Taking Back What Was Once Lost

Paternal Ancestors

Smith/Harris/Garner

John Smith

John Smith

My paternal grandfather was William Smith (1916-1972) and he was born in Jacksonville, Duval County, Florida. His parents were John Smith (1885-1960) and Georgia Harris (1890-1937). Yes, my ancestor’s name was John Smith; it is the most common name in the world! Needless to say this presents serious challenges to family history research on this line.

John and Georgia appear together on the 1930 federal census as a family, and also on the 1935 and 1945 Florida State Census records. The 1920 census shows Georgia as head of household  with the surname  “Gardner”. However, she has several “Gardner” AND “Smith” surnamed children, which led me to suspect that she had been previously married to another man. Using the birthdate of their first child, it would appear John and Georgia married sometime around 1912, but I haven’t located their marriage license yet. Why John does not appear with his family in 1920 is also a mystery.

John and Georgia had the following known children together: Iris, William, Eugene and Lillian. They made their home in a modest house in East Jacksonville, on Harrison Street, a house that my father grew up in (and his father )  and the house I visited as a child:

House on Harrison Street

House on Harrison Street

Although John’s death certificate places his birthdate as June 1880, I think he was born closer to 1885 based on other documents. Oral history said that John’s father was a white man, and looking at his photograph that is pretty believable, right? A DNA test of my father, Paul, indeed confirmed his Smith DNA as tracing back to European heritage.

John Smith’s early life has not been uncovered yet and continues to be a challenge. He was born in Georgia, but various records point to different counties in Georgia. This line really showed me the importance of learning how to analyze evidence; I have seen the value of spending more time analyzing than you do accumulating data. I have yet to  locate any record of this John Smith in Georgia (though in October 2012 I have a possible lead).Jacksonville city directories identify this John as being there as early as 1907 (obviously there are lots of John Smiths). John was employed by the Mason Lumber Company for many years. He is listed in their employ in several city directory entries and also on one census record. I have a copy of a deed dated 1946 where John is purchasing his home from the Mason Co.

John lists his father’s name on the SS5 Social Security Application as Simon Smith, and his mother  as ‘unknown-died at birth’. John is remembered by his grandchildren as being a very quiet, soft-spoken deferential man. It is unknown whether or not John had any siblings or exactly what year he came to Florida. His obituary lists him as a member of the Spring Hill Baptist Church. He died on June 8, 1960.

John’s wife Georgia unfortunately died young, in 1937 at the age of 45 of pneumonia. Georgia was born ca. September 1890. Georgia Harris had been previously married to Isaac Garner. They married in 1906 in Madison County, Florida (I have their marriage license) and had at least the following children: Pete, Marie, and Camelia. They appear on the 1900 and 1910 census in that same county. By 1920, Georgia is living in Duval County and apparently with John Smith, although as I mentioned above, John is curiously not in the household. Searching back in time in Madison County, I find that Georgia’s mother’s name was Matilda, and she was married to Perry Davis on the 1900 census. My grandmother’s Bible  listed Georgia’s mother correctly as being named Matilda. Matilda was born abt. March 1874. In September 2012, I had an exciting breakthrough about this Matilda, and was able to finally trace her to life.

It is clear that Perry is not Georgia’s father; Perry is listed as stepfather to Georgia and her sister Ruth. Georgia and Ruth also have the surname Harris.I had a breakthrough in 2012 when I found that Ruth Harris married a man named Nish Torrence, and subsequently migrated North to Philadelphia where the family is found in 1920. Ruth and Nish had 5 children: Leonard, Ruth, Alma, Nish Jr., Katie and James. I hope to one day reconnect with my Torrence cousins.

Research into both John and Georgia’s history continues.

