It’s Been Awhile

Today is Friday and I am on my way to Los Angeles to spend some time with my sister Herlinda. It has been awhile since I have written. Don’t count me out, cause I miss you as much as you miss me.

2015 is a year of completion for me, so I have been making plans on how I can make it happen. This year is also a year of transitioning as I know that in 2016, there will be a lot of new things on the horizon.

Today, I am hoping to visit a cemetery or two to take some photos of some headstones of my ancestors. I have many that are buried throughout Los Angeles, so it is difficult for me to know exactly where. I have a list, but today, I think I will visit my Aunt Ada Bunn. I believe she is my great-grandfather’s sister. She would be the youngest of the siblings. I am grateful that I had the opportunity to know her. She always had a smile on her face. That is what I knew of her the most.

So, as I journey to Los Angeles, I will be checking in with a report. I am only less than two hours away…so it is not a long journey, however, the genealogical journey could take me anywhere.

So, I will see you soon. Hope you have a great day.

~Root Digger

Making It Happen!

YvetteThe Last time I wrote in my journal, I shared some of my short term goals. You can go to “I Am Back!!! to see that post .I am finding it difficult to blog most days, but I am going to attempt to do so at least weekly as I think it would be cool to see my progress and journey through reaching my goals.

As stated in my prior post, I applied for University of San Diego’s Paralegal program. I was accepted and I started on September 9, 2014.  I am enrolled in the accelerated program which will end on December 18, 2014.  In four months I will have completed 23 units.  The classes in the  program are: Intro to Law, Criminal Law, Civil Law, Research & Writing, Real Estate Law, and Family Law.  On top of those courses, I am required to take an internship class and intern in a legal office, court, etc.  I applied for a special internship with the Superior Court of San Diego.  I was accepted and will be working in the probate department.  The program will require me to intern for 75 hours.  This case load is very vigorous, and I am praying that I will do well enough to earn my Certificate.

So now that I have been in the program for two weeks, I am finding that I don’t have much time for anything else.  I have been going from class to studying in the Law Library to going home and studying more, while trying to get at least four to six hours of sleep.  I am realizing that sleep has to be a part of the schedule so I don’t burn out…and of course, I got to eat light meals so I don’t doze off in class.  Ha Ha, I could barely keep my eyes open the other day, and my professor saw, but told me not to worry about it because half the class was falling asleep…LOL  I still have to care for my 84 year old Uncle.  My grown children have been very helpful in picking up the slack when I am at school.  I have not found the time to work on the projects I have with my publishing company, however, I am preparing to do so when I find a few spare moments.

I did start my BlogtalkRadio program on August 25, 2014.  My program is on Mondays at 6 pm Pacific Time.  To check out my station “Talk With The Root Digger” click on name. My next program will be with Ty El-Gray of the well known poem, “A Black Woman’s Smile.” Ty is the National Spokesperson for Spokenword Billboard Awards. I hope that you will join me on this program and call in to ask questions of our guest.

What about the time I am taking for my genealogy research?  Well, I do plan on spending at least 2-5 hours a week to research and write about my journey.  I have just started researching my New Mexico ancestry.  I recently found information on my Chavez, Sanchez and Baca surnames.  I had my DNA from 23andme transferred to FamilyTreeDNA, and many of the surnames of my Mexican/Native American ancestors were confirmed by others that I matched up with.  The locales were also confirmed even though I had prior information from looking at census records.  I am very interested in my DNA and am seeing that my Espinoza ancestry is a possible distinct line to Jewish ancestry that also was revealed in my DNA reports.  I am going to try to be more thoughtful as I do this research as I am seeing that historical research of the history of the locations my ancestors lived is necessary for me to understand these determinations.

So of course, I am so happy that I still have a following.  Please don’t give up on me.  I will be more consistent, and I really appreciate your support.

I thought I was finished with this post, but wanted to share why I am back in school.  I did not want to find myself in a unsatisfactory position.  I have been very fortunate to be able to stay home and take care of my Uncle while working on the things that I enjoy.  It is very scary to think that if he were to die, as he is going to be 85 years in November, that I would be in a very serious situation.  I have never provided for myself with some type of safety net.  It is just the way its been.  However, as I am in my 40’s, I am in a situation as if I were leaving my parent’s home for the first time.  My main goal is to be self-sufficient and not having to depend on others for my needs.  

