Category Archives: wml_Paternal Ancestry

About my summerfield, louisiana

How a small Northern Louisiana town, called Summerfield, Louisiana could hold generations of my life to date? Becoming a Field research Genealogist would most certainly reveal to me the enormity of this discovery. I posted a lead post earlier on my #Genealogy Instagram platform @ReginaCalifa360, about the wisdom shared by my maternal Grandfather, CLAUDE WATERS, JR. :

“…take care of your own backyard.”

The WALSTON Family Reunion was conceived upon a foundation of woven memory and Family History research encompassing oral narratives about our Family Patriarchs MILES and MISSOURI WALSTON of Summerfield, Louisiana.

This year’s Family Reunion held in in the Bay Area, California was a tremendous success supported by a core of Wisdom Keepers, Family Elder Advisory and a fantastic Committee of dedicated members, lead by the visionary excellence of our Co-Chairs Cousins Kelly Bailey and Jayde Williams both of WILLIE WALSTON lineage. Our Family History Pioneers ARTHUR WALSTON and ADA MEADORS represent the living blueprint for which has become the Family History story we know today.

And taking cue, since the late 1800’s, Family members have transcended this story from generation to generation through their daughter VERA WALSTON unto its kinship legacy of the HILDRETHS, the LIVINGSTONS, VANHOOKS and so on. As it would become a joint commissioned effort of my Cousin Deborah through the Pioneering lineage of her Grandparents, so would it invoke my life’s quest ushered by my Grandfather’s wishes, who was SALLIE WALSTON’s Great Grandson. And this year the both of us served on the WALSTON Reunion Committee to advance the work, expanding the Reunion’s Genealogy and Family History component.

DOUBLE COUSINS ACTIVATE!!!

Deborah and I are also double cousins, not only verified in our own respective Family History research, but recently discovered through DNA as she matches Family members on both my Mother and Father’s side. We just “GET” each other and indeed it is a dynamic Spiritual exchange of kinship that we bear. Our dynamic research exchanges boasts energy of revelations that connect Family relations. Often we laugh and marvel at our discoveries. I truly value the inspirational inheritance of our relationship.

Have grown up loving the hands of both sides of my Family, that knows how to make my fave, HOT WATER CORNBREAD

So when a clan of folks, recently came to visit my Father’s Mother, boasting 106 years on this planet earth, TRUST it was a day I had to be present. Mama Georgia is lively, brass and brash with Spirit whose calling never fails to share A Word, with the Bible nearby her elbow seen or unseen. In this visit were my Grandmother’s nephews and nieces who were KENNEDYs, and included a surprise visit by my Great Uncle Bobby HUNTER who only recently retired from driving Big rig trucks well into his 80’s; My Hunters are about some God-given vitality, and quick to deliver A WORD or wield “A CUT” so take the warning first. LOL *smh*. >>Although I had met Cousin Bo at Mama Georgia’s Birthday party, prior to this visit, his Brother Charles had connected with me online, inciting a cataclysmic exchange of Summerfield, Louisiana connections — My people! I learned sooo much about our intersections and connections, I was too full.

I LOOOVED the inertia of Summerfield Family energy, as we all “kinned up”, broke bread, laughed, faced-time other Family members marveling at our common ways, connections and celebrated just how GREAT GOD IS through Family.

Ancestral burial place, Mount Sinai CME Church, Summerfield, Claiborne Parish, LA

Finally, I had a captivated audience to submit the claim that my maternal Grandfather and Father were distant Cousins, Elders were NOT surprised to learn of this once information. And as I shared my discovery, each Family clan knew of each other with some living only blocks away even to this day. Others could identify whether Family clans lived in the Mt. Sinai or Mt. Olive areas; I had also researched on FIND-A-GRAVE.com that some of my Father’s Maternal side, HUNTERS were also buried at the Old Mt. Sinai Cemetery along with WALSTONS. There are Cousin who’ve shared that there are some CALLOWAYs who are buried at Mt. Sinai and that there was a Pastor related to me that preached at a local church. *whew*

It is a real treasure to gain this information in perspective. Information so timelessly preserved by our Eldership.

There are even more irons in the fire right now, added to an already HOT research docket. I’m grateful for the reunions, and will add, don’t wait until a Family Reunion to gather or meet up. Start with the Family around you, those you can still access , travel to or make a phone call. Welcome inside your Family gathering this season, to truly learn about your Family History lineage. Move beyond obvious questions concerning geographical and chronological dates and begin to ask Elders what was it like to grow up. Ask about foods, music, past times they enjoyed; What animals did they raise or know about, names of neighbors or what was the most historical event they could remember during their time. This will encourage the story that truly matters, en-souled with lessons that can impact your life today.

My Grandfather, CLAUDE WATERS, JR or Junction City, Louisiana 1926-1997

WHEN IS YOUR NEXT FAMILY MEET UP?!

It’s been my personal goal for decades to visit the old Mt Sinai area and nearby landmarks of the times that have shape the very lives of both sides of my Family. The stories of my Ancestors continue to prosper my own pathways and Family History. I encourage you to gain the wisdom you’ve inherited, and be guided HOW, to take care of your own backyard. Know your Family History.

|| workingmylines.org | @ReginaCalifa360

LAUNCH: week 1, Ancestral Guardian #52ANCESTORS IN 52 WEEKS

#workingmylines: I accept this challenge and dedicate this initiative to my Ancestral Guardian, my Maternal Grandfather aka “Stuff” hailing from Junction City, Louisiana. Iba’e, Iba’e tonnu

Paternal Grandfather: Claude Waters, Jr

birth: April 6, 1926, Junction City, LA | death: January 13, 1997, Oakland, CA

claudewatersjr

Claude Waters, Jr was born to the parents of Freadie Brooks and Claude Waters, Sr, both deceased. He accepted Christ at the age of 13 at Fellowship Baptist Church in Junction City, West Carroll Parish, Louisiana. Later he served on the usher board at Mt. Lebanon, in Darnell, LA. Developing a strong work ethic at a young age, he learned how to work on the farm, driving tractors and trucks.

1024px-Junction_City,_LA,_Town_Hall_IMG_2574_BillyHathorn
Junction City, LA is the twin City of Junction City Arkansas

The family headed West part of the Second Great Migration, post Depression with aspirations to elevate their economic plight, landing in West Oakland, California.  Married to Elsie (Culverson) Waters  at age 18, their first home was on Campbell St. and Willow Manor down the street, was the local school his children attended.  He obtained early work with industry giant, Owens Illinois Glass Company, during World War II. Drafted for service to the United States Armed Forces for 2 years, my Grandfather later worked at the Oakland Army Base in materials handling as an equipment operator.  After furthering his education at Merritt College he worked professionally for the State of California in Landscaping and Highway Maintenance for 26 years, availing the Family

Owens-IllinoisGlassCo_WWII-@glassfloatjunkie bolgspot

home we know today in what is known as the Fremont area; they were the first Black Family on the block as his children attended the local Fremont Highschool while others attended,  Castlemont  and Oakland Technical Highschool.

Maybe around 2003, I was bestowed with a rare opportunity to revisit my Grandparents’ first digs on Campbell Street, as it was then owned by enterprising West Oakland “Black moguls” who were acquiring real estate;  Through a close friend, I’d also learn that a New Orleans couple that I knew, were slated to purchase it and so I arranged access to take a private tour.  By cell phone, my Mom guided me through each room, vividly depicting who stayed where, including her Grandmother “Sug” in the “Mother-in-law” room.  When I told my Maternal Grandmother, Mama Elsie of this, we were all pretty excited about the couple of purchasing the home as they were still in escrow, yet my she’d mindfully warn – get the keys!

When my Grandfather transitioned in January 1997, it was like the spoke of a wheel had broken, leaving the wheel  to topple over struggling to balance — Family.  He was a 25 member of the Masons, with membership to Monarch Lodge #73Menelik Temple #36 and the Victoria Consistory, he was also the President of the Scimitar Club for 2 years.  He was that pillar and visionary who surpassed risks, didn’t accept “I can’t” and firmly encouraged our productivity, progressive action and no-nonsense; he still was a lot of fun and laughs and could out run ALL of his track star grandchildren in jeans, with his house slippers on and a cigarette in his mouth. *smh*  My Grandmother called him a  “risk-taker” for which we are all grateful to him to this day, as we STILL remain property owners in Oakland.

 If it weren’t for the positive encouragement of my Grandparents, I wouldn’t have taken such a dedicated interest in Family History extending to Geneaological research.  Upon many attempts I’ve worked to crack “the mystery” surrounding my Grandfather’s paternal line.  I’ve heard the ‘lore of half-sisters one day, estranged family members asking for money another day, yet NO NEW INFO today, this is where Ancestral grace will kick in. Some years back, I did learn from his draft registration card,  his Father,

WestOaklandsignage_LoveLife
Commemorating Lo’Eshe Lacy, killed in a West Oakland shooting at age 16    @hoodline.com

Claude Waters, Sr was previously married to a Daisy Rose and the next of kin listed on the card was a “Raiford” “Rayford” ; In subsequent searches there’d be an absence of any information between the 1920’s and 1930’s, although I’ve located residence info cited in the 1930 U.S. Census.  I’ve been poking in and around neighbor surnames on Census records as well, and even super-sleuthing information surrounding my great grandfather’s first wife Daisy Rose-Waters her 2nd husband and son , with no avail to any additional information.

According to my Elder Uncle, my Great-Grandfather would not speak of his parents, it was said he was pretty hush-hush about his Family.   Yet, my Grandfather’s life quest was to learn more about his paternal side – this quest was bequeathed unto me before he died. I’ve stay in the works to this date, destined to unearth the answers. And with the introduction of DNA testing, I have tenaciously encouraged, prayed, and coached 2 generations of our treasured Y-chromosome WATERS Men to rise to the occasion and help crack this Family code — my fingers are still crossed. // #workingmylines

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archive photo: Owens Illinois Glass Company founded in Oakland, CA 1946 as plant number 20, drawing many to the West for war-time work, including my Grandfather; eventually the company was re-assigned as Owens-Brockway Glass Container Company for which my Brothers and I worked various shifts in East Oakland as teenagers.

[image: @GlassFloatJunkie blogspot]