Monday, October 31, 2011

Reflecting On My Journey To Yankton, South Dakota Part 3

Family History----The Road To Yankton Continues
This is the day which the Lord has brought about; we shall rejoice and be glad in it. The Amplified Bible
Entry: September 6, 1985...The Road To Yankton Continues...
We were in Yankton, however we could not find the house were Mary Jane lived. We rode around town looking for the Post Office Box -- Routine --. We couldn't find it. Finally we stopped a young a man on the streets and asked him were the Lightners lived. He did not know who we were talking about at first.

I said the Blakeys. Mary Jane was a Blakey. This man told us that a Blakey had died several days ago. He thought that we were here for the funeral. He knew were Ted Blakey lived, but not Mary Jane.

We drove back to the direction were we came. We stop someone else. This time they knew what we were talking about. This man pointed us in the right way. It was near the edge of town where we came from to enter Yankton. We drove there I never dreamt it would be like it was.

We drove up in front of trailer houses about three of them. I looked around trying to seek out which trailer house Mary lived in. After the car stopped every one got out slowly. I was amazed that we got there [in] an hour.
The drive was uncomfortable. I stretched my legs. We walked up to the nearest tailer house. It was by coincidence, it was the right place. Mary Jane greeted us as if she knew us for a long time.
Entry date September 7, 1985
Before Mary invited us to set down she introduced herself and the others in the room. She presented us to her sister, Dorothy, cousins and her son, Jim Jr. We all set down and got acquainted. Mary Jane knew who my sister, Mary and myself were because I sent Mary Jane pictures... weeks before our arrival.

I did not dream that Mary Jane would look like she did. She was about 5' 5". Here hair was jet black which was pulled up in the back. Her skin complexion was fair; light complexion, yellowish brown skin. She looked like she was about thirty five. She was over 40. Mary's sister had dark complexion. She had jet black hair also. However both Mary and her sister, Dorothy had high cheekbones and round faces.

[Cousin] Mary's house was pleasant. It looked like a comfortable environment even though it was a trailer home. There were pictures on the wall. She showed me who every body was, but I didn't recall who was who. The family room was at the front of the trailer. There was more pictures on the wall.

The room next to the family room was the kitchen. It was small, but not too big. The entertainment room was near the kitchen. All the rooms were in one room from each other. The bed rooms were behind the other rooms in the back which I did not get to see.
I will stop here. This was the very first time I have been in a trailer home. I never know how it looked on the inside. I was overwhelmed by all that I saw and went through just to get where I was at that moment in my life.

I thought to described my cousins' outward appearances. I wanted to give you a flavor of the different "shades of color". I know that we tend to look at the outward appearance of people. God's beauty is in ALL people no matter the race.

As I look back over this journey oh, how I wish I had a camera and a taper recorder for these "historic" meetings. I did not know how much "richness" was in our family history during this point in my life until I started this reflection of my family history quest.

Great Aunt Mary was the oldest member of the Blakey generation at that time. She had information stored up in her that she shared with her off springs. I hope that they treasure what she told them. So they came pass it on to their generation.

Great Aunt Mary passed away in 1985. This was about a month before our family reunion in Yankton. She was about 93.
Mary Jane (Blakey) Lightner passed away in 2003.
What am I thankful for ? I thank God for the covenant blessing of HELP. I thank God for the covenant blessing of WISDOM and PROTECTION. I am grateful that God has His hand on my life.

I ask God for His WISDOM that He is flowing into my life. I thank God for His PROTECTION for my life and my family's lives. I thank God for watching over us.... God is a GOOD GOD!
That ever day you are reading this entry... Have A Wonderful Day! God Bless you.
New Day Dawning!
The family history quest continues.
~ Susie ~
"We tend to worry most over things we have least control over." Archibald D. Hart

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Reflecting On The Journey To Yankton, South Dakota ~ Part 2

October  1981 , On the Road to Yankton, SD
The Journey Begins---The Road To Yankton

"This is the day the LORD has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it".
The New King James Version
But still I rejoiced because the LORD made this day.... 
This posting is the continuation from yesterday blog

Entry September 1, 1985.
It was about two days before we plan our trip to Yankton, [S.D.] however there was another problem [My] Mother did not want me to go. I was about 18 at that time. My mother felt that I should not go.

I wanted badly to go. Somehow my sister [Mary] talked our mother into letting me go. My mother told me she did not trust the driving on the highway. I did get to go. I was excited.