So there you have it in a nutshell.  Please leave comments, I would love to hear from you.

I Am Back!

Ralph Ellison Statute in Harlem, NY

Ralph Ellison “Invisible Man” Statute in Harlem, NY

It has been awhile since I have posted anything to my blog.  It isn’t as though I had nothing to say, because I really do, I just have had a lot going on.  I have been re-evaluating my life and working on the steps of getting  where I need to be.  Of course, the saying goes, “You are exactly where you need to be.” However, I feel that some changes in my life need to occur so that I will be in a much better place further down the line. So to start off this post, I want to thank Jana Last of Jana’s Genealogy and Family History Blog for recognising me today in her Follow Friday ~ Fab Finds post.  It reinforced that it is time for me to get back at it.  There is no reason why my life has to be perfect before I share my genealogy stories, my trials, my triumphs and my experiences in life and in my search for who I am and who my ancestors are.  Thank You again Jana for the recognition!

 Just a quick overview of what has been going on with me.  I have been spending lot’s of time with my grandson Josiah, as  I have been helping out with his child care so his mother can go to work.  I recently let her know that I need to begin focusing on my genealogy and employment goals, and that she would need to find full-time childcare outside of me.  This is going to free up my time.  I will miss having my sweetheart daily, but that just means I have to have planned time with him. I attended the Midwestern African American Genealogy Institute (MAAGI) in St. Louis, MO, on July 8-July 10, 2014.  This was their second year in operation and my second time attending.  I attended Track #1 of four tracks.  The classes were intense!  I was one of the students that received a scholarship to attend and without it, I would have remained in San Diego.  I will share more about this awesome program in a follow-up post.

Right after MAAGI, I got on a plane to Harlem, New York to attend the Harlem Book Fair 2014.  This had been my fourth time in New York, and every time I go,  I have a blast!  I can never get enough of Manhattan!  It had been a dream of mine, like one of the things on my bucket list to attend the Harlem Book Fair, so to have this opportunity was a dream for me. I went to support my Sister-Friend Katandra Jackson of FreedomInk Publishing.  I will be doing a separate post on our adventures of New York.  We tried to cram a week into a few days, and I think we did very well. So now to some of the things that I have been taking action on.

Here is a short list, however, it has required me to write lists and make action plans that I am ready to implement.

    • I have been developing Footprint Expressions Publishing Company.  It is my desire to publish Memoirs, Family Genealogies, Biographies, Autobiographies and Historical genre.  I am currently looking for authors that would be interested in publishing with my company.
    • I have a radio program coming to Blog Talk Radio this August 25th.  More information will be announced soon.  The name of the station is Footprint Expressions  w/ The Root Digger.  We will be introducing subjects pertaining to History, Cultures, Genealogy, Storytelling and More.  I hope that you will join us for these live conversations and/or catch our recorded programs.
    •  Paralegal Program: I have applied for USD’s Paralegal Certificate program.  I had been rethinking my career goals and decided that I wanted to be a Forensic Genealogist.  Looking at some of the requirements, I discovered that it was highly recommended to have a paralegal background…So, I have applied and should have receive acceptance in a week.  I have decided on the fast pace full-time Day program.  I will begin in September and finish in December 2014.  This is going to be intense, but I am so very serious about my life direction.
    • I am still working on my Board of Genealogy Certification.  I will incorporate this in my studies this fall when I am in the law library on campus.  My days will be from 8am to 6pm at school and some night studying.  I believe it will all be worth it.
    • There are other things in the pipeline such as developing the Walter & Betty Porter Educational Foundation and writing for Indian Voices.

I realize that I have full plate, however, with this new drum I will be beating, I  feel that my life is going in the right direction.  How will I handle it all?  With lots of prayer and positive thinking. I appreciate all who are following me and reading my blog posts.  With you it makes my writing more pleasurable.

What Did Georgia Anne Peters Look Like? – Ancestor #1 Update


1924 Annual WV State University

 In my last post A Name Remembered-Georgia Anne Peters-52 Ancestors #1, I mentioned that I would contact one of the schools that she either attended or  taught at.  So I decided to contact West Virginia State University which was established in 1891 as the West Virginia Colored Institute, under the second Morrill Act, that provided land grants institutions for black students.

