Friday, February 28, 2014

The Book Of Me: Prompt 22 --Daily Routine

Image courtesy of  jesadaphorn /

If you are not familiar with this wonderful project that was created by Julie Goucher of the Angler's Rest blog, please refer to this link:

This week's prompt is - Daily Routine(s)

Do you have a daily routine?
Did your parents? Grandparents?
Why did they (or you ) have this routine?
Where did this routine take place?
Structure - Is this important to you? or your family?

I am a person who usually likes doing stuff in order but I have to say, I don't feel like writing about this particular prompt at this time. Now I could try I suppose and get something out but in the end I don't think it would come out right. So for now I am going to skip this one and go on to Prompt 22. That's not to say I won't return to this one at a later time.  

Besides, Prompt 23 is just looking way too intriguing to me right now. 

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

52 Ancestors: Week #5 -- My Great Grandfather Frank Linwood Bryant

Frank Linwood Bryant
My great grandfather

I am participating in the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge put forth by Amy Johnson Crow of the blog No Story Too Small. If you aren't familiar with the challenge be sure to check out her blog.

This week's ancestor is my great grandfather Frank Linwood Bryant. He was the son of my maternal 2nd great grandmother Jonas Bryant and according to his World War I Draft Registration Card was born October 6, 1890 in Morehead City, NC.  One of the my brick walls on my family tree is that I do not know who Frank Bryant's father was.  His mother Jonas never married and had only one other child, Mamie Cole Bryant Johnson, who I featured here on this blog last week. I don't know who Mamie's father was either. The siblings may have had the same father or different fathers. I am still trying to figure this out. 

One of the things that I was told while growing up was that Frank had an angry streak in him. He was a functioning member of society while at the same time he liked to hit the bottle. To my family members who read this who may have a negative reaction seeing this written down, all I have to say is, it is what it is. We all have dark and light within our spirits.If we don't recognize and acknowledge this within ourselves or others it does nobody any good.  So with that being said Frank was known to have a temper and to at times be abusive. 

This has made me wonder, Why was he so angry? What were his demons? Did he know who his father was and had to keep this secret?  Or perhaps he was just born mean?

Maybe someday, someone who knows who his father was will see this post. Perhaps not.  At least I can share what I do know about his life. 

He resided in the home of his grandmother Caroline Ellison Bryant on Avery St in Morehead City, until he married his childhood sweetheart Ophelia Jones. At least, I get the impression they were childhood sweethearts from the 1900 Federal Census record.

Source Information: 1900 United States Federal Census [database on-line].
 Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2004.

You can see on this census that the families were enumerated on the same census page just 5 households apart. Morehead City was and still is a small town. They must have know each other for quite sometime before they tied the knot.

The couple was married on November 3, 1911 in Morehead City. Here’s a copy of their marriage license:

Image courtesy of the State Archives of North Carolina.

Frank Bryant was 21 and his bride Ophelia Jones was 18 at the time of their wedding. An interesting thing to take note of on the wedding license is that Frank is listed as the son of Caroline Bryant, his grandmother. It gives me the sense that Caroline may have done most of the raising of her grandson and not his birth mother Jonas Bryant.  

Frank worked his early adult years oystering but by 1917 was employed by prominent Morehead City business man Charles Slover Wallace. If you would like to learn more about Charles Wallace check out an older post of mine:  Military Monday: Frank Bryant's World War I Draft Registration Card Provided An Interesting Find!  He initially worked as a butler in the home of Mr. Wallace and then later by 1930 his occupation had changed to chauffeur for the same family. 

