy Ancestors"

You may have flown into the sunset many moons ago but the sun still rises on your bloodline descendants so your memory and legacies will not be forgotten.............
Karen Burney

Barrack Obama and Dick Cheney cousins?

The media is all abuzz with the recent revelation by the Lynne Cheney, the wife of vice president, Dick Cheney that he is the eighth cousin of US. Senator and Presidential Hopeful, Barrack Obama.

Apparently, Mrs. Cheney made the discovery when she while researching her while researching her ancestry for her new memoir, Blue Skies, No Fences.

According to her research, the Mrs Cheney's spokesman, Senator Obama is a descendant of Mareen Duvall whose son married the granddaughter Richard Cheney, a Bristish and Maryland native and ancestor/namesake of Vice President, Richard B. Cheney.

This just proves what I have long known, that if we dig deep enough and go far back enough, we will find that we are all related!

It was was only fairly recent that it was announced that Civil Rights Activist,The Rev. Al Sharpton is descended from a slave owned by relatives of the late senator and one-time segregationist Strom Thurmond and the fact that is well known that slaveowners often mingled blood with their slaves, they could very well be related as well.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Braveboys on 1790 census

The earliest census-documented Braveboy families was on the 1790 census (click on document above to view) as follows:

Patty Braveboy St Thomas, Cheraws District, South Carolina
Sam Braveboy St Thomas, Cheraws District, South Carolina

No race given for either but the entries above and below on the original document is that of William Hatcher (Negroe) & Dick Knight (Mulatto)

Also on the 1790 census is
Lewis Braveboy Orangeburg, SC

Braboy/Brayboy/Braveboys in Louisiana 1880 census

Census Place: 2nd Ward, De Soto, Louisiana
Source: FHL Film 1254452 National Archives Film T9-0452 Page 198B
William BRABOY Self M M B 85 SC Occ: Works On Farm Fa: SC Mo: SC
Bettie BRABOY Wife F M B 80 SC Occ: Keeps House Fa: SC Mo: SC
John BRABOY Son M M B 60 SC Occ: Works On Farm Fa: SC Mo: SC
Kate BRABOY DauL F M B 50 SC Occ: Works Farm Fa: SC Mo: SC
John BRADY GSon M S B 17 LA Occ: Works Farm Fa: SC Mo: SC

Census Place: 2nd Ward, De Soto, Louisiana
Source: FHL Film 1254452 National Archives Film T9-0452 Page 193C
Relation Sex Marr Race Age Birthplace
Alic RENCHER Self M M B 28 LA Occ: Works On Farm Fa: SC Mo: SC
Suckie RENCHER Wife F M B 25 LA Occ: Keeps House Fa: SC Mo: SC
Lucy BRABOY Sister F W B 50 SC Occ: Works On Farm Fa: SC Mo: SC

Census Place: 2nd Ward, De Soto, Louisiana
Source: FHL Film 1254452 National Archives Film T9-0452 Page 200A
Relation Sex Marr Race Age Birthplace
Robert BRABOY Self M M B 35 LA Occ: Works On Farm Fa: SC Mo: SC
Julia A. BRABOY Wife F M B 38 LA Occ: Keeps House Fa: SC Mo: SC
Alic BRABOY Son M S B 18 LA Occ: Works In Field Fa: LA Mo: LA
Calip BRABOY Son M S B 8 LA Occ: At School Fa: LA Mo: LA
Billy BRABOY Son M S B 3 LA Fa: LA Mo: LA

Census Place: 2nd Ward, De Soto, Louisiana
Source: FHL Film 1254452 National Archives Film T9-0452 Page 197C
Relation Sex Marr Race Age Birthplace
Phillip BRABOY Self M M B 38 LA Occ: Works On Farm Fa: SC Mo: SC
Prissilla BRABOY Wife F M B 37 LA Occ: Keeps House Fa: SC Mo: SC

Census Place: District 52, 8th Ward, Caddo, Louisiana
Source: FHL Film 1254449 National Archives Film T9-0449 Page 299A
Relation Sex Marr Race Age Birthplace
William BRABOY Self M M B 30 LA Occ: Laborer Fa: SC Mo: SC
Peggy BRABOY Wife F M B 26 SC Occ: Laborer Fa: SC Mo: SC
James BRABOY Son M S B 3 LA Fa: LA Mo: SC
Jane BRABOY Dau F S B 1 LA Fa: LA Mo: SC
Holland BRABOY Son M S B 1M LA Fa: LA Mo: SC

Census Place: 2nd Ward, De Soto, Louisiana
Source: FHL Film 1254452 National Archives Film T9-0452 Page 197D
Relation Sex Marr Race Age Birthplace
Tom BRABOY Self M M B 27 LA Occ: Works Farm Fa: SC Mo: SC
Agg BRABOY Wife F M B 20 LA Occ: Cook Fa: SC Mo: SC
Peter BRABOY Son M S B 4 LA Fa: LA Mo: LA
Kizzie BRABOY Dau F S B 2 LA Fa: LA Mo: LA
Martha WILLIAMS Other F S B 25 LA Occ: Works Farm Fa: TN Mo: TN

Census Place: Bossier, Louisiana
Source: FHL Film 1254449 National Archives Film T9-0449 Page 124A
Relation Sex Marr Race Age Birthplace
Frank BRABOY Self M S B 13 LA Occ: Farm Laborer Fa: ALA Mo: ALA
Peter BRABOY Other M S B 11 LA Occ: Farm Laborer Fa: ALA Mo: ALA
Sallie TAYLOR Other F S B 8 LA Occ: Farm Laborer Fa: ALA Mo: ALA
Wash BRABOY Other M S B 7 LA Occ: Farm Laborer Fa: ALA Mo: ALA
Gro WORMAN Other M W B 53 VA Occ: Farmer Fa: VA Mo: VA
William WILSON Other M S B 50 LA Occ: Farm Laborer Fa: LA Mo: LA

