Follow Friday: Family Photos Resurrected

My grandmother, Louise Coleman Walton and her brother, Willie, c. 1917.

A few days before Easter, I got the best resurrection gift ever, if there can be such a thing.  My brother-in-law sent a disc to me (and everyone in my family) with scanned copies of every family photo of ours that he could find.

I always coveted his and my sister’s collection and made a point of going through the beautiful mahogany box they used to keep on their family room table full of mementos to see if there were any old family photos in there that I’d never seen. The picture above of my grandmother, Louise and her brother Willie, taken in 1917 was one of those never before seen photos.

My grandmother, Louise turned 97 last week around the same time the photo-filled disc arrived. Our Easter family gathering doubled as her birthday celebration. It was  a special treat to go through this digitized photo album with her while she pointed out people and places wherever her memory allowed.

But even with Granny’s remarkable memory, some faces in the photos she just couldn’t place, like this woman’s:

It’s wonderful to rediscover this photo, but I wonder if we’ll ever uncover  the woman’s identity and fully bring her back into our family fold.

Meanwhile, two staff members at my alma mater, Fordham University have been busy doing some resurrecting of their own.

Last month, Fordham’s Sandra Arnold and Dr. Irma Watkins-Owens launched the Burial Database Project of Enslaved African Americans. According to the website, its mission is to “identify, document and memorialize burial sites of the enslaved, most of which are abandoned or undocumented.” If you’ve come across slave burial sites during your family history research, submit your information to the database to help reclaim and preserve this important American history.

And if you have any idea who the woman in the above picture is, shout out to me and help me reclaim and preserve my history!

Sentimental Sunday – Easter with the Ancestors

My cousins Dalvin, Shawnique and me in New Orleans for Easter, 1976.

One of the most long-lasting and fondest memories I have of Easter is the one we spent in New Orleans during our country’s bicentennial  year.

Not only did I get to spend time with my cousins who I loved and see my paternal grandparents, but I also got a fancy new yellow dress with pleats (pictured above) and a time-consuming hairdo that I treasured because it made me feel so grown up.

It just doesn’t feel like Easter Sunday without fancy dresses, so thank goodness I have two daughters who I can cajole into dressing up for at least the hour of church service.

Happy Easter all.  Enjoy your holiday and making memories.

My brothers with our grandmother, Lillie Mae Ford (Daniel) on Easter, 1976 in New Orleans.

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