Ancestors born before 1900

Ancestors born before 1900
Frances Simpkins, Leah Foote, Emmaline Foote, Rosetta Foote

Friday, January 5, 2018

Start #52Ancestors

So after a hiatus of over almost 2 years, and a handful of posts left in draft form, I've decided to take the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge that is offered by Amy Johnson Crow. The prompt for the first week is "Start." So today I start with remembering my beginning time in genealogy. I was infected by the genealogy bug when we went to our first Foote Family Reunion in 1994. Magically, a few days before we left, my grandmother had placed another picture next to her mother, great-grandma Leah. When I asked about the new picture, Gram said, "That's my Aunt Emmaline. You don't know them. They're the Rollinsons in Cincinnati. It would be another year before my sister and I would hit the road to search for our ancestors.Sandy and I traveled down to Calhoun Falls, Abbeville County, South Carolina. That was our start. We met up with our cousin Billy who joined our journey.
Cousin Essie Guthrie Herring, Sandra, me,
and Sandy's sister by another mother,
Barbara Seals Nevergold - Oct 1966

I guess this is my restart. I haven't really written since Sandy was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer on July 16, 2015. She lived with the motto of having faith, family, friends, and fight. Sometimes I didn't understand her fight because it was such a painful illness. There were times I didn't understand her willingness to undergo two treatment trials at Roswell Park Cancer Institute here in Buffalo. I can't say that I understand any better now, but she truly lived NEGU - Never Ever Give Up. She was here from my start - almost 17 years my senior, so she shared in many of my experiences. I was her flower girl. I spent weekends hanging out with her & her hubby. (Though divorced, she and Tom remained friends). She drove carloads of my friends to movies after church on Sundays. She came to Syracuse University during a horrible snowstorm and pinned me when I joined Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority in 1981. We bought our first Radio Shack Tandy computers together in 1987. So much of what we did was the normal day to day interactions. 

Sandy, Tom Sr, Tommy Jr, & Leah - 1973
Sandy loved God and serving her church as a Deacon. She was so amazing when people were close to transitioning into Heaven. So many people also recall the very special moments when she, as a Deacon, would hand a newly baptized person the candle and speak, "Let your light shine before others that they will see your works and glorify your Father in Heaven." (Matthew 5:16) She was my tag team partner when it came to those frustrating times with our Mom. She was my oldest friend.

Sandy became a Golden Soror of
Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. - 2013

Before she left here a year ago today, I had her promise to try and send some genealogy information back down after she'd been hanging out with the ancestors. It didn't hit me until this past week that I think she made good on her promise. In fact, she may have been working on it before she left. It was January 1st last year when I received a message that would bring us our bonus family members through a close DNA connection to Tom. I wasn't able to respond right away, but I think this was her way of having us always find a bit of joy in what was a difficult and sad time. A year ago was the start for Sandy's entry into her Heavenly Home, a mansion prepared for her in the midst of God and our ancestors. And though I've continued to research and found lots of support through this time and in my research, especially from my wife Deborah, this will be my start at putting my findings out here again. Thanks to and in memory of my sister, Sandra.
Deborah, Sandy, & me -
Bald Solidarity! September 2015
Sandy & Essie
July 2016

Barbara & Sandy
November 2015

Sandy & Mom
December 25, 2016
Sandy's Family History
(not to be confused with our genetics) 

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