Charlene Robinson and Sonja Scott Woods

Recorded January 12, 2008 Archived January 12, 2008 49:38 minutes
0:00 / 0:00
Id: MPL000520


Charlene Robinson and her niece, Sonja Scott Woods discuss their family history.


  • Charlene Robinson
  • Sonja Scott Woods

Recording Location

Milwaukee Public Library



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00:04 I'm Sancho Scott Woods of Chicago, Illinois born September 23rd, 1967. Today's date is January 12th, and we are here at the Milwaukee Public Library and I am with my aunt.

00:23 My name is Charlene Scott Robinson and I was born June 9th. 1925. Today's date is January 12th.

00:35 And I'm here at the public library in Milwaukee with my niece.

00:43 Thank you. I'll check for being here as your affectionately known as Chuck.

00:49 We're here to talk about our traditions and our family history and I guess I like to start off with you first telling me about my grandmother who are the traditions in my mind started with what was her name, and who was she married to that would be my mother Amanda Beatrice dance Scott. She married my Father William Edward Scott, May 30th. They were married, May 30th 19 and 15 near Palmyra, Missouri.

01:27 And my mother had eight sisters and four brothers her sisters were.

01:35 Lighter SC Ellabell Sue

01:42 Aloyis Dora

01:45 Mabel

01:48 Ruth

01:52 And SC

01:54 And she had for her four brothers were Melvin Charlie Jerome and Benjamin.

02:02 And my mother and father had seven children.

02:09 Including myself, it was five girls and two boys.

02:14 Now I check I know that my grandfather was an only child and you told us who Grandma B's brothers and sisters were.

02:26 And then I also before we move on to your brothers and sisters. Can you tell me about our grandpa your grandparents? They would be your grandparents on your mother and father on the May maternal grandparents was?

02:46 My grandfather's name was Charles Dance and his wife. My grandmother was Merrifield stamp.

02:57 And he was a farmer and

03:01 She was a housewife.

03:04 And on the other side and my on my father's side.

03:08 He worked on farms my grandfather, which was Henry Scott.

03:14 And my grandmother Matilda Scott, she took a more shoes and R and ends in did basically housework. I remember you telling me about a grandfather who had dark skin and blue eyes. That would be my great-grandfather. Which would it be my mother's grandfather. He was a slave and he was originally over his name was Henry dance.

03:46 And he was Grandpa Charlie's father.

03:51 And I remember when my mother once I forget how old I was she took me to anela Bell's house and he was there and I was frightened because he was very dark and he had blue eyes and you always remember that I never forgot that I also remember he was a man of leisure as you say Annie head up as I said before he was a slave and I remember I think it was my brother or my cousin found an interview about him at the Library of Congress where he was interviewed at the age of 105.

04:32 And if I'm not mistaken, I think when he died, he was either 109 or 110 + when I was home in December. I found an article that my mom had kept him which was in a newspaper of 19 and 36.

04:53 And at that time when they talked to him, I think he was a hundred and one now. You were telling us about your siblings your brothers and sisters. Yes. I had four sisters and two brothers what were their names and their spouses one sister was especially

05:18 She was married to a minister Reverend Samuel Ross, right?

05:23 And they pay pastured in many different cities. He was a Methodist Minister and they both are deceased also has sister Francis husband was Howard Jackson. They are both deceased and a sister Edith recently deceased in December.

05:43 And sister La after she is deceased had my sister. Mary is still living residing at the family home in hunnewell, Missouri, and I have two brothers are retired General Donald Scott lives in Las Vegas.

06:04 And also former librarian, correct, and he was a former deputy of librarian of Congress and I'll have a brother Edward old Scott was the Korean veterans and he lives in Chicago, Illinois and Scott are married to whom Donald and Scott America guests Edwards wife is Roxy gladney. He's married and Don is married to Betty Ford.

06:37 There are some.

06:39 Did we get you didn't say who you were married to in York and I am Shirley Robinson. My husband is deceased. His name was Edward Dory Robinson and we had three sons Edward and Reynard Robinson which all three reside in Chicago, Illinois, and I have 10 grandchildren.

07:01 What on Chucky you're one of my favorite eyes because there are few things that I know to be true and most of the that has come out of your mouth.

07:13 And that is that all children need is love. That's right, and that my husband Sharad loves me.

07:22 And that we as a family should always get together right? I know that we have a history of traditions. We always go to Honeywell, Missouri where our family home is and just tell me how that started. We always go for Mother's Day and Christmas for it. As long as I've lived. I've been doing that. Where did that get started? There's started from my maternal grandmother. My mother's mom.

