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Showing posts from September, 2012

Where is Church? I say it is in the heart.

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This post was originally featured here on this blog on June 5, 2011


So I never knew Ophelia and Frank Bryant. Both of them died long before I was even on the radar of arriving on this planet Earth...but I know they passed on something amazing to their children. Church! No not a building ...not a minister...not some piece of scripture. They passed on what I call "Church." "Church" to me is synonymous with spirituality. It means love. It means compassion. It means being open instead of being closed off. It means, here is my heart...I am showing it to you and I will help you find yours.

Now the family was definitely a set of church going people as evidenced by Ophelia's obituary. She was the church organist. On a side note, can I tell you something about the day I received that obituary in the mail. So funny how you don't really stop to think about these things until someone puts a spotlight on it. My grandmother had an organ and a piano in her home. My Aunt Ro…

Now That's What I Call A Phone Call! -- Part three

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If you have missed Parts one and two, here are the links:  Now That's What I Call A Phone Call! -- Part one
Now That's What I Call A Phone Call! -- Part two

The Lord heard my prayer for my cousin's spirit indeed was open! Mrs. Jonas Barco is a sweet-heart. She is  83 years young. God bless her. We spoke on that first afternoon for about a 1/2 hour. After the first moments of introducing ourselves passed, the conversation flowed with ease. I think there is something to be said about our shared Bryant DNA. If you are a Bryant descendant, you are going to be a talker. LOL!

Anyway, she was just amazed to find out how I found her was through find her brother's obituary on the internet and then simply looking her name up in the white pages. This is another reason why I am so ever grateful for the times we live in. How the internet can make finding the different pieces of our own genealogy puzzles so much easier to find. 

As for our conversation, were there any great big bombshel…

Now That's What I Call A Phone Call! -- Part two

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If you missed part one, here's the link: Now That's What I Call A Phone Call! -- Part one

With phone number in hand, I didn't let time have a chance to set deterrents in the way. I picked up the phone and made the call and crossed my fingers all at the same time. Ring...Ring...Ring...(oh please pick up the phone...oh please pick up the phone...Ring...Ring...Ring...oh no I think she's not home...Ring...Ring...Ring..yup going to voicemail...sigh.) Then, I think that's okay. Voice-mail is not rejection. Think of it as an invitation. So I leave a pleasant upbeat message and pray hopefully she will be open and call me back. 

It was the afternoon, about an hour before my kids come home from school and I thought that I could probably squeeze in a quick grocery shop like any good multi-tasking mother would.  Message left, I decided well, I am off to the store. The grocery store is close to my house and so I'm there in like five minutes. I pull into a parking space and my…

Now That's What I Call A Phone Call! -- Part one

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So I don't know why, but I sometimes I just get so nervous to reach out by telephone to potential family members. Is it the fear of rejection, or the lack of possible interest of the person on the other end of the line? Shucks, I have to say I have had amazing things happen via telephone since I've been on this genealogy journey. I have connected with cousins who have found me via the internet. That's it, they found me. Now time to turn the tables around and start finding them.

Recently, I was able to get beyond my nervousness and did just this. In fact, it was the week before last week. I started reviewing through some of my Morehead City folks on my family tree and decided to do some random Google searches and came up with an obituary for a cousin of mine. Specifically, his name was Frank Lluellen Johnson. Here's his obituary.


 FRANK LUELLEN JOHNSON, 66, 2494 Ravanall Ave., Orlando, died Sunday, Jan. 3. Mr. Johnson was an industrial arts teacher for a junior high schoo…

Wordless Wednesday: Thomas Henry Hester Sr.

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Thomas Henry Hester Sr. Another child of Mott Hester Sr. and Sidney Bryant Hester My 1st cousin 3x removed



Talented Tuesday: Morehead City -- A Town That Seemed To Value Education

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Earlier this year, I was able to print up copies of different newspaper articles from the ProQuest Website from their Historical Newspapers Collection. Some of these articles only had a line or two about a particlular family member, but I have found them so interesting to review because they seem to "flesh out" my ancestors a little more. These folks are not just names and dates of birth and death. They were real people and I truly have enjoyed learning more about their lives.

I have to say I am most impressed with the Morehead City neighborhood that sustained many of my ancestors. There was a true sense of community and it appears that people really valued the importance of education. My great grandmother Ophelia was a school teacher, as well as her oldest daughter Loris. My grandmother Mary Bryant Horton, attended Elizabeth City State Teacher's College along with my newly found cousin Amy's mother, Delphine Hester Johnson. Here's…

Sunday's Obituary: Delphine Hester Johnson

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Delphine Elizabeth Hester Johnson
My 2nd cousin 2x removed
Delphine Elizabeth Hester Johnson, a loving daughter, wife, mother, sister and friend was born on August 24, 1923 and departed this life on February 22, 2006. Her father Lloyd Motty Moore Hester, Jr., mother Gertrude Reinhart Hester, Husband Louis R. Johnson, Jr. and son Louis R. Johnson III preceded her in death.

She was a dedicated elementary and special education school teacher at Queen Street High School and Beaufort, North Carolina Elementary School for over 30 years until her retirement in 1977. she loved teaching so much that she recently started Delphine's Workshop, to teach other residents at White House Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center in Orange, N.J. where she resided since 2000

She received her Bachelors degree from Fayetteville State Teacher's College, now Fayetteville State University, Fayetteville, N.C. and a Masters from East Carolina University, Greenville, N.C.

She held a special love for Elmwood Unite…

Wordless Wednesday: Rosa Lee Hester

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Rosa Lee Hester (b.1898--d.1967) She was one of the children of Mott Hester Sr. and Sidney Bryant Hester. My 1st cousin 3x removed

Here is a link to a blog post of mine from earlier this year which showed the grave site of Rosa Lee Hester and her parent's grave site as well. Tombstone Tuesday: Rosa Lee Hester

More From My Hester Family Branch

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I have to send a huge thank you out to my newly found cousin Amy again for being so gracious to share family stories and pictures with me recently. Just as a recap, our family connection takes us back to Morehead City, NC. Her great grandmother, Sidney Bryant Hester and my great great grandmother, Jonas Bryant were sisters.  You will find a picture of Sidney Bryant Hester, here and Mott Hester Sr., here. Amy grew up in Morehead City, nearby her great grandmother and a host of other family members. Her grandfather, Mott Hester Jr., was a fisherman and unfortunately died before she was born so she did not get to know him, but she knew very well her grandmother Gertrude Rhinehardt Hester. Gertrude Rhinehardt's folks came from Catawba County, NC. According to my cousin, her grandmother was quite good at cooking German cuisine due to this family line being originally owned by people of German descent. Here are the pictures of her grandparents.


Mott Hester Jr. (b.1894--d.1932) My 1st co…

Wordless Wednesday: Mott Hester Sr.

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Mott Hester Sr. (b.1867--d.1947) This picture is from a book called "Tales of the Atlantic Hotel 1880--1933" by Virginia Pou Doughton

Mott Hester Sr. was my 2nd great grand uncle and husband to Sidney Bryant Hester. A picture of Sidney you will find on my previous post. Here's the link if you missed it. Another Piece Of The Puzzle
If you have ties to Morehead City and the The Atlantic Hotel that once stood there, Virginia Pou Doughton's book is a wonderful resource. Here is an excerpt that talks a little bit about Mott Hester Sr.
Captain W. L. Kennedy was such an ardent fisherman that he purchased a boat, the India, and hired a permanent captain, Mot Hester. The Hester family had come from Jamesville, North Carolina, to fish in Carteret County a number of years before.

Another Piece Of The Puzzle

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As genealogists, we are all looking for the pieces of our family history puzzle. It is so nice when cousins have the opportunity to connect and share family history stories. In my last blog post, I mentioned I was doing the genealogy happy dance because I had connected with another cousin, I didn't even know I had.

It turns out my cousin Amy is my 3rd cousin once removed. Our family ties take us back to Morehead City, NC. Here is how we are connected.

My 3rd great grand parents were a Henry Bryant and Caroline Ellison Bryant and from what I have researched, they had five children --Sidney, Jonas, Rose, Henry, and John. Amy's great grandmother was Sidney Bryant Hester and my great great grandmother was Jonas Bryant. I don't have any pictures of Jonas unfortunately but I do have one of Sidney that another cousin so graciously shared with me last year. After I sent a copy of this image to Amy, she indeed confirmed that it was her great grandmoth…