Friday, August 29, 2014

Vegas Trip August 2014

These photos were taken at the Conservatory and Botanical Gardens at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Tombstone Tuesday: William Oliver Jones --1st cousin 3x removed

William O. Jones
Born Dec. 5, 1888
Died Mar. 30, 1952
Bayview Cemetery, Morehead City, NC
Picture taken by Mojo Warren
Image courtesy of Find A Grave.

William Oliver Jones was my maternal 1st cousin 3x removed. He was a son of Louis Oliver Jones and Esther Lincoln Jones and the nephew of my 2nd great grandfather, Alexander Hamilton Jones. He was a lifelong resident of Morehead City, NC.

Monday, August 25, 2014

How A Voice Paints A Picture Of A Time And Place

How A Voice Paints A Picture Of A Time And Place --How Did I Get Here? My Amazing Genealogy Journey

Wow last week was a complete blur! I've just returned to my quiet little corner of the world after a week in Vegas. My husband and I took the kids and had a working vacation. Husband worked and shopped MAGIC Market Week while the kids and I hung out poolside at the Rio All Suites Hotel and rode roller coasters in the Astrodome at Circus Circus. On my last post I showed a picture of me and my kids holding on for dear life while on EL LOCO. If you missed it, here's the link, Wordless Wednesday: Three Faces Of Fear.

At the end of each fun filled day, I would retreat to the comfort of my hotel bed with headphones in place and enjoyed listening to the wonderful voice of Mary Carter Stone. Now you may ask, who the heck is Mary Carter Stone? She's a woman who was born in Riverdale, NC, one of the places where some of my ancestors came from. Before leaving for our trip to Las Vegas, I was doing some random Google searches using the search term "Riverdale, NC" and "history" and I came across two new valuable resources. The first was the Southern Oral History Program Interview Database.  The Southern Oral History Program collects interviews from southerners of various backgrounds. The program also undertakes special projects that provide visibility to the voices of those who have been historically overlooked. This is such a gem of a resource because there are written tape logs that provide a wealth of information. In the case of Mary Carter Stone, there are two logs, one from an interview that took place on May 20, 1995 and another from July 10, 1999. From these logs, I have learned so many more details about what it was like to live in the areas of Harlowe and Riverdale, NC during the 1920's--1940's. I have found others listed in the database from these areas and I have to still go through that information.

Mary Carter Stone intrigued me because she's a descendant of the Pelham family of the Harlowe area. The Pelham name I am familiar with because my 2nd great grand aunt, Margeret "Maggie" Mitchell, was married for a short period of time to an Alonzo Pelham (born about 1870--died March 4, 1936.) From what I can tell so far is that Mary's maternal grandfather Polinke Pelham and Alonzo Pelham were possibly half-siblings, so it's kind of cool finding there's a connection into my family tree here.  

The Southern Oral History Program Interview Database has written logs that give summaries of what was said during the interviews, but what about listening to a full interview you may ask? As you already know from what I wrote earlier in this post, I have been listening to Mary Carter Stone's voice. Where did I find an actual voice recording of her? It was at Duke University Libraries Digital Collections on line.  Here's the link to an interview of Mary that was conducted by Chris Stewart on July 30, 1993:

How wonderful it is to be able to hear a voice that can so clearly paint a picture of a certain time place. This brings me one step closer to knowing what some of my ancestors went through, saw and felt.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: Three Faces Of Fear

For some strange reason,  I thought it would be a good idea to ride a roller coaster on Tuesday.  Actually, it turned out to be a couple of roller coasters. I mean really I should know better. I am not 19 or even 29 anymore. I am 41...almost 42 and my body doesn't respond as well to certain things as it once did. Well with all that being said, I survived and had a wonderfully exhausting time at the Astrodome at Circus Circus in Las Vegas.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

52 Ancestors: #21 -- Amy Brown Harris Paid Her Taxes

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/

 The Daily Journal, April 6, 1889, Page 4

If anything, I know that my maternal 3rd great grandmother, Amy Brown Harris, paid her taxes. The newspaper article highlighted above has her name misspelled, but nonetheless it is her. She paid them again in 1891.