It was the day before Halloween [Eve of Reformation Day]. We, my sister, Mary and her boyfriend [Roger] started on our journey to Yankton, South Dakota. Again there was another problem, however we solved it a day ahead of time. My sister's boyfriend's car was still in the shop. My sister had to take her car instead.

After we packed our bags into my sister's car [we were about ready to go.] It was about 2:30 PM. We were on our way. I have never been far out of Missouri. Yankton was about roughly a 5 hour drive. I was use to three or less.

As we left St. Joseph, Missouri, I began imaging what I might encounter ? I enjoyed watching the landscape as we pass town to town. It began to get boring about an hour and half after we left. I decided to put my seat belt on and go to sleep.

However I did not sleep long. My sister's boyfriend drove fast..... I courageously stayed up the rest of the way. I began observing the scenery once more. The land began to have higher hills than in St. Joseph.

I will write a little of what the next few entries were about: September 2 - 3, 1985...

I wrote down what I saw in description on the Road to Sioux City, Iowa. And then while we made the stop at my sister's boyfriend's sister's house, we met the sister in law of the cousin that we were going to met in Yankton.

I will pick up with the entry on September 4, 1985.

We arrived at [my sister's boyfriend's sister,] Terri's house about 7 o'clock. We all got unpacked. We had an opportunity to met one of our cousin's sister in law. She was half Indian....

[Yeah,] We met a sister in law of the person who we were going to met. She was very fair skinned and had jet black hair. She was half Indian. I was wondering if Mary Jane, our cousin would have the same quality skin as her sister in law.

The next morning, I woke [up] and was ready to go. It was Halloween Day. First we decided to let Al, Terri's husband drive us to Yankton. We didn't know the way. It was about 10:30 AM or 11 o'clock in the morning when we left for Yankton. We knew where we were heading but [we] did not know exactly how to get there.

Entry September 5, 1985...

After we, my sister Mary and her boyfriend, Roger, Roger's sister Terri and Terri's husband, Al and their daughter Tiffany [we] were set to go. Al drove. Roger was in the front with him. All the girls sat in the back. I was in the middle. Mary was on my left. Terri and Tiffany on the right.

The roads leading from Iowa to South Dakota were similar all the way. Farm houses were surrounded by tall trees. The land seemed flat compared to the small hills in the foreground. We entered South Dakota. The highway scenery to have more hills.
I will stop here... Meanwhile I will recap a little bit about what I shared in last week's posting about my father's lineage. Our surname was changed at some points during one generation to the next. BLAKEY was one of our names.

My first contact was a cousin, Mary Jane who wanted us to come up to Yankton, S.D. so she could fill us in on the family history. Mary Jane told us we had a Great Aunt Mary, Mary Jane's Grandmother who wanted to met us. Mary Jane heard the story of the Blakeys from her Grandmother who helped raise her.
What am I thankful for ? I am thankful for the covenant blessing of HELP that God has upon my life. I am grateful that God has given me the covenant blessing of LIFE . A life worth living.

I want to thank you, my viewers who are reading and or making comment(s) on my weblog. I truly appreciate that you take the time to visit my website. I also thank those who take the time to add more smiles into my days. God bless you.

What ever day that you read this entry. Have A Great Day!
It's the Dawning Of A NEW DAY!
The Road To Yankton continues on the next posting.
~ Susie ~
"Sincere regret for wrong never weakens, but always strengthens the heart."
Matthew Henry

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Reflecting On The Journey To Yankton South Dakota: October 1981 ~ Part 1

My Family History Quest Continues--With Contacts

This posting is a re post from one of my other blog site.

Now, I will share a little bit on the quest on my Father's lineage. It a whole "new ball" game to explain. Through it all I have gain more information on my Father's side through continual searching and clue from cousins...
This is from my English assignment class while I was in college.
This was my last entry for August 31, 1985 --- Family History: My First Contact.
It was sometime in September of 1981 when my frustration was released... I found some prove of evidence on who my Grandfather was [on my Father's side]. My sister was in Sioux City, Iowa visiting a friend. While she was there her friend said that she knew of the Blakeys that were related to us.

My sister, Mary called this woman. Mary talked to her on the telephone. Mary wrote our, cousin's address down on a piece of paper. After her, [my sister's] trip, she would tell me about this cousin.

Mary told me, [that] she talked to Mary Jane [our cousin] on the telephone. She is the cousin that remains [my sister] Mary of our Aunt Mary, our Father's sister. According to my sister, Mary's friend, this cousin was half [American] Indian.

