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

His name is Phillip Keitt

Posted by Tonya Keitt Kalule


For many years I was told  Willie and Viola Keitt were the parents of my grandfather, Nathaniel Keitt and his older brother Romeo.  I never knew if they were married or not, but I just assumed that they were.  On the back of Nathaniel and Irene's marriage license to my grandmother, he states his parents names as Willie and Viola, no last names were given, and he also states that they were deceased.(1932)

Nathaniel Hawthorne Keitt

 I was able to find the death certificate of his brother Romeo and it states that his parents names are Phillip Keitt and Viola Coulter, this death certificate was authenticated by his cousin Jeanette Hall in Philadelphia.  Now this still doesn't tell me if they are married or not, because it asks for the mother's maiden name on the death certificate.

After searching,I was able to find Nathaniel in the 1910 census with his grandparents Joshua and Elizabeth Keitt, several cousins and his brother Romeo. In this census he(b.1905) was five years old and his brother Romeo(b.1900) was ten. So my guess is that whatever happened to his parents must have happened between 1905 and 1910.

I had a hard time finding the same family in the 1900 census, so I decided to try to locate the area where they lived in the 1910 census since it stated that it was a farm and they owned the farm, it indicated that they may have owned the land for quite some time. At that time they lived in Bowman, Orangeburg, South Carolina, but I could not even locate Bowman in the 1900 census.  Now I am really confused, so I look for a map of Orangeburg and discovered exactly where Bowman was located.  Then I started to look through the 1900 census and they listed the areas as Middle Orangeburg, and after viewing the map, Bowman was located right in the middle of Orangeburg County, so I decided to look through this area page by page.

I did find the family, but what made them hard to find is that the transcriber spelled the name wrong.  It was indexed as Reitt instead of Keitt.  When I looked through the census record, I found that Joshua and Elizabeth had an 18 year old son named Phillip.  BINGO! There is the father of Romeo and Nathaniel.


The other thing that is noticed here is that Phillip is 18 years old and listed as single.  This census was taken on 11 June 1900 and Phillips son Romeo was born 5 May 1900. So he was not married to Viola when his first son was born,

It is great to finally find that connection to my great-grandfather, but there are still many more questions.

What happened to Phillip? What happened to the mother Viola Coulter, who had two children with Phillip 5 years apart?

I will find out more about these two, Phillip and Viola, so stay tuned for updates.


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