I contacted the Historically black university that is now diversified and spoke to Janice Young who works in the archives of the university.  She was most helpful with my request.  She took my information and let me know she would email me if she came across anything that would identify my Great Aunt Georgia Peters. About a week later, I received the photo to the left.

The photo is of the P.O.N Club at the University.  It was taken from the 1924 school Annual.  Ms. Young stated that she did not know which one was Georgia.  I am not sure which one.  It could be a few of them.  I am still hoping that I will get more answers as to which one is her.  I will continue to pursue a photo as there are other places that she attended and taught.

Here is a closer up photo.  


Georgia A Peters, [Possibly far Left upper row], West Virginia State University,1924 Annual

Here are a few photos that I used to attempt to identify Georgia in the photo above. One is of my mother Betty Mae Peters and the other is of Charles I Peters, Georgia’s brother [My grandfather]. Which one do you think is Georgia?

Charles Irving Peters

Charles Irving Peters 1918 Army 1897-1980

Betty Mae Peters 17 years old George Washington H.S.

Betty Mae Peters
17 years old
George Washington H.S. 1926-2004

A Name Remembered-Georgia Anne Peters-52 Ancestors #1

I have finally decided to take the 52 Ancestors Challenge where no story is too small.  This challenge was originated by Amy Johnson Crow over at ‘No Story Too Small.’  It is not too late to begin, however, I will probably do two to three posts a week to catch up.

Georgia Anne Peters

Georgia Anne Peters is my maternal great-aunt.  I remember my mother talking about her when I was growing up.  I am not sure if I ever saw a picture of her, because I know I would have remembered it. After my grandfather Charles I. Peters died, Aunt Georgia contacted my mother to let her know that there was some Sterling Silverware and a house that  my mother inherited. My mother told me that she had not seen her aunt in years, but stated that she was very pretty and well-educated.  I had warm feelings towards Aunt Georgia as  my mother always spoke kindly of her.

Georgia was born on November 24, 1899 to Betty Mae Wilson Peters and George W. Peters in Henry County, Martinsville, Virginia.  Georgia was named after her father and was the youngest of six children of which two died before she was born.  Georgia’s father had died according to the 1900 Census, leaving her mother a widow to raise four children by herself. According to the 1910 and 1920 U.S. Census, Georgia resided in Sistersville, Tyler, West Virginia with her mother and siblings.

I had believed that Georgia never married as she always went by her maiden name.  However, on November 17, 1925, Aunt Georgia married an Abraham Mitchell in Huntington, Cabell, West Virginia.  By 1930, Georgia had already been divorced.  I get the sense that she was a very independent woman and decided to stay single for the rest of her life. I had known for years that Georgia was a WAAC, served in the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps in March 24, 1943 and had been an educator, according to the 1930 U.S. Census.

Aunt Georgia peaked my interest, and I wanted to know more.  I know that the Ancestors guided me to start searching in old newspapers online. I was extremely excited to find a couple of articles on Georgia.  The one I have chosen to share gave a fuller picture of who she was. []

The New York Age New York, New York 19 June 1943 Page 4

The New York Age
New York, New York
19 June 1943
Page 4


It became clear to me that Aunt Georgia had mentored my mom.  There were many similarities in the paths they took.  My mother had been a girl scout for many years, she was a member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority and she was an educator.  My mother majored in English and Journalism at NYU.

Georgia Peters had some affiliation with the Episcopal Diocese of New York as the St. Phillips Parish House was under the direction of the Diocese.  I took note of this because when my mother moved to Los Angeles in 1953, she had the Director of the Episcopal Diocese of New York to write her a letter of recommendation for a position as a social worker.  I am beginning to believe that it is possible that Aunt Georgia had been the one to help my mother to get a job at the Diocese of New York as the Administrative Assistant.

I found Aunt Georgia to be a woman ahead of her time as she was a Negro woman, and very well-educated in the late 1920’s and 1930’s during a time of racism.  Georgia Peters died on June 18, 1985 in Silver Spring, Montgomery, Maryland. Aunt Georgia did not have any children, however, I hope that one of the descendants of her siblings recognize her name and description and contact me.

My next steps are to contact the Universities she worked for and attended in hopes of locating photos of her.

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