Friday, February 27, 2015

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

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

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 great grandparents, Mortimer Mitchell and Annie Taylor Mitchell. When Alfred was a young man he witnessed his father's first purchase of land and subsequently went on to do the same for himself. The Mitchells lived in Riverdale, NC a small town about 10 miles southeast of New Bern, NC. 

The following deed is for land that Alfred purchased on November 25, 1921.



NORTH CAROLINA
CRAVEN COUNTY

     THIS INDENTURE, made and executed on this the 25th day of November, 1921, by and between J. L. Hartsfield and Emma Wolfenden Hartsfield, his wife, and George T. Duffy and Mary Wolfenden Duffy, his wife, Parties of the First Part, and Alfred Mitchell, Party of the Second Party,

          WITNESSETH:

                                     That for and in consideration of the sum of Three Hundred, Eighty ($380.00) Dollars in hand paid to the parties of the first part by the party of the second part, the receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged, said parties of the first part have bargained and sold and by these presents do grant, bargain, sell and convey unto the said party of the second part, his heirs and assigns, in fee simple and forever, all the following described tract or parcel of land, to-wit:-

     Beginning on the Eastern side if the New-Bern Beaufort Road at an iron corner at the intersection with Culvery Creek, running thence South 32 degrees East along with said road about 342 feet to an iron stake in said Road, thence South 38 1/4 degrees East about 600 feet along with the Eastern side of said Road to another iron stake, a corner,




about 600 feet along with the Eastern side of said Road to another iron stake, a corner, thence South 89 degrees East about 300 feet with the Southern boundary line of said tract of land, the division line between said tract of land anf the Watson Land to the right of way of the Atlantic & North Carolina Railroad, thence North 19 degrees 40' West with said right of way about 820 feet to an iron corner in said Culvery Branch thence with said Culvery Branch and the meanders thereof Westwardly to the point of beginning, containing 8.1 acres, more or less.
     TO HAVE AND TO HOLD the above described tract or parcel of land, together, together with all privileges and appurtenances thereun to belonging, or in any wide appertaining, unto the said party of the second part, his heirs and assigns, in fee simple and forever.
     And the said parties of the first part for themselves, their heirs, executors, and administrators, covenant to and with the said party of the second party, his heirs and assigns that they are seized of said premises in fee simple and have good right to convey the same, that the same is free and clear of all encumbrances and that they will forever warrant and defend the title to the same against the lawful claims of all person whomsoever.
   
     IN TESTIMONY WHEREOF the said parties of the first part have hereunto set their hands and seals this day and year first above written.


                                                                         Mary W. Duffy...........(Seal)
                                                 Geo. T. Duffy.............(Seal)
                                                 Emma W. Hartsfield.. (Seal)
                                                 J. L. Hartdfield.........,.(Seal)

NORTH CAROLINA --Craven County,
     The execution of the foregoing instrument was this day duly acknowledged before me by J. L. Hartsfield and Emma Hartsfield, his wife, for the purposes there in expressed, And the said Emma Hartsfield, being by me privately examined separate and apart from from her said husband touching her voluntary execution of the same doth state that she signed the same freely and voluntarily, without fear or compulsion of her said husband or of any other person, and that she doth still voluntarily assent thereto.
     Witness my hand and Notorial Seal, this 20 day of November 1921.
My commission expires 6 day of June, 1923.  S.R. Street, Notary Public, (SEAL)



NORTH CAROLIN- Craven County.
     The execution of the foregoing instrument was this day duly acknowledged by George T. Duffy and Mary Wolfenden Duffy, his wife, for the purpose there in express And the said the said Mary Wolfenden Duffy being by me privately examined separate and apart from her said husband touching her voluntary execution of the same, doth state that she sign the same freely and voluntarily without fear or compulsion of her said husband or of any other person, and that she doth still voluntarily assent thereto,
     Witness my hand and Notarial Seal, this 20th day of December.1921.

                                        W.B. Flanner, Deputy Clerk Superior Court.

Filed registration at 3:10 o'clock, P.M. December 20th .1921.

                                G.A. Farrow     Register of Deeds.


Tuesday, February 24, 2015

DNA Proves I've Got The Right Family!

DNA Proves I've Got The Right Family --How Did I Get Here? My Amazing Genealogy Journey



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. 


