Showing posts from 2012

What's Ahead In 2013?

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I came across this image today and instantly identified with the expression on this woman's face. It's like she's saying with attitude no less, "Do you think, I know where I'm going?"
There are times that when I am writing on my blog, that I feel like this woman. People write so many wonderful comments and cheer me on along my genealogy journey and sometimes I feel like whispering, "Psssp...You know...I don't really know what I'm doing." Now of course I know that isn't exactly true. I have been able to find out an incredible amount of information over almost three and a half years of digging up roots and a year and a half of blogging. That didn't happen by accident. It took time and patience. I had to learn how to do research. (Believe you me, I still have a lot of learning to do.) But now that I am here, what's next? What's ahead for 2013?

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More digging of course…

Wordless Wednesday: My Christmas Elf

My sweet little Christmas elf.
Her dear aunt bought her this dress to wear Christmas day. Guess what she did? First thing Christmas morning she woke up, put her dress and hat on all by herself and went into MommyDaddy's room. (That's what she calls our bedroom.) She whispered, "Mom, It's Christmas." I told her, "Yes sweetie, It is."

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Image courtesy of Danilo Rizzuti /
 Have a Merry Christmas! Enjoy a peaceful holiday with your friends and family.

A Very Special Message

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I came across this clip just this morning. It is from episode 3.14 of The Muppet Show and was featured in the documentary Sing Your Song, a film that tells the story of Harry Belafonte's life. This is a case when something found me at just the right time for me to fully understand and appreciate it's message. The song Mr. Belafonte sings here, reminds me of something Oprah Winfrey said during the closing episode of her daytime talk show.

"I've talked to nearly 30,000 people on this show, and all 30,000 had one thing in common: They all wanted validation. If I could reach through this television and sit on your sofa or sit on a stool in your kitchen right now, I would tell you that every single person you will ever meet shares that common desire. They want to know: 'Do you see me? Do you hear me? Does what I say mean anything to you?"

So with so much craziness happening in the world as of late, I think perhaps we should all take …

Wordless Wednesday: My Son's First Christmas December 25, 2005

"I love my house"

Blog Caroling: O' Holy Night

I am happy to be participating in Blog Caroling again. This a wonderful Christmas tradition created by Footnote Maven. If you are not familiar with Footnote Maven's blog, here is the link:

O'Holy Night continues to be one of my favorite Christmas Carols. Last year, I featured a version done by Patti Labelle on this blog. Still love, love, love Patti's take on the song but I wanted to share a version that I stumbled across on YouTube by Traci Chapman. Feel free to sing along. 

O holy night the stars are brightly shining It is the night of our dear saviors birth
Long lay the world in sin and error pining Till he appeared and the soul felt its worth
A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices For yonder breaks a new glorious morn
Fall on your knees O hear the angels voices O night divine O night when christ was born O night divine, o night O night divine
A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn
Fall on your knees O hear …

Wordless Wednesday: Dad, Mom, and My Big Brother

Dad, Mom, and My Big Brother I think this picture was taken in 1970.

Taking Another Look At My DNA (Because I Can't Help Myself) --Part two

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If you missed my last post, here's the link: Taking Another Look At My DNA (Because I Can't Help Myself) --Part one
So what on earth is going on with this DNA? If mom's DNA shows French and Romanian ancestry, why didn't that show up in my test results with AncestryDNA? 

Since my mother took her test through FamilyTreeDNA, I thought it would be logical for me to take another DNA test using the same company that she used. Thankfully, FamilyTreeDNA ran a sale in November that made springing for the cost of a new test less painful. The cost of $199.00 still hurt though. I placed my order on November 14th. The company already had my DNA on file from when I took my MtDNA test, so I did not have to re-swab. I received email notification that my information was in on December 4th. Woohoo! Results returned to me in just under three weeks. Drum roll, please!

My Results: 30.69% Europe (French, Orcadian, Romanian) 69.31%  West African (Yoruba)
So let'…

Taking Another Look At My DNA (Because I Can't Help Myself) --Part one

Image courtesy of  "dream designs" / Free Digital

I have to share with you guys that this whole DNA thing has sparked some of my family members curiosity.  Back at the end of June, when I shared with my mom the results of my admixture test that I received through AncestryDNA she was quite intrigued to find out what my genetic breakdown was. I shared my findings in the following post: The Results: I'm What?!! As a recap, here's what I found out.
West African   70% Finnish Volga-Ural   11% British Isles   10% Scandinavian   7% Uncertain  2%

I could see it in my mother's eyes that she was thinking about taking a test herself. Then finally on July 1st, when my mom, brother, and I were hanging out around my dining room table and chatting about my results again, she finally said "Hey, I want to do that!" Within a few minutes, we were online ordering a Family Finder test kit from FamilyTreeDNA. Within a couple of days, the test kit arrived. She swabbed and…

Sentimental Sunday: My Brother's Kindergarten Graduation

Today was my brother's birthday and so in his honor I thought it would be nice to highlight him in pictures. These are photos from my brother's kindergarten graduation from June 1972. He looks so adorable here. It must have been truly special for my Grandpa Lemuel that day because he was celebrating the graduation of his youngest child from kindergarten as well as his grandson's.

Yeah, I look good.

My parents and my brother David.
 Grandpa Lemuel Harrison (my mother's father), Grandma Ethel Murrell (my father's mother),  and the graduate.
The graduates --my brother and his aunt Wanda.
My dad, his mom and David.

My aunt Janice (my father's sister) with my brother.

