Showing posts from March, 2012

Taking A Look At Frank Bryant Again

Frank L. Bryant My great grandfather
I have to say since my post on Monday, I have been looking at my great grandfather Frank Bryant with different eyes. If you missed that one here's the link. Military Monday: Frank Bryant's World War I Draft Registration Card Provided An Interesting Find!

With the newly found information that Frank Bryant was working as a butler in 1916 for a wealthy Morehead City business man named Charles Slover Wallace, questions began buzzing around in my head. How long had he been working for him? Did other family members possibly work for C. S. Wallace? Perhaps Jonas Bryant, Frank's mother had the same employer? I decided to go back and review the 1900 and 1910 censuses for clues.

1900 Census
The household is headed up by Caroline Bryant, Frank's grandmother, followed by Caroline's two children Jonas (listed here as Jane) and John. The last two individuals are Frank's cousin William who was raised by Jonas and then lastly Frank. Frank Bry…

Wordless Wednesday: Easter 1976 --At My Grandparent's House

These pictures were all taken in the backyard of my paternal grandparents in Hollis, NY.
Oh I remember Easter hats well! Me and Mom
My brother David, my Mom and I
Ahh my grandfather's old Nova. I have lots of good memories riding around with my grandpa in that car.  He used to pick me up after school when I attended St. Pascal's Catholic Elementary.

Military Monday: Frank Bryant's World War I Draft Registration Card Provided An Interesting Find!

My great grandfather, Frank L. Bryant October 6, 1890--December 20, 1953

My great grandfather's father has remained one of those great mysteries as I have been researching my family tree. No one in the family knows who he was and I have yet to dig up anything conclusive. There was a record that I had been meaning to get a copy of for the longest time and finally last month I did. It was Frank Bryant's World War I Draft Registration Card. Unfortunately, there's an error on the website for this database for Carteret County cards where it links to Lenoir County cards so I wasn't able to view the original. I knew it would be a long shot, but I thought maybe there would be a reference to Frank's father on this card.  I emailed the National Archives at Atlanta and within a day a nice lady emailed me back and wrote that they were able to locate the card and that it would be a $5 charge. I quickly called in a credit card payment over the phone to the Archives …

My Harris Family Line --Part three

If you missed parts one and two, here are the links My Harris Family Line --Part one and My Harris Family Line --Part two.

So I was able to locate one of Bristow Harris's children that were listed on the Freedman's Bank Record for him. Lucinda Harris we saw on my last post tragically died from complications that evolved from a Cesarean section operation. Her residence listed on the death record was Cambridge, Massachussetts. So what happened to the rest of Bristow's children?

After some more digging I found Hester A. Harris Pierce's Death Certificate. Guess where she was residing at the time of her death? Hmmm Cambridge, Massachussetts!

Hester A. Harris Pierce Death Certificate found on
Another beautiful thing was found on this document. The name of her mother and Bristow Harris's first wife. She was referred to as Rosa on the Freedman's Bank Record. Shown here we see it is Rose Anderson and that she was born in Wilmington, NC.

I found William Harr…

Wordless Wednesday: My Grandma And Me In Her Kitchen

My grandmother, Ethel Murrell, and I in her kitchen. If that kitchen could talk, it would be talking about homemade this and homemade that. So many beautiful memories I have up in there, watching her make one incredible gastronomical feat after another. Fresh rolls, lemon chicken, homemade cornbread stuffing, collard greens, lemon pound cake, oooh I could go on and on and on. Above her food, I miss her kindness of spirit. She loved her kids and her grandchildren with everything that she was. I think this picture is from about 1987 or 1988.

My Harris Family Line --Part two

If you missed Part one here's the link My Harris Family Line --Part one.

So the Freedmen's Bank record for Bristow Harris, left me a lot to chew on.  I wanted to be sure that this record I was reviewing was for my Bristow Harris. I went back to the search I did on with the criteria being Bristow Harris and New Bern, NC. The next thing I looked at when I pulled the information from this search was another census record for 1880. This one was for a Bristin Harris who resided in the 5th ward of Wilmington, NC. This Bristin or shall I say Bristow is approximately 50 years old.  Look at the names of children listed with him, Lucinda, Bristin, Billy (William), and Tom (Thomas). Those are the names listed on the Freedman's Bank entry. I think to myself these are connected.

