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In September of 2016 I received an envelope in the mail from an elderly (80-something-year-old) white woman who lives in Gray Court, Laurens County, South Carolina. The envelope contained photocopies of grave markers she came across during a walk in the woods near her home.

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As described by Kenneth H. Thompson in a 20 November 2016 review in his long-running genealogy column in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, this book is "an important model for others." 

 

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An overview of one applicant's process of preparing  for the challenge of applying for the  Certified Genealogist(sm) credential.

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Dublin Hunter was a Landowner.

We have documented quite a bit about the Free Man of Color named Dublin Hunter (1785-1850?), from whom Garretts, Mills, and Hunters claim descent. This document supplies another piece of the puzzle: James Hunter—a man with the same man as the former slave owner in Dublin’s 1819 deed of Manumission—also sold Dublin 21 acres of land on Duncan Creek in 1822. I had not discovered any indication that he was a landowner before coming across the following deed on 9 July 2014 (Laurens Co., South Carolina, Deed Book L, page 45, James Hunter to Dublin Hunter, Laurens County Clerk of the Court):

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The Many Faces of Slavery. By Alexia Jones Helsley and Patrick McCawley.

I am always on the lookout for reference works that add to my store of knowledge about antebellum South Carolina. I came across a reference to The Many Faces of Slavery while browsing through the website of the South Carolina Department of Archives and History (SC Archives) (http://scdah.sc.gov: accessed 9 January 2014).

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Interview by Linda McCoy Kumi
 
Photographed and compiled by the wife of a great-great-grandson of Wister Lee Garrett.
 
During the month of April 2012, I spent the month with my Dad at his home in Sumter South Carolina.  I had the privilege of him sharing some of his life history with me. Here is what I learned.
 
When were you born?
I was born October 1, 1918 at the end of World War I.
 
Where did you live and attend school in your early years?
I attended  school in Sumter, Kendall Institute and later Savage Glover through 7th grade.  I graduated from Lincoln High School in 1937.  I had seven brothers and one sister.  We lived in Alcolu, Gable, Manning and Sumter South Carolina, where my dad was a black smith and my mother was a homemaker.

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Filling Ingredients:

Cream Cheese Filling

 

2 Packs of 8 oz. Cream Cheese

 

1 large Cool Whip

 

1 cup of plain Sugar or Sweeten to your taste

 

1 or 2 Cans of Blueberry or Cherry Pie Filling

 

 
*Photo Source: mealplanningmom.wordpress.com

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*Interview by Chaunte` Garrett

Photographed and compiled by the wife of a great-great-grandson of Wister Lee Garrett.

What is your oldest childhood memory?

I guess walking to high school in Greenville.  Walking to Sterling, walking around the corner to my high school.  You know previously I'd been riding cause I was in another area.  I guess walking to school up to Sterling.  I know I loved that.  I just thought it was so great.  And then with the little boys and all of that.  I went to Sterling High School in Greeville [South Carolina].  That's where I grauated from.  I started out in Laurens.  I remember I didn't like down there.  So I can't remember the name of the school.

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Ingredients:

1 and 1/3 cup of Rice

1 Stick of butter or margarine

1 Large onion (sliced thin)

1 Can of Beef Consommé soup

1 Can of French Onion soup

1 bag of 41-60 medium size Shrimp

(Chicken, Pork, or Beef can be cut up and substituted for Shrimp…or no meat at all)

 

*Photo Source: delicious-cooks.com

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Gail W. Tolbert's Benne Wafers

3/4 cup butter
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup sesame (benne) seeds
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon baking powder

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Cream butter and sugar together and mix other ingredients in the order given.  Drop with a teaspoon onto a well-greased cookie sheet far enough apart to allow spreading while baking.  Bake in a 325 degree F oven for 7-10 minutes.  Yield: 7 dozen.

The History of the Benne Wafer
 
Unique to the Low Country since Colonial times, Benne (the Bantu-word for sesame) was brought from East Africa and planted extensively throughout the South. Other foods brought from Africa in the 17th and 18th century include peanuts, sweet potatoes, okra, black-eyed peas and collard greens.

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Gail W. Tolbert's Chicken Rice Casserole
 
 
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 Tbsp. butter
1 can chicken broth
1 can (5 oz.) Swanson (or other brand) chunk chicken
1 cup shredded cheese
1/2 cup raw regular rice
 
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Cook onion in butter until tender.  In a 1 1/2 quart casserole dish, mix together onion, chicken broth, chunk chicken, cheese, and rice.  Cover and bake at 375 degrees for 1 hour.  Garnish and serve.  Makes 4 servings.

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*Interview conducted by Virginia Chapman
Photographed and compiled by the wife of a great-great-grandson of Wister Lee Garrett.
 
What is your full name?
Flora Lee Sullivan Brown Harris.
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When and where were you born?
On March 21, 19 16 I was born in a two story house with six rooms in Laurens County, South Carolina . We lived on a farm with cows, 2 mules, chickens, and potato patches.
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Did you have inside utilities?
No, we had no electricity or telephone and we had a well with a long string with a bucket at the end. We had a toilet outdoors behind the barns.
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What kind of chores did you have?
I helped Mother cook before I went to school and when I got out of school.  I had to help Mama cook and sew.  In addition, sometimes I worked in the corn patch, peach grove, potato patch, worked in the garden with Mama, and helped my Mother do canning.  I also helped my brothers do their chores...I did a little of everything.

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Interview by Ellen Neely
Photographed and compiled by the wife of a great-great-grandson of Wister Lee Garrett.

I had the opportunity to speak to my two cousins about their earlier life and childhood.  Recalling the past and asking questions brought interesting conversation.

