My Family Affair

Keitt|Sapp|Shumake|McRae|McMillian|Clark|Ryal - All from Georgia

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“Over the course of the millennia, all these ancestors in your tree, generation upon generation, have come down to this moment in time—to give birth to you. There has never been, nor will ever be, another like you. You have been given a tremendous responsibility. You carry the hopes and dreams of all those who have gone before. Hopes and dreams for a better world. What will you do with your time on this Earth? How will you contribute to the ongoing story of humankind?” ~ Laurence Overmire

The Addiction

Posted by TonyaKeittKalule

I have been spending a great deal of time for the past few weeks in researching my family's genealogy. This is an extremely time consuming task and extremely addictive. Almost everyday I find something new or learn something new and that is what keeps me looking for more. The hardest thing is that we all have four sides to our family, our paternal grandparents and our maternal grandparents. It is difficult to work on all four at the same time, but you end up doing that because you feel like you are neglecting a part of you when you don't, well that is how I feel. My paternal grandfather and his family is who we know the least about. His name was Nathanial Hawthorne Keitt, Sr. and he was born in 1905 in Bowman County, Orangeburg, South Carolina. I was told that his parents were Willie and Viola Keitt, but he was raised by his grandparents. I knew that he had one brother named Romeo Keitt. No one seems to know what happened to Romeo, and my father said that his father, Nathaniel, never talked about his family. With little leads to work from I have neglected to concentrate on this leg of my family tree, even though there are a great deal of Keitts still in Orangeburg as well as many other parts of the country. So I decided to work on this tract a little bit to see what I come up with.
In 1998, I went to the historical society in Savannah, Ga. and looked in the 1930 City Directory, knowing that my grandparents were married in 1932. To my surprise, I discovered that Nathaniel was married to a woman named Rebecca. I came running home with this new information and not a soul knew what I was talking about. Now we are all wondering what happened to this Rebecca. My grandmother Irene, was in early stages of Alzheimers and didn't remenber much at all, and appeared not to know much about her husband being married before. So that was a dead end for me.
After my grandmother's continuous decline I was able to retrieve a great deal of her paperwork, and found their Marriage Certificate, still not knowing what happened to Rebecca. It was not until five or six years later when I found a peice of paper attached to the original marriage certificate where Nathaniel indicated that he was previously married to Rebecca and she was deceased. So now my question was answered.
Recently in the 1930 census, I discovered Nathaniel, age 25 and his wife Rebecca was 18, and there were no children listed. So I guess that answers the question of whether they had any children or not. So she apparently died between 1930 and 1932, when he married Irene Sapp. I wonder if she was really ill or possibly died in child birth. I have not found her name in the Social Security Death Index, possibly she didn't have a social security number at that time, because Nathaniel didn't get his social security number until 1951-52. So what I do know is that she was from Orangeburg, South Carolina but in 1930 she lived in Savannah, Ga.
The other wonderful thing I found in the 1910 census was the grandparents of Nathaniel and Romeo Keitt. Their names are Joshua and Elizabeth Keitt, and it listed their children that were still in the home. His parents were not listed, so where did they go, what happened to them. I was able to locate a Viola Keitt, that is from the same area, but died in Queens, New York, so I will investigate that further.
These people lives and their stories are just waiting to be told and I intend to one day tell this story. I have two family trees on, Ryals-Keitt and Sapp-Keitt. So I will keep you posted on my findings with my family and my faacination with this project. I am trying not to let this consume my life, but it is pretty close.
Until later

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Lydia said...

I can certainly relate to your addiction, though regrettably I somehow managed to overcome mine a couple of years ago....too many dead ends perhaps?

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