Saturday, January 18, 2014

Cousins By The Dozens

This is just, I think, an interesting little tidbit. I promised to tie in the journey to find my roots, and how it also involves, albeit in a small way, the quest for a life in the country and how I ended up in Georgia.

Dad was always in a hurry "to make good time" [whatever that is] when we traveled. Being a kid, I desired to linger in the beautiful woods that went whizzing past the car windows. On one trip home from western Pennsylvania (early 1960's and pre-Interstate), I have a vague memory of begging Dad to stop in Georgia. I wanted to touch some of that lovely red clay that lined the roadsides in my hands. Red clay was fascinating to a Central Florida girl who grew up with thickets of flat scrub pines, palmettos and sugar sand. Most of the time, he would just shout he was in a hurry. But this time he stopped at a clay embankment, scooped up the clay putting it into a bag, then slung it at me in the car. "Here!" he mumbled, as he mashed the pedal of the Chevy and it heaved itself down the road. I was so pleased to have that silly clay! I kept it for a long, long time. From the very start, something drew me to the Georgia countryside. Was it the natural beauty or was it something deeper?

Back to the Big Land Hunt: we just couldn’t find anything suitable in Florida in our price range. I suggested to my ever patient, understanding husband about venturing further North into southeast Georgia. The siren call of the red clay was still there, little did I know why.

After finding the maternal side of my birth family, we settled into the time consuming part of getting to know each other. That went over fairly well for
people who are basically strangers. We had so little in common, though. Even with satisfying my curiosity about my birth-mother, I still felt empty, disconnected, and left with a hunger to learn more about my family. I still wanted something that would help me feel like I too belonged on this planet and had a purpose. So, I resolved that I would go further back in the family tree.

In the interim, we had moved to our current location in southeast Georgia, in the Spring of 1993. By that time the Internet for public use was coming into it’s own. For us country mice, it was dial-up and very slow, but it almost always worked. Communications where opened up between history researchers. FamilyTreeMaker software for home use premiered. Many Courthouses and Genealogists now had their public info on-line. All this made researching for the Financially Impaired so much easier. I took up the reins of research with the greatest of ease. To aid in the search I ordered the customary Marriage Licenses, Birth and Death Certificates, visited courthouses for documents with my family‘s name on it. Photographed cemetery tombstones hoping for connections. From one of the documents I had ordered I learn my grandmother, Bessie Moore, first wife of George Baxter McMahan and mother to my birth-mother, Marian Estelle "Mary" McMahan, was born in Axson (Atkinson County), Georgia before her parents moved to Florida during the first Great Depression. “Oh, my goodness”, I thought, “I’ll never find her parents, let alone her grandparents. She might as well have been a Smith!” Oh ye of little faith! I was worried over nothing. Thanks to Folks Huxford and his Pioneers of Wiregrass Georgia books, to whom many of us owe much, and his cursory research of the Moore Family in Clinch and surrounding countries, I made all kinds of connections. It was so exciting to find more of my blood kin. At that point I at least had a basic outline of Who's Who in part of my Family Tree. And the further I dug into the research, I was shocked because I had moved into an area where I must be related to a good three quarters of the population. I belonged here! I had truly moved HOME.

So not only had God “adopted“ me spiritually when I first believed in Him, but in His wisdom He gave me more family than I can shake a stick at. He knew I needed this physical connection. It satisfied the deep seated yearning for an association to something or someone deep in my soul. It has brought me comfort and peace that I never had growing up. My Lord is indeed forevermore loving and kind to even the least of His servants. Thank you Lord!

But even there, the story does not end. All the information I had gleaned up to that point was relatively easy compared to how I later found my birth-father from a woman whom was deceased, that I never met, that didn't tell her sisters nor was his name on any of my adoption documents. (I know because I had the records opened by court order.) That story is a novelette from which I will spare my readers. [smile]

The Lesson? Life can take a lot of twists and turns but when we trust Jesus, He will indeed take care of us "exceedingly and abundantly above all we can ask or think" [Ephesians 3:20-21]. He truly will carry us Home whatever that "home" is that we all need. Just be sure you enjoy curvy roads.


linda eller said...

Your roots go way back and how great that it brought you to where you were meant to be all along. I know it gave you peace. Hugs and happy weekend my friend.

Simply Linda said...

I agree with Linda..also..God only gives us things to see how we handle it. Some of us go off the deep end (hmm..I will plead the 5th on that one) and some of us handle it with grace. I have learned though..not much..mind let him handle it..Thank you for sharing your stories with us. I love them. Blessings

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing this journey with us. God is good to have led you to the information that gave you peace and to a forever HOME that feels just right!

Deb said...

What a wonderful story. It reminds me of my own reunion with my birth family which God was also definitely a part of...miracle after miracle...Thank you so much and God bless you and your large family there in Georgia!

White Lace and Promises said...

Oh, Sparky, what a beautiful story. Dug in that red clay many times:) Isn't it amazing how we God has so woven us together that our spirits know where is home Wow!

Vee said...

How interesting and it's a beautiful story of God's love and your need to belong. Your father reminds me so much of my own. He was a make good timer or nothing at all. And I love the term "Financially Impaired." Ha!