A few words from Bernita:-
"My name is Bernita Allen. My blog is about my family history from research and stories told to me by my family. The name of the blog comes from dreams I've had about my ancestors. I started tracing my family's roots a few years ago after a conversation with my mother, it has been my passion ever since. I feel so blessed to be able to get to research my ancestors and share what I've learned with my family".
My maternal grandmother Nona Lee Turner was born on September 9, 1912 in LaGrange, Troup County, Georgia to Blake Turner (a sharecropper) and Hassie Williams (farm laborer). She had eight siblings: Conia (b.1891), John L. (b.1898), Rebecca (b.1899), Blake Jr. (1903), Elmer (b. 1905), Odessa (b. 1907), Alvena (b.1910) and Dorsey (b.1924). The family settled in Hickory Flat, Alabama in 1900.
Nona met and married Leroy Hurston, a resident of Standing Rock when she was 19 years old. In 1933, the Hurstons welcomed a boy, they named Clarence. Two years later in 1935, Rosalind was born.
Like so many African Americans living in the South in the late 30’s who went north to find better jobs, my grandparents migrated to Detroit, Michigan. My grandfather went first, taking the bus all the way. The entire Hurston family was living in Detroit by April 1, 1940. They lived with Nona’s sister Rebecca and her husband on 963 Eliot Street (1940 census).
My mom only knows her mother through pictures and stories told to her by family members. Everyone tells her that her mother was really beautiful. They also tell her how kind and quiet she was, everyone loved her. My mom has no personal memories of her. I don’t remember when she first told me about her or the words she used, but I do remember the pain in her voice and the sadness in her eyes. I know that my mom would give anything to have just one memory of her mother. The one story she tells over and over is the last thing her mother said to the family before she died. She told them no matter what happens to take care of her baby.
To realize that your mother’s last words were of you must give my mom some comfort but I know it doesn't lessen her sorrow. Even though she was surrounded by so much love growing up, she still mourned her mother. Her grief has been painful and lasting. I believe the emptiness that my mom feels and continues to feel shaped her relationship with me. She became the mother to me that she always wanted. I think my grandma Nona would have been so proud of the woman my mother became. I know I am. Rest in peace Grandma Nona. I know you will be there to welcome my mother into the Kingdom. Just like you welcomed Clarence, Rosalind and many others from our family. We love you and will never forget you.
Nona was laid to rest in Standing Rock, Alabama alongside her daughter Gloria at Bethlehem Missionary Baptist Church Cemetery.
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Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc,
2010. Images reproduced by FamilySearch
Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2002.
Original data: United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Fifteenth Census of the United States, 1930. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration. 1930 T626, 2,667 rolls.
Ancestry.com 1940 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry. com Operation, Inc., 2012.
Original data: United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Sixteenth Census of the United States, 1940. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1940. T7=627, 4,643 rolls.
Daniels, Cory (2011, July 7). The Spinners - Sadie. Retrieved January 1, 2014 from http://youtu.be/AXFY6pe-oXo