Fearless Females Blog Post-March 8: Diaries, Letters & Journals

Once again, in honor of National Women’s History Month, Lisa Alzo of The Accidental Genealogist blog presents Fearless Females: 31 Blogging Prompts to Celebrate Women’s History Month.

I have decided to participate in the Prompts:  So here we go!

March 8 — Did one of your female ancestors leave a diary, journal, or collection of letters? Share an entry or excerpt.

Here is a small insert of the memoirs of my mother Betty Mae Peters that will be published in January 1, 2013 by FreedomInk Publishing.  The setting takes place in the 1940’s in New York City.

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Betty Mae Peters Porter with her mother Agnes Mae Cully Peters

Many “black” people, in order to obtain employment, passed for white, “Spanish”, or anything but “colored.”  This was quite common and quite accepted in the black community, as using whatever one could to “make-it” in a basically hostile society.  Blacks also liked the idea of “fooling” paddies (a word for whites).  The darkest black would smile a knowing we-smile upon encountering a friend or acquaintance “passing” on a job, and, far from giving-away the imposter, would instead return to the black community and laughingly report how so-and-so was fooling those “dumb paddies.”  However, in my naivete, I was amazed to learn that whites went through the same kinds of fabrications for the exact same reasons.

If you like this, wait till you read the book “A Taste of Sugar”…

Copyright protected by Estate of Betty Mae Porter-1973-2012

Fearless Females Blog Post-March 7: Favorite Recipe

Everyday this month, I will do a post on a female ancestor.  Thank you to the Accidental Genealogist for the Post Prompt.

March 7 — Share a favorite recipe from your mother or grandmother’s kitchen. Why is this dish your favorite? If you don’t have one that’s been passed down, describe a favorite holiday or other meal you shared with your family.

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Betty Mae Porter at home being Bartender. About 1972

I really can’t think of any recipes off hand that my mother would use.  She was one of those mother’s that would not measure anything, and would just cook.  Of course she had many recipe books in the home, so I am not sure how much she relied on recipes.

I can tell you one thing for sure, she cooked every night for dinner while I was growing up.  It would be a very rare occasion if she bought anything like fast food.

My mother was an excellent cook!  She always cooked with lots of garlic and onions.  Garlic was on and in everything.

I think my mother improvised quite a bit in the kitchen.  The one thing I miss about her cooking was her soup.  Her soups never tasted the same as the last one she made.  It was always a different variety.  My uncle and dad would call her “Soup Girl.”

She would love to send soup to her friends in the neighborhood, and she would send it home to me and my children.  They loved their Grandma’s soups!

Fearless Females Blog Post-March 5-How They Met

I am participating in the Fearless Female Blog Posts for Women’s History Month, where we post about the females in our family.  The questions

March 5 — How did they meet? You’ve documented marriages, now, go back a bit. Do you know the story of how your parents met? Your grandparents?

Yvonne Greene (Godmother), Agnes Cully Peters (Grandmother), Betty Mae Peters Porter, Walter J. Porter, Helen Bunn Thompson (Grandmother)

My parents Betty and Walter Porter met through mutual friends.  I don’t know the complete detail of their introduction to one another, but I remember my mother telling me that he was a gentleman.  She stated that she could have chosen anyone, but there was something special about my father.  She called him a social genius and was full of potential.  All I know is those two together would really make you bust a gut. They were so fun together.  My father would have a joke and my mother would be right there with him, and laying one on the line.

The group of  friends my parents met through remained forever friends for over sixty years.  Some have passed on and some are still living and residing in different parts of the United States.

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.