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“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 offer continuous blogging about 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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Featured post

Joyceann’s Corner Episode One (Payton)

My new podcast will feature excerpts from my website. I will begin with a series of profoundly gifted members of our community that have contributed much with no or little public recognition.

First in our series is the Ambassadors

Carolyn L. Robertson Payton (1925-2001)

Dr. Carolyn L. Robertson Payton was the first African American and the first woman to become the Director of the U.S. Peace Corps,  She was appointed in 1977 by U.S. President Jimmy Carter.

Carolyn L. Robertson Payton was born on May 13, 1925, in Norfolk, Virginia to Bertha M Flanagan, a seamstress and Leroy S Robertson, a ship Steward,  She graduated from Booker T. Washington High school in Norfolk in 1941 and received her BS degree in Home Economics from Bennett College in Greensboro, North Carolina, in 1945, Payton remained close to Bennett College, establishing a scholarship fund there in the late 1990s.

Payton then attended the University of Wisconsin where her tuition and other expenses were paid by the state of Virginia as part of the state’s policy of sending black graduate students to out-of-state institutions rather than allowing them to received advanced degrees at the state’s universities. Payton received her MS in Psychology from Wisconsin in 1948,

After graduation, Payton took positions as a psychologist at Livingston College in Salisbury, North Carolina, and as psychology instructor at Elizabeth City State Teachers College in Elizabeth City, North Carolina where she also served as Dean of Women,  She joined the faculty of Howard University in Washington, DC, after completing coursework for her PhD at Columbia University in 1959,  She received her Ph.D. from Columbia in 1962,

Dr. Payton first came to work for the Peace Corps in 1964. In 1966, she was named Country Director for the Eastern Caribbean stationed in Barbados, serving in this position until 1970,  In 1977 President Jimmy Carter appointed her Director for the entire agency,  She served only thirteen months, however, and was forced to resign because her views on the importance of Peace Corps mission and its implementation strategies, including volunteers being nonpolitical were diametrically opposed to the then-director of Action, Sam Brown,

Payton is best known, however, for her career contribution as the Director of the Howard University Counseling Service (HUCS) from 1970 to 1977, and later as Dean of Counseling and Career Development from 1979 until her retirement in 1995. While at Howard she led the development of clinical material focused on providing counseling and psychotherapy to African American, men and women, The Howard program was eventually adopted by the American Psychological Association (APA),  Dr. Payton was also a pioneer in the use of group therapy techniques specifically for African American clients,

Dr. Payton was an active member of APA for over 40 years and was one of the original members on the Task Force on the Psychology of Black Women in 1976.  The APA’s Carolyn Payton Early Career Award is named in her honor. Payton also served on a number of APA boards and committees including the Committee on Women in Psychology (CWP) and the Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Concerns Committee,  She received several of the APA’s most prestigious awards including the Distinguished Professional Contributions to Public Service Award in 1982 and the APA Award for Outstanding Lifetime Contribution to Psychology in 1997,

Dr. Carolyn L. Robertson Payton died from a heart attack at her home in Washington, D.C. on April 11, 2001,  She was 75.  Following the announcement of her death the Peace Corps flew its flag at half-mast at its headquarters in Washington, D.C. in honor of Dr. Payton,

I hope you enjoyed this segment and Thank you for listening,

Till next time when we honor

Leslie M. Alexander, is a Career Foreign Service Officer. He was appointed by President William J. Clinton to serve as U.S. Ambassador to three nations

Joyceann’s Corner Episode 2 (Alexander)

This episode is about honoring

Leslie M. Alexander (1948-  ) Leslie M. Alexander is a Career Foreign Service Officer. He was appointed by President William J. Clinton to serve as U.S. Ambassador to three nations: Mauritius and the Comoros where he served from 1993 to 1996, Ecuador where he served from 1996 to 1999, and Haiti where he served from 1999 to 2000.

Ambassador Alexander was born in Frankfurt, Germany on November 9, 1948 to an African American father from Houston, Texas who at that point was part of the U.S. Army of occupation. His mother was born in France.  They married in Germany and Alexander grew up in both France and Germany.  His primary and secondary educations were in France and he only briefly lived in the United States at the time, in New York City as a child.

Alexander attended the University of Maryland (Munich branch), receiving a BA from the institution in 1970.  He joined the U.S. Foreign Service in 1971. Through the State Department Foreign Service Institute (FSI) in Maryland he studied Economics earning a certificate in 1980, and the Portuguese language where he earned a certificate in 1983. He attended the U.S.  U.S. Naval War College between 1985 and 1986 where he received an M.A. degreed.

Alexander began his overseas assignments as Vice Consul in Georgetown, Guyana from 1970 to 1973. He then served as an Economic Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Norway from 1973 to 1975. Alexander was next assigned to be Consul in Krakow, Poland but he claimed the office had a hostile working environment and left this post nine months before his normal tenure would have ended.

