Showing posts from January, 2013

There Are No Coincidences!

Yesterday, I was on Pinterest searching for things to pin to my New Bern, NC board I have set up there. If you haven't tried Pinterest yet, you're missing out. I have to admit I just started using it in earnest about a month and a half ago but it is a site I check in daily with now. Well, during my search of all things New Bern I came across the following pin:

I was instantly mesmerized by this woman's eyes. Then I read the caption under the picture, "Sylvia Conner, an African American businesswoman who worked as a seamstress in New Bern, NC during the Union occupation." That was it. The next thing I know I am on I am searching on Google. I had to find out more about this woman. Those piercing eyes had a story and I was going to find out what that story was.

When I tried a search on Google with the name Sylvia Connor and New Bern, NC, I found a couple of very informative articles about this remarkable woman and her sister-in-law Mary Jane Conner. The …

Wordless Wednesday: A Handsome Young Couple -- My Parents

Dad and Mom Looks like the picture was taken in the living room at my grandfather Lemuel's house. My parents met while attending school at Hofstra College (now Hofstra University) in Hempstead, Long Island. I love this picture because they look so handsome and happy. They have that glow that comes with having their whole life in front of them.

It Was So Worth It!

I am pooped! I have been running around since this morning trying to get things ready for my son's birthday party. Well, the last guest has left and I have finally had a chance to sit down and put my feet up. It was all worth it, to be able to capture this shot.

Happy birthday to my dear sweet boy!

                                                                                  Love Mommy :)

Sunday's Obituary: My Great Grandmother --Carrie Ethel Whitney Harrison

John and Carrie Harrison --my maternal great grandparents  Carrie Ethel Whitney Harrison (October 11, 1897--August 1, 1939)

"Among The Colored" By Rev C. L. Stevens New Bern Tribune Saturday August 5, 1939

Mrs Carrie Harrison, wife of Sonny Harrison, died at Good Shepherd hospital Tuesday around 4 pm.  Funeral was held from St Peters A. M. E. Z. church Friday at 2pm. Rev. E. T. Melver, officiating.  She leaves to mourn their lost her husband, 10 sons and 3 daughters and a host of relatives and friends.

Mrs. Carrie Whitney died after a short illness. She is survived by her husband, John Harrison, several children, two brothers, and other relatives and friends.

(Portions of this post were originally published here on this blog on August 21, 2011)

Civil War Pension File of Irvin Ellison --Part five

Image downloaded from Microsoft Office Images

Here are the links to the first parts of this series:

Amanuensis Monday: Civil War Pension File of Irvin Ellison --Part one

Civil War Pension File of Irvin Ellison --Part two

Amanuensis Monday: Civil War Pension File of Irvin Ellison --Part three

Amanuensis Monday: Civil War Pension File of Irvin Ellison --Part four

We left off with Irvin Ellison being miraculously cured of all ailments he incurred while serving in Co. H. of the 36th regiment of the United States Colored Troops.  It's a miracle, he's all better. In fact, he was never ill to begin with. That's the lie Dr. J. H. Baker portrayed of my 3rd great grand uncle.  Irvin was trying to apply for an increase in his pension. The doctor probably thought how dare this uppity negro. He saw Irvin as nothing and that's what he would get...nothing. Not a dime. Oooh...if only I could go back in time and lay a smackdown on somebody!

This page documents the period of time that Irvin El…

Wordless Wednesday: My Dad With His Big Sister

My aunt Janice Murrell and my Dad Picture probably taken between 1952--1954

Amanuensis Monday: Civil War Pension File of Irvin Ellison --Part four

Image courtesy of "papaija2008" /
If you missed the first three parts to this series, here are the links:
Amanuensis Monday: Civil War Pension File of Irvin Ellison --Part one
Amanuensis Monday: Civil War Pension File of Irvin Ellison --Part two
Amanuensis Monday: Civil War Pension File of Irvin Ellison --Part three
Now you may ask, why did I include the picture I have featured above in this post. The reason is this. Try to imagine your ancestor poorly clothed and hungry, fighting in a war during conditions like this. Crazy, right?! I can't imagine how unrelentingly cold that must have felt.
At the end of Part three, I transcribed a section of Irvin Ellison's pension file that described his disabilities that he sustained while he served. Specifically, it made mention of him having "at some time past suffered from severe cold" which resulted in him getting frostbite on his feet. Also, he had rheumatism. This was all documented by a Dr. S. P. …

Friday Funny: My Son --The Log Boy

My son on a nature walk with his father. November 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Those Genes Will Not Be Denied

I originally featured this picture here on this blog in August 2011. Here's the link: Wordless Wednesday: My Grandpa Lemuel Harrison and Unknown Friend. I have always been struck by the similarities in appearance between my brother and my grandpa. It is so obvious that indeed they are Harrisons!
Lemuel Harrison and Unknown Friend

My brother (Probably 1979 or 1980)

Amanuensis Monday: Civil War Pension File of Irvin Ellison --Part three

If you missed the first two parts to this series, here are the links: Amanuensis Monday: Civil War Pension File of Irvin Ellison --Part one and Civil War Pension File of Irvin Ellison --Part two

Okay, I first have to address the elephant in the room. Yes, today is Tuesday. Yes, the header for this post says Amanuensis Monday. (Insert sound of crickets. Pause.) Okay, I do know what day it is so please there should be no cause for concern. I started this post with all the good intentions of finishing it on Monday night. Ha! My brain wasn't haven't it. Had to take a break. Besides, I needed to spend some quality time with the hubby before bed time. So yes we are having Amanuensis Monday on Tuesday today. I will try not to make a habit of this. :)

Now, before diving back into transcribing my 3rd great grand uncle's Civil War Pension file, I thought I would finish up talking about the other witness who vouched for Irvin Ellison's identity. I believe that witness was a Wrig…

Wonderful Team Member Readership Award!

