Monday, April 7, 2014

Motivation Monday - Goals for April 2014

Things have finally seemed to settle down some in my life, so once again, I'm making an attempt to get back to my research and my blogs.

I thought I would revive trying to set monthly goals for myself. I'll admit some of the goals have been around for a long time but hopefully, I can finally make some progress on them this month.


  1. Write a minimum of 1 post per week.
  1. Organize and makes sure that citations are in order for my folder, mom's folder, and dad's folder. As state in previous posts I keep folders for individuals as well as families but I need to better organize these and make sure that that citations are done correctly, etc. Goal Date: April 19, 2014
  2. Get office / craft room back in order. This room has been in a upheaval since last year when I had new flooring installed. I can barely move around in this room much less get things out to do research. Goal Date: April 26, 2014

  1. Write a research plan for determining / confirming the last owner of my 2nd great grandparents, Jasper and Jane Pierce. Goal Date: April 12, 2014
  2. Submit request for latest DNA testing. I've finally decided to do testing with African Ancestry DNA. My goal is to get maternal grandfather's yDNA and maternal grandmother mtDNA. Hopefully, I'll have the funds to do this this month. If I can't get both done, I'll at the least get granddad's done. Goal Date: April 30, 2014

Sunday, April 6, 2014

The Book of Me Written by You, Prompt 16 - Message in a Bottle

The Book of Me Written by You is a 15 month project that was started by Julie Goucher of Anglers Rest and consist of a series of weekly prompts to prompt us to take about our personal journey through life. You can read more about the project here.

Message in a Bottle picture obtained from

Prompt 16 is Message in a Bottle and the instructions for this prompt are as follows:

  • If you were to physically write or virtually write a message to place into a bottle what would you write?
  • Do you live by the sea and are able to potentially throw into the Ocean? Or perhaps a river
  • Do you feel strongly that you would not "litter" in this way - in which case you may complete the task virtually
  • What would you like to happen with the message?
    • Do you hope it is picked up somewhere, miles from home?
    • Are you going to create a secret email account in case it is picked up and someone emails you?
  • Or would you like to write an anonymous note to someone that you know?
  • Or write a message to a deceased love one?

I guess it comes from watching old episodes of Gilligan's Island when I was a child, but I've always thought the message in a bottle was the coolest thing.

I've always imagined myself stranded on a desert island  and the only form of communication being to place a message requesting HELP in a bottle and to toss it in the ocean. However, reality dictates that while I live in a state that has a coastline along the Atlantic Ocean, my most likely means of communicating via message in a bottle is to toss it into the Catawba River.

Picture of Catawba River obtained
via Wikipedia

I'm not sure what message I would put in the bottle other than to state that if you find this please contact me. My biggest interest would be in seeing how far the bottle traveled and who would retrieve it and contact me. I'm envisioning that my bottle wouldn't travel very far, getting caught up in one of the many dams along the river, but it would still be a fascinating adventure and I would like to communicate with whoever pulled it from the waters of the Catawba.

The Book of Me Written by You - Prompt 15, Snow

I don't think I'll ever get caught up, and yes I'm still struggling to get back to the Genealogy but since I'm supposed to give a presentation, again, at this year's family reunion, I guess I better get my hiney in gear.

But first, let's try to do a few other post today.

The Book of Me Written by You is a series of weekly prompts for a 15 month project started by Julie Goucher of Anglers Rest.

I came in on the middle of this project with a goal of getting back to blogging as well as my research and as I've already mentioned, I'm still struggling with both.

Prompt #15 involves Snow. Yes, I know it's spring in my area but a lot of folks are still dealing with the white powdery stuff, so it's still good to write about.

The instructions for this prompt are as follows:

  • Do you live in an area where you routinely have snow?
  • How old were you when you first saw snow?
    • Do you remember it?
  • Did you make snowmen?
  • Throw Snowballs
  • Sledge Rides
  • What is the image that first came to mind when you read snow?
  • What does snow
    • feel like
    • smell like
    • how do you see snow
It's funny that when I initially read this prompt, way back in February, North Carolina has just gone through Snowmeggedon 2014.

While the part of North Carolina that I've lived most of my life, Foothills and Piedmont, doesn't get a lot of snow, we do get snow from time to time.

