Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Cherished Family Photos: Bryant Siblings

Bryant siblings
From left to right: Rosa, Ray, Loris, Linwood, Mary, Frank, and Eloise

This is one of those photos I hold dear in my collection. It is one of two that I have that has 7 of the Bryant siblings pictured together. My Bryant family line is one of my maternal lines that came from Morehead City, NC. Morehead City is located in Carteret County and is approximately 36 miles southeast of New Bern, NC.

Image courtesy of Google Maps.

Frank Bryant and Ophelia Jones Bryant
My great grandparents

These were the parents of the 7 shown above. I love analyzing the faces of family members to see how family traits get passed down from one generation to the next. My grandmother, Mary Bryant Harrison Horton, is the one standing 3rd from the right. I'd say she favored slightly more her dad than her mother but she really had a mix of their features. Frank, Eloise, and Loris looked more like their mother, while Ray and Lynwood took after their father more. Rosa I think was a mix of the two like my grandmother.

I love technology these days and what photo editing can do to bring pictures back to life. I used Fotor.com and was able to brighten up the next one a bit.

Check out the before and after.

This picture shows the siblings standing in birth order. It's funny, I don't know why I didn't realize something until now. The numbers that were written on this picture must have been written by my Aunt Rosa. She passed away in 2012 and was last one to die. That's why there isn't a number on her in this photo. The numbers written on the picture correspond to the order in which they died. 

Wow. That must be so hard not having anyone to talk about childhood memories. All those voices gone but only to be heard inside your head and heart until it's your turn to cross over. 

Sunday, September 28, 2014

One Lovely Blog Award --Thank You True A. Lewis

I want to send out a huge thank you out to fellow genealogy blogger and friend True A. Lewis of the wondeful blog NoTe's To MySeLf, for nominating my blog for this award. What a lovely surprise! Thank you True for this. True is a passionate story teller and if you haven't had a chance to read about her genealogy journey please do check out her blog. 

Here are the rules for the One Lovely Blog Award:

1. Thank the person who nominated you and link back to that blog.
2. Share seven things about yourself.
3. Nominate 15 bloggers you admire, or as many as you can think of.

4. Contact your bloggers to let them know you have tagged them for The One Lovely Blog Award.

Okay, let's see ...share seven things about myself.

1) I'm a stay at home mom who loves watching her babies growing up and oh man they are growing up way to fast. They are my joy and my heart my boy and girl and I am so very proud of them.

2) Before becoming a mom I worked in retail sales for several years and then my last job out of the house was working for a call center that handled collections. Those years were an incredible time of self discovery. I worked with people of all different backgrounds and ages. It really just made it ever more clear to me that we are all just people trying to do the best we can in this life. At least that is the way it is for most of us. 

3) One of my favorite things to do is to watch silly nonsense on Youtube with my best friend.

4) We just signed up for Netflix two months ago and oh man my life will never be the same again. LOL. 

5) I can't live without coffee. Good thing I married a man who sells the stuff. :) He's a wonderful husband and father too. 

6) I love me some cake, like I mentioned in my last post. If you missed it, here's the link:  Something About Me Saturday: I Have A Thing For Cake.

7) I am so very thankful that I started blogging and now am connected to this wonderful online genealogy family. Thank you to everyone who's read and supported my blog. 

Now I've chosen 7 blogs that I'd like to send a special shout out to and nominate for the One Lovely Blog Award. By no means does this include all the blogs I read and follow. Please I don't want anyone to be upset if you don't see yours listed. 

True, I know you were already nominated but hey girl, I love your blog so I am sending some love back your way and nominating you anyway. Ha! :)  

NoTe's To MySeLf by True A. Lewis
Root Digger Genealogy by Yvette Porter Moore 
Finding Eliza by Kristin Cleage
Between the Gate Posts by LindaRe
Southern Greens by Mark Green
Griot Gram Genography by Victori Bass
37 Paddington

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Something About Me Saturday: I Have A Thing For Cake.

