The Great Migration didn’t just start at a GPS point and stop in Utopia Texas.
Nicholas Fussell Sr. of London, England had a son, WILLIAM, that moved to Yorkshire. For some reason WILLIAM FUSSELL, of Yorkshire, England had a son, Solomon, that left the homeland and sailed to America, emigrating to Pennsylvania 1721 and started a chair company in Philadelphia, Pa. This family story is titled “From Whence We Came.”
A few years later William’s second son Benjamin followed his brother to America. The elder brother was rooted in the Quaker faith. This faith didn’t quite agree with Benjamin, and he migrated to North Carolina. Benjamin was one of the seven founding families of North Carolina.
Benjamin’s son, Benjamin 2, migrated farther south to Georgia, becoming one of the five founding families of Georgia. Benjamin 2 moved his family into Irwin/Telfair/Coffee counties of Georgia before 1820.
Benjamin 2 had a son, John C. who became the captain of the militia in Georgia and killed in that capacity.
John C.’s son John Early followed his father’s footsteps to defend the homeland and joined Company “B”, 19th Battalion of Georgia Volunteer Cavalry. Shortly after the enlistment John Early’s foot was partially froze and he was discharged. John came home to a 14′ X 17′ log cabin that housed his wife, mother-n-law and 10 children.
John Early suddenly fled to North Florida with a girlfriend never to return to Hazelhurst, Georgia and his family.
One of John Early’s son’s Henry Jackson, worked the home farm to help raise the children and support his mother. Henry Jackson’s wife died in childbirth and Henry married a woman the same age as his oldest son, Elias who was 21.
Henry Jackson’s son, Elias, disagreed with his father’s choice of bride and moved away to his mother’s parents in Fitzgerald and met the next door neighbor girl, Fannie. She was 15, and June 12, 1910 they eloped via Hazelhurst and later migrated to Lakeland, Florida in an oxcart.
In 1932 Elias died of a heart attack and his son, Jinks, migrated father south of the Caloosahatchee River into no-man’s land of south Florida to Naples. A paradise by some reports and the end of the earth for others.
By 1969 the land developers had drained the Everglades, sold commercial property in the middle of the woods and chased all native game to near extinction. Jinks told his oldest son, Derrill, “I’m moving to the mountains on the west coast.”
In this oral story there were tears of sadness as each family member was told goodbye. The oldest child was left on her own in marriage and the troupe forged West.
The Grapes of Wrath was all to familiar to the pickups piled high towing overloaded trailers of their entire existence.
Each night was an adventure finding a level spot for the tent after spying the familiar KOA campgrounds. Hot water showers were a blessing! Dad brought foam rubber to soften the hard ground to sleep on. Mom cooked breakfast on a white gas stove that had to be pumped up to produce pressure to keep the flame burning. As kids, we had never eat at restaurants more than a few times.
Mom passed sandwiches around, she made while Dad drove, when we stopped for gas. Along about 3 Mom searched the map for the next town that might have a KOA. Most evenings before dark we would have a meal at a restaurant. Mom would order for us all and Dad would pay.
Montana was spectacular but Iowa was the most memorable.
For miles we saw billboards that showed a ginormous breakfast for $1.99. When Dad pulled into the giant truck stop that announced we had arrived at the $1.99 Special restaurant I was euphoric. There were hogs grazing in the pasture next door like cattle. There was a ham steak that covered a turkey platter 2 eggs, hash-browns and toast, jellies and jams and a huge pancake with butter and syrup. We all had the same breakfast and Mom bagged enough leftovers for lunch and supper. The Beverly hillbillies had nothing on us, we were traveling in first class!
Washington state was nothing like southern Florida. It was like air-conditioning outside all Summer long. There were berries, and vegetables galore just for the asking. There were apples and pears, cherries and potatoes that were always scare or nonexistent in the homeland.
Washington was heaven sent until the mold caused Jinks to seek out a drier climate in Arizona, (too dry) then to Texas.
Derrill tried Montana (no work), North Dakota (too cold), Arizona, (too hot), Texas ( too NOT), California, (Too many people), Oklahoma, (Also NOT), Alaska was just right in the Summer, and I’m back to Washington, just right.
There were lands that were looked but not inviting around the globe, but just not home…
I have it on good authority the migration goes on… Becky in Arkansas, Aaron in Texas, Lindsey in her own home and Tanya south of San Antone.
Tyler is in Uvalde, Kinsley is at home, the migration has started and leads unknown.
There are plenty more splinters in the road, there are James, Clark, Zachariah, Caleb, Sam and Anna grace, Kinsley and Kristen all ready to travel…the race has started now they wait for the gavel…
The legacy of the Great Migration never ends and can be followed here clear into tomorrow, legacytoo.com