|18.||i.||MITCHELL6 MCDOW, b. July 06, 1959, Brooklyn, New York.|
|ii.||DARRYL THOMAS MCDOW9, b. July 12, 1960, New York City, New York9.|
|19.||iii.||ANTHONY MCDOW, b. August 12, 1961, New York City, New York.|
|iv.||MARCELLA MCDOW9, b. March 1965, New York City, New York9.|
|v.||VALERIE6 FOG9, b. 1962, <Lancaster, South Carolina>9.|
|20.||i.||KEVIN6 MCDOW, b. February 01, 1956, Westchester County, New York.|
|ii.||MICHEAL MCDOW9, b. February 19, 1957, Westchester County, New York9.|
|21.||iii.||VANESSA6 BIVINS, b. May 17, 1964, Bronx, New York.|
|22.||iv.||KARL LEE BIVINS, b. February 01, 1966, Bronx, New York.|
|23.||v.||SHONTA BIVINS, b. June 19, 1969, Bronx, New York.|
|i.||ELLEN6 MCDOW9, b. <Brooklyn, Kings, New York>9.|
|ii.||APRIL MCDOW9, b. <Brooklyn, Kings, New York>9.|
|iii.||ASHLEY MCDOW9, b. <Brooklyn, Kings, New York>9.|
|i.||AFRICAN AMERICAN GRIOT DARRYL6 ELEY15,16,17, b. May 15, 1965, Portsmouth, Virginia18; m. ESTHER L. TAYLOR, February 27, 1996, Portsmouth, Virginia; b. December 15, 1962, Portsmouth, Virginia.|
Notes for AFRICAN AMERICAN GRIOT DARRYL ELEY:|
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
|24.||ii.||LUWANA6 DARRINGTON, b. March 26, 1967, Monroe, Louisiana.|
|iii.||REGINA6 JOHNSON18, b. December 27, 1980, Jefferson, Chesterfield, South Carolina18.|