Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Its So Nice To Meet The Weathersbys

I was born is a small town in Mississippi just a little north of Rt-82 on Highway 45 called West Point. And back then the only people whom I ever knew who had the name Weathersby, besides me, were my mom, Vivian, and my dad, McCoy Weathersby. Now I am sure that when I was a kid of about 4 or 5 I did visit my grandfather, Soule Weathersby, who lived in McComb, Mississippi. But my bet is he was introduced as “grandpa” rather than by his name. And I may have even seen some other Weathersbys in my family. But they were most likely also introduced to me as aunt or uncle somebody. The only one of these that I remember was Ms. Icy and I remembered her only because she had a hump back; I guess she kinda frightened me because of that. I do remember traveling at about that age to McComb, Liberty, and Summit, Ms, as well as Videlia, Lousiana and Lake Village, Arkansas to visit relatives. But I don’t remember any specifically introduced as Weathersbys. My dad’s sister (my aunt) who lived in Lake Village was a Weathersby by birth but I always knew her as Aunt Rose (Bates).

When I was 10 years old we moved to Washington, DC and still the only Weathersbys I ever knew were my parents, sister and brothers; and later on their kids and families. All through grade school, high school and college I was always the only Weathersby in my classes. Whenever I looked in the telephone books for DC and the Maryland suburbs the only Weathersbys I ever saw were my relatives and there were not many of them. After I started working I never met any Weathersbys until about 12 years later in 1973 that I met a Weathersby who was not my family.

One day a young man walked into my office and asked if I was Mr Weathersby. I replied yes and he said so am I. He then he explained that he had seen my photo and name on a poster in my office building. The poster was showing all of the EEO counselors for my agency. His name was Cary Weathersby and we had a long conversation in which he related that his family was from Texas, near Houston as I remember. So we compared family notes for a while and could not conclude that we were related based on the information we had. But we exchanged phone numbers and agree to talk again. We actually ended up working for the same organization about 12 years later.

The rest of my work career of almost 40 years I never ran into another Weathersby. My job took me all over the country and I never met another Weathersby. I traveled also on vacations all over the country and never met another Weathersby. On one occasion, in about 1995, I had to visit Piney Woods Counytry Life School just south of Jackson, Ms. When I met the people whom I was to work with one asked me which of the Weathersby families I was a member of. He said there were two rather large Weathersby families in the Jackson area. I replied that I was not a member of either and that I didn’t even know of them. Then as I was taken on a tour of the campus and when we got to the school’s museum there was a huge portrait of a person named Dr. Weathersby. I was told that this person was a former instructor at the school and that he at that time lived in the Los Angeles, California area. As I recall they even gave me a phone number for him but I did not use it.

When I got back to the hotel that evening I immediately look in the white pages phone book and to my surprise there was a full two column page of Weathersby. So I torn the page out of the book; not sure what for because I would never just call folks and say, “Hay, I’m a Weathersby too”. But after that trip whether it was business or personal travel, I always checked the white pages phone book just to see if there were any Weathersbys. In most places there were none but sometimes there would be 2 or 3 and I would keep the page. Yes, I still have most of those pages although I don’t know why.

In 1998 I made a trip to Disney World in Florida and while I was waiting to board a schuttle to the park entrance I looked at the person in line standing next to me and he had a name tag on his shirt that said WEATHERSBY. I was shocked and asked him if he was a Weathersby and where he was from. He explained that it was his girlfriend’s family name. He was with her and a group of people. She then told me her father’s name and that they were from Detroit, Michigan. She even gave me his phone number but I never called him. What was I gonna say?

So all through my live I never knew any Weathersbys except my immediate family. And never ran into any Weathersbys in school or work activities. I was always the last one on the attendance roll call in schools. Usually had to sit in the back of the classroom is grade school because the teachers had us sit in alphabetical order to make it easy to take attendance. I had to endure what I’m sure other Weathesbys endured, persistent mispronunciation of my name. Sometimes this was accidental, other times on purpose. I was called Whithersby, Weatherby, Weatherbee, and a bunch of other variations of that. One of my neighbors used to just call me Wess. Then I learned from my dad that in the McComb, Liberty, Summit area the Weathersby name was truncated to WESBY. Now that was cool. So I and my older brother had it for a long while on our auto vanity plate; he lived in DC and I in Maryland. I still use the Wesby acronim because I find it convenient, especially for on-line stuff.

Even after I started expanding my horizons on the internet I never ran into any Weathersbys on any of the many social networking web site I have been on. That is not until I got to Facebook. Just for kicks I did a search on Facebook and found well over 500 Weathersbys. Wow I said, I am gonna go through the list and invite some of these members to be friends. So that’s how I got so many Weathersbys on my friend’s list. My real goal is to see if I can make a connection with my family.

Several of the Weathersbys whom I have invited immediately said, ”who are you?’, and/or “are we related?” My reply was this: “I am just one of the more than 500 or so Weathersbys here on Facebook, many of whom have connected only because we ARE Weathersbys and kinda feel like somewhere in our backgrounds there is a real family connection. I use Tinkertoy as my screen name on all web sites but my last name is also Weathersby and my family, dad was from McComb, Ms, Grandad was from McComb, Ms, great grandfather was from Amite County, Ms which encompasses the town of McComb, Liberty and Summit I believe. ”

Several Weathersbys have exchanged family information with me and I have had email and phone conversations with one other Weathersby whom I met on Facebook. Thus far I have found one person to whom I AM related. As I understand it her dad is an uncle of my dad’s brother; or something like that.

I joined both of the Weathersby groups here on Facebook, the "XGeneration Weathersby", and the "Weathersby Family" to see what connections I could find. I have two brothers on here, my son, my daughter, and a bunch of nieces, and nephews who are Weathersby also.

But its nice to meet all of the Weathersbys here in Facebook, Even the ones who pretty much ignore me and never say anything to me, never comment on anything I post. Even still, I have looked at photos and discovered that Weathersbys are all over the country, have nice families, are attending colleges, and are having big family reunions. So to all of you I want to say hello, its nice to meet you. And, it would be nice to exchange family tree information just to see if there are any connections.

The Weathersbys that I know on my family tree are these:

Great Grandfather: Joseph Cobb Weathersby who was a slave and lived in McComb, Ms and as the story goes was sold on a stump right there in town, way back when.

Grandfather: Soule Weathersby was one of eight (8) siblings. The others were Pinckney, Henry, Doll, Lillie, Eddie, Icey, and Elizabeth Weathersby

Father: My father McCoy Weathersby had three Weathersby siblings, Herbert, Rose and Wilma Weathersby. He also had half brothers and sisters who were Thompsons. Demus, JW, Samual, Robert and Jessie Lee Thompson.

Grandmother: My dad’s mom was Leona Webb Thompson and her mom, my great grandmother was Estella Webb Reed. Estella’s father was Hiram Webb.

So that’s the lineage that I know. It would be great to make another connection. As I said all of the people I mentioned originated in Amite County, Ms in the towns of McComb, Libert and Summit, Ms.

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