Wednesday, May 30, 2012

My First Blogiversary!

Microsoft Office Downloaded Image

I woke up this morning and unplugged my phone and checked my calendar like I usually do and there was this lovely pop-up reminder that came on the screen to remind me of my blogiversary. I knew with all the hustle and bustle with young children this time of year, that I would forget the date so about a month ago I plugged it into my phone to remind me. One year of blogging! Wow, where did all the time go? All I can say is that it has been quite the adventure. Through my blog I've connected with family that I didn't even know existed and made many new on-line friends.  I want to thank everyone who has stopped by to check out my posts this past year.  Thank you to all who have reached out and provided me help with research or have inspired me with their own genealogy stories. Okay, I know this is turning into an Academy Awards speech, but I can't help myself. I am very proud of what I have started here. 

So where do I go from here? I keep digging up stories. I keep posting them and sharing them with anyone who will listen. That's how this all started and that is how it will continue. Will this evolve into a book? Perhaps. Folks, I am a newbie, so I am still feeling this thing out... Ya know what I'm saying? So if you have enjoyed my journey, please continue to travel along with me through my discoveries. I always like company when I travel. 

Thanks again.


P.S. If you are new to my blog...well, there's no better way to get started than at the beginning. Here's the link Okay...Here We Go! LOL.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Oliver Jones And Esther Lincoln Were Married By William J. Moore.

Marriage record for Oliver Jones and Esther Lincoln
"North Carolina , County Marriages, 1762-1979," index and images, Family Search
Oliver Jones and Esther Lincoln Jones were my 2nd great grand uncle and aunt.
Oliver was a brother of Alexander Hamilton Jones, my 2nd great grandfather.

State of North Carolina.                                                          Carteret County

     I, William J. Moore a minister of the gospel do hereby certify that I solemnized the rites of matrimony between Oliver Jones and Esther Lincoln, and joined them together as husband and wife in Carteret County on the 3rd day of November A. D. 1867

I found online a terrific resource which featured an etching of minister William J. Moore. It's the electronic edition of "One Hundred Years of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church or The Centennial of African Methodism," by James Walker Hood. The electronic edition is part of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's digitization project called "Documenting the American South." I was delighted to find that the book includes an etching of William J. Moore and background information about the minister. 

I've included the link here:

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Babies On My Brain

Me at 3 months old.

Me at 6 months old.

I have had babies on the brain lately due to some family friends who either recently had babies or who are due to have them shortly. It's so nice to see others experience the joys that come with bringing a child into the word. A family friend who babysat for our children brought by her one month old son this week and I got a wonderful little baby fix. There's nothing like holding one of those precious little bodies. I just love the way they smell (except for when they have a poopy diaper.) Anyway, I was straightening up my living room and my hand somehow wandered over to the bookcase where we keep the family pictures. I pulled out these shots which were mounted on cardboard and that are too large to put in an album. I will have to get something to protect them. Well, I thought it would be a good idea to scan these pictures just in case something should happen to them. Will there be anymore babies in my future. Hmm. No, I don't think so. I'm 39 and my husband is 56.  We are not getting any younger. I am pretty sure he would like to retire at some point, so I think the two kids we have will be just enough for us. Besides, I can get my baby fix now from these friends so that will be nice. 

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Not So Wordless Wednesday: Willie Edward Bunting Sr.

So an interesting dynamic happens when you blog. Sometimes something gets started with just a feeling. As of late, I have had this urge to review information that I had found on my Mitchell family line. This branch of the family was from a town about 9 miles south of New Bern, NC, called Riverdale. By doing this I was able to locate some new information on family members which I will feature at some point on this blog. 

Well, the other day I received a phone call. I had a lovely conversation within someone who has ancestors from Riverdale, NC as well. This individual found my blog online and that's how we became connected. Well the combination of my urge to research the Mitchells again and this phone call led me to review pictures I had taken from my January trip to New Bern and Morehead City. In my blog post, Tombstone Tuesday: Willie Kennedy --The Future Is Now!, I featured a picture that I had taken of the grave of a Solomon Allen.. In the background of this picture there was another grave that was visible and with the magic of today's smart phone's I was able to crop the picture down to get a pretty good view of Willie Kennedy's grave. Well when I went back over those pictures, I saw another shot that I could kind of do the same thing with. So here it is.