Brayboy/Braveboys/Braboys from South Carolina 1880 census

Relation Sex Marr Race Age Birthplace
Thomas BRAYBOY Self M M MU 60 SC Occ: Unemployed Fa: SC Mo: SC
Charity BRAYBOY Wife F M B 55 SC Occ: House Servant Fa: SC Mo: SC
Benj. ASBERRY GSon M S B 12 SC Occ: Works In Farm Fa: SC Mo: SC

Relation Sex Marr Race Age Birthplace
Abram BRAYBOY Self M M B 65 SC Occ: Farmer Fa: SC Mo: SC
Nettie BRAYBOY Wife F M B 70 SC Occ: Keeping House Fa: SC Mo: SC

Nancy BRAYBOY Self F W B 85 SC Occ: Laborer Fa: SC Mo: SC
Nancy MIDDLETON Dau F W B 35 SC Occ: Laborer Fa: SC Mo: SC
Cloe BOARD Dau F W B 45 SC Fa: SC Mo: SC

Mary BRAYBOY Self F W MU 36 TN Occ: Keeps House Fa: TN Mo: TN
Wm.A. BRAYBOY Son M S MU 11 SC Occ: School Fa: SC Mo: TN
John BRAYBOY Son M S MU 7 SC Occ: School Fa: SC Mo: TN
Robert BRAYBOY Son M S MU 3 SC Fa: SC Mo: TN
Margaret BRAYBOY Dau F S MU 9 SC Occ: School Fa: SC Mo: TN
Robt. INGHRAM BroL M M MU 28 SC Occ: Cotton Press Fa: SC Mo: SC
Mary INGHRAM Sister F M B 29 SC Occ: Dress Maker Fa: SC Mo: SC
Clancy GRAHAM Mother F M B 55 SC Fa: SC Mo: SC
Sidney GRAHAM Father M M B 63 SC Occ: Carter Fa: SC Mo: SC

John BRAYBOY Self M M MU 30 NC Occ: Laborer Fa: NC Mo: NC
Joan BRAYBOY Wife F M W 26 SC Occ: Laborer Fa: SC Mo: SC
Florence BRAYBOY Dau F S MU 3 SC Fa: NC Mo: SC
Anne L. BRAYBOY Dau F S MU 2 SC Fa: NC Mo: SC
Christan BRAYBOY Niece F S MU 13 NC Occ: Laborer Fa: NC Mo: NC
Henry BRAYBOY Brother M S MU 27 NC Occ: Laborer Fa: NC Mo: NC

Jacob BRAYBOY Self M M B 39 SC Occ: Farmer Fa: SC Mo: SC
Dora BRAYBOY Wife F M MU 23 SC Occ: Keeping House Fa: SC Mo: SC
Jessie BRAYBOY Son M S B 20 SC Occ: Laborer Fa: SC Mo: SC
Ellis BRAYBOY Son M S B 19 SC Occ: Laborer Fa: SC Mo: SC
Billie BRAYBOY Son M S B 18 SC Occ: Laborer Fa: SC Mo: SC
George BRAYBOY Son M S B 13 SC Occ: Laborer Fa: SC Mo: SC
Margaret BRAYBOY Dau F S B 15 SC Occ: Laborer Fa: SC Mo: SC
Betsy BRAYBOY Dau F S B 11 SC Fa: SC Mo: SC
Jennett BRAYBOY Dau F S B 8 SC Fa: SC Mo: SC
Sofronie BRAYBOY Dau F S B 6 SC Fa: SC Mo: SC
Martha BRAYBOY Dau F S B 1 SC Fa: SC Mo: SC
Sarah DINCKINS SDau F S B 7 SC Fa: SC Mo: SC
Lela BRAYBOY Dau F S B 7 SC Fa: SC Mo: SC

William BRAYBOY Self M M MU 22 SC Occ: Farmer Fa: SC Mo: SC
Sarah BRAYBOY Wife F M MU 21 SC Occ: Farm Laborer Fa: SC Mo: SC
Sally BRAYBOY Dau F S MU 1 SC Occ: At Home Fa: SC Mo: SC

Relation Sex Marr Race Age Birthplace
John BRAYBOY Self M M B 23 SC Occ: Farm Laborer Fa: SC Mo: SC
Hannah BRAYBOY Wife F M B 16 SC Occ: Farm Laborer Fa: SC Mo: SC
Lawton H. BRAYBOY Son M S B 6M SC Occ: At Home Fa: SC Mo: SC

London BRAYBOY Self M M B 30 SC Occ: Laborer Fa: SC Mo: SC
Margarett BRAYBOY Wife F M B 35 SC Occ: Laborer Fa: SC Mo: SC
Cora BRAYBOY Dau F S B 16 SC Occ: Laborer Fa: SC Mo: SC
Emma BRAYBOY Dau F S B 11 SC Fa: SC Mo: SC
Jerry BRAYBOY Son M S B 10 SC Fa: SC Mo: SC
Abram BRAYBOY Son M S B 8 SC Fa: SC Mo: SC
London BRAYBOY Son M S B 6 SC Fa: SC Mo: SC
Missy BRAYBOY Dau F S B 3 SC Fa: SC Mo: SC
Manda Jane BRAYBOY Dau F S B 4M SC Fa: SC Mo: SC

Source: FHL Film 1255229 National Archives Film T9-1229 Page 301B
Relation Sex Marr Race Age Birthplace
William BRAVEBOY Self M M MU 35 SC Occ: Laborer Fa: SC Mo: SC
Ellen BRAVEBOY Wife F M B 24 SC Occ: Keeping House Fa: SC Mo: SC

Relation Sex Marr Race Age Birthplace
Louisa BRAVEBOY Self F W B 60 SC Occ: Farmer & Keeping House Fa: SC Mo: SC
Evant BRAVEBOY Nephew M S MU 21 SC Occ: Works In Farm Fa: SC Mo: SC
Rejina BRAVEBOY Niece F S MU 23 SC Occ: Works In Farm Fa: SC Mo: SC
Sampson BRAVEBOY Other M S B 22 SC Occ: Servant Fa: SC Mo: SC

Relation Sex Marr Race Age Birthplace
S. D. BRAVEBOY Self M M W 27 SC Occ: Farm Hand Fa: SC Mo: SC
Mary BRAVEBOY Wife F M W 30 SC Occ: Keeping House Fa: SC Mo: SC
Rosalie BRAVEBOY Dau F S W 9 SC Fa: SC Mo: SC
Ella J. ARD SDau F S W 6 SC Fa: SC Mo: SC
William ARD SSon M S W 3 SC Fa: SC Mo: SC
Ada ARD SDau F S W 6M SC Fa: SC Mo: SC

Relation Sex Marr Race Age Birthplace
Moses BRAVEBOY Self M M MU 37 SC Occ: Farmer Fa: SC Mo: SC
Elizabeth BRAVEBOY Wife F M W 30 SC Occ: Keeping House Fa: SC Mo: SC
Mattie BRAVEBOY Dau F S W 6 SC Fa: SC Mo: SC

Relation Sex Marr Race Age Birthplace
M. M. BRAVEBOY Self M M MU 42 SC Occ: Farmer Fa: SC Mo: SC
M. A. BRAVEBOY Wife F M W 28 SC Occ: Keeping House Fa: SC Mo: SC
Missura BRAVEBOY Dau F S MU 12 SC Fa: SC Mo: SC
Elizabeth BRAVEBOY Dau F S MU 7 SC Fa: SC Mo: SC
Ravenell BRAVEBOY Son M S MU 5 SC Fa: SC Mo: SC
Morris BRAVEBOY Son M S MU 3 SC Fa: SC Mo: SC
Jackson BRAVEBOY Son M S MU 1 SC Fa: SC Mo: SC

Mary BRAVEBOY Self F W B 40 SC Occ: Farmer Fa: SC Mo: SC
Melia BRAVEBOY Dau F S B 20 SC Occ: Farm Hand Fa: SC Mo: SC
William BRAVEBOY Son M S B 19 SC Occ: Rail Road Hand Fa: SC Mo: SC
Jack BRAVEBOY Son M S B 13 SC Occ: Farmhand Fa: SC Mo: SC
Culia BRAVEBOY Dau F S B 11 SC Fa: SC Mo: SC
Lelia BRAVEBOY Dau F S B 1 SC Fa: SC Mo: SC
Wesley BENJAMAN Other M S B 19 SC Occ: Farm Hand Fa: SC Mo: SC

Relation Sex Marr Race Age Birthplace
Thomas BRAVEBOY Self M M B 28 SC Occ: Farm Laborer Fa: SC Mo: SC
Lewisa BRAVEBOY Wife F M B 18 SC Occ: Keeping House Fa: SC Mo: SC
Floweran M. BRAVEBOY Dau F S B 2 SC Fa: SC Mo: SC
William J. BRAVEBOY Son M S B 1 SC Fa: SC Mo: SC
Elmira GRAHAM Niece F S B 12 SC Occ: Nurce Fa: SC Mo: SC

Relation Sex Marr Race Age Birthplace
Purdy BRABOY Self M M MU 24 NC Occ: Laborer Fa: NC Mo: NC
Adaline BRABOY Wife F M MU 25 NC Occ: Labor In Farm Fa: NC Mo: SC
Thomas BRABOY Son M S MU 3 SC Fa: NC Mo: NC

Patsey BRABOY Self F W B 50 SC Occ: Keeping House Fa: SC Mo: SC
Mallison BRABOY Son M S B 20 SC Occ: Farm Laborer Fa: SC Mo: SC
William BRABOY Nephew M S B 20 SC Occ: Farm Laborer Fa: SC Mo: SC
Apelinda BRABOY Niece F S B 12 SC Occ: Farm Laborer Fa: SC Mo: SC

Relation Sex Marr Race Age Birthplace
Frank BRABOY Self M M W 24 SC Occ: Farmer Fa: SC Mo: SC
Adline BRABOY Wife F M W 30 SC Occ: Keeping House Fa: SC Mo: SC
William T. BRABOY Son M S W 11 SC Occ: Farm Work Fa: SC Mo: SC
Marther BRABOY Dau F S W 9 SC Occ: Home Fa: SC Mo: SC
Jasper BRABOY Son M S W 3 SC Occ: Home Fa: SC Mo: SC

Julia ADOM Self F M MU 43 SC Occ: Seamstress Fa: SC Mo: SC
Hester BRABOY Sister F M MU 30 SC Occ: Cook Fa: SC Mo: SC
Hestilla BRABOY Other F S MU 3 SC Fa: SC Mo: SC
Julia DOE Other F W MU 70 SC Fa: SC Mo: SC

Henry GRUBBS Self M M MU 40 SC Occ: Farmer Fa: SC Mo: SC
Adaline GRUBBS Wife F M MU 43 SC Occ: Keeping House Fa: SC Mo: SC
William GRUBBS Son M S MU 3 SC Fa: SC Mo: SC
Handsom GRUBBS Dau F S MU 5 SC Fa: SC Mo: SC
Anne May GRUBBS Dau F S MU 10M SC Fa: SC Mo: SC
Rosaly BRABOY SDau F S MU 15 SC Occ: Help On Farm Fa: SC Mo: SC
Fletcher BRABOY SSon M S MU 12 SC Occ: Help On Farm Fa: SC Mo: SC
John BRABOY SSon M S MU 11 SC Occ: Help On Farm Fa: SC Mo: SC

