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Showing posts from February, 2015

52 Ancestors --2015 Edition: #8 Alfred Mitchell's Good Deeds

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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 8 (Feb 19-25) – Good Deeds. Does this mean a generous ancestor or one you found through land records? You decide.

Now I have featured my 2nd great grand uncle, Alfred Mitchell before on this blog, but I thought this would be a good opportunity to feature another one of his deeds in keeping with this week's theme.

You can read more about Alfred Mitchell here in these posts:

52 Ancestors: #12 --Alfred Mitchell --A Son Bears Witness

Amanuensis Monday on Tuesday: Alfred Mitchell --Deeds #1 & #2

Amanuensis Monday on Tuesday: Alfred Mitchell --Deed #3

Amanuensis Monday on Tuesday: Alfred Mitchell --Deed #4


According to his death certificate, Alfred Mitchell was born on July 31,1858 in Beaufort County, NC. He was the only son born to my 3rd g…

DNA Proves I've Got The Right Family!

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I am so excited because I have DNA proof that I have found the right family!!! Woohoo! Let me explain. 

If you have been following my series regarding my paternal great grandmother Ella/Ellen Kerr Smith Dixon, then you know that the woman has been very elusive. If you missed those posts, here are the links:

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

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

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

I haven't given up hope on Ella but I am starting to feel like her story will remain like vapor. Maybe I will only be privy to a whisper of the person she once was. Maybe more will will be revealed in time. We'll see.

The good news is that I have connected with a cousin through Ancestry.com and Facebook that is linked to this family line. Woohoo!

A while back I noticed I had a 4th--6th cousin on my list of DNA matches to someone who had ties to Sampson county. 


52 Ancestors --2015 Edition: #7 My Inspiration--Ophelia Jones 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 7 (Feb 12-18) – Love. Which ancestor do you love to research? Which ancestor do you feel especially close to? Which ancestor seemed to have a lot of love?

My Ophelia I feel especially close to. I have wondered if I would have been driven to learn about my ancestors if my great grandmother Ophelia Jones Bryant hadn't sat for a portrait with her 6 month old baby girl (my grandma Mary Bryant Harrison Horton.)


Ophelia Jones Bryant with her daughter Mary.
I think it's in my blood to want to know who and where I come from. This picture definitely sparked something in me though.
Ophelia Jones was born on November 20, 1894 in Morehead City, NC. She was the youngest of four children born to Alexander Hamilton Jones and Rosa Mitchell Jones. S…

Those Places Thursday: Postcards Of Wilmington, NC

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I have continued building on my collection of old postcards of the places my ancestors once called home.  Since I've been working on figuring out how my paternal great grandmother Ella Kerr Smith Dixon made her way to Wilmington, NC, I thought it would be appropriate to share some of scenes of what Wilmington looked like during the first half of the 20th century.


Postcard view of James Walker Memorial Hospital. My paternal grandmother Ethel Smith Murrell was born here.



The Docks, Wilmington Harbor, Wilmington, N.C.

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

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ELLLLLAAAAA!!! (said a la A Street Car Named Desire.) That's what I feel like screaming every time I do research on my paternal great grandmother Ella Kerr/Smith/Hayes/Dixon or whatever other name she might have been going by at a particular time. 

If this is the first time you're reading about my Ella, you may want to go back and read part one and two. Here are the links:

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

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


It seems to me that my Ella did her darnedest to not be found in a record prior to 1920.  She was born I believe in or around 1882 in Sampson County, NC, so no there's no 1880 census entry to refer to. I knew by 1911 she was living in Wilmington, NC because that is where my grandmother Ethel Smith Murrell was born. Where was she prior to 1911? Why and how did she come to the decision to move to Wilmington?

On part two of this series, I mentioned that I believed I had…

Happy Valentine's Day!

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Friday Faces From The Past: Janice Murrell's Confirmation Day

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Janice Murrell is standing in the second row, last one on the right.


I was looking through family pictures today that I have saved on my computer and this one spoke to me and so I decided to share it. My dear sweet aunt Janice is featured in this picture on her confirmation day. Janice Murrell was my father's older sister. She was a wonderful lady and I miss her dearly. I know she would have showered my kids with love just as she did for my brother and I when we were little.

For more about my aunt Janice, take a look at these posts:

Remembering My Special Aunt --Janice Murrell

Ethel Murrell and Janice Murrell

Wordless Wednesday: Harold and Janice Murrell

Now back to the topic of the picture. The caption on it reads "Confirmation 1948, Trinity of Episcopal Church Morrisania."

I knew my father's family was living in the Bronx in 1948. My father long ago had told me the street that they lived on was Tinton Ave. I had forgotten the street number but remembered it was on my gra…

52 Ancestors --2015 Edition: #6 My Paternal Great Grandmother Frederica Augusta Inniss Murrell

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Flag of Barbados
I've been so fortunate to have been able to find so much information on my maternal ancestors. Luckily, my folks came from areas where good records were maintained. My father's side of the family has been a bit trickier. My father's maternal grandmother I've just begun to make some progress on. You can read more about my latest findings on my great grandma Ella in these posts:

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

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

My father's other grandmother has been a challenge researching due to distance and seemed to be a perfect fit for this week's prompt.

Week 6 (Feb 5-11) – So Far Away. Which ancestor is the farthest from you, either in distance or in time/generations? Which ancestor have you had to go the farthest away to research?

My paternal grandfather's roots come from Barbados. Harold O. Murrell left his parents and siblings to come to the Uni…

Something About Me Saturday: This Too Shall Pass

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This week was a real blur. I'm tired. There's been a lot going on behind the scenes. At least I can say we've come out on the other side and I know things are going to be alright.

Last Sunday--
We have a night time routine in my house where all four of us --the kids, my husband Tom, and I lay in bed together and talk about the highlights of our day. It's a great time for re-connection. Last Sunday there was someone missing from the bed. My dear hubby was in the hospital being evaluated because he was having chest pain. He had two heart attacks in December, which I wrote about briefly, on my post Ready, Set, Blog! He had been having some on again off again pain since he had a stent put in to hold open a previously blocked artery. Yes, he had been in consultation with his doctor about the pain. Finally on Saturday night, the discomfort started to ramp up again and we thought it best that he should go to the hospital. 

Of course this was when my body decided that it would be…

Eloise Grigsby On A Cruise

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Eloise Bryant Grigsby

My aunt Eloise used to go on quite a few cruises. This is a picture from my mother's collection. Looks like she was dressed up to go to dinner. She reminds me so much of her sister, my grandmother Mary Horton in this picture.

Mary Bryant Horton

52 Ancestors --2015 Edition: #5 Annie And Effie Sampson With A Shout Out To Garrett Ward!

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Picture taken outside of Annie and Effie Sampson's House
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 5, Plowing through — We will likely be plowing through a lot of snow by this time. What ancestor had a lot of struggles to plow through? Or take it more literally… It’s up to you.

It's up to me huh? Okay well it took a bit of time to think of who and what angle I wanted to approach this prompt with. Then I remembered what someone had told me about a picture that they were so kind to share with me. 

"That is the kitchen end of Annie and Effie's house. You can see the old refrigerator that they used for an ice box on the porch. They never had electricity. Looks like Garrett Ward's old tractor. Big old oak tree for shade."

Ah-ha, that's how those ladies were…