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Showing posts from January, 2015

52 Ancestors --2015 Edition: #4 William Bryant

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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.

Week 4, Closest to your birthday — Not too much to think about here. What ancestor has the birthday closest to yours? (I mean in terms of month and day, not the year)

My birthday falls on October 18th. If I wanted to go by the closest birth date to mine then I would be looking at both my great great grandmother and her daughter who were born on the same day --October 11th.

Sarah Harris Whitney b. October 11, 1859--September 12, 1937.
Carrie Whitney Harrison b. October 11, 1897--August 1, 1939.

Since I have written about both of them quite a bit, I decided to go with someone else. 

William Bryant was born on October 10, 1890 in Morehead City, NC. He was my great grandfather, Frank Bryant's 1st cousin. His mother was Rose Bryant, my 2nd great …

52 Ancestors --2015 Edition: #3 Loris Melba Bryant Gwyn Helton

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Loris Melba Bryant Gwyn Helton

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.

Week 3, Tough woman — Who is a tough, strong woman in your family tree? Or what woman has been tough to research?

I have already fallen behind on the 52 Ancestors series. Yikes! Well time to play catch up, so here goes #3 Loris Melba Bryant Gwyn Helton.

My grand aunt Loris was one tough lady. At least I think so. She was born on January 2, 1918 in Morehead City, NC to Frank and Ophelia Bryant. She was the oldest daughter in the family and helped out her younger sisters when they needed it most.

My maternal great grandmother Ophelia Bryant would succumb to cancer on February 20, 1939. This was a tremendous loss to the family. My grandmother Mary had already completed high school in Morehead City and gone on to Faye…

Great Grandma's Name Was Ella. After That It's Complicated --Part two

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If you missed part one, here's the link:  Great Grandma's Name Was Ella. After That It Gets Complicated.

Carr, Kerr, Hays, or  Hayes. What's the deal with these names great grandma Ella?

I left off with on part one finding out that my great grandmother's maiden name apparently was Kerr. Her parents were a Henry Kerr and a Tina Murphy both from Sampson County, NC. So hurray at last I had a jumping off place to find out about my Ella. I had questions though. Here's why.

My paternal grandmother was Ethel Smith Murrell. She was born in Wilmington, NC and her mother's name was listed as Ella Carr on the birth certificate. Now that's not too crazy. The marriage certificate to her second husband, William Dixon, read Ella Kerr so Carr and Kerr are pretty close. The thing that has always intrigued my father and I was that on my grandmother Ethel's social security application form she wrote that her mother's name was Ellen Hayes? Why? Did grandmother not know he…

He's 10! Happy Birthday To My First Born.

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It finally happened. He hit double digits. It was a perfect day with family and friends. Happy 10th birthday to my dear sweet boy. Love you forever and beyond.


Great Grandma's Name Was Ella. After That It Gets Complicated.

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I've written about my paternal great grandmother before on this blog. If you read these posts first, they will provide you a little bit more background on what I knew prior to ordering a marriage certificate from the New York City Department of Records/Municipal Archives:

The Mystery Surrounding My Great Grandmother Ella

Now What? What Am I Supposed To Do With That?

Where Were They?!

The last time I wrote about Ella was back in 2013. I had learned that she had been in living in NY as early as 1925, which was a bit of a surprise to my family and I. Previously, based on oral history I was working under the assumption that she was living in Philadelphia at that particular time. Well, that turned out to be untrue. The address that Ella, my grandmother, and her two younger sisters resided at was 326 West 37th street in New York City.

Pause on that address for a minute. Okay now let's move on.

Let's jump ahead now to January 2014 when the news release came out that New York City Vital…

Wordless Wednesday: Mom, Grandma, and David --December 1966

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Mom, My paternal grandmother, Ethel Smith Murrell,  and my brother David

The Book Of Me: Prompt 70 --What Have You Learned About Yourself?

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This week's prompt is - What have you learned about yourself and your family?

Think back to the question we asked in Week One - Who am I?
Before you look back at the answers you wrote then, answer the question again.
Now compare are there any similarites, it is the same, or have any of the answers changed?
What has made the change?

Now lets look at the wider and original question - What have you learned about yourself and your family?
Is there anything you still want to write and explore?

I have learned that to be a writer, you have to keep writing. Writing has to become part of a regular routine. Some of your writing may come out mediocre, while some may come out extraordinary but the key is to keep writing. This prompt series was a wonderful exercise for me. It pushed me to keep up with a writing routine. No excuses. I am very glad I stuck with it. 