 Image from what is referred to as Riverdale Community Cemetery or Mt Olive Cemetery
The grave that is in far left of this image is the one I was able to crop in closer to see the name.

Willie Edward Bunting Sr.
(November 15, 1905--December 21, 1952)
His death certificate has his date of birth as November 11, 1905, but his
World War II Draft Card shows the date as November 15th. 

I found on that there was a Willie Edward Bunting Jr. who died in April 18, 2000.  Perhaps the grave behind Sr. is his son's grave.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Amanuensis Monday: More From Samuel Whitney's Estate Record

Last week, I featured a page from Samuel Whitney's estate record which showed an inventory of items. Here's the link in case you missed it Amanuensis Monday: Samuel Whitney's Estate Record.
I have to admit I am a little frustrated by the handwriting in the file so it will take me some time to get through it. It appears he died with debts and his belongings were sold off to pay them. 

Here's a recap on this Samuel Whitney. He was born around 1775 and I believe he was my 4th great grandfather. According to oral history Samuel Whitney was of Portuguese descent originating from the Azores. He is listed in the 1830 and 1840 censuses living in New Bern, NC. In 1830 it's only him and 4 other free males in the household. On the 1840 census he is listed as a slave owner?  Could these slaves have been possible relatives?

Image courtesy of

Now this is the theory I'm have been working with. If a man of possible Portuguese descent settled in New Bern, he probably didn't look like the other white folks in town. He probably would have been perceived to be a person of color. Who would he have relations with? More than likely either another free person of color or a slave. That's what I believe we see on the 1840 census. Another thing I find intriguing here is that 3 persons were employed in a manufacture or trade. The inventory listing from this Samuel Whitney's estate included blacksmith tools. My 3rd great grandfather was a Thomas Whitney who resided in the Lake Comfort area of Hyde County, NC. On the 1880 census I believe the man who is a border residing with him a Charles Whitney was his brother. Guess what his occupation was? A blacksmith. 
1880 census Swan Quarter township
Oh, yeah, now I just found in the Apprentice Bonds for Craven County, abstracted by Victor T Jones Jr., an entry for a Bill Johnson  who was apprenticed to Samuel Whitney in 1815 as a blacksmith! Hmm. Maybe I have something here with this theory.

13 June 1815--Bill Johnson, a boy of color aged 13 years bound to Samuel Whitney as a blacksmith.

In 1840 Samuel Whitney is shown owning slaves but mysteriously by 1847 when we are looking at his estate file there are no slaves to be found. Where did they go? I suspect he may have known of his impending demise and set them free. If he hadn't there would have been the risk of them being sold off to pay the debts of his estate. He couldn't risk that if they were kin.

Here is a promissory note that was included in the file. 

Image 22 of Samuel Whitney Estate File
"North Carolina Estate Files, 1663--1964," index and images at

Twelve months after date with Interest from the date I promise to pay to W. B. Brimms and have a twenty dollars and fifty cents for (value?--not sure) Received witness my hand and Seal April 21st 1844.

Witness                                             Samuel Whitney        {Seal}
E. Alexander                                                  X his mark 

I am not surprised to see that Samuel Whitney was not able to write as evidenced by him signing this document with an X. I do somehow feel that somewhere within that man, if he indeed is my 4th great grandfather, that not being able to write bothered him deeply. If you go back to the 1880 census I have featured above, it shows that my 3rd great grandfather Thomas Whitney and his sons Samuel and Augustus could indeed read and write. My ancestors who lived in Hyde County, had some schooling. There was a drive for education that came from somewhere, perhaps from Samuel who didn't have the opportunity for an education or perhaps from Thomas his son who saw his father's struggles. One can only speculate. 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Not So Wordless Wednesday: Oh You're The Babysitter, Right?

