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10 May 2010: CoAAG 3rd Edition, They Served with Honor: African-Americans in the Military (1914-1953) ~ John Lawrence Taliaferro, Gunner’s Mate Third Class, USNR

TALIAFERRO-NAVY-DISCHARGE-front-croppedMy father, John Lawrence Taliaferro, served in the Navy during World War II.  He entered active service on 16 July 1942, in Macon, Georgia and was honorably discharged from the U. S. Naval Personnel Separation Center in Shoemaker, California on 5 December 1945. What a great Christmas present for his family who I am sure prayed for his safe return.

I know from my mother that she met my father, shortly after his discharge. My mom told me that when she met my father, he was wearing his Navy uniform. Maybe he was celebrating – happy to be home from the war.  That was the only story I had that placed my father in the military.  In 2006, my cousin gave me his discharge paper, and from that I pieced together more details about his service in the Navy.

My father held several ratings during service including, AS S2c, S1C, and GM3c. I believe the “S” rating stands for Seaman. The GM is for Gunner’s Mate.  I learned that Gunner’s Mates are responsible for the operation and maintenance of guided missile launching systems, gun mounts and other ordnance equipment, as well as small arms and magazines.

On his discharge paper under “Qualifications and Certification Held” is Driving Winch, Checking Ammunition; under “Service (vessels and stations served on)” USNB Nav. Mag. Port Chicago, Calif,- USNB NAD, Mare Island, California, and USNAD, Navy # 66; and under “Remarks” Asiatic-Pacific Theatre, Victory Medal, American Theatre, and Point System.

Obviously, my father completed his tour of duty, and made it home safely. Historically, however, things could have been quite different.

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The Port Chicago Disaster

America was swept into World War II on 7 December 1941. As war in the Pacific expanded, the Naval Ammunition Depot at Mare Island, California, was unable to keep up with the demand for ammunition. Port Chicago, California, located 35 miles north of San Francisco, proved an ideal place for the Navy to expand its munitions facilities. Construction at Port Chicago began in 1942. By 1944, expansion and improvements to the pier could support the loading of two ships simultaneously.

African-American Navy personnel units were assigned to the dangerous work at Port Chicago. Reflecting the racial segregation of the day, the officers of these units were white. The officers and men had received some training in cargo handling, but not in loading munitions. The bulk of their experience came from hands-on experience. Loading went on around the clock. The Navy ordered that proper regulations for working with munitions be followed. But due to tight schedules at the new facility, deviations from these safety standards occurred. A sense of competition developed for the most tonnage loaded in an eight hour shift. As it helped to speed loading, competition was often encouraged.

On July 17, 1944, a deadly munitions explosion occurred at the Port Chicago Naval Magazine in Port Chicago, California. Munitions detonated while being loaded onto a cargo vessel bound for the Pacific Theater of Operations, killing 320 sailors and civilians and injuring 390 others.  Most of the dead and injured were enlisted African-American sailors; Of the 320 men killed in the explosion, 202 were the African-American enlisted men who were assigned the dangerous duty of loading the ships. The explosion at Port Chicago accounted for fifteen percent of all African-American casualties of World War II.

Source: Naval History & Heritage Command, Navy Department Press Releases, July 16-31, 1944 folder, Box 55, World War II Command File, Operational Archives Branch, Washington, DC. http://www.history.navy.mil/faqs/faq80-1.htm  assessed 8 May 2010.

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What does all this mean? Exactly what did my father do while in the Navy during World War II? Honestly, I don’t really know.  As a Gunner’s Mate he was definitely involved with ammunition.  Was he involved in the Port Chicago incident? It’s very likely.  I know he served on vessels during several major campaigns, the Asiatic Pacific Theatre, and the American Theatre.  He also received the Victory Medal which “may be awarded to all members of the Armed Forces of the United States or of the Government of the Philippine Islands who served on active duty in World War II at any time between 7 December 1941 and 31 December 1946.” (Established by Public Law No. 135 of 6 July 1945.)  Source: U.S. Navy Awards Manual, 1953.