Frank Bryant had with his wife Ophelia Jones Bryant 7 children: 

Frank Mitchell Bryant (March 6, 1912-- November 1964)
Lynwood Hamilton Bryant (January 8, 1915--September 20, 1976)
Loris Melba Bryant Gwyn (January 2, 1918--December 14, 1987)
Reginald Ray Bryant (December 29, 1919--October 7, 1999)
Mary Cole Bryant Harrison Horton --my grandmother (July 22, 1922--August 7, 2001) 
Rosa Nezabeth Bryant Sanders (September 17, 1925--January 10, 2012)
Eloise Thompson Bryant Grigsby (July 5, 1927--May 9, 1999)

Frank Bryant also had a relationship with a woman named Caretta Bell while married to my great grandmother Ophelia that resulted in the birth of a child. Her name was Annie Marie Bryant Barnes (April 1, 1925--April 7, 1993.) This child I didn’t know about until I attended my Aunt Rosa’s funeral a couple years ago and saw her name listed on the funeral program.   The only picture I have of Annie  I featured on my post, Who Was Annie Marie Bryant Barnes?

I know Frank must have had some redeeming qualities about him. I just can’t help but feel a little bit of heartache for my great grandma Ophelia because of this. 

Ophelia Bryant passed away on February 20, 1939 after fighting a courageous battle with cancer.

Frank went on to marry again. His second wife was a Sylvia Shephard Bryant.  The two of them never had any children together. Like his first wife, Sylvia was also a school teacher.

Frank Bryant in his later years.

My great grandfather died on December 20, 1953.  My mother told me that the year that he died she kind of had to hold down Christmas up in New York where she and her brother and parents were living. She played Santa for her younger brother while her mother Mary returned to Morehead City for the funeral.

He's buried at Bayview Cemetary in Morehead City, North Carolina alongside both of his wives.

52 Ancestors:  Week #5 --Great Grandfather Frank Linwood Bryant --Morehead City

Saturday, February 22, 2014

The Book Of Me: Prompt 21 --Hobbies

If you are not familiar with this wonderful project that was created by Julie Goucher of the Angler's Rest blog, please refer to this link:

This week's prompt is - Hobbies

Childhood hobbies & collections
Did you share a "passion" with a family member or friend?
Tell us about it - How, why, where
Do you still have any old hobbies - the ones that have been with you since childhood?

Do you still have those childhood collections?

One of my favorite ways to spend my time when I was really young was to make cards for family members. I think I did this practically every day. My paternal grandparents would babysit for me and my brother. My grandfather would pick us up from school and as soon as I got in the door of their house I would get to work making new cards. Not only for birthdays or holidays, I would make cards just wishing folks a nice day.  What's really cool for me to see these days is that my little girl has seemed to pick up this hobby too. I guess it is in the genes. 

Here's an example of one I made for my Mom Mom Murrell (paternal grandmother).

I remember I used to help my mother cut out coupons for grocery shopping. My first collection arose from this activity. I started collecting the coupons she didn't need in a large envelope of my own. Week after week went by and that envelope would get fatter and fatter. Finally the envelope became so large, I decided to count out how many I had. I had reached over a thousand coupons!  Why? I don't know. It was just something to do I suppose.

While growing up on Long Island in the early 1980's, collecting stickers was all the rage. On weekends, I would go to the mall with my mom on the hunt for the latest Toots, Lisa Frank, or Scratch -N- Sniff stickers. I had a photo album that I would place them in and arrange them just so. I decided to Google 1980's sticker collections and came across images that took me right back to a time when I would sit on the front steps of my house and trade stickers with my friends. We'd admire each other's new acquisitions and try to make the best deals possible. It was a lot of fun collecting them. I think I became bored with the hobby sometime around the end of the eighth grade.

I took up fencing when I attended college.  It was a great way to stay in shape.  I liked doing something physical that involved strategy. Also, I thought it was cool to be involved in something that not a lot of people knew how to do. In fencing, there are three weapons foil, epee, and sabre. I fenced mostly foil but during my senior year, I did a little epee too.  A couple of years back I told my son about how I used to fence in college and he got the biggest kick out of it. Here's the link to that post if you missed it:  Looking Back While Looking Forward.

I dabbled in painting when I was in my twenties. I painted mostly faces or whatever seemed to emerge as I moved the paint around on my canvas.  I bought some supplies last month so I could get back into painting again but the supplies are still sitting tucked in the bag I brought them home in. Going to make a point of it this week to pull those paints out and actually use them.