Relation Sex Marr Race Age Birthplace

Solomon REYNOLDS Self M M MU 62 SC Occ: Ferryman Fa: ENG Mo: SC
Martha REYNOLDS Wife F M MU 62 SC Occ: Keeping House Fa: SC Mo: SC
Lewis BRABOY Nephew M S MU 21 GA Occ: Farmer Fa: GA Mo: GA
Eliza GUNTER Other F M B 20 SC Occ: Servant Fa: SC Mo: SC
Martha GUNTER Other F S B 2M SC Fa: SC Mo: SC

Relation Sex Marr Race Age Birthplace
Franky BRABOY Self F S B 30 SC Occ: Keeping House Fa: SC Mo: SC
John BRABOY Son M S B 15 SC Occ: Farm Laborer Fa: SC Mo: SC

Monday, October 8, 2007

Portrait of Boykin

Artist: Scarborough, William Harrison, 1812-1871, painter.

Title: Boykin Witherspoon, (painting).

Dates: 1845.

Subject: Portrait male -- Witherspoon, Boykin

Object Type: Painting

Owner: Witherspoon, Boykin, Shreveport, Louisiana

References: National Society Colonial Dames of America, Louisiana,. "Louisiana Portraits" New Orleans, 1975.

Note: The information provided about this artwork was compiled as part of the Smithsonian American Art Museum's Inventories of American Painting and Sculpture database, designed to provide descriptive and location information on artworks by American artists in public and private collections worldwide.

Repository: Inventories of American Painting and Sculpture, Smithsonian American Art Museum, P.O. Box 37012, MRC 970, Washington, D.C. 20013-7012

Control Number: IAP 72902056

Thursday, October 4, 2007

The Protestant Religion

Since much of my genealogical research has revealed ties to the Prostestant Churches and/or Reformation Movement by both the slaveowners, slaves and freed lines who were very passionate about their religion to say the least, I decided to explore and learn a little more about the term and categorization as a Prostestant.

What I have so far learned is that the term Protestantism encompasses the forms of Christian faith and practice that originated with the doctrines of the Reformation. The word Protestant is derived from the Latin protestatio meaning declaration which refers to the Letter of Protesation by Lutheran princes against the decision of the Diet of Speyer in 1529, which reaffirmed the edict of the Diet of Worms against the Reformation.

Since that time, the term Protestantism has been used in many different senses, often as a general term to refer to Western Christianity that is not subject to papal authority.

The doctrines of the Reformation can be summarized as follows:

a) the rejection of papal authority
b) rejection of some fundamental Roman Catholic doctrines
c) the priesthood of all believers
d) the primacy of the Bible as the only source of revealed truth,
e) the belief in justification by faith alone

While the faiths and churches born directly or indirectly of the Protestant Reformation constitute Protestantism, in common usage, the term is often used in contradistinction to
Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodox. However, this usage is imprecise since there are many non-Roman-Catholic, non-Eastern-Orthodox communions that long predate the Reformation (notably Oriental Orthodoxy). The Anglican Church, although born of the Protestant reformation, differs from the reformation principles of most other Protestants and is referred to as a middle path between Roman Catholic and Protestant doctrines.

Yet some other groups, such as the Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses reject Protestantism as having deviated from true Christianity and see themselves as Restorationists.

The churches most commonly associated with Protestantism can be divided along four fairly definitive lines:

1. Mainline Protestants - a North American phrase - are those who trace their lineage to Luther, Calvin or Angicanism. The Docutrines of Reformation are their doctrines and include such denominations as Lutherans, Presbyterians, and Methodists.

2. Anabaptists are a movement that developed from the Radical Reformation. Today, denominations such as Baptists, Pentecostals, Brethren, Mennonites and Amish eschew infant baptism and see baptism as aligned with a demonstration of the gifts of the spirit.

3. Nontrinitarian movements reject the doctrine of the trinity. Today, they include such denominations as the Universalists, Unitarians, and some Quakers.

4. Restorationists are a more recent movement. Today, they include such denominations as the Latter-day Saints, and Adventists

John Knox, The Divine

The Reformation Wall in Geneva, Switzerland. From left: William Farel, John Calvin, Theodore Beza and John Knox.
In an earlier piece, I wrote about how I had discovered that Boykin Witherspoon, the slaveowner of my Pressley, Brayboy, Jefferson and Morris lines was a direct descendant of John Knox of Scotland.
Please recall that his lineage in that line is as follows:
Boykin Witherspoon
John Dick Witherspoon
Gavin Witherspoon II
Gavin Witherspoon I
John Witherspoon wife was *Janet Witherspoon, his 1st cousin,
David Witherspoon
Lucy Welsh (Married a Witherspoon)
Elizabeth Knox (Lucy's mother) Her husband was John Welsh
John Knox (The Divine) born 1514 married Margaret Stewart
Recall that his lineage from this line is as follows:

Here is a little more information about John Knox.

John Knox was born a peasant in Scotland around 1514 and died on November 24, 1572. Although his early life began very humbly he will be long remembered as one of Scotland's most renowned clergymen, leader of the Protestant Reformation and founder of the Church of Scotland.

He was educated at the University of St. Andrews and was greatly influenced by early reformers such as Patrick Hamilton and George Wishart.

Over the years, his life took many twists and turns including being captured and taken prisoner by the French, and exiled to England and Switzerland. The Protestant nobles were sent to France including Knox were taken prisoner and forced to row in the French galleys. The galley-slaves were chained to benches and rowed throughout the day without a change of posture while an officer watched over them with a whip in hand. They sailed to France and navigated up the Seine to Rouen and were transferred to various prisons.

