Thursday, January 31, 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 first article I read through was from a publication of the Tryon Palace called, "The Living History Classroom" Spring 2012. The story that discusses the lives of the Connor women is called "African American Women in Wartime New Bern" and is found on page 10. The beautiful tintypes of Sylvia and Mary Jane are featured on that very same page. The link to this article I've included here:

Mary Jane Connor --June 1863
Image courtesy of the Tryon Palace Collection

It turns out that these were two very enterprising young women who were able to make a living by sewing and cooking for troops in Union occupied New Bern during the Civil War. The article makes mention of a Pvt Henry A. Clapp of the 44th Massachussetts Volunteer Militia, who regarded the women rather highly and even spoke of them in letters he wrote home to his family. 

The second article I read is from "The Palace:  The Magazine of Tryon Palace" Vol. 11 No. 6, Spring 2012.  The link to this is here: On pages 13--15, you will find a section on Pvt. Henry Clapp and it gives even more detail about the lives of Sylvia and Mary Jane Connor. Now this is when it gets interesting. I've included here a portion of this article. 

Mary Jane Conner’s husband Shedrick was working in Wilmington, North Carolina, as a cooper in 1873, but a black 62- year-old servant named “Mary Connor” is listed in Isaac Patterson’s New Bern household in 1880. Sylvia Conner returned to the Smallwoods as a servant, albeit for Annie M. Smallwood Hughes, whose husband Isaac Hughes was a prominent town physician. “Sylvia Connor” is listed as living in their household in 1870, with a three-year-old daughter named Eva. There are no other known records of these women.

After reading this the first time, I found myself thinking to myself--Isaac Patterson...Isaac Patterson, I know that name from somewhere. 
I went to and looked up this entry on the 1880 census for Mary Conner. 

Source Citation: Year: 1880; Census Place: New Berne, Craven, North Carolina; Roll: 959; Family History Film: 1254959; Page: 272A; Enumeration District: 042; Image: 0713.Source Information: and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 1880 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA

That's when it hits me how I know the name Isaac Patterson. I pull out my 2nd great grandfather's deed for property he bought in New Bern.  A portion of that deed I have featured below. The rest of it you can find at this link:

Goosebumps. So those piercing eyes that caught my attention were trying to tell me something. Those same eyes probably saw and quite possibly knew my 2nd great grandfather Samuel Whitney. I am a strong believer in this. There are no coincidences.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: A Handsome Young Couple -- My Parents

Wordless Wednesday: A Handsome Young Couple -- My Parents --How Did I Get Here? My Amazing Genealogy Journey
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.

Monday, January 28, 2013

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 :)

Saturday, January 26, 2013

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)

Friday, January 25, 2013

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 Ellison went without a pension.

History of Claim.

Pensioner, Irvin Ellerson, Certificate No. 597504
1st service, Co. H. 36 USC Inf ; enlisted June 5 , 1863; discharged, June 5 , 1866
2nd service, ___;  enlisted, ___, 18___; discharged,  ___, 18___

Pensioned from July 28, 1890, at  $8 per month for frost bitten feet, and myalgia, Act of June 27, 1890  Dropped from the rolls from May 4, 1893 -disability having ceased. Restored to rolls from Nov 20, 1893 for rheumatism Act of June 27, 1890. No other rateable disability. Restoration at $6 per month.

Original declaration, Act of June 27, 1890, filed July 28, 1890, alleged frost bitten feet and chronic rheumatism.
     Declaration, same law filed June 18, 1892 alleged neuralgia and rheumatism. Approved for dropping Sept 20, 1893 for frost-bitten feet and myalgia disability having ceased in a ratable degree under Act of June 27, 1890. 
     Declaration same law filed Nov 20, 1893, alleged neuralgia in head rheumatism impaired eyesight result of small pox. Allowed for rheumatism. No other ratable disability. Action of June 11, 1894.
Here's the Physicians Affidavit that allowed for the reinstatement of his pension but at the decreased rate of $6 per month.