Cake can't solve problems. It isn't the answer to world peace. It isn't particularly healthy for you. It is the thing I gravitate towards however, when I am looking for a boost or a special treat. I love me some cake especially super sugary sweet birthday cake. If I want the full effect, even it isn't my birthday I might bust out a couple of birthday cake candles and light them on top of a honking piece of cake. Then I'll blow the candles out and breath in the smell of smoke and candle wax. Then it's on. I'm chowing down on simple sweet sugary goodness. Ahhh. Cake. I think I have to make a trip to the store now, excuse me. :)

Here's a piece I chowed down on last week. Heaven!

Friday, September 26, 2014

52 Ancestors: What Became of Lemuel T. Harris?

You could say I have fallen behind a bit on the 52 Ancestors Challenge. Well, life happens sometimes so I've decided to do the best I can with posting. If you aren't familiar with the challenge put forth by Amy Johnson Crow of the blog No Story Too Small, click

Lemuel T. Harris was one those ancestors who got away. His life for the most part remains a mystery to me because he was one of those ancestors who ventured out away from his birthplace. I have a special love for my ancestors who stayed put because there is so much more information available on them. I am blessed because I have been able to locate many records on my Craven, Hyde, and Carteret County, NC ancestors. Lemuel was a man on a mission though, and you can't stop a man on a mission. Who was he? He was the brother of my 2nd great grandmother Sarah Jane Whitney Harris.

He was born around 1867 most likely in New Bern though I don't have any documentation on that. His parents were a Bristow Harris and Amy Brown Harris both of whom I've written about previously on this blog. If you click on their name's you can read more about each of them. 

Anyway, here's the lowdown on Lemuel.

I can trace him to the 1870 and 1880 Federal censuses in New Bern residing with his sister and parents. The oral history that was passed down to me from my grand aunt Carrie from her mother was that my aunt Carrie's grandmother, Sarah Jane Harris Whitney had to go to Boston in regards to her brother's things when he died. Now my 2nd great grandmother Sarah Harris Whitney died in September of 1937 so I know this trip took place prior to that time. 
So with that information in mind, I looked at city directories and the Federal Censuses for Boston, MA for more information. A few clues turned up.

The first thing I noticed was a Boston city directory listing for a Lemuel Harris from 1886. He's the only Lemuel Harris listed which was helpful. 

Source Information:  Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories,
 1821-1989 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011.
Boston, Massachusetts City Directory, Published by Sampson, Murdock & Co. 

I continued looking through directories to see if I could build a case to figure out if this was my Lemuel Harris.  Here are the results of what I found from the years 1886--1931.  The addresses I could figure out, I plotted on a map to get a sense of the area this Lemuel called home.

Images courtesy of Google Maps.

This is a closeup of area noted with purple 
balloon on the first map.

Closeup of area marked with pink balloon from the first map.

A closer view of the area labeled with the green bubble.

Here are the addresses I found for Lemuel Harris:

1886                       45 Melrose St
1889--1890            50 Melrose St
1894                       35 Church St 
1895                       33 Winchester 
1897--1899            18 Wheeler St
1900                       41 Winchester St 
1903--1904, 1906  67 Corning Box (not able to locate at this time)
1909--1910, 1917  18 Melrose St
1921                       25 Claremont Park
1922                       15 Claremont Park
1925--1931            30 Claremont Park

For all of these years, this Lemuel Harris' occupation was listed as a waiter with the exception of the years 1903 and 1904 when it was noted as a porter. These appear to me to be rooming houses because on a number of the directory entries the abbreviation (rms) was noted next to the address.

I found only one entry for a Lemuel T. Harris listed on the 1930 Federal Cenus for Boston.

Source Information:  Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2002.Source Citation: Year: 1930; Census Place: Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts; Roll: 945; Page: 2A; Enumeration District: 0132; Image: 169.0; FHL microfilm: 2340680.

This does appear to be the same Lemuel. The census shows him listed as a "lodger" living with the family of Everton L Morrison. Everton Morrison was a prominent mortician in the community according to a newspaper article I found online. You can check out that article here.  I took a look at census records for Everton and found that his occupation was that of a waiter in 1920. He and Lemuel I bet met through work. 