Those coupons and stickers that I used to collect are long gone. I still have the pictures I painted back in the day hanging in a hallway of my house.  Here are a few.

Friday, February 21, 2014

My Daughter Has The Biggest Heart!

This picture drawn by my daughter made my week! 
I love the caption, "Love is a Hart." 
Thank you sweetie :)

Monday, February 17, 2014

52 Ancestors: Week #4 --Mamie Cole Bryant Johnson Obituary

I am participating in the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge put forth by Amy Johnson Crow of the blog No Story Too Small. If you aren't familiar with the challenge be sure to check out her blog.

I am continuing on with sharing about my Bryant ancestors. So far I have shared about my 3rd great grandparents, Caroline Ellison Bryant and Henry Bryant and their daughter Jonas Bryant.  This post shows the obituary of Jonas's daughter Mamie Cole Bryant Johnson.  My mother recalls that my great grandfather's sister was usual referred to as "Sis Mame."  She was born December 11, 1891 in Morehead City, NC. She appears listed on the 1910 Federal Census listed as Mary in the household of her grandmother, Caroline Bryant.

Source Information: 1910 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2006.

Sometime between 1910 and 1920 she married a Robert H. Johnson. I believe she moved with him and spent time in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Mamie's mother, Jonas Bryant, passed away in October 1927. In Jonas's will she left Mamie her house and a lot along with all her furniture. You can see a copy of Jonas Bryant's will in my post The Earrings. Mamie returned to Morehead City by 1930 and lived in the home she had inherited from her mother. 

Here's the census for 1940:

Source Information: 1940 United States Federal Census [database on-line].
 Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2012.

Her occupation was listed as a maid who worked in a private home. A couple of years ago, I learned from a conversation that I had with Mamie's daughter, Jonas Barco, that she worked for the family of Charles Slover Wallace, the same family my great grandfather Frank Bryant worked for.

I know of three of Mamie's children.

Frank Lluellen Johnson (b. February 11, 1926 --d. January 3, 1993)
Jonas Johnson Barco (b. 1932--)
Jesse A Johnson (b. May 18, 1918 --Mar 9, 2003)

One of the nice things I learned after reviewing the information I had on "Sis Mame" is she and my maternal grandmother shared the same middle name, "Cole." I don't know if this name has some special significance in our family. Guess I'll be chatting with my mom tomorrow to see if she knows something. 

Saturday, February 15, 2014

The Book Of Me: Prompt 20 --The Feeling Of Home

If you are not familiar with this wonderful project that was created by Julie Goucher of the Angler's Rest blog, please refer to this link:

Prompt 20: The Feeling of Home

This week’s prompt is The Feeling of Home

Home means different things to different people, so this week we are going to explore what it means to us:

What does it feel like?
How do you recognize it?
What makes it home -people, place, time.

1) What does it feel like?

Here's a list of words that come to mind when I think of the feeling of home:


It's a place where I can be the truest form of myself.

2) How do you recognize it?

You know it in your heart. Your senses know it. Touch, sight, sound, taste and smell are engaged and aware of it.  For example, it could be the loving touch from a parent or the smell and taste of a food cooked from a family recipe that brings about that feeling of home.  

3) What makes it home --people, place, time.

For me, home is about the people I am with.  Home is where my husband is. It is a place where I am greeted by warm snuggles and giggles from my children.  It is also any time or space I can share with my parents and brother.  They are my connection to my childhood. They are my bridge from then to now. I feel at home when I am laughing and hanging out with my best friend. Lastly, there is that far away place called home that houses all the memories of people who have passed away. I miss them. I miss them all. My grandparents, aunts, uncles, and a few cousins are there. The music playing in the background is from the late 1970's. The aromas in the kitchen are calling my name.  There are loud grown up voices telling stories about things that I don't fully understand yet mixed in with lots of laughter.  High tech means having rabbit ears for your television set. Somewhere in that house there is a rotary phone. There's no internet, iphone, or ipad. There's just I or me rather and all those memories that I wish sometimes weren't just memories. That they were a place that I could go to. Then I remember that their home is in me. All I have to do is remember.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: Morehead City Postcards

I have been enjoying collecting postcards from places where my ancestors lived for some time now. Morehead City on the eastern coast of North Carolina is one of those places.  Recently, I found that I had so many postcards that I started an album to show them off in. Sometimes I find myself turning the pages and daydreaming about how things might have been. Here's a few to start. I will probably feature some more from time to time. 