Bennie Lee Neely, better known as "Ben" was born April 21, 1935.  He is the third oldest child of Willie Henry "EC" Neely and Lonnie Bryson-Neely.  He was born in the community of Ekom Beach and lived in a small house below Grandpa Neely (J.R.). Ben stated that he remembers when his parents moved to the Hickory Tavern community where his mama's family lived.  In an old wagon daddy packed up and moved the family.  I remember them putting a brake with a stick attached to a metal piece on the front wheel of the wagon, then the other wheels would drag to slow down or stop when going around curves and down hills.  Daddy moved us to the Pitts Farm.

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*Interview by Bridjet Russell
*Photography by Precious Garrett

Photographed and compiled by the wife of a great-great-grandson of Wister Lee Garrett.

When and where were you born? 

I was born in Laurens South Carolina on May 5, 1927.

Were there any special items in the house that you remembered?

Yes my special item that I remembered that was in the house was the wood stove because
that’s how we heated the house and we cooked off of it.

What kind of games did you play growing up?

Hop scotch and basketball.

What was school like for you as a child? What were the best and worst subjects? Where did you attend school?

As a child school for me was good, I loved reading but I really didn’t like math. I went to Sanders High just went to the 8th grade.

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*Interview by Albert Elton Garrett II
*Photography by Precious Garrett

Photographed and compiled by the wife of a great-great-grandson of Wister Lee Garrett.

What is your full name? Did you have a nickname?
My full name is Harold Willie Garrett my brother’s name was Carold Willie Garrett and they called us Cack and Hack.

When and where were you born? 

I was born in the country on the land that we own.

Did you have any chores as a child?
Yes, I had to fetch water, milk the cow, and feed the chickens.

Who were your childhood heroes?
Jackie Robinson and Joe Louis

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*Interview by: Beryl Dakers Burton

Photographed and compiled by the wife of a great-great-grandson of Wister Lee Garrett.
Dr. Naomi Mills Garrett was a South Carolina African American history pioneer, you can read more about her at: http://www.scafricanamerican.com/honorees/view/1992/2/

Re: HOW HER PARENTS MET

"My mother's father came from a different type of family. They had what would be called the taxicab concession today; but back then, they were called "drayers." They met every seaboard train. One day a young country boy came in with a box on his shoulder. They asked if he wanted a ride. He didn't have the amount [of money], so he said: 'Let my trunk ride and I'll walk along behind. I'm here to go to school.' He (Mother's father) was so touched that the boy wanted an education that he said: 'Get in. I'll take you.'"

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*Interview by Thomas Weldon Garrett Jr.
*Photography by Precious Garrett
Photographed and compiled by the wife of a great-great-grandson of Wister Lee Garrett.
 
What is your earliest childhood memory?
At four years old, I would wait for Ms. Sally Sullivan, a teacher, and run to meet her after school. I was too young to go to school.
 
Describe the personalities of your parents and life in their household.
Dad was a businessman. His business was farming. Smart dresser. Wore tailor-made suits. He was strict. Mom was the sweetest woman in the world. She was called Missie. She would bake mudhoe pies just for me. On Sunday mornings, we went through the Bible before eating, then we'd pray. Everyone had to go to church. Mama was quiet (and) nice. If other boys had money and I didn't, she'd call me over and give it to me.
 
What kinds of games did you play growing up? What was your favorite thing to do for fun?
Playing baseball and rabbit hunting. We played baseball with other children from nearby churches.

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Denise (Garrett) Frederick's Baked Ziti

 
Ingredients:
 
1 pound ground turkey or beef
1 large onion
2 tbsp basil
2 tbsp oregano
2 tbsp parsley
2 tbsp garlic powder
1 tbsp thyme
1-2 tbsp salt (to taste)
1 large jar of spaghetti sauce
4 lbs of mozzarella cheese
1 large container (16 oz) of ricotta cheese
1 quarter cup of balsamic vinegar
1 lb of ziti pasta

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*Interview by Albert Elton Garrett III

Photographed and compiled by the wife of a great-great-grandson of Wister Lee Garrett.

What is your earliest childhood memory?

Riding a mule. When I was coming up we had a mule...three of them. I have been riding mules since I was about 5 or 6 years old. I also had a horse named Texas for 26 years.

What world events had the most impact on you while you were growing up? Did any of them personally affect your family?

Baseball and The Negro Leagues. When Jackie Robinson made it, I felt that one day I would make it. I was about 14 years old when he made it.

How is the world today different from what it was like when you were a child?

More Love...there is no Jim Crow. You get a chance to love everybody. We were taught what to do and what not to do, it was the only way we were going to make it. Most of the time when you respect people they will respect you. Most people respected my dad.

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*Interview by Albert Elton Garrett III

Photographed and compiled by the wife of a great-great-grandson of Wister Lee Garrett.

What is your earliest childhood memory?

I used to pick berries and pull cotton (smiles)

We worked on a farm and picked cotton and cleaned things. When things needed to get done the children did it. Ain't no one person did it, we all did it.

Who were your heroes growing up?

I looked up to my parents growing up; I also looked up to my uncle Fredrick, he was a teacher.

What was your favorite music back then?

At that time people started buying children small radios and everybody started getting them. We had one for the whole family. We listened to all kinds of music.

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Ingredients:
1 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
1 8 oz. container of Cool Whip or non-dairy whipped topping
2 lemons
1 graham or shortbread ready made pie crust

Instructions:
Combine sweetened condensed milk, cool whip, and the juice of the lemon in a bowl. With a large spoon manually stir ingredients for 15 minutes (time spent incorporating the ingredients improves the taste).

Pour the contents into the ready made pie crust of your choice. Refrigerate for a minimum of two hours prior to serving.

Enjoy!

 

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"The Garrett, Neely, and Sullivan families first came together in Laurens County, South Carolina during 'slavery time.'  

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