Thursday, January 30, 2014

Through various family gatherings we are able to put together the pieces of our heritage into some cohesive narrative. We are grateful for Yvette Miller, a Red Cross physician, who shares our common Patriarch for initiating the genetic blood test. John Faison Jr was our oldest living male relative in 2005. We collected his blood for the DNA test. His blood line represented both the Faison and Sharpe Genealogy. John’s mother was the niece of Malachi Sharp.
Malachi is the father of the Sharpe families. We were able to gather a genetic profile which links us to the Bylanta people of Cameroon and the Tucar tribe of Guinea. We may not be able to trace our passage through the Atlantic to a specific year or landing on these shores . We do.
Life In rural eastern North Carolina did not change much after June tenth 1865. There was Cotton to pick, Tobacco to cure, peanuts to stack. So for the Faison family share cropping became an alternative to freedom with nowhere to go. Joe’s sons and daughters found labor and reward. Betty Sue was born 1883 a beautiful girl with long black hair E.T. Faison recalls. She remained and old made with quaint ways. My mother recalls Ant Sue was an avid reader. She wore her shoes on the right foot on e week and then reversed the order, so she would not run them over. Maymie, my mother spent lots of time with Aunt Sue, she outlived Aggie. There was a distinct flavor of gratitude and a pleasant disposition demonstrated through our family. There is a little song Aunt Sue would sing, “ every time I reach up I get a couple of something, pull it down and put it in my bosom, Oh do Lawd come a little sooner than you did last night”. It was tongue and cheek about going into massas smokehouse and ripping some smoked Herring from the stach. People of that era found gardening, hunting wild game a source of their largess. Matresses made of feathers, windows of greased paper, fire places , black pots for washing clothes and cookin. They has a sustainable lifestyle inspite of adverse racial policies. They endured hardships so we could see a brighter day.
Joe’s son Fredrick served in the war in 1918. He returned home alive and made his home in Pembelton, NC. He had one daughter Effie. I remember visiting there home in the 50’s. Solomon was a burley but short man of outspoken character. He was a farmer and father of 13. Uncle John was a spiritual man with a powerful singing voice. I can close my eyes and see him gliding down the aisle shaking hands and sing in long meter ( call and response ) songs of Zion. There would not be a dry eye in the sanctuary. His 13 sons and daughters proudly share our musical heritage. John farmed also. Aggie my grandmother shared our great-grandmothers profession as Nurse Practitioner/Mid-wife. Aggie and Malachi Sharpe had 5 living children. They farmed in the shadows of Hertford County between Aulander and Saint John, NC. My grandfather Malachi Sharpe was from Poe Town just outside Aulander. My mother recalls her mother taking the wagon and sometimes being gone for days to execute her profession

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