What it does not tell you is that Thomas was the family’s Gate Watcher. (That person who traditionally watched by the gate for you to come home, and was anxious when you were late.)
Whenever I hear stories about Thomas I’m reminded of a poem that I once read……HOLD WIDE THE DOOR……
Thomas, in every sense of the word, exemplified the poem quoted above. He provided nourishment and shelter for many of his family members.
That is what he did for my grandmother, his sister Mattie.
When an agent for the steel mill asked my grandfather, James Bradford, if he wanted to go north, my grandfather said yes. He told someone to tell his wife that he was going north and that he would send for her.
My grandfather knew without a doubt that she would go to her brother Thomas, and that is exactly what she and her young daughters did.
Thomas Bostic, ever faithful, ever loyal and always there. Because of this, our family has always held Thomas in high regard.
A special remembrance of Thomas’ life is a story my grandmother told me about him. Thomas was only a year older than she was. He loved her so much that he gave her his name, he never called her Mattie. He called her Tommy.
I cannot tell you in this short space of all his acts of kindness, but you will no doubt hear more about him as we soldier on.
Our next blog will tell you about the baby of the family, Jacob. He also lived in Thomas’ household at one time.
RESEARCH TIP OF THE WEEK…..
There are several types of death records. Don’t limit yourself to only thinking death certificate. Much information can be gained by reading obituaries, tombstones, cemetery records (contact the cemetery office), and Probate Records (probate records are held at a county level).
In my previous blog I mentioned that I went back and forth on what this blog post would be entitled. As you can tell, I settled on The Reunion.
Why? You might ask.
Because that is exactly what it was, a reunion. There were no strangers among us. Pat, Dot, Redd, Renay, Valarie, Lala, Sheila, Sharon and the list goes on and on.
They were us!!
They were Ellen and Solomon, they were Jacob and Sophia, they were Solomon, London, Thomas, Edmund, Sally, Mary, Jacob Jr., Zilla and Mattie. They were all the Bostic’s past and present, and so were we.
Surely you see what it was, do you not? It was a reunion of all the Bostic’s who had survived the harrowing journey from Africa to America and the plantation life of Society Hill, SC and Marlboro County.
We’ve all heard of the South Carolina Cotton Trail.
This reunion was the living example of Maya Angelou’s poem, Still I Rise. This reunion was Langston Hughes poem, Still Here.
As I looked at all the lovely faces of my Bostic family, the realization hit me. It was all for us!! Right here in this moment in time!! People had survived just for us!! Can you imagine the enormity of knowing that someone survived just for “You”?
It reminds me of the bible verse in Jeremiah 1:5 that says, “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you”.
Our ancestors had set out to leave a living legacy and we were it.
Everything about the reunion was wonderful. The “Meet and Greet” still gives me butterflies. Sitting and talking to family members who we hadn’t physically met before; but knew them nonetheless.
A roomful of people with the same bloodline running through our veins.
Solomon and Ellen, Jacob and Sophia. AMAZING!!
One of the most memorable moments of the “Meet and Greet” was when Pat and Dot showed us a picture of my great-grandmother Mattie Bostic standing beside her brother Jacob. (My mother cried).
We were back!!!!
Back to where it all began. We had answered the call. No, not that call. Not the call that took place between Pat, Dot, mom, Aunt Vicky and me.
We answered, “THE CALL”, the call of the “BLOOD”. The Bostic blood that has been absorbed within the fibers of South Carolina. The call of the “Blood” that had now said, “it’s time to come home…. if only for a moment”.
Home we had all come, and it couldn’t be more evident as it was on the day of the Reunion.
Food, fun, prizes, stories told, introductions made, and addresses exchanged.
Did I mention food? Yes? No? LOL!!!
Food…Food and more Food!!! It was so good and there was so much; you knew you could only be in the South!!
Oh!!! I almost forgot!! My very first “SELFIE” with my cousin LaLa!!
Now that’s what family reunions are all about.
Sunday, the last day of the reunion, I can only imagine that the heavens opened up. Solomon and Ellen, Sophia and Jacob in the grandstands of heaven cheering us on, saying, “we did that, yes, we did that”.
And the response they heard was, “well done good and faithful servants”.
