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Home: Surnames: McCathern Family Genealogy Forum

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Re: Sebern Silas McCathern
Posted by: Vicki Heck (ID *****8408) Date: June 19, 2006 at 19:27:01
In Reply to: Re: Sebern Silas McCathern by Darren McCathern of 142

Dear Darren,

Thank you for your kind and thoughtful response to my post. I appreciate that you may not have noticed that every census microfilm has a number in which it makes it possible for everyone from anywhere to refer to the same page when looking for a specific person as well as a District or Enumeration District Number that is not always the county in which the person lived. It just makes it a lot easier for others to see what you are seeing and referring to -- but then, it is no matter. It appears to be in error anyway since it says he was born in Georgia. Either he was not truthful to the Census taker or the one who told him about Sebern didn't know his state of birth well enough to give the correct information -- that is -- if it is the same Sebern. One thing I find interesting is possibility that Sebern took the name of this man hoping to hide his original identity?

Variance in Census are very common in the Carolinas and Virginias -- not Louisiana vs Georgia.

I don't understand why you find it so difficult to believe that his own grandchildren might have seen a different man than these other people? As people age (and from what I gather, Sebern was pretty old when he died) they do change. Granddad said he suffered terribly from a joint disease that made it difficult for him to walk or use his hands. It must have not only been painful but frustrating for him as they would often have to go to the field to get him to carry him back on a buckboard because he couldn't tolerate anyone trying to pull on him. Why was he wondering to the field? Was he a bit demented before he died or simply dreaming of the day when he enjoyed working in the fields?

Based upon my own experience with people in general, working with geriatric patients, and knowing my grandfather and uncle were not men of exaggeration or enjoying finding fault in ANYONE -- I have a tendency to believe what they told me about the old Grandpa McCathern. I'm not saying he wasn't a God fearing man -- I'm just saying what proof do you have? These are beautiful stories ... but if you have no prove other than word of mouth or tales others' told, all you have are sweet stories which you can hold dear to your heart and I will, too -- because they are sweet stories. But that doesn't mean that what my granddad and uncle had to say doesn't carry merit, too, and they are stories -- sweet stories of a man clinging to youth and longing for better days.

Just because a person had slaves does not mean they had a plantation. The idea that they had a plantation could easily be proven if you would enjoy doing the research. That's what genealogist thrive upon and in some circles of genealogists (the professional ones) it is the ONLY form of proof. Believe me, I found out the hard way! HA!

Thank you for the sweet STORY written by Millie Jones Porter. It is a sweet one. But it only through her eyes and she must have known a Grandpa McCathern that was a sweet man -- I never doubted this. I'm just saying there is no proof just because it is written in a book. It has to be a legal document to verify.

Keep collecting stories, because they give dimension -- but just because someone says something you might think is a bit negative about your grandfather doesn't reflect upon you. They are just as valuable as the glorious because they provide depth.

Granddad is still alive. Uncle Emmit passed away in 1994. THEY KNEW Sebern Silas McCathern -- PERSONALLY! And I had the priviledge of knowing both of these fine men!

Darren, thank you for defending Sebern's "honor" but I think you are confusing "honor" with genealogy. They sometimes cross over but genealogy is what can be PROVEN -- not hear-say. That's all I'm saying and there are some holes in the stories you are passing as factual. But please don't ever stop passing these stories because they are beautiful ones.

Please do check out the census one more time from Georgia to see if it has a Roll number, page, image, abode, and family number. If you say it has no enumeration district maybe I can find the enumeration district from the information you provide with the above information. I would certainly appreciate it so I could add this information to my documentation.

Peace go with you my dear cousin,
Vicki Heck



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