Wednesday, February 15, 2017
Although I have known you all my life, I am realizing that there is another side of you I've never knew. You have done so many wonderful and life changing things that you never spoke on. I wonder why that is? Why wouldn't you share these things so that your loved ones can grab the torch and further advance your efforts. None the less I am proud of your accomplishments and how you were fearless in making your community better. As I look in the mirror and see many of your features I smile knowing that I have acquired many of your attributes that you have kept a secret. Finding your unpublished book gives me excitement and joy. I cannot wait to read the story that you created. Something tells me that this story was given birth from your many experiences growing up and traveling while you were in the military. I guess that may be where your Anna Banana obtained the writing bug from. Dad you will be happy to know that we have decided to finish your book and to get it put into print. I am going to let Anne take the lead since writing is her passion. I am sure she will care for your story as if it was her own. For some reason your book is inviting me to open it up. I think that is your way of letting me know that you are still here and watching over me. I have no doubt that with this read I will get to know you even more.
Sunday, October 9, 2016
As I was planning on how I am going to proceed with the mirroring a tree process it dawned on me that this was already in the making. Why? Because I have already administered DNA tests on my uncle and cousin. This will allow me to separate my grandmother's and grandfather's family easily. Initially when I asked for these individuals to take the DNA test I was hoping that other family members from the Stitt line had also taken DNA tests that was of close relation. That has not been as successful as I had hoped. However, using this new technique should help. I know that the process is going to be time consuming, but it will be worth it. The icing on the cake is that through these tests that I administered over the summer gave me concrete evidence to the link to the Native Indian bloodline though my 4th great grandmother Mahaby. The ancestors have a way of redirecting you when you listen. Grandma Mahaby, you are next on my list. Hold on for a minute and I will be searching for you.
Friday, October 7, 2016
I decided to take a step back during this school semester to re-evaluate my research approach on my Stitt line. At least I thought I was going to take a step back because the ancestors definitely have a different path. While trying to help my husband research for his biological father we stumbled on a research technique of mirroring a tree of a known DNA match. This technique is supposed to help you identify a common ancestor shared. DING! The ancestors nudged me and I began to think that this may be a great way of me being able to further my research on my Stitt family. I have made several connections on the Stitt line that were not known previously and I believe at least one of them has taken a DNA test. I am definitely going to put my energy into this option as this appears to be the only way for me to get any information on the Stitt line as no one in my immediate family talks about this side of the family. I realized my grandfather and a great grandfather did not nurture their families in the optimal way, but through these men we are able to learn and do better. I want to understand their environment which would give an up close look as to why they made the decisions they've made. Hiding or pretending that these men did not exist does not make the behaviors that was passed down disappear. I am a true believer that in order for their to be a sustainable change one must understand the past. It is my sincere hope that conducting this method will allow me to get the understanding that I seek. With that being said, Robert Sitt Sr. and Robert Stitt Jr. I am looking for you. I want to understand you so that my son will be able to learn and do better. Through you too will ultimately give me a well rounded understanding of my own father, Robert Stitt III. So I ask you to guide me through this part of my journey and allow me to tell your stories authentically without judgement wrapped in love. Allow me to be the mirror to show others who you were.
Thursday, September 22, 2016
I recently realized why this journey is so important to me. It's not about highlighting who did this or who did that. It's not about finding out who was good or bad. This journey is about telling the narrative honestly from all aspects without bias and without judgement. Too much of our narrative has been altered to fit others agendas and in many instances completely removed. Being on this journey is allowing me to see both of my parents in a manner in which they never permitted me to see while alive. Although my parents dealt with various degrees of brokenness, I can say that they tried to do differently so that my foundation could be fortified better than their own. Yes, my parents were ill equipped, but knew they needed to do something different. I applaud and am grateful for their tenacity to try to change the course. I get it and am committed now more than ever to tell the stories of my parents as well as those who have paved they way that came before them. My end goal is to leave a better completed patchwork of my family so that he following generations can be proud of the accomplishments and learn from the setbacks and obstacles faced. This is OUR history. Without these pioneers who braved uncharted waters there would be no April Stitt. Some family members may never want to know the truth and some may want to be selective in what they know. That is perfectly okay, it is their right. However, a family historian's obligation is to be truthful when giving the narrative as well as tell the narrative as complete as humanly possible. Because of this commitment I know is the reason the ancestors have shown me favor since the infancy of this journey. I bow down to my ancestors and humbly honor each and everyone of them as I ask them to continue to guide my footsteps as I move forward in telling their journeys.
Saturday, September 17, 2016
The tapestry of the family is coming together nicely. The process had been slow, but I am appreciative of the journey. Over this past summer I have met a number of family members who have been also researching the Stitt and Kellum line. The meeting brought me such great joy because I was able to get better acquainted with my great grandparents, Robert Stitt Sr. and Pebaleader Kellum. During this process I was also able to better understand my father, Robert Stitt III. My dad would be happy to know that he was able to break the generational mistakes of his father and grandfather. Therefor, my dad was able to do better by his family.
Tuesday, March 1, 2016
The life of Robert Stitt Sr. and Jr. have been a difficult mystery to navigate. Well, until last night that is. For whatever reason I was pulled to my genealogy work late last night. The key to all the great finding last night came from a document I stumbled across on Family Search. This document referred to a document I had pending getting me a little closer to Robert Stitt Sr. These findings led me to speaking to a living cousin living in Winston Salem who is equally excited to connect. Together we may be able to rebuild the life of my great grandfather, Robert Willie Stitt Sr. I know that it was my ancestors guiding the way. Grandpa, I am on my way to finding you!
Thursday, December 3, 2015
The Stitt line has kept me up many a nights trying to figure out better research techniques and combing through information to see if I have overlooked anything. I can finally say that the pieces are slowly coming together. I am excited at all the possibilities of getting know more about this line and connecting and building long lasting relationships with family. Grandma Pebaleader, I spoke with one of your great granddaughter and granddaughter this morning. Hopefully we all will be able to meet the first of the upcoming year. Through all of this I can't wait to be able to stitch together my genetic quilt with all of its uniqueness.