1880 census for Bristin Harris listed in the 5th ward of Wilmington, NC

So back I go to and I look at another record that I pulled up when I did this search.  This record is from…

My Harris Family Line --Part one

I have to admit I jump around a bit regarding what part of the family I feel like discussing. Well, the whim today has taken me to my Harris family line. The Harrises are part of my maternal line. I think I will start with my 2nd great grandmother, Sarah Jane Harris Whitney. Here's how you get to Sarah from me.

Me--My mother--Lemuel Richard Harrison--Carrie E. Whitney Harrison--Sarah J. Harris Whitney

Sarah Jane Harris was born sometime around 1860 in Jones County, NC. Her death certificate shows her birth date as being October 11, 1866, however this conflicts with information provided on censuses and her marriage record. She died Sept 12, 1937 in New Bern, NC at the family home located at 10 Brown's Alley. Sarah's husband, Samuel Whitney, passed away in 1916, so you find their daughter Mrs.Carrie Harrison as the informant on the certificate.

 Sarah J Harris Whitney's death certificate
Marriage record for Samuel Whitney and Sarah Harris
Image courtesy of…

Happy Birthday And St Patrick's Day In Heaven Grandma

My step-grandmother Vadnie Randolph Harrison Happy Birthday in heaven! I always considered my grandmother honorary Irish since her birthday fell on St Patrick's Day.

Thankful Thursday: A Comment Goes Unnoticed... No Longer!

If you missed parts one and two to this series here are the links, A Comment Goes Unnoticed. --Part one and A Comment Goes Unnoticed. --Part two.

So it appears that lightening has struck twice. Another cousin has found me! William Arthur Harrison Sr., another brother of my grandfather Lemuel Richard Harrison, joined the military at a young age. He married a beautiful Japanese woman named Machiko Shinagawa while he was in the service and they had a son together, William Arthur Harrison Jr.

When I started corresponding with Erika, my cousin Bill's wife, I talked to my mother about it. My mother then gave me some more details to the story. She had met Machiko. The family called her "Nickie." My mother told me that my cousin's mother was a real go-getter and wanted to have a good life for her family. William Sr., his wife and child settled into a house in South Ozone Park, NY.  My mother said, I remember "little Billy." He was a very well mannered little boy and …

Wordless Wednesday: Another Cute Picture Of My Aunt Janice Murrell

Janice Murrell This picture I believe my grandfather Harold Murrell took. Seeing this photo reminded me that my grandfather used to enjoy taking pictures.

A Comment Goes Unnoticed.--Part two

If you missed Part one, here's the link A Comment Goes Unnoticed. --Part one.  So I send off a quick email to the author of the comment I found on my grand uncle William Arthur Harrison's profile page on It reads:
Sept 26, 2011

I don't know how I missed your comment from a year ago. I am sorry I didn't contact you sooner. Thank you for contributing information about William and about his wife and son. May I ask what relation you are to him? I hope this message finds you well. 

Andrea Kelleher

Some time goes by. I am nervous that I may have missed my window of opportunity to make contact. I am mad at myself for not checking my tree more thoroughly and more often. Then I get a reply.

November 19, 2011

I am his wife. (William Arthur Harrison's son's wife) Do you have any additional information about his relatives? Thanks Erika

And with that short sweet response, I knew it wasn't too late. 

To be continued....

A Comment Goes Unnoticed.--Part one

If you have been following my genealogy journey you know I have recently connected with a cousin I never knew about who was born in England. If you missed these posts I have the links here:   Thankful Thursday: Thank Goodness I Began My Blog --Part one,  Thank Goodness I Began My Blog --Part two.Thank Goodness I Began My Blog --Part three.  Well, something interesting began to unfold as I connected with my newly found cousin Rudi. Here's the story. 

