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.
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