A couple of pages from the album I started.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

52 Ancestors: Week 3 --A Woman Named Jonas Bryant

I am participating in the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge put forth by Amy Johnson Crow of the blog No Story Too Small.  If you aren't familiar with the challenge be sure to check out her blog.

I have alway been curious about the origin of my maternal 2nd great grandmother's name, Jonas Bryant.  Why the name Jonas? I thought that was typically a man's name. It would seem to me that for her to be named this, there must be some sort of family connection, but to who? Jonas Bryant's parents were Henry Bryant and Caroline Ellison Bryant who I featured already in the 52 Ancestors Prompt Series.  I know who Caroline's siblings were and none of them were named Jonas. Could the name have been of significance to her father Henry?

From Wikipedia I found this information regarding the meaning of the name Jonas.

The name "Jonas" has several meanings, and the meanings vary depending upon the several origins of the name. The Hebrew version of the name means Dove; a symbol of Peace. From this it is assumed that the name Jonas means a peaceful being. The Biblical version of the name includes the Hebrew meaning, but additionally means someone who is a 'destroyer' or 'he who oppresses'. As a variation of Jonah, it can be considered to mean 'accomplishing', and a 'gift from God'.

I find it interesting the dichotomy of meaning. On one hand...a "symbol of peace" but on the other "someone who is as destroyer." I wonder if this internal dynamic existed within Jonas's personality?

What I do know about Jonas is this.  She appears to have been the oldest out of the children born to Henry and Caroline Bryant. The 1870 census showed her age at the time was 3 years old, making her date of birth some time in 1867.  She was born in Beaufort, Carteret, NC along with her sister Sidney. She made the move to Morehead City with her family by 1880. It appears that during her lifetime she worked as a maid or cook for various private families. I know her son Frank Bryant, my great grandfather, worked for Charles Slover Wallace of the area so I wouldn't be surprised to find out that she had worked for Wallace family as well. 

Jonas Bryant was the mother of my great grandfather, Frank L Bryant, and his sister Mamie Cole Bryant Johnson.  She may have also assisted with raising William Bryant, the son of her sister Rose who I believe died prior to 1900.  All the Bryant family members just mentioned resided together with the matriarch of the family Caroline Bryant on Avery St in Morehead City, NC.  

My 3rd great grandmother Caroline Bryant died on August 1, 1920. In my post The Ellisons and Bryants --Part one, I featured a deed that showed the transfer of ownership of Caroline Bryant's house to her daughter Jonas. For the purchase price of $45.00 and "their affection" she was able to have a home and a sense of security. 

Jonas Bryant died on October 18, 1927. According, to her death certificate, the cause of death was due to breast cancer.  She was a tough lady because she had apparently had an initial diagnosis of cancer in her right breast 2 years and 18 months before her death and had a "radical operation" which I take to mean mastectomy. The disease came back in her left breast and sadly was the cause of her demise. 

Source Information: North Carolina, Death Certificates, 
1909-1975 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2007.

To see Jonas Bryant's will, check out my post The Earrings.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

The Book Of Me: Prompt 19 --Who Do You Miss Most?

If you are not familiar with this wonderful project that was created by Julie Goucher of the Angler's Rest blog, please refer to this link:

This week’s prompt is Who Do You Miss Most?

Having just gone through the Festive season our thoughts turn to those not with us.

Whether that is people who live elsewhere and that we will not see over the festive season
People that have passed away.
Who do you miss?
Why do you miss them?
Them as an individual
Something specific to them.

