Friday, October 21, 2016

Maxwell House: The Choice Is Yours

I went to my mentor Valencia King Nelson’s house before the AAHGS Conference in Atlanta Georgia started on October 12, 2016.

AAHGS is a genealogy based organization and hosts genealogy conferences in different states.

I had a wonderful time with MS V, Angela Walton RaJi, and B.J. Smothers.

            MS V, Angela Walton RaJi,  David Patterson 

But let me tell you when I was there,  I made an epic fail.

 I love my coffee and when at home in Phoenix I can pour a cup, put in a spoon of creamer and drink until my heart’s content.

Now there was coffee all right, but for the first time in my life I saw coffee in a small package. 

 I tore off the top and poured the coffee in the cup of hot steaming water. Put in the creamer and stirred and stirred and stirred.

After about ten mins I said, “what the heck is wrong with this coffee?” 

Good Grief, "I have been stirring this for a good ten minutes and the crystals will not melt . Look at All these little black coffee grinds swirling around"

Mentor: Did you use hot water
Me:         Yes
Mentor: Where’s the little bag
Me:         What bag?
Mentor: The bag that you use to put in the cup to steep the coffee
BJ, David, Angela and Mentor:  giggling!
Mentor:   Here, let me show you
Who ever heard of coffee disguised as a tea bag?

Maxwell House did and I have to admit it was good. In fact it was  good to the last drop.

That is without the coffee crystals ….LOL

When the conference was over and I arrived back in Phoenix I went straight to the kitchen to make a cup. 

What awaited me was coffee that looked like it was in an Acorn bag!

Where oh where is my Percolater?

What happened to my can of ground coffee?


Not to be confused with another Maxwell the R&B singer who brews out the soulful song Pretty Wings.

Speaking of House, let me introduce you to Wannel House, an awesome lady who gives of herself  with  loads and loads of information she posts on Find A Grave with Harrison County Texas roots.

 I have never met her in person but contacted her about  twenty years or more when I saw something that she had put online. We have been in contact ever since. 

Wanell has an ancestor by the name of Peter Choyce who was prominent in Harrison County.

Mr Choyce was born around 1823 in Jasper County Georgia, married  Ms Sarah Gilstrap and had several children.

Here is an 1880 census where the family is found in Harrison County

Source Citation

Year: 1880; Census Place: Precinct 2, Harrison, Texas; Roll: 1310; Family History Film: 1255310; Page: 467B; Enumeration District: 048

We are in the season now of voting for a President. We have to make a choice.

Peter Choyce has a voter story all his own in 1880 Harrison County Texas. 

Source Information Texas, Voter Registration Lists, 1867-1869 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2011.
Original data:
1867 Voter Registration Lists. Microfilm, 12 rolls. Texas State Library and Archives Commission, Austin, Texas.

Mr. Choyce on his way to deliver the boxes that held the names of the voters in 1880 was accosted by two men who wanted the ballot boxes.

Fortunately for him his horse took off thus saving his life.

Here is a snippet of the case mentioned in the Congressional Record  that can be found as a free e book 

Congressional Record: Proceedings and Debates of the ... Congress, Volume 12
on page 360 online at link listed below

Peter Choyce passed away in Jonesville Texas. 

Rest in Perfect Peace Mr. Choyce. Your footsteps told a wonderful story in Harrison County Texas.

 Then along came DNA…Who did I see matching my children?... Wanell

And then her mother tested...Who did I see?... My grandkids!

We have no idea how they match but they  sure as heck do. If the link is Peter Choice I would be delighted.

To  further this good news, a cousin of Wanell on her mother’s Hubbard line is in my genealogy group.

Now to get  Khameelah Shabazz  to test !

Monday, October 10, 2016

Shoulders And Shoes Standing In The Gap

Soon the time will come when folks will hopefully vote for the person of their choice. It has been so much division these last eight years that it seems as if the forward strides have now gone backwards.