Act of June 27, 1890.
Physician's Affidavit
Proof of Physical Disability

State of North Carolina, County of Beaufort, ss:
     In Pension Claim No. 597504 of Irvin Ellerson late of Co. H 36 Reg U.S. Col Inff Vol
     Personally came before me a Notary public in and for aforesaid County and State, P. A. Nicholson MD a citizen of Washington N.C. whose post-office address is Washington, Beaufort County, No.Ca. well-known to me to be reputable and entitled to credit, and who, being duly sworn, declares in relation to the aforesaid case as follows:
     That he is a Practicing Physician, and that he has been acquainted with said soldier for about 5 years and that I find on carefully examining Irving Ellerson I find that he is now suffering with myalgia & neuralgia of the left side of the face. He states that he was frost bitten in his feet while in active service in 1864 and I find now marks of and old inflammation I have known this man for 5 or 6 years and know him to be a very reliable & trustworthy old colored man there are well marked cicatriss and indentures in his face being the results of small pox of which he states broke out on him a few weeks after he was discharged Now I am certain this man is suffering a good deal now at times from the effects of the frost bite his Heels are now very tender & and he states at times that it is almost impossible for him to get along. I think his disability is almost 5/8th and are not the results of viscious habits so far as I am able of ascertaining
     He further declares that he has been a practitioner of medicine for 4 years, and that he has no interest, either direct or indirect, in the prosecution of this claim. 

                                                             P. A. Nicholson MD

     Sworn to and subscribed before me this 8 day of August, A.D. 1893. 
     and I hereby certify that the affiant is a practicing physician in good professional standing; that the contents of the above declaration , &c, were fully made known to him before swearing, including the words                      erased, and the words________added; and that I have no interest, direct or indirect, in the prosecution of this claim. 

                                                              T. F. Brown 
                                                              Notary Public

     I                     , Clerk of the County Court in and for aforesaid County and State, do certify that                    , Esq., who has signed his name to the foregoing declaration and affidavit, was, at the time of so doing a                          in and for said County and State duly commissioned and sworn; that all his official acts are entitled to full faith and credit, and that his signature thereunto is genuine. 
     Witness my hand and seal of office, this         day of           189 .
                                            Clerk of the                         

I noticed after transcribing this last page, that doctor P. A. Nicholson and the doctor who examined my ancestor for his original application for a pension, S. T. Nicholson, shared the same last name. Were they related? It turns out, they were brothers. Perhaps a bit of compassion ran in the family. In any event, $6 per month was not a large sum of money. I wish "the good doctor" would have seen it fit to award Irvin more.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Monday, January 21, 2013

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:

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. Nicholson on April 8th, 1891.

Irvin Ellison received his pension and was receiving it at rate of $8 per month until something changed in 1893.

Surgeon's Certificate

In case of

Irvin Ellison
Co. H, 36th Reg't U.S.C. Inf.  
Applicant for Increase
No. 597504

Date of Examination
Jan. 4th, 1893.
J. H. Baker
Post office, Tarboro
County, Edgecombe
State, N Carolina

P. S. --Write your Post-office address plainly and in full.

Increase Pension Claim No. 597504
Irvin Ellison, Rank, Private
Company H, 36th Reg't U.S.C. Inf  Tarboro, N.C. State, 
Washington, N.C. Jan. 4th, 1893.

     I hereby certify that in compliance with the requirements of the law I have carefully examined this applicant, who states that he is suffering from the following disability, incurred in the service, viz: ______________________________________________________
and that he receives a pension of eight dollars per month. 
     He makes the following statement upon which he bases his claim for increase in consequence of rheumatism of the left shoulder         
     Upon examination I find the following objective conditions:  Pulse rate, 76; respiration, 18; temperature, normal; height, 5 feet 5 inches; weight, 150 pounds; age 55 years. 
     There is no swelling enlargement or stiffness of joints.  He complains of pain in right knee & left shoulder. Possibly neuralgia of left cheek.  Sound of heart normal.                                  
No indications of frost bite.  No evidence of Rheumatism.                      
Except as above no evidence of disease found to exist.                    
Rate of disability too small to pension.                                              
     He is in my opinion, entitled to no pension rating for disability caused by frost bitten feet nothing for that caused by Rheumatism nil and nil for that caused by myalgia                                                

                                                                       J. H. Baker

N. B. --Always forward a certificate of examination whether a disability is found to exist or not.

You know I was shaking my head when I read this. Oh yeah right, miraculously his condition got better.