Included in his accomplishments is when he became licenced to work in the Church of England where he quickly rose in the ranks until he became a royal chaplain serving the King of England, King Edward VI. This title enabled him to gain the trust of English Protestants thus allowing his influence and contribution to the text of the Book of Common Prayer.

Unfortunately, he was forced to resign his position when Mary Tudor ascended the throne. While in England, he met and married his first wife, Marjorie, of English noble origin.
John Knox later had the misfortune to lose his much-loved and helpful young wife. She left two sons, one of whom, Nathanael, died at Cambridge in 1580; the other, Eleazer, became vicar of Clacton Magna in the archdeaconry of Colchester and died in 1591.

Knox later fled to Geneva Switzerland where he gained experience and knowledge from John Calvin in regards to theology church polity. While based in Geneva, he made a short excursion to Frankfurt, Germany where he headed the English refugee church and a first attempt to return to Scotland where he was able to meet and to support the Scottish Protestants.

Upon his final return to Scotland, he took the religious lead in the Protestant Reformation in Scotland, assisted by the Scottish Protestant nobility which resulted in the ousting of queen regent Mary of Guise. He participated in writing the Confession of Faith and the ecclesiastical order for the newly created reformed church. He continued to serve as the religious leader during the reign of Mary Stuart, queen of Scots whose support of the Catholic Church he admononished in interviews with the queen and eventually openly attacked her in sermons during which she was imprisoned and she was succeeded by James VI.
On 26 March 1564, Knox stirred controversy again, when he married Margaret Stewart, the daughter of an old friend of his, Andrew Stewart, a member of the Stuart family and a distant relation to the queen of scots, Mary Stuart and Boykin Witherspoon's grandmother. Knox was at the time, a widower of fifty, while the bride, Margaret, was not yet seventeen. They had three daughters, Martha, Margaret, and the youngest, Elizabeth who became the wife of John Welsh, a minister of the Kirk and gggggg-grandparents of Boykin Witherpoon. John Welsh was himself at one time also imprisoned for his preaching on the orders of King James VI of Scotland and in 1606 exiled to France where continued his activities for many years. His grandson was the Covenanter' leader, John Welsh of Irongray.
Wow, what a remarkable family history Boykin Witherpsoon had! Descendent of John Knox and cousin to Mary Queen of Scots among others. And now knowing all of this and his ancestral history of slavery, intolerance and persecution, it strikes me strange that Boykin himself would have slaves but life can be strange and such is the life of men but then again Boykin was born 300 years after John and I don't think most of us can't honestly say with any certainty that we have any of the characteristics or traits of our distant grandparents. While many family values are passed on throughout the generations, I think ultimately we are all accountable for our own actions and it is up to each of us individually to determine right from wrong and choose which route we want to go.
I must say that I am very intrigued with the often tumultuous life that John Knox led. I have much respect and admiration for way he put his life on the line in order to stand up for what he beleived in. The passion and conviction that he showed for his Protestant faith even in the face of exile and of death is commendable.
His life and determination to serve God brings to mind 2 scriptures:
Matthew 5:3 Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Matthew 5:10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Rest in peace, John Knox.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Queen of Sheba

Ethiopian Christians tell this story about Solomon and the Queen of Sheba. Their history holds that the Queen of Sheba was an Ethiopian sovereign named Makeda (Magda) and that she returned from her celebrated journey to the court of Solomon in Jerusalem bearing the king's son, David, who became the first king of Ethioipia, ruling as Menelik I. Makeda's tale is told in an ancient Ethiopian book, the Kebra Negast, or Glory of Kings, from which this is taken.
Ethiopian accounts indicate she was born in 1020 B.C. in Ophir, and educated in Ethiopia. Her mother was Queen Ismenie; her father, chief minister to Za Sebado, succeeded him as King. One story describes that as a child Sheba (called Makeda) was to be sacrificed to a serpent god, but was rescued by the stranger 'Angaboo. Later, her pet jackal bit her badly on one foot and leg, leaving lasting scars and deformity. When her father died in 1005 B.C.
Sheba became Queen at the age of fifteen. Contradictory sources refer to her as ruling for forty years, and reigning as a virgin queen for six years. In most accounts, she never married.
Sheba was known to be beautiful (despite her ankle and leg), intelligent, understanding, resourceful, and adventurous. A gracious queen, she had a melodious voice and was an eloquent speaker. Excelling in public relations and international diplomacy, she was a also competent ruler. The historian Josephus said of her, "she was inquisitive into philosophy and on that and on other accounts also was to be admired."

Power and riches could not satisfy Sheba's soul, for she possessed an ardent hunger for truth and wisdom. Before her visit to Solomon, she says to her people:

"I desire wisdom and my heart seeketh to find understanding. I am smitten with the love of wisdom.... for wisdom is far better than treasure of gold and silver... It is sweeter than honey, and it maketh one to rejoice more than wine, and it illumineth more than the sun.... It is a source of joy for the heart, and a bright and shining light for the eyes, and a giver of speed to the feet, and a shield for the breast, and a helmet for the head... It makes the ears to hear and hearts to understand."

"...And as for a kingdom, it cannot stand without wisdom, and riches cannot be preserved without wisdom.... He who heapeth up gold and silver doeth so to no profit without wisdom, but he who heapeth up wisdom - no man can filch it from his heart... I will follow the footprints of wisdom and she shall protect me forever. I will seek asylum with her, and she shall be unto me power and strength."

"Let us seek her, and we shall find her; let us love her, and she will not withdraw herself from us, let us pursue her, and we shall overtake her; let us ask, and we shall receive; and let us turn our hearts to her so that we may never forget her.

The Name Game

In the process of researching my family history, I have discovered a definite pattern in the naming of children.