The shoulders that others have so unselfishly lifted us on and the shoes that others have worn have left footprints in are crying in shame. 

The Gap Band:

Tulsa Oklahoma can boast that they had a pretty popular group in the 1970’s and 1980’s headed by brothers Charlie, Robert and Ronnie Wilson.

 The group was initially named after Greenwood, a street and neighborhood in Tulsa and changed later to The Gap Band.

Some of the songs they put out were Early In The Morning and Yearning For Your Love. Charlie one of the brothers went on to become a solo singer. 

The band retired after about thirty years together and left a gap in Rhythm and Blues music with their unique style.


This case refers  to the popular show American Bandstand that started out in Philadelphia for years before they moved to California.  The host was the popular Dick Clark.

 I for one missed out in watching the show over a year because of the title. I assumed incorrectly that the show was one of those dull talk shows that included fixer uppers, gardening and other topics.

Boy was I wrong.

When I did start to watch, I fell in love with the dancing because to me, the Philly teens could really dance.

 Pat Mollitere was one of my very favorite dancers who passed away at the young age of 36. When the show moved to California they left a gap in Phillies dance styles.

                                       Rest in Peace Pat

Standing InThe Gap:

In July 18, 1867 in Harrison County Texas my 4th great grandfather Chas Dixon registered to vote along with my 5th great grandfather Jos Tolbert.  This is evidenced by the Voter Roll  found on Ancestry 

The roll states that Chas Dixon had  been in the precinct for 3 years, county for 6 years and also the state for 6 years.

Jos Tolbert  had been in the precinct for 6 years and the county and state for 14 years.

                                      Voter Registration List 1867 -1869 Harrison County

Source Information Texas, Voter Registration Lists, 1867-1869 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2011.
Original data:
1867 Voter Registration Lists. Microfilm, 12 rolls. Texas State Library and Archives Commission, Austin, Texas.

I have found no evidence that these two brave men actually voted after registering.

As for me, I do affirm that I have registered to vote and have voted in every election since I was old enough.

If  Chas and Jos were alive and could not vocally say that they voted, I stand  in the gap for them.

I  would bet my bottom dollar that they did cast their ballots and placed them in a voters box. Yes They Did!

In Grimes County Texas I also have found my 2nd great grandfather Louis Cooper had registered to vote on the 29th day of July 1867. That he was in the precinct  for 3 months the county for 12- years and state for 12 years .

I  have found no evidence that he actually voted in any upcoming election . 

I do make the claim that I would bet my bottom dollar that Louis Cooper also cast his vote in that wooden voters box in an upcoming election and I stand in the gap for you in saying Yes I Did!

                        Texas, Voter Registration List 1867 -1869 Grimes County 

Source Information Texas, Voter Registration Lists, 1867-1869 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2011.
Original data:
1867 Voter Registration Lists. Microfilm, 12 rolls. Texas State Library and Archives Commission, Austin, Texas.

As a symbol of the men  who may have worn these  shoes over the years, I stand in the Gap for you and call your name. 

I call the names of those who were here prior to 1870 and were known only by  negro boy or negro male .

Wade Spann, Alonzo Lester, Perry White, Fred Nelms, Moses Jefferson, Gordon Nelums, John Lewis, Griffith Thornton, Jerry Cooper and countless others.

As a symbol of the women who have worn these shoes over the years and were here in these United States prior to 1870 . They were known only as negro girl or negro female.

I stand in the gap for you and I call your name.

Mariah Wells, Tishe Young, Mary White, Sallie Jefferson, Sallie White, Lydia Cooper, Victoria White, Nancy Johnson, Easter Thornton, and many others.

As a symbol of those who are here after me and who may have worn these shoes,  please stand in the gap for me and call my name loud and clear so that I may not be forgotten.

Just like those who were our ancestors , they were strong and proud people. We shall never forget them. 

There are those who have taken a stand that with time there will be no such thing as a gap in finding all of our ancestors. I Thank You!