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Descendants of Rognvald I Eysteinsson


153. CYNTHIA DENISE36 FAISON (JESSIE VERA35 BYNUM, SARAH JANE34 DAVIS, BETTIE33 BRACY, JANE ESTHER32, SOLOMON31, SOLOMON30 BRACE, CHRISTOPHER29, SOLOMON28, CHRISTOPHER27, THOMAS26 BRACEY, THOMAS25, RICHARD24, THOMAS23, EDMUND22 BRASSEY, EDMUND21, THOMAS20, EDMUND19 DE BRESCI, HAMON18, ROBERT17 DE BRACY III, UNKNOWN16 FEMALE, WILLIAM15 BRACI, HENRY14 DE BRACY, MAUD13 DE WARRENNE, WILLIAM12 DE WARREN, JOHN11, WILIAM10, WILLIAM9, GUNDRED8, WILLIAM7 I, ROBERT6I, THE MAGNIFICENT, RICHARD5 II, RICHARD THE4 FEARLESS, WILLIAM I3 LONGSWORD, ROLLO2 EYSTEINSSON, ROGNVALD I1)154 was born May 08, 1954 in Portsmouth, Virginia154. She married (2) EUGENESILVERS, SR.154 1984 in Portsmouth, Virginia154. He was born February 01, 1950 in Millsboro, Delaware154.
     
Child of C
YNTHIA DENISE FAISON is:
  i.   VASTI RACHELLE37 MOORE154, b. April 04, 1979, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California154.
     
Children of CYNTHIA FAISON and EUGENE SILVERS, SR. are:
  ii.   JACOSTA37 SILVERS154, b. August 04, 1985, Portsmouth, Virginia154.
  iii.   EUGENESILVERS, SR.154, b. May 27, 1986, Portsmouth, Virginia154.


154. BETTY MAE36 BYNUM (JESSIE VERA35, SARAH JANE34 DAVIS, BETTIE33 BRACY, JANE ESTHER32, SOLOMON31, SOLOMON30 BRACE, CHRISTOPHER29, SOLOMON28, CHRISTOPHER27, THOMAS26 BRACEY, THOMAS25, RICHARD24, THOMAS23, EDMUND22 BRASSEY, EDMUND21, THOMAS20, EDMUND19 DE BRESCI, HAMON18, ROBERT17 DE BRACY III, UNKNOWN16 FEMALE, WILLIAM15 BRACI, HENRY14 DE BRACY, MAUD13 DE WARRENNE, WILLIAM12 DE WARREN, JOHN11, WILIAM10, WILLIAM9, GUNDRED8, WILLIAM7 I, ROBERT6I, THE MAGNIFICENT, RICHARD5 II, RICHARD THE4 FEARLESS, WILLIAM I3 LONGSWORD, ROLLO2 EYSTEINSSON, ROGNVALD I1)155,156 was born January 13, 1938 in Weldon, Halifax, North Carolina156. She married (1) UNKNOWN156. He was born 1934 in <Weldon, Halifax, North Carolina>156. She married (2) GEORGE THOMAS ELEY, JR.156 January 14, 1957 in Parris Island, South Carolina157,158, son of GEORGE ELEY and LOTTIE SCOTT. He was born April 29, 1933 in Portsmouth, Virginia158. She met (3) RICHARD LEE MCDOW159,160,161,162 August 1964 in Honolulu, Hawaii162, son of GONZALO MCDOW and GLADYS MUNGO. He was born August 23, 1944 in Brooklyn, Kings, New York162, and died February 16, 1994 in Hampton, Virginia162.

Notes for B
ETTY MAE BYNUM:
[Bracey.paf]