Although my mother tells me there was snow on the ground the night I was born, I really don't remember any snowfalls until I started school. Growing up, I always looked forward to snowfalls because here in the South, snowfalls meant days off from school. And yes, sometimes we got enough snowfall, that you could build a snowman. I have fond memories of my dad and I building snowmen through the years.

I also remember the back to back years that it snowed on the 3rd day of Spring when I was in elementary school.

In 2010, I experienced my first ever white Christmas. You would have thought that I would have experienced this during the time I moved out of state to Colorado but instead I experienced it right here in my home state.

Here's my little four-legged wonder trying to maneuver around in the snow that year.

And every once in awhile, we get the mother lode. This past winter was one of those crazy winters throughout the country. I don't think any area of the country was spared and during the week of February 10th, North Carolina got a snow fall like it hadn't seen in years, and which I and a lot of others have affectionately called Snowmeggedon 2014. It didn't help that I was having a medical procedure right at the start of this mess. All I can say is thank goodness for taxis.

Here are my collection of pictures from Snowmeggedon 2014.

I've always enjoyed the eery quiteness that often follows a snow storm. It brings a chance for self reflection, peace, and quiet, after which it's time to get outside and start clearing your driveway.

All pictures are from the collection of the owner of this blog.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

The Book of Me, Written By You - Prompt 14 - Special People

I'm on a mini roll today. This is going to be my second blog post in a day.

This one is similar to the one for Prompt 13. The difference this time is that we can invite family. Yahoo!

The instructions are as follows:

If you had to hold a dinner party and could invite a maximum of 12 people, who would you invite?

This time, you can include family.

What meals would you serve and why

Perhaps include the recipe or a photo if you decided to actually cook the items!


You know I think I actually need more than 12 invitations but here goes.

The first person I would invite would be my Dad. I've missed him terribly since his earthly journey ended. I also would like to ask him all about his childhood. I was finally starting to ask him about his younger days, and I ache to know more. Dad nor his siblings talked a lot about their childhood.

Invitation #2 goes to Mom. She's more than mom, she's friend cheerleader, etc.

Invites 3-6, go to my grandparents starting with my paternal grandfather, Harry Claudius Jones. I never knew my paternal grandfather. I have so many questions that I would like to ask him but more than anything I would've like to have a relationship with him in the same way that I did with my maternal grandfather. I like to think that granddaddy Jones would've mellowed out by the time I came along and that I, being his youngest grandchild would have had him wrapped around my finger.

My grandmothers, Mary Pierce Hosch and Iola Everett Jones, were around during my early years but but because I was so young when they died, I didn't really get a chance to know them.

My maternal grandfather, Oscar Lucillous "LC" Hosch, like with my dad, I just want to spend more time with. I want to hear more of the stories of his life in Georgia. 

My maternal great grandmother, Fannie of the many last names (maternal grandmother's mom) receives Invitation #7. I never knew great grandmomma Fannie. For that matter, her granddaughter, my mother, never knew her either. This would be the perfect opportunity  to ask her exactly what her maiden name was and to find out all about her mysterious life.

Paternal great grandmomma Martha Jones, you receive Invitation #8. Grandma Martha is granddaddy Claudius' biological mother, and she's an even greater mystery than grandmomma Fannie. She could provide so much information, I would hope, about that line of my family.

I would also like to meet some of my far flung cousins that I've discovered as a result of my blogging but the main 3 that I would like to meet are Little Irene, Viola, and Cornell.  Little Irene (second cousin once removed) and Viola (3rd cousin once removed) are descendants of maternal grand and great grand aunts. Cornell  is a paternal 3rd cousin once removed and descends from my great grand uncle. That takes care of 10-11.

I decided that Invitation #12 would go to someone outside the family but who has a strong connection to my family. I would like to invite Pat, great granddaughter of Henry Hosch, last slave owner of my maternal great grandfather, Barto Hosch, and my maternal 2nd great grandmother, Matilda Hosch. Pat, who lives one county over from me, and I have been saying for years that we would like to meet each other but we've yet to do it. This would be a perfect time to get together.

Dinner would consist of some old favorites. Cornbread, Pinto Beans, Fried Chicken, Collard Greens, Macaroni and Cheese, Green Beans, Pound Cake, Sweet Tea, and Buttermilk. Yum!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

The Book of Me, Written by You - Prompt 13 - Who's Coming to Dinner

Hi all, I'm finally back. What a hectic and crazy start to 2014, especially the last 2 weeks.