While waiting for another assignment, Alexander worked in the State Department’s Visa office. In 1978, Alexander finally landed another overseas assignment, this time as the Program Officer for Mexico in the State Department’s Bureau of International Narcotics Matters.  He held that post until 1980. His next assignments were as the Economic Officer at the U.S. Embassy at Madrid, Spain, 1981-1983, and Principal Officer at Porto Alegre, Brazil from 1983 to 1985.

From 1986 to 1989 Alexander was Counselor for Economic Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Rome, Italy. He served as Deputy Director for Caribbean Affairs at the Department of State for the next two years (1989-1991).  He was then assigned by the State Department to be Deputy Chief of Mission and then Charge d’Affaires at the U.S. Embassy in Haiti from 1991 to 1993.

Leslie Alexander has received State Department’s Meritorious, Superior and Senior Performance Awards.  His languages are Portuguese, Italian, French, Spanish, Polish, and Norwegian. Ambassador Alexander is now retired in Florida and married to Deborah McCarthy, a career Foreign Service Officer. The couple have two daughters, Margaret and Natalia.

Again thank you for listening and please look forward to my next episode of honoring our own.

Up next,, Sylvia Stanfield, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service with the rank of Minister-Counselor, and U.S. Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America

Till then be blessed and safe

Joyceann’s Corner Episode 3 (Stanfield)

This is a series of profoundly gifted members of our community that have contributed much with no or little public recognition. We honor our own Today we share, Sylvia Stanfield.

Sylvia Stanfield, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service with the rank of Minister-Counselor, took up her post as U.S. Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America  to Brunei in November 1999. She was appointed by President William J. Clinton,  July 1, 1999.  

Brunei, officially the State of Brunei Darussalam, is a sultanate (pop. 295,000), in northwest Borneo, in two coastal enclaves surrounded by Malaysia. A British protectorate after 1888, Brunei was granted self-government in 1971 and became independent in 1984. 

Ambassador Stanfield was born October 28, 1943, in Harris, Texas. She earned a B.A. degree from Western College for Women in Oxford, Ohio 1965. As an East-West Center grantee, she received an M.A. degree in Asian Studies from the University of Hawaii and continued her studies at the University of Hong Kong School of Oriental Studies and Linguistics in Chinese.   

Her primary area of specialization has been Asian Affairs. She began her career with the Department of State in 1968. Her first overseas assignment was Vice Consul with the then American Embassy in Taipei, Taiwan. 

 Her assignments have included tours as a political officer with the U.S. Consulate General in Hong Kong and the U.S. Embassy in Beijing. Ambassador Stanfield has served as a Watch Officer in the Department of State Operations Center, as a political and economic/commercial officer in the Office of the Peoples Republic of China and Mongolian Affairs. She is a Chinese Language officer. 

Ambassador Stanfield has also been an Inspector with the Office of the Inspector General and served as an Examiner with the Board of Examiners of the Foreign Service. From 1990-1993, she was Deputy Chief of Mission of the U.S. Embassy in Wellington, New Zealand of Australia and Charge d’Affaires a.i.for New Zealand Affairs. From 1997-1998 she headed the Taiwan Coordination Affairs Office.  

Selected to attend the Department of State’s Senior Seminar, Ambassador Stanfield is a member of the forty-first class of 1998-1999. 

After her ambassadorship ended, Ambassador Stanfield became a Diplomat in Residence at Florida A&M University and at Spelman College. She is on the executive committee of  the Association of Black American Ambassadors (ABAA).  In August 2014  she was nominated to be  the interim President of Black Professionals in International Affairs (BPIA). We look forward to seeing what she creates next for herself.

Thank you for listening and next episode will be honoring Gayleatha Brown, the United States ambassador to Burkina Faso.

Be Blessed and safe

Joyceann’s Corner- Hatter

The earliest Hatter found so far is Frances Hatter b.1735, he was originally from the West coast of Africa. Our largest DNA concentration is from Benin/Togo.Frances Hatter freed after the death of John and Elizabeth Ariss, along with Charlotte  and Sarah. All slaves of this 1700 group maintain the name of Hatter Slaves.

We found that Charlotte by the time she was freed, had four sons John, Reuben, George, and James. James and Reuben had been sold to Samuel Walter Washington, who in turn reluctantly sold Reuben to Christian Blackburn, who sent him and his wife Elizabeth after manumitting both to Liberia. click here for more on them in Liberia.Reuben Hatter

James was a jack of all trades and ensured his position by being efficient and hard working.He jumped the broom with Matilda and they had numerous child but we can only speak on George b. 1818 and Franklin b 1820.

“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.

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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!

Next…….

“Finding the land”

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.

Sharon Rodgers

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…..

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