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

Nathaniel Hawthorne Keitt

Posted by TonyaKeittKalule

Nathaniel Hawthorne Keitt
Nathaniel Hawthorne Keitt was my paternal grandfather.  My grandmother Irene Sapp Keitt was in fact his second wife.  I discovered that he had been married before when I started my family research at the Historical Society.  His first wife's name was Rebecca, but she passed before he married his second wife Irene.

I was told that his parents were Viola and Willie Keitt, but nobody seems to know what happened to them.  Nathaniel and his brother Romeo were living with Elizabeth and Joshua Keitt in 1910 in Bowman, SC per the census records.  These records also indicated that Joshua and Elizabeth were their grandparents. At this time Nathaniel was only 5 years old and his brother Romeo was 10.

It recently came to my attention that Joshua and Elizabeth never had a child named Willie Keitt, therefore they could not be the grandparents of Nathaniel and Romeo Keitt.

What happened to Willie and Viola Keitt?  Did Viola die in childbirth or shortly thereafter?  Did Willie move on to find work, leaving his two small boys with relatives?  Are there other children that were perhaps sent to live with other relatives?  Why did they live with Joshua and Elizabeth when they already had 8 kids of their own to raise?  These are the questions and many more that I need answers to.

My dad and uncle often said that their father Nathaniel never talked much about his family, but it is a possibility that he didn't know much, if anything about his parents.
I know that he moved to Savannah and lived with his supposed Aunt Aida and Lottie on 38th Street but I also discovered that Joshua and Elizabeth moved to Savannah by 1920 and they all lived at 1013 East 38th Street.

 So the family moved to Georgia from South Carolina between 1910 and 1920, but it could have possibly been the year before.  It has been said that Nathaniel was around 15 when he moved to Savannah.
He later took up the shoemaker trade, and it is on record that he has been a shoemaker from the age of 19 , which at this time he again resided on 38th street but at 1015 East 38th.

In 1928 he both worked and resided at 906 East Waters, this is where he had his shoe repair shop.  The following year he married a girl from Georgia by the name of Rebecca and they both resided at the East Waters address.
In June of 1932 Nathaniel married Irene Sapp, my grandmother.  It is indicated on the application for the marriage license that his first wife Rebecca as well as his parents were deceased. Again when did they pass.

The question for me is when did his parents die?  Did his mom die in childbirth and his father die later, or did they die together?  We do know now that they were deceased by 1932 when he married Irene.
I am going to have to research this more on the ground and possibly in Bowman, Sc.


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