Week 11 – 52 Ancestor Challenge – Lucky or Blessed

I don’t recall anyone in my family named Lucky or, for that matter, anyone that was particularly lucky.  However, I can think of dozens of people who were and are hard-working, honest, salt-of-the-earth folks.

I was fortunate enough to have loving and supportive parents who always believed in and encouraged me.  I have sisters that are funny, compassionate, selfless people who are always willing to help someone in need.  I was blessed to have an older brother who had an amazing sense of humor, he was buried wearing Groucho Marx glasses because he just had to make us laugh one last time.  He had an imagination and talent for innovation that wouldn’t quit and a love for “his girls” that was all encompassing.

I “inherited” children and grandchildren when I married my husband and couldn’t love them more.  They’ve given me such joy over the last 22 years.  The many strands that make up the fabric of my family, both past and present, create a tapestry of love and blessings.

“Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.”

Over the 40+ years that I have been researching my family I have been what some might call lucky, I prefer to think of it as working hard, asking questions, and a good instinct for where to look for  information.  I have innumerable treasures that have been entrusted to my care by family all over the U. S.  My belief is that if you love the people you are researching, that love is rewarded.

Whether through luck, fate, chance, odds, or divine intervention, I’ve found long lost family and family we never knew existed.  The most special discovery of all was that of my cousin, MJ and her Daddy, George.

George Hooker Deer
James Coleman Black

Through DNA testing I discovered the older brother we never knew my Daddy had.  What a wonderful discovery that was! How exciting it was to see pictures of my Uncle George and see my Daddy smiling back at me.  I only wish I’d found him sooner but we believe that Uncle George was waiting to greet his little brother when Daddy passed away a month after making this joyous discovery.

So, while some may think that successful genealogy research consists of luck, I believe it really comes down to love, patience, and being blessed.


Whispers from the Past…..

Week 10 – 52 Ancestor Challenge – Strong Woman – My Momma

“A woman is like a tea bag – you never know how strong she is until she gets in hot water.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

It is nearly impossible to choose one woman in my family to write about when you are referring to a strong woman.  I come from many women of strength and courage.

My Momma, was raised by her widowed mother in the 1930s.  Her childhood shaped her in many ways but one of the things that stands out most in my mind is her will.  I’ve seen Momma literally “will” things to happen where her family was involved.  Momma was a single mother of three in the 50s, this created a bond, a dynamic between her and her three oldest children that went deeper than any other relationship I’ve ever witnessed.  I was her baby and as such, I got away with more than the older kids.  When I was about 12, she and Daddy went to Hawaii, when I was 39 Momma passed away and we discovered the letters she had written to each of us.  Even in death, Momma found a way to make sure her babies knew we were loved and in her typical style, she had also given each of us instructions as to what she expected for and from us.

She loved her children with her whole heart and wanted us to have better lives than she had.  It was important to her that we be children as long as possible because “adult life” came way too soon.  She made sure we got to sleep late in Summer, read every chance we got, play and just be kids.  Momma was determined that each of us would be able to stand on our own feet if anything happened to her and that we knew and believed that we could do anything or be anything we wanted, we just had to work for it.  She often said that she thought she might have gone a little overboard in the self-confidence area where my brother and I were concerned.  No matter what was going on in her life, her children and grandchildren were her treasures on earth and the most dangerous thing anyone could do was to hurt one of her babies.

I remember always knowing that Momma was there for me, no matter what I needed or what was going on in my life.  She was a literal “force to be reckoned with” when it came to her family.  Momma’s children respected her and loved her and we each knew that we were her greatest pleasure in her earthly life.  Momma prayed over us daily and she believed, without a doubt that God would always take care of us because He had promised her He would.  She was a fierce defender of each of us and the foundation upon which we have built our lives.

While I could have chosen any  number of women in my family to write about this week, there was never really another choice.  Momma was the anchor in our lives, the calm in the storm, the sweetness of love in it’s purest form, a mother’s love for her children.


Whispers from the Past…..