I understand, to a point, why my Mom's family weren't real open on some of their lines. My Maternal Grandmother, I found out just in the last few months, was pretty much seperated from most of her family though they all lived in the Myrtle Grove, Millview area. My Mom did talk about her Helton Grandparents and she really loved them a lot. The Caro ones scared her. The only sibling she really knew of Asleans (my Grandmother) was a sister, the one who had 4 kids and 2 after she was 'divorced' from her husband. She was the one who lived with other family members and took care of them if they were ill. She cared for her Mother, Rebecca Boyett Helton (m. C.D. Boyett, 53rd Al.Partisan Rangers) while cancer ate her face away. Rebecca died in the early 1940's. This entire line has been kept out of converstation due to the 'good reputation defecit' of some of them. The same reason the ruling body (Mom's eldest sister and brother) declined to participate or even inform the other siblings of their qualification to be added to the Creek Roll.
Even though the headstones on 3 of her Ggrandfathers graves have the Confederate cross, she didn't know what it meant. That same cemetery is full of Confederate Vets and I'd bet you most of their kin, if they even come visit the site, have no idea what they did or where they served. Many were in the 15th Alabama. I did a survey of the cemetery when we cleaned it after Ivan and noted the graves that were in the same year range to be in the CSArmy and then did some research. Some were marked as veterans and a couple did have 15th Alabama on them.
I was very happy one of the posters here on the Alabama board wrote a book on them. Now I can give the family members I run in to the name of the book and author so they can at least get an idea what they're made of.
Even at this late date, the books being written and the information compiled in easy to find locations are the one key to making the individuals contribution to the 'Cause' a part of the 'Family Tree' search. I have also been surprised, and pleased, that there are more African Americans (at least in this area) even willing to talk about the Civil War and not get real testy on the subject. This many years after the defense/offense position on the Civil Rights movement we are seeing a wall with a few windows in it instead of solid brick when it comes to two 'sides' having an discussion. I helped a Black lady find some material at our Genealogy Library a few weeks ago. As we talked, we discovered we both have kin, with the same last name, in Owassa, Alabama. Hmmmmm??????? We both laughed about it and we still haven't any clue if there is any 'blood' connection. They may have just taken the last name. We don't know yet. But my point is, I see, maybe others do not, but I see an opening that we'd be foolish to ignore when it comes to sharing what may have just been a common history of family in an area but it also may be something more. You have to be willing to stick your neck into the opening and just take the chance.
I know I talk of my family too much, but they are the only real example I can give on the point I'm trying to make. They may not be a documented, certified source, but they existed and I am finding common ground with others who may be of a different frame of mind. It helps to understand something they never left a written record of. I sure wish they had. Hubby has a short attention span. He isn't 'all that' into events and how much his ancestors were involved. He has a family tree that needs a book written. I just don't think I could do it justice. From the founding of Salem, Mass, to St Augustine, to the Charleston Arsenal, to Arsenals in Georgia to Pensacola is one book in itself, The others, the Creek, need another book.
I wish someone had 'drug' me to some family affairs when I was a kid. It would make this sorting of names a bit easier and the cultural divide may be a bit shorter.