My father, John Lawrence Taliaferro, was discharged on 5 December 1945.  He served in the Navy for 3yrs, 4 months, 19 days.  On his discharge paper under “Character of Separation is “Honorable EE”. While I don’t know the specifics of my father’s service in the Navy, I’d like to think he served his country to the best of his ability, and that he served with pride. I’d like to think that my father, John Lawrence Taliaferro, Gunner’s Mate Third Class, USNR, Served with Honor.

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19 April 2010: 2nd Edition, Carnival of African American Genealogy ~ Grandma’s Hand: Grandmothers and Their Influence On The Family

It’s Grandmothers Day at the Carnival of African American Genealogy.  The theme for this 2nd Edition of the CoAAG is Grandma’s Hand: Grandmothers and Their Influence On The Family. We invited you to tell your stories and share memories of your grandmother.  The stories we received pulled at our emotions and warmed our hearts.  They reflect the heart and soul that is in every grandmother.  Grandmothers are the cornerstone and foundations of our families; not just African American families, but all families.  Your stories and memories reflect the truth of that statement.

An array of grandmothers has shown up for this very special event, and the spotlight is shining on them.  A gallery of beautiful images starts this event followed by stories full of love and special memories.  We hope you enjoy this special CoAAG.  It’s all about our Grandmothers.  We are here to honor them.

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Vicky Daviss-Mitchell presents Carnival Blog: GrandMa’s Hands posted at Mariah’s Zepher. Vicky makes us laugh, cry, and smile with memories of her grandmother, Essie Dean Taylor.

Felicia Mathis presents Carnival of African American Genealogy: Grandma Hands! Grandmothers and Their Influence on the Family! posted at Our Family As A Whole: Mathis/Mathews-Smith & Beyond!! Felicia shares memories of a summer in Chicago with her grandmother Lily.  Felicia’s Grandma Lily always said… “What’s done in the dark, will eventually come to light.”

Luckie Daniels presents 2nd Edition ~ Carnival of African-American Genealogy: Grandma’s Hand ~ I’ll Fly Away, Memories of Annie CARTER JACKSON posted at Our Georgia Roots.  Luckie shares heartwarming memories of her great grandmother Annie.  Luckie’s Grandma Annie always said… “A cow will need his tail to fan flies for more than one summer.”  Meaning: Don’t worry if someone does you wrong, they will need you again!

Angela Walton-Raji presents The Carnival of African American Genealogy: Grandma’s Hands – – Remembering Grandma, Nanny & the Ladies posted at My Ancestor’s Name.  Angela honors her grandmothers with memories of quilts, sassafras tea, and “play pretties”.

Renate Sanders presents CoAAG- Grandma’s Hands: Grandmother’s and Their Influence On The Family posted at Into the Light.  Renate takes us on a sentimental journey with tributes to her grandmothers.

Mavis Jones presents Carnival of African-American Genealogy, 2nd Edition- Grandma’s Hand posted at Georgia Black Crackers.  Mavis takes us on a last visit with her “Little Grandmother” Mary Magdalene Pierce Hosch.

Leslie Ann presents Carnival of African-American Genealogy 2nd Edition- -Grandma’s Hand posted at Ancestors Live Here.  Leslie Ann shares memories of her Grandma Piggott, on what would have been her 99th birthday.

Gini Webb presents Lieselotte “Oma” Haf 1913 ~ 2010 posted at Ginisology. Gini shares a beautiful tribute to her Oma who recently passed away in Germany at age ninety-six.  Gini holds dear loving memories and keepsakes from her dear sweet Oma.

Luckie Daniels presents 2nd Edition ~ Carnival of African-American Genealogy: Grandma’s Hand ~ Memories of Lena Mae McKENZIE BARWICK posted at Our Alabama Roots~ Barwick & Related. Luckie shares the poem written by her brother for their great grandmother’s 100th birthday.

Felicia Mathis presents Carnival of African American Genealogy: Grandma Hands! Grandmothers and Their Influence on the Family! posted at Echoes of My Nola Past.  Felicia honors the memory of her NaNa- Odessa Amos.