She was born on January 13, 1938 in Weldon, North Carolina. He father, Roger Gary moved to Boston, Massachusetts before she was born. She was considered one of the beautiful children born in Halifax County, North Carolina. She has brownish-red hair, light-skinned, and has many features of her grandfather, Dorphus Gary. Her cousin Sarah Smith Saunder said, "She was so beautiful, I put my dollbaby down and pick her up".
She and her mother moved to Portsmouth, Virginia on a train. They settled in the town that would be home for them for over sixty years. Her mother met Joseph Wilson Faison, of Magarettsville, North Carolina. He married her mother on February 2, 1942 in Portsmouth, Virginia. He adopted her as his own and her name was changed to Betty Mae Bynum-Faison.
She visited her grandfather, Silas Bynum, where she stayed during the summer. She was treated like a princess around her grandfather. He began to get sick during this time. Her grandparents, Dorphus and Emma Gary were living in Boston, Massachusetts. She grandmother, Sarah Davis Bynum, died two years before she was born. Her great grandmother, Minnie Moody lived in Jackson, North Carolina. Her great grandmother, Becky Gary, lived in Gaston ,North Carolina. She was surrounded by the security of a loving family.
Her sister, Evelyn Deloris was born at the family home in Carver Homes in Portsmouth, Virginia. My mother said, "When I was six years old, I asked my grandfather for some fruit that was by his bed while he was sick. He said, "Baby, where I am going you can have all the fruit". He died on his birthday, August 20, 1944". One life began while one life ended in 1944.
Betty and her family moved to 123 Carver Circle in the Douglass Park section of Portsmouth, Virginia. In 1947,at the age of nine, her sister, Norma Jean was born at this home and her sister Sandra was born in Jackson, North Carolina. At the age of 11, her brother, Steven Jackson was born in Jackson, North Carolina. At the age of 13, her brother, Joseph Wilson, Jr. was born. At the age of 16, two sisters were born on separate sides of the family. Jemel Jackson in January 1954 and Cynthia in May 1954. She had a sister, Barbara, also. She had sis sisters and two brothers by 1955.
She attended Our Lady of Victory located on Clifford Street in Portsmouth, Virginia. She graduated in 1956. She was interested in music and cooking. She was a member of a group that was managed by her step-father Joseph Faison. She played the clarinet and the violin along with learning the Catholic way of life.
She married George Thomas Eley, the son of George and Lottie Eley, on January 14, 1957. They had a son, George Thomas Eley, III, who was born in the Catholic Hospital, Maryview. The second son, Calvin L. was born the next year, at the Children's Hospital of the King's Daughters. They were living in the Ida Barbour section of Portsmouth at the time.
George Eley was in the United States Marine Corps, when the family started traveling to different Marine bases. They moved to Quantico, Virginia around 1959. The third son, Jackie Karl was born at Quantico Army Hospital in Quantico, Virginia. At year later, the fourth child, Micheal Keith was born in the same hospital.
They moved to Honolulu, Hawaii, where George was stationed at Kilua Marine Base. In 1963, Antonio D. was born in Tripler Army Hospital. They remained in Honolulu until 1965. They parted ways after the birth of their youngest son.
Betty met Richard Lee McDow. She became pregnant in August 1964. Betty travelled back to Portsmouth, Virginia via cruise ship and bus. They arrived in Portsmouth in February 1965. She had her youngest son, Darryl, in May 1965.
She settled at 1820 Laurel Avenue in Portsmouth, Virginia where she lived for only four months, after her youngest sons' birth.
She moved to Lincoln Park in Portsmouth in September 1965. They lived there for a year when her son, Darryl, was taken to New York City in June 1966. After two years of searching, her son was returned to her home in September 1968, on the Labor Day Weekend. The six children were reunited under one roof once again. She was the stability that kept her family together.
She remained in Lincoln Park until October 1971. During this time, her brother, Joe Faye, as he was called, lived with her while he attended I.C. Norcum High School. Her son, George, moved in with his grandmother because he wanted to attended Cradock High School. Calvin attended Harry Hunt, Jackie, Micheal, and Tony at Douglass Park. Darryl began school at Truxtun Secondary School in September 1970.
After six years in Lincoln Park, she moved to the Mt. Hermon section of Portsmouth, Virginia. After the death of her dear friend, Tommie Harris, she remained in the home until June 17, 1972. This was a historical day-the day the family moved, Micheal Eley's 11th birthday, and the day Watergate began.
The family moved to a small country town called Chuckatuck located about eleven miles west of Portsmouth. She remained in Portsmouth for almost seven years. During this time three of her children graduated from high school, three grandchildren were born. Darryl became a poet at the age of nine. George graduated from Cradock and Calvin and Jackie graduated from John Yeates High School.
In June 1979, the family returned back to Portsmouth, Virginia. They lived in the home of her mother. Three of her children lived with her while her son, Tony lived with his father in Cavalier Manor in Portsmouth. In August 1979, her son, Darryl started tracing her family history. They lived at 1236 Centre Avenue from a short time, finally settling at 924 Argyle Street. She had a daughter, Phetra in December 1979. The place she once lived became home again.
In August 1980, her son, Micheal graduated from Cradock High School. Her oldest granddaughter, Tamika Parker was born. In 1981, her son, Tony graduated from Manor High School. He began attending St. John's University in Queens, New York. She began keeping her grandson, Chaz, every summer for five years.
In April 1982, her second granddaughter, Lakeshya Monique was born on her grandfather, George Eley, Jr, birthday.
Darryl, her youngest son graduated from Cradock High School in June 1983.
In May 1984, her third granddaughter, Tasha Nicole, was born in Hamburg, West Germany.
In May 1986, she moved to 1801 Prentis Avenue in Portsmouth, Virginia.
In October 1987, her fourth grandchild, Sharnika, was born in Portsmouth, Virginia.
In 1988, her fifth grandchild, Kendra was born.
The 1990's would fill her descendancy chart up well. Isiah and Jackquina were born in 1991. Tyceara was born in 1994. Marcus was born in 1995. Aireka was born in 1996. Her first great grandchild, Gerel, was born in 1997. Jacquan and Phetra was born in 1998.
At the beginning of the 21st century, her second great grandchild, China was born in January 2000. In November 2000, Endia was born. Her third great grandchild, Azaria Jadae Parker Watkins was born on August 19, 2002.
She lives in the City of Portsmouth today with her sons, Micheal and Darryl, and her grandchildren, Jackquina, Tyceara, Aireka, and Endia. She watches her grandchildren, Jacquan and China at times. She has seven living children, 16 grandchildren, and three grandchildren. She has sacrificed alot for her children and grandchildren. Who would have thought that the young girl born in Weldon, North Carolina would be responsible for the lives of so many people. Thank God for Betty and the hard work that she do to keep her family together.
She raised her children with the absence of prejudice, or racial hatred. She taught her children to love all people regardless of their race, color, or creed, or shortcomings. She taught her children to mind their own business, love your neighbors, even if they give you a hard time. She also said that if a person don't like you avoid them. She truly feels you should love God with the best of your ability. She has a way with people and is loved by everyone. Everyone knows her as "Pluck", a name given to her when she was young. She is one of many matriarch of this family and she has been a part of Portsmouth for over 60 years.