I connected with Rudi and his wife Sheila at the end of September via an amazing phone call, one I will never forget. After that call, I decided that I would go review one of my trees that I have on to look at information regarding the siblings of my grandfather. My grandfather Lemuel Harrison came from a family of 13 children. I never really knew any of his siblings as a child, although I had met my grandfather's sister Carrie, but I was just too young to remember it. I went to look at my grandfather's brother, W…

Harold Murrell --A Proud Father.

My grandfather Harold O. Murrell  and my dad. I love the placement of my grandfather's hands on my father.
His eyes say to me, "That's my boy."

Thankful Thursday: Thank Goodness I Hit The Jackpot In Vegas!

Image courtesy of Wikipedia
In March/April of 2004, my then husband and I took a fabulous well earned trip to Las Vegas. It was my first time there so I wasn't sure what to expect. We stayed at the Rio and had a blast. We hung out by the pool, had an adult beverage or two. Ate tons of fabulous food and saw a couple of great shows like "O" and "Zumanity"  We even had time to travel out to "Red Rock Canyon" and explore until it just became two darn hot. Oh yeah and of course we gambled. It was a great trip. The interesting thing is that I didn't know I had hit the jackpot until we returned home to NY. I'll explain.

What happens in Vegas doesn't always stay in Vegas!

What my Jackpot looks like today :)

Wordless Wednesday: Janice Murrell As A Little Girl

My paternal aunt Janice Murrell Probably 3 or 4 years old. The year would be 1940 or 1941. So Adorable!

Tombstone Tuesday: Willie Kennedy--The Future Is Now!

In January, I made a trip to Morehead City and New Bern, NC to attend the funeral of my grand aunt Rosa Sanders. While down in North Carolina I made it a point to visit a special little cemetery located behind the Mount Olive AME Zion Church in Riverdale, Craven, NC. Well, it was a wonderful visit. I took pictures of my 3rd great grandmother's headstone and several other pictures of my ancestors graves. One of those pictures I took was of the grave of the father-in-law to my my 2nd great grand uncle, Alfred Mitchell. Alfred Mitchell married the daughter of a man named Solomon Allen, a Miss Chloe Allen. Anyway, while I was visiting the cemetery I became so impressed by the size of Mr. Soloman Allen's grave stone and the masonic symbol presented so beautifully on it. As a result, I took several pictures from different angles. Here is one of them.

Solomon's grave is in the forefront and another grave is in the right middle ground of the picture.

Now when I was taking  this pic…

Remembering My Special Aunt --Janice Murrell

Janice Murrell Thanksgiving at my grandparents house. Mid-1980's
My father's sister was an incredibly sweet woman. Janice never married and she resided in the family home in Hollis, NY. She was an extremely bright with a terrific sense of humor. I can still remember her laugh. She would laugh with her whole body and spirit. She did not have kids of her own so my brother and I became "her kids."I have so much to be thankful for from her. She loved taking us kids to the city to experience things that not all kids had an opportunity to do. She would take us to plays. I remember seeing musicals such as "Barnum" and "Snow White" with these beautiful stage productions.  For two hours I would be transported to another world until the curtain would close and the house lights would come on. Sometimes a trip would involve going to the World Trade Center. She worked for AT&T in an office located at one of the towers. I loved it there, especially going up…

Ethel Murrell and Janice Murrell

My grandmother Ethel Murrell and aunt Janice Murrell My aunt looks like she is about 4 or 5 years old so the year is   probably 1941 or 1942.

Thriller Thursday: The Kidnapping of Geraldine Kuylen

This newspaper article I found on ProQuest's Historical Newspapers Database during their recent free trial period they offered in celebration of  Black History Month. I have to thank my fellow Geneablogger friend and colleague, Yvette Porter Moore, for bringing the ProQuest site to my attention. I was lucky enough to find this article on a kidnapping that took place in my family that I knew of through information my father told me. Finding this article brought some additional details about what happened to light. My paternal grandmother was Ethel Murrell. My grandmother's sister Hilda who later in life went by the name Bernice had we believe two children. Geraldine and Theodore. This article is regarding the her first child who was kidnapped from her by a former babysitter.

From ProQuest Historical Newspapers:  New York Amsterdam News (1922--1993) pg. 1

(Above a picture of Geraldine Kuylen--wrong first name listed under picture but she is referred to correctly as Geraldine in …