Sunday, June 30, 2013

There Was A Need

Image courtesy of Microsoft Office Images

This past week was truly special since it involved connecting with another cousin. This cousin is linked to my Jones family line. As I started to go over records for this branch of the family again, I became increasingly impressed with their connection with helping those in their community. Several of my Jones ancestors went into the medical field. My great grandmother's sister, Lovie Jones Watson, became a nurse who worked and resided in Morehead City, NC.  On my post Wordless Wednesday: Dr. Oscar Dunn Jones, I featured a picture of my 1st cousin 3x removed.  Oscar Dunn Jones Sr. was a well respected dentist who resided in Baltimore Maryland.  His brother Caeser N. Jones was a dentist as well. Proof of this I found on his World War II Draft Registration Card.

Source Information: U.S. WWII Draft Cards Young Men, 1940-1947[database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2011.  Source Citation: The National Archives Southeast Region; Atlanta, GA; Records of the Selective Service System, 1926-1975; Record Group: RG 147; Class: RG147, North Carolina World War II Draft Registration Cards; Box Number: 196.

Also, I found this on the the University of North Carolina's online resource Documenting The American South. The bulletin is called "The Negro Population of North Carolina: Social and Economic:" [1944] Electronic Edition.

Page 64
State Board of Health
Dr. Walter J. Hughes, Medical Adviser to Negro Schools
Miss Jennie L. Douglass, Health Education Adviser to Negro Schools
H. I. Fontellio-Nanton, Information Specialist, Venereal Disease Institute
Division of Dentistry
Dr. J. H. Barnhill
Dr. Robert M. Bell
Dr. P. M. Brandon
Dr. L. C. Holliday
Dr. C. N. Jones
Dr. E. W. Swepson
Source Description: 
(series) Special Bulletin [North Carolina State Board of Charities and Public Welfare] no. 23 
(title) The Negro Population of North Carolina: Social and Economic. Larkins, John R. (John Rodman) 79 p. Raleigh, N.C.
North Carolina State Board of Charities and Public Welfare [1944]
Call number Cp 326 L32n c. 3 (North Carolina Collection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)

Then there was William Thomas Jones, Caeser and Oscar's brother. He was studying to become a doctor before his life was cut short by illness in 1918.

The cause of death for William was influenza. It is interesting to note that a contributing factor in his demise was the condition "Hemorrhagic gingivitis"  Could this have been the reason why Caeser and Oscar became dentists?

Here's a picture that another Jones cousin was so gracious to share with me about a year ago. It shows the young William Thomas Jones performing some sort of autoposy. 

William Thomas Jones
medical student

Back of picture
"Dr. W. T. Jones"

I believe this excerpt from the above mentioned bulletin best describes how there was a tremendous need for trained medical professionals from the black community in 1944.

14. There is a lack of adequate hospitals for both white and colored persons. In 1940, there was one white physician to every 1,127 white persons compared with one Negro physician for every 6,499 persons. There was one white dentist to every 2,965 white persons, and one Negro dentist to every 13,629 colored persons. However, this does not mean that Negroes must go without the services of competent and efficient physicians because in many areas of the State, white physicians have a large percentage of Negro patients; this is also true of the dentists.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: Dr. Oscar Dunn Jones

Portrait of Dr. Oscar Dunn Jones Sr.
My 1st cousin 3x removed.
His father, William Henry Jones, and my 2nd great father, Alexander Hamilton Jones, were brothers.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

This Post Is Dedicated To My Newly Found Cousin.

Image courtesy of Microsoft Office Images

I wrote this yesterday shortly after I spoke with a newly found cousin. I thought I should post it just to remember the moments of our conversation. I am sure many of you can relate to the sentiment.

Yes! I made contact with another cousin. Hooray! This cousin was searching out information on her grandfather and came across my blog by means of a simple Google search. One of the reasons that the word “Amazing” is in my blog title is for when situations like this happen. How is it possible that we should connect?  No word seems to fit better than “Amazing.” 
She was so appreciative because she knew only so much. I was so appreciative because I knew only so much.  We shared. We laughed. Her thanking me for the information almost brought me to tears. This information is not mine. This message is not mine, but I will gladly be the messenger.

These are just some ramblings I had rolling around in my mind. Details to come. 

Monday, June 24, 2013

Military and Mappy Monday: Harold Murrell's National Guard Enlistment Card

My grandfather Harold O. Murrell in his National Guard uniform.

Looking sharp!

My grandpa is standing in the back row, the second from the left.

I came across my paternal grandfather's New York National Guard Enlistment Card recently on I knew he had served in the National Guard from what my father had told me. About a year ago he shared these pictures with me of his dad in uniform. Two of these photos were featured on this blog before in the posts, My Grandpa, Harold Murrell--Part three and Wordless Wednesday: Pictures of My Grandpa --Harold Murrell. The first picture above I had forgotten I had. I thought it would be good to feature them here together. 


Source Information: New York, U.S. National Guard Enlistment Cards, 1923-1947 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2013. Original data: New York State National Guard. National Guard Enlistment Cards, 1923–1940. New York State Military Museum, Saratoga Springs, New York.

