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Showing posts from March, 2015

Fearless Females: Genealogy Trading Card for Mary Bryant Harrison Horton

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Lisa Alzo of the blog The Accidental Genealogist is back for the sixth year in a row with her list of 31 blogging prompts to celebrate the "fearless females" in our family trees in honor of Women's History Month. I wish I had more time this past month to have done a couple more of the blog prompts for this series but it just wasn't meant to be. At the very least, I thought I could squeeze in time to do this particular one. 

March 29 — Create a free Fold3 Memorial Page or a Genealogy Trading Card at Big Huge Labs for a female ancestor. Some of you may have created your own card back in September 2009 following Sheri Fenley’s post over at The Educated Genealogist. This time, the card is for your female ancestor. Tell us about who you’ve selected and why and then post a link to what you’ve created.

In the previous two years, I created genealogy trading cards for my maternal 2nd great grandmother Rosa Mitchell Jones and great grandmother Ophelia Jones Bryant. I thought it …

52 Ancestors 2015 Edition: #12 Linwood Bryant--My maternal granduncle

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Page from my baby book.  Name:  Andrea Lynn Named for:  Middle name after Uncle Linwood

This is a continuation of Amy Johnson Crow's 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks 2015 Edition blog series. If you are not familiar with this project please check out the following link:   Announcing 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: 2015 Edition.

Week 12 (March 19-25) – Same. What ancestor is a lot like you? What ancestor do you have a lot in common? Same name? Same home town?

I've decided to use this week's theme but I have to admit that what I have in common with this ancestor is pretty much just linked to a name.  I wish I knew more about his life but perhaps by highlighting him here, some additional information may be unveiled as a result. That's the cool thing about blogging. You write. You send that writing out into the universe and then...Boom! When you least expect it, someone contacts you with wonderful information that you had no idea was out there. There's been a bit of that going on behi…

52 Ancestors 2015 Edition: #11 My Paternal 3rd Great Grandfather Jacob Kerr

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If you would have asked me a few years ago if I thought I would ever be able to figure out who my paternal 3rd great grandfather was on my father's side of the family, I am pretty sure I would have answered No. Well, thanks to DNA and my great grandmother's marriage license I now know the names of my 2nd great grandparents and 3rd great grandparents.

On my post Great Grandma's Name Was Ella. After That It Gets Complicated, I featured my great grandmother Ellen "Ella" Kerr Smith Dixon's marriage license to her second husband William Dixon. On it, it revealed the names of her parents, Henry Kerr and Tina Murphy of Sampson County, NC. I wrote about how DNA testing confirmed that I was indeed researching the correct Kerr family in Sampson County in my post, DNA Proves I've Got The Right Family!

For this post, I'm going to review what I know so far about my 3rd great grandfather, Jacob Kerr.

1) It appears he was born around 1820 based on his age as it was lis…

Sugar Plantation Barbados, Carting Sugar Canes To The Mill

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From time to time, I like to share postcards that show the places where my ancestors once lived. This particular postcard I purchased a couple of weeks ago off of Ebay. My paternal grandfather came from St Philip Parish, Barbados. According to my dad, his father said they're weren't many options for work when my grandfather was coming up. Harold Osmond Murrell had learned the skills necessary to be a carpenter but there wasn't a living to made at home. Pretty much his options were either harvesting sugar cane or fishing. He opted out of doing either and left Barbados in search of work elsewhere. He spent a year in Venezuela before immigrating to the United Stated in 1927.

"Sugar Plantation Barbados, Carting Sugar Canes To The Mill"  W. L. Johnson & Co. Ltd., Barbados. No. 15

You can read more about my paternal grandfather in these post:

My Paternal Grandfather, Harold Murrell--Part one.
Travel Tuesday: My Grandfather, Harold Murrell--Part two

My Grandpa, Harold M…

Jacob and Gabe Kerr Purchase Land

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I left off on my last post, A Look At A Few Of Jacob Kerr's Neighbors, with a question. Was Jacob Kerr, my 3rd great grandfather, able to purchase land during his lifetime?  Well, you already know from the title of my current post that the answer was ...



If you recall from my post on Jacob's son, Henry Kerr, Henry purchased land in 1873 from a white man named John D. Kerr. John's father was a James Kerr (b. March 10, 1800--died Oct 4, 1872.) In 1871, James Kerr created a bond for my 3rd great grandfather Jacob, and another son of his named Gabriel "Gabe Kerr." Payment of the bond would allow for Jacob and Gabe to be issued a deed for the land. James Kerr died in 1872 leaving his son Charles S. Kerr and wife Jane E. Stevens Kerr to handle his estate. After paying off the bond in March 1873, Charles and Jane Kerr executed a deed and Jacob and "Gabe" Kerr became landowners. If you have ancestors who owned land in Sampson County, NC, you may be able to find …

A Look At A Few Of Jacob Kerr's Neighbors

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I've been looking at Federal Census pages from Franklin Township, Sampson County, NC for clues to help me with my research on my Kerr and Murphy ancestors. These two family lines are part of my paternal lineage. Here's how the names fit in my family tree.


