Family tree has tangled limbs

Published 2:52 pm Friday, July 2, 2010

When 85-year-old Joanna Harvey of Vestavia Hills was a child she lived in Cahaba Heights, which is now a part of Vestavia Hills. But she recalls spending summers in Chelsea with cousins, children of Effie and Clifton Kendrick.

“Their mother had three daughters and my mother had five daughters. I guess she sent me off to Chelsea to get rid of me,” Harvey said with a laugh.

“Kathleen and I did lots of things together. I think it was in Chelsea that I had my first date when I was a teenager.”

She doesn’t recall who Kathleen’s date was, she said, but hers was Alvin Johnson and they went to a movie at the theater in Columbiana.

“She wore my dress and I wore hers. How we got by Uncle Clifton I don’t know.”

Harvey’s mother was Birdie Octavia Kendrick, a sister of Clifton Kendrick. Her father was Joseph Johnson Kendrick.

Both were descendants of James Lewis and Frances Kendrick, early settlers to the area.

James Lewis was a son of Able Kendrick, who was born in Virginia in 1759. The family migrated to South Carolina, where James Lewis married and joined the Revolutionary War.

The family tree split and branches began to get tangled after James Lewis and Frances had children. Their son Martin had a son Samuel Jackson Kendrick Sr., who had son Samuel Kendrick, Jr., who had son Joseph Johnson Kendrick, father of Joanna Kendrick Harvey. Isham, son of James Lewis and Frances Turner Kendrick, had son A. Judson Kendrick, who had son Luther Kendrick, who had daughter Birdie Octavia Kendrick, mother of Joanna Kendrick Harvey.

Somewhere way back up the tree, Harvey’s parents would be some kind of cousins. But there are too many limbs to climb to try to find out what kind. Besides would we not find that we all are cousins of some sort if we followed our family lines back far enough?