Family Affair

Keitt|Sapp|Shumake|McRae|McMillian|Clark|Ryal - All from Georgia


This site was created to chronicle and share my genealogy research. It is also a tool for others that are searching for their family members and to see if there is any connection to my family. This is a project that is going to take years to complete. It has been a labor of love, a great deal of fun and quite stimulating.

If you are interested in the various surnames, you can start with the ones across the top of this page or you can look for them in the categories section to the right.

Please leave comments on any of the posts/articles that you read or email me using the form on the right. I do want your feedback, I will try to answer any question, and I desire your interaction. Love to know how to improve this site to better serve you,

God's Little Drummer Boy

Posted by Tonya Keitt Kalule

December 11, 2014 we gained an angel in our family, his name is Jermaine D. Kicklighter, Jr. better known as 'Jelly Bean'.  

He blessed us with his presence 3 years and 10 months ago, in the care of Christina Harley and Jermaine Kicklighter, Sr., his earthly parents. However, God wanted him back, and since He loves him best we can't question his reason but rather trust in His Purpose.

While on this earth, Jelly Bean became his father's shadow.  He went to church with him on Sunday and loved watching him play the drums in church. 

 He too fell in love with playing the drums.  His dad often had to search the house for his drum sticks.

So  when Jelly Bean departed this earth, he carried with him his own pair of drumsticks so he can play for his Heavenly Father as well as continue to inspire his dad's music.

Jazmaine Kicklighter is Jelly Bean's little sister, who will never get the chance to really know her big brother and feel his protection and love as is often felt in this family. I hope she knows that he will be watching out for her always.

I am truly proud and impressed with the type of father Jermaine Sr is to his children.  

He is young father like none  I have seen in a long time.  He has some great role models, a father and a step-father that he loves dearly; but also uncles that are and has always been involved in his life. 

This love and belief in family has been passed down from his grandparents, Anna and Hansel Thompson, because the other young men in the family, his first cousins, are also incredible fathers.

So you rest little man and keep watch over us.

Moving Abroad

Posted by Tonya Keitt Kalule

This chick is ready to go.
Moving out of the USA was something that I have always wanted to do.  At first I didn't know anyone personally that had done this other than military people. I wanted to do it for the experience of living somewhere that was very different from what I was use to.  As the years passed by I started to meet people who had lived abroad and returned to the US. Most of them were people in their 20s and they backpacked around Europe which was the norm.  Yes they were gone for a couple of years, but they were much younger than me and they were backpacking, which was no longer of interest to me.

I started to find more and more blogs out there where others were in their 50s and living abroad, but none of them were single women.  Regardless, I started to communicate with a few of those that were in my age group.  They of course gave good advice, but I didn't totally trust this because I didn't know these people and I didn't think that they would give me the truth about the good and the bad.  By not knowing them personally I was reluctant to ask them really personal questions, especially when it came to money. I just decided to take the chance, because if all else failed, I could always return to the USA and get back to work.

When the opportunity presented itself,  after much research and planning, I decided to go for 6 months to South America. I was always partial to the Spanish culture and wanted to learn more about it..
After recovering from several surgeries, spending a year in Savannah with my daughter and my new granddaughter, house-sitting for a  month (3 wks) in Berkeley, California, and taking a week to drive through parts of Northern California, I decided Peru was where I would start.  The plan was to stay for 6 months and move on to somewhere else.  Many ask why did I choose Peru?  Now I know that I didn't choose Peru, Peru chose me.

Gia turns 1.

Avenue of the Giants in Humbodlt County, California
 The hardest part was leaving this little one.  I had to realize that I had to step back and let my daughter be a mother, and trust that I had taught her well.

Then off I went.

First to Berkeley, California, then driving to Northern California to see the beautiful Redwood Forrest.
Mount Shasta, part of the Cascade Range in Siskiyou County,California

It is time!

Andes Mountains on the way to Urubamba Valley
I am on my way to this beautiful land, with an apartment waiting for me in Cuzco, Peru. Cuzco is the home to the famous Inca Empire in the Andes Mountains.  Something we all read about in grade school,

First Christmases

Posted by Tonya Keitt Kalule

We have some new additions to the family and this would be their first Christmas. Some of them are not old enough to even hold their first toy, but next year they are going to be pulling down the Christmas tree.  I hope you all enjoy these new additions this year.

Gia Maxine Ryals -3M

Breon Devonte Boles - 2M
Aston Lindberg McRae 12M
Aston was born December 22 of 2011, so he probably slept through Christmas along with his parents.  Now dressed in  a sweater vest and Chuck Taylors, he is ready for Old St. Nick this year.

