Wednesday, December 31, 2014

The Book Of Me: Prompt 62 --Is Blood Thicker Than Water?

The Book Of Me: Is Blood Thicker Than Water?  --How Did I Get Here? My Amazing Genealogy Journey

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:

We all have them.

Family that are like friends
Family that are like acquaintances
Friends that are like family
Friends that are new, but seem old ones!
Family members that are like strangers
Emotional links to generations past?
Does it matter how we feel about the friends and family we have?
Is it a case of when the times comes family comes first?
Define good friends
How do you distinguish friends -
long term friends
does it not matter

Does it matter how we feel about the friends and family we have?

I can only speak for myself. Other folks may feel the same or it may be different for them. I hold my family in my heart. Family when I was a child was a connected group linked by blood and proximity. I was lucky. I was able to see and get to know quite a few of my blood relatives while growing up. The sense of connection was fostered by family gatherings. There was usually a birthday party or holiday gathering that would bring the family together on a regular basis. As a result, I have many wonderful memories of folks who have since crossed over. I think when we know our family blood lines we gain a better sense of self. I was given roots to grow into the person I am now.

Blood isn't the only basis for having a strong connection.  I think proximity is necessary to foster strong relationships. This is why I think as we grow older and move away from the family "homeplace" we take in friends who become family. The proximity fosters a relationship. It allows people time and space to grow together and learn from one another. 

Now that we live in the internet age, we have virtual friends. These are folks from all walks of life and from all parts of the world. I think that friendships that develop online can evolve into relationships that can become quite intimate. Online communication has a sense of anonymity that can lead to people being more open to sharing their innermost thoughts. I think virtual friendships are in general a great addition to the support networks we have in our lives.

Is it a case of when the times comes family comes first?

I would like to think that I have a network of support established that would not make me choose one over the other. 

Well folks, it's time for me to admit that I am not going to get all caught up on these blog prompts before the New Year. That's okay though. At least I am a little closer to the finish line. I'd like to wish everyone much health and happiness in 2015!

The Book Of Me: Prompt 61 -- How Do You Measure Success?

The Book Of Me:  Prompt 61 --How Do You Measure Success?   How Did I Get Here? My Amazing Genealogy Journey

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 - How do you measure success?

Can success be measured?
Medals or Trophies
Money or reward
Personal Knowledge
How others view you?

I think success can be measured but I think each person measures success differently. My concern in this life is how I define success. 

If I set forth goals and am able to achieve them while maintaining my integrity, I consider that a success.

Status is directly linked to the ego. I am now much less concerned with things that are considered status symbols. I am more concerned with how something makes me feel nowadays versus how something looks.  Well, that's not entirely true. I do like nice clothes but the reasons are not because how I think others will perceive me but rather how it boosts my spirit. If I think I look nice then I feel better about myself and therefore, I feel more confident. 

In regards to money, success to me means that my family and I are content and we have the things we need to live a good quality of life. I don't have to have the biggest house or most expensive car. I just like to have the ability to get from point a to point b and have enough space to live in so that my husband, kids and I aren't barking at each other constantly. 

In this life, I want to keep learning as much as I can and for as long as I can. I love learning new things and different ways of thinking.

The Book Of Me:  Prompt 61 --How Do You Measure Success? How Did I Get Here? My Amazing Genealogy Journey

Finally, if success were a destination, then I would say I have already arrived. These folks pictured here are how I gauge my success in life. I look to there faces and check in to see that they are happy, healthy, and growing bright in spirit and mind. This is where I find my joy. Oh yeah, I forgot I'm leaving someone out.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

The Book Of Me: Prompt 60 --Family Traits

The Book Of Me:  Prompt 60 --Family Traits  How Did I Get Here? My Amazing Genealogy Journey

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 - Family Traits

Do you exhibit any family traits?
Do you even recognize them or simply accept them as face value?
Do traits exist or are they simply a coincidence?