In January 2009, I spent several hours at the Duval County Courthouse unsuccessfully searching marriage records for John Smith or any of his children. I spent another few hours at the gorgeous newly built Jacksonville Public Library a few blocks up. I spent most of that time looking through all the city directories. Those did lead me to isolate the death date of Georgia’s son Pete Garner, and I was able to then order his death certificate so the day wasn’t a complete failure, but I certainly wished I could have discovered more. My fabulous uncle William, who the family calls Uncle Bunny, also took me through what would have been the black cemeteries of the time and it appears that one or two of John and Georgia’s children are buried there. We didn’t have time to stop and look around as it was getting dark, but that’ll be on my ‘to do’ list for next time I’m there.

As I mentioned, John and Georgia’s son William Smith was my grandfather.

William Smith

William Smith

William, born 1914, attended the public schools of Jacksonville. He completed high school at Edward Waters College in 1935.  At the age of 9, this enterprising boy started running deliveries for a local drug store. He spent years apprenticing and thoroughly learned the pharmacy business. William married Pauline Waters in 1938 after meeting her while she was teaching at the Boylan-Haven School, a private Methodist school for negro girls. I have a collection of love letters written between the two right before their wedding which is really a nice thing to have. William kept his promise to Pauline to craft a good life for them, and he went on to become the owner of two very successful drug stores in Jacksonville, known as the Willie Smith stores. William died too young, at the age of 57 in 1972, so I did not get to personally know him but have been told many stories about his kind, generous and hard-working nature. The Smith family was popular and well-known, and William and Pauline were loving parents to their two sons, Paul and William Smith.

William and Pauline

William and Pauline

Lillian Smith

Lillian Smith

I have not discovered too much information about John and Georgia’s other children, and Georgia’s children with her previous husband. Their daughter Lillian, my grandfather’s sister, was a graduate of Xavier University who worked for many years in DC. William mentions her several times in his letters to Pauline.  As of a few years ago, she was still living at a nursing home in New Jersey where my father and I visited her. However, she sadly was suffering from dementia. Lillian had one daughter, Rosslyn. Both of William’s other brothers, Pete Garner and Eugene Smith, both died young. Eugene died in 1950 at the age of 35; he was employed as a stevedore. Pete died in 1949 at the age of 44. Most everyone in this line is deceased, so the only lead I have at this point is to try to trace the other siblings, Marie and Iris and Camelia, and also the three children of Eugene Smith, Harry, Roosevelt and Willie James. Perhaps they have living descendants, but again, the commonality of the Smith surname makes it really hard to locate the right people.

A Willie Smith Store

A Willie Smith Store

I’m not giving up…the search continues!

Waters/Curtis/Fountain

Pauline Waters

Pauline Waters

My paternal grandmother was Pauline Waters (1915-1997) and she was born in Still Pond, Kent County, Maryland. Her parents were Daniel George Waters (1875-1957) and Beatrice Prather (1888-1974). Daniel’s ancestry can be traced all the way back to a freed slave named Joshua Waters born ca. 1776, and back further still to Joshua’s mother Sarah, born abt. 1755. I found a manumission at the Maryland State Archives showing Joshua being freed in 1819 by his owner Susannah Waters in Somerset County, Maryland, which means his descendants appear as freed blacks on all subsequent census records. Joshua was 43 years old in 1820 and had a large family; he had a wife and at least 6 children. In Maryland, over 60% of  blacks were freed before the end of the Civil War.

Joshua Waters’ mother Sarah belonged to a man named Griffin Stith, who lived in Northampton County, Virginia, and Sarah was sold along with 4 of her children (George, Will, Leah and Joshua) in 1780 to John Stringer. John Stringer was the second husband of Susannah Waters. When John Stringer died, his wife Susannah became the legal owner of all of his slaves. It blows my mind that a branch of my family was here before this country was the United States! This is the lineage I have been able to trace the furthest back.

My direct line traces through Joshua’s son Daniel James Waters. I found a few deeds (1855, 1871) that show Daniel purchasing land; he had initially worked as a farmer. But Daniel later become a Methodist minister with the Delaware Conference. The Methodist church was one of the first groups in the country to ordain black ministers and to advocate for the abolition of slavery. Daniel James appeared in Methodist records starting in 1875, and church records document his travels as he ministered at different churches on the Eastern Shore of Maryland and Delaware. Daniel James Waters married Fanny Fountain and by 1860 they are shown living in the Potato Neck district of Somerset County, Maryland. Daniel and Fanny had at least 8 known children: George, Mary, Daniel, Samuel, Henrietta, Sally, Lavinia and Maria. By 1880, they’ve moved to the city of Milford, in Kent County, Delaware. The church records Daniel’s obituary in 1894 and Delaware probate records give small details about his burial and passing.

Daniel’s son Samuel Waters was my gg-grandfather, and he married Mary (Mollie) Curtis. Not much information has been located about them, but they can be found on the 1880 census in the Fairmount district of Somerset

Daniel George Waters

Daniel George Waters

County, MD, living with two children, Maria and Daniel. Their son, Daniel George Waters, is my great-grandfather. He was born April 9, 1875, according to his World War I Draft Registration card.

By 1900, Daniel G. Waters had married for the first time and was living in the city of Easton in Kent County, MD with his wife Gertrude Ennals and their three young children, Edna, Ralph and Pearl. By 1910, Daniel was widowed and caring for his youngest son, Ralph. By this time, he was living in Berlin (Worcester County, MD) and had heard the call to ministry and began preaching for the Methodist church, following in his grandfather’s footsteps. Unfortunately, his second wife, Cassie Smalls, whom Daniel married June 28, 1910, died shortly thereafter on September, 1912. In 1914, he remarried for a third time to Beatrice Prather (my ggrandmother) and by 1920 they are living in the city of Preston (Caroline County, MD) with their three oldest children, Pauline, Eugene and Walden. By 1930, the family has grown to six, with Wellington, Ovington and Daniel Donald rounding out the bunch. Between his three wives, the elder Daniel had 11 children.

Daniel George Waters was remembered as a stern parent and a disciplined man of the cloth. He was a powerful preacher, and impressed upon his children greatly, as well as those in the community. He was very active and passionate about the work of the church. When he fell Beatrice lovingly cared for him. When he died in 1957, his obituary reflects that he was well-known and well-respected, even by the whites of the time. His death certificate says he was buried at a cemetery in Easton, MD and I would assume it would be at one of the Methodist churches. One thing on my “to do” list is to locate that cemetery and his gravesite.

Daniel and Beatrice Waters

Daniel and Beatrice Waters

The youngest of Daniel George’s children, my Uncle Donald (he’s really my great-uncle), keeps alive the memory and embodies the character of the Waters family. My Uncle Donald was the one person who I remember always talking about and sharing the Waters family tree when I was younger, so he was really an early influence on me. He had it printed out on a long paper scroll. I have done a video interview of Uncle Donald about our family history, which will become a cherished part of our story. His eldest sister Pauline, my grandmother, also left behind a book about her life which I edited and had published as a birthday present for my father. I am fortunate that I know many of my Waters cousins and get to interact with them on a regular basis as several live here in the DC/MD area.

Beatrice Waters with her Children

Beatrice Waters with her Children

Amazingly, when I first started researching, I met a cousin online, David Briddell, who was descended from this same Waters family. He and I have collaborated over the years on this family. His ancestor Henrietta Waters was a sibling of Daniel James Waters.

I would love to find more information on the Curtis and Fountain lines, and also more information on the siblings of Daniel George Waters as well as his aunts and uncles. This is another line made more difficult by the prevalence of the name; there are hundreds of African-American Waters on the early census records of the Eastern Shore of Maryland. They are not all related, as the (white) Waters were a huge slaveowning family and it appears as if many of their former slaves adopted that surname.  I do most research on this line at the Maryland State Archives and also the Nabb Center in Salisbury, MD.