This post I wish to use as a teaching moment for anyone who makes assumptions when they see a woman with a baby and they try to guess the relationship. Don't guess. If you don't know, simply comment on how cute the baby is. Now that I am a few years out from this picture and people in my community know me and my daughter they don't make this mistake anymore. They know us. People of color are familiar that in African American homes that there can be quite a variance in the shades of complexions of family members. For folks who are not familiar with this, please don't assume someone is the help. I am just saying.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

I Just Mailed My Spit! LOL

Ha! I am really starting to believe I am a bit of a weirdo. Most moms I know get excited over things like getting their nails done or a pedicure. Not me. I get excited over spit. Well to be more specific, I just mailed out my sample for my AncestryDNA test. 

Here's what the kit looked like.

Okay, I have to be silly for the moment. I am old school and I know this doesn't really matter but I appreciate the fact that this thing came in a box. All the money we spend on these test kits and yes I do realize that part of that money goes into packaging. I simply like to feel like I am purchasing something. I still have problems these days with how we purchase music. The good ole days you bought an album and you were buying something. Now we buy data and download it. There's no packaging, no nothing. I don't like it. I like something tangible. Just saying.

No swabs for this test. You spit into a vial for this one. The directions were very easy to follow. My test results should be available in 6-8 weeks. Let's see what I find out.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Amanuensis Monday: Samuel Whitney's Estate Record

Image courtesy of

What a welcome surprise to come across an estate record for the man I believe was my 4th great grandfather. Samuel Whitney, born about 1775, I had written about in prior posts. Here are the links to provide some background.

This Samuel Whitney can be found on the 1830 and 1840 censuses for New Bern, NC. After which he seemed to have disappeared from the records. Well, until the other week that is. I have been finding a lot of records on-line for Carteret and Craven Counties in North Carolina on the website. One of those finds was the estate record for Samuel Whitney. The file is thirty-three pages long so I will only highlight certain portions. Here is an inventory of his property.

Inventory of Property belonging to the estate of Sam Whitney consisting of the following articles,

1 Set of Blacksmith Tools
1 Whelr? Saw
3 Ploughs 1 Pot 1 Kettle
1 oven 1 pr Pot Hooks
1 Tub 1 Tray
2 pr Andirons 1 pr Tongs
2 Bird Cages
1 Wood Saw 1 Copper Measure
4 Hand Saws
4 Jugs 1 Asc? 2 Jars
4 Tables 1 Basket
1 pr of Stilards
1 Spinning Wheel
1 Lot Bottles 1 Reap Hooks
6 Chairs 1 Boat-stead
2 netts 2 Candle Sticks
2 Hoes 1 Rake
2 Empty Barrels
3 Sash?
1 Horse

C. B. Dibble Admint

(Words that I was unsure of are followed by a question mark.)

From information included in Sam Whitney's estate record , I know now that he died probably late in the year 1846. An initial inventory was done of his assets in the spring of 1847. So if he was born on or around 1775 he lived on until his early seventies.  That's a long life considering the time frame in history.

Looks like I will have to finish highlighting his estate record on another day.  I have some unexpected babysitting to take care of. 
Happy researching everyone!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Could This Be A Picture Of My 2nd Great Grand Uncle And Aunt?

Could this be a picture of my 2nd great grand uncle and aunt?
Possibly, William Henry Jones and Emma Shepard Jones.
William was a brother to my 2nd great grandfather, Alexander Hamilton Jones. Recently, I connected with a cousin who so graciously shared this picture with me. She inherited a suitcase of pictures from her father and she believes that this is a picture of her grandfather's parents. It was the oldest one in her collection.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Okay, Couldn't Sleep...So What Do I Do? Reminisce.

How quickly we forget how tiny these little children are when they first come to us. Tonight, I tried to go to sleep a little early. It wasn't happening. Anyway, I decided to pull out a photo album which had pictures of my son in it from the ages of 2-4 years of age. Where did all the time go. Poof. Gone. Now he's 7. S-E-V-E-N! How does this happen so fast. My husband and I were commenting about him after he went to bed, how we can already see him at 22. He's a seven year old mini-man now. My first born. Funny, when I say that right now, my mind flashes to a scene from the series Six Feet Under, on HBO, where the matriarch from the series holds a toast to her son, her first born who recently died. Wow. First born children break the mold of the old person you were before you had kids and simultaneously set the stakes in the new form for the person you become after kids. We all love our kids first born and so on. Just that first one changes you so deeply. They hold a special place. If my daughter reads this at some point before she has kids of her own and takes this the wrong way....well, I apologize in advance. She'll get it eventually when she becomes a mother herself. Anyway, I am rambling. There were 3 pictures that stood out for me especially in this album I have been looking at and so I thought I should include them in this post. 