Talk about a tough question. I think the answer changes day to day based on the circumstances that particular day brings. I do have to say that I often find myself missing the hugs and kisses that my grandmothers would give.  When I was little I would call each of them Mom Mom. I had three grandmother’s so that would be three Mom Moms.  That sense of comfort that a hug from Mom Mom would bring is what I miss most when I am feeling down.  I miss the sound of my Grandmother Horton saying my name in her soft but husky voice, "Awnn-dree-uhh, come here baby."

Mom Mom Horton and Me

A hug from Mom Mom Horton (my maternal grandmother) would leave me feeling cozy, cherished, safe and above all…loved.

Mom Mom Horton was all about the hugs and snuggles for me but Mom Mom Murrell (my paternal grandmother) and her love was more about her daily presence. She was a constant in my life when I was young because she and my granddaddy would babysit for my brother and I after school.  Her love was steady...assured, ever present and was also about the --FOOD!  Collard greens, sweet potato soufflĂ©, corn pudding, any kind of homemade cake you could imagine.  My mouth is watering right now as I write this. That blessed woman could cook her butt off. Thanksgiving has never been quite the same since she passed on.  I miss her kitchen. It was my home away from home.

Then there was Mom Mom Harrison. She was my maternal grandfather’s second wife.   I miss that smile that would greet me when I came over to visit. She always took the time out to listen to what was going on in my life. I remember one year I recited a poem to her for her birthday that I found in my Highlight’s magazine. It was about the joy of St Patrick’s day and it seemed appropriate since she was born on that day. I was so nervous but I managed to get out all the words that I had memorized.  The smile and hug she gave to me that day made me feel like a million bucks.  Her smile was like sunshine and I miss that.

Gosh, I miss the comfort of them. Grandmothers are comfort. Grandmother's are guardians. Grandmothers are love.

Friday, February 7, 2014

The Kelleher Men

My son is pictured in the center then clockwise is his father Tom Kelleher,
his grandfather, John "Jack" Kelleher, great grandfather, Joseph Raymond Kelleher, great great grandfather, John J Kelleher, and great great great grandfather, Dennis Kelleher.

If you missed my post from yesterday, here's the link:  Thankful Thursday: So Thankful To Be Able To Create A Treasure Like This! I have been playing around with making collages using an online service called Fotor Photo Collage.  The collage I made yesterday featured my daughter's maternal lineage. I didn't want my son to feel left out so here are the Kelleher men.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Thankful Thursday: So Thankful To Be Able To Create A Treasure Like This!

Pictured center is my daughter and then rounding clockwise you have me, my mother,
 grandmother, Mary Bryant Horton, great grandmother, Ophelia Jones Bryant,
  and great great grandmother, Rosa Mitchell Jones.

I am pleased as punch with myself for just finishing this collage! I used a free online service called Fotor Photo Collage and uploaded my images into one of their templates and Presto! There you have it. Oooh I am excited. I have a new toy to play with.

The Book Of Me: Prompt 18 --First Present Or Gift

If you are not familiar with this wonderful project that was created by Julie Goucher of the Angler's Rest blog, please refer to this link:

This week’s prompt is First Present or Gift

Can you remember it?
Who bought it for you?
Do you still have it?
Pictures or a description
Other special gifts?

For this prompt, I referred to my baby book for answers. I am so glad my mom took the time to fill out these pages. No I can't remember receiving these things but I think it is really cool to look at who were the people who were there to share in the joy of my parents new arrival --me! :)

Gifts To Welcome Baby

List gifts and from whom

Grandmother Horton -mattress & bumper for crib

Grandmother & dad Murrell outfit to come home for the hospital in. Grandfather & Mother Vadnie, bunting yellow & baby carry seat.
Aunt Rosa, crib sheets & blankets.
Aunt Janice, wool lacy pink dress
Margie Roachford - white wool dress & tights 
Sandra Thomas - pink all in one outfit
Alan Cheeseman - blue & white dress
Miss Westly - green & white blanket
Granddaddy Cecil, - dacron blanket also could be made into a sleeping bag.
2 comb & brush sets