My paternal grandfather, Harold Murrell, served in Company I under a Captain Miller.  I think this is pretty cool since he had only just arrived in the U.S. on September 29, 1927.  

Things learned from this card:

Ocupation: Painter (in 1929)
Enlistment: 4/2/29
Honorably discharged:  4/1/32

The most important thing I learned from this was his address.

393 Edgecomb Ave., New York, New York.

This is where Google Maps comes in handy.

Images courtesy of Google Maps

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Something About Me Saturday: Striking The Balance Between Living People And Dead People

Image courtesy of Microsoft Office Images

Living a good life is about maintaining balance, right? Well I forgot to prepare myself this year for when the kids got out of school. The volume level in the house has gone up 10,000 percent it seems. No more quiet mornings to sip on coffee while doing house work and perhaps cranking out a new blog post. Nope. That's not happening. I have to be fully awake when I get up so I can be ready to answer questions like "Why do caterpillars have so many legs? Or where do lemurs live?" No really, my son asks questions like this, right out the gate when he wakes up. Meanwhile, all I can think of  is "Must...Find...Coffee." Anyway, it's been five days as of today and I'm slowly adjusting. What does this mean? Well, I may be posting here less often than during the school year. I say it may change because I am not sure how things will work out yet. I enjoy writing about my dead people but this is the time to spend with my living ones. Summer is a magical time and it so important to drink in these special moments with my kids. My babes are growing up. Sniff sniff. 

My husband and I are making a point of doing little day trips to different state parks near where we live. We just got back from one last night. We went to Ithaca for a couple of days and visited Robert H. Treman and Taughannock Falls State Parks. What fun! Do I have pictures of the parks? Ha! No. I forgot to bring my phone with me when we were there. I do have a series of funny face photos of my kids though. These were taken in the hotel before we headed out for the day. 

Too bad my kids don't have a sense of humor. :)

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Tombstone Tuesday: Fred Douglas Jones

Fred Douglas Jones
August 13, 1882--February 17, 1915
Bayview Cemetery, Morehead City, NC
1st cousin 3x removed
Image courtesy of Find A Grave

Fred Douglas Jones was the son of William Henry Jones and Emma Shepard and the nephew of my 2nd great grandfather Alexander Hamilton Jones. According to the 1910 census his occupation was a house painter.

Source Citation: Year: 1910; Census Place: Morehead, Carteret, North Carolina; Roll: T624_1095; Page: 21B; Enumeration District: 0002; FHL microfilm: 1375108. Source Information: 1910 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2006.

Fred Jones died at the young age of 32.  His life appears to have been cut short by a medical condition. 

Source Information: North Carolina, Death Certificates, 1909-1975 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2007.Original data: North Carolina State Board of Health, Bureau of Vital Statistics. North Carolina Death Certificates. Microfilm S.123. Rolls 19-242, 280, 313-682, 1040-1297. North Carolina State Archives, Raleigh, North Carolina.

The cause of death was listed as aortic regurgitation. The following definition for the condition I found on the Mayo Clinic website. Here's the link for the page as well:

Aortic valve regurgitation — or aortic regurgitation — is a condition that occurs when your heart's aortic valve doesn't close tightly. Aortic valve regurgitation allows some of the blood that was just pumped out of your heart's main pumping chamber (left ventricle) to leak back into it.
The leakage of blood may prevent your heart from efficiently pumping blood out to the rest of your body. As a result, you may feel fatigued and short of breath. Aortic valve regurgitation can develop suddenly or over decades. Aortic valve regurgitation has a variety of causes, ranging from congenital heart defects to complications of infectious illnesses. Once aortic valve regurgitation becomes severe, surgery is often required to repair or replace the aortic valve.

I wonder if my cousin felt the effects of this condition over the course of his life or if it came on suddenly. I don't know if I will ever know the answer to that question. What I do know is that 1915 was not an easy year for the Jones family.  My 2nd great grandfather, Alexander, would die just three short months after his nephew.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

A Tribute To Fathers

My dad with his dad.

Mom with her dad.

My dad with his grandkids.

My dear sweet husband and our kids.

Happy Father's Day!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Something About Me Saturday: Loving My Daughter's Art Work These Days

These are a couple of my daughter's most recent creations. She absolutely loves coloring and drawing these days. I think these are pretty good for a five year old. To cut down on the clutter around the house I am trying to make a point of taking pictures of her creations and then only keeping some of the really special ones. The second one she made for her father. It's the two of them outside on a pretty day.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Where Were They?!

Image courtesy of Microsoft Office Images

I have genealogy ADD. It's just hard sticking to one family line. There's just too much to search, too much to find, and too many leads to follow. So where do I wind up? Probably not as far along into my research as I would be if I had a gameplan but you know. For now, this is the way I roll. :)

So something made me want to take a look at my paternal grandma's family again. Specifically, I felt like doing a search on for new information on my grandmother Ethel Smith Murrell and her sisters Edna Smith Dix and Bernice "Hilda" Dixon. It was just a complete whim. And guess what? I found something. Before I go into what I found, let me give you a refresher on this side of the family.

