Family Affair

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

“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

Lots of Keitts. No Known Connection

Posted by Tonya Keitt Kalule

Nathaniel Hawthorne Keitt

I know very little about my father's side of the family and have very little to go on. There are many Keitts from the Orangeburg, SC area but nobody I talk to can make any connection.  Hopefully I will be able to get to the area in December to try to see if I can find some information on my grandfather's parents, Willie and Viola Keitt.  My grandfather Nathaniel Hawthorne Keitt was in the house with his brother Rome Keitt, who is five years his senior, and his grandparents and cousins beginning in the 1910 census.  I can't find any record of his parents at all.  I don't know if they were a victim of Jim Crow, if they moved to another place, or if thery were in an acciden, or what happened to them.  I do know that they never came back for their two boys,  and Nathaniel and Romeo were raised by their grandparents, Joshua and Elizabeth Keitt in Bowman County in Orangeburg, South Carolina.

While researching, I come across quite a few Viola Keitt and Willie Keitt in census data, but not together.  This has hindered my research on this part of my family quite a bit.  I have talked to many other descendants of Joshua and Elizabeth, and they don't seem to know a thing, and I was told that one of them is practicing the Silence, that I spoke of before.

Willie and Viola were probably born in the 1880s as their oldest known son Romeo, was born 1900 and my grandfather was born 1905.

Unfortunately the newer generation of Keitts doesn't seem to know a great deal of their family history, an unfortunate tradition.  I would like to get the Keitts to asking questions about their ancestors and maybe with each of these small pieces we will be able to get the story of where this family originated, who they are, and how we came to be here.

I was always told that the earlier ancestors may not have been enslaved here in the United States, but they were from Haitti, where they were probably brought from Africa on one of those slave ships.  So this line of anestors may take a very different turn than expected.

Ok family, if you have any questions or anything to contribute please leave your comments here, or email me through the contact info on this site.   If you want to look at the Keitt tree that I have compiled on, I need for you to contact me so that I can invite you to that site.
Looking forward to feed back on this.


Kyanna Kitt said...

Hello Tonya,

I found your blog while searching for my Kiett ancestors on ancestry. I think you're right about a lot of us not knowing our family history. I know that my grandfather (C. Kiett) doesn't know much about the family because he never really got to know his father. He was a child when he left or died.

I know one of the reasons why the family is so tough to find is because there are so many variants of the last name Keitt. For example: Kitt, Keith, Keit, Kiett and Kit to name a few. I know that my line is from Orangeburg, South Carolina. It's weird because going back into slave times I lose track of my Kiett side but find information on people they married etc.

I think the Haiti thing is interesting. I find that when I do come across Kietts that are related (which I have through research) I don't even really get back into slave days. This line is very hard to trace and it's frustrating. I just want to find answers for my grandfather.

K. K.

Tonya Keitt Kalule said...

My Keitts are also from Orangeburg, specifically Bowman. I wish you luck in finding answers. I find this line hard to trace as well.

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