The first is a tendency to name children after parents, grandparents or some other close relative. Although, this is now more a disappearing trend, long ago people used to believe in honoring their fathers, mothers and other special relatives by naming their offspring after them. As a result in researching my geneaological lines and viewing others, I have seen the same names repeated over and over. For instance, the names, Mary, Lucy, John, and so on are replicated throughout our family tree.

Another pattern is the use of a surname as a given name. This has also occurred in my own family tree as well as others. The most common pattern is to assign a mother's surname as the child's given or first name. For example, we have a Boykin Harris, Chestnut Harris and Chestnut Jefferson in the family. The names Boykin and Chestnut are both originally surnames from their mothers' and in this case, fathers' lines. These children were actually the offspring of slaves and their given and surnames came from the slaveowners. However, this naming pattern was not only practice among the slave families but the slave master's families as well. For instance, the slave owner was Boykin Witherspoon. Well, the name Boykin was his mothers' maiden name. He was a cousin of the famed Mary Miller Boykin Chestnut who wrote the book, "Diary from Dixie and as you might have noticed, her name follows the same pattern. Boykin was Mary's mothers' maiden name and her married name, Chestnut by the way is the same family line from which my slave ancestors acquired their name from. This trend can actually be valuable in genealogy because a woman's maiden name can often be revealed by the given (first) name of her children.

Yet, another pattern, mostly noticed during the late 19th to mid-20th centuries is the use of initials as first names. For instance, my gg-grandfather was named Richard Clyde Lee but he mostly used R.C. Lee. His aunt was Mollie Burdite Banks Curry but she was known primarily as M.B. Banks Curry. This naming practice either by the parents or the individuals themselves may have come about as a representation of social status. Many thought that by utilizing initials only, they would be viewed as successful, important or rich since many successful and wealthy icons of the period including J.P. Morgan and J.D. Rockefeller were so named. As a result, many people duplicated this pattern because they thought by naming their children in a similar manner, it would almost guarantee their child becoming as successful as the affluent people of that era.

In German society, there was a first name and a calling name, so John Jacob would have that name on church records, deeds, etc., but for anything else, he would be known as Jacob.
There was also a naming order for families. This was observed especially with the Mennonites. The first two sons were named after the child's Grandfathers. It was usually the father's side first honored unless the Mother's father had died before the Father's father and the Father's father was still living. The females were named in like order. They believed in honoring their fathers and mothers. This naming order started to go out in the 1840's.

In genealogy we usually concentrate on surnames since they are the most important way of identifying people who are related. However, a surname is usually inherited and, while it may be changed, some form of it is usually retained. Given names are important too because they represent a voluntary choice by the parents or, sometimes, by an individual to either honor a relative or capture the essence of the child. A name is usually not given lightly. It represents thought and feelings and can be significant to the researcher.

I myself was named by father, Jewel Alphonso Burney, a variation of my great-grandmother's name, Caroline Knox Burney. Her name was Caroline, mine is Karen.

While certain names are popular in different areas in different times in history, the repetition could represent a pattern. Many cultures believe in honoring their elders and do so by naming children after them.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Pressley Family History

This Tribute to my paternal ggg-grandfather on my father's mother's side as written by my cousin Aletha Jackson before her death.

This is a tribute is in remembrance to Father Stephen Pressley (Prestley) one of the pioneers of this community.

He was born in a place in South Carolina (Darlington County). His life is one worth emulating by those who knew him. He labored hard and long but died in the wilderness of human effort and determination long before the promised land of human fulfillment was reached.

He strived with force towards his goal and without stretched hands tried to seize the desired prize but he did not reach the land of promise. But through sacrifices he sought to prepare the way for his sons and daughters and threw the torch to the hands of another generation and encouraged them to seize it and keep the faith.

Though he was brought here as a slave, he resolved to show that in spite of circumstances, in spite of changes, crises, confusion, conflicts and even chaos, he would live a life that would help build a Christian Community, that would foster justice and peace in the hearts of men and in the lives of the community where he organized the Morning Star Missionary Baptist Church. His life and work will be remembered until Jesus comes back for his church.

Dr. C. McCartney painted a beautiful word picture when he said, "God has placed in the hand of man two wonderful Lamps. One is the Lamp of Hope which leads us forward through the uncertain mists of the future. The other is the Lamp of Memory which takes us by the hands and leads us back through the gloomy mist of the past to the happy scenes and memories of yesterday." Memory is a gift of God and can be a very beautiful thing . I would like to remind this Community what you already know, you have a enough memories to last a lifetime and the scriptures tell us that the memories of the just are Blessed!

Memory furnish such clear pictures to the mind that words seem unnecessary. Memory brings snow in the winter. Memory brings roses in the spring. Memory walks the silent streets of yester year, and connect people of the present with people of the past.

Father Stephen was born in Darlington County, South Carolina on January 3, 1820. He married Phyllis who was also born in South Carolina in September 1819. To this union, 8 children were born, (2) sons and (6) daughters. They were Mr. Alford Pressley, Mr. Issac (Isam) Pressley, Mrs. Peggy (Pressley)Brayboy, Mrs. Celia (Pressley)Mitchell, Mrs. Caroline (Pressley)Hines, Mrs. Sophia (Pressley)Latin, Mrs. Elsie (Pressley)Edwards and Mrs. Maria(h) (Pressley)Hines.

He was a slave from South Carolina brought here by the Witherspoon family. As he grew up in life, God spoke to Father Pressley and he built a Brush Habor and held Church service. Later the white people gave him money and land and he built a lumber church in the year 1872. He called it, Bethel Baptist Church in Frierson, LA where he pastored until his death.