07:50 She lived in Hannibal Missouri and from the time that I could remember all of my mother's sisters and brothers who lived out of town. They all would make it back to

08:04 Some Leo Dan iowa-illinois different states, but they always came back home from Mother's Day, which my grandmother have always requested and they would bring friends some of their friends with them. They would be a jubilee tang and my sister Mary and I always look forward to seeing our cousins when they would come for the Mother's Day tradition and mostly on Saturdays. They would have big face fries and the ones who missed the fish fries made sure everyone was together this Sunday at Grandma Dan's house.

08:46 And the food plenty of food games for younger children, and it was always a sad day for me when everybody went back went back home.

08:59 But we always look forward to that and she always said she wanted to keep the her family home. So hurt her children grandchildren great-grandchildren. Whoever would always have a place to come back to

09:15 And that's part of being part of a large family being together, which I tell my son's it's nothing like coming from a loving family and asked you and you definitely provided that what do you think these traditions and Gatherings have contributed to our lives? I think it's contribute a lot because my grandchildren as young as they are they live in Chicago some live in largest cities. They always look forward of going to Honeywell. They don't want to miss not going to Honeywell.

09:56 And this is a

09:59 It's nothing really for them to do there.

10:02 Because they we have no movies and Honeywell little small town, but just being there with their cousins there Onsen.

10:12 In an open space where they can just run get around and

10:17 Feel free. They love it.

10:20 So when did Julie leave hunnewell Missouri when I finish High School? I couldn't get wait till I got out of high school so I could leave that little small town, but I loved it and you move my birth place and I moved to Chicago and I stayed with my sister s c and her family until they moved to think it was, Indianapolis, Indiana.

10:47 And I said it's time for my have to so I asked if she wanted me to go with her and I said no, I can't follow you all my life. So I stayed in Chicago got a job met. My husband got married at the age of 23 10 years later. I had my first child which was Howard.

11:10 Vienna when my sister was Raising her family, she would live in different her husband by being a minister will go to different cities to pastor and she would always want one more me or my sister married to come and help her and I will tell Mama I'll go so I would be the one to go and help her and that way I got to go to see many different US cities.

11:42 I was thinking about how Grandma's be love has loved us over almost.

11:49 For Generations. Now, what do you think has gotten this family through the good times and the bad times through our lives remembering dead girl prayer number one.

12:05 We had to keep each one in prayer.

12:08 Love one another help one another and be there for each other.

12:14 Can you have definitely always die and you and you and you had I know that you been there for our cousin did John when he was in college and Beverly and been a great help to my mother and raising us? My mother would tell me about stories of got used to taking us. Yes over there to tend to stay with you when we were younger.

12:40 What do you want to go down in the history books about your life? And what is it that you want us to remember?

12:50 I would like to be remembered as a mother grandmother who loved each one of you.

13:00 And would do anything to try to help you.

13:05 And that remember the family values are great and to be there for each other.

13:15 And if one is in trouble or something talk to them pray with them.

13:23 And just be there for each other and love one another and help the young help our young people.

13:33 Hazard my great-grandfather he went through a lot.

13:39 To help us to be where we are today through him. He took beatings and we don't know what all by being a slave but the good Lord blessed him.

13:52 To live to be there a hundred and nine or a hundred and ten, so he got to see great-grandchildren great grade and great great. Great.

14:02 Anna so what he went through it really paid off and his children and his grandchildren he paved the way for us and our my life was look better like that. My mom's my children. That's better than mine. Their children would be better than them then there's

14:23 I believe it will and I it has been a blessing and honor to interview you here today be here. That's all that I have.

14:34 Can you tell us a little bit about your childhood home and honey? Will oh, yes little small town when I was growing up. It was more people than it's there. Now it right now is Saint Leo.

14:50 Let's might think maybe about three black families there when I was a kid coming up. The population may be was 33350 something like that. Now it's nowhere near that about 30 miles from Hannibal, Missouri Ray and we had when I was a kid coming up there was nothing to do because then

15:22 They was the segregation. We went to all black school.

15:28 And there was no movies for the black families to go to only the whites.

15:35 And the only thing we did look forward to Sunday mornings and you go to church spend all day in church.

15:45 It's like we had a beautiful home loving mother and father a father Who provided for his seven children. He worked on the railroad for 30 35 years, I think.

16:00 Hannah

16:03 He everything my father did was in May I when I was home this December I was looking through some papers and my father.

16:14 I was born in May. He married in me had his first child in May.

16:22 And he died in me.

