Those Traveling Taliaferro’s Part I

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When I consider the way in which families migrated in colonial days I am awestruck. They were pioneers! Our cross-country road trips in the comfort of our V8 engine sport utility vehicles, hardly qualify. Think about it? Jamestown, Virginia was the first established colonial settlement founded on May 14, 1607, by the Virginia Company of London, the next was Plymouth, Massachusetts founded in 1620. All early American migration began from these two States! These two States grew into  thirteen British Colonies, including Virginia, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Georgia, Connecticut, Massachusetts Bay, Maryland, South Carolina, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Providence, Rhode Island.


This is important to realize in genealogy how the expansion of a few families created the Nation in which we have become.The next time you get a reluctant cousin DNA match who adamantly insists that all of their family remained in, and never left the State in which they presently live, since their initial discovery of them in the first census of that State, to present day, remind them of this. Obviously, somebody moved or else I wouldn’t be here and you wouldn’t be there! The science speaks for itself!  In the early years of colonization people didn’t live sedentary lives. They moved! They boarded the earliest transportation known to man their own feet, boat or caravan, from one place to another, they didn’t fly! Air travel wouldn’t be perfected until 1903 with the Wright brothers! Which means they settled a spell in one State before moving on, since walking distances are exhausting. If your family lived in the United Sates chances are they are related in either a direct or indirect way to those first pioneering families who left Virginia and Massachusetts to colonize America. My family obviously have been in America for a long time because much of our DNA is found in one of the first thirteen colonies of the United States. On 23 and me DNA company my father, brother and myself have a cousin Sandra Taliaferro, from Georgia this is our picture:


Our predicted relationship is fifth cousin (fourth to distant) Sandra doesn’t match Marcus, my brother, and therefore I presume our match is through a distant female relative. A fifth cousin would mean we share a great-great-great-great grandparent which would most-likely have been born sometime between 1785 to 1795. We have not discovered yet who that common ancestor was, but I have been tracking the migration of the families who held our genome in bondage and this is what I’ve found:

“Matthew Wood one of the early settlers of Union Parish Louisiana was born in Georgia in 1810 and lived in Lowndes County Alabama when he and a group of planters sold their plantations and moved to Union Parish.” Also, mentioned here is the Feazel family descendants of Johan George Feazel an early settler of Union Parish from Virginia. They hiked along the old salt trails by covered wagons and flat-boated across the Alabama Landing and along the Ouachita River.


Union Parish, Louisiana was founded by settlers from Alabama and Georgia! Keep in mind Louisiana is relatively younger than Georgia it was purchased by the United Sates of America in 1803 from France, and Georgia was one of the original thirteen colonies mentioned above established in 1732, as did many families Sandra’s and mine left the Carolinas, since North and South Carolina is older than either Georgia or Louisiana, it was first part of the Province of Carolina chartered in 1663. My family who settled in Louisiana also migrated from North and South Carolina, settling for a while in Alabama before migrating farther to Louisiana and then farther on to Texas or Arkansas.

I perused Sandra’s list of surnames: 

Of her surnames the prominent ones, which I found that lived in close proximity to my family in Union Louisiana, Alabama or Arkansas are Taliaferro (pronounced like Toliver and often misspelled), Askew, Brewer, Crawford, Little, Parks, Mobley, Gill, Stinson, Turner, and Lawrence highlighted are the surnames of those which I have evidence did mortgage slaves in Union Parish, Louisiana or Bradley Arkansas or Alabama. Sandra’s Taliaferro surname was living in Union Parish, Louisiana transplanted from Bedford Virgina as early as 1847. John Boughton Taliaferro and Ruth McCandles were the parents of Jane E Taliaferro who married John Feazel and had eight children. John and Jane moved to Clay Bradley, Arkansas just doors away from my great-great grandfather Andrew Tidwell in 1870, they were neighbors! More on this later!

Detail: Year 1870 Census: Place: Clay Bradley Arkansas Roll: M593_48 Image 201

Laughing at Life

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The blues are as old as misery. If she were a woman that would be her name “Miss Ery.” Shakespeare knew the blues when he said, “That friend who toils, and seeks for gain, and follows but for form, will pack when it begins to rain and leave you in the storm.” One of my mother’s favorite quotes, she knew the blues too, and introduced me to them at an early age. My dad would play nothing but the blues on a road trip, from L.A. to Nevada so if you wanted to listen to something else you’d better hide the B.B. King tape. The blues is the one form of secular music my dad would allow, and as omnipotent as they are I’m certain Jesus Christ must have known them too. For he sang them on calvary when he cried out, “My God, my god why hath thou forsaken me?” The blues is any human tragedy or painful situation that once suffered strengthens us and if it does’nt kill us gives us reason to look back, laugh about it, carry on, and continue living. The blues was the forbear for all genres of music. It was sister to the spiritual and reared in the same cotton fields where my ancestors labored without pay from sun up to sun down. It was a language spoken to the other slaves in code that the harvest was ripe for either insurrection or escape. “We gonna steal away, steal away, ’cause we ain’t got long to stay here.” If only I could have been an adult in those hot, dog days of summer, in the back woods of some smoke-filled juke joint dancing in cadence over the cedar wood floors, to the wails of the blues as she gave birth to jazz. In the era when, artist composed and sang by heart, they didn’t sample, or voice-over their work. I would love to have been alive then, in those days before synthesizers and amplifiers, when the best amp was the vocal cord and the primary instrument was the heart.


What I’d give to witness the lilting early voice of Billie Holliday, accompanied by the Prez, in the 1930’s or Muddy Waters, and Etta James. How exciting it must have been to have been present in 1944 when Norman Granz promoted his first concert at the Philharmonic Auditorium in Los Angeles. I would have been in my element, true daddies girl I am, bobbing my head and tapping my feet, just like in the days of those old chevy road trips to Vegas, to the tunes of Bessie Smith, Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, or Count Basie, but in person. The blues may be as old as misery, but they are as comical as slapstick. As my mom would say, “Child, you gotta laugh to keep from crying.” The blues are a comic reflection of our most intimate vulnerabilities, it is the joyous residual, rush of adrenaline which accompanies triumph over despair, as Lady Day sang it is our way of laughing at life. ~victori