Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday...Elwood CHRISTIAN

Elwood CHRISTIAN was my great uncle and unfortunately I don't recall ever meeting him. If he was anything like his brother, who we all called "Uncle Willie" I'm certain he was a kind and gentle soul.

Elwood was the son of Choctaw and Chickasaw Freedmen, his mother and father respectively.

Their family like many who have ties to Indian Territory and Oklahoma inherited a great deal of land wealth prior to Oklahoma becoming a state in November of 1907, however because of his date of birth, Elwood was not a direct recipient of land as his brother's and sister's born before him.

In 1912 his mother Martha died due to complications of childbirth, my uncle Willie and the family spiraled down into poverty despite having received hundreds of acres of land just five years earlier.  Life in the territory was not easy for the descendants of former slaves of the Chickasaw and Choctaw Indians and yet they managed to survived to give birth to another generation.

I recall seeing a picture of Elwood and perhaps one day I'll locate it again because in many cases family resemblance is noticeable as succeeding generations emerge and I do recall how much Elwood resembled Uncle Willie, big smile, bright eyed and deep baritone voice, I'm sure they shared these qualities or I like to think they did.

As I read his obituary it is amazing that I don't recall ever meeting him because I do recall having known practically everyone of his relatives that survived him.

This is obviously another teaching moment. As genealogist and family historians we have an obligation to gather and preserve the stories of our family for future generations. Our elders have a huge reservoir of knowledge that must be recorded and time is not on our side.

That reminds me, I need to call my Aunt Barbara and get her story!

2 comments:

  1. Great tribute to Elmwood Christian, and good to see the obituary as well.

    I could not help but notice that his grave is marked only by one of those funeral home markers. Any chances of his getting a headstone?

    He has been gone almost 20 years and that temporary marker has been exposed to the elements. It might not last much longer. Hopefully the relatives will come forth and mark the grave.

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  2. This comment comes from:

    http://www.afrigeneas.com/forume/index.cgi?page=1;md=read;id=36121


    Hi Terry,
    I was trying to post this on your blog but did not have one of the profile listed to be able to post a comment so I just want thank you for posting the article on Elwood Christian. I had seen his obituary on your website and it was amazing to find that I had a relative who lived in the same area that I lived when growing up. The church mentioned in the obituary was not far from where I lived at the time. I wonder did I ever see or meet him at any time as I was growing up? Hopefully you will find the picture of him to post someday. Since Caro was the brother of my GGrandfather (Chickasaw Freedman) Clifford Christian, I would be interested to see if there is a family resemblance. Well, cousin, keep up the great work. You are truly a blessing because I have learned so much through your many postings. Take care.
    Val

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