Wednesday, December 28, 2011

A Little Bit of My Family History Part I

As some of you may know, I was in South Carolina for Christmas with my extended family. I must say this was much needed in my life at the right time. I cannot express in words how wonderful it was to be around my family as I believe family is everything to me. I know we all have our ups and downs with them but I would not change anything in the world with mine. Being as though my grandmother just passed away in July, it was still on my heart. We went to her house to clean some stuff up and my mother wanted her cedar chest. I just walked around and got this warm but sad feeling over me. Later on that day we were all just sitting around talking and I started to ask questions about my great grand parents and my mother, aunt, and cousin knew a lot about them so I wanted to do more. I must say Google is an amazing thing and I cam across a website that my second cousin had out there. Come to find out, she had been doing research as well and then the information just started to come out. I got as far back as my great great grand parents. Wow! Good stuff! I will do more research to find out more but I wanted to share this with you all. This is on my mothers side. My fathers side is soon to come as I found out from my dad that my great great grandpa was white and my great great grandma was a native Indian. Check out this about my moms side. Sarah-Moultrie Graham is my grandma and I was am a part of that branch.

Zannie Graham and Phyllis Barr-Graham came from a section of Williamsburg County called Indiantown.  The history books and census books are scarce regarding Blacks.  We did find, however, that white masters with the names Grahamn, Barr, and Wilson were prominent in Indiantown and they gave their names to the slaves.  We believe that these slaves were our predecessors.

Zannie Graham was born February 11, 1891 in St Mark.  Little is known about the family of annie except that his father's name was Dairy Graham and he had two brothers, Samuel and Julius (Bubsy).  Zannie was raised by a white family.  Zannie's father was married twice.  His second wife's name was Bennie.
Phyllis Barr was born in 1892 in St Mark (according to a historian interviewed).  It was also noted that Grandma Phyllis was born the year of "The Big Shake" which was 1886.  Phyllis was the daughter of Tensil Bss and Ben Barr.  Ben Barr was born around the Civil War.  He was a farmer and owned 20 acres of land on which he grew rice and wheat, had a cane mill, and raised cows and hogs.  Tensil was his first wife and the mother of Phyllis.  Ben's second Wife was Elizabeth who became the mother of Ben's three youngest children, Mattie, Rosa and George.  Elizabeth was a farmer's wife and owned 40 acres of land.
Phyllis had 5 brothers:  Washington, George, Henry, William and Jacob Barr and 8 sisters: Mary (Honey) Wilson, Margaret Rogers, Lena Cooper, Fibby Barr, Tara Barr, Rosa (Plum) Burrows, Mattie (Flossie), Russia dnd Sally Barr.
Zannie and Phyllis were married November 18, 1913 at Trio, South Carolina.  Zannie was 21 years and 9 months old and Phyllis was 21 years old.  They both resided in Vox, SC.  They had a grand wedding with a horse drawn carriage and a big celebration after which they made their home in Hemingway, SC.
Over the years, they became the parents of 7 children, one of whom died in infancy.  There children were: Minnie Graham-Hawkins, Daniel Graham, James Graham, Sarah Graham-Moultrie, Zannie Graham, Jr., and Christine Graham-Coo[er.
Zannie departed this earth August 20, 1972 at the age of 81.  Phyllis joined him 14 years later on January 12, 1986 at the age of 95.

Have you ever researched where you family is from? What did you find out? Did it shock you? Where you proud? Let me know your thoughts.


  1. Family history is always an interesting find,Kevin. I know that my great-great grandfather was Irish, though looking at me you would never believe I have Irish roots (LOL!) But there is so much to learn, and I have always wanted to do more research on my family's African roots (to find out which country on the African continent we originally came from). Hopefully in 2012 I will make good on that promise.

    Thanks for sharing!

  2. I also love family history. I know my dad and uncle have researched, just not sure what they found. We are Italiian, know how that could end up!! Found you from Chasing Joy.

  3. It's great to keep track of your family history. I always feel so sad when I see a bunch of family photos in a thrift store, y'know? People should cherish these things.

    I dropped by from Chasing Joy's #FBF linky. Happy New Year! :)