First Day of Spring 2015

Celebrating my birthday April 2014 at the Ports O Call Waterfront Restaurant in  San Pedro, CA

Celebrating my birthday with family on April 2014 at the Ports O Call Waterfront Restaurant in San Pedro, CA             [Herlinda Mitchell, Brian Edwards, me & Brittnee Edwards]

Like any other day, tomorrow signifies a new beginning, and a new season. I love Spring as many people love New Years Day. During this time, I always begin to reflect on where I have been and where I am going. I celebrate my birthday in April, so this is also a New Year for me.

I tend to feel refreshed even though I struggle with the “spring forward” of day lights savings time. We lose an hour, and really, frankly, I need that hour back! What sense does it make as we all try to recover from this loss of time?

So here I am, at my desk, preparing for my long day of reading. I will be attending the Forensic Genealogy Institute in Dallas on March 25-28, 2015, and there are lots to do before we sit in a classroom all day and get into the nuts & bolts of having a genealogy business, which covers Client Interview Skills, Contract Drafting, Source Citations, Reports, Affidavits, Exhibits, Complex International Cases, Documents & Deeds, Expert Witness Preparation and at the end a Mock Trial which includes Q & A.

Some of the materials that we are required to read are items that I did not have to purchase because it was a part of the curriculum of the  Boston University Genealogy Research Certificate Program. The well known resources are Evidence Explained & Professional Genealogy by Elisabeth Shown Mills. Along with that, we are to read an article regarding Qualifying the Expert Witness: A Practical Voir Dire, by Gil I Sapir, JD, MSc.

I have taken various courses over the last five years, however the difference now compared to then is that I feel more prepared and ready to take my skills to another level.

I am also planning on attending the Midwestern African American Genealogy Institute (MAAGI) for my third year. I always learn something new, and it helps me to develop my skills.

The reason for all the workshops, classes, and institutes, is that I am honing in on my niche. I completed my Paralegal Certificate Program from University of San Diego in December 2014. It is my intention to be hired by a probate attorney who focuses on estate planning. I have received a few inquires and once I get back from Dallas, I will be moving towards that end of employment, and building my genealogy business.

Lately, I have been overwhelmed by all the posts on facebook and all the other social media pages that have tons upon tons of genealogical information. I really cannot keep up with it all.  It is like information overload.

One must really stay connected via social media as this is where you learn the latest of whats happening within the genealogical community and foster some great friendships. So in order for me to not feel so overwhelmed, I will have to systematically decide what blogs, articles, and pages to read and set a time in my day to do so.

I want to hear from you my friends of the genealogical community….What are you doing in this field, and what do you do so that you do not feel overwhelmed? Please comment and I promise I will respond.

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.

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

Peters1924-1

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.  

gpeters1924

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. [Newspapers.com]

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.