Prather/Simpson/Fleet

Levi Prather

Levi Prather

My paternal great-grandmother was Beatrice Prather (1888-1974) and she was born in Montgomery County, Maryland. Her parents were Levi Prather (abt. 1839-1894) and Martha Simpson Prather (abt. 1845-1910). They appear on the 1870 and 1880 census together. After Levi’s death, Martha appears on the 1900 census. Their descendants appear on the census records afterwards and in fact still live in the area today.

Levi’s father was Rezin Prather. He is living in the household with Levi and Martha in 1870 (he is 70 years old); it was common for children to care for aging parents. Another indicator is that my grandmother, Pauline Waters Smith, wrote in her Bible that Levi’s father’s name was Rezin. Levi also named one of his children Rezin. This is all speculative evidence,  but it is possible that nothing exists that is more concrete than that. I have discovered that Rezin, Sr., had been enslaved by Nathan Cooke. His son Levi had been enslaved by , widow of Walter Williams.

Martha Jane Prather and 3 of hr children

Martha Jane Prather and 3 of her children

Levi’s wife Martha Jane was a Simpson, and my grandmother Pauline’s Bible shows Martha’s father as Perry Simpson. I have not found the slaveowner who may have owned either Perry or Margaret as yet. There is a Perry Simpson of age to be Martha’s father living in the area, but his wife  Margaret as shown in the 1870 and 1880 census records, is not Martha’s mother. Her maiden name was Margaret Fleet, and she married Perry Simpson in 186 in Washington D.C.; she is not old enough to have been Martha’s mother. However, Margaret turned out to be a very interesting person to research. She was originally from Washington, DC and can be found in the 1860 and 1850 census records there. She came from a prominent family; her father Henry Fleet was a very well-documented free black shoemaker who lived in Georgetown. Several youths were apprenticed to Henry over the years and this family also appears in DC estate records of the time. Margaret and other family members even opened accounts at he Freedmen’s Bank. A real treat for me was to find that Margaret lived to be over 90 years old—old enough for me to find her death certificate with her parent’s names clearly listed: Henry Fleet and Sarah Carter.

Levi's Headstone Part 1

Levi and Martha Simpson Prather had 12 children that survived to adulthood. The 1900 census notes that Martha actually mothered 15 children, which implies 3 of her children had died. The 12 known children are: Mamie Jane, Idella, Cornelius, John W., Rezin, Darius, Lucy, Harriet, Beatrice, Ruth, Eugene and Maria. I found many of their marriage and death certificates, probate records and many of the deeds where they expanded upon the land their mother had purchased. There are also stories about them that their children, nieces and nephews remembered. They led rich, interesting lives in the late 19th and early 20th century and my goal is to trace their lives as completely as possible. Bible records that were discovered in the family have helped and given clues about the Simpson and Prathers that am still investigating.

Levi's Headstone Part 2

Levi’s Headstone Part 2

Levi and Martha raised their family on a farm on Griffith Road in a small section of Laytonsville called Unity. Surprisingly, as mentioned above, the first purchase of land was made by Martha in 1897, after her husband’s death. She bought 2 acres of land from whom I initially believed were neighbors. I later discovered that Martha had a sister named Harriet Leanna and that sister married a man named Nicholas Moccabee. So, the land that Martha Prather first purchased was from her sister and brother in law.

Martha’s children over the years added onto that land, most significantly her daughters Harriet and Lucy who purchased 75 acres of land in 1916. I traveled to the place where the house once stood. Although there is a lot of surrounding development, there are still swaths of rural, rolling farmland in that part of Montgomery County and it is quite beautiful. My great-uncle Donald Waters has many vivid memories of spending time with his grandparents at their home.

Education was of primary importance for this family and

Beatrice Prather

Beatrice Prather

several of the children attended Howard University in Washington, DC and other schools such as Armstrong. My great-grandmother Beatrice attended the Institute for Colored Youth, a very elite school in Pennsylvania aduring that time. It later became Cheyney State University, the first historically black college. This speaks to a degree of prosperity the family must have had.