16:26 And I told my sister this is something I see everything daddy did was in May and he also was a deacon of a church in Honeywell, and he was ordained a deacon in me.

16:39 And I found that out through looking through some you know papers at home. And also with my mother's family. I ran across a book that my cousin had written to she's deceased now my mother and her sisters they all love to fish and they plan to Fisherman's trip to Springfield, Illinois with there where their oldest brother live.

17:04 And it was interesting. She had the menu of what they did every day. And who was there?

17:12 And I thought this was very interested and one of my aunts they selected her when they caught the fish. I need lowest. She would Fred the Fish know and or she would Fred the face and I had another Aunt Allure. She was the one they selected to do the barbecue.

17:35 And it was my grandmother married and she had nine girls and all of them. Love to fish.

17:44 And when we would go home on Mother's Day, they always got them a little fishing trip in either that Friday evening or Saturday and they would always take my brother find his father with them and it must have rubbed off onto of my son's cuz they love to fish Howard and Reynard.

18:11 Oh, I never heard my mom and dad argue. I can't say that they didn't spend on his way. I didn't hear them.

18:20 And they were great providers.

18:24 Finalist the sister that I just lost December they took she was the bar and afflicted.

18:35 And eventually she went blind. They took good care of her my mother and dad never wanted her in a home.

18:43 And how my mother often told us how many doctors they had taken her to when she was a baby small and the doctors told damn. She will live to be three years old. She died at the age of 92 December 1st.

18:59 And that was through God's and the care of my mom and dad and my sister Mary, you know gave her a thing as she never was in the hospital. She never was in a nursing home or anyting.

19:18 And when she was sick, maybe 2 or 3 days before she passed.

19:27 And what about your adult family? How did you meet your husband? I made him believe it or not at a party. I had a girlfriend. My husband worked at the post office and she worked at the post office and she told me she had just gas she wanted me to meet.

19:45 And I said, I don't know she said girl you are like him I said okay if you say so but the guy that she wanted me to meet he wasn't at the party.

19:57 So what my the guy that I didn't meet he also knew my girlfriend what's her we called her birdie and she introduced us and then we started dating and my sister made a messy because I was staying with her at the time.

20:14 And two years later, I guess we were married and his mother had 22 children and my girlfriend told me girl if he had told me that I would have said by my husband died in 83.

20:35 What What attracted you to him? He was a Jehovah person. I have two sons that act just like him and very nice you like good times and

20:51 He was just a nice guy. I will do no.

20:59 Call it was nice. It was nice. We had our ups and downs at the beginning we lived in the project and when my oldest son first year has school God blessed us to move into a home where I am now.

21:20 And at the time we lived on the 16th floor.

21:23 And that was my one goal my husband and I had to get our sons off of 16th floor and that we did.

21:33 And the oldest sister

21:37 An administrative board at Providence hospital and my baby boy is that the stroger's hospital and my middle son. He does work for his self.

21:56 Do you have any other memories are stories you want to share?

22:00 Where I love my nieces and this one is she just a doll.

22:06 I kept her when she was a baby her brother as a matter of fact practically all of my nieces and nephews. You know, I have watched careful the sis. I told you about SC from she was a mother of I think 11 children.

22:26 And I helped her with her children watched over them my brother that's retired. I watched his two boys.

22:35 There's some of my husband's nieces and nephews. We you know watched and kept in which we enjoyed.

22:43 And I love helping people.

22:47 Yes, it is.

22:51 Come back together a Honeywell. Yes, we do. We just left there and my sister died December 1st. You know how bad the weather was so they all came to a funeral. I believe it or not. They all came back for Christmas.

23:07 Do the bad weather?

23:09 And how many families would do that? I thought this was I just thank God, you know that he got them there safely and got them back home safely, cuz the weather was we had a lot of snow and ice.

23:25 Then I have cousins that's just like up brothers and sisters to me Joe and Johnny Dan. They were there for New Years. They also was at the few and Faye Barber Bobby.

23:43 So how many when you get together at Christmas or on Mother's Day how many relatives do you have? A lot of yes, we do. As a matter of fact our house the family home is too small to hold it by the so they have to go to the hotel which is that money or city 7 miles from Honeywell. That's where they stay.

24:09 Cuz the family has outgrown the house.

24:16 But my sister she's still there and then we were borned and all of us was born in that house except two of us.

24:24 So my sister Francis, I think she would be 88. She was the first one to be born born there. So the house got to be over a hundred years ago.

24:39 What sounds like an amazing family? Thank you so much for telling us about it.