More tomorrow!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

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)

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

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 Wright Hammond of Richland, Beaufort, NC. How would he have come to know Irvin? According to the pension file, it said that Wright had only known of Irvin for a period of 10 years.  I have to consider 10 years to be an approximation since people were not as aware of the passage of time during those days. Maybe they knew each other longer. I decided to check the 1880 census first and then went from there.

On the 1880 census, Wright's shown married to a woman named Harriet and there were two children in the household, a Rose and an Alice Hammond. Wright's occupation was listed as farmer and he's residing in Richland, Beaufort. I have included a map here so you can get a sense of the proximity of Richland to the city of Washington. 

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

Source Citation: Year: 1880; Census Place: Richland, Beaufort, North Carolina; Roll: 952; Family History Film: 1254952; Page: 101B; Enumeration District: 005; Image: 0493.

It appears that Wright had moved to Washington, NC sometime between 1880 and 1890, because he listed his residence on the pension file as such. Perhaps he moved shortly after the census was taken and took up working on a farm near the city. Maybe the very same farm that Irvin worked at. Who knows?

A move occurred sometime between 1890 and 1900 because the next time we find Wright on the census he's residing in New Bern, NC. He's still with his wife Harriett. Why the move? Was he ailing? Perhaps to be under the watchful eye of his daughter with whom he resided with. He was working as a farm laborer at this time.

Source Citation: Year: 1900; Census Place: Newbern, Craven, North Carolina; Roll: 1190; Page: 19A; Enumeration District: 0054; FHL microfilm: 1241190.

The last census I could trace Mr. Hammond to was the one for 1920 and he was still residing in New Bern. His last occupation would be that of a wood sawyer. I think the change in occupation was due to work opportunities.  I've included a passage from Wikipedia about New Bern's lumber industry at the turn of the century.

Source Citation: Year: 1920; Census Place: New Bern Ward 5, Craven, North Carolina; Roll: T625_1293; Page: 28B; Enumeration District: 26; Image: 585. Source information: 1920 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2010. Images reproduced by FamilySearch.

By 1890 New Bern had become the largest lumber center in North Carolina and one of the largest in all of the South. During this time, as many as 16 lumber mills were running and employing hundreds of men from New Bern and the area. The competitive nature of the lumber barons, the abundance of lumber and craftsmen, led to the construction in New Bern of some of the finest homes in the South, many of which have survived. The lumber boom lasted until the 1920s. 

I was able to locate Wright Hammond's grave on the Find A Grave website.

Image courtesy of Find A Grave
Picture Added by Phil Weller
Wright Hammond
(born abt. 1835-- died Nov.26, 1920)
New Bern National Cemetery

Like my 3rd great granduncle, he served in the Civil War and received a pension for his service.
Wright Hammond's pension was from the Navy. Perhaps if I get some spare change in the future, I will take a leap of faith and purchase Wright's file. If that happens, it's for certain I will write about it.

At last, on to the transcribing. LOL! This portion of the pension file highlights a Surgeon's Certificate for an examination dated April 8th, 1891.

     Orig    Pension Claim No.840613
Irwin Ellison,  Rank,  Priv Company H 36 Reg't U.S.C, Inf. Washington, N.C. State, Washington, N.C. Apr 8th, 1891.

     I hereby certify that in compliance with the requirements of the law I have carefully examined this applicant, who states he is suffering from the following disability, incurred in service, viz:  Frost bitten feet & chronic rheumatism.