First Christmas

sweater set from Aunt Edna

pink and blue outfit from Aunt Janice
mobile for crib, two outfits Mom Mom Murrell
mobile and red and white outfit -Mom Mom Horton
Mrs. Caroline Dudley, stuffed toys & dolls
blue dress, Aunt Eloise, red & white outfit -Pierce

I am glad I looked over my baby book again. There's a name listed Alan Cheeseman that might be a connection to my paternal grandfather. I think I remember my father telling me about "The Cheesemans" who were friends or cousins to my grandfather who came from Barbados. I will have to ask dad about them. Time to make a phone call :)

Seeing the names listed above certainly makes my heart ache for all those who have passed on.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

52 Ancestors: Week #2 --Henry Bryant

I am participating in the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge put forth by Amy Johnson Crow of the blog No Story Too Small. If you aren't familiar with the challenge be sure to check out her blog.

It seemed logical to continue sharing about my Bryant ancestors since I started the challenge with a post about my 3rd great grandmother, Caroline Ellison Bryant.  If you missed that post here's the link:  52 Ancestors In 52 Weeks #1 Caroline Ellison Bryant

Henry Bryant was my 3rd great grandfather and the husband of Caroline Ellison Bryant. According to the death certificate, of one of his children, it appears he was also from Beaufort County, NC, like his wife. I believe he was born sometime around 1830 based on the data I found on the Federal Census. 

On the 1870 and 1880 Censuses, Henry's occupation is noted as a laborer. Now I have a hunch that my 3rd great grandfather may have been associated with the Atlantic Hotel when it was in Beaufort and then later when it was rebuilt in Morhead City. To see pictures of the rebuilt Atlantic Hotel, check out my post, The Atlantic Hotel In Morehead City. Now why do I think he may have been associated with the hotel?  Well this is why.

Source Information: 1870 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: 

This is the 1870 census which shows the Bryant family and enumerated just after them was the family of a George Taylor. George Taylor was a wealthy merchant of the area and was also the resident manager of the famous hotel in 1872, according to an entry I found in Virginia Pou Doughton's book, "The Atlantic Hotel."  I believe George Taylor actually was affiliated with the hotel much earlier.  

A man by the name of Captain Josiah Pender built the Atlantic Hotel in 1859 along the waterfront in Beaufort.  That same Josiah Pender I found listed on the 1860 census on page 23 of the Beaufort, Carteret, NC listing.

Source Information: 1860 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. 
Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2009. 

On the 1860 census, I found George Taylor on page 22 --one page before Josiah Pender. 

George was listed as G. W. Taylor here and his occupation was noted as "farmer & hotel keeper." I can't help but think that George Taylor was already associated with the Atlantic Hotel. These two individuals residing near each seems to me to be more than a coincidence, but I could be wrong.

The original Atlantic Hotel was completely destroyed by a hurricane that hit the coast of North Carolina in the early morning hours of August 18, 1879.  It was decided rather quickly that the new hotel would be built in Morehead City, NC so it would be less susceptible to damage due to storms.

This brings us back to Henry Bryant and why I think he may have been associated with this particular enterprise. On June 21, 1880, the new hotel opened and guess where the Bryant family had relocated to when you check the census of that year, that's right --Morehead City.  It would make sense that the family would move to where the opportunity for work presented itself. 

Image courtesy of Toa55/

Where there's opportunity, there's hope.

Henry Bryant died sometime before 1900 because his wife Caroline was listed as widowed on the census of that year. Whatever it was that Henry did to earn a living and take care of his family, it looks like he was successful at it. I wish I knew more about him, but at least I do know where he is at rest.

Image courtesy of Find A Grave
Bayview Cemetery, Morehead City, NC

Henry Bryant's grave is located just to the left of his wife's in this picture. Caroline Bryant's stone has so far survived. Unfortunately, I can't say the same for my 3rd great grandfather's stone but at least there is still a stone slab marking the place where he is buried.

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