More About B
ETTY MAE BYNUM:
Census: 1940, Portsmouth, Virginia
Education: Our Lady of Victory-Portsmouth, Virginia
Residence: June 22, 2002, Portsmouth, Virginia

Notes for G
EORGE THOMAS ELEY, JR.:
[Bracey.paf]

He was born to George Thomas Eley, Sr. and Lottie Scott, the eldest child. He was raised in Portsmouth, Virginia. He grew up at 103 Carver Circle in Douglass Park in Portsmouth, Virginia.
He joined the U.S. Army. He fought in the Korean War. He returned to Portsmouth where he met Betty Bynum. He trained at Parris Island, South Carolina for the U. S. Marines where he married Betty Bynum on January 14, 1957.
His eldest son, George T. Eley, III was born in 1957 in Portsmouth, Virginia. His second eldest son, Calvin L. Eley was born in 1958 in Portsmouth, Virginia. He was stationed at QUANTICO Marine Base where his sons, Jackie Karl (1960) and Micheal Keith (1961) were born. They lived at 246 Benson Drive according to their birth certificates.
He was stationed at KILUA Marine Base in Honolulu, Hawaii where their youngest son, Antonio D. was born in 1963.
George and Betty parted ways in 1965. He was stationed in Vietnam in the late 1960's. He retired after 22 years of service in the military. He married Hattie Cameron in the early 1970's. He moved in the Cavalier Manor section of Portsmouth where he lived for many years. He was a postal carrier for thirteen years before he retired because of physical ailments.
At age 68, he has five children, twelve grandchildren, and two great grandchildren. He is a tall, dark-skinned man who has a very serious demeanor. I have carried his name all of my life but I know my true past. Even though I still wear the name Eley proud.

Notes for R
ICHARD LEE MCDOW:
[Bracey.paf]

He was born in Brooklyn, New York. According to his sister, Nettie, he was one of the most handsome dark-skinned children, she had ever saw in her life. In 1947, at the age of three, Gonzalo sent his son to Lancaster, South Carolina with his aunt, Ruby Sowell, and her husband, Johnnie. His aunt Dollie McDow escorted him to Lancaster. He visited his parents in New York every summer until he grew up. He lived in Lancaster, South Carolina until he was 17 years old. He graduated from Eastern High School in June 1962. Because of the harsh treatment in South Carolina, he lied about his age and decided to join the U.S. Marine Corps.
He enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps on June 25, 1962. He did 13-week basic training at Parris Island, South Carolina. He did his advance training in Honolulu, Hawaii. He was in the military from 1962-1977.
He met Betty M. Eley in 1964 in Honlulu, Hawaii. They had a son, Darryl, in May 1965. He did two tours of duty in the Vietnam War (June 25, 1965-June 1968). During a return home to the United States, he met Herbadine Darrington whom he had a daughter, Luwana, in March 1967. He returned to Vietnam for his second tour which had already began but returned to the states in June 1968. He wrote a letter that verified the paternity of his son, Darryl.
He visited his son, Darryl, in Portsmouth, Virginia in April 1970. He took his son to met his family who had just moved to Suffolk, Virginia. He wouldn't see his son until 1973. Richard returned to Brooklyn, New York where he was born.
In 1973, after a brief visit with his son, he returned to New York. On May 11, 1974, while visiting his sister Nettie, Richard decided to visit his son in Chuckatuck where he lived with his mother. He brought his sister, Nettie, her husband, Jimmie, and their children; Vanessa, Karl Lee, and Shonte'. This was the last visit that he would have with his son for more than eleven years.
In 1977, he became ill and was hospitalized for post-dramatic stress disorder. He was treated and released.
He was in Jefferson, South Carolina, when he met Annie Johnson. They had a daughter, Regina Lee Johnson on December 27, 1980, in Jefferson, South Carolina. He was told not to let his daughter know who her father was at any time in the future. Regina continues to live in Jefferson, South Carolina today.
He was a long-distance truck driver from 1977-1984. He traveled from New York City to Louisana on his trips. There are many photos of his trips up and down the East Coast and the Gulf of Mexico.
He was a security guard at Harper and Row Books in New York City from 1984-1989. He was also a certified firemen. On January 8, 1985, he reunited with his son, Darryl, after being separated from 11 years. On February 14, 1985, they were united physically in the Bronx, New York. He lived with his uncle, John T. McDow who was also a security guard. It was a week of re acquaintance which lasted from February 14, 1985-February 21, 1985. After 11 years of searching for him his son, Darryl, found him living in the Bronx, New York to find the true meaning of family research.
He lived at 1454 Grand Concourse, Apt I, and in Roosevelt Gardens in the Bronx, New York from 1987-1992. In 1992, his foster mother, Ruby Sowell died in Lancaster, South Carolina. He visited Suffolk often to see his sisters and their family. In 1991, he was diagnosed with cancer.
He moved to Lancaster, South Carolina where he lived at 123 Willowlake Drive in Lancaster in an area known as the Quiet Zone. In December 1993, his sisters, Nettie Bivins and Norma Jean Austin, brought him to Virginia because he had gotten very ill. He was admitted into the Kecoughtan Veteran's Hospital in Hampton, Virginia.
In a letter dated October 15, 1992, he wrote to his son, Darryl, and explained some of the things about his life that he didn't want his son to repeat. The letter helped his son tremendously. His son began focusing on his family history even more. "Treat your mother right, be yourself, and don't feel like being too tough is the answer, because you are not ready to lose it all" he told his son.
"My father and I lost contact with each other for over two years. The same barriers that kept us apart for eleven years had began again".
On January 27, 1994, I was contacted by telephone about his father's illness. He had a short time to prepare for the oncoming death of his father. Two weeks later, on February 7, 1994, my father and I would see each other for the last time. I had a feeling that I would not see my father alive again. On February 13, 1994, my father couldn't keep his eyes open. I think he made peace with God at that time.
He died on February 16, 1994 at 2:45 P.M. at the Kecoughtan Hospital in Hampton, Virginia. I received a call at work about my father making a turn for the worse. I worked hard that night when I said, "I know that he is dead".
His body was shipped to Crawford Funeral Home for burial in Kershaw, South Carolina. His body was viewed at 12:00 P.M. on February 19, 1994. His wake was held on February 19, 1994 at Crawford Funeral in Lancaster, South Carolina. He was buried at Crossroad Baptist Church on February 20, 1996 at the foot of his father in the McDow Family Plot in Kershaw, South Carolina.
My father was a stern, hardworking man, who was love by many. He had a hard life which his foster parents and foster siblings. After his death, Mendell Sowell, his cousin and foster brother had a chance to talk to me about my father. He said "You are the splitting image of your father from the way you talk and the way you react to certain things. He talk about his kids, especially you. He was afraid for your life but when you said that you were through with all of what you went through, he was happy".
I wanted to get to know my father but time caught us in the wrong way and the only time, I got to know him, was the last nine years of his life. Two years after his death, I got chance to got back to his grave site and seen the military tombstone made for him. He will be missed. I will see you again.

