Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Who Do You Think You Are? ~ The Family Tree, Part 1

Have you ever watched the genealogy documentary series entitled, "Who Do You Think You Are?" I believe it just wrapped up its latest season on TLC.

Genealogy has always fascinated me. I've blogged about my musical roots on my father's maternal side of the family, and how music has influenced my life. And knowing that my great-grandfather's music is on YouTube is a thought I still find incredibly fun.

I suppose I am the unofficial family archivist. I’m a member of Ancestry.com and have created quite an elaborate family tree. Between creating a tree for The Man's side, as well as my side, I have amassed over 194 people. I feel certain there are a dozen or more trees within "the" tree. There are so many branches you can't view them all on one screen. If you're in any way related to my family, be assured you have a branch, and it's quite possible I know more about you than you know about yourself. I am, after all, the keeper of records, the finder of facts.

Sometimes you discover things about your ancestors that make you proud; other times, not so much. There are tragic stories and stories that lift you up. Whenever I consider the hardships of those who came before, the dark days they lived through, the obstacles they had to overcome, in a time when the living was not so comfy and the amenities not so plentiful, my heart is filled with sincere gratitude. I want to reach out across the years and give them all one big generational hug. I am here because of them.

So far, the oldest family link I’ve discovered is on my mother’s paternal side of the family, and I can trace my roots back to my 5th great-grandparents. That's my great-great-great-great-great grandparents. Let me catch my breath a moment and just say, WOW! They were both born in Stafford, Virginia, one in 1741, the other in 1743.

And speaking of my mother's paternal side, here's a precious photo of my mother's father being held by his mother in 1903. What a treasure. Granddaddy was loved by all who knew him. He lived to be 95.

I simply adore these photos of my mother. 
In my opinion, she still looks exactly the same, only older.

This is one of my favorite childhood pictures of my mother with her brother and friends. Mother is seated on the bottom step, looking entirely adorable; her brother is on the top left, holding the straight-shooter. My heart melts especially when I see the simple things they are playing with.

I do believe my Uncle Ray has a chicken, or some kind of fowl, in his arms. I love the shadow of my grandmother in the foreground.

My mother with her mother. Looks like big brother got lost in the background, but I love the shadow of my grandfather in the foreground.


On my father’s side of the family, both paternal and maternal, I’ve been able to trace my roots to 1794, to my 3rd great-grandparents, one whose name was Cicilia, also called Cicily—isn’t that a lovely name? I think the names of my ancestors have fascinated me as much as anything else.

Here are my father's maternal grandparents with their family, pictured in 1910. Grandpa Carter is the musical link I've written about before. My dad's mother is standing behind her father's left shoulder, next to the tallest sibling.

Seventeen years later, my father was born. Here he can be seen on the lap of his mother, surrounded by his father and siblings. His mother's face is now tanned from years of working in the cotton fields. It was said she worked in the fields on the morning she gave birth to my dad. I'm captivated by the strength of my ancestors, whether men or women. They did what they had to do.

Well, dear friends, I hope I haven't bored you. I only document these things for posterity and there's much more to share. Later in the week, Lord willing, I will post the second part of my riveting family tree saga. (wink, wink) You won't believe how the next part ends. Seriously. You won't believe it, so stay tuned.

Until next time, dear kindred spirits, I need only look at old photos to know that I'm blessed and rich in all the ways that matter.



  1. I adore looking at old photos and you have some gems! The children on the steps is precious for many reasons, and I love that the family photo includes their musical instruments. Be sure to make copies of these photos and store them at another location! I always say I'll do that with the photos I have, but I need to actually get it done!

  2. Dayle, I so enjoyed this post. Especially appreciated your paragraph about learning the stories of our ancestors and realizing just how much we owe them in gratitude. The stories, good or bad, are part of our legacy ... our human story ... and looking back like that gives me such a perspective on that Story. Our story, His story, history....

    Thanks for giving us a glimpse into your own storyline. The photos are wonderful to look at.

    Wishing you a beautiful day,

  3. Fascinating! I loved the idea of a generational hug as I feel similarly when thinking about the family stories and those who came before. Loved the toe-tapping music. How neat!

  4. Oh, I love this, Dayle. The old photographs especially! And I giggled when I saw the photograph of the kids on the steps. I have old photos in this post and most of the kids are holding guns or pointing them at the camera! http://itwasbroughtonbylove.blogspot.com/2009/11/old-photographs-and-memories.html

    And you're right. Your mama does still look the same, only older.

  5. I love our family tree, twin sister. Looks like our dear mother was wearing some hand-me-downs in the pic on the steps. :-) And I'm totally digging the lopsided, big bow thing on the side of MaMa's sister's head in the Carter picture. LOL! Genealogy is fascinating—learning who you are and who came before you.

  6. Wow..you have surely done a lot of work getting this all together. I love old photos and I must say the clarity of some of these of yours is quite astounding..such great detail! I recognized your mother right away in that adorable school photo of hers. I also clicked over to "watch" your great-grandfather pick and sing....loved it. Great post!

  7. Oh Dayle, what fabulous photos. You are amazing. Your searching for family roots had spectacular results. Thanks for sharing with us. Susan

  8. Your mom does look just the same I agree. Looks like the jumper she is wearing sitting on the bottom stoop will fit for awhile :)

  9. I'm fascinated with genealogy. I've never seen the show you mentioned, but I have watched Genealogy Roadshow on PBS. I really want to join Ancestry.com, but I'm afraid I'll become obsessed, and never have time to blog ;)


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