The Ellisons and Bryants --Part one

If you missed my last post, here's the link: Tombstone Tuesday: Caroline Ellison Bryant --My 3rd Great Grandmother's Grave. I know that I am extremely blessed to know where two of my 3rd great grandmothers are buried and that they have actual stones still on their graves. The song from the movie The Sound of Music, "Something Good" comes to mind.

Nothing comes from nothing
Nothing ever could
So somewhere in my youth or childhood
I must have done something good

After featuring the picture of Caroline's grave here on this blog, it seemed to me to be the right time to share something more about my Ellison and Bryant family lines. 

Here's a recap of how I am connected to Caroline Ellison Bryant .

My mom
Grandma -- Mary Horton
Great grandfather --Frank Bryant
2x great grandmother, Jonas Bryant
3rd great grandmother Caroline Ellison Bryant (August 4, 1844--August 1, 1920)

When I began my research three years ago, all I knew of Caroline was information found on two of her children's death certificates. I learned of her name and that she was born in Washington, Beaufort County, NC. I never found a death certificate for her. It was only when I received deed information in the mail which showed the transfer of ownership of her home to her daughter Jonas, that I had an idea of what year she died. 

Here's a copy of that information:


     THIS DEED, Made this 24 day of September 1921 by John Bryant & Silia Bryant, Henry Bryant & Henrietta Bryant & Mott, Hester & Sidney Hester of Carteret County and State of North Carolina, of the first part, to Miss Jonas Bryant of Carteret County and State of North Carolina, of the second part:

     Witnesseth, That said Parties of the first part in consideration of Forty Five Dollars and our affection to me paid by our sister Jonas Bryant, the receipt of which is hereby acknowledged have bargained and sold, and by these presents do grant, bargain, sell and convey to said Jonas Bryant her heirs and assigns, a certain tract or parcel of land in Carteret County, State of North Carolina adjoining the lands of ___________________________and others, bounded as follows, viz:  Being one house a lot in the town of Morehead City and known in the place of the said town as lot number (3) in the square which lies north of square one hundred and fifty two (152) Being the property of our mother Caroline Bryant who is deceased. 

     TO HAVE AND HOLD the aforesaid tract or parcel of land and all privileges and appurtenances thereto belonging, to the said Jonas Bryant  her heirs and assigns, to her only use and behoof forever.

     And the said parties of the first part for themselves and their heirs executors and administrators covenant with said Jonas Bryant her heirs and assigns, that they are seized of said premises in fee and have right to convey in fee simple; that the same are free and clear from all incumbrances, and that they do hereby forever warrant and will forever defend the said title to the same against the claims of all persons whomsoever_________________________.

     IN TESTIMONY WHEREOF, the said parties of the first part have hereunto set their hands and seals, the day and year first above written. 

                                                    John Bryant   (Seal)

                                                    Henry Bryant  (Seal)
                                                   Henrietta Bryant X her mark(Seal)
                                                   Mott Hester  (Seal)
                                                   Sidney Hester X her mark (Seal)
Attest: Jas R Bell
            as to mark

North Carolina, Carteret County.

     I, Jas R Bell, Justice of the Peace do hereby certify that John Bryant -Henry Bryant -Mott Hester and Sidney Hester & Henrietta Bryant their wives personally appeared before me this day and acknowledged the due execution of the annexed deed of conveyance; and the said Henrietta Bryant, Sidney Hester being by me privately examined, separate and apart from their said husbands touching their voluntary execution of the same, do state that they signed the same freely and voluntarily, without fear or compulsion of their said husbands or any other person, and that they do still voluntarily assent thereto. 

     Witness my hand and private seal, this 24 day of September, 1921
                                                        Jas R Bell    J. P. (Seal)


     I _________, a___________ in and for said County and State, do hereby certify that ____________personally appeared before me this day and acknowledged the due execution of the foregoing instrument, for the purposes therein expressed. Let the same, with this certificate, be registered.

     Witness my hand and __________seal, this ______day of __________192_

NORTH CAROLINA, ___________County.

     The execution of the foregoing instrument was this day proven before me by the oath and examination of __________the subscribing witness thereto. Let the same, with this certificate, be registered. 

______________, this ______day of __________, 192_


     The foregoing certificate of Jas R Bell a Justice of the Peace of Carteret County, is adjudged to be ^indeed formed to be correct and the foregoing deed is adjudged to have our duly acknowledged proven. Let the instrument, with this certificate, be registered.

     Witness my hand and official seal, this 26 day of September A.D. 1921

                                                  L.W. Hassell, Clerk Superior Court.

Filed for registration Sept. 26, 1921 Registered Sept 29,1921
                                                 Troy Morris Registrar of Deeds

This deed was made out on September 24, 1921 and there's specific mention in it of Caroline being deceased. Upon review of this, I was temporarily satisfied to have an approximate year of death. Plus, other lines of my family tree were calling that had information that was easier to access and just waiting to be discovered. It wasn't until I was pleasantly surprised in March of 2011, when I looked on the Find A Grave website and up popped a picture of Caroline Bryant's grave. Finally I knew when she was born and specifically when she passed away.

Of course there was still more to be discovered. Was she free or a slave? If a slave, who owned her? How and why did she leave Beaufort County, NC.

I will reveal the answers to some of these questions and discuss my theories regarding her motivation to come to Morehead City, in my next few blog posts.


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