During this time I told my sister [Mary] if one can prove that they were at least 1/4 Indian they could go to college free. [ I haven't heard of such a thing.] She, my sister Mary told me to write this lady and try to find out more about our Grandfather John...[ our Father's Father.]

At this time I was hopeless and did not know what it do. So I decided to write this lady. I explained to her what I wanted to know. It took about two pages front and back. The letter was all [hand]written and the rest is history.
The Letter---
On September 30, 1981, I received a letter from a woman named Mary Jane Lightner. She wrote a reply from my inquiry about my Grandpa John. Mary [Jane] told me that I had a Great Aunt Mary who was 89...[ this Mary was Mary Jane's Grandmother".] Great Aunt Mary told her, about my Grandpa John when he was in Yankton, South Dakota. [Great Aunt Mary was my Grandpa John's sister in law.]

[Cousin] Mary Jane explained to me that her Grandpa Spencer Blakey help out my Grandpa John. She also mentioned that she was half Cherokee and Sioux Indian. She wanted to help me find out who my Grandpa was. She wanted me to come up one weekend, so she could fill me in on the family history.

At first I was overwhelmed. I found someone who knew something about my Grandpa. I showed this letter to my sister, Mary. She was excited. She wanted to go to Yankton. All we had to do was to plan when we were going... We decided to go two weeks from Saturday, a week before Halloween...[That's Reformation Day]
Some how our plans didn't work out. We had to cancel out. We had car trouble. My sister's boyfriend's car was not working properly. We changed our plans till the following Saturday.[ Reformation Day]

I will stop at this point. The next entry:
September 1, 1985-- "The Journey Begins".

Let me fill you in on some things. The confusion was on our family's surname. It was spelled BLAKEY. There were a lot of same name relatives. John, Isaac, MARY and so on... common names in our family. This would cause confusion if you did not know... who was who.

I found an article in 1977. It was titled Slavery Descendants To Have First Reunion. I found out that this reunion took place in Sioux City, Iowa in the early 1970's. As I did more research on the family tree, I found out more confusion.

Here's an example. I had always thought that our Great Grandfather was John BLAKEY. This was not the case. When we made our trip to Yankton, S.D., our family history quest took a turn with more surprises.

I will share more in future postings.
It's The Dawning Of A New Day!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Reflecting On The Journey To Yankton South Dakota: Introduction

It was 30 years ago on October 30, 1981, when I began the journey to Yankton, South Dakota. Then, I was trying to find out more about my father's father's family.
I didn't know much then.

Now, nearing my 30th year from that journey, I know a lot more than I could ever imagine. I've been journaling on some of the things I've discovered over the past 30+ years. I don't want what I've discovered to be lost.
 That was one of the reasons why I began this site.

I'm thankful that God has placed people in the pathways of those who are searching for their ancestors. Indeed, I have had some come along  my journey's quest to help me. I'm very thankful that they did. That inspired me to continue on my search.

Thanks for reading.
My Journey Quest Continues,

Photo was taken on my 2nd journey to Yankton in July 1985.
We were attending the Blakey White Blakley Family Reunion.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Photos Of UnKnown And Known Relatives

Unknown Couple

Two Unknown Little Girls

One of Left Perhaps a Lankford

Two Unknown Children

The One Standing Appears To Be A Blakley
Update on this photo: October 26, 2011.

Standing: Isaac "Ike" and Anna "Annie" (Lankford) Blakley
The other couple: Robert Lewis (Sr) and  Irene (Blakey) Lankfard.
Thanks to cousin, Robert Lewis Lankfard Jr. for sharing who was in this photo.
Robert Jr. is the son of Robert and Irene. 

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Julia White Connections: Richard White

Richard "Dick" White was the youngest child of Julia White
According to Richard "Dick" White's death record,
Richard was born on September 15, 1855 in Charition County Missouri.
He passed away on July 19, 1946
Richard's parents were unknown on the death record.
Julia White was believed to have been his mother.

Richard married his first wife, Jane Ferguson (1873 - 1919)
Jane was the daughter of Tom/ Thomas and Renie/ Rena (Nickels) Ferguson

Jane and Richard were married on May 5, 1889.
Jane was 16 or 18 years old when she was married.
Her father Thomas gave consent of the marriage.

Richard and Jane White had 13 children

1.) Alberta White Morris
(abt 1893 - 1944)
Alberta married Alex Morris.Alberta had about 8 children
Laura B., William, Thomas, Daisy, Margaret, Samuel, Robert, and Daniel

2.) Odell White Craig
1894 - 1943)
Odell married Oscar Craig. They had 6 children carried the Craig surname.
Alma, Frances, George, Delphine, Lorenza and Clarissa.

Odell was married to Henry Rucker.
Odell had a son named Clarence Ewing

3.) Moses White
1895 - 1989)
Moses was married to Beatrice ?
Moses married Etta Mae Guy
Moses' Children carried the White surname.
Anna Mae, F. Jonathan, Henry T., Joanna, Levi Lee, Thomas Alphonso, and Janie Lee

4.) Tony White
1896 - 1975)
Tony was married to Clora ?
Tony was married to Georgia ?

Tony's Children with carried surname White
Christina, Elizabeth Toni, Leanna Pauline, Frances, Sylvester,
Betty Ellen, James Thomas, John, Marshall, Mary Jo, Melvin, William "Billy" Joe and Theodore E.

5.) Thomas Alphonsy / Tommie White
1898 - 1989)

Rev Thomas married Mary Lee Tooley
Rev Thomas married Cleavie Hill

Rev Thomas' children by Mary. The children carried the White surname
Maizel / Haizel, Ollie, Lucile Lee, Ruby, Chester Field, and Radell R./ Raydell

6.) Rennie Pearl/ Rena White
1900 - 1945)

Rena married Edward/ Ed Houston
Rena and Edward's children carried the Houston surname.
Tony Willard, Mattie A., Edith M. and Kenneth

7.) Eugene White
1901 - 1988)

Eugene married Corine / Corean J. Jones
Their children carring the White surame
Acenia, Donald, Enda, Evelyn, Joseph, Levi E., Mary Kathryn,
Matthew Lee, Nicklos, Ella M. and Eugene

8.) Lonnerll/ Leonell White
1903 - 1937)
9.) Willie Mattie White
1904 - 1994)

Willie married Ledrew Terrill(1895 - 1946)|
Willie marred Harold Leroy Winfrey
(1900 - 1975)

Willie's Children
Richard Lee, Thomas Lionel, and William Leslie Terrill
Bernice Voeloia Winfrey or Terrill

10.) Hattie White
1906 - 1986)

Hattie was married to James Jackson
Their children William L. and Arthur Jackson

11.) Jane White
(1909 - 1982)
Jane married Otis Hayes
They had a son named, Otis Jane Hayes.

12.) Richard White
Born about 1912 - Died about 1960)
Richard was believed to have had a son

13.) Hester White
Born about 1915)

Richard "Dick" remarried in Mrs. Mary B. Stapleton
Mary was born Mary Belle Brooks (1860 - 1951)

Mary's children by her first husband David StapletonScott Brooks, Stell, Hellen / Helen Stapleton.

One Final Note:
Richard wasn't listed with his mother and siblings on the 1880 in Chariton County Census. I did located a Richard White about 12 years old as a hired hand to a Daniel White.

I believe this Richard was the same one. Daniel White was the brother of Frances White Blakey. Frances Blakey was the slave owner of Julia White. During slavery Frances may have sold Richard to Daniel. Richard may have stayed on with Daniel White as a hired hand.

Richard was listed on the 1900, 1910, 1920 and 1930 censuses. The 1870 I've found to Richard White's don't know which one was the son of Julia White. 

I hope descendants of Richard "Dick" White discover this information.
Or Perhaps someone can add more information.

Thanks for reading.The Julia White Connections: Richard White
Staying On The Family History Journey,

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Being Born Last In My Family

I have been pondering about my up bringing. I cannot recall when I was told how many brothers and sisters I had. I just recall that we had a house full.

There were times in my life, friends would ask me, How does it feel being born the last in my family? I have heard "the old saying" of the world that the first and the last child was born by accident. Those children were most likely not planned.

As I have an a Christian, I don't see the as the truth. By no means any child is born by accident. God has a purpose for all children born in which ever way they come into this world; Those births by married women and singled women.

All births are in God's plan. God knew about my birth long before my parents were conceived. Even so, God knew how many children my parents would have. My parents only wanted 2 boys and 2 girls

My parents David and Lula with their 18 on the Last Day of 1976
I'm sitting on the floor on the right.

I remember my Mother talking to someone about her children. She said that her doctor told her the she was a "breeder". And that she could have had as many children as she wanted. My parents love children.

My Mother and my father decided to have more child after the birth of my brother who is 16 months older than me. Yes, I was my parents' last bundle of joy. When I was born, I became blessed. Here is a photo of my parents.
My mother was almost 43. My Father was about 49 1/2. They were Grandparents as well. They did not have a name for me. My mother said that my father came into the hospital room and said let's call her Susan.

I was a daddy's girl. Yes, I was spoiled. I was my parents' 4th daughter. The oldest girl died about 30 days old. My parents had only 15 sons.

There are some advantages of being the youngest. I don't recall my parents ever spanking me. There voices were good enough for me to stay out of trouble.

There was always someone to play games with and help me out with my homework. When I was in school some of the teachers already knew who I was. Some taught some of my siblings. Us kids looked some what alike.

There were some of my siblings who were teaching in the Public Schools. When I was in Middle School and High School, I had a sibling teacher there where I attended. I saw that as an advantage. None of my siblings were my teachers.

Then there were questions...Here is one. How did you eat? My reply. When it came time to eat we ate. We had a lot of food to eat too.

On My Journey Of Transformation
There are times when I am out and about, there would be people who knows my last name just by looking at me. I never met most of this people I come across. I wondered how they knew my name.

I ask some of the people...How did they know my last name? They say that they can tell the resembles from some of my siblings. It is our eyes, the people say.

People continue to ask me which one are you? Some things I would say my name. Then there are times when I say "I am the baby or I am the last one".

Would it be something if people could look a Christians and see some characteristic of God and know who Christian are. Being known by our Father's image. Reflecting from the light that is of God.

May your light of God shine for into the world around you. May your spirit that is of God be seen in others in your world. May God bless you on your journey of life.

While On The Journey,
Being Born Last In The Family

Thanks for reading.
Blessings to all,

From my Book of Thanks and Blessings
Heavenly Father, I thank You that I am one of Your beloved daughters. I thank You that I was born for a purpose. I thank You that You birth me into a godly family.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Another Look At The Lankford Surname

As I continue to search on my mother's side, her family surname has been spelled so many ways. Those spelling include: Langford, Langfurd, Lanford, Laukford, Landford, Lankferd, Sandford, Sankford, and Lankfard. There may have been others spellings.

Robert Louis Lankford (also known as Lewis Lankford) was my Great Grandpa. On his and Great Grandma Charlotta's tombstone their surname was spelled LANKFARD.  When I came across their tombstone in the 1990's, I thought that their surname was misspelled.

As I searched more on that Ashland Cemetery, I saw that there were others who with the LANKFARD spelling. My Grandparents Leo and Mary. Their tombstone was spelled LANKFARD. I can assume that that was the original name. Or that was a chosen surname that was taken after slavery.
Maybe the Lankford name may not have been the slave name. Story has it that the slave name might have been Morton. Great Grandpa Robert had a half sister, named Mamie Mortorn. 

Mamie was half black. She was said to have been the slave owner's daughter. Robert and Mamie had the same mother. On Robert's death record his parents were not known. Robert was born in KY.

I haven't found any leads on Mamie Morton. Mamie could have married in KY where she  was living. Recently, I've come across someone searching the Morton who the Lankfords worked for...I thought that was nice.

While I was looking over some records, I notice some things. Robert went by Lewis when he was married to Charlotta Dade in 1873. On the 1870 and 1880 census, his name was Lewis Langford. On the 1900, I had a hard time finding him. His name was R.S. or R. L. Sankford.

It wasn't until the 1910 that I came across Robert L. Lankford. In 1920 and 1920 his name was Robert Lankford. I wonder what happened. Was Robert going by his middle name at first? Or did he change his name?

It would be nice to have known more about my Great Grandpa Robert and his parents. I wonder if there were other siblings. I can only go back to Robert Louis LANKFORD. Perhaps that was the name that his choice.

So was his name spelled Robert Louis Lankford? Or Robert Lewis Lankfard? Either ways goes. As long as we know who was who or who's who on the family tree that matter. 

While On The Journey,
Another Look At The Lankford Surname

The Mystery Continues:
Perhaps the family surname could have been another name. Each person with the LANKFORD surname spelled the family name the way that they choose. I noticed how the LANKFORD surname was spelled and signed through the World War I and II Draft Records, Marriage Licences, Post Cards, Letters, City Directories, Census Records and Tombstones.

The Mystery Reminds: