Ancestor Approved

George Geder, Pat Salt, Elizabeth Saunders, and Deborah Andrew have each honored me with the “Ancestor Approved.”   My backlog has kept me from ackinowledging them sooner. The terms are that the recipient must list ten things I have learned about any of my ancestors that has surprised, humbled, or enlightened me and pass the award along to ten other bloggers who you feel are doing their ancestors proud.  Well, here are ten things:

1.  SURPRISE! My maternal family is connected to the Clarke family of New Jersey Revolutionary times.

2.  SURPRISE! My father appaers to be a direct descendant of the Birdsong family,  originally from Virginia, but very prominent in antebellum Georgia.

3.  SURPRISE!  My father’s uncle, Elias Bowie, was the first African-American to participate in a NASCAR event (1955).

4.  HUMBLED: Despite a life in the bondage of slavery, my second great-grandfather, William Sanford, survived to the age of 106.  In 1854, according family lore, his masters moved from Tennessee to Texas. William  walked the entire way, pushing a wheelbarrow in which rode the sons of the master.

5.  HUMBLED:  My second great grandfather, Ezekiel Johnson, escaped from slavery at age 17, and immediately enlisted in the Union Army.

6. HUJMBLED: By all the achievements of my ancestors!

7 .  ENLIGHTENED: By the realization that my family is like many other American families with a variety of races and ethnicities in our family tree.

8.  ENLIGHTENED: To learn that human relationships are a lot more complicated than they seem on the surface–and that’s been true for many generations.

9.  ENLIGHTENED: To fully understand that where I am has been determined by where they were.

10. SURPRISED, ENLIGHTENED, & HUMBLED: To comprehend that all my ancestors, African, Scots, English, French, and Native American,  were all the hardiest of their cohorts and ready to take enormous risks for the sake of future generations.

Please visit the blogs of my nominators:

George Geder:

Elizabeth Saunders:

Pat Salt:

Deborah Andrew:

Now for  more recipients. I just chosen five, since during my recuperation. I haven’t kept up with as many as usal.  Please visit these interesting folks:


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April 2010
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