In his pastoral, God spoke to him and he built a church in the Gloster Community. He organized the Morning Star Baptist chruch in the year 1891. He held service under Brush Habor and later built a wood frame. He ran a revival and in the "Soul Saving" meeting nine (9) confessed Christ (all girls). They were Sister Ada Pressley, Sister Nannie Pouncy, Sister Nina Hines, Sister Nora Hines Latin, Sister Lottie Pouncy Pressley, Sister Lenor Davis, Sister Hattie D. Chatmon, Sister Nornie Cory and Sister Debbie King Latin.

Now he has living three (3) grandchildren, Mrs. Ada P. Jamison, Mr. Alford Presley, and Mrs. Phyllis Douglas. Rev. Pressley have a number of great grandchildren and a host of great great grands, 3rd grands, 4th grands, 5th grands, 6th grands and 7th grands. (At the time of original writing)

He also pastored the Marthville Baptist Church for a number of years.

He died on October 30, 1904 at the age of 84. Mother Pressley died in 1907 at the age of 87.

We must not forget that Father Stephen Pressley served his generation well and by the will of God, he sleeps on. The voice at midnight came. He started up to hear. A mortal arrow pierced his frame, he felt it but felt no fear. He heard the voice from Heaven say, " servant of God, well done. Rest from thy loved employ. The battle is fought, the victory is won, enter thy Masters' joy." The Golden Gates were opened and Heavenly Angels smiled and with their tuneful harpstrings welcomed him in. They shouted High and Holy. A Servant of God entered in safe from all temptation. A soul sealed from sin. They led him through the Golden Streets on to the King of Kings. A Glory fell upon him from the rustlings of their wings. The Savior smiled upon him as none on earth smiled and Heaven's Great Glory shone around the Heaven born Servant of God's.

Isaiah 48:12-13

12 “Listen to me, O family of Jacob, Israel my chosen one! I alone am God, the First and the Last. 13 It was my hand that laid the foundations of the earth, my right hand that spread out the heavens above. When I call out the stars, they all appear in order.”

Boykin Witherspoon, descendent of John Knox, the Divine

John Knox, the Divine
According to an entry in the Boone Family History of Descendents of George Boone, brother of Daniel Boone written by Ella Hazel Atterbury Spraker, not only did his son, Gavin marry the ggggg-niece of Daniel Boone but it stated that Boykin Witherspoon was a descendent of John Knox the Divine pictured above.

I did in fact verify through the LDS Family site that Boykin was indeed a descendent of John Knox the Divine of Scotland and the lineage is as follows:

Boykin Witherspoon
John Dick Witherspoon
Gavin Witherspoon II
Gavin Witherspoon I
John Witherspoon wife was *Janet Witherspoon, his 1st cousin,
David Witherspoon
Lucy Welch (Married a Witherspoon)
Elizabeth Knox (Lucy's mother) Her husband was John Welch
John Knox (The Divine) born 1514

*Actually, Boykin was twice the ggggggg-grandson of John Knox, the Divine since his ggg-grandfather, John Witherspoon married his cousin and Boykin's ggg-grandmother, Janet Witherspoon whose lineage was as follows:

Janet Witherspoon
James Witherspoon
Lucy Welch
Elizabeth Knox
John Knox the Divine
**Janet's brother was James(John)Witherspoon, his son was Dr. John Witherspoon (1722 - 1794), Minister, President of Princeton, member of the Continental Congress and signer of the Declaration of Independence. He was also great grandson of John Knox the Divine. His mother was Ann Walker Witherspoon. This makes him a distant cousin of Boykin Witherspoon and he is rumored to be a direct ancestor of actress Reese Witherspoon.

Other Source: The Boone Family: A Genealogical History of the Descendants of George and ... By Ella Hazel Atterbury Spraker

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Psalm 100:5

5 For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.

Genesis 17:9-14

9 Then God said to Abraham, "As for you, you must keep my covenant, you and your descendants after you for the generations to come. 10 This is my covenant with you and your descendants after you, the covenant you are to keep: Every male among you shall be circumcised. 11 You are to undergo circumcision, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and you. 12 For the generations to come every male among you who is eight days old must be circumcised, including those born in your household or bought with money from a foreigner—those who are not your offspring. 13 Whether born in your household or bought with your money, they must be circumcised. My covenant in your flesh is to be an everlasting covenant. 14 Any uncircumcised male, who has not been circumcised in the flesh, will be cut off from his people; he has broken my covenant."

Boykin Witherspoon's son, Gavin married Daniel Boone's niece

According to the Boone Family history, Boykin Witherspoon's son, Gavin Witherspoon (named after his g-grandfather) married the ggggg-niece of the infamous, Daniel Boone on May 10, 1862 in DeSoto parish, Louisiana. Her maiden name was Flora Rubey Vivian. Her great-great-great grandfather, George Boone was Daniel Boone's brother. Their father was Squire.
Gavin and Flora Vivian Witherspoon relocated to Hollywood/Los Angeles, California.
Gavin and Flora's children were: Gavin Witherspoon, Jr., Gwendolyn Vivian Witherspoon, and Jack Vivian Witherspoon. All born in Hollywood, CA.