More About R
ICHARD LEE MCDOW:
Adoption: 1947, Lancaster, South Carolina
Burial: February 20, 1994, Crossroads Baptist Church, Kershaw, South Carolina162
Cause of Death: Cancer
Education: Bet. 1959 - 1962, Eastern High School, Lancaster, South Carolina
Military service: Bet. 1965 - 1977, Camp Lajuene, North Carolina
Occupation: Bet. 1980 - 1984, Harper and Row Books-NewYork
     
Child of B
ETTY BYNUM and UNKNOWN is:
248. i.   PHETRA RENADA37 JONES, b. December 28, 1979, Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
     
Children of BETTY BYNUM and GEORGE ELEY are:
249. ii.   GEORGE THOMAS37 ELEY III, b. March 12, 1957, Maryview Hospital, Portsmouth, Virginia.
250. iii.   CALVIN LLEWELLYN ELEY, b. August 22, 1958, Portsmouth General Hospital, Portsmouth, Virginia..
251. iv.   JACKIE KARL ELEY, b. February 27, 1960, Quantico Army Hospital, Quantico, Virginia.
252. v.   MICHAEL KIETH ELEY, b. June 17, 1961, Quantico Army Hospital, Quantico, Virginia.
  vi.   ANTONIO DARCEL ELEY162, b. March 17, 1963, Tripler Hospital, Honolulu, Hawaii162; m. DOREEN THERESA WILLIAMS162, February 17, 1989, New York City, New York162; b. December 15, 1959, Brooklyn, New York162.
  Notes for ANTONIO DARCEL ELEY:
[Bracey.paf]


He was born in Honolulu, Hawaii. He was the youngest child of George and Betty Eley. He grew up in Suffolk, Virginia from 1972-1979. He returned to Portsmouth, Virginia where he lived with his father. He graduated from Manor High School in August 1981.
He attended St. John's University from 1981-1985. He graduated from the university with a degree in Accounting.
He married Dorine Williams on February 9, 1990 in New York City.
He worked at Ranzoni Foods in Queens, New York when Hershey Foods acquired the company. He worked for Hershey Foods living in places such as New York, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. He currently works for New World Pasta. He lives in Fresno, California.
They have no children.

  More About ANTONIO DARCEL ELEY:
Graduation: August 05, 1981, Manor High School
     
Child of BETTY BYNUM and RICHARD MCDOW is:
  vii.   AFRICAN AMERICAN GRIOT DARRYL37 ELEY162,163,164, b. May 15, 1965, Portsmouth, Virginia165; m. ESTHER L. TAYLOR, February 27, 1996, Portsmouth, Virginia; b. December 15, 1962, Portsmouth, Virginia.
  Notes for AFRICAN AMERICAN GRIOT DARRYL ELEY:
[Bracey.paf]