Drusilla Par aka “Professor Dru” presents Memory Monday: Grandma’s Hands and HomeMade Biscuits posted at Find Your Folks.  Professor Dru writes about her memories of homemade biscuits made by her maternal grandmother.

Mavis Jones presents Carnival of African-American Genealogy, 2nd Edition- Grandma’s Hand posted at Conversation With My Ancestors.  Mavis shares special memories of her Grandmother Jones.

Kathleen Brandt presents Grandma’s Hands posted at a3Genealogy.  Kathleen shares memories of her grandmother and the beautiful quilt made with pieces from her grandmother’s dresses.

Joann presents Carnival of African American Genealogy, 2nd Edition: Grandma’s Hand ~ Ruth Baylor ~ Great Day posted at J-Macs Journey.  Joann shares loving and beautiful memories of time spent with her grandmother Ruth – shopping and “French Fryers”- “Great Day!”

Sandra Taliaferro presents Carnival of African American Genealogy, 2nd Edition: Grandma’s Hand ~ Julia Ann (GATES) MIDDLEBROOKS MINTER posted at I Never Knew My Father.  Come with me to Woodbury, GA as I share memories of my maternal grandmother.

Amy Cain presents Grandma Don’t Take No Mess! posted at Reconnected Roots.  Amy shares memories of her Grandmother Para Lee “a tough-talking, no-nonsense disciplinarian”.

Luckie Daniels presents 2nd Edition ~ Carnival of African-American Genealogy: Grandma’s Hand ~ A Bridge Over Troubled Water, Memories of Fannie Louella JACKSON BARWICK posted at Our Georgia Roots. Luckie pulls at our heartstrings with memories of her grandmother “Anbownes”.

Dionne Ford presents Carnival of African American Genealogy: Grandmother’s Hands posted at Finding Josephine. Dionne shares loving memories of her great grandmother Marie- “a perfect picture of composure and grace”.

George Geder presents Carnival of African American Genealogy 2nd Edition – Grandma’s Hand posted at Geder Genealogy.  George shares memories of his grandmother, Willa Lenard Hancock.

Darlene presents A Model Grandma posted at My Colored Roots.  Darlene shares great family memories of living with her Grandma Clara.

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS

CoAAG 3rd Edition ~ They Served With Honor ~ In Memoriam, African-Americans In The Military 1914-1953

Host: Amy Cain of Reconnected Roots

Military research can yield important genealogical information. Yet, many overlook this valuable resource.  Have you researched military records for your African American ancestors? In your research, what did you find out about their service?  If you have not done any research in military records, this CoAAG presents the perfect opportunity to get started.

For the 3rd Edition of the CoAAG, tell us about your African American ancestor(s) who served in the military and write a post to honor them.  If you don’t have an African American ancestor with military service, but know of one who served honorably make this an occasion to honor that person.

Submissions deadline: 12 May 2010

HOW TO SUBMIT

There are two options:

  • By Submission Form. Use the quick and easy CoAAG submission form provided by Blog Carnival provided by Blog Carnival.
  • By Email. Send an email to the CoAAG at CoAAG2010@gmail.com.  Include your blog name, the post title and permalink URL of your carnival submission.  Make sure to put ‘They Served With Honor’ in your email subject line!

Well, that’s it for this 2nd Edition of the CoAAG. I would say we did our grandmothers proud.  Don’t you agree?  Thank you for supporting the Carnival of African-American Genealogy!  You make it possible…You keep it alive!  See you next time – Wednesday, May 19th – when the 3rd Edition of CoAAG comes to town!All the best,

** A special “Thank You” to Luckie Daniels for the image gallery, and for her guidance through this process. Your support and assistance were invaluable.

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29 March 2010: My Grandmother Always Said……

Grandmothers are always speaking words of wisdom. Little phrases that we tend to reach for and think on in times of need, or sometimes just for comfort and reassurance. A grandmother could always pack a big life-lesson in a few words or a short phrase…most times serious, sometimes funny, always thought-provoking.

