Monday, October 7, 2013

Lucky Me, Lucky You, Lucky As Can Be!

I attended an event sponsored by the PBS Station in Arizona along with the Arizona Informant and others that showcased African Americans:  Many Rivers to Cross soon to be released in a six part series October 22 2013. 

I was fortunate to win in a raffle the two discs set by the same name, and as soon as it is ready I will receive it in the mail.

I posted on Face book what a good time I had. One of the comments I got was from Selma, a genealogy friend of mine via AfriGeneas, the mother of all the African American Genealogy sites.   She said,” Lucky you Vicky." !

I do agree with Selma, mainly because the luck I have been having lately is making it to the little room down the hall in time and my past track feats kicked in at an older age.  I am blessed though that I am getting up each and every morning. Thanks to God that I am wide eyed the entire day.  

Selma got me to thinking about " Lucky You"; I don’t know any You’s or Youse’s  but I sure know some Lucky’s, Luckey’s and Luckie’s.

In Phoenix I knew Charles Luckie, Gloria Lucky, and David Luckey

I went to school and also worked with David at Western Electric. 

All three of these people may have known each other and all three surnames were spelled different from each other.

I even have some lucky numbers; 123….635….524 and on and on and on. I just wish they would get lucky one of these days on the Pick 3

I am lucky to have forged long time friendships, some sight unseen, like Selma who unselfishly gives her genealogy wisdom to others and to Valencia King Nelson who is the rock of AfriGeneas.  Not to mention Arthur Thomas and Angela Walton Raji who I have met, and did not run in the other direction when they saw me grinning.

For the jazz enthusiast back in the swing era days, Lucky and his Mills Blue Rhythm Band entertained all over Georgia, Alabama and Texas. He was the toast of clubs like The Cotton Club and the Savoy. Joining up with the likes of Ella the great Fitzgerald , Bill Doggett and Dizzy Gillespie and others.
He later moved towards what they called Rhythm and Blues.  A couple of his songs were Shorty's Got to Go, Sweet Slumber and Waiting Just for you.

Oh,  did I mention he was born in Anniston, Alabama in 1910 as Luscious Leroy Millander. 

Luscious and Lucky!  Now how lucky is that combination. Judging by his picture he was quite a good looking man. 

My thought triggered by Selma:

In my research I came across a Lucky Singleton who was from Marshall Texas and lived not that far from my Ancestors. Lucky had a son Major Singleton who lived here in Phoenix and who also had a son he surely named after his father.                                                                                                           Unfortunately Major’s son passed away at the age of 15.

Then there was a Lucky Singleton Jr who married a Roberta Choyce from Marshall Texas. 

                 here is the excerpt of  Lucky Jr and Roberta Singleton  

Lucky, the senior’s un - lucky trip:

Lucky, the Senior, wife  and a few of his family members and neighbors  heard about a plan to go to Liberia for a fee of ten dollars down for each person and the rest within six months after arriving.
 According to the Sunday Edition on February 8th 1880, The New York Daily Tribune had an article stating that a group of twenty one people arrived in New York.
 Among this group was lucky, his wife and two children, Augustus Singleton, Willie Daniels, Lemuel Manyweather, his wife and child, Lawson Silas, his wife and two children, and Thomas Larkins along with his wife and six children. 

Thomas Larkins actually got the idea of going to Liberia from his brother in law, a chap by the name of Mathews.  He had been in Liberia over two years and sent glowing reports home and suggested that they take the trip as well.  They were surprised when they got to New York that the person who was to have engineered the way from there was nowhere to be found. 

They ended up asking for assistance from the Charities of  Commissioners and Charities who sent them to the King County Alms House as paupers of the state.
They were very poorly nourished and without funds to take care of themselves.

 What terrible luck they were having:   
                                                                                                                       Larkins daughter was left in New Jersey because she had given birth and needed care. Larkins wife died of Pneumonia after they reached the Alms house. 

They were described as from the south, truthful but unsophisticated 

Harrison County Texas must have been a hot bed for emigrating to Liberia. Mathews has another brother who is very instrumental in recruiting people from there. Another group of thirty was supposed to leave from Marshall at   the end of February 1880 and another contingent in March of the same year.

Even though they told the reporter that they had no complaints from bad treatment from whites or lack of work, I find that hard to believe, especially in 1880.

They stated that Liberia was the Promised Land for them and others and wished for a new life in a new home.

After much ado and facts as the folks at the Alms House had given them, the party with much hesitation decided to return back to Marshall. The article does not say when lucky and his family returned to Marshall but they all were assured help getting back home instead of help to Liberia.

Lucky and his family made it back home to Texas where he and his family were seen listed in the 1900 census.

I can imagine for those who research and can’t find their families around this time, chances are, they may have been some of those who actually made it to what they called their promise land.

I would hope that Lucky, Mr Larkins and family found their true niche in Marshall Texas and perhaps they even knew my family.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         


Angela Y. Walton-Raji said...

How interesting that you write about this! I have a cousin in California who also had ancestors who left north Texas going down to Galveston to leave for Liberia. They however were caught in a deadly hurricane and perished. The incidence of folks leaving for Liberia was more widespread than we know. After 100+ years it is time to tell that story as well.

Ms Vicky said...

So sorry to hear that about your cousins ancestors Angela. Since so many left Marshall I wonder if I may have had a few that left.

Kristin said...

Maybe that's where your missing person is! I'm sorry for that un-Lucky Lucky family that you mention last. You just can't be so trusting, that's what I'm taking away from these last few posts. Watch your back because "they" are out to get you.

Ms Vicky said...

Now Ms Kristin, I sure wish I knew...LOL

Pamela Singleton said...

Ms. Vicky, I have been looking for my family since 2002, I have heard the story that they went back to Africa but wasn't for sure, now I know thanks to you, this has been my road block since starting this research, All the people listed on the article are all my family, Daniels, Minneweather (Manyweather), Singleton and you are my cuzn on both sides (Double Kin)from Minneweather/Singleton and Lester's/Burks....Vickey I am still looking for Augustus and Lucky's father Abram singleton, he left with them, but the story is he perished in transit coming back or leaving, not sure, can you tell me where I can read this in it's entirety....You are a "Remarkable woman, I heard so much about you...please thank you so much for this as it is chipping away at that wall...sincerely Pam Singleton

Ms Vicky said...

Pamela, This calls for a happy dance!!! I have been stagnant on my family lines for years and willy nilly pick things in hopes of helping others get a leaf or two.

Sharon Sutton said...

I just love your powerful genealogy writings.

Ms Vicky said...

Thank you Sharon, I value your comments more than you know.