Oral history often covers topics scarcely touched on by written documents, and helps fill in the gaps in those records.
Through recorded interviews, oral history preserves the stories of your ancestors. They keep alive those who helped create the fabric of our history.
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July 22, 1822
Paternal ancestor - Chief Charles Renatus Hicks.
A journal from the Moravian Mission at Spring Place, Georgia records his visit. "Went on a visit to Brother Charles R Hicks. Towards evening arrived at Nathan Hicks', son of Brother Charles, where we found a hospitable night's lodging. We attained the object of our visit, in administering the Lord's supper to him, from the enjoyment of which he had been debarred a great while on account of his sore leg. On this occasion his wife Anne Felicitas was present as a candidate for the ordinance."
21 july 1862
My maternal grandfather was German
He came to America on the Whitestar
steamship line and homesteaded land in Kansas in 1884.
" he asked me what kind of gun I had. Telling him I had none and never needed one. Then he got up, saying "You will never catch me going to a wild country without a gun", felt in his trunk, and came back and sat in his chair with a French model revolver in his hand. The barrel pointed toward me. I said to him, "turn that thing around before you hurt somebody". "Oh", he said, "they have already been shot off", and almost the same time, bang, and I felt I had been shot."
5 july 1915
My father was born in the Cherokee Nation
He was a descendant of Trail of Tears survivors, as well as Chiefs Charles Renatus Hicks, Old Hop, and Broom. Our ancestors are listed on nearly all Cherokee rolls. They include Clouds (Oologilv), Wards, Hicks, Taylors, Horn, and July.
17 june 1920
My mother was English and German
Her father came from Germany on the Whitestar steamship line and homesteaded land in Kansas in 1884. My mother worked for J. Edgar Hoover during the time of the most famous gangsters. She became a teacher and taught for 30 years.
I grew up in a log house that had only one cold water faucet and an outhouse in back.
We went to the stomp grounds and traditional gatherings. We ate wishi and eggs with wild onions. The Cherokee orphan's home had burned across from our house and the town's main street covered the orphans' graveyard. My father helped preserve the old spring house and salt kettle.
Near the site of the first atomic bomb test I camped in the mountains with some Mescalero Apache friends. One night a family of skunks came into camp. We froze in our blankets. A huge one climbed on top of me. On the other side of the campfire my friend raised raised his gun and said "Hold still, I'm gonna shoot him."
Life has progressed
Have our paths crossed as we traveled this earth? Do we share memories of important events that we could compare some day? Imagine how much history is written onto the backs of our photos, in family bibles, or the memories of our elders. Let's not lose it.
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