I was born on May 15, 1965 at 6:42 P.M. at the United States Regional Medical Center, located on the shore of the Elizabeth River near Norfolk, Virginia, in Portsmouth, Virginia, to Betty Mae Bynum-Faison Eley. I was light-skinned, with high-cheek bones, black hair, and brown eyes. He weighed seven lbs, one oz. and stood twenty inches tall. I was delivered by Dr. F. N. Boensch, M.D. I was the sixth child of seven.
At the time of my birth, all his grandparents were living. My father, Roger Gary lived in Boston, Massachusetts. My grandmother, J. Vera Bynum Faison was living in Portsmouth, Virginia with her husband, Joseph Wilson Faison, Sr. My father's parents, Gonzalo and Gladys Mungo McDow were living in Brooklyn, New York. Only two of my great grandparents were still living, Dorphus and Emma Elizabeth Parker Gary lived in Seaboard, North Carolina. The President of the U.S. was Lyndon Baines Johnson. There was no such thing as a Superbowl, the Boston Celtics won the N.B.A. Finals, and the Minnesota Twins won the World Series. One of the favorite songs of the day was "Shotgun" by Jimmy Walker and the All-Stars. I was the youngest grandchild that my grandparents had at the time.
At the time of my birth, my mother and five brother lived at 1820 Laurel Avenue in the City of Portsmouth. My brothers are George, Calvin, Jackie, Micheal, and Tony. We were a military family until the family returned to Portsmouth before l was born. My mother had six sisters and two brothers while Richard had three sisters and two brothers who were all alive when Darryl was born.
When I was a month old, his father was drafted into the Vietnam War which lasted for two tours of duty. He was a native of Brooklyn, New York until his parents sent him to Lancaster, South Carolina. He was a singer who performed at amateur night at the Apollo in the late 1950's, which he won three nights in a row with his sister Nettie. He was raised by his paternal aunt Ruby Sowell. He joined the U.S. Marine Corps when he was only 17 years old on June 25, 1962. He met my mother, Betty, in Honolulu, Hawaii in the summer of 1964.
My mother was a recently divorced, single mom with six sons at the time. I was the youngest. She was born in Weldon, Halifax County, North Carolina, near Roanoke Rapids. She and her mother moved to Portsmouth, when she was between one and two years old. She lived in Portsmouth most of her life. She met and married George Thomas Eley which they had five wonder young boys. They were married until 1964. She is a mother, grandmother, great grandmother, aunt, neice, and friend to many people of Portsmouth, Virginia.
In June 1966, I lived in Brooklyn, New York with his godparents, Rev. Kenneth Walker and his wife, Neta. I lived in New York City until he was three years old. While in New York, I began to get a good grasp of his memory by remembering events such as trips and major events. I remember the day, Martin Luther King was killed by the bitter emotions, during the time that the event unfolded, in 1968. I remember Astro Park, Sly and the Family Stone, subway rides, and lots of laughs. I remember my godparents' daughter, Joni and her boyfriend, Sonny. I remember finding about my mother and even tried to runaway from the house only to get stopped in my tracks.
At this time, my great grandfather, Dorphus Gary, died on September 16, 1967, died in Seaboard, North Carolina and his grandfather, Roger died in Boston, Massachusetts, a year earlier. My great grandmother, Emma Elizabeth Parker Gary was living in Seaboard where she was well respected by the people around her.
I found out that I was going home to my mother on May 15, 1968. I was happy to see the lady that I can really called the name that she deserve to possess. In September 1968, I returned to his mother in Portsmouth, Virginia with all memories of his mother lost, but after an emotional reunion, I returned home to the welcome arms of a loving mother and family. My memory began to get stronger and stronger as the days went by watching television and reading such as the comics and observing his mother and brothers. I stated when he was three "I not gonna forget anyone and anything again".
From 1968-1970, I began to learn alot about my family and the people I would be around at this juncture of my life. I was the baby and I was well protected by my family. My oldest brother was the person that I looked up to because my father was still and Vietnam and when he returned he didn't want me to see the condition he was left in. I got in alot of trouble because the type of life I lived in New York never left my spirit.
In the summer of 1970, I began to have an interested in performing. I performed at picnics and family gatherings for his family. We sold icebergs and candy as the family had a small business in the neighborhood.
The year would end with his entrance into Kindergarten at Truxtun Secondary School in Portsmouth on September 8, 1970. My teacher's name was Mrs. Jackie West. I learned to write my name on the first day of school. We took three consecutive trips on each Monday after school began that year. On September 14, 1970, we travel to a farm, the first time I ever was on a farm. On September 21, 1970, we visited the Norfolk City Zoo, the first time I ever went to a zoo. On September 28, we visited the Virginia Beach Oceanfront, the first time I ever went to the oceanfront. My favorite songs were "ABC" by the Jackson Five and "Lean on Me" by Bill Withers. Everything that I learned, began in Kindergarten.
On September 7, 1971, I began first grade at Douglass Park Elementary after the desegregation of schools reached the classrooms of Portsmouth. My teacher's name was Mrs. Shirley Culpepper. I attended the school for the first month of my first grade year when my mother announced that we were leaving Lincoln Park for good. My mother friend, Tommie Harris was the best adult friend, I had. I loved him like he was my father and I will never forget him.
We moved from a place called Lincoln Park to a new home in Mount Hermon in Portsmouth. The address was 726 Confederate Avenue, a beautiful three and 1/2bedroom house with a living, dining room, kitchen, pantry, and garage. During this time his two favorite shows were "The Jimmie and Tammy Show" and "Batman". In December 1971, Tommy Harris died of leukemia which hurt me dearly. The Christmas of 1971 was filled with sorrow and reflections.