I really appreciated the feedback given by other folks who were also participating in The Book Of Me series.  Your comments and/or the gest…

The Book Of Me: Prompt 69 --What Is Your Most Treasured Possession?

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This week's prompt is - What is your most treasured possession?

This could be something that you have bought from an inheritance
A gift from a family member
An item that you have been left by a friend or family member
How do you plan to secure it's survival with future generations?

Now this prompt really had me thinking. I've narrowed it down to three possesions. I just couldn't get it down to one. 

1) My wedding ring
2) A statue of hands that I inherited from my grandmother.
3) Picture of my maternal great grandmother, Ophelia Bryant Jones

My wedding ring is relatively new to me but it is not a new ring. My original ring I lost, sadly last year. My husband and I had matching rings of a modern design in gold and diamonds. My husband still has his and wears it and I still feel some sadness from losing it's match. Sometimes, things happen for a reason though. In the last couple of years we've really worked hard to reconnect in our relationship and perhaps the loss of the …

Hey Everyone, I've Moved!

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After playing around with my blog for a bit today, I finally decided to jump in and move over to my own domain name. You can find my blog now at http://www.howdidigetheremyamazinggenealogyjourney.com/
If you still have me under my old address it will automatically forward you on to the new. Please take a moment and update me in your readers though. I would hate to loose anyone in the move. Thanks as always for following my blog :)

52 Ancestors --2015 Edition: #2 Melba Lee Gwyn McCarther

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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.

This week's theme:

Week 2, King — January 8 is Elvis’ birthday. January 15 is the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. Do either of these “Kings” remind you of an ancestor? Or, taken another way, do you have a connection to royalty? Did you ancestor flee from an oppressive king?

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to use this week's theme for my post. As of now, I don't know of any connection to royalty and I can't think of a way of tying in Martin Luther King, Jr. with one of my ancestors. This week's ancestor is linked to week one's though. 

Melba Lee Gwyn McCarther was the younger sister to the ancestor I featured here last week, Gloria Beth Gwyn Davis. She was my 1st cousin 1x removed and also my godmother. When I was a …

The Book Of Me: Prompt 68 --Memory Tree

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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.

As we head into the festive / holiday season I want us to think of those who will not be with us for the season. If this was your memory tree who would you put on the tree and why?

This can of course be friends and family, but what about former pets and colleagues.

I am still playing catch up with these prompts but I can see the finish line closing in. The holidays have already come and gone. I still would like to honor those who were on my mind during the season. Even though they are no longer with me in the physical realm, I carry so many wonderful memories that they are always with me in spirit.


My grandparents --Harold and Ethel Murrell
                            --Lemuel Harrison and Vadnie Harrison
                            --Mary Bryant Harrison Horton

When I was little, the holida…

Oh Wow! I Forgot How Much I Love This Album

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Okay, this is a case of how the right thing found me at the right time this morning. I was reminiscing using Youtube. I found some of the songs that I used to listen to when I was in my twenties and was jamming out doing housework and such. Then I came across Dion Farris's song,"I Know." I forgot how much I loved the album, Wild Seed, Wild Flower. Not all the songs are on Youtube, but this particular one I am about to share was. I haven't heard this in a good 10--15 years. The CD is packed up in my house, somewhere. I am going to make a mental note and go through my old music this week. Anyway, I digress, here's one of the songs I'll be singing along with as I fold laundry. Hope everyone has an awesome day! I was going to wait to share this as a Something About Me Saturday post, but I think the song may brighten the mood of someone who needs it today.



Find Your Way from the album Wild Seed --Wild Flower

Never knowing in the dark, in the light
When the world wi…

The Book Of Me: Prompt 67 --What Are Your Priorities?

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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 - What are your priorities?

The American author, Kathleen Winsor owns this quote:
"Most people are so busy knocking themselves out trying to do everything they think they should do, they never get around to do what they want to do."
So, what do you want to do? how can you achieve that? and why is it important to you?

My Priorities:

1)Be the best mother I can be. I have two kids who need me. They have so much yet to learn about life and I want to be around as long as I can to help guide them. I want to make good human beings who are kind, respectful, honest, productive and loving. I think my husband and I have gotten them off to a good start, but they still need more from us. I need more from them. The longer I am around them, the more I learn about myself.

2…

The Book Of Me: Prompt 66 --What do you treasure?

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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.

You choose on what you treasure, the things, the people, 
The things that are not seen, 
The things that are seen yet not obviously treated as a treasure.

