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AfriGeneas Genealogy and History Forum Archive

Sophier Napier - James Carroll Napier -Identities

Dear Afrigeneas Family Members,

I just posted two pictures to the PreciousPhotos@afriteneas.com website and invite all in cyberland to join me in this identity mystery journey. As this is my first attempt at this since my return from overseas duty, I was not sure if my text posting would appear on both locations and did not want any of us to miss the chance of placing another piece in a great puzzle; hence, provision of the following with picutres viewable at the above site:

In historical pursuit of finding my Great Grandfather Fred (Lafayette) Watkins' grave (died: 24 February 1911) somewhere in Tuscumbia Alabama so that he may eventually receive a headstone, my genealogy search and cross country drive of 14,496 miles in 86 days within the past year led me to discover family members I never knew existed or met before.

This journey yielded some family pictures and thanks to Afrigeneas, and the piecing of family history, this led to the confirmation of James Carroll Napier as Uncle to Sophia Napier Watkins, my Great Grandmother.

Sophia Napier was the cook for Helen Keller when she was a young girl in Tuscumbia, Alabama and Great Grandmother's headstone rests in Tuscumbia City Cemetery (died: Aug 14,1917).

A couple of pictures given to me during this journey by family members cited both as being my Grandmother - Hattie Missouri Watkins Snyder and though one of the photos of her in her youth was confirmed by my Uncle who had no pictures of his mother since his family collection was lost over 75 years ago, he could not confirm the identity of the second picture' older lady ("Hattie Missouri") as his mother.

After confirming that James Carroll Napier was Uncle to Sophia Napier (my Great Uncle), I recently compared the photos of James Carroll Napier and the second picture - unsure that she was Hattie Missouri Watkins Snyder.

In short, I have a picture of a family member who I thought was my Grandmother Hattie Missouri (maiden name: Watkins) Snyder - however, when I compare facial shots of Great Uncle J.C. Napier with the photo of who I thought was my Grandmother, I am inclined to think that the photo might actually be my Great Grandmother - Sophia Napier Watkins; Helen Keller's cook.

I hope and pray that the simultaneous posting of these two photos will trigger recognition by our friends and family in cyber-land and solve the identity mystery. The eyes are too similar for there not to be a connection; but this is best left to the seekers of the past with hope that the gaps of our history and heritage will soon be spanned. It's good to be back home and among the Afrigeneas family once again. Have a great day. Best regards.

Tom McKnight


18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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