The Prathers were active members of Brooke Grove Methodist Church, which still stands (although it is no longer called Brooke Grove). The Brooke Grove cemetery is the final resting place of Levi and Martha, some of their children and many other African American community members. Rezin Prather, Sr., the man I believe to be Levi’s father, was one of the original Board of Trustees for the church that later became Brooke Grove, Goshen Methodist.

The primary places I go to research this family are the Maryland State Archives, the Montgomery County Courthouse in Rockville and the Montgomery County Historical Society.

Beatrice graduating from the Institute for Colored Youth

Beatrice graduating from the Institute for Colored Youth

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20 Comments

  1. Tericka's Gravatar Tericka
    October 17, 2009    

    Robyn,

    It is so amazing how much Alice looks like your great grandmother Beatrice.

    You have done such a great job with the site…Keep up the great work!!

    Tericka

  2. Tericka's Gravatar Tericka
    October 17, 2009    

    and you look so much like Lillian, your grandfather’s sister:-)

    Tericka

  3. Uncle Donald's Gravatar Uncle Donald
    November 12, 2009    

    Robyn, the picture above of my parents, Daniel and Beatrice standing together, was taken in the back yard of our house in Bridgeville, DE which was the parsonage. Of course, this is the house in which we lived while dad pastored at the Methodist Church which was across the street. The house in the background was the last house we lived in. Dad bought this house when I was in the 10th or 11th grade.

    • Robin Waters's Gravatar Robin Waters
      January 20, 2010    

      HI UNCLE DONALD!!!! MISS YOU MUCH!!!!!!

  4. Robin Waters's Gravatar Robin Waters
    December 12, 2009    

    THIS IS ABSOLUTELY AMAZING!!!!!! I am fascinated to read about my linage. Seems like since the elders have gone, we’ve lost touch but hopefully I pray that is a thing of the past. I am the granddaughter of Daniel Eugene Waters, brother of Pauline, Ralph, Ovington, Wellington, Donald, & Uncle Walden. Looking for ANY of my cousins.

  5. Jahrod Pender's Gravatar Jahrod Pender
    December 20, 2009    

    hey my name is Jahrod and my family are the Johnsons of Upper Fairmount, which use to be potato neck, where your family of waters lived. I was told I am related to the waters and I had a great great —– uncle William Johnson who was also sent to be a ordain minister. On the 1860 census your Daniel Waters and My Great Great Great Great Grand father James Johnson where sure enough living next to each other. Family lure has said my ancestor James Johnson was the first settler to purchase land in Upper Fairmount which was called first Freetown Hill. And the rest of the Free people followed our family is still there to this very day. I noticed that your Daniel Waters had a land deed in 1855, well Im guessing thats when he followed the rest of the family. There was once four families Boggs, Waters, Gillis, and Johnson. All of them were sailors. Please email me I think I pieced some more info between our families Im so glad i found this website my email is wlouana@aol.com

  6. December 14, 2011    

    This is so interesting. My grandfather was Daniel Eugene Waters!

  7. Kelsey Briddell's Gravatar Kelsey Briddell
    May 16, 2012    

    My name is Kelsey LeeAnn Briddell. I have been trying to research my family origin/history online< more so recently< and all throughout my life. This article came to me through research and brought me the name David Briddell…any chance anyone can tell me more about this person?

  8. Jahrod Pender's Gravatar Jahrod Pender
    October 17, 2012    

    I finally took you advice about looking through the indexed Somerset Maryland deeds. Apparently, your ancestor Daniel Waters, along with my ancestors James Johnson and John Waters, were given land in 1855 from the deceased estate of a white planter named Littleton Dorsey by his son Henry L Dorsey and son-in-law Whitty Colbert! Other free people of color who received the land were John W Boggs, Samuel G Waters, Levin Waters, and William Wilson. John W Boggs was step-brother to my James Johnson and William Wilson was a brother in-law. Interestingly before this land became know as Freetown Hill, it was called the End of Strife, which was held mainly by the Maddox family, as shown in the Maryland Historic Inventories. Also, I found out my other ancestor Anthony Waters was freed by Susan Waters between 1827-29. Anthony Waters appeared on the 1832 Somerset free people of color list and 1850 Tyaskin, Somerset Census. Again I am trying to figure out this connection between my Waters family and yours, which is getting closer and closer!

