The Reunion (Part 2) My Genealogy Search and Research Tips

Bostic Family Reunion

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.

http://www.schistorytrail.com/property.html?i=143

Cotton Field of South Carolina
Cotton Field of South Carolina

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”?

Family Reunion
Bostic Family Reunion

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.

Reunion Meet and Greet
Reunion Meet and Greet

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).

Siblings...Mattie and Jacob...Family Found
Siblings….Mattie and Jacob… Family Found

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.

Family Reunion Family Found
family reunion banquet
Family Reunion 2015
Reunion – Food….Food….. and more Food

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!!!

The Call – My Genealogy Search and Research Tips

The Call - My Genealogy Search
The Call – My Genealogy Search

January 21, 2015 was the evening of “The Call”.

In my previous blog I mentioned that January 20th was one of my most memorable evenings due to the “Family Found” email that I had received from Dot and Pat.

 http://familyfoundgenealogy.com/family-found-ancestry-journey/

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 when would 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!!”

Old Tattered Letter
An old tattered letter that is unreadable.

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!!!”

http://www.heraldadvocate.com/flexpaper/index.asp

Letter to the editor
Ohio Resident Seeks Info!

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:

  1.  Mama!!
  2.  Grandma!!

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.

https://www.genealogytoday.com/articles/reader.mv?ID=589

The image below is a copy of the delayed birth record of my great-uncle Jake Bostic; and as my family knows, “I’m All Things Jake” so I’m thrilled to be able to share his birth record with you. 

Delayed Birth Record
Delayed Birth Record

 

 

Family Found – My Genealogy Search and Research Tips

Bennettsville Visitor's Center

One of my most memorable evenings was January 20, 2015.  I opened my email and on the subject line of one email in particular were the words Family Found! That email would prove to be the long lost key to opening many doors in my genealogy search.

I sat there stunned just staring at the subject line. Could it really be what I had been hoping for? A response to my “Letter to the Editor” of the Bennettsville, SC newspaper?

As you can see below it was indeed the response to my letter.  That email blossomed into so much more than just a mere response. It became the fulfillment of so many hopes and dreams, not just for myself but for other family members as well.

Family Ancestry Search
Email Response to my Letter to the Editor

Several months prior to receiving that email I had begun researching my family tree. Genealogy research was something that my aunt had been encouraging everyone to do.

Throughout the years she would hand out sheets of paper or cute little scrolls that she had made with the names of family members from times long ago. Two of those names were Solomon and Jacob and she also included a brief description of how it all began.

Genealogy Search where it all began
Cotton Fields surrounding the Bostic’ ancestral home.

If you were to ask me where those sheets of paper or little scrolls are today, my answer would be, “I do not know.” Who would have known that the day would come when I would long for those little pieces of treasure that held the key to who I am?

I remember picking up the phone one evening and calling my aunt. The conversation went something like this, “Aunt Vicky!! Do you remember those little scrolls that you made with the names of the two brothers?” Her response was, “Hi Leah, yes honey”, before she could get another word out, I said, “oh good, I need to find my family.” LOL!!!

Genealogy Search
Bostic Family Tree

She actually gave me the information that I was requesting while still on the phone. Prior to ending the call she said, “I knew the time would come when someone would be ready to know their family and I would have the information waiting so that they would be able to begin their journey of discovering who we are.”

The phone conversation with my aunt and the email that I mentioned all took place several years ago. From that point forward many wonderful things have occurred.

  1. Relationships have been formed that will never be broken.
  2. Two family reunions have happened.
  3. ancestry.com and old newspapers have become my reading material of choice. (old newspaper articles and obituaries can give you a wealth of information when searching for your ancestors).
  4. I’ve become the go to person for other people who are beginning their genealogy search.

With each week, month and  passing year, I’ve learned something new about my “Bostic” family, a name that is music to my ears. I guess the words of Dale Carnegie still hold true today, “There is no sweeter sound to one’s ear than the sound of his name.”

DISCOVERY

This ancestry journey has helped me to discover so many things, especially about myself.

Prior to genealogy research whenever anyone would asked me that “dreaded question of what my passion was, my answer would  always be, ” I don’t have a  passion.” After making the statement of not having a passion, I would begin to tell them all the reasons why it’s okay not to have a passion.

Whether I believed those reasons or not is neither here nor there; because if you were to ask me that question today my answer would be, “genealogy research of my family and YOURS!! Not that I’m nosy or anything.” LOL!!!

I love bringing people back to life, imagining what they looked like, sounded like and what they may have gone through to make them who they were.

Throughout our lives we all make a footprint in the sand; and there will come a  time when someone will begin their journey of discovering who we were and what our lives were like.

Please continue to follow my weekly blog as I share my genealogical journey and numerous tips on researching your family tree.