Joyceann’s Corner “Three Years in the making”

And so it begins

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Thanks for joining us, read on about our journey to our dream home! This site is mainly for recording the process but also to give you the viewer a chance to see how the process worked for us.

Coming up on retirement for us presented a number of things to consider. Financial; our financial picture would be changed and become fixed income. Location; warm weather the older we get becomes a must have. Health/physical needs; Stairs are for youngsters, we need a ranch style home with family and personal needs and desired amenities.

So, first it took a good while to get family in the frame of mind to seriously consider all of the above. It was very sad leaving the home that we worked so hard to upgrade and loved, but we got a great selling deal and felt we cashed in on the market at the right time. but if I had it to do all over again I would have tried to schedule the building before selling so that we would have had a much smoother transition. What we did was having to wait a year and half between selling our home and the final move in date.


Doing my due diligence and presenting an argument with facts and figures to support my ideas was the way I got everyone on board. We soon realized that the only way to get what we needed in a house was to build. We wanted a ranch style home, it was necessary for at our ages stairs were not our friends.   Next, where to retire? Presently, in Northern Virginia was not a sound option ..Way too expensive. Loudoun County, Virginia, a suburb of Washington, D.C., is the highest-income county by median household income. So,  looking at many states with criteria of need for lower taxes, lower cost of living, a good place for retiring veterans, decent warmer climate, close to medical facilities, and close to an international airport.  Oh also, close to a large body of water. The Ocean is okay too!!!                                                           

The final spot we agreed on was Summerville, South Carolina. Perfect! Every time we travel down there it just feels so right… Just a tad north of the Charleston Int’l Airport.

All the while, back home I used an app online called Floorplanner and made various renditions of what we wanted in terms of rooms and space. I got laughed at for my first one was 8000 sq ft. Yes, 8000! so …back to the drawing board and I downsized a bit LOL!

Joyceann’s Corner “Phase Nine and Ten”

Now for the Trimmings

Phase Ten

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Finally getting close to the finish line. The floors are in Wooo Hooo!!

Driveway finally done!

Finishing touches around the house.

Finally getting close to the finish line. The floors are in Wooo Hooo!!

Driveway finally done!

Finishing touches around the house.

Joyceann’s Corner “Finding the land”

Sharon Rodgers

I got together a list of realtors and the only one who took me serious or wanted to be bothered with out of towners with a long-range plan was Sharon Rodgers,  Talk about a wonderful person, she was so patient, helpful and attentive. Each and every time we came down she was ready with a fist full of properties for us to see. Sharon was always prepared with answers to all our questions. We made three trips in 2017 and finally closed on a sweet piece of property in October of that year.  Sharon has become a dear friend of ours.

I took pictures of us walking our property.

I took pictures of us walking our property.

Finding a Contractor

Finding a partner in our contractor that would take on our dreams and visions and make them their mission is rare and profoundly emotional. I still get glassy eyed thinking about those first meetings and feeling so blessed.

The same day we closed we met Brad Murray from CB Murray Construction Company, another special individual. Trust me, I exhausted the list of contractors recommended by the bank who were approved to work with Veterans, again it was the same thing as with Sharon. Brad was the only one who showed any interest in dealing with out of towners, Veterans and the VA loan process. Brad was a good fit and left us feeling like we were on the right track from the moment we met him. Same good feeling like we had with Sharon. Sharon worked closely with us for over 8 months until we found what we were looking for. Brad did the same thing in working closely with us for over the next year and three months until we finally were able to cut the ribbon and break ground.

More to come…..

Joyceann’s Corner – Franklin Hatter

            Whatever the cause of George’s flight, his parting made things rather difficult for the remaining free and enslaved people of color. They found their movements restricted, and travel passes all revoked for quite some time.

           The custom was for slaves to share in the work around various family plantations depending on the time of the year for harvest production or planting. The slaves were hired out for a fee and in some cases transported in chains.

        For Franklin, there were no chains, he was Andrew Hunters’ man. Not sure of the relationship there for Franklin was a well thought of Carpenter. Andrew Hunter was the prosecuting attorney at the John Brown Trial in Charles Town. The baptism records in The Zion Episcopal Church show Franklin’s first four children were baptized in 1855. And later, When Rebecca and Franklin lost their precious daughter Barbara Ellen July 10, 1858, that was posted too. Records show Franklin remaining behind in Charles Town, West Virginia married Rebecca, the daughter of William and Maria Lettie McCord. The Edward Aisquith family, who refused to sell her, enslaved Rebecca, her siblings, children, and parents until the end of the Civil War. Franklin continued working hard just five miles east near the Harewood plantation.

          Though born during slavery this family would live long enough to enjoy freedom after slavery was abolished.

           Franklin would send word to his brother through John Brown’s travelers and would receive news when they returned. Until John Brown’s raid on Harpers Ferry in 1859. It was Andrew Hunter that prosecuted John Brown not far away in the courts of Charles Town, Virginia. Franklin continued to keep his head down and work hard saving for his family’s future. He knew one day things would change. In 1863, Franklin received word from George again attesting to the wondrous opportunity to honestly own the land you toiled on and how the government was so supportive of individual rights. He spoke of all the land available and how well they could do together with their families. We found that Franklin and Rebecca traveled to Canada and saw first hand what a great opportunity was available, they also went into Kent and were formally  married in 1866.

