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!

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