My grandmother Ethel Smith Murrell was born in Wilmington, NC on January 6, 1911. According to her birth certificate, her father was listed as John Edward Smith, a carpenter, and mother, Ella Carr. I don't know a lot about my grandmother's family.  In regards to her father, I just know what was found on the birth certificate. Grandma didn't really speak of her childhood when I was growing up and of course, the genealogy bug didn't hit me until long after she died. My great grandma Ella is one of my brick walls. On my post from last year, Now What? What Am I Supposed To Do With That?, I discussed how she changed her name when she became affiliated with the Church of Father Divine. In 1940, I think she was going by the name Wonderful Marshall, which has made it a bit difficult to trace her whereabouts after that time. In 1930 she was listed as married and going by the surname Dixon. Maybe I would have better luck looking for records from when she was younger. I tried a new search for information on Ella and couldn't find anything. Then I tried my grandmother, Ethel. Nothing. Then it was  Edna's turn. Bingo!  Let me explain. 

When I do a search on, I usually pull up records grouped by category. Like this:

From here, I would click on a particular record type and then try to find my person. Well I did that, but I had no luck finding anything. So I decided to click on the records tab on the right side of the screen instead of categories.

This is what came up initially. Then I scrolled down.

Images courtesy of

That's when I saw it.  I forgot about the New York State Census!


Source Citation: New York State Archives; Albany, New York; State Population Census Schedules, 1925; Election District: 42; Assembly District: 03; City: New York; County: New York; Page: 13. Source Information:  New York, State Census, 1925 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2012.

They were living in New York in 1925! Previously, I was under the belief that Ella and her daughters were still living in Philadelphia at this time. My grandmother Ethel and her sister Edna were both born in North Carolina in 1911 and 1918 respectively. According to my dad, the family then moved to Philadelphia where Ella married a Jamaican man with the last name of Dixon and shortly thereafter  Hilda was born. 

Here are some things learned from this record.

1) Don't forget to check those alternate spellings!  Here Ella and her daughter Hilda were listed with the last name Dickson instead of Dixon. 

2) There's an address! The family was residing at 326 west 37th street in New York City. 

Looks like they were living in the garment district.

In a parking lot. 

Okay not in a parking lot. I'm sorry. My sense of humor comes out at the strangest times.

3)  Ethel and Edna were in school. Where did they attend?  I will have to see if I can figure out where black children from this area went to school in 1925.

4) Ella (Dickson) Dixon was a little older than I initially thought. Her age was listed as 43 here. That would make her approximate year of birth 1882.

This is all good stuff indeed, however, I still haven't been able to locate Ella and her daughters in any census prior to 1925.  Where were they?!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Mom Mom and Granddaddy's House

My aunt Janice Murrell and granddaddy Harold Murrell 
sitting on the front steps.

Charlie (my grandpa's dog), me and grandpa.

Oh my goodness. When I started to do this post today, I closed my eyes first and pictured being inside my paternal grandparent's house. I bet that someone of you out there do that. You close your eyes and you're just there.  I usually start with the back of the house, because it was the heart of the home. Whenever my parents, brother, and I would come by and visit we would usually enter by the backdoor through the kitchen. The kitchen had that brown wood paneling that was very popular in the seventies. You know...this stuff.

Yeah, this stuff. Good ole 60's and 70's wood paneling.

Their paneling was actually a little bit darker. You can see it in the picture below. They also had dark wood cabinetry which seemed to make the space even smaller but I didn't mind because this was grandma's zone.  She loved to cook and you would usually be greeted by the smell of fresh rolls as you entered the back door of the house.

Me and my grandma Ethel Murrell
in her kitchen.

In the backyard, I would build forts out of folding lawn chairs and daydream. I would admire the beautiful flowers my grandma had planted all around the house. I learned how to ride my bike in their driveway. There were those conversations I had with my aunt Janice. She lived with her parents. She spoke of how her favorite color was green and how she preferred to sit in the sun. That's when I learned that the sun helped people make vitamin D and that was good for you. I liked the shade and would sit there with paper and pencil. Sometimes, it would be a coloring book and crayons. I would draw countless cards with flowers or grass, rainbows, a sun and M birds in the sky.

This is the envelope to one of the many cards that I made when I was little. 

I would make so much stuff that my mother would buy in bulk loose leaf paper. 

The inside of the card reads, "Dear Mom Mom I hope you will have a very nice day
P.S love and kisses."

Charlie and I in the backyard.

My brother and I at the back door. 

My grandparents lived at 110-11 195 St in St Albans, NY. I found out in the last month that Google Maps  updated their information to now include a ground level view of the house.

It was a relief to find mom mom and granddaddy's house in better shape than my maternal grandmother's home. If you missed that post here's the link: Mappy Monday: Bits And Pieces Of My Childhood.  The fence could use a little paint but hey I'll take it. :)

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