Then and Now: Seven Generations

Some of my posts leave me feeling a bit overwhelmed emotionally. When that happens, my plan to eliminate stress for the following week is usually to share a poem or something less emotional. This week I decided to share photos which I thought would be an easy task, but found myself just as stressed yesterday using the technology to position them in chronological order and add caption. I did my best. I’ve been fortunate enough to reach back obtaining seven generations of stories and photos. I find that visual aids tend to compliment the writng. From my Great Great grandparents Lydia & Derry who gave birth to my Big Momma, then my grandad (Eighty-Six) and so on down to my two grandson’s. The oldest will be twelve this week and the other is three. I was surprised when I learned that many of the older generations never ventured from the town of Wilmar and died on the same land they were born on. Unless it was for items like sugar or things they couldn’t grow or get from the land it wasn’t necessary to go anywhere else. The population of Wilmar, Arkansas was a little over 500 back then and prodominantly black, now just about 700 or so. The very last photo I found in Big Momma’s things when she passed along with the photo of her husband (on the horse) who passed before I met him. He is featured in the photo at school on the left side, note that many of those young boys are barefoot. Dirrectly above that is a class picture of my aunt in 1st grade. I treasure these photos and am blessed to be able to share them!

Published by 5thgenerationgirl

Tammy Wynette is a mother of three and a “G-MA” (grandma). Born in Warren, Arkansas, she currently resides in Sacramento, CA and is pursuing an AA degree in English at American River College, with plans to transfer to California State University, Sacramento (Sac State). She is an active leader and role model in her community, she works with teens sharing and teaching poetry, as well as providing insight for young parents to prosper. She has certificate from NAMI (The National Alliance on Mental Illness) and is a trailblazer & Griot, keeper of stories/traditions passed down from her ancestors. As an Author and motivational speaker it’d be an honor to present at your events to inspire, encourage & let our VOICES be heard! She has short stories and poems published in Our Black Mothers Brave, Bold and Beautiful!

60 thoughts on “Then and Now: Seven Generations

  1. So nice you not only have photos but are able to identify who is in them or have someone to help you identify them. I have a box of stuff that I found in my Mom’s house after she died, stuff SHE’D found in my Grandmother’s house and didn’t know what to do with them. Now I have all those unidentified photos, and so much paraphernalia of my grandmothers that I don’t know what to do with so I’ll probably toss them.

    I hear you about the stress of posting stuff on WP. Each time they “improve” stuff, it gets harder and harder for me to post and it takes me much longer. The same is true of FB. I had a business page on FB and finally just unpublished it the other day because it took me 20 min to figure out how to just simply post something as it has gotten so complicated.

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      1. Thank you. Someday I will research my Mom’s dad more. The story goes that he came over from Russia as a Jewish orphan. Later he became a wealthy politician in Chicago. They lived there until he got TB and moved mom and grandmother to Tucson. I’ve since found the house. However, after Mom died , I found his birth certificate and it says he was born in LA?! Fake one he bought? IDK.

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      2. Wow, I love these stories. I met my dad once when I was about 20. I have 2 sister’s out there somewhere, but no one is left for me to find out. Good luck with your search, please keep me posted.

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  2. Tammy, these are some amazing photos and yes ma’am you are truly blessed to find some to add to your storyline. I hope you’ve made or are in the process of making a “Tree of Life” genealogy book. I finished one for my mother’s side and although it was a three year process, I am so glad I finished it. My mother began collecting information back in the 80’s, but I never really thought about it that much, until I sat down with her in ’92 to inquire about our family tree. She gave me some valuable bread crumbs to follow. 🍞

    So girlfriend, although it is labor intensive, do it. When I sent the final product to my cousins and siblings in January, I’m so glad I did because my sister was able to go through it before she passed away. Even if you can get as far as you can go, especially if you have any older relatives who you can interview, do it girlfriend, and someone else can continue researching, even if it’s your children, or nieces and nephews. I marvel at the things you share with us and I think that’s a beautiful thing Tammy. Stories, no matter how great or small, good or bad, they share a history that’s unique to us and to learn from. I applaud you sticking to your mission! 👏🏼🙏🏼💖

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    1. Unfortunately my daughter & I are the only two who find this fascinating. The men in the family could care less. Yes, I began collecting info in my 20’s & was fortunate enough to talk w/ and interview many while they were here. The main reason I was so determined during homelessness to not loose my storage. People assumed it was because of my material possessions, but no. It was my writings, journals & everything I worked on tracing my family history. Thanks my dear.

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      1. I am so happy to hear that Tammy. I am proud of you girlfriend. 👏🏼 I understand how it is when finding out or discovering something that is so exciting, you will have a limited audience who share in your excitement or the amount of work you’ve done to uncover so much family history. I truly understand. Be excited anyway. 🤩

        I’m not surprised that your daughter has taken a liking to uncovering more of your family tree. (typical Cancerian, LOL) I’m glad you two are working together on this project. It’s quite a humbling experience, especially when you learn about the family dynamic (good and scandalous) that shapes who you are today. All the best sista’ on your journey. 🚢🚗🏍💖 Keep exploring! 🧐

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      2. Thanks. During my daughter’s visit w/ my mom recently she rummaged through her things , like she always has as a child and found pics of me as a teen, that my original birth certificate says “colored” and things I’d lost before due to a fire. Thankfully it was a habit to send my mom copies of everything. Main reason I’ve been able to hold on to these gifts all these years. P.S. I love how that sounds “sista”♥️

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      3. Awww, girl I know exactly what you mean. My birth certificate said the same thing of me and my parents. But there was so much information on my birth certificate that they don’t include on the updated ones these days. That’s kind of sad because I knew our street address and what both of my parents profession was when I was born. Old documents are often great resource items. All the best my dear friend! 🤗🙏🏼😊💖 Stay at it Ms. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. 😉

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  3. So glad you found me so I could find you! You are an incredibly talented and phenomenal writer — what a story! and what a story teller you are. I am better for having read your story, the world is better for your writing, for your talent artistically and also in speaking a quiet necessary truth. I sure hope your posts will be a novel / autobiography and that a publisher will recognize your talent and the importance of you and yours being told to others. Huge blessings and may you not only make lots of money from your tales, but be blessed as your bless others. Joy in your journey today, Jane

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    1. Wow, thank you so much. Your words mean alot especially since this is the first time I’ve spoken much of my story out loud. It’s important to me that my grandchildren know their family history in hopes of avoiding the same mistakes. Blessing to you Jane.

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