    • Barrington Wilson's Gravatar Barrington Wilson
      January 1, 2013    

      Hello. My name is Barrington Wilson. Robyn, my compliments to you for making this information accessible. A while back, I noticed that your Waters ancestors and other family members in the Upper Fairmount (Potato Neck) region of Maryland’s eastern shore were neighbors to my great great grandparents, William Wilson and Mary Wilson (specifically, I noticed this in the 1870 census record). My great grandfather was one of the children living in the home of William Wilson and Mary Jane Wilson. They can be seen in the 1860, 1870 and 1880 census records.

      From what I have learned from a cousin who actually trailblazed the research into this line of our family, my great great grandmother Mary Jane Wilson’s maiden name was Johnson (she was Mary Jane Johnson Wilson). I was struck by Jahrod Pender’s comment that his ancestor James Johnson was a brother in-law of William Wilson; this seems to be compelling evidence that the James Johnson he is referring to was very likely the brother of Mary Jane Johnson (my great great grandmother – and William Wilson’s wife). The implication here is that Jahrod Pender and I are cousins (via the Johnson line). I am now inspired to attempt a confirmation of this.

      You have motivated me to research the actual Somerset County deed records as well. Though the Internet is indeed a wonderful tool, it cannot always replace researching the actual paper records of birth, death and deed information. Thank you again for making this information available.

      • Jahrod Pender's Gravatar Jahrod Pender
        January 21, 2013    

        Hey Barrington! Its always great to meet a new cousin!!! Feel free to email me at jahrodpender@gmail.com. Do you still live on Upper Hill? I was wondering if you had this piece of handwritten information, by my great great great Aunt, who started Johnson Day on Upper Hill back in 1953.

        Aunt Cecelia said the oldest Johnsons she knew and heard of were their great grandfather and great
        grandmother, Noah and Augusta Johnson and their children James, Edward, William, Amanda, Mary
        Jane, all who were born and reared at Back Creek (Somerset, Maryland), and remained there until
        they moved their houses here(Freetown Hill or Upper Hill, Somerset Maryland). They were all free
        negroes and the name of this road Upper Hill was Free Town Hill. Most of these people are related.
        There were once four families, Johnson, Gillis, Boggs, and Waters. This later generation made a
        living by Tonging oysters, shucking oysters, crabbing, fishing, and gardening. Each family man
        owned a sail boat.
        There had been out from this place & Berlene Md. more preachers than any other place in the Del.
        conference, and uncle William (Buddie) Johnson was the first ordained sent from Upper Hill.
        Grandfather James Edward Johnson and his wife Christiana Talafara Johnson were parents of 8
        children, all married, owned their homes and boats.
        Grandfather James Edward Johnson, was the first free negro to move to Free Town Hill, purchase
        land and built his house, and the others followed until all left. Back Creek were they lived is
        now Green Mount Cementery, still owned by us here on Free Town Hill were our papa and his children
        were born. Grandfather James his wife, papa, mamma, and lots of Free Town folk were buried there.
        Papa and Mamma parented 11 children, Alecia, Irving, Effie, Cecelia, Charles, Carolyn, Anthony,
        Esther, Evelyn, Roberta, and Celestine.
        This road running past our homes is Free Town Hill Road and is on our deeds.
        Grandfather Anthony Waters Jr. (father of our mother Mary C Waters), parents were Anthony and Leah
        Waters. They were from White Haven, MD and were slaves. I do not know or have heard much about
        them. Mamma’s parents were Anthony Waters Jr. and Carolyne (Hunter) Waters and were slaves, they
        and all of their children but Mamma. Mama was born the year of the emancipation. Their owner was
        Judge James Dennis of Princess Anne, MD. Papa and mamma were married in his house. The residents
        have moved and made homes elsewhere. Mammas name was Mary Cecelia Waters., (I later found out
        Cecelia was the name of Mary’s parents slave owning Mistress).
        About Waters:
        Grandfather Anthony Water’s home was White Haven, Md. He lived there before he came to Princess
        Anne, (I later found out because he was inherited to James Dennis by his father John Dennis upon
        his death and will). He was suppose to have been of indian (native american) decent. He really
        looked the part. He had a grocery store of his own and like other indians, he gathered many herbs,
        barks and other things that grew in the fields, these were used for many illnesses. His family
        seldom had a doctor.
        Mamma (His daughter) inherited this gift for healing other folk in Upper Hill. They called her
        whenever there was illness in there families. She always went willingly, day or night. She cured
        many of their illnessess including her own family. Many of us never had to call in a medical
        doctor until we left home (Upper Hill) to work elsewhere
        (This information was hand written to Celestine Johnson Rasberry by her older sister Cecelia
        Johnson on May 3 1978 at the age of 89 years. She passed away 5 years later at age of 94.)