     He makes the following statement upon which  he bases his claim for Between Dutch Gap and Richmond, VA in 1864, feet were frost bitten, was not carried to hospital, but "treated by Regimental Doctor"

     Upon examination we find the following objective conditions:  Pulse rate, 80, respiration, 18; temperature, no; height, 5 feet 5 inches; weight, 150 pounds; age, 50 years. ________________
      Feet are very tender, discoloration around borders of feet & toes with slight scars. Show that he has at some time past suffered from severe cold.                                                                                                 
     Heart joints and tendons are normal as far as I can detect. Tho he plains of much pain in shoulder & knees which he states is worst during damp bad weather & whom exercise of these limbs probably "myalgia"

     He is, in our opinion, entitled to a 8/18th rating for disability caused by Frost Bitten feet, 2/18 for that caused by "myalgia", and ____for that caused by___________________________________
_______________________,Pres. S. T. Nicholson, Treas.

N. B. --Always forward a certificate of examination whether a disability is found to exist or not.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

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.

Yvette at The Root Digger:  

Kristin at Finding Eliza

Debra at In Black and White: Cross Cultural Genealogy

LindaRe at Between the Gate Posts

Debi at Who Knew?


(i) Don’t forget to thank the nominator and link back to their site as well;
(ii) Display the award logo on your blog;
(iii) Nominate no more than fourteen readers of your blog you appreciate and
leave a comment on their blogs to let them know about the award;
(iv) Finish this sentence: “A great reader is…”

My definition of a great reader is: Someone who follows your story, who provides words of encouragement when necessary and sometimes tips to help you out with your research or story along the  way. 

Friday, January 11, 2013

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 great grand uncle. It turns out, he did.

Source Information:
National Archives and Records Administration. U.S., Civil War Pension Index: General Index to Pension Files, 1861-1934 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2000

Aha! The surname Bryant was an alias. Sure enough when I used the last name of Willis in my search on, I was able to find him living in Washington, NC on the 1900 census.

Source Citation: Year: 1900; Census Place: Washington, Beaufort, North Carolina; Roll: 1182; Page: 13A; Enumeration District: 0012; FHL microfilm: 1241182. 1900 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2004.

 Riley Willis with his wife Malissa and his mother Harriet
His occupation is listed as pensioner.

Now you are probably wondering why I am so excited about this Riley Bryant guy. Well, one of my brick walls in my family tree is linked to Irvin Ellison's brother-in-law, Henry Bryant. I know that Henry Bryant originated from Washington, NC along with his wife Caroline Ellison, but I haven't been able to get beyond him. Could this Riley guy be connected in some way? What's with that alias too? I needed more information so I decided to look up his name in the Freedman Bank records. I had no luck using the surname Willis, so I tried Riley Bryant in the search fields and I had a hit.

Source Information: Freedman's Bank Records, 1865-1871 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2005.

Oh wouldn't it have been nice to have seen a Henry listed among his brothers. Oh well, that would have been too easy right. LOL! Perhaps, he changed his last name to Bryant to avoid confusion with his father? Who knows? This remains a mystery for now. 

What I do know is that Riley and Irvin served together in Co. H of the 36th USCT. I believe that a bond is created among individuals during times of war, that only those who have gone through the same experience can truly understand. I will never fully know the extent of the relationship that these two men had. I do know that they had each other's backs. I would not be surprised to see Irvin Ellison listed as a witness in Riley's Civil War pension file.

The next person I checked into was W. H. Howard. Well it turns out that my ability to read old handwriting is not so good at times. After no luck finding any Howards listed in the Washington, NC census, I looked at other possibilities of what the name could be. I believe now that the signature reads W. H. Hamond and was in reference to a man by the name of Wright Hammond. 

Whoah! Have to get dinner on the table folks. Mr. Wright Hammond is going to have to wait for another day. :)

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)

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

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. 