I did an exercise where I wrote down the first things that popped into my mind so here's what came out. This doesn't cover everything. It's just the first things that I jotted down without pausing.

I treasure...

love
loved ones
hopes and dreams
maintaining my optimism
time
silence
good health
my wedding ring
the laughter of my children.
laughing so hard you can hardly breathe
the sun
green leaves blowing in the wind.
the beach on a summer's day.
a good meal
my mother
my life
friendship







The Book Of Me: Prompt 65 --Colleges and Universities

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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 - Colleges & University

Did you go to college and / or University
if not, did you want to or did you not want to?
did you perhaps change your mind at a later date?
What did you study?
Was your studying vocational or a step on the ladder to another profession?
What was the educational path you took to get to University or college?
Where did you go? & why there?
Regrets of study choice?
Did you belong to clubs there?
Friends?
Pictures?
As always, share what you are comfortable with.

Did you go to college and / or University
if not, did you want to or did you not want to?


I attended Binghamton University from August 1990 until December 1994. Since I didn't finish my degree requirements until December of 1994, I had to wait until May 1995 to get my physical diploma.

Wh…

Ready, Set, Blog!

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Happy New Year, Y'all!
Yup, that's me taking a selfie before the clock struck midnight on New Year's Eve. It was a pretty laid back night at my house. It was the hubby, myself and the two kids enjoying time together and counting our blessings. We really have a lot to be thankful for. The number one thing we are all thankful for is that my husband is still here! What happened to him? Well, he had two heart attacks over a two day period back on December 11--12th and scared the crap out of all us. Luckily, he underwent a cardiac catheterization which revealed he had a single blockage in one of his arteries. The blockage was removed and they placed a stent inside. He was back home with the kids and I by the afternoon of the 13th. The whole thing has been a bit surreal. 

When something like that happens, it wakes you up. You see how little control we have over our lives. One moment you may be here, the next gone. You hug your loved ones tighter, tell them you love them more ofte…

Happy Birthday In Heaven Grandma!

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Happy Birthday Grandma!
My paternal grandmother, Ethel Murrell, would be 104 years old today if she were still alive. Thinking of you on this day, grandma.

The Book Of Me: Prompt 64 --Jobs and Careers

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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 - Jobs and Careers

Did you have a Saturday job, holiday job?
Where was it?
What did you do?
Can you recall who you worked for and with?
What was the biggest / most important thing you learned here?
Did it inspire your future?
Do you have any pictures / photos / clippings?
Did you have full / part time job?
Job or career
Does it not matter?
Is it the same?
Did you enjoy what you did? - Why?
Was it a passion or a means to an end?
Who did you work with?
Did you have work place reviews?
Did they fit with your personal plan?
Did you have a career / employment work plan?
Did you stay at home?
Or did you really want to?
Did you have employment hopes and dreams
Regrets

Jobs were the places I worked at that weren't going to be long term things. They were a means to earn money for whatever…

52 Ancestors--2015 Edition: #1 --Gloria Beth Gwyn Davis

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I am so glad that Amy Johnson Crow of the blog No Story Too Small is back hosting the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Blog Prompt series in 2015. I had all good intentions in 2014 in keeping up with the series week after week however, I started off late and then quickly fell further behind with each week. Finally I fell off in October 2014 with writing posts for the series. Oh well, better to have written some then none at all. Life has a way of getting in the way of my writing at times, but I am feeling optimistic that I have the drive this year to stick with the series to the end.  I like the idea of optional weekly themes too. It changes things up a bit. On weeks I have more time to write, I'll try to utilize the theme. This week I am under a bit of time crunch so this post is going to be a shorter one. Again, better to post something rather than nothing.

I found this picture on-line of a cousin of mine who died before I had the chance to really know her. I was 3 1/2 years old when she…

The Book Of Me: Prompt 63 --Addresses and Locations

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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 - Addresses and Locations
Are there addresses and locations from your childhood you can recall?
Can you remember your next door neighbors?
Their name
What they looked like
What car they drove (if any)
Addresses of family and friends
Describe the houses
Shops
Clubs
Do you have any pictures - houses, street signs etc

Are there addresses and locations from your childhood you can recall?

The first address that I can recall is so hard-wired into my memory that it's absolutely ridiculous. When I was in kindergarten, I had to memorize the address that we lived at and our telephone number. Had to know it, no ifs ands or buts. Mrs. Carroll, my teacher, was a smart lady and wanted us know to know basic information in the event that we ever became lost. I came up with a little so…