Next summer hundreds of Magbys will come from near and far to Chambers County, Alabama for one big reunion for all of the descendants of our earliest known ancestor Babe Magby and her three children Tom, Augusta and Chris.
Who was Babe Magby?
Babe was an enslaved woman who was owned by the upper middle class white Magbee family and their patriarch Laban. Laban Magbee’s son William likely fathered Babe’s first child Tom who was born during slavery in 1851. Babe later gave birth to a daughter, Augusta, in 1859 and her only child born into freedom, Christopher, in 1872. Since Augusta never had any children, we are all either descendants of Tom and his wife Alice Thompson/Thomaston or Chris and his wife Dora Howell.
Why is it important that we all come together?
Many of Babe’s descendants joined what is known as the Great Migration and left farm life in rural Chambers County in search of job and educational opportunities in the North or out West. They followed the train lines to states like California, Arkansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Arizona and New York. Many also settled in the nearby big city of Atlanta. As successive generations scattered in search of new prospects, some stayed behind in Chambers, fighting to hold onto and at times increase the many acres of land that Tom and Chris had accumulated around the turn of the century.
As years passed informal reunions of Tom’s children or Chris’ children turned into the Magby-Owensby reunion, the Magby-Higgis reunions, Trammell-Magby, Magby-Norment, Magby-Lawson- Ford, Brady-Higgins-Stitt, and many others. Currently there are hundreds of people across the country and living around the world who share Babe’s bloodline. Thanks to a combination of technology and good old fashioned footwork several of Babe’s descendants have been searching and struggling to bring the disparate branches our family back together. Sometimes a new found cousin lived on the other side of the country, other times they had unknowingly been living right down the street for decades.
2013 will be the year that we finally come back together! We will share stories and laughs and photos. We will honor those who gave us life and show our children the power and importance of family!
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