Showing posts from May, 2015

I'm All Smiles. It's My Fourth Blogiversary!

My blog turns 4 today!

It's absolutely crazy how fast time goes by. Four years just like that went, Poof! I am deeply grateful for all the blessings this blog has provided me. I am sending out thanks to everyone who has ever taken the time to follow me on me journey. Whether it's just one post you've read or if you follow weekly, I want you to know that it means a lot to me that you've stopped by. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Here are the links to some of my favorite posts from the last year. They are featured in no particular order. A few of these were linked to Julie Goucher's The Book of Me, Written By You 15 monthproject from August 2013 --December 2014. I really enjoyed participating in that series. Often as the family historian, we forget to take the time out to reflect on our own lives and write that stuff down. 

The Book Of Me: Prompt 59 --Task Reflections
The Book Of Me: Prompt 53 --Your Home Town

The Book Of Me: Prompt 51 --Your First Home

The Book Of…

The Brave Traveler

Think of this as part two to my last post. If you missed that one, here's the link: 52 Ancestors 2015 Edition: # 20 Lois Johnson Picken --My 2nd Cousin 1x Removed.

When my mother was eight, she found a friend in her cousin Lois Johnson from Pittsburgh, PA. My mother had been sent to Pittsburgh to stay with her aunt and uncle for the summer to give her father a break. He was working two jobs and had his wife/my grandmother was in the hospital once again. At the end of that summer, she would travel home to New York alone by train.

That's right alone!

This little girl.

Here's a picture of my little girl. Puts things in perspective doesn't it! 
These were the days when children could be sent by train without a parent. There were folks who worked on the train who would be responsible of making sure a child would get off at the right location. My mother had her information pinned to her clothing and was given money to get something eat during the trip. 

She did this all by herself …

52 Ancestors 2015 Edition: # 20 Lois Johnson Picken --My 2nd Cousin 1x Removed

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

Have you ever thought you had already posted something to only realize at some time later, that you hadn't. That's the case with this picture.

This is a picture of two little girls who were there for one another. My mother is on the right and on the left is my 2nd cousin once removed  Lois Johnson Picken.

I connected with Lois's daughter Lisa last year online and by telephone. Right now, I can't quite remember how it all came about. Anyway, I should get down to the story of how these two young girls connected.

My mother had to grow up fast. She would have to often handle herself with the maturity of someone twice her age. Her mom/my grandma Mary Bryant Harrison Horton was in out of the hospital quite a bit when my mother wa…

Wordless Wednesday: Public Market --Barbados

Public Market, Barbados, B.W.I.

Writing about my 1st cousin 2x removed Herbert Cheeseman on my last post, made me pull out my scrapbook I have of postcards of my ancestral places. Herbert emigrated from Barbados and settled in New York City. If you missed that post, here's the link:   52 Ancestors 2015 Edition: #19 Herbert Cheeseman --There's A Way.
Each face in this picture has a story. Oh if only postcards could talk.

52 Ancestors 2015 Edition: #19 Herbert Cheeseman --There's A Way

SS Saint John Saint John, N.B., Canada Published by Valentine-Black Co. Ltd, 11 Duncan Street, Toronto. Printed in Great Britain
Amy Johnson Crow, the author of the blog No Story Too Small, is the host of the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Blog Prompt series. If you are not familiar with the project please click on the following link:   Announcing 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: 2015 Edition.

Week 19 (May 7-13) – There’s a Way: What ancestor found a way out of a sticky situation? You might also think of this in terms of transportation or migration.

So I decided to go along with using the theme this week. Herbert Cheeseman was my 1st cousin 2x removed on my paternal side. My paternal great grandmother was Frederica Augusta Inniss. She had a sister named Martha Elvira Inniss Cheeseman who was Herbert's mother. 

