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Showing posts from June, 2011

My Grandma's Sisters

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As a kid, I noticed something magical always took place when my grandma's sisters and her were in the same room. They each had unique personalities as all people do but the thing that really sticks out in my mind most is that there usually was laughter in the room when they were around.

Here's a picture I came across earlier this year that I call "Hey girl, let me tell you something."

                                From left to right-- Loris, Mary (my grandma), Rosa,
and Eloise
I think this was at my Aunt Rosa's house in Queens, but I have to double check with my Mom. I just get the impression that my Aunt Loris is about to tell something funny to out top the last story that was just shared in the room.


Loris Melba Bryant Gwynn Helton (January 2, 1918--December 14, 1987)


Eloise Bryant Grigsby (July 5, 1927--May 9, 1999)

Grandma, my brother, cousin Bryan, and Aunt Rosa
 Rosa Bryant Sanders


 This last picture is what I so remember about my childhood. Whenever th…

Wordless Wednesday: Eloise Thompson Bryant Grigsby-- July 5, 1927--May 9, 1999

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Eloise Thompson Bryant Grigsby as a teenager. My grandmother Mary Bryant Horton's sister What a great background for a portrait!

Another picture of my Aunt Eloise with my mom and her brother. And yes, this side of the family has Native American blood. Out of the Bryant children you can see it the most in my Aunt Eloise.

© 2014, copyright Andrea Kelleher. All rights reserved.

Talented Tuesday: William Henry Jones---African American Postmaster

I don't know this for certain, but something tells me that William Henry Jones, my second great grandfather's brother was a person who had personality and liked to talk. The reason why I say this is that I was amazed to find a brief mention of him in a book called, "A Pictorial Review of Morehead City--History Through 1981". This is a great book detailing the founding of Morehead City, prominent people, homes, etc.


From Page 72:


From February 15, 1890 until June 15, 1893, William H Jones, a negro, was postmaster. He served in a small wooden building in the 900 block on the north side of Arendell Street next to R. T. Willis' store.

When I saw this for the first time, the first thing I did was said to myself, " Say What?!" A black man, who's postmaster. Back in 1890. That takes someone with some real personality.


On a side note I am so proud of my son another "personality" who will be graduating kindergarten tomorrow. Someone told me when I w…

Okay, I Got Bored And Changed Things Up A Little.

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Okay, I got bored. Started playing around with the template...Yadayadayada, here's what the blog looks like now. I need to look at a brighter background for awhile. So anyway, I talked about the kindness of strangers in my last post and how that made it possible for me to have pictures of the graves of many of my Morehead City ancestors. Here is a picture that provides  perspective regarding how the Jones family is grouped together in the cemetery:



The children of Cesar and Mary Jones are the furthest away---Oliver and his wife Esther, then my 2nd great grandfather, his brother Cesar M, and then sister Violet Jones Devaughn. Next you have the parents Cesar and Mary (my 3rd great grandparents), Fred Douglas Jones (August 13, 1883--February 17, 1915) was the son of William Henry Jones( 1852--October 30, 1919), another child of Cesar and Mary.  William Henry Jones's grave is not seen in this shot or perhaps it is and the stone is gone now or perhaps it is in a different location.…

The Kindness of Strangers

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I have to say earlier this year I had an absolutely amazing experience when a stranger to me did something wonderful and miraculous. This stranger happened to be from a town not far from where I am in upstate NY but happened to be down in Morehead City where my grandmother's people came from. She found this lovely cemetery that was quiet and easy to navigate thru and she noticed it hadn't been cataloged yet by Find A Grave. This kind stranger all of the sudden started taking pictures and stored them in her camera until it was getting close to the end of her Winter break down south and pretty soon she would be returning home. She started loading pictures to Find A Grave and then suddenly when I hadn't gone to the Find A Grave website for months I am drawn there a week after my cousin and Godmother passes away.  A beautiful cascade of pictures of the graves of my ancestors unfolds over the days that follow and I will always remember this. Call me crazy, but I think this was…

Keeping up with the Joneses

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Okay we are going to jump back to look at my Jones line. As a refresher, my grandmother Mary Horton was the daughter of a Frank Bryant and Ophelia Jones Bryant. Ophelia's parents were Rosa Mitchell Jones and Alexander Hamilton Jones. So who was Alexander Hamilton Jones and how did he get to Morehead City.


Alexander Hamilton Jones (March 5, 1852--May 22, 1915) was the son of a Cesar Jones (1821--Aug. 14, 1899) and a Mary H Mitchel (Jan. 21, 1823--Feb. 22, 1900)

The other children of Cesar and Mary were:

Lewis Oliver Jones (Jan. 14, 1838--Dec. 28, 1925)
Violet Jones Devaughn (Oct. 21, 1844--Dec. 2, 1880)
William Henry Jones (1852--Oct. 30, 1919)
Lizzie Jones (born about 1863--no date of death could be found at this time)

Here is a screen shot of the 1880 census showing the family:  Alexander is referred to as A H Jones on the record with Rosa listed as Rosetta.













From this record I found out the family came from Onslow County, NC and probably transplanted to Morehead City after the Ci…

Funeral Card Friday ---Miss you Grandma

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Miss you Grandma. 

My Speculation Regarding Dave Sampson's Parentage.