The Book Of Me: Prompt 60 --Family Traits --How Did I Get Here? My Amazing Genealogy Journey Rosa Bryant Sanders, Ray Bryant, Loris Bryant Gwyn Helton, Linwood Bryant, Mary Bryant Harrison Horton, Frank Bryant and Eloise Bryant Grigsby
The Bryant Siblings
From left to right:  Rosa Bryant Sanders, Ray Bryant, Loris Bryant Gwyn Helton, Linwood Bryant, Mary Bryant Harrison Horton, Frank Bryant and Eloise Bryant Grigsby.

I think I exhibit a few family traits. My Bryant family line is known for their no holds bar sense of humor. I think I carry a bit of that. Bryants don't mess around when it comes with discipline either. My grandmother's generation were not "time out" people. If you did wrong be prepared to face the wrath.  I think mine is toned down a bit and I do use time outs but my kids know for sure when I am not messing around. 

If I look at my Harrison family line, I would say a trait that I have inherited from them is a sense of style. Harrisons love clothes and to dress well. That's something my mother has definitely passed down to me and it has gone forward into my daughter now. She can put together an outfit right down to the shoes. She'll then coordinate the perfect hair accessory to go along with the whole ensemble. She is definitely my mother's grandchild. 

The Book Of Me: Prompt 60 --Family Traits --How Did I Get Here? My Amazing Genealogy Journey

My paternal grandfather, Harold O. Murrell, was a tinkerer. He could take apart a broken radio and figure out what was wrong with it, fix it and then put it back together again. I think my brother has definitely inherited this ability because he is a technician with Verizon. Me not so much, except perhaps it comes out in my ability to solve jigsaw puzzles.

Okay tomorrow is the last day of the year. Let's see how many prompts I can get done between now and then. Ready, Set, Go!

Mom, Your Awesome!

My mom's awesome! Well she's awesome for so many reasons, one of which is that she has documented the life and times of our family very well with pictures. Back on November 7, 2014, I wrote a post called, The Book Of Me: Prompt 51 --Your First Home  in which I described the first apartment I had rented all by myself. Well, guess what? Yesterday, while visiting mom I happened to be poking around a couple of old photo albums and I found pictures of that apartment. Seeing them really took me back to another time and place. A time of when I was young and the world was full of possibilities. It's just a couple of pictures but to me it means much more. Thank you Mom for taking these :)

Mom, Your Awesome -- How Did I Get Here? My Amazing Genealogy Journey, First Apartment, The Book Of Me
Picture of the living room at my apartment at 20 College St. Binghamton.
I lived there from August 1996--July of 1997.

Mom, Your Awesome -- How Did I Get Here? My Amazing Genealogy Journey
It's a bit blurry but here's the kitchen.

Mom, Your Awesome -- How Did I Get Here? My Amazing Genealogy Journey
Another view from the living room.

Mom, Your Awesome -- How Did I Get Here? My Amazing Genealogy Journey

Monday, December 29, 2014

The Book Of Me: Prompt 59 --Task Reflections

The Book Of Me:  Prompt 59 --Task Reflections How Did I Get Here? My Amazing Genealogy Journey

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 - Task Reflections
Write a list of each task you undertake for any given day. 
Include the fine details of the tasks
taking milk out of the fridge to add to a drink - what was the milk in? a jug, quart container?
Compare those tasks to an ancestor - someone born in the late 19th Century or early 20th Century and preferably someone that you knew or remember. 
Record and discuss the differences
What of those discoveries has impacted on you?

I am going to compare my mother's list of  daytime "To Dos" to mine. I'll be looking at daybreak through dinnertime. Once I'm done writing for this prompt, I am going to share this information with my kids. I can't wait to see their reaction to some of these things.

Mom (timeframe late 1970's)

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons, uploaded by Daniel Christensen.

This isn't my father's alarm clock but it was in the style of the one that I remembered. 

She woke up when my father's alarm clock went off. She would already have her clothes laid out and ready. The night before, I know she would have paid special attention to the weather report which she would have seen on our Zenith color console TV in the living room. You know the type of television that was more like a piece of furniture than just a TV. 

The Book Of Me:  Prompt 59 --Task Reflections How Did I Get Here? My Amazing Genealogy Journey

Obviously not a picture of the one we had but it gives you an idea of what I'm talking about :)

She would go down to the kitchen and make coffee. Coffee was brewed in an old percolating coffee pot. I remember that I thought it was extremely cool to see the coffee bubble up on the inside of the clear knob on the lid. She would set up breakfast for my brother and I. For me, usually some sort of cereal. If it was hot cereal, it would be instant Cream of Wheat. Cold cereal choices were usually Raisin Bran, Cookie Crisps, or Captain Crunch. Milk for the cereal came in a carton. After setting up breakfast, she would wake my brother. I believe he would use the bathroom and get cleaned up while I ate breakfast and then we would switch. Lunches were already made from the night before. Sandwiches were kept in the refrigerator. All she had to do in the morning was assemble everything. Mine went in my metal lunch box. I think my brother was at the age where he had outgrown the concept of the lunch box and he would brown paper bag it. Lunch for me was a sandwich, a thermos of juice usually Hi-C, and then something else on the side, maybe a couple of Hydrox or Vienna Fingers cookies. Everything was wrapped in plastic wrap, unless I was having tuna fish and then mom would wrap it in aluminum foil so the sandwich would stay colder longer. 

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons, Coffee Percolator. Image uploaded by Andreaze.

My mother's coffee pot was similar to this. The knob on the lid of hers was clear
 so you could see the coffee bubble up as it was percolating.

Picture of a Pete's Dragon Lunch Box. I had one of these. (smile)

My parents leaning against the green Plymouth.

After getting dressed and packing the car, we were off. The car she drove was I think a 1977 Plymouth. It always stalled out as we made the turn off our block. You could set your clock by it. LOL! First stop was the Catholic school my brother and I attended. Now that I think about it, I think she would stop and purchase a paper on the way from a newspaper vending machine. I am not sure if I have the specific timing of things down but I think she would drop us off at school around 7:50 am and we would wait in the school yard and play with our friends until it was time to go in for class. Then it was off to work for my mom. She was a social worker and the office she worked at wasn't too far away. I think she had to clock in by 8:30 am. She would then work a full day, finishing at 4:30 pm. My paternal grandfather would pick my brother and I up from school while she was at work and we would stay with my grandparents until my mother would come around 5 pm to take us home. At home, she fixed dinner on the Magic Chef gas stove that was in the kitchen. I remember we always had matches in the house in case the pilot light went out. 

Me (time frame --2014)

I wake up at 6:55 am by my son's alarm clock. It's loud enough that I can hear it in my bedroom. I get up and go to the kitchen to make coffee. We have a Faberware drip coffee pot that I use that sits on the  counter next to the Frigidaire glass top electric stove. The kids and I all get up at the same time. They usually will watch a video on the ipad until breakfast is ready. My son usually eats pancakes or cereal. The pancakes are frozen Eggos that can be nuked in the microwave. If he chooses cereal, then it's Cinnamon Toast Crunch. My daughter usually chooses cereal. Her tastes in cereal are a bit more varied. She chooses from Cornflakes, Cheerios, Cracklin' Oat Bran or Weetabix. If those cereals don't sound appealing then you guessed it, it's Cinnamon Toast Crunch. I set up breakfast for them. The one that finishes first hits the shower while the other finishes their food. Then then it's the other one's turn.

I make lunches. Instead of lunch boxes, the kids have insulated lunch bags. My son's is easy. He eats the same sandwich every day, Sunbutter and jelly. I pack two drinks, a water and a Capri Sun lemonade. Then I will cut up an apple into slices. Half of the slices go to each child. Along with that I include a snack size bag of chips and cookies. Both come prepackaged so there's no need for plastic wrap. I pack his sandwich in a Tupperware. My daughter doesn't care for sandwiches so I make her a salad and pack that in Tupperware as well. Then I add a bag of chips or pretzels, the apple slices and again some cookies.

Before the kids get dressed, I check Accuweather on the computer to see what the weather is going to be like for the day to ensure they are dressed appropriately. Once they are dressed and backpacks are packed they head outside to catch the school bus. I have to admit that the sight of that yellow bus coming up the hill on some mornings is such a relief. Once there off, I pack lunch for the hubby and then work on some household chores like doing dishes, laundry, and vacuuming. When I get tired of chores, I take a break to drink more coffee and check emails, Facebook etc. If the whim hits me and time permits, I'll work on a blog post. My afternoons, I usually spend running errands like going to the post office or grocery store. On other days it is Target to pick up something the kids may need. I return home in time to see my children off the bus. Then I make a snack for them of some cut up fruit or they can pick something from the snack bin in the cupboard. I cook dinner on that Frigidaire stove I mentioned earlier. After dinner, I help the kids with their homework and that's usually when my husband comes home. I greet him and ask him about his day and then go about heating up dinner for him. If the food has already been cooked, I'll reheat it in the microwave oven.

My mother and I are just one generation apart. She was born closer to the middle of the 20th century rather than the beginning of it. Even though the span of time may not be so great, I am still amazed at all the technological changes that have taken place from the 1970's until now. 

I must finish these prompts! 2015 is almost here. Aacckk!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Blog Caroling: Silent Night --Nat King Cole

It's that time of year again for Blog Caroling. What a wonderful tradition created by Footnote Maven. If you are not aware of her tradition please feel free and click on the link to her blog to learn all about it.

I've chosen Silent Night this year sung here by Nat King Cole. It's a classic.  So sit back and curl up by the fire and listen.  Feel free to join in if you wish. Happy Caroling! 

Silent Night
lyrics written by Joseph Mohr
music composed by Franz Xaver Gruber

Silent night, holy night
All is calm, all is bright
Round yon Virgin Mother and Child
Holy Infant so tender and mild
Sleep in heavenly peace
Sleep in heavenly peace

Silent night, holy night
Son of God, love's pure light
Radiant beams from Thy holy face
With the dawn of redeeming grace
Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth
Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth 

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Merry Christmas In Heaven Uncle Nat

My heart is with loved ones who will be celebrating the life of my uncle Napoleon Sanders of Morehead City, NC today. Merry Christmas in heaven Uncle Nat. I know you are celebrating being reunited with your dear Rosa in heaven. Love you and miss you both.

Merry Christmas In Heaven Uncle Nat --How Did I Get Here? My Amazing Genealogy Journey --Napoleon Sanders, Rosa Sanders Morehead City

Merry Christmas In Heaven Uncle Nat --How Did I Get Here? My Amazing Genealogy Journey --Napoleon Sanders, Rosa Sanders Morehead City

Merry Christmas In Heaven Uncle Nat --How Did I Get Here? My Amazing Genealogy Journey --Napoleon Sanders, Rosa Sanders Morehead City

Merry Christmas In Heaven Uncle Nat --How Did I Get Here? My Amazing Genealogy Journey --Napoleon Sanders, Rosa Sanders Morehead City

Friday, December 19, 2014

Friday Funny: Take A Moment And Enjoy Something Whimsical

If you can at some point during this crazy busy holiday season, just take a moment and enjoy something whimsical. When things get entirely too serious, if you just look at something silly and laugh for a minute it will take the stress level down just a bit. I have to thank my best friend for reminding me of this. She has some really cute decorations this year around her house that I can't help but smile when I look at them. That's when I said to myself, "You know what, I could use a bit of that here at my home." So I went out and found myself a bit of whimsy and you know, it helps. :)

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Finishing up with Thomas Harris...For Now.

Finishing Up With Thomas Harris...For Now --How Did I Get Here? My Amazing Genealogy Journey --Thomas Harris, Larchmont, NY, Livery Business

A few weeks back I did a series of posts on my maternal 2nd great grand uncle Thomas Harris of Larchmont, NY. If you missed that series, here are the links to those posts:

Thomas Harris's Ambition Takes Him To Larchmont, NY --Part one

Thomas Harris's Ambition Takes Him To Larchmont, NY --Part two

More Details About Thomas Harris's Election Loss

Not So Wordless Wednesday: Some Of The Things Thomas Harris Probably Saw

When I left off with my 2nd great grand uncle, Thomas Harris of Larchmont, NY, the year was 1908. He had just finished holding a $10 a plate dinner at the Plymouth Inn in celebration of his 45th birthday. He was often described in newspapers as the "millionaire negro" of Larchmont. You can read an example of this here. Specifically, take a look at the last newspaper article featured in that post.