Jayden Anthony Miles 10M


Nathaniel Hawthorne Keitt

Posted by Tonya Keitt Kalule

Nathaniel Hawthorne Keitt
Nathaniel Hawthorne Keitt was my paternal grandfather.  My grandmother Irene Sapp Keitt was in fact his second wife.  I discovered that he had been married before when I started my family research at the Historical Society.  His first wife's name was Rebecca, but she passed before he married his second wife Irene.

I was told that his parents were Viola and Willie Keitt, but nobody seems to know what happened to them.  Nathaniel and his brother Romeo were living with Elizabeth and Joshua Keitt in 1910 in Bowman, SC per the census records.  These records also indicated that Joshua and Elizabeth were their grandparents. At this time Nathaniel was only 5 years old and his brother Romeo was 10.

It recently came to my attention that Joshua and Elizabeth never had a child named Willie Keitt, therefore they could not be the grandparents of Nathaniel and Romeo Keitt.

What happened to Willie and Viola Keitt?  Did Viola die in childbirth or shortly thereafter?  Did Willie move on to find work, leaving his two small boys with relatives?  Are there other children that were perhaps sent to live with other relatives?  Why did they live with Joshua and Elizabeth when they already had 8 kids of their own to raise?  These are the questions and many more that I need answers to.

My dad and uncle often said that their father Nathaniel never talked much about his family, but it is a possibility that he didn't know much, if anything about his parents.
I know that he moved to Savannah and lived with his supposed Aunt Aida and Lottie on 38th Street but I also discovered that Joshua and Elizabeth moved to Savannah by 1920 and they all lived at 1013 East 38th Street.

 So the family moved to Georgia from South Carolina between 1910 and 1920, but it could have possibly been the year before.  It has been said that Nathaniel was around 15 when he moved to Savannah.
He later took up the shoemaker trade, and it is on record that he has been a shoemaker from the age of 19 , which at this time he again resided on 38th street but at 1015 East 38th.

In 1928 he both worked and resided at 906 East Waters, this is where he had his shoe repair shop.  The following year he married a girl from Georgia by the name of Rebecca and they both resided at the East Waters address.
In June of 1932 Nathaniel married Irene Sapp, my grandmother.  It is indicated on the application for the marriage license that his first wife Rebecca as well as his parents were deceased. Again when did they pass.

The question for me is when did his parents die?  Did his mom die in childbirth and his father die later, or did they die together?  We do know now that they were deceased by 1932 when he married Irene.
I am going to have to research this more on the ground and possibly in Bowman, Sc.

Gia Maxine Keitt

Posted by Tonya Keitt Kalule

©2012 TonyaKeittKalule

This little lady stole the hearts of many when she finally entered this world Tuesday, September 18, 2012 at 14:28PM.  She weighed 8lbs 3oz and was 20 3/4 inches long.  Yes she was a big one, and that explains why she had to be forced out of that tight space.  This lucky little girl had both parents, two grandmothers, and two sets of great grandparents awaiting her arrival.  Not many little ones are born with that much love waiting to be bestowed upon them.

Gia is the first grandchild on both her maternal and paternal sides of the family; can you say
S P O I L E D.

I have now joined the Grandparents Club and I must say that it is exciting.  I feel by her like I did her mother when she was born, but different. I pray that God gives me many more years to spoil her, because I want to give her everything.

©2012 TonyaKeittKalule
Maxie Lee Ryals
This little girl also carries a family name as her middle name, Maxine, is after her great great grandfather, Maxie Lee Ryals.  I could see the pride in his handsome face.

Gia has one man's entire heart and that is her dad Michel Zeigler  He presently working and studying for his bachelors degree in Behavioral Analysis and he is going to need it, because this little girl is going to have him wrapped around her little finger.  Gia is in daddy's hands, which I pray is always in God's hands.


Yes, I am going to be photographing her for years to come as I did her mom.

©2012 TonyaKeittKalule
Nine months later, and Whitney you did a great job.  I look forward to watching you grow as a mother,  Congrats to my baby girl, Whitney D. Keitt.

©2012 TonyaKeittKalule

(backrow, l to R): Maurice, Brandon, Gregory,Matthew, (mid;l to r)Nate, Whitney, Marquise, Tyronne,(front l to r) Micah,

Viola G.Sapp -unknown to me

Posted by Tonya Keitt Kalule

Irene and Vivian visiting family graves
This is a photo of two sisters visiting family graves probably in Jenkins County.  Irene to the left is my grandmother, who at this time was suffering from Alzheimers. She is being led by her baby sister, Vivian, who will be 90 years old this year. She too is now suffering from Alzheimers.
 I know that Matthew Sapp was their uncle and I do remember him quite well, but I don't know who Viola Sapp is and why she is buried right next to Matthew Sapp.
I know Matthew had two wives, Beaulah and Lizzie.  I don't have much info on Lizzie, and it is possible that her name was Viola.
I am hoping that someone can answer this question for me.