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!

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