Anyway, Thomas seemed to have done quite well for himself. He had been successful at running a livery business for quite a few years. In 1903, he made a run for the position of Receiver of Taxes in Larchmont, NY but lost. Even after the loss he remained a well respected member of the community. According to this next article, he even received a letter of sympathy from Theodore Roosevelt when he lost the election.

Finishing Up With Thomas Harris ...For Now -- How Did I Get Here? My Amazing Genealogy Journey --The Washington Post ,June 15, 1908, Thomas Harris, Larchmont, NY
 The Washington Post, June 15, 1908, Page 3

I found hints that after 1908, Thomas Harris's fortunes took a turn for the worse. 

On the 1910 Federal Census for Larchmont, NY, it shows that Thomas was the owner of his own home. His occupation was shown to be a proprietor of a garage. He's married with three children and his younger brother was residing with them.

Source Information: 1910 United States Federal Census [database on-line].
 Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2006. Source Citation Year: 1910; Census Place: Mamaroneck, Westchester, New York; Roll: T624_1088; Page: 4B; Enumeration District: 0043; FHL microfilm: 1375101

Residence:  53 Boston Post Rd, Larchmont, NY  House with mortgage.
Household members: 

Thomas Harris
Lulu Harris --wife
Thomas F Harris --son
Jackson B Harris --son
Howard H Harris --son
Samuel Harris --brother
Mary Monroe? --aunt

According to the 1915 New York State Census, the family was living in the village of Mamoroneck on Woodbine Ave. The family had moved. Was this due to economic reasons?  Here, Thomas's occupation was listed as a gardener. What had happened to the livery business?

Source Information New York, State Census, 1915 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2012. Source CitationNew York State Archives; Albany, New York; State Population Census Schedules, 1915; Election District: 03; Assembly District: 02; City: Mamaroneck; County: Westchester; Page: 12

I went back over my newspaper clippings that I had collected regarding Tom and found this.

New Rochelle Pioneer, Page 5, December 3, 1910

So in December 1910 he sold off his horses and carriages with plans to replace them with taxicabs the following Spring. Hmm. Sounds like perhaps that never came to pass. Then I remembered that a couple of months ago Lynne Crowley,a researcher with the Larchmont Historical Society, had sent me some information she had found on about my Thomas Harris. 

New Rochelle Pioneer, Saturday, March 7, 1912

This foreclosure notice for property owned by Thomas Harris, probably highlights why the family was shown living in a different location in 1915.  I mentioned before in an earlier post on Tom Harris, that I thought his wealth had been exaggerated in newspapers. How and why remains unclear at this time but my 2nd great grand uncle's fortune definitely took a hit after 1910.  

The last census that Thomas Harris shows up on is the 1920 Federal Census. His occupation has gone through yet another change. Now it's noted that he's a freight checker. The household resided at 90 Rockland Ave in Mamaroneck Village.

Source Citation Year: 1920; Census Place: Mamaroneck, Westchester, New York; Roll: T625_1275; Page: 5B; Enumeration District: 62; Image: 982Source 1920 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2010. Images reproduced by FamilySearch.

I believe that Thomas died some time between 1920 and 1921. I haven't come across a death certificate for him yet, but I did find his wife listed as a widow living in Mt Vernon, NY at 112 North Railroad Ave in 1921 and 1922 according to city directories for that area.  

I have more work to do on this branch of the Harris's but for now that's all she wrote. :)

Saturday, December 13, 2014

The Book Of Me: Prompt 58 --What Do You See?

The Book Of Me:  Prompt 58 --What Do You See? How Did I Get Here? My Amazing Genealogy Journey

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 - What do you See?

Having seen the image what is the thing you thought? Write that down.
Does what you have written have any resemblance to how you view life?  Half full or half empty
Describe how you feel after you have reflected. Does that differ from your immediate thoughts?

That glass is for sure half full! I have always answered as such when asked this question. I guess you could say I am an optimist. I think of myself as an optimist with a realist tip. I look to the positive but let's just say I know when to call a game.

Having seen the image, the first thing that came to my mind was how incredibly fortunate my family and I are. We have each other. What a gift it is to have a family. There's not a day that goes by when one or both of my kids don't do or say something that just floors me. It might be in the way they act. I'll see a mannerism of my husband on my son's face. I might catch a phrase coming out my daughter's mouth that I know for a fact originated from mine. I see my husband hug them both with such sweet tenderness. Gosh I am truly blessed!

Take time this holiday season to tell your friends and family how important they are to you. Honor them. Love them. Cherish them.

© 2014, copyright Andrea Kelleher. All rights reserved.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

The Book Of Me: Prompt 57 --Life Chapters

The Book Of Me:  Prompt 57 --Life Chapters   How Did I Get Here? My Amazing Genealogy Journey

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 - Life Chapters

Is your life divided into chapters?
How has that happened? Has it naturally evolved?
Can you easily reflect where one chapter ends and another begins?
Are there any surprises?
Are those Chapters determined by people and / or places / or significant events?

I would say that I could divide my life in four chapters. They've evolved naturally enough to coincide with geographic moves or phases of personal growth. 

Chapter one:  This would cover when I was born to the point my family moved to Long Island just before my tenth birthday. That time period in my life I had the most contact with my extended family. My grandparents were alive and well and my aunts and uncles lived within driving distance of my family's house in Cambria Heights, NY. For holidays and birthdays, everybody saw everybody. Either my parents, brother and I would visit them at their houses or they would come see us at ours. The family bond was tight. 

Chapter two:  This stage lasts until I graduated from college so it covers the ages of 10 through 22. For me, moving to Long Island meant freedom. The rules were different. There weren't any bars on the windows of our house on Ethan Lane. I could ride my bike off my block. Neighbors would look out for the kids in the neighborhood instead of assuming they were up to no good. It was simply a different experience. This sense of freedom only increased when I went away to college. I finally felt like there was a space where I could develop into my own person. I could figure out what I liked and disliked and not worry about other peoples' opinions of me. This was a great time of self discovery.

Chapter three:  Chapter 3 spans ages 22 through 32.  During this time I decided not to explore a position in accounting, even though I had obtained my bachelor of science in the field. It just wasn't for me. After college, I took a position selling radio advertising to area businesses. That job wasn't for me. I think I lasted only 9 months there but the good thing that did come from it is that I met my husband. I was in retail management for few years and then eventually took a position as unit manager for a call center. Those were the carefree years before marriage and children. When I could sleep in on a day off. My sweetie and I could go away for the weekend on a spur of the moment trip. Ah...memories (Sigh.) These were my "on my own" years. I could at last declare to world that I was a grown-up. Sadly, these were also the years that many of my loved ones transitioned over to become one with the ancestors. 

Chapter four:  This chapter should be called Motherhood and Marriage. This covers from age 32 to the present. As we all know, when you become a mom, everything changes. Boy, there were changes! I had all the books. I did all my reading and studying beforehand. Still, you know how it is. You can never be fully prepared for what happens once they place that baby in your arms. The hardest thing by far was sleep deprivation. Thankfully, my kids are older now so they only rarely wake me up in the middle of the night. They almost killed me though from lack of sleep when they were ages 3 and under. I love them to pieces and wouldn't change a thing. They are the reason I was put hear on this earth. I feel that my husband and I have grown so much since we've become parents. We had our struggles but we remained committed to each other. We are now on the other side of all that, closer now for having gone through it. 

Now as I'm writing this it feels like that in the past year I've begun a new chapter. We'll call it Chapter 5 for now. I have had a mental shift. I am much more compassionate with myself. I am an introvert and I feel that I can wear that badge proudly. I don't have to pretend to be something that I'm not. I think I have just started to step into the space of the me that I have always wished to become.

© 2014, copyright Andrea Kelleher. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Happy Birthday Mom!

Happy Birthday Mom! How Did I Get Here? My Amazing Genealogy Journey

Happy Birthday to the loveliest lady I know!
I appreciate you and your wisdom so much.
Loved spending time with you today.

© 2014, copyright Andrea Kelleher. All rights reserved.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Same Pose. Two Faces

My daughter  How Did I Get Here? My Amazing Genealogy Journey
My daughter --Probably 2010

Andrea Kelleher How Did I Get Here? My Amazing Genealogy Journey
Me  --November 2014

© 2014, copyright Andrea Kelleher. All rights reserved.

The Book Of Me: Prompt 56 --Clubs And Societies

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 - Clubs and Societies

Do you belong to any?
Do you have to belong to any?
Are there any you belonged to and now don't?
What made you join them (and perhaps leave)?
What were they about?
Do you have membership details of organisations that family members belonged to?
What does it mean to belong to group / society / organisation?

Well this post is going to be brief. (Smile) When I attended college, I was a member of Binghamton University's Fencing Club. That was a little more than 20 years ago. Since that time I haven't really been a member of any clubs or societies. Well, wait that's not right. I do have a membership to the Carteret County Historical Society. Actually, I was late sending in my membership dues for this year so this blog prompt was the perfect reminder for me to put my payment in the mail.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: When I Realized...

Andrea Kelleher and my son How Did I Get Here? My Amazing Genealogy Journey January 25, 2005
Me and my son
January 25, 2005

The moment I began to realize how much 
my parents truly loved me.

© 2014, copyright Andrea Kelleher. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Frank Bryant's Father Is The Brick Wall I'd Like To Break

Frank Bryant Morehead City, NC How Did I Get Here? My Amazing Genealogy Journey
Frank Linwood Bryant
My maternal great grandfather

Who was your daddy?!! That's what I find myself yelling at my great grandfather's picture sometimes. For this is the brick wall that seems to be most resistant in my family tree to coming down.  I know who his mother was and have been able to trace back to her parents. There's always that question though. Frank, who was your daddy?!

Here's a little summary on Frank L. Bryant"

He was born October 6, 1890 in Morehead City, NC to a Jonas Bryant. He was a lifelong resident of the city and from the records I've found appears to have been raised by his mother and grandmother, Caroline Ellison Bryant.  Frank married his childhood sweetheart, Ophelia Jones on November 4, 1911 and subsequently seven children were born from this union. 

My great grandfather, Frank Bryant, worked for Charles Slover Wallace, a prominent Morehead City businessman and who also was at one point the mayor of the city as well. Frank started out working as a butler for the family and then eventually went on to be the family chauffeur.  I know that Frank's sister Mamie Bryant Johnson also worked for the Wallace family for a period of time. I have often wondered how they came about being employed by this family. I bet there's a good chance that their mother worked for the same family. Now this is just speculation but what if Jonas worked for the Wallaces, just like her son. Could there be some sort of family tie there? Perhaps? Maybe I can find a Wallace descendant willing to take a DNA test to rule this out. 

Perhaps Frank's father was someone from the neighborhood. Maybe his father shared his first name. The 1880 census shows only one man going by the name of Frank living in town and his name was Frank Pigott who was born around 1855 so perhaps he could be a candidate.  Since my great grandfather was born in 1890, you know that I am missing that 1890 census right about now. Darn that fire! It would be helpful to see who was living close to the Bryant household at that time. Maybe then I could figure something out. 

Sometimes names are passed down from one generation to the next. His mother, Jonas Bryant, didn't have any siblings with the name Frank. His grandmother Caroline Ellison Bryant didn't have any brothers who bore the name Frank and her father's name was Benjamin. Unfortunately, I don't know anything about his grandfather Henry Bryant's parents or siblings. Perhaps, someone from that side of the family was named Frank and that's where the name came from.

Frank Bryant had one sister, Mamie Bryant Johnson. I spoke to Mamie's daughter, Jonas Barco, a couple of years back and she believed that her mother and my great grandfather had different fathers but no one knew who they were. There's so much secrecy there. My prayer to the universe would be that somewhere somehow someone knows and will speak their names. 

Brick Wall --How Did I Get Here? My Amazing Genealogy Journey

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