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Okay, the disclaimer first. This is my speculation. I am in no way trying to say I know this for sure. I am working with circumstantial evidence but I thought I should put this out there. If you read my posts regarding Dave Sampson you were provided with two different stories regarding his parentage. The first version was provided by an excerpt of a book written by  Primrose Watson Fisher called "One Dozen Pre-Revolutionary War families of Eastern North Carolina" In the book we learn Dave's mother's name was Hannah and she was a slave of Michael Fisher Sr..  Apparently, the female slaves were warned that if they gave birth to a mulatto child, they then subsequently would be sold off. Here's an excerpt from the book:

Dave's mother claimed that a white man who came to the community as a school teacher and for a while had boarded at the Fisher home, was the father of her child.  As a result, she was sold.  However, the sale was to a planter well known to the …

Dave Sampson a True Riverdale Character --Part two

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If you missed Part one of this series here's the link: http://howdidigetheremygenealogyjourney.blogspot.com/2011/06/dave-sampson-true-riverdale-character.html

So where's this connection to Babe Ruth. Okay, here it is. Camp Bryan, Craven, NC used to be a popular hunting area and guess who used to come to this spot quite often? The Babe. Dave Sampson was the cook at the camp ground and knew all too well about the baseball player's huge appetite. Here's a section of Dave Sampson's obituary describing just that:

The New Bernian --January 27, 1932

During about 30 years at Camp Bryan and previous experience with the army, Dave served many famous personages.  His intimacy with these men gave him the rare privelege of being able to relate about them many interesting anecdotes.
The cook used to say the thing he remembered mostabout Babe Ruth, was the batter's appetite.  "No wonder he weighs so much," he would say.  "He shore kept me busy cooking. I just …

Dave Sampson a True Riverdale Character --Part one

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So how do I have a connection to Babe Ruth? No I am not kin to him but there is a connection that goes back to the husband of my 2nd great grand aunt on my Mitchell line. Rosa Mitchell Jones's sister Mary, married a David Sampson who resided in Riverdale, Craven, NC.  Well this David Sampson (Sept. 5, 1852--Jan 25, 1932) turned out to be quite a character. Thanks to the kind people at the Kellenberger Room of the New Bern Public Library, specifically Victor T. Jones jr.,  I was able to find out quite a lot about him from an excerpt of a book called "One Dozen Pre-Revolutionary War families of Eastern North Carolina" by Primrose Watson Fisher. The excerpt describes a trip that the then slave Dave Sampson took with his  owner's sons to Carteret County to visit with relatives.

Having decided to go to see their relatives in Carteret County, Michael, Jr. and John Fisher hitched one of the horses to a carriage and set out over the course mentioned, taking with them one Dav…

Mappy Monday--So where was Mortimer Mitchell's land.

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 I so love using Google Maps to get an understanding of where family lived. I was able to get a general sense of where the land that Mortimer Mitchell owned by looking for clues in the deed description. Here is a map from Google Maps that looks at the Riverdale, Craven, NC.  If you take West Fisher Road to the end where it meets County Line Road, you will find Mount Olive AME Zion Church. I use this as my starting point since in the deed  says 6 acres were to be excluded for a church and meeting house. Now Mount Olive AME Zion Church I believe is the current church that is as at this sight, but I believe that there was an earlier church for African Americans on this land going back to before Mortimer Mitchell purchased his land. Well back to the deed it says the following:  "lying on the northwest side of the Meeting house branch, Beginning Where the Main Road crosses said branch thence down the branch to the great branch and With the great branch to the said Vine A. Tolson Corn…

Mt Olive AME Zion Church

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Mt Olive AME Zion Church--Riverdale, Craven, NC

If you read my last post, then you saw deed information regarding Mortimer Mitchell's land. There is a reference in the deed regarding church land, specifically, "In the above tract of land those six acres to be Excepted for the for the use of Church and School house the Remainder the said part of the second parties."  I believe this is a direct reference to the land that Mt Olive sits on now. 
I remember earlier this year first viewing this church on Google Maps. If you take West Fisher Road directly to the end where it meets County Line Road, you come across it. I knew that our family had a connection to the Fishers that lived in this area so it seemed a logical jumping off point checking out Fisher Road. From the aerial shot I could make out that the land next to the church was cleared out long ago and that trees and brush had started to fill in the space, however it was clear to me it looked like there was a cemetery the…

The Man Upstairs

Do you ever feel like your searches are steered by "The Man Upstairs". My bad, it should be "Man or Woman Upstairs" but anyway, you know who I am referring to. During the last 6 months, there have been far too many coincidences that I have come across or signs that have popped up while I have been doing research.

This is something I wrote about two months ago as part of my genealogy journal, that I've been keeping. My journal just describes how these events, details, bits and pieces of information that I find, have had an impact on my life. Well anyway, here's goes....

While Researching Mortimer Mitchell and Family.....

All I can say is, Oprah is so right. Whatever you call God or believe God is, he sends you signs constantly to help you on your way. I think the beginning of my journey happened when I saw the image of my great grandmother Ophelia in my grandmother's house. Once that happened, the seed was planted to research and find out who were these p…

The audacity to own land.

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So here's a recap of where we are.

Rosa M Jones and Alexander H Jones  were the parents of the following children.

Lovie Ann Jones Watson (Jan. 14, 1883--Jun. 2, 1948)
Cesar M. Jones (Dec. 6, 1885--Jun. 3, 1898)
Mary E Jones Wooten (Jan 1888--date of death unknown at this time.)
Ophelia T Jones Bryant ( Nov. 20, 1894--Feb. 20, 1939)---My great grandmother.

Here's a definition of the word audacity courtesy of Wikipedia-Dictionary.com:

audacity:  1. The willingness to take bold risks: "her audacity came in handy during our most recent emergency". 2. Rude or disrespectful behavior; impudence: "she had the audacity to pick up the receiver and ask me to hang up".

The first thing that I thought about when I found out that my great-great grandmother Rosa Jones owned land back in 1907 was, "Where did she get the audacity to do that?" Not just one property, but several. Where did this idea..concept, mindset...whatever you want to call it come from. It di…