I began attending Shea Terrace Elementary School. My teacher was Mrs. Shirley Gregory. I was located in a mobile in the back of the school. The year was filled with tension because of the desegregation of school because this school was once an all-white school. We had to learn how to deal with children who were not for the same background as we had. I asked my mother about why people treat other people wrong. She told me to never treat a person wrongly because of the things that they do and the things that make us different. I attended this school until June 1972.
In 1972, after living in Portsmouth for four years, my family and I moved to the country and lived in a place called Chuckatuck, which was eleven miles away from Portsmouth. We visited Chuckatuck for the first time on June 3, 1972. It was a beautiful small white house with three bedrooms, bath, kitchen, and living room. The backyard was so large, we could put alot of things out there. Finally on June 17, 1972, we moved from Portsmouth, Virginia to this small town. I had went from Portsmouth to New York to Portsmouth to Chuckatuck. I was now a part of the country experience.
I began attending Oakland Primary School on August 28, 1972. My mother took my brother and I to be enrolled in school. My teacher's name was Mrs. Francis Willie. My other teachers were Mrs. Kelly, Mrs. Scott, and Mrs. Kramer. I remained at Oakland Primary School for two years. My interest in writing and music began to come together. I had interest also in pop-art and paper designs. During these two years, I gained the friendship of three young boys, Darrell Godwin, Gregory Walker, and Amadeus Pittman, who always have been in my thoughts since that time.
On August 29, 1973, I began the third grade at the same school. My teacher was Marie Tutt. I had other teacher such as Mrs. Kramer, Mrs. Tucker, and Mrs. Scott. I began to get more and more interest in performing and writing. I was interest in remembering all these event for the future. I was the only child in the school because my brother attended the school, I would attend the next year, Chuckatuck Middle School.
On August 28, 1974, I began attending Chuckatuck Middle School where I remained for four years. Many things happened while I was there but some of the most important events at the time was my interest in poetry began to surface. My teacher, Mrs. Johnson gave them an assignment to write a poem so I decided to continue to write poetry.
In his fifth grade year, I was an assistant to the principal and the teacher, Mrs. Princess Sparrow. I would stay after school to help my teacher so that I could gain a knowledge of what make teaching work. I loved my school and was even called the "teacher's pet". I wasn't the most popular kid on the block but was respected for my work in the classroom. I always participated in classroom discussions, workshops, and performers on stage. I began to get interested in performing all the time. I would always visit the 7th grade teacher to tell him what I wanted to be When I grew Up. His conversations helped me out alot. His name was Mr. Marcum, the husband of my third grade spelling and language teacher.
I began to the sixth grade, I gained a wealth of knowledge about history and the world. My teacher's name was Mr. John Addison, a native of Greece. He taught some of the important events of Greek and Roman History that he said would help us in high school. At the beginning of 1977, Mr. Addison was called home to Greece and we had a new teacher, a stern lady by the name of Mrs. Barbara Artis.
She complete the work on a performance that I got a main part of a play called "King Winter" which I played the Third Child.
In the seventh grade, I was given an assignment that would lead to a bigger project two years later. The assignment was to write about his family. My teacher's name was Mrs. Sarah Bennett and at the beginning of the school year, she gave the students an assignment to write about your life and our family. l didn't know much about his family so he did the best that he could do with the assignment. Upset about the not-so-great grade I received on the assignment, I vowed to make up for it later in life. A class trip was taken to Washington, D.C. on March 23, 1978, which allow me to see the federal government in action. For the first time, I had seen the National Archives and Records Administration. I graduated from this school on June 7, 1978. He left the school forever on June 8, 1978. After four years of fun and learning, it was time for high school.
I began high school on August 29, 1978 at John Yeates High School in Drivers, Virginia. I had a hard time adjusting to eight grade and many health problems. I passed the eight grade only to find out that my years in Suffolk would come to an end at the end of the 1978-79 school year, June 6, 1979.
My mother decided to returned to their hometown of Portsmouth. I said all his good byes to my classmates. The Summer of 1979 would be the most important summer of my life because this would be the year, I began his family history.
On June 1979, my family and I returned to Portsmouth, Virginia where we lived at our grandmother Vera's house, who moved during that time to another house. During that time, I found the journal in his aunt's room that would lead me to go to the Portsmouth Public Library, where I began to write the story about my family history. On, August 15,1979, I began a quest that would last for almost 23 years, the research of my family history.
On September 6, 1979, I began attending Cradock High School in Portsmouth. I was a very shy, yet assertive child who paid attention to my studies. I joined the Thespian Society, which allowed me to begin performing on stage. In September 1980, I joined the Cradock Players, which was an elite group of actors in the school. In June 1981, I was elected the Vice-President of the (Thespian Society) Drama Club. My ninth grade year ended on June 12, 1980.
On June 26, 1980, I began working at the Portsmouth Redevelopment and Housing Authority in the Landscape Division under Mr. Ralph Johnson. At the time, we had a counselor who made sure that we had a voice while we were working. Her name was Mrs. Maryland Goodman, a representative of the Stop Organization. Later, I would find out that she is my cousin on my grandmother's side of the family. This job was my first summer job.
In September 1980, I began his tenth grade year, despite the fact that I was transferred to Wilson High School. The first day of school, I was returned to Cradock High School, where I remained until graduation. My homeroom teacher's name was Mrs. Marie Callo. His classes were Spanish 1, General Math, English 10, Driver Education, Physical Education and Health, World History, and Study. I was a member of the Future Teacher of America and Thespian Society. I became a member of the "Cradock Players", a performing group created by Mrs. Joyce S. Wiggins, my English teacher.
