Fearless Females – March 13: Moment of Strength – Debra D Griffin

March 13 – Moment of Strength: Share a story where a female ancestor showed courage or strength in a difficult situation.

My Aunt Debra Mitchell Griffin was a very courageous woman.  She fought for her life to survive the attack upon her body.  She was an awesome spirit and you could see hers through the pictures she would take.  She is missed dearly.  When I look at her photo and when I remember her, I envision strength.

 

“I am a Cancer survivor. There is a joy deep in my heart that sings triumphantly and no one can take it away.” ~Debra D. Griffin

Fearless Females Blog Post-March 3-Name and Naming Patterns

March 3 — Do you share a first name with one of your female ancestors? Perhaps you were named for your great-grandmother, or your name follows a particular naming pattern. If not, then list the most unique or unusual female first name you’ve come across in your family tree.

Now most people know me as Yvette Marie (Porter) Moore.  This was the name given to me by my parents when they adopted me.  When I turned 18 years old, I was curious about my birth family, so I contacted the adoption agency requesting non-identifying information.  When I received the papers in the mail, to my surprise, the worker wrote my birth “Given” name in the information.

I was named “Victoria.”  Later on when I did the research of my name through the birth index, I discovered that my name was Victoria Ann Espinoza-Mitchell.  I really liked my birth name, but not enough to change back as I have grown accustomed to who I am.

Because I thought my name was pretty and being sentimental and in a spiritual sense, I decided to name my second and last daughter after me.  She carries my name Victoria Ann Porter.

When I met my birth mother, I learned that my Great Grandmother was named Victoria Ann, and that it was a family tradition.

What a wonderful thing to be able to do…Share my name with my youngest.  What was taken, now is given.

Sympathy Saturday: Johnny Roy Mitchell, Sr.

     Your name, Johnny Roy Mitchell (my birth father) and the few items on this blog post is all I would have had of you, but somehow by the age of 21 you had three other children, my younger siblings whom I have gotten to know and love.  I have no memories of your existence, as the relinquishment papers were signed before I took my first breath.  I searched for you, and couldn’t find you.  You were a brick wall that finally came tumbling down when I found your sister Aunt Debra, may she rest in eternal peace.
     This was the first photo Aunt Debra gave to me of you….A splitting image of my youngest son, Michael.  When I saw this photo, I knew I was your child.
        
     
Johnny Roy Mitchell, Sr.
10 May 1951-14 Oct 1972

   I am not really sure why your life had to end so young, but the newspaper article about your death is what led me to you.  It was like you wanted to be found, and since then my world opened up and my family expanded.

Johnny Roy Mitchell
News Pilot, San Pedro, CA
Pg. A2

      I heard various stories of why you died.  We know it was an overdose, but it was a possible homicide.  The investigation did not go too far, and the decision was made that it was an accident.  We will never really know the truth.  Living the life you led sent you to an early death.  I grieve for you because you became a statistic at a time when it took a prayer and a blessing for  black males in the “ghetto” to make it to 21 without either dying, or living life in prison.  I just hope and pray that you have peace as you slumber into eternity.

Death Certificate Deferred

Final Death Certificate

 

Johnny Sr. and Mary Mitchell

      With the union of Johnny Roy Mitchell and Rosemary Lara (deceased) I was blessed with siblings that I would get to know (Herlinda, Johnny and David) and cherish.  (I had a different mother). I could not imagine my life without them.

David & Me
Our first photo together

Johnny Roy Mitchell, Jr

Herlinda Mitchell & Me

Thankful Thursday: Jesse Edgar Mitchell

     I am in an emotional, thoughtful state right now as I put together this post.  I am so very thankful that I was raised by two wonderful parents that adopted me.  I put great effort in tracing my parents families and telling their stories, but for some reason I have neglected my Birth (Biological) family’s history.

     It is not that I don’t want to know more, but I find it very difficult in finding the necessary information and then putting skin on the bones of the family of which I was born into.  It is like I am an insider without the given knowledge that is learned over time by regular interactions. An example would be: Being a newcomer and having to learn everyone’s names yet they only have to learn yours.  [My late Aunt Debra (who was the family historian) gave me pages upon pages of family tree information in the 90’s and overtime I lost it.  I had no idea at that time I would take this as my passion, and my purpose for my family].  