Genealogy Tip: Compare, Compare, Compare!! Never take one record as fact. Review all records to make sure you are pulling your relative and not someone else. Just because you find someone with the same name and date of birth doesn’t mean that person belongs to you.
I hope you have enjoyed this week’s Family Found Reunion Story. Please come back next week as we begin introducing you to the children of Sophia and Jacob. Thomas will be first, not because he was first born, just because we chose him first. LOL!!!
All that I can say is, if I was floating on a cloud after receiving that email, can you IMAGINE my feelings on the night of “The Call?”
This was an epic event!! I don’t know how I got through the work day. “Nervous Excitement” are the only words that can describe how I felt.
After work I picked up my Aunt Vicky and we headed to my mom’s house to make “The Call”. Initially there was no answer.
To think that a letter to the editor had paid off so quickly.
A letter that Pat and Dot had not seen!!
Someone their brother knew had read the letter and told him about it. The possibility of my family not seeing my letter wasn’t in the forefront of my mind. My thoughts were more on the lines of whenwould they see it? To think that my letter almost slipped past my family.
In true movie fashion wouldn’t you say?………We all know the scene in the movie when a letter falls between the cracks in the floor and isn’t found for 30 years. I hate movies like that!!! I always find myself yelling, “the letter, get the letter!!”
Thankfully the letter pictured above wasn’t the case with my letter. My letter made the January 15, 2015 addition of the Herald Advocate on page 6, entitled “Ohio Resident Seeks Info!” It’s only now while typing this blog that I realize that my letter published on “MY BIRTHDAY!!!”
As I’m sharing this experience with you, I am sitting here with the same silly smile on my face that I had the night of “The Call”.
I can recall three things from that phone conversation:
The trembling of my hands when I dialed the number the second time.
The warmth and excitement in the voices of Pat and Dot.
Nathaniel Bostic’s name being mentioned.
Nathaniel Bostic 1908-1989 (Fun Fact)..Diane Bostic-Buggs (Nathaniel’s granddaughter) said, “When Nathaniel drove his car he would take his time – he would say that the driver who was racing along side of him was only going to the next traffic light.”
What I “can’t” remember about “The Call” is anything else that was said. I mean NOTHING, nothing at all. LOL!!!
Thank goodness for mom and Aunt Vicky because those two ladies have “NEVER” and I mean “NEVER” met a stranger. They can talk to anyone as if they’ve known them for years and can recall the details of every conversation.
After the phone conversation mom, Aunt Vicky and I were smiling at each other. For a brief moment they looked as if they were reflecting on memories of the past; as if they had their mother and grandmother back.
Whimsical and Wonderful is how I would describe that evening; it all seemed too good to be true.
The magical moment was broken with what I’m sure seemed like the craziest question ever. I asked, “What if they’re strangers? What if they’re not our Bostic’s?”
That was the cold water on the moment of bliss. Mom and Aunt Vicky looked at me as if I was nuts, they were “ALMOST” rendered speechless.
They asked, “Are you crazy? Of course they’re not strangers!!” Now keep in mind that mom and Aunt Vicky have never met a stranger; so just because they said, “of course they’re not strangers” wasn’t necessarily the ringing endorsement that I was looking for.
I must have looked doubtful because in that moment mom and Aunt Vicky turned into Sadie’s daughters and Mattie Bostic’s granddaughters!!
The one thing that every child and the spouses of my mother and her siblings learn very quickly is that you “NEVER” and I mean “NEVER” doubt anything that pertains to:
If someone was skating on thin ice that night it was definitely me.
I was back in their good graces once I explained that even though the phone was on speaker, I had heard nothing because I was so excited that the call had even taken place.
They assured me that all the people, places and things discussed all lined up.
“THE CALL!!!” We were another step closer!! The descendants of Mattie Bostic-Bradford and her brother London Bostic had made the connection.
Some say life is a cycle and others say the circle of life, call it what you like, either way I agree because past and present were coming full circle.
The children of Jacob Bostic Sr. and Sophia McCullough-Bostic were making their way back home to where it all began.
My hopes are that you have enjoyed another portion of my genealogy journey. Please come back next week for more of the journey.
***ANCESTRY TIP OF THE WEEK *** don’t forget to look for Delayed Birth Records during your genealogy search. You can find a wealth of information in a Delayed Birth Record. Please use the link below to learn more about delayed birth records.