Even though I was Vice-President, I represented the Drama Club by performing in most of the stage and singing performances. I was also a member of the Mixed Chorus directed by Cynthia Carson. I was a member of a City-wide group of performers in program called the Portsmouth Able and Ambitious Program, which performed a musical, which was recognized as "the first show that was performed for television by a school system in the country" which was directed by Bill Griggs, a Portsmouth native.
I was voted "Most Talented Senior-Male" in my Senior year at Cradock High School and was also Co-Editor of the High School Newspaper called the "Shipmate". I received an award for "Outstanding Achievement in Drama"
that year. I graduated in June 1983 top-half of his class, after four years at Cradock High School. The school closed down in June 1992. The entire school had a reunion for all the classes that attended Cradock in 1992.
On October 17, 1983, I joined the U.S. Army, but because of medical reasons and the inability to adjust to military life. I returned home feeling that he had failed his family and most of all myself. This was the turning point in his life.
l began to become reckless because of his failure in the military. Alcohol and drugs began to control my life. At the age of 19 years old, I began to use alcohol heavy. The dreams of my childhood seems as if they were going up in smoke. But something happened that would put my life back into prospective.
His name was Richard Lee McDow. After many years of trying to find each other, l found my father whom, I hadn't seen in over eleven years. My father's sister, Nettie , who was not familiar with Portsmouth lived in Suffolk but didn't know where to find me so luckily, I found his father. I reunited with my father on February 14, 1985 in the Bronx, New York, which we stayed together for a week gathering information about my father's family and some of the things that I really didn't know about myself.
On May 31, 1986, we moved to the Prentis Park section of Portsmouth where the circle of destruction continued with the alcohol and drugs. I began working at Norfolk Recycling and Auto Parts where he was an Inventory Control Manager. He continued on this job for over a year and a half before he decided to moved to New York City.
On November 20, 1987, I moved to New York City, where my father lived in the Bronx. Hiding my addiction from my father was a hard task. I worked at New York Hospital as Mail Processing Clerk, which lasted until I began having problems with his father's family. I returned to Portsmouth on January 13, 1988, my mother's 50th birthday. I returned to Portsmouth to continue to be a good law-abiding citizen. Even though, the alcohol and drugs continued to haunt me.
I fought the battle with alcohol as the drugs began to take over my life. I began working for the Portsmouth City Park. To make sure that he wouldn't lose out on his future, I began attending CareerCom School of Business where he graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Certification In General Business and Management.
In May 1989, at the age of 24, l began working of the Portsmouth Redevelopment of Housing Authority. I began moving around alot and could not stay in one location for a long time because of my addiction. I continued to pursue my family research diligently.
On March 28, 1992, l was sent to jail for unmalicious wounding and put on probation for three years. The battle with alcohol and drugs came to an end when my probation officer, Vernon Williams gave me a second chance and I was put on outpatient therapy. The recovery was a success.
In 1993, I began my new life without alcohol and drugs..       began working for Portsmouth Parks and Recreation once again. This time in the Recreation Department. He worked in the Pre-teen Recreation Enrichment Program or P.R.E.P. One day, a child came to him and told him that he smell alcohol and he decided to stop. It did not lasted. The true fight to rid myself of alcohol came in the form of a young man. My best friend, Jermaine Deans, when he was 13 years old told me that he was afraid that l was going to die so l finally let go all of it on June 25, 1993. I continued to trace my family history with diligence and consistency.
To help rid himself of the problem of alcohol and drugs, l began working
harder on his job and creating a group called "H.I.G.H. I.M.P.A.C.T." The group stayed together for almost two years. They performed all over Portsmouth and the surrounding area, until the group walked away from Darryl, except for my best friend, Jermaine. The date was March 28, 1995. On August 10. 1995, I was released from Probation and was cleared of all charges of the incidents in 1992.
The next six years would change the face of his genealogical search forever. In February 1996, l met a lady by the name of Esther L. Jenkins, a lady who lived in the Churchland section of Portsmouth, which was in the suburbs. We fell in love and she supported me to the utmost. While my family didn't believe that I would ever finish the family history project, she did. l had alot of doubt about the support that my family had for the project but she told me not to worry about what people felt but to finish the project but don't rush or mistakes would be made in the research. She allowed me to do the project at her home where there would be peace and quiet.
I constantly went to the library to gather information about members of my family. I frequented the Portsmouth Public Library and the Sargeant Memorial Room in the Norfolk Public Library. There was a program called the Personal Ancestral File 2.31 on the computer at the library but I didn't know much about computers. I found all the information I could on the Social Security Index on November 26, 1997.
In 1998, I had over 500 names of family members that he knew. The truth was that they were all in my head. I could remember their birth, marriages, and death but they weren't written down. During a reunion, my cousin, Melva James told him that he had to get the name out of his head and on paper. So I started on a quest to get them out of his head. As the memories of alcohol and drugs continued to haunt me, I still worked on getting all the information out my head. The pressure of Virginia was getting to me when a spirit told me to go to New York City.
