Middlebrooks, Taliaferro

A Simple Promise to Sandra

I was in my car on February 15, 2013 when I learned via a Genea-Traveler email from Felicia of Echoes of My Nola Past, Sandra TALIAFERRO had passed. It took my breath away. San and I hadn’t spoken in a long time. Too long really. I didn’t even realize Sandra had been ill.

Though the heaviness of her passing followed me for days, I couldn’t help feeling San was finally free. I could see her interviewing the TALIAFERRO and MIDDLEBROOKS Ancestors she’d spent countless hours searching for. I could see her getting to know her daddy, John Lawrence TALIAFERRO and reuniting with her Mama, Lillian MIDDLEBROOKS who passed on September 27, 2009 — San’s birthday.

I could see her walking and exploring and if she felt like it — probably running!:)

Many don’t know Sandra spent almost 45 years in a wheelchair. In route to student orientation on her first day of college at Clark Atlanta University, Sandra and friends were in a terrible car accident that nearly took her life. In spite of her physical constraints, Sandra rose — in every possible way.

Sandra TALIAFERRO was as stubborn as a mule, but she was truly amazing too! I hope she knows that now. So in October when San came and sat on my shoulders to say something had to be done to prevent her research from being lost, I knew better than to ignore her!:)

The timing stunk! I’d just loss Mama 8/5 and started AAGSAR 8/15. Small gestures of attempting to pay for her I Never Knew My Father domain or rescue research data from her old computer were unsuccessful. The only thing I could do, was re-post Sandra’s archived research work to a new domain.

So I promised Sandra [if she’d allow me to sleep] I’d complete our restoration project before the New Year. I added her last archived post penned January 7, 2012 – Saturday Night Genealogy Fun – Your Very Best 2011 Research Adventure to her new online home, The TALIAFERRO Project on December 31, 2013. Not even 1 day to spare!:)

There are 72 posts in all, and they tell us MUCH about who Sandra TALIAFERRO was as a daughter, sister, friend, human and researcher. The TALIAFERRO research is a meticulous body of record for any genealogist with connections to San’s family line. It’s also an EXCELLENT example for the methodical nature of good research — how it should be approached, documented and cited.

Without question, Sandra knows how much I love and respect her. We can’t bring her back but we can continue to champion the Ancestor work effort that was her lifeline. We can direct new researchers — connected or not — to the wealth of data and best practices it offers. We can continue working the leads to confirm the cousin connections either our hearts and/or DNA told us are there.

That’s how we honor Sandra — rise to whatever challenge is presented, live life without excuses, and be impeccable.

Do small things with GREAT . The TALIAFERRO Project.


Happy New Year!:)



6 thoughts on “A Simple Promise to Sandra

  1. Peggy Parks Miller says:

    What a beautiful tribute to a woman whom I much admired and loved. You have complimented her work and her life in an exceptional way. Sandra was a genealogist extraordinaire. Her ability to find those lost nuggets that help to connect the dots from the past to the present was remarkable. Sandra’s tenacity’s and commitment to her research was phenomenal. Thank you for giving this notable woman her due diligence. Her memory lives on because of your hard work…………Get some sleep!

    • MyLuckieGroove says:

      Thank you so much Peggy! I know how close you and Sandra were. She was extraordinaire. Sandra’s work is now timestamped. It will always be here for others to reference & build upon. I hope to close the loop on a few of her questions! Please stay in touch & yes, I’ve been resting well!:)


  2. Fabulous! I to was stunned when I heard the news from you Luckie. San has never left us. She lives on forever in the pages of the work she penned. Thanks for keeping her legacy alive. Thanks for sharing your story!

    • MyLuckieGroove says:

      Thanks Joann! Sandra’s cousin Peggy recently spent the afternoon reading and commenting on Sandra’s restored posts. It was a BEAUTIFUL experience. So thankful to know her work will not be removed from us again!:)

  3. Bernita says:

    What a beautiful and heartfelt tribute. You honored her the tremendous work she did for the genealogy community. Her spirit lives on. She sounds like an amazing woman. Thank you for restoring her work for all us us to enjoy. You are a true friend and champion of the word.

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