  9. karen's Gravatar karen
    February 16, 2013    

    this is so amazing

    • karen's Gravatar karen
      February 20, 2013    

      this is so cool and sad

  10. shawn waters's Gravatar shawn waters
    April 18, 2013    

    My grandfather was Daniel Eugene Waters!

  11. Barbara Waters's Gravatar Barbara Waters
    April 20, 2013    

    Hi Robyn

    My name is Barbara Waters. My great grandfather was George Thomas Waters born in Maryland in 1864. He died in a fraternity house fire in 1945. I am wondering if we are kin in some way.

  12. July 22, 2013    

    Robyn,

    Wonderful and informative post! It’s amazing, I just ran across a “Waters” line on my paternal side of the family that I didn’t know about. What’s unique is the name “Pauline Waters”. This line of “Waters” is from Georgia.

    As always, thanks for sharing!

  13. August 21, 2013    

    This is really awesome! Much blessings to the Waters family. It is awesome to see family come together! God bless you all!

    Pastor Michell Bennett-Ayers

  14. Claude waters's Gravatar Claude waters
    October 12, 2014    

    Hello my family on my father’s side is from the eastern shore, and my mother’s side of the family are Curtis from Prince George County, Maryland. There are Fleets living in the area of Southern Maryland. I am very familiar with Brook Grove United Methodists Church, my former mother in-law, last name Boyd, deceased was a member and president of the usher board. Do you know the Plumbers ? I will send some family history and pictures later and our families may cross paths.

    • Claude waters's Gravatar Claude waters
      October 12, 2014    

      Hello my family on my father’s side is from the eastern shore, and my mother’s side of the family are Curtis from Prince George County, Maryland. There are Fleets living in the area of Southern Maryland. I am very familiar with Brook Grove United Methodists Church, my former mother in-law, last name Boyd, deceased was a member and president of the usher board. Do you know the Plumbers ? I will send some family history and pictures later and our families may cross paths.

      We are large extremely large family.

      • Claude waters's Gravatar Claude waters
        October 12, 2014    

        On the Native American side we are from the Nanticoke Tribe. They have a powwow in Delaware every year. Some of the Johnson side of the family live in Annapolis, MD. I am related to Waters in it was also called upper and lower Fairmount. My father and his brothers were all Methodists ministers 3 . We are related to the Conways.

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I blog, teach, write and lecture about family history research and it's just as rewarding today as it was when I began 18 years ago. This lifelong quest has helped me to better know my past and I've taken back--reclaimed- my kin and some of that lost memory.  

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Holt, Barnes, Harbour, Bradley Springer and Fendricks
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Springer and Fendricks
Montgomery County, MD
Prather, Simpson
Somerset County, MD
Waters, Fountain, Curtis
Duval and Madison County, FL
Smith, Harris, Garner

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