Thursday, April 1, 2010

My Ancestor's Name

This is my first venture into a new arena where I can share more information about a 20+ year journey I have made seeking the names of my ancestors.

My childhood was sprinkled with the stories told to me by my mother Pauline Moore Walton. She spoke about her grandmother Harriet, who raised her, and of Harriet's life as a slave in Ripley Mississippi. Harriet's mother was Amanda Young, whose husband was a soldier in the Civil War. "What was his name" I asked.  She did not know.  Harriet also had a brother who died in the War, who never returned.  "What was his name?" I asked. She did not know.   I always wanted to know their names.

My father's mother Sarah Ellen Bass Walton was in my life for the first 28 years of my life.  She spoke of her parents Louis Mitchell Bass and Georgia Ann Bass.  I asked her about his family.  She mentioned a brother who had moved to Texas.  "What was his name?" I asked.  She did not know, and could not recall if it was mentioned.  I wanted to know his name.

My dear great grandmother Sallie, was my heart.  She lived with my grandmother Sarah Ellen, and they were the grand old ladies from whom I heard so many stories.  Sallie, like Sarah Ellen was a master quilter and when their friends, other ladies in the community would join them in their quilting projects, I as a young child, would sometimes crawl under the quilting frame that they had set up, and play on the floor with my dolls, they thought.  I was listening to their stories.  They spoke of people and of times I did not understand, but this was important for there were names mentioned that I did not know and I tried in my child's imagination to put those stories together. 

Who were these people about whom they spoke?  I wanted to know their stories and to call their names.

Years have passed and I have found some answers, though many more I still seek.  I have decided to join this arena of blogging to share some of the wonderful stories I have found as I have researched my own family history.

I rearch ancestors from Arkansas, Oklahoma, Mississippi & Tennessee.  I shall post stories pertaining to those searches, each line being so unique. 

From Arkansas, I find my mother's line taking me into Tippah County Mississippi, into Murray County Tennessee.  I search for Amanda Young, and her husband, her son and her parents and have found them. 

From Tennessee, I also find my Bass family from Giles County.  This line eventually landed in SW Arkansas from which three large family clans emerged: Bass, Martin & Dollarhide.  I can call so many more names

From Mississippi, Tippah County takes me on a venture into not only Civil War, but into a network of extended families I never knew.

And Oklahoma the most unique excursion into history, takes me down a path into Indian Territory, where slaves were embedded in Indian tribes.  My own family, extends into the Choctaw Nation, as I explore Sallie's life beginning with documents folded in the family Bible.  I learn of her life as a Choctaw raised woman, and whose traditions and circumstances pointed me to her mother, and grandmother, for I can now call their names as well.

Join me on this venture as I seek to call, My Ancestors' Names.

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