     What I am most thankful for, is that I have been blessed to have found my biological family. I have chosen for this post to present my Grandfather Jesse Edgar Mitchell.  He was my father’s (Johnny Roy Mitchell, Sr.’s) dad.

Rev. Jesse Edgar Mitchell, Pastor
22 June 1914-7 Apr 1984
Debra Mitchell Photo Collection

     Jesse was born in Arkansas, even though the family was from Mississippi.  Jesse’s mother (Revonia) was on business in Arkansas when she gave birth to Jesse. (Told to me by my sister Herlinda.)

     [Personal Story]  When I was looking for my birth father’s side of the family, I had hired a detective in finding the names of my parents and my grandparents.  Once I received my grandfather’s name in 1989, I began a search that kept running me into a brick wall.  I also searched for my grandmother, my father and his wife’s contact information, but to no avail, I had no luck.  I called Mississippi, Arkansas, Maryland, and even Los Angeles which was his last city to reside in (but there was no luck).  I would put my search down and pick it up over a period of five years until I was reunited with my dad’s family.  I soon discovered that all the people I had been searching for had died years before.

     My grandfather was a pastor of Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church in Los Angeles.  He built his church with his own hands and skills.  My sister Herlinda Mitchell recently visited our home church, and there were a few old-time members that remembered our grandfather.

Pastor Jesse E. Mitchell
Building Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church
Debra Mitchell Photo Collection
(on the left)

     My grandfather Jesse and my Grandmother Frances Mae (Paulette) Mitchell had ten (10) children together.   Frances was born 17 July 1917 in Mississippi and passed July 29, 1981 in Wilmington, CA.

Jesse & Frances Mae Mitchell
Mitchell Family Photo Collection

     The first documents that I have searched for regarding Jesse Mitchell is to look up his death index information.  I will be requesting a Death Certificate and his Social Security Application to see what other information might be within these documents, that I might not already know.

This is what I found on Ancestry:

     On the SS Death Index, it tells me that Jesse did at one time reside in Mississippi and that matched up with what my sister told me from an earlier conversation and he was issued a SS# in Mississippi.  His last residence was in Wilmington, Los Angeles, CA.

     The California Death Index gave the Birthplace of Jesse in Arkansas, just like was reported to me and his mother’s maiden name was (Hollinworth).  The spelling of Jesse’s mother (Revonia) maiden name is mis-spelled and should be (Hollinsworth).  According to my sister, Herlinda, she has seen the name spelled both ways.

     When I look at the date my grandfather passed I think, “Wow! He died the day before my birthday.”  I wonder did he ever think of me?  Did he pray for me for all times, because, I knew he knew of my existence. (My Aunt Debra shared with me that My Grandfather saw me at the hospital when I was born. She said they wanted to raise me, but since my father was not married to my mother, he had no legal rights as to my well-being).

     Thank you for following me in my research process of discovering my Mitchell (Paternal) side of the family.  It is a journey that started out as finding out my birth name “Victoria Ann Mitchell and has led me to this current place.  I am most thankful that I have the opportunity to discover more about my family.

Copyright
The material, both written and photographic on these pages is the copyright of Yvette Porter Moore unless stated. Material on this site may be used for personal reference only. If you wish to use any of the material on this site for other means, please seek the written permission of Yvette Porter Moore
© 2010-2011

Tombstone Tuesday: Dorothy Lee Bradley

Aunt Dorothy Lee [Mitchell] Bradley was my [birth] father’s, Johnny Roy Mitchell, Sr sister.

Dorothy was a sibling of 10 children, born to Jesse E. Mitchell and Frances May Paulette.  She was born in Mississippi, but raised in Los Angeles, California.  Dorothy was married to Judge C. Bradley, and they added 8 children to their union. Dorothy was a very attractive woman. She succumbed to breast cancer after a long battle.

[courtesy of Lisa Bradley]
Dorothy Lee Bradley
[Photos courtesy of Lisa Bradley]

Copyright

The material, both written and photographic on these pages is the copyright of Yvette Porter Moore unless stated. Material on this site may be used for personal reference only. If you wish to use any of the material on this site for other means, please seek the written permission of Yvette Porter Moore
© 2010-2011