Monday, January 7, 2013

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 hundred and ninety_______personally appeared before me, a Clerk of the Court within and for the county and State aforesaid Irvin Ellerson aged 53 years, a resident of the town of Washington, county of Beaufort, State of N.C., who, being duly sworn according to law, declares that he is the identical Irvin Ellerson who was enrolled on the 5th day of June, 1863, in Co. "H." 36th Regt. U.S.C Infy. Vols. in the service of the United States in the War of the Rebellion, and served at least ninety days, and was honorably discharged at Brownsville, Tex., on the 4th day of June, 1866. That he is partially unable to earn a support by manual labor by reason of Frost bite in the feet and Chronic Rheumatism___________________________________
That said disabilities are not due to his vicious habits, and are to the best of his knowledge and belief permanent; that he has _______applied for pension under application No. _________; that he is a pensioner under Certificate No.______________________
That he makes this declaration for the purpose of being placed on the pension roll of the United States under the provisions of the Act of June 27, 1890. 

     He hereby appoints, with full power of substitution and revocation, Wm. M. Cherry of Washington, N.C. State of NC, his true and lawful attorney to prosecute his claim, and to receive therefore a fee of ten dollars; that his post office address is Washington county of Beaufort, State of N.C.

                                                         Irvin Ellerson
                                                                                     claimant's signature.
     Attest: 1 Riley Bryant
                 2 W H Howard
                            Two witnesses who can write sign here.

     Also, personally appeared Riley Bryant, residing at Washington, NC and W H Hanord, residing at Washington, N.C. , persons whom I certify to be respectable and entitled to credit, and who, being by me duly sworn, say that they were present and saw Irvin Ellerson, the claimant, sign his name to the foregoing declaration; that they have every reason to believe from the appearance of said claimant and their acquaintance with him for 26 years and 10 years, respectively, that he is the identical person he represents himself to be; and that they have no interest in the prosecution of his claim. 

                                                                                     Riley Bryant
                                                         W H Hanord
                                                                                       Signature of witnesses.        

          Sworn To and Subscribed before me this 25 day of July, A.D.
          1890, and I hereby certify that the contents of the above        
          declaration, &c., were fully made known and explained to   
          the applicant and witnesses before swearing, including the 
          words___________________erased and the words_______
          ___________added, and that I have no interest, direct or 
          indirect, in the prosecution of this claim. 

                                                                    S Wilkins
                                                                    Clerk Superior Court

The act of June 27, 1890, requires, in case of a soldier:
     (1)  An honorable discharge (but the certificate need not be filed unless called for).
     (2)  A minimum service of ninety days. 
     (3)  A permanent physical disability not due to vicious habits.  (It need not have originated in the service.)
     (4)  The rates under the act are graded from $6 to $12, proportioned to the degree of inability to earn a support, and are not affected by the rank held. 
     (5)  A pensioner under prior laws may apply under this one, or a pensioner under this one may apply under other law, but he cannot draw more than one pension for the same period.

More from Irvin Ellison's file tomorrow.

Friday, January 4, 2013

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. The document was in pieces and faded but it still was legible. I scanned it so I could work off of that instead of handling the original. With the information on her grandfather's discharge paper, I was able to trace back part of her family tree. I located her grandfather's burial place as well as the burial place of several other ancestors. I printed out all my finds for her and dropped them off, hoping I was able to uncover some information about her family she hadn't known about. She was appreciative. I returned home smiling and then I had to laugh at myself. Here she was trying to clean house. She tried to get rid of one piece of paper and I managed to turn it into ten. Ha! I bet that is the last time she brings something my way. (smile)

Thursday, January 3, 2013

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 William John Ellison of Washington, NC. Benjamin went on to marry two more times after Rosa's passing, first to Nellie and then later to Matilda. I believe he spent the rest of his life in the area of Greene County called Snow Hill.

So you know what I have been doing, right? G-O-O-G-L-E! I Googled Greene County and came across a handy link.

The link is called Greene County, Genealogy Project and the coordinator for this page is Diane Siniard. There is a listing of resources as well as a search window on the page. Quickly, I found a listing of cemeteries in the county. What a gold mine! A census was done on many of the cemeteries listed and pictures are featured as well. St Stephen's Free Will Baptist Cemetery and St James AME Zion Church Cemetery were of special interest to me. Here, I came across pictures of the graves of Ellisons, Harpers, and Britts linked to my family tree. Woohoo!

I am still reviewing things on this site as we speak, so I'll let you know if I come across anymore finds.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

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:
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