I didn’t spend a lot of time with my maternal grandmother, Julia Ann GATES, and never met my paternal grandmother, Fannie Mae LAWRENCE. I often wonder what little sayings or gems to live by they would have given me.

The 2nd edition of the CoAAG, Grandma’s Hand: Grandmothers and Their Influence On The Family, is fast approaching, and will go live on Monday, April 19th. The deadline for submissions is Monday, April 12th. To get you in the mood and spark some of those memories, I thought it would be fun to share some of those grandmother “words of wisdom”….those one-liners that carried more lessons than a year of school. They will be a wonderful preview to the many stories coming up in the CoAGG. Just leave a comment with your favorite saying or quote from your grandmother. I’ll share all those grandmother “gems of wisdom” in the carnival on April 19th. Come on share the love. My Grandmother Always Said……

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CoAAG 2nd Edition ~ Grandma’s Hand: Grandmothers and Their Influence On The Family

Write a post about your memories of your grandmother and be sure to include a picture of Grandma if you have one!

Submissions deadline: Monday, 12 April 2010

HOW TO SUBMIT

There are two options:

By Submission Form. Use the quick and easy CoAAG submission form provided by Blog Carnival.
By Email. Send an email to me, Sandra Taliaferro, your 2nd Edition Host. Please remember to include your blog name, the post title, and permalink URL of your carnival submission. Make sure to put ‘Grandma’s Hand’ in your email subject line!

If you’re a first-timer to carnivals, or just need a quick “how to” checkout these two helpful resources:

Blog Carnival FAQs

How to Submit a Post to a Carnival

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21 March 2010: Call For Submissions: Carnival of African American Genealogy ~ 2nd Edition Grandma’s Hand: Grandmothers and Their Influence On The Family

Julia-Ann-Gates-Middlebrooks-Minter

Grandma’s hands
Clapped in church on Sunday morning
Grandma’s hands
Played a tambourine so well
Grandma’s hands
Used to issue out a warning
She’d say, “Billy don’t you run so fast
Might fall on a piece of glass
“Might be snakes there in that grass”
Grandma’s hands

fannie-mae-lawrence-taliaferro

Most of us have heard these lyrics from the song “ Grandma’s Hands” which was written by Bill Withers about his own grandmother. Many of us identify with the sentiments conveyed in the song. We have all been touched by the love of Grandma’s Hand.

Historically, grandmothers have played an important role in the family and community. Grandmothers are without a doubt the backbone of the family-the matriarchs. This is especially true for African American families. Our grandmothers took care of us, and some even raised us; they showed unconditional love, and ensured we stayed on the straight and narrow. They spoiled you rotten, but never let you forget who was in charge. When grandmama called, you came running; no I’ll be there in a minute, cause most grand mama’s didn’t take no mess. They were our protectors, our teachers, and our caregivers; a source of wisdom and encouragement. Grandmama always said…. or like my Grandma use to say….you remember it all-these words echo throughout our being, and always seem to be there when we need guidance. If she said it, it must be important, and you remember it to this day. They worked, cooked, and cleaned; they took care of their family, and anybody else who was in need. That’s just the way it was.

Grandmothers are the keepers of the family history and traditions passed down generation to generation. How many of us started our research with an interview with Grandma? She had the stories, the names, and the dates. Many of our grandmothers are gone, but left us with a sense of self and family pride that is the foundation of our very being and who we are today. If you are fortunate to still have your grandmother in your life, treasure every moment for they are the jewels of the family.

The stories and memories of our Grandmothers are as diverse as the two photos above. Each one of these beautiful ladies was a Grandmother; they are my Grandmothers. Their lives and stories were very different and yet the same in so many ways. On the left is my maternal Grandmother, Julia Ann (Gates) Middlebrooks Minter, and on the right, my paternal Grandmother, Fannie Mae (Lawrence) Taliaferro. One I knew, the other I did not. They both have a story to tell. I plan to share one or the other, or maybe both. Like a good granddaughter, I’m waiting for them to tell me what to do.