The Hatters returned to Charles Town to settle their affairs and ensure their children were all doing well. It took some time but they did, in fact, return to Canada and enjoyed a free and fulfilling life. The brothers cleared land and built a fine church that still stands today. They both built fine two story homes for their families and enjoyed a high level of prominence in the community of Buxton Township. Franklin lived until 85.


“It is a revered thing to see an ancient castle not in decay; how much more to behold an ancient family which has stood against the waves and weathers of time!” – Francis Bacon

Each day I wake with renewed energy to bring to life the accomplishments and lives of our people who walked before us.

My goal is to have an interactive website that blogs about my historical and genealogical research. Mainly, I want to draw attention to the rich legacy that our ancestors worked so hard to leave for us and future generations.

Dr. Khadijah Matin, my younger sister, has been the family historian for years. The research focus for her doctoral thesis centered on our grandfather the Hon. John G. Pegg. I took from that it was time for me to begin my quest to find out about the rest of the family.  There are some gaps in our historical timeline due to the lack of record-keeping, lost bibles, lost photographs, and limited oral folklore. I don’t think many of our ancestors realized they were making history. I believe that many were just too busy trying to make a living, keeping their families together and out of harm’s way.  

The theme of my research is:

You cannot know where you are going until you know who you are, you cannot know who you are until you know who came before…It is only then you will find your true direction and reason for being…  J. Gray ©

 Charlotte Page m. John Grant Pegg

 1st Lieutenants Wm & John Pegg

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Joyceann’s Corner – Riley

My next episode is on another family member that has contributed to our rich legacy.

Jerome R. Riley, MD


Medical Doctor, Author, and Political and Civil Rights Activist.

Jerome was the Second son of Isaac and Catherine Riley (the first settlers of the Elgin Settlement in Buxton, Ontario,

Medical Doctor, Author, and Political and Civil Rights Activist.

During the war between the states, at the urging of his close friend Anderson Abbott, in 1864 he left his practice in Chatham and joined the Union Army as a contract surgeon. He was among the original founders of the Freedmen’s Hospital. The forerunner of Howard University Hospital.

Dr. Jerome R. Riley was born in St. Catherines, Canada West on March 17, 1840 to Isaac and Catherine Riley. His father and mother were runaway slaves that made their way with two small babies from Perry County, Missouri, stopping in Michigan; then crossing over to Windsor and on to St. Catherines. In 1849, the Riley’s read in a bulletin of the colored settlement to be built at Buxton, Township of Raleigh, Kent County, Canada by the Rev. William King. At 9 years old Riley along with his family were the first settlers in Buxton.  Later, his mother often said, “There we were in darkness here we are in the light.”

At age ten Riley was the prize pupil with the ability to recite long passages in Latin from Virgil’s Aeneid and then translate the sense of the verses.  Six years later, to his parents’ delight;   Jerome was among the first four graduates of the Buxton Mission School, gaining a classical education including Latin and mathematics in an integrated setting in 1850.  In 1856, he attended Knox College, University of Toronto, graduating with honors. By 1861, Riley received his license to practice medicine in Canada West. Ten years later he continued to upgrade his medical knowledge attending both the Chicago Medical College for a year then from the pleadings of his great friend Dr. Alex Augusta he transferred back to Howard University Medical College graduating with a medical degree in Allopath-1873.

In 1901 he wrote, “Evolution or Racial Development” (published by J.S. Ogilvie, New York). In 1903, the Byrd Printing Co. (Atlanta) published his third book “Reach the Reached Negro”. 

He became an active ‘Redeemer’ Democrat and participated in the 1874 Constitutional Convention in Arkansas. The Democrats made a point of retaining the controversial civil rights provisions of their predecessors. New York Herald reporter Charles Nordhoff visited Arkansas in 1875 and found Riley employed as the  County Physician and Coroner. When asked about employment opportunities Dr. Riley boasted that “more colored men were elected and commissioned to offices of trust and pay” than under the Republicans. In the summer of 1877,  he married the former Agnes M. Nalle of Virginia.  

Ten years later, a black reporter from the Indianapolis Freedman newspaper was so impressed with the situation he found in Arkansas that he dubbed the state the “Negro Paradise.”  Within two years in 1890, Jim Crow laws were adopted in Arkansas; no black man served in public office again until the 1960’s Civil Rights legislation.  It wasn’t long after this article appeared in print, Dr. Riley lost his position and returned to the District of Columbia. 

In 1895, the local newspaper; the Washington Bee heralded Dr. Riley as a particular genius and the most gifted writer of the African American race. The comment was made in reference to the latest publication and most popular of Dr. Riley’s work  “The Philosophy of Negro Suffrage” a written work on race problems.

Dr. Riley took on a position as a Capital Watchman at a salary of $900 per annum.  He continued his active quest in civic affairs and the political arena.  In 1894 he was appointed the Deeds Clerk for the district winning out over 91 applicants. In 1891, the Democratic Party of the District of Columbia elected Dr. Riley as their President. He would serve two terms for the William J. Bryan Colored Democratic Club.  

His opposition to American imperialism in the wake of the Spanish American War was motivation to help found the “National Negro Anti-Expansion, Anti-Imperialist, Anti-Trust, and Anti-Lynching League” or the “National Negro League” (for short) and they combated several issues as is clear by their name. Their effects had limited influence at best but did offer a choice for those black activists who felt alienated from the Republican Party.  

Dr. Riley remained politically involved, resided in Brooklyn, Kings, New York, and continued to write and accept speaking engagements until his death on Dec 31, 1929.

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