I received a wonderful surprise today when I was looking at some of my favorite blogs and found out that I was nominated for The Wonderful Team Member Readership Award. I am sending a huge thank you out to all my readers and to Shelley at My Genealogical Journey: Danish West Indies Family History for nominating me for this award. 

To me, as a blogger...the sharing is where it is at. There are so many great stories out there waiting to be heard and I am so thankful that I am now part of this electronic ocean we call the internet. My stories are taken out by the tide and are read by so many people around the world. When the tide comes in, I am blessed to have had the opportunity to learn of all the stories that you my fellow bloggers have shared. Thank you for taking the time to listen and to share your wonderful comments of encouragement.

So now, it is my turn to nominate. I could go on for days and nominate a ton of folks but for the purpose of this award today I am limiting it to 5.


Civil War Pension File of Irvin Ellison --Part two

"Two brothers in arms"  Image courtesy of the Library of Congress

If you missed part one of this series, here's the link: Civil War Pension File of Irvin Ellison --Part one After reviewing the first couple of pages of Irvin Ellison's pension file I started to wonder about the lives of the men who signed as witnesses on this document. Who were they? What were they like?
I started with Riley Bryant, who as of July of 1890, had known Irvin Ellison for at least 26 years. Could they have served to together in the Civil War? The answer to that question turns out to be yes!  Here's what I was able to uncover. 

They served in the same regiment and company:  the 36th United States Colored Infantry, Company H.

I found it rather interesting after finding Riley Bryant listed in the U.S. Civil War Soldiers, that I could not locate him listed in the Washington, Beaufort County census. Hmm. What to do..what to do? So I then decided to see if he had received a pension, like my 3rd gr…

Friday Funny: Nap Time

Microsoft Office Downloaded Image
I can't fight it anymore. I have been trying to finish a blog post when my eyes are just not having it. Going to find my sleep mask and soft pillow and I'm out. Peace! (yawn)

Wordless Wednesday: Bryant Siblings, Summer of 1996

Ray Bryant, Mary Horton (my grandma), Rosa Sanders, and Eloise Grigsby. Summer of 1996 at Aunt Rosa's house.

Amanuensis Monday: Civil War Pension File of Irvin Ellison --Part one

Microsoft Office Downloaded Image

Back in mid-November, I started to write about my 3rd great grandmother's brother, Irvin Ellison. Unlike his father, he remained in Washington, NC after the Civil War until his death in 1927. I took a break from reviewing Irvin's Civil War Pension file in December due to the holidays. Now that things have quieted down around my house, the urge to pick it up again has returned. It's not a light matter going through it. As I go through page by page, I am struck by all the hardships he had to endure. 
Here's an excerpt from his file:

Declaration For Invalid Pension Act of June, 27, 1890.
To be executed before a Court of Record or some Officer thereof having custody of its Seal, or a Notary Public, or a Justice of the Peace, whose Official Signature shall be be verified by his own Official Seal, if he has one, or by the proper Clerk, under Seal.
State of North Carolina, County of Beaufort, SS:
     On this 25 day of July, A.D. one thousand eight…

Funny Friday: I Just Couldn't Help Myself

I'm sure those of you who read my blog can probably relate to this. A neighbor of mine is moving and she's in the process of clearing through old papers and items she doesn't need anymore. She's a sweetheart and when she does leave I am going to miss her terribly. Anyway, during our recent conversation she said that she just wanted to get rid of all this old paperwork. She said she even threw out her grandfather's discharge paper from the Civil War. When she said this, I did one of those slow motion yells you only see in the movies. You know like.....

I told her how upsetting this was to me. She said, "Oh, you couldn't even read the darn thing. It couldn't be worth anything." I said if she still had it I would want to keep it, just for sake of the history linked to it. We talked casually for a bit longer and then she returned home. A short time later, I heard a knock on our door. She was back and thankfully she hadn't thrown out her trash yet. …

Those Places Thursday: My Mind Is In Greene County, NC

Image courtesy of Wikipedia. Map of Greene County, North Carolina, United States with township and municipal boundaries. Source:  taken from US Census website and modified by User:Ruhrfisch

Like I said in my post What's Ahead In 2013?, I am really excited about learning all I can about Greene County, NC. Just to catch anyone up who may have missed some of my prior posts, let me summarize how I am connected to this area.

My 3rd great grandmother Caroline Ellison, was the daughter of Benjamin and Rosa Ellison. Caroline married her husband Henry Bryant and eventually resided with her children Sidney, Henry, John, Rose and Jonas, my 2nd great grandmother, in Morehead City, NC. On my post Amanuensis Monday: A Letter From Benjamin Ellison, I featured a letter that my 4th great grandfather, Benjamin Ellison, had writtten to the Secretary of the War Department. He was inquiring about the existence of a slave pension. In this letter he made mention of who owned him prior to the Civil War, a Wi…

Wordless Wednesday: My Parents

My parents (probably summer of 1977 or 1978.)

I think this picture was taken during one of the summers my brother was attending a sleep away camp called Sacred Heart. It was located somewhere in Pennsylvania. I don't recall what town it was in. We were either dropping him off or picking him up. I couldn't believe how long it took to drive from our home in Queens to this place. I would have been four or five at the time, so to me it felt like we had traveled half-way across the world.

**Update: I think the name of the camp was actually Harmony Heart and I found a link to it I think. If this is the same camp, I am amazed that they are still in business.

 Here's the link: