If Only I Could Tell My Grandmother the Rest of the Story
Writing personal journals and histories help to conserve family traditions. I recall sitting at the knee of my grandmother asking questions about the relatives. The stories all seemed so mundane, yet as I recollect it now, she was imparting a treasure of wisdom and pride onto me. How I wish my grandmother were around now, so that I could update her on my discoveries. In those days, the stories were those passed down to her how during the Civil War the old planter who sent all his sons to war, hid from the yankees when they came around to take the farm animals and other valuables. In those days, families lost everything and because agriculture virtually ceased, communities lost the ability to survive. Through the eyes of my grandmother, her grandparents left the old plantation and came to Atlanta, just to get work. None of the sons returned from the war as well the husband of one daughter. I searched the records extensively to locate what battle killed him, and where he was during his last muster. After the war, this daughter married a fellow from Kentucky who tried to manage a plantation and store without farm laborers. The freed slaves were entitled to be paid, yet refused to work. So, the plantation fell into disrepair with my grandmother visiting it during the summer as a child. When I came along, the only evidence of a house was a pile of bricks in a field. Eventually, the daughter's husband died in the Soldier's Home in Kentucky, while the others suffered whooping cough, consumption, measles and other killing diseases of that era. But I have other stories... those of the great Revolutionary War where America earned its independence from Great Britain. And before that, the immigration stories and struggles of the Old World. And the cause and effects of marriages into royalty and noble families, and how many times the first colonists crossed the ocean to return to England for a wife to replace the first two who had died or were massacred by Indians. There are so many things that I would like to share. But most of all I wish that my grandmother had kept a personal journal concerning family members and local events; of individual struggle and accomplishment; nicknames; the color of eyes and shades of hair and much more.
Muscogee County GA Genealogies and Histories