The 2nd edition of the Carnival of African American Genealogy is all about Grandmothers. Tell us about your grandmother, and the impact she had (or continues to have) on your family. Do you have a special memory of Grandma? Share it! Do you have a photo that you cherish? Show it! The spotlight is on grandmothers. Tell us her story, your way. Make your Grandma proud!

I am extremely honored and excited to be the host of this very special 2nd edition of the CoAAG.

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CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS

CoAAG 2nd Edition ~ Grandma’s Hand: Grandmothers and Their Influence On The Family

Host: Oh, that’s me folks. Sandra Taliaferro of I Never Knew My Father

For the 2nd Edition of CoAAG: Grandma’s Hand, write a post about your memories of your grandmother and be sure to include a picture of Grandma if you have one!

Submissions deadline: Monday, 12 April 2010

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HOW TO SUBMIT

There are two options:

By Submission Form. Use the quick and easy CoAAG submission form provided by Blog Carnival.
By Email. Send an email to me, Sandra Taliaferro, your 2nd Edition Host. Please remember to include your blog name, the post title, and permalink URL of your carnival submission. Make sure to put ‘Grandma’s Hand’ in your email subject line!

If you’re a first-timer to carnivals, or just need a quick “how to” checkout these two helpful resources:

Blog Carnival FAQs

How to Submit a Post to a Carnival

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12 March 2010: We’re Having A Carnival… I Wonder If The Ancestors Will Celebrate?

We’re Having An Inventory and Appraisement… I Wonder If The Ancestors Will Celebrate?

DATE:  9 February 1856

LOCATION: Fulton County, GA

PLACE: Richard Taliaferro’s Farm

Inventory and appraisement of the Estate of Richard Taliaferro (of unsound mind)

Miles and son John

Valued at

Willis & Wife & child (Letta)………………………………………………………..1900.00

Miles & Son John……………………………………………………………………..1700.00

Nancy & Son Albert……………………………………………………………………1250.00

Hulda & Child…………………………………………………………………………..1000.00

Jesse……………………………………………………………………………………….900.00

Kipy & Peter……………………………………………………………………………….1000.00

Mingo Wife & two children………………………………………………………………..2100.00

Green & Mahaly…………………………………………………………………………….1550.00

Clinton & Molly……………………………………………………………………………….700.00

I Wonder If The Ancestors Will Celebrate?

 

154 years later…..

We’re Having A Carnival…I Wonder If The Ancestors Will Celebrate?

DATE: 19 March 2010

LOCATION: The Internet

PLACE:  The GeneaCommunity

This I my first Carnival. I am so excited. But, it’s not just any Carnival, it’s the very first Carnival of African American Genealogy. The theme for the Carnival is – Restore My Name – Slave Records and Genealogy Research.

I Wonder If The Ancestors Will Celebrate?

One aspect offered for discussion – What responsibilities are involved on the part of the researcher when locating names of slaves in a record? I submit there is a huge responsibility on every researcher to share slave names found in records encountered during their research. The major aspect of that responsibility is SHARING. The responsibility to share slave data falls on every researcher- descendants of slave owners, descendants of the enslaved, and yes, even those whose ancestors were not slave owners. It is a genea-community responsibility. If we step up to the plate and share this responsibility…

I Wonder If The Ancestors Will Celebrate?

Our spirits are high, and we’re encouraged by recent developments. Descendants of slave owners are sharing slave-related documents on a regular basis, posting and tweeting about slave info, and creating new daily themes focused on sharing slave-related documents. A new movement is spreading throughout the genea-community, and it’s contagious.  A Friend of Friends is resurrecting The Underground Railroad 21stcentury style with modern day genea-conductors. We are sharing and caring; communicating and exchanging; coming together with a common purpose. We switched from defense to offense; from blame and finger-pointing to understanding and acceptance.

I Wonder If The Ancestors Will Celebrate?

Up above my head, I hear music in the air…

I Wonder If The Ancestors Are Celebrating?

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