I got the latest round of health care items taken care of, which was follow-up to all the crazy health stuff I had going on the second half of 2013. Then this past week right as I was finishing up the latest round of testing, Snowmeggedon 2014 struck. Since I was snowed in, you would think that it would have been a perfect time to catch up with blogging but it never even crossed my mind. I guess I needed things to start thawing out before I tried to get going yet again. So, here I am.

First goal, is to try to get caught up, as much as possible, on the blogging prompts for The Book of Me. When I begin participating in this series, I started with Prompt #12. So, the next prompt is

Prompt 13 - Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

If you had to hold a dinner party and could invite a maximum of 12 special people,
who would you invite?

You can not include family in this - the special people should be famous or historical people.

What meals would you serve and why?

Perhaps include a recipe or photo if you decided to actually cook the items.


Here is the list of invitees

Jesus - I would like a chance to talk to him face to face in the here and now to understand why he has allowed certain things to happen.

John F. Kennedy - I was a toddler when President Kennedy died, so I don't remember anything about his presidency. I believe I was in 8th grade, when thanks to my mom who was obsessed with the Kennedys, told me about the assassination of JFK. From that point forward, I've always been fascinated by President Kennedy, especially his assassination.

Barack Obama - He's the first politician in a long time that made me want to get involved in the political process beyond just voting.

Shirley Chisholm - Because she was a black woman who decided to make a run for president in the early 1970s, I took notice. She was definitely her own woman.

Reginald Lewis - Even before I decided to go back to school and get an MBA, I was always fascinated with business. In that vain, I loved me some Reginald Lewis and admired and was fascinated by his rise to become at that time the wealthiest black man in America. He had a brilliant mind.

Queen Nzinga - Prior to last year, I had never heard of Queen Nzinga. Even in adult life, I continue to learn about various historical figures. Queen Nzinga was a 17th century African ruler  of the Ndongo and Matamba kingdoms (present day Angola). Queen Nzinga fought for the freedom of her kingdoms against the Portuguese.

(Picture of Queen Nzinga obtained from Amazing Women in History)

Now for the athletes, authors, entertainers, et. al.

Terrell Owens - I don't know what it is about "TO". Although I've always thought he had a nice bod and all, I would never go on a date with him. I'm too old for him for one thing and my fascination with him has never been from that aspect. I've just always imagined that if you were in his entourage, you would have a fun time. 

Toni Morrison

James Baldwin

Peter Sellers - Nothing like a good Pink Panther movie

Rod Sterling - Old reruns of The Twilight Zone got me through collage. My only compliant was that it came on around midnight. For the most part, The Twilight Zone was the only Sci-Fi that I've ever understood.

Romare Bearden - I've always admired his artwork

Picture of Jammin at the Savoy obtained from The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art website.

Well, that completes the list of the invitees. Since my invitees are varied, I've decided that the best meal would be a Progressive dinner. We can start out at my place and let Jesus finish things up. 

Thursday, December 19, 2013

The Precariousness of Being a Black Man in America in 2013

I started writing this post a few weeks back but never got around to finishing it because I keep trying to temper the feelings of both anger and fear that I have. Because on the one hand, I don't won't to alienate those that are still around reading this blog, some of whom are not persons of color, but on the other hand, I have the need to discuss this. Also, it's always been my nature, since I was knee high to a grasshopper to keep the peace and try to make sure everyone got along. However, the need to speak out on a difficult subject matter on this blog has come, because this time it involves family.

You see, almost two months ago, one of my cousins (second cousin once removed) was involved in an altercation with Salisbury, NC Police. You can read about the incident herehere, and here.

I won't sit here and say there are not two sides to every story. In fact I won't even sit here and say my cousin is perfect because it's only been recently that 1) I've reconnected with descendants of my Grand Uncle and 2) while I wrote about my cousin Graham Hosch's artwork previously on this blog (Talented Tuesday), I'm not going to pretend that I know the lifestyle he leads. But here is what I do know based on word of mouth from family and based on newspaper reports,  Police have stated cousin Graham's injuries, his windpipe being crushed, were sustained prior to their arrival. Taking type and severity of injuries into account, it's just hard to fathom that you are going to be casually walking down the street if you have a crushed windpipe. And yes, he may have been at the wrong place at the wrong time, but from what I know, he was trying to avoid trouble, by walking home instead of driving home in an inebriated state.

