"Dear, I am a Truitt."
Having seen my Gran's signature on a dedication of a set of books to my elementary school when I was about 8 years old, I asked her about her name. I mean, I'd never seen her sign her name with "Truitt," and her reply was, "Dear, I am a Truitt." Nothing more and nothing less, but I remember she said it definitively. Like it didn't need any more explanation. Like her declaration was enough.
Now I "Get It"
However, apparently I needed more clarification. I've researched them, and now I "get it." I know what and who a Truitt is, and now that my Gran is gone, I wish I could ask her if she knew how she was a Truitt, or if she just had been raised with a certain attitude. An attitude that included pride, patriotism, and a long history.
George Truitt I
I would really like to know if my Gran knew her 6th great-grandfather was George Truitt I [a.k.a. "The Immigrant"], and that he was a Quaker. A man from England who came to Virginia in about 1635, married an Alice Watson who was also a Quaker, and was brought up on fornication charges in Accomack County, Virginia because he hadn't been married in the Church of England and the government did not recognize his marriage.
James Truitt I
Did my Gran know that her 5th great-grandfather was George I's son, James Truitt I? A man who married Mary Riley [another Mary ~ *rolling eyes heavenward*], daughter of Thomas Riley, Sr., and who sold his land that he'd inherited from his father ~Muddy Creek Plantation~ in Accomack Co., VA and with his brother, George II, moved to Somerset Co. Maryland to escape religious persecution in Virginia. Did she know that after Mary died James married her sister, Sarah Riley?
James Truitt II
Did my Gran know that James I and Mary [Riley] Truitt had a son named James II, who after his father died in 1718 was in charge of raising his brothers and sisters on the plantation in Somerset Co., MD?
Did she know that James II, her 4th great-grandfather, married Sarah Williams and bought land at "Chestnut Oak Ridge" in Worcester Co., MD with one of their sons, Riley, and that James II died in a year of great upheaval in the colonies, on the brink of the start of this great nation in 1775? That two of his grandsons ~Purnal/Purnell and James~ would fight in the American Revolution?
Did she know her 3rd great-grandfather was Peter, one of James II's and Sarah's sons, and that he, along with other Truitt family members, moved to Sussex Co, Delaware? That he met and married Elizabeth "Betty" Tatman [daughter of William Tatman] in 1759 in Sussex Co., Delaware?
John Burton Truitt
Did she know her 2nd great-grandfather was one of Peter's and Betty's sons, John Burton Truitt [b. 1771] who met and married Nancy Ross [daughter of William Ross, who signed an Oath of Allegiance to Delaware] and that their first child, Elizabeth, was born in Sussex Co., Delaware, but their next two children ~2 sons~ William Riley and Weldon were born in Kentucky? That John Burton and Nancy pulled up stakes and moved westward looking for new opportunities? That, sadly, Nancy died in 1802 in Fayette Co., Kentucky? That John immediately remarried in 1802 to Amelia [but everyone called her Milly] Gilbert and would continue westward through Logan County, Kentucky to Ralls County, Missouri, having 11 more children and finally dying in 1838 in Ralls County, MO? Did she know that John Burton's 3rd cousin was the 18th governor of Delaware, George Truitt?
William Riley Truitt
Did she know that her great-grandfather's name was William Riley, the son of John Burton and Nancy [Ross] Truitt, and that after his first wife's death [Catherine A. Morrow], he married Miranda Hurt [daughter of John Hurt] in Warren Co, KY in 1829? That their 12th child, Leroy Wood Truitt [born in Warren Co, KY] was her grandfather?
Leroy Wood Truitt
Did she know that after her grandfather's older brother fought in the Civil War, her grandfather, Leroy, lived with him in Marshall Co., KY? Did she know that Leroy met and married Magdalen A. McGee in Marshall Co, KY? That their first born son was born in Paducah, McCracken Co., KY, while their next 4 children were born back in Marshall Co., KY? That their first born was Claudius Roy Truitt ~her father [a.k.a the "jerk"]?
Claudius Roy Truitt
Did she know they pulled up their stakes and moved to Missouri, where Leroy's uncles, aunts, and cousins were located? That they had 3 more children there before moving on to Dallas, Texas sometime before 1900? That in the 1900 census, her father, Claudius Roy Truitt, was listed as being a salesman in San Antonio? Did she know what he sold?
Did she know that her father, Claudius Roy Truitt, met and married her mother Alice Vaughn in San Antonio, Texas in 1901? Did she know why my mother called him a "jerk?" Did she think her father was a "jerk?"
Yup, Another Mary... [Sigh.]
I may never know exactly what my Gran, Mary Alice Truitt Blacketer knew about her family. I may never know why my mother thought her grandfather was a "jerk." I do know, though, that just because somebody can be a "jerk," doesn't mean that they were a complete "jerk," and whatever he did to make my mother think he was one, doesn't mean Claudius Roy Truitt was a complete "jerk." [Of course, he might've been ~ I don't know.]
Far Be It From Me To Tell Them What They Should've Done, But...
It may mean, perhaps, he should've left behind his memoirs, so that we'd know exactly who and what he was and what he knew, if anything. That perhaps along the way through the generations of these Truitt's, an oral history ~or even better a written history~ should've been passed down of the triumphs and tribulations that this family went through, so that it wasn't just a feeling or attitude passed down, but the family's history.
So that today's Truitt's would know the part the past Truitt's played in American history.
So they'd know why they are able to worship freely in these United States.
So they'd know the Truitt's contributions to many states including Maryland, Delaware, Kentucky, and Missouri ~ to name a few.
So they'd know the "jerks" in the family too, or maybe just the "jerky" decisions made by imperfect people.
For, dear reader, even if Claudius Roy Truitt was indeed a complete "jerk," one "jerk" does not a family history make.
My proud and patriotic Gran did pass down one thing about her Truitt's to me. Something tangible. Something I can hold onto.
That I, too, am a Truitt.