"I was just amazed at the strengtof family feeling that could bring so many people together from so many distant places, and I wondered where did that family strength come from, and where were the roots of that gathering. His son, who had done mission work in Africa, said it was a rice paddy. And there are flag-waving patriots like World War II veteran Joe Henry Hairston. They didn't and couldn't do any better for themselves.' ", Wiencek was there, taking notes. This Peter Hairston, a judge, remembers the first time a black person was allowed to come into his house through the front door. It is where love begins and where love ends.”. I strongly feel that this is the beginning of my story of Slave & Master on my Maternal family line. Zara’s sister Agnes Cully Peters (my grandmother) and my mother Betty Mae Peters moved to Los Angeles so that […], I have been divorced for at least 22 years, however I have always felt a part of my in-laws family. Published 9:56 am Thursday, August 8, 2019. Smiling, she opened the door and walked right in. Many of them chose the name Hairston. "I am the product of my ancestors, whoever they were," he says. On Saturday, those slave descendants were at the plantation again, part of a weekend-long reunion. Family is very important to the Hairstons. Hate is destructive.". Everlee recalls the conversation: "He said that we had lived a very good life on the plantation. COGNITION of Davie County is working to create an interactive, educational space for children, families, and the community. This was the 46th-year reunion of the Hairston Clan. I will be attending the Hairston Family Reunion which is held yearly. They owned not one but dozens of plantations, and thousands of slaves. Our story is no different than other African Americans. From a family will, he figured out that the Peter Hairston, who died in 1832, had children by this slave named Sal, which means that the great great great grandfather of the judge is also the great great great grandfather of Joe Henry. Foster gave the group a brief history of the plantation, saying that three slaves were sent to the site in 1814 to see if cotton and tobacco could grow there. Adopted Genealogy Native American Orphaned Root … January 21, 2014. The frugal Hairstons kept careful track of their property. "When I started thinking about the day that I sat on those bags of cotton," Everlee says, "and thought how much I hated the fact we were working our hands off on somebody's else's land, for such a very very little pay, it was crazy. Like it or not, he's family. The descendants of those slaves are now a huge family scattered across America. We all ran until we reached the end of a cotton row. What Wiencek calls the bank books of human souls. I have little by little been able to get […], Adopted Paternal Ancestry Cesar Chavez, Vernon Sukumu and Walter PorterCirca 1976Courtesy of Conley Major Cesar recently celebrated his birthday on March 31st. They share a name, and a place, and a history. Copyright © 2020 CBS Interactive Inc.All rights reserved. Those ancestors got to see the plantation house, built in the mid-1850s and being restored by Bob Pearl and Ann Hall Wauford of Robert Pearl Restoration. So now the Judge has a new cousin. Update: I just learned that Aunt Edith Williamson passed away yesterday. Standing is an old log cabin as a reminder that history slumbers but never sleeps. This will be my first time attending. Everlee went back to the plantation, and continued the discussion. “We can’t come here to tour,” said Robert Hairston. It was a tense moment: "A silence fell over the crowd because no one had ever publicly spoken to the judge that way before. But at a recent reunion when Judge Peter Hairston was an invited guest of honor, Everlee shocked hundreds of Hairstons by publicly accusing him of mistreating her family. The result is his book: "The Hairstons: An American Family In Black and White.". But if this looks like one big happy family, it's not. She discovered that some of the Hairston slaves were allowed gun permits. Holloway thought about her ancestors, certain they were never allowed to enter the big plantation house – especially through the front door. How did the Hairston families survive a system designed to tear families apart? I want to know more about my maternal ancestry, however, I have dragged my feet in connecting with the very people that can and may be willing […], I love seeing the different articles talking about Zara Cully Brown. There has to be a better way of life'.". Joe Henry, who is also an attorney, was also skeptical. Hamilton Hill Taylor Family Reunion LaTanya Joseph, 863-812-7245, 2016.Orlando.Reunion… Everlee Hairston, a sharecropper's daughter and veteran of the Civil Rights marches, now lobbies in Washington for the rights of the blind. At first, the judge believed that there wasn't enough evidence to prove that he was related to Joe Henry Hairston. May they transcend time and once again hear the words of the preacher. “We come here to pay homage, to pay tribute.”, “I think about them (ancestors) not giving up on hope,” said Avis Watkins-Smith of Cooleemee, a descendant. "But these are things you don't talk about in polite society in the South.". 1.3K likes. This mansion is one of the last vestiges of what once was a vast empire stretching from Virginia to Mississippi. As a serious scholar of Southern history and a self-appointed guardian of the family's extensive archives, Judge Peter helped the black Hairstons trace their roots. I will be attending the Hairston Family Reunion which is held yearly. "My grandfather wanted us to bond," says Everlee. And Joe Henry has no hard feelings. I don’t […], Maternal Adopted AncestryThis is not the first time I have written about the Singleton-Gilliam Ancestry. And that's where it did go. The Hairstons is possibly the largest family clan in the United States. The annual reunion of the national Hairston Clan, Inc. looks more like a convention than a typical family gathering. Her training began in Worcester, MA and once she married James M. Brown, she took her skills with her to Florida where her sister Hannah Cully who married Elvin Brown “Unkie”, the brother of James Brown.I remember my mother mentioning Aunt […], Zara Cully BrownPhoto in Private Family Collection My Great Aunt Zara Cully Brown, who was born January 26, 1892 in Worcester, Massachusetts enjoyed performing at a very young age. All families have their disagreements. My […], Maternal Birth Ancestry [l-r] Felicia, Cecilia & Esther Munozcirca 1932Courtesy of Ermalinda Espinoza The very thing that I want, is the very thing that has made me reluctant. It’s part of America’s story.”. “It’s fascinating.”. At this, she laughs. “I’m two years in, and I’m still discovering things,” she said. Because like it or not, they are family. Cesar was a Farm Worker, labor leader and a civil rights activist. The Hairston & Gallant Family Lineage Study of the Hairston Family Name: Originated in England/Scotland/Wales The surname was recorded in Dumfriesshire where they were seated in both Dumfries and south of the border in Cumberland where the name was more commonly spelled Harstan or Harston. It is also very possible that the Nelson Surname is important to this research. She’s been to the Wilson Library, where the records are stored at the university. Everlee, who ws born and raised on the plantation, lost her eyesight in her 20s, but she has always managed to find her way. It had grown to 4,500 acres by 1860. They are named Hairston primarily because their ancestors worked on plantations owned by one of the biggest names in slavery. I said, 'perhaps they couldn't or perhaps you made them think that they couldn't. But that wasn't the end of it. “A history that prohibited slaves to congregate, to speak their native language, and the most challenging, the separation of family. "I consider Judge Peter a friend, a very good friend, and a very fine person," says Joe Henry. I discovered at least ten years ago that my maternal 2x great grandmother Martha Hairston […] Discover .
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