Noah and his Daddy at the SUNY Binghamton Nature Preserve

I love these men!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

So It Looks Like I'll Be Taking Another DNA Test

Microsoft Office Downloaded Image

Okay I have to say I have been intrigued by the information that has been showing about their new DNA test and when I got the invite Friday to buy a test kit for $99, well....I couldn't help myself. Impulsive? Um...yes. However, it will give me more information about my ancestors! So that makes it okay, right? LOL! Okay I have to say I am a full blown genealogy junkie now. I can't hide it. I am sure many of you out there feel the same way. I just had to giggle at myself at how fast I whipped out my credit card. Now why did I do this, you may ask? Well, this is why.

If you have been following my blog you probably came across my posts regarding me using African Ancestry's DNA admixture test which they offered I believe up through February of this year. I have a feeling they stopped doing the test once they learned of the forthcoming release of's new kit. Anyway, my results came out to be 70% African and 30% European. I had taken the test to see if any Native American DNA would be detected from it. The oral history that I had received from family members on my maternal line was that there was Native American blood, specifically Cherokee in our family. My research uncovered some circumstantial evidence that perhaps it was in fact Tuscaroran or Coree blood. On my test results however, nothing was detected. I did keep in mind that no test is 100% definitive. Part of the supplemental information I received with my results said the following:

My focus on research once I received my results shifted toward looking at the majority of my genetic DNA, specifically my African American ancestors that were most directly connected to me. I have recently made some wonderful discoveries when I went back over past research I had done on my Bryant, Mitchell, and Jones family lines. I have to be honest about something though. I have been wondering could there still be some portion of my genetic make up that was not detected by my first DNA test. This Native American lineage is supposed to be from a couple of my 3rd great grandparents. With each generation that gets diluted. How much would be left by the time you get to me? Perhaps 2-5%? Who knows if any?  However, if there is something there and if I have come to understand AfricanAncestry's information correctly then there is a about a 35% chance it would not be detected. So yes I have come clean. This has still been in the back of my head. So I think spending the $99 on this new test from another party would be good to see if I get the same results or perhaps something different. We'll see.

The other thing intriguing about this new test from is that they appear to break down European ancestry to some extent. On my Whitney family, the oral history passed down to me has been that the earliest Whitney ancestors were Portuguese and came from the Azores. They had spent some time in Bermuda and then subsequently made it to America. It would be interesting to see if this new test could detect anything to indicate this. 

Once I am done with this particular admixture test though, I have to get down to the business of tracing my African DNA roots. We received our tax refund, so after paying off some bills, there should be a little splurge money left to to do my other test for my maternal lineage so I can see where my roots take me to in Africa.

I hope no one gets the impression from this particular post that I am in some way unhappy with my test results with African Ancestry. I was satisfied with the kit and with the customer service I was provided with. The individuals I spoke with over the phone were very professional and took time out to answer all my questions. I just think information is power. So if I still have questions floating around in my head I think it is best to act on trying to figure things out rather than just letting things go. It will haunt me otherwise. At least that's how things work for me. Anyway, I am excited to see what this leg in my journey brings.

I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Talented Tuesday: Clifford and Harkless Wooten

With my last post being Sunday's Obiturary: Clifford McGhee Wooten, I thought it would be a good follow up post to highlight a couple of newspaper articles I came across in the ProQuest Historical Newspapers database. Clifford and Harkless Wooten were extremely multi-talented people. They were successful business owners who owned and operated the Edgewater Hotel in Morehead City. Harkless Wooten was an accomplished chef who worked at places such as The Dunes Club, The Coral Bay Club, and the John Yancey Restarurant, all on Bogue Banks. He even worked at the Atlantic Hotel when it stood in Morehead City. Clifford Wooten managed the Edgewater while her husband worked at other establishments. She later went on to earn a bachelor's degree in education and eventually a master's degree in counseling. 

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...