The history also states that the Witherspoons were descendents of John Knox the Divine pictured above. I did in fact verify through the LDS Family site that Boykin was indeed a descendent of John Knox the Divine of Scotland. See post entitled, Boykin Witherspoon, descendent of John Knox the Divine for detailed lineage.
Other Source: The Boone Family: A Genealogical History of the Descendants of George and ... By Ella Hazel Atterbury Spraker

Brayboys who fought in the Civil War

Brayboys in the Civil War
Soldier Name
Regiment Name
Brayboy, Morris
10th Regiment, South Carolina Infantry
Brayboy, Page
66th Regiment, United States Colored Infantry
Brayboy, W.H.
4th Regiment, Kentucky Mounted Infantry
Brayboy, William
4th Regiment, Kentucky Mounted Infantry

Braboys in the Civil War
Soldier Name
Regiment Name
Braboy, Joseph
28th Regiment, United States Colored Infantry
Braboy, Morris
10th Regiment, South Carolina Infantry
Braboy, William H.
4th Regiment, Kentucky Mounted Infantry

Braveboys in the Civil War
Soldier Name
Regiment Name
Braveboy, M.W.
3rd Battalion, South Carolina Light Artillery (Palmetto Battalion)
Braveboy, Moris M.
10th Regiment, South Carolina Infantry
Braveboy, Moses
10th Regiment, South Carolina Infantry

Psalm 78

Psalm 78
A psalm[a] of Asaph.

1 O my people, listen to my instructions.
Open your ears to what I am saying,

2 for I will speak to you in a parable.
I will teach you hidden lessons from our past—

3 stories we have heard and known,
stories our ancestors handed down to us.

4 We will not hide these truths from our children;
we will tell the next generation about the glorious
deeds of the Lord, about his power and his mighty

5 For he issued his laws to Jacob;
he gave his instructions to Israel.
He commanded our ancestors to teach them to their

6 so the next generation might know them—
even the children not yet born—
and they in turn will teach their own children.

7 So each generation should set its hope anew on God,
not forgetting his glorious miracles and obeying his

8 Then they will not be like their ancestors—
stubborn, rebellious, and unfaithful, refusing to
give their hearts to God.

9 The warriors of Ephraim, though armed with bows,
turned their backs and fled on the day of battle.

10 They did not keep God’s covenant and refused to
live by his instructions. 11 They forgot what he had done—
the great wonders he had shown them,

12 the miracles he did for their ancestors on the plain
of Zoan in the land of Egypt.

13 For he divided the sea and led them through,
making the water stand up like walls!

14 In the daytime he led them by a cloud,
and all night by a pillar of fire.

15 He split open the rocks in the wilderness
to give them water, as from a gushing spring.

16 He made streams pour from the rock,
making the waters flow down like a river!

17 Yet they kept on sinning against him,
rebelling against the Most High in the desert.

18 They stubbornly tested God in their hearts,
demanding the foods they craved.

19 They even spoke against God himself, saying,
“God can’t give us food in the wilderness.

20 Yes, he can strike a rock so water gushes out,
but he can’t give his people bread and meat.”

21 When the Lord heard them, he was furious.
The fire of his wrath burned against Jacob.
Yes, his anger rose against Israel,

22 for they did not believe God or trust him to
care for them.

23 But he commanded the skies to open;
he opened the doors of heaven.

24 He rained down manna for them to eat;
he gave them bread from heaven.

25 They ate the food of angels! God gave them all
they could hold.

26 He released the east wind in the heavens
and guided the south wind by his mighty power.

27 He rained down meat as thick as dust—
birds as plentiful as the sand on the seashore!

28 He caused the birds to fall within their camp
and all around their tents.

29 The people ate their fill. He gave them what they craved.

30 But before they satisfied their craving,
while the meat was yet in their mouths,

31 the anger of God rose against them,
and he killed their strongest men.
He struck down the finest of Israel’s young men.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

African American Inventors

Lewis Latimer

Lewis Latimer
Lewis Latimer (1848–1928) invented an important part of the light bulb — the carbon filament.
Fast Fact: Latimer worked in the laboratories of both Thomas Edison and Alexander Graham Bell.

The Colored Hockey League

Setting the Ice Hockey Historical Record Straight. Our knowledge of the roots of Canadian hockey has been based almost solely on the historical records maintained by early White historians. Because of this, the misconception that hockey is a White man's invention has persisted. We know today, such an assumption could not be further from historical fact. The roots of early Canadian hockey originate with the North American Indians. The roots of modern Canadian hockey originate, in large part, from the influence of an even more surprising source, that of early African-Canadian hockey. For it was Black hockey players in the later half of the nineteenth century whose style of play and innovations helped shape the sport, effectively changing the game of hockey forever.

The First Black Ice Hockey Players - 1820 to 1870 With certainty, we can only date Black hockey to the early 1870's, yet we know that hockey and Black history in Nova Scotia have parallel roots, going back almost 100 years. Among the first reports of hockey being played occur in 1815 along the isolated Northwest Arm, south of Halifax. The date is important for the simple fact that as late as October 1815 the region was not home to a large White settlement but was instead the site of a small Black enclave. Four Black families originally from the Chesapeake Bay area, with a total of fifteen children, had relocated and settled on the Arm. It is reported that these families, Couney, Williams, Munro and Leale, received adequate food, lodging and employment implying that their children were healthy and would have been able to play hockey during the winter months when the Arm was frozen and suitable for skating. Were these children among the first Canadians to play the game of hockey?

The first recorded mention of all-Black hockey teams appears in 1895. Games between Black club teams were arranged by formal invitation. By 1900, The Colored Hockey League of the Maritimes had been created, headquartered in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Despite hardships and prejudice, the league would exist until the mid-1920s. Historically speaking, The Colored Hockey League was like no other hockey or sports league before or since. Primarily located in a province, reputed to be the birthplace of Canadian hockey, the league would in time produce a quality of player and athlete that would rival the best of White Canada. Such was the skill of the teams that they would be seen by as worthy candidates for local representation in the annual national quest for Canadian hockey's ultimate prize - the Stanley Cup.

You can read more about this in George and Darrill Fosty's book, "Black Ice."

Elijah McCoy
Elijah McCoy (1843–1929) invented an oil-dripping cup for trains.
Fast Fact: Other inventors tried to copy McCoy's oil-dripping cup. But none of the other cups worked as well as his, so customers started asking for "the real McCoy." That's where the expression comes from.