Important things to take note of:

Age: 62 approximate birth date abt. 1867-8
Birthplace: North Carolina 
Birth place of mother and father:  North Carolina
Occupation: Waiter
Industry: Party

Party? Hmm. We'll get back to that later. Okay so this where it gets interesting. I tried Googling Lemuel Harris and found two newspaper articles. The first was from the Boston Daily Globe dated July 12, 1890.  Apparently, Lemuel was out with friends one evening and was refused service. He gave testimony on the behalf of his friend, Robert P. Seales who filed the complaint about the incident.

I learned from this article that Lemuel Harris in 1890 was working somewhere called "Point of Pines" and was renting a room at 50 Melrose St. 

It turns out that Point of Pines is a beach area located approximately 8 miles north east of Boston that is considered part of the city of Revere, MA. I found the following information on the City of Revere's website quite helpful:

In 1881, a company of prominent Massachusetts men, among them the ancestors of former United States Senators Leverett Saltonstall and Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr. formed a company and purchased 200 acres of land in the Point of Pines. They invested $500,000 in a complete summer resort with hotels, bandstand, racetrack, amusements, piers and bathhouses. They provided gaslight illumination through beautiful arches above the walks and driveways, using gas jets and special globes. Over 2,000 people were present at opening ceremonies for the Pines Hotel, considered the largest on the Atlantic coast.

So perhaps Lemuel worked at the Pine's Hotel or one of the other establishments that existed in that community back then. Looking over all the different places Lemuel rented over the years, I get the impression steady work was hard to come by in his occupation.  He had to have been someone who could adapt quickly to change.

A book called "The Negro Wage Earner" by Lorenzo J. Greene and Carter G. Woodson, provided me with some insight on decline in work opportunities for African American waiters from 1890 into the early 1900's.  With the influx of white immigrants into the country at that time, hotels and restaurants transitioned from hiring black waiters to white. It must have been hard on Lemuel, constantly having to move where the work was.

So let's go back to the 1930 census where it showed Lemuel was a waiter who worked in the "party" industry. What could that mean?

Here's the other newspaper article I came across.

Pittsburgh Courier November 5, 1927

 Lemuel Harris was a popular clubman. Hmm. Now does that mean he was a promoter of some sort or that he worked in clubs as a waiter? Not sure. I'll have to keep digging to get some more clarity. 

In the meantime, I will be sending off a request for a death certificate for this Lemuel Harris to find out for sure if indeed he's mine. Let's see what I can find out.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

The Book Of Me: Prompt 48 --Perfect Day Out

At the start of our walk near the entrance of
the Binghamton University Nature Preserve

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: http://www.anglers-rest.net/book-of-me-written-by-you.html

This week's prompt is - Perfect Day Out

Cast your mind back to a day when you experienced the perfect day out.
Describe the setting
Who you were with?
Why were you there?
What or who made it special
How does the memory of that day make you feel?

It started as a simple walk in the woods last Sunday. It was beautiful day filled with bright sunshine, cool air, and with just a hint of breeze. The family and I wanted to get out and take in some nature. Sometimes nature communicates to you on a level that can't fully be put into words. It just has to be experienced. 

Flowers my daughter gave me.

While on the other side of the lake, I started to find myself looking up at the forest canopy. I felt at moments transported back in time to a place in Craven County, NC called Riverdale. My Mitchell family line came from this wooded area in eastern North Carolina. Small family farms speckled the landscape but mainly there was the forest. My 3rd great grandparents owned land there, raised children, and created a homeplace. My 2nd great grandmother Rosa Mitchell Jones was the only child to leave those woods and she settled eventually in Morehead City. What was her motivation for leaving? Was she following her husband, who's family already lived in Morehead.? Was it for job opportunities? Or was she tired of looking up and seeing only small bits of sky in between the branches of green. Maybe those branches were holding her back from her own dreams.  Sometimes, I find myself imagining being present during some conversation that took place long ago between Rosa and her mother Annie Taylor Mitchell. Rosa turns to her mother at the end and says, "Momma, I just got to get out of these woods."

Then I see my daughter on the path in front of me and I am back in 2014. I breathe in the fresh and feel a heightened sense of satisfaction. On days like this, if you allow yourself to be present you may be able to open a door to the past. 

Heading back to civilization.

I love seeing this man smile.

A girl on the move.

From present to past and past to present.
 A perfect day out can merge the memories of both together.

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