It's important to look at the folks who lived near your people. These were often friends, coworkers, fellow family members, or if you are African American you may find the folks who previously enslaved your ancestors.

Jacob Kerr was my 3rd great grandfather, father to my 2nd great grandfather Henry Kerr. I wrote about Henry Kerr and his wife Tina Jane Murphy Kerr recently on this blog. It seemed like a natural progression to now take a look at Jacob Kerr and his neighbors in Franklin Township, NC.

Franklin township was counted as part of New Hanover County, NC in 1870 for the census. Here's Jacob Kerr and his family. You'll see his son Henry Kerr was residing nearby.

Source Information Ancestry.com. 1870 United States…

52 Ancestors 2015 Edition: #10 My Paternal 2nd Great Grandmother Tina Jane Murphy Kerr

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Tina Jane Murphy Kerr is a shadow right now waiting to have her story emerge. I know she was the mother of my great grandmother Ellen "Ella" Kerr Smith Dixon. Mothers are often called the heart of the family. Was she kind? Was she there for her daughter Ella when she needed her? Or was she something else. Was she the cause of why Ella left home?

Of course I am assuming a lot here. In my post, Great Grandma's Name Was Ella. After That It's Complicated --Part three, I shared a 1900 Federal Census entry from Colly, Bladen County, NC that I believe shows an 18 year old Ella living with possible relatives. Why wasn't she at home with her mother, Tina? Perhaps it was for economic reasons to help out her relatives? Or perhaps it was to help send money back home to her parents?

When I think of my 2nd great grandmother my thoughts tend to meander around my mind and more questions arise. What did she look like? What was the relationship like between she and my 2nd great gran…

I Have To Remember To Be Patient

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Sometimes, I get so excited to learn about a place where my ancestors once called home. I want to instantaneously understand everything about the timeframe they once lived in. I want to know the people my ancestors interacted with. What did the land look like? How did the air smell? I want to know anything and everything all at once, kind of like this scene from the movie, The Matrix.



Oh only if it were so simple. But then again, what fun would that be? I would be lying if I said I didn't enjoy the hunt for information.



Well, right now I am trying to absorb all things Sampson County, NC so I can better understand the lives of my Kerr and Murphy ancestors. Just feeling happy that at last I can learn more about my paternal roots. 


Of course, I have a couple of books on order. I can't wait for them to arrive.


The Sampson County Historical Society:   The Huckleberry Historian Issues 2004--2014 Editor:  Kent Wrench
A Journey To Sampson County:  Plantations & Slaves in NC by Christy Fairc…

Sentimental Sunday: In Memory Of Gloria Maureen Thacker Harrison Moss

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Gloria Maureen Thacker Harrison Moss (December 28, 1934--January 15, 2015)

Recently, I was saddened to learn of the passing of my cousin Rudi's mother. She passed away in January after a long battle with Alzheimer's disease. She's at peace but will be dearly missed. 
If you aren't familiar with Rudi's story, you may want to read this series.
Thankful Thursday: Thank Goodness I Began My Blog --Part one
Thank Goodness I Began My Blog --Part two.
Thank Goodness I Began My Blog --Part three


In 1949, one of my maternal grandfather's brothers joined the Air Force. While stationed overseas in Fairford, England my grand uncle met Gloria and married her in 1952.  My grand uncle, Rudolph Henry Harrison and Gloria had one child together, my cousin Rudi.

I know I am not responsible for my grand uncle's actions but I can't help but feel bad for the state my grand uncle left Gloria in. After marrying Gloria in 1952, he remained in Fairford, until his unit was shipped back …

It's Been A Long Winter

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I had to laugh to myself today. I actually drove around for a moment with the windows open in my car.  I felt a little warm and so I needed some air. The temperature outside was 26 degrees. A heat wave. That's how you know it's been a long, cold Winter, when 26 degrees feels warm! 

















52 Ancestors --2015 Edition: #9 My Paternal 2nd Great Grandfather Henry Kerr

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Amy Johnson Crow of the blog No Story Too Small is back hosting the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Blog Prompt series in 2015. If you are not familiar with the project please click on the following link: Announcing 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: 2015 Edition.

Theme for Week #9:  Close to Home. Which ancestor is the closest to where you live? Who has a story that hits “close to home”?

My Kerr family line has been at the forefront of my thoughts and research lately. I didn't want to veer off course at this time and so I decided to opt out of using the theme for this week. I decided to highlight some of the things I learned so far about my paternal 2nd great grandfather, Henry Kerr.

My previous post,  Amanuensis Monday: The Estate Record of Henry Kerr picked up with the end of Henry Kerr's life. In that estate record, there was a written affidavit that was signed by Henry's wife, Tina Jane Kerr. Tina renounced the rite to administer the estate of her husband and passed that privilege on to…