The story of my grandmother Lula Horn (1883-1986) who raised me from a young four year old girl to a pre-teen. Grandmother Lula made beautiful quilts from the clothes of her ancestors and other loved ones. I sat in my grandmother's front yard under the tall oak tree listening to the stories of these people as she sewed their clothes into my quilt of souls. All of my grandmother's blood relatives with the exception of her children and grandchildren were either sold into slavery (brothers) before she was born. Her only known sister Ella, was born at the tail end of slavery after Grandma Lula's mother thought she'd never have other children particularly, after spending years lamenting over her three sons that were sold away and never heard from again.. At the tender age of sixteen, Ella died a grueling death after being beaten by the hands of her parents ex-slave owner. Immediately after witnessing Ella's death, her father disappeared in the middle of the night running from his grief, her mother died that same night from a broken heart. Lula's lineage was lost forever. I've always prayed that one day, I would be able to find her ancestors, however, the bind was so severed, the possibilities of this happening I thought was probably nil. Grandma was born in Hattiesburg/Laurel Mississippi in 1886 on the Young Plantation. I recently found out from my 90 year old mother who is suffering from dementia and her sister Phyllis are the only living family members who have any information on my grandmother's lost family. They also knew that Grandmother Lula had another sister named Edna/Ellen/Ella House. This was supposedly Emma's daughter by another Slave Owner by the name of House. For years my mother and her sister have been very tight-lipped about events that were passed down from long ago, they would rather take this information to their grave. My Grandma Lula Young shows up in the 1900 Census Report at the age 14 and working as a nursemaid to the Williams family.
The 1910 Census reveals that she was married to her first husband Moses Faulkner who tragically died early in their marriage. But also in the household is Edna House. These stories are consistent with the stories that Grandma Lula passed on to me with the exception of Ella, Ellen or Edna House. She married my grandfather Edgar Horn in the mid 1920's and moved to Livingston, Alabama.
Grandma never discussed the House family probably for obvious reasons. I would love to connect the dots with grandma Lula's family. My mother obviously knows more but even with dementia, she shuts down. Who is Edna/Ella/Ellen House? When I first began this search, my mother told me that Ellen House was my grandmother's surrogate family. In talking to my mother over the last fifteen years trying to piece together the story of Grandma's lineage, I can sense the tension in her voice. I could see and feel her agony and uneasiness in discussing that part of her family history, particularly since my Mother was born in 1925; very close to the action. However, on Saturday, this was the first time in my life that she slipped up and began discussing Ellen or Edna/Ella House being the sister of my grandmother, of course you could have knocked me over with a straw. I heard her frustration in trying to keep these two issues separate, but why now after all these years? I have submitted my DNA which will open many possibilities. I mention the three names because in her mind, she intermingles all three of them which I find very curious.
I have shared my story in Genealogy groups and continue to receive amazing suggestions and overwhelming responses. I continue to hope that Hattiesburg, MS will provide the needed answers and/or maybe someone out there will recognize my story.www.quiltofsouls.org