"In July 1998, I decided to go to New York City. I went to the New York Library in the Bronx, where my oldest brother, George lived, which was in Riverdale, when I found a number to A Family History Library in Midtown Manhattan near ABC-TV. I caught the subway train to the Library before it close. The mission of a life-time was unfolding.
At the entrance to the library was a man by the man of Elder Ellis Hancey, a Mormon Church, for Provo, Utah. He was an older man in his late 60's. He greeted me with utmost kindness. He help me get comfortable in the Library. He
told me that they had some computer in a back room that had the same program, I was using in Portsmouth. I told him that I didn't know much about computer but I am a fast learner. He also told me about the program called the Personal Ancestral File 3.0. He said that I could put the names of all my family on one disk and submit it to the main library for the their church in Utah, which could help other families who may be tracing the same lines. I asked for his help.
He sat me down and began helping me learn how to run the program so that
I could put all the names in that one program. After about five minutes of tutoring, I took the program over from there. I began with my name, my parents, my grandparents, and great grandparents. I put all the information, I could remember about them. I typed in all the names, I could remember. When he got back, I had typed over 100 names in the program. I began telling him that I had all the names in my head. He was amazed at how I never picked up a piece of paper. After an hour on the computer, I had about 500 names in the program.
He sat down again and said "You don't know what you have, do you". I said. "No". He said, "You have the largest family collection for black families, I have ever seen, you could help alot of people." He said that God sent me on a mission to come to New York City for a reason and maybe coming to New York may have been what it needed to do. I left New York a day before my nineteenth anniversary having over 1000 names. From July 8-August 14, 1998, I entered the information about all the members of the families that I knew up-to-date. I returned to Virginia to get the rest of my family names.
My girlfriend allowed me to keep my computer at her house which I rented to finish the project. I vowed that I would never leave Virginia again unless she goes with me. I was typing hard to finish the book and the research at the same time. I thought I had everything okay until one day, her nephew, who was a baby, picked them up off the dresser and pulled the metal tabs off all the main disk, including the program disk. I called Mr. Hancey who sent me another disk to finished the job.
By September 1999, I had 1100 names. I rented a computer to input the data for the entire family. I called all the families that were involved in this family. By February 2000, I had 1300 names. I decided to called around to see if someone would put me in the newspaper and noone would do the story so, I almost gave up until Rick Holmes.
On June 12, 2001, I was a poll worker for the Democratic Primary at Parkview Elementary School in Portsmouth, Virginia for the N.A.A.C.P. On June 12, 2001, I was the Precinct Coordinator for the Parkview area of Portsmouth, Virginia.
I called "WTKR News Channel-3" I asked them to consider doing a newscast about what I did and sure enough they did it. I was on television as a feature story on 5:30 newscast. They ran the newscast for four days. In December 2001, WTKR-News Channel-3, did a follow-up story about my progress. By that time, I had over 1900 names.
On October 9, 2001, I uploaded a Gedcom file of 1725 names on to an Family internet site called "MyFamily.com. I updated the file on November 10, 2001 to include over 1800 names. I kept the site locked until I finished my book.
On November 26, 2001, I began working for Tidewater Auto Auction in Chesapeake, Virginia as a lot attendant/assistant lane leader. The organization is a wholesale/retail dealer's auction located on South Military Highway. I worked there today. My supervisor's name is Malone Pace-Outside Operations Supervisor. My co-workers are Deon Morris, Tauris T. (Chicken) Fredrick, Jason Hall, Bob Burke, Milton Whann, Carl Van Vuren, Leon Porter, III, and Elliott Kendrick. We are in charge of preparing the auction lot for a dealer-to-dealer auction held on each Wednesday. I am assistant lane leader in charge of making sure that the cars in the B-Lane (cars 1995 and older) are driver to the auction block to be viewed by the dealer. All other days, I am part of a wonderful crew of fun and friendly people. I hope that they will always be blessed in all that they do. Since then I moved up to over 2300 names. When my great neice, Azaria was born, I decided to close all entries to the The name of "griot", which was a name given to an African family historian for each tribe, was given to me by a man by the name of Robert Revell, a good friend of mine.
Like Malcolm X and many other people before me, I had a tough time in my life. But Pastor Courtney MacBath, a pastor in Norfolk, preached a sermon about God changing people. He said "the reason why God leave some people on earth is so He can show the world, he can change anybody". From a humble beginning to losing and finding my mother, to learn about myself, and the fight with drugs, God gave me another chance. I decided to prove to people that I can changed just like every other person. My life has become strong, confident, loving, and stable. Ten years ago, I would have never thought that I would come to this point in my life. God is real and Jesus is alive. This is my personal testimony that I can boast or brag but live my life better than I could ever live it. This is my life and it is own and operated by God. Thank You God for another chance.

  More About AFRICAN AMERICAN GRIOT DARRYL ELEY:
Baptism: March 03, 1985, Good News Baptist Church, Chesapeake, Virginia
Census: June 1970, Portsmouth, Virginia
Education: May 25, 1989, Certification in Business Management
Graduation: June 10, 1983, Cradock High School
Namesake: Darryl Arrington
Occupation: September 09, 1999, African American Griot

  Notes for ESTHER L. TAYLOR:
She was born in Portsmouth, Virginia to James David Taylor and Jessie Naomi Miller on December 15, 1962. She was a very shy young girl.
She married Rory Jenkins on March 26, 1981. They had a son, Roderick Jenkins, on February 3, 1982 in Raleigh, North Carolina.
She met ____(classified)_____________________. They had three children: Terry (1987), Shawn (1989), and Kimberly (1990).


  More About ESTHER L. TAYLOR:
Education: John Yeates High School


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