Not that these types of incidents haven't happened in bygone eras, even within the family, but it seems in the past few years, there's been a litany of these type of incidents involving unarmed black men, and women, too, for that matter. Some of these have been high profile, such as that of Trayvon Martin, Renisha McBride and Johnathon Ferrell, of which the end result for the victim was death. Most however, never make the national news and occur every day in both small towns and large cities across America and involve both police and private citizens. For me, these recent events speak to bigger issues of which these are only part of the symptoms.

On the surface, these various incidents whether they involve private citizens or police, show the power of the the Prison Industrial Complex and the need to feed the Prison System. Today's prison is becoming privatized more and more and as such it is a money making industry these days. Heck even before is was becoming privatized, it was a money making enterprise as it was and still is a source of free labor. However, at it's core though, these events speak to what I believe is the bigger issue, that as a whole, race relations in this country have never been fully resolved.

Through decades of a fairly robust economy, everyone assumed everything was okay even though there was a still festering wound just beneath the surface. I believe the Great Recession coupled with the election of America's first president of visible African descent ripped the scab off that wound. And frankly the thought of not finally treating what deeply ails this nation scares me. There are things I see and hear that remind of times I only read about in books or that were relaid to me through family elders and friends.

I titled this post The Precariousness of Being a Black Man in America in 2013. It could just as easily have been entitled The Precariousness of Being Black in America in 2013 as I feel the current state of things doesn't show regard to sex or age.

I'm sure there are many that will probably disagree with my assessment but I ask that before you totally dismiss what I'm saying, stop for a minute, envision yourself wearing my skin color, then tell me if you feel the same way.

You see, even in 2013, skin color, whether you want to admit it or not, still plays a powerful role in this country in how one is perceived.  It can be the crude comments left by some on the news pages about my cousin's incident when they know nothing about my family members or the shock that comes to a face when hit with the reality that I have not just a bachelors but also a masters when you assumed that I probably didn't even finish high school.

There are no easy answers to rectify these issues but to paraphrase Martin Luther King, I feel that we, as a country, will never realize our full potential until we live out the true meaning of our creed.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - Dear Genea Santa

Since I obviously haven't been blogging much these days, I of course haven't participated in Randy Seaver's Saturday Night Genealogy Fun in awhile. This time of year is of course a could time to get involved, again. By the way, I do know it's Sunday, not Saturday, but ...

This weeks challenge is as follows:

1) Write your Genea-Santa letter. Have you been a good genealogy girl or boy? What genealogy-oriented items are on your Christmas wish list? They could be family history items, technology items, or things that you want to pursue your ancestral quest.

2) Tell us about them in your own blog post, in a comment on this post, or in a Facebook Status or Google Stream post.

Dear Genea - Santa;

I realize I've not been doing much research or blogging since my daddy died almost 3 years ago but I still hope that you can bestow a few genea - gifts on me.

  1. I would love to finally to have African Ancestry DNA done on granddady Hosch's paternal line and Grandmomma Hosch's maternal line.
  2. I also greatly need a genea-organizer to organize all my files, etc., so that I can readily whip out "proof" when things are called into question.
  3. If you could kindly tell me what my great grandmother Fannie Pierce's true maiden name is, it would be greatly appreciated. 
  4. Documentation linking my 2nd great grandparents, Jasper and Jane Pierce, to their last slave owners. Plenty of clues abound that give me theories as to who their last, and perhaps only, slave owner was. I'm so thankful for those clues. The only thing I need is the document or whatever you want to provide that finally allows me to crawl over that 1870 brick wall and peer on the other side. 
  5. To really get back to my research. I know I haven't much felt like doing anything for these past few years but I hope that you can restore the drive I use to have because the Ancestors desperately need me to tell their stories.
  6. To go with #3, it would be nice if some long lost ancestor with deep pockets, would pay the bills, so that I could do research full time. If that's not possible, a hard working clone would also be acceptable, so they could go work while I worked on genealogy 24/7.  
I pray I'm not asking for too much. I know I should be thankful for what I have but you know we genealogist, we always want more.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

The Book of Me, Written by You - Prompt 12 - The Year I Was Born

Health issues seemed to have subsided for now. I still have ongoing testing to try to determine what was going on. Also, I do have upcoming surgery (January) that is totally unrelated to the issues I was having in October.

