Long ago, just a few years after slavery ended, Thomas Sims with his mother Mahaley, her brother
Ike and Thomas’ sisters, Laura, Silvia, Pinky and Josephine left Opelika, Alabama and headed
south. When they got to Georgia, they found reason to pause in Thomasville. They met a large
family in Thomasville with whom they must have befriended fairly quickly, because within a few
years the two families were deeply entwined.
The family they met was Bryant and Cherrie Bivens Sanders, their children and a multitude of
Thomas however was very interested in only one of Mr. & Mrs. Sanders grandchildren, and she was
the second daughter of Peter and Fannie McGant, Maggie McGant. By the time they were ready to
move southward, Peter changed their last name to Gant.
Rest assured, Bryant and Cherrie knew that one day, their children would leave home and they
would be scattered to the wind. The small town of Thomasville and neighboring towns, Metcalf and
Cairo could not possibly employ them all. So, of their eight children, who were:
Thomas Met Maggie at Home
Rance, who was married to Florence
Jonah, who was married to Harriet, but later, married Queen Anne Shaw
Fannie, who was married to Rev. Peter McGant (Gant)
Simon, who was married to Rose, but later, married Mary McMullen.
Rachel, who was married to Mr. Sandy Jackson
Nettie, who was married to Mr. James Dyson
Peggie, who would soon be married to Mr. Anderson B. Hardy, and
Rebecca (Becky), who would wait to get to Florida to marry Mr. John Boyd.
Two of them, Fannie Sanders Gant and family and Rebecca Sanders with husband to-be, John Boyd and
two children, William and James Futch who the Boyds later adopted, headed to Florida along with the
Thomas finally married that granddaughter of the Sanders’, Maggie. As for the remaining multitude of
Sanders grandchildren, they are also scattered to the wind and still multiplying. Only a few of them are
shown below. But one day…they may all show up back Home.
~ Cynthia Sims Cann ‘11 ~