New Berne Weekly Journal, April 9, 1891, Page 2

Amy/Amey Brown was born around 1830 in Jones County, NC based on information found on the U. S. Census and her daughter, Sarah Jane Harris Whitney's death certificate.  I wish I could say I knew more about the circumstances of her birth, but sadly I do not. She died before 1900, so there's no death certificate I can refer to to determine who her parents were. I was hoping that I might be able to find an obituary for her in one of the New Bern newspapers of the time, but so far no such luck. Besides these newspaper clippings, I have found her noted on the 1870 and 1880 census.

Source Information: 1870 United States Federal Census [database on-line].
Source Citation: Year: 1870; Census Place: New Berne Ward 6, Craven, North Carolina; Roll: M593_1132; Page: 418A; 
Image: 289; Family History Library Film: 552631.

Here she is in 1870 with her husband Bristow/Brister Harris and two children, Sarah (my 2nd great grandmother) and Lemuel. It is interesting to note that she and her children were listed as mulatto. This makes me wonder more about her background. Who were her parents? Was her father white and mother a slave? Or perhaps her white ancestor was a little further back on the family tree? Only two children were shown living with her. I can't help but think that there must have been others. How many? Oh if I only knew.

Source Information: and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 1880 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Source Citation: Year: 1880; Census Place: New Berne, Craven, North Carolina; Roll: 959; Family History Film: 1254959; Page: 292C; Enumeration District: 043; Image: 0753.

The Harris family lived on the "Alley With No Name" in 1880. I believe that this may in fact be a reference to what would be later named 10 Brown's Alley.  This is the same property that was referred to "as that certain parcel of land in the city of New Bern, known as lot No. 100" in a deed made out to Annie Harris (Amy), Sarah Jane Harris, and Sarah's then fiance Samuel Whitney on July 10, 1883. To view the whole deed, take a look at my post, Samuel Whitney Makes a Puchase.  Amy had a life estate, with her interest in the property ending with her death.

I imagine that Amy probably contributed whatever she could towards the funds necessary to make this purchase. Perhaps this was Amy's way to ensure her daughter would have a roof over her head when she was gone. 

Was it a coincidence that the street was called Brown's Alley? Lots of questions and not so many answers.

Brown's Alley is now referred to as Hatties Lane in the city of New Bern.

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

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Listen to the Love, Not the Lies

Like a lot of you out there, I am still in a bit of daze over hearing about the death of Robin Williams. Once I heard that it was a suicide, I thought of a poem that I wrote back when I was in high school. 

No one can know the depths of the pain he felt except for him.
If there is anyone out there on the verge of the darkness, please step back from the edge and listen. Listen to the love, not the lies.
Listen to the words of encouragement from friends and family.
Listen to the voices of your children, especially their laughter.
Listen to the strength of your own heart beating. 
Just stop and listen and wait. 
Pick up the phone, go visit someone.
Don't be afraid to ask for help. 

Don't listen to the lies.
Don't listen to the voices in your head that tell you that you're not good enough.
That you are not worthy.
That you are alone.
You're never alone. 
Pray, ask for guidance.
Listen to the love, not the lies.

Rest in peace Robin Williams.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

The Book Of Me: Prompt 45 --Comics and Annuals

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 - Comics and Annuals

Like many children I whiled away hours reading comics and looking forward to the Christmas annuals that "Santa" bought with a degree of regularity.

So this week a trip down memory lane.
Share the names of the comics and annuals - your favorites, special characters, memories
Pop along to a popular on-line auction site and see what the annuals and comics of yesteryear sell for!

I would say that fairly early on I fell in love with reading the Peanuts comic strip. When I was little, it would be the first thing I would read when the Sunday paper arrived. I think I imprinted early on Snoopy because one of the first stuffed animals I ever received was a Snoopy doll.

See the Snoopy doll? Yeah I was brainwashed. :)

I think another thing that sealed the deal on me loving Peanuts was one of the souvenirs I took back home with me when my family and I visited Washington, D.C.  I must have been about 4 years old and I remember we visited the Smithsonian and somewhere along the way we came across a book store. That's when I saw this. 

Charlie Brown's Super Book of Questions and Answers About All Kinds of Animals by Charles M. Schulz

This book made quite the impression on me. I quickly blew through it and was bugging my parents for the next one in the series. Then I started asking for compilation books of the Peanuts comics just like the ones my older brother had. Of course there were the coloring books too. Yeah, you could say I was a bit obsessed.

On occasion I would receive an Archie comic book. I enjoyed them more when they had Betty and Veronica in the story line. Still, I loved my Peanuts more.

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