In the meantime, I'm once again trying to get back to blogging, researching, getting ready for Christmas, etc.

Since I've been struggling on the blog writing front, I've decided to start participating in Julie Goucher's activity, The Book of Me, Written by You.

Even though I'll still be a few prompts behind, I decided to start with - Prompt 12, The Year You Were Born.
What Happened
Or use any other historical (well known or otherwise) event

I'm a child of the early 1960's. There were many major historical and cultural events that occurred during the first decade of my life. I often felt like I was born after my time because there were many things I would have loved to participated in but of course was too young. Even if I had been older, I doubt that my parents would have let me any way.

The following is a list of noted events and people during the 60s.

Politics and Civil Rights

Presidential Politics
John F. Kennedy sworn in as 35th President - 1961
Lyndon B. Johnson sworn in as 36th and 37th President - 1963, 1965
Richard Nixon sworn in as 38th President - 1969

Other Political 
Adam Clayton Powell becomes Chairmen of House Education and Labor Committee - 1961
Robert Weaver appointed to head up HUD - 1966
Thurgood Marshall appointed to the Supreme Court - 1967
Cal Stokes elected Mayor of Cleveland - 1967
Shirley Chisholm elected to House of Representatives - 1968
Howard Lee elected Mayor of Chapel Hill - 1969 

Civil Rights
Greensboro, NC Sit-Ins begin - 1960
Civil Rights Act - 1964, 1968
Voting Rights Act - 1965
Miscegenation Laws Struck Down in Loving v. Virginia - 1967

Assassinations / Murders
Medgar Evers - 1963
Addie Mae Collins, Cynthia Wesley, Carole Robertson, and Denise McNair - 1963
John F. Kennedy - 1963
Michael Schwerner, James Chaney, Andrew Goodman - 1964
Malcom X - 1965
Martin Luther King - 1968
Bobby Kennedy - 1968
Samual Hammond, Delano Middleton, Henry Smith - 1968

Cultural, Sports, Etc.

Blue Jeans
Mini Skirt

Otis Redding
Aretha Franklin
Wilson Pickett
Sam Cooke
The Shirelles
The Drifters
Ray Charles
Marvin Gaye
Ben E. King
Stevie Wonder
The Temptations
The Supremes

Hank Aaron
Wilma Rudolph
John Carlos
Tommy Smith
Clarence "Big House" Gaines
Jim Brown
Gayle Sayers
Bobby Bell
Cassius Clay / Muhammad Ali
Sonny Liston
Arthur Ashe
Oscar Robertson
Bill Russell
Wilt Chamberlain
Earl "The Pearl" Monroe
Willis Reed

Literature, Movies, Art
The Fire Next Time
To Kill a Mockingbird

The Amen Corner
Guess Who's Coming to Dinner
To Sir With Love
In the Heat of the Night
Lillies of the Field

The Sammy Davis Jr. Show
The Mod Squad

Romare Bearden

Kwanzaa Celebration begins - 1966

Monday, November 11, 2013

Motivation Monday - Update on End of Year Goals

Seems like every time I try to get back to my research, something happens. I've been having a few health issues going on, so I've not been able to get back to my research like I had hoped. That being said, I did manage to get a few things accomplished on My End of Year Goals.

So here are the things I managed to get accomplished for health issues side-tracked me.

  1. Finish Organization of the Office / Craft Room
  • I did get the shelving installed in the closet of my office / craft room. However, I think I may eventually have to add more shelving elsewhere in the room.
  • Did not get the bookcase organized; therefore, I'm revising my goal date for getting this accomplished to November 29, 2013.
  • Haven't even begun on spiffing up the file cabinet.
2. Haven't even begun on the organization of my file folders.

3. So far, I've not managed to get at least one blog post per week written. Hopefully, I can make up for that this coming week.

4. I realized after writing my post that I had ordered a different book, Slave Genealogy: A Research Guide with Case Studies by David H. Streets. I've almost finished the book but have gotten side tracked reading some other books, historical / genealogy related and some not related to family research.

5. I've not began to write a research plan to try to determine / confirm the last slave owner of my 2nd great grandparents, Jasper and Jane Pierce.

Given my health issues of late, I actually feel like I've made a small dent into my list. I'm still not back to 100%  and have more testing coming up but still feeling confident that I can accomplish my end of year genealogical goals.