Entertaining real-life stories with valuable lessons on how to succeed in business and in life
Entertaining and compelling real-life stories. The author is successful business, real estate, and media entrepreneur Dick Kazan.
Published on September 27th 2022
Kelley Dixon-Tealer: Connecting with her enslaved great-great-great grandfather.

Lost letters reunite a family after more than a century
Lost letters reunite a family after more than a century photo: goodmorningamerica.com

For most American descendants of slaves, their ancestral search ends abruptly at slavery, for few details of slave lives were kept, and few slaves could read and write.

But 48-year-old Kelley and her mother Marie Jenkins, both of Houston, had a dream come true.

(Story continues from "Read More")

With the help of Ancestry genealogist Nicka Sewell-Smith, they located the Freedmen's Bureau, an agency set-up by Congress after the Civil War.

It helped ex-slaves locate family members, legalize marriages and buy land. Although the Bureau closed in 1872, its records are stored at the National Archives.

Lost letters reunite a family after more than a century
Photo from "A Dream Delivered: The Lost Letters of Hawkins Wilson photo: theskanner.com

In pursuing their genealogical search through Ancestry, they found two letters written in 1867 from her great-great-great grandfather, Hawkins Wilson.

The first letter, written from his Galveston, Texas home begins, "Dear Sir, I am anxious to learn about my sisters, from whom I have been separated many years."

Hawkins Wilson first letter
Hawkins Wilson first letter photo: washingtonpost.com

The second letter begins, "Dear Sister Jane, your little brother Hawkins is trying to find out where you are and where his poor old mother is."

And those letters had revelations: In them for example, they learned Mr. Wilson was born a slave in Virginia in 1837, and at age 6 was sold to a different slaveholder.

Mr. Wilson wrote of his wife, Martha White, whom he married in 1867, and that he earned $18 a month as a church officer and caretaker.

Meanwhile, in doing this ancestral research, Kelley located two distant female cousins in Virginia, and she and her mother are building a close relationship with them.

Kelley Dixon-Tealer, back right, and her mother, Marie Jenkins, back left, meet their distant cousins
Kelley Dixon-Tealer, back right, and her mother, Marie Jenkins, back left, meet their distant cousins
photo: washingtonpost.com

"I'm just blown away," Kelley told The Washington Post.

"I spent my Juneteenth looking at my new family tree. To touch those names made me feel like I'd won the lottery."

Editor's Note: : Mr. Wilson lived until 1906.

To learn more, https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/2022/06/24/kelley-dixon-tealer-letters-enslaved/.

In the next KazanToday: The Chicago White Sox made a 7-year-old cancer patient's dream come true.


Home Archives Subscribe Unsubscribe

Also from Dick:

Visit A Touch Of Humor

A Touch Of Humor

Visit Personal Writings of Love

Personal Writings of Love

A Touch of Wisdom A Moment Of Prayer Sane Ramblings

Memorable Quotes

A Moment Of Prayer

Thoughts From A Friend (Spanish)

All Contents 2023 https://www.KazanToday.com