This branch of my family tree comes from Barbados. My grandfather ,Harold Murrell, came to this country in search of a better life. He arrived on September 29, 1927 in New York, NY. I had no…

Wordless Wednesday: View of Tomahawk Depot

Image courtesy of the Sampson County History Museum's book Images of America:  Sampson County, Kent Wrench, Editor
Over the last week, I've been looking through the pages of a book from the Images of America series from Arcadia Publishing. The book is called Sampson County and was created by the Sampson County History Museum and edited by Kent Wrench. I keep coming back to this image of Tomahawk Depot.

In my last post, I featured a map that showed where the descendants of my 3rd great grandfather, Jacob Kerr, lived. If you missed that post, click here. I wonder how close the depot was to where their land was. If I could only ask the folks in the picture a few questions.

Where The Heirs Of Jacob Kerr Lived

The town of Tomahawk, NC was one of those places that seemed to spring up out of the middle of nowhere thanks to the railroad. Long leaf pine trees covering the land made turpentine and lumber profitable lines of work during the late 1800's to the early 1900's.To learn a little bit more about Tomahawk, here's a link to an article that was originally published in The Huckleberry Historian, the Sampson County Historical Society newsletter. This shortened version of the original provides a good summary of how the town developed. Here's the link to the article on
This town is the place that many folks from my Kerr family line called home. My 3rd great grandfather, Jacob Kerr, purchased land here that was passed down to his children upon his death in 1895. You can read more about how Jacob's land was divided in my post, Where There's A Will, There Is …

Happy Mother's Day!

When you look into your mother’s eyes,  you know that is the purest love  you can find on this earth.
--Mitch Albom, For One More Day

52 Ancestors 2015 Edition: #18 Where There’s a Will

Amy Johnson Crow, the author of the blog No Story Too Small, is the host of the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Blog Prompt series. If you are not familiar with the project please click on the following link:  Announcing 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: 2015 Edition.
Week 18 (April 30 – May 6) – Where There’s a Will: Do you have an ancestor who left an interesting will? Have you used a will to solve a problem? Or, what ancestor showed a lot of will in his or her actions?

I've chosen to share a link to a post I did in May 2013. 

Amanuensis Monday: The Will Of Mary Mitchel Jones

Mary Mitchel Jones was my maternal 3rd great grandmother. She was born in Onslow County, NC on January 21,1823. Although born in Onslow County, she would not remain there. After the Civil War, Mary and her husband Cesar Jones would establish a life together in Morehead City, Carteret County, NC. Mary died on February 22, 1900. She outlived her husband Cesar by just six months.

My 3rd great grandparents were early property owne…

In The Meantime, Let Me Get Down To The Transcribing.

In my last post regarding my Sampson County kin, 52 Ancestors 2015 Edition: #17 Gabriel Kerr --Putting Together The Pieces Of His Story, I had come across a newspaper article that discussed briefly the illnesses suffered by individuals in the black community of Lisbon township and how "some fifteen deaths had occurred in close succession." The article was from the Semi-weekly Messenger dated April 30, 1896. I suspect this is how and when a number of folks from my Kerr family line may have died including my 2nd great grand uncle, Gabriel Kerr. I was hopeful that there would be some other mention of this in newspapers of the time or perhaps an obituary for one or more who died. No such luck. Darn. I will keep looking though. In the meantime I have a bunch of deeds that need transcribing, so no better time than the present to get started. 

This deed is regarding land Gabriel Kerr purchased from Edward Rich on March 20, 1873. This was just 14 days after Gabe and his father Jacob …

Who's That Confident Lady?

Can I tell you that I am just loving watching my little lady's personality come out. Over the years she has tended to be a bit shy around new folks. Once she gets to know you she let's it all hang out and is absolutely hysterical. Her sense of humor makes me smile. She's got spunk and she's just beginning to really own it. I caught these pictures of her when we were on vacation in Siesta Key, Florida the week before Easter.

My little lady doing a cute dance.

Then she does her "model walk."
Excuse me, mom.
Need my goggles.