What a handsome young man!
Mom, my brother and me. What? You can't see me? I'm there. Safely in my mom's belly :)

Friday Funny: My Daughter Enjoying Her Dollar Store Glasses

Last night was a bit rough in the land of parenting. It was one of those nights when your child struggles with a cold. They call out in the middle of the night, numerous times for the comfort of mommy. So mommy and my ladybug were not feeling our best this morning. She was not too keen on the idea of going to school today but off she went because it really was just a case of the sniffles and nothing else. On the days my kids have struggles I like to find a little goody from the Dollar Store that will make their day. Today it was googly eye glasses that I presented to her after she got off the bus. 


Wordless Wednesday: My Handsome Grandpa

Lemuel Harrison --my maternal grandfather pictured center I was looking through one of my mother's old picture albums today and came across this one. I love how handsome and young he looks. Also, I love how you just catch my brother's eyes in the bottom right corner of the shot.  I think this picture was taken in 1971. My uncle Ricky is the one with glasses and I think that is my mother's step-brother Harry in the background. Looks like the basement at grandpa's house.

Why It's Important To Keep Digging

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Thanks to a lead that another blogger pointed out on a post of mine, I got inspired to do some more digging on my Ellison family branch. Here's what has been uncovered so far.

My 4th great grandparents were a Benjamin and Rosetta Ellison. They were the parents to the following children:
             Irvin Ellison
             Allen Ellison
             George Ellison
             James Ellison
             John Ellison
             Harvey Ellison
             Ada Ellison
             Sarah Ellison
             Mosella Ellison
             Patience Ellison Blount
             Caroline Ellison Bryant --my 3rd great grandmother

According to Irvin Ellison's Freedman's Bank record entry from November 24, 1869, Benjamin Ellison was residing in Snow Hill, Greene County, NC after the Civil War.

Recently, I did a simple Google search using the following search criteria: "Snow Hill, Greene County, NC"+"Ellison."

The first search result that came…

Sharing Oral History Brings The Family Together

I have to say I have been amazingly blessed to have had a wealth of information provided to me by mom regarding my family history. The stories she has shared, the names, places and tiniest little facts has allowed me to travel back in time and visit faraway places from the comfort of my home. One of the stories my mother shared with me I talked about on an earlier blog post called Thankful Thursday: Thank Goodness For The Kindness of Strangers --Part One. Here's a portion of it:

A couple of years ago, my mother told me a story of one time when she was a teenager she made a trip to Morehead City with her mother and while there, they took a ride in the country. Now I know my mother and we have a similar sense of humor. I know when she was riding in that car she was probably thinking to herself, "Um, How much more country are we talking about here?" My mother was visiting from New York so Morehead City was looking country enough for her. Ha. Anyway, she recalled they were dr…

Amanuensis Monday: A Letter From Benjamin Ellison

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Here's a recap on where we are with the Ellisons:
We learned from my last blog post, Benjamin and Rosetta Ellison were my 4th great grandparents. Rosetta died in 1864, according to her son Irvin's Freedman Bank record entry. From the same record entry, we learned that Benjamin was residing at Snow Hill, Greene County, NC as of 1869. 
Benjamin was still living in Greene County in 1870 as evidenced by the census of that year.
Source Citation: Year: 1870; Census Place: Olds, Greene, North Carolina; Roll: M593_1140; Page: 457A; Image: 74; Family History Library Film: 552639. 1870 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: 
Listed in the household, in addition to Benjamin were Nelly, Benjamin's 2nd wife and children Ada, Allen, Bob (Robert), and Henry (Harvey).
The 1880 census shows only one minor change. Allen's no longer residing in the household. He may have moved away or perhaps died. As of this time, I hav…

This Is Why I Love Genealogy People!

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If you missed my post called Don't Forget Those Alternate Spellings! More From My Ellisons and Bryants, you may want to read that one first, including the comments.

I have to send a special thank you out to fellow blogger, Patrick Jones of  "Frequent Traveler Ancestry" for his random act of genealogical kindness he shared with me in a comment on the above mentioned blog post. Here's what he said:

Do you have access to Irwin Ellerson appears in Company H, 36th Colored Infantry (filed as Irvin Ellerson). Enlisted on 5 June 1863. Brother James Ellison was also in the 36th Colored Infantry as a drummer (he was 16). There is also a Joshua Ellison (age 19) in the 36th. All three of them mustered out of service in Texas in 1866. Joshua's file contains his enlistment papers. 

There is a Civil War pension on file for Joshua Ellison and one for Irwin Ellerson, both from same company. My experience from other pension files is that th…

Thinking of Mom Mom and Granddaddy Today

My paternal grandparents Ethel and Harold Murrell
Missing you. It always hits me near Thanksgiving.  I close my eyes grandma and I am back sitting at the table in your tiny kitchen. The smell of fresh baked roles floats in the air while you work feverishly to prepare the greatest gastronomical feast of all time, until the following year when that meal takes the title. Grandpa, I miss the smell of Old Spice and the scratchiness of your face when you hadn't shaved. I miss accompanying you as you would take Shane, your dog and my afternoon playmate out for a walk. Wish you were here. It's a little early but, Happy Thanksgiving in heaven.

Don't Forget Those Alternate Spellings! More From My Ellisons and Bryants

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I have to start this post off by saying, I am not the most disciplined genealogist. I am an amateur. I don't always follow through with the one generation at a time approach with my research and yes this has led to some mistakes along the way. Sometimes I feel like some of my searches have been guided by a little help from the other side. A name will get stuck in my head one night and if it still is there in the morning that may become my starting point for following day's research.

Well, on a day about two years ago, I decided to do some poking on regarding my 3rd great grandmother, Caroline Ellison.  I had found her previously on each census between 1870--1920. I could not find a death record but at this point I figured she died sometime after 1920. Later, I would find out the exact date, August 1, 1920, when I found a picture of her grave on the Find A Grave website. Anyway, at this time I hadn't really looked into other type…