DNA Proves I've Got The Right Family! -- How Did I Get Here? My Amazing Genealogy Journey
Image courtesy of Ancestry.com

Before checking their tree to see if there were any familiar names on it, I said a silent prayer to myself hoping that this match would be associated with my paternal line. It just so happens that it was.


Image courtesy of Ancestry.com

It turns out that the maiden name of the Caroline on my newly found cousin's tree happened to be Caroline Kerr. She was the sister of my 2nd great grandfather, Henry Kerr.  Henry Kerr and Tina Jane Murphy were my great grandmother Ella's parents.

DNA Proves I've Got The Right Family --How Did I Get Here? My Amazing Genealogy Journey
Image courtesy of Ancestry.com


Which means my new cousin, Leonard Lenny Bennett and I share 3rd great grandparents. Just like that I have confirmation that Jacob Kerr and Clara Kerr are my 3rd great grandparents. My great grandmother Ella may continue to hide from me in the records but at least now the door is open for me to continue my search back in time.

DNA Proves I've Got The Right Family --How Did I Get Here? My Amazing Genealogy Journey


I can't wait to see what I might find out! :)

Friday, February 20, 2015

52 Ancestors --2015 Edition: #7 My Inspiration--Ophelia Jones Bryant

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.)


52 Ancestors --2015 Edition:  #7 My Inspiration --Ophelia Jones Bryant
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. She married her childhood sweetheart, Frank Bryant on November 4, 1911 and went on to have seven children with him --Frank, Linwood, Loris, Ray, Mary (my grandmother), Rosa, and Eloise.

She worked as a school teacher and was a faithful member of St Stephen's AME Zion church in Morehead City. She was the church organist and on occasion spoke before the church.

Here's a couple of newspaper clippings I came across with her mentioned in them.


52 Ancestors --2015 Edition:  #7 My Inspiration --Ophelia Jones Bryant

 The Morning New Bernian, 25 Mar 1917, Sun, Page 7


52 Ancestors --2015 Edition:  #7 My Inspiration --Ophelia Jones Bryant
The Morning New Bernian, 5 Aug 1917, Sun, Page 4

These articles appear to be referring to special programs that were held at St Peter's AME Zion Church in New Bern. St Peter's AME Zion Church is known as the "Mother Church of Zion Methodism in the South."

An interesting note, I just realized that my great grandmother died on February 20, 1939. Now 76 years and 7 minutes later I am writing about her.

You can read more about my maternal great grandmother Ophelia in the following posts:


Amanuensis Monday: Frank Bryant And Ophelia Jones's Marriage Certificate





Thursday, February 19, 2015

Those Places Thursday: Postcards Of Wilmington, NC

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.


Those Places Thursday:  Postcards Of Wilmington, NC --How Did I Get Here? My Amazing Genealogy Journey
Postcard view of James Walker Memorial Hospital.
My paternal grandmother Ethel Smith Murrell was born here.



Those Places Thursday:  Postcards of Wilmington, NC --How Did I Get Here? My Amazing Genealogy Journey

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


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


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 found Ella's parents, Tina Murphy Kerr and Henry Kerr, residing in Franklin Township in Sampson County in 1880. I checked the 1900 census for Franklin Township and still no Ella. This is when I referred to a map of Sampson County.


Map of Sampson County, North Carolina With Municipal and Township Labels
Image courtesy of Wikipedia

Franklin township is in the southern most part of Sampson county. This got me thinking well if she didn't stay in Sampson county, where did she go? Since she eventually ventured further south to Wilmington, I thought I should check the adjoining counties in the south.



Bladen county is in the southwest and Pender in the southeast. I found an entry in the 1900 Federal census that looks promising as being my Ella.

Image courtesy of Google Maps

Source Information:  Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2004.Original data: United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Twelfth Census of the United States, 1900. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1900. T623, 1854 rolls.

This entry was for a household in Colly township in Bladen county.
Here's the household make-up:

Seeley Robeson (Celia Robinson) --Head of household --widowed
Jane (Janie)--daughter b. Jan 1875 --single
Charlie --son b. Dec 1877 --single
Eliza --daughter b. Dec 1879 --single
Mousora (Missouri)--daughter b. March 1881 --single
Carrie --daughter b. March 1883 --single
Estella --granddaughter b. April 1892 --single
Robbie C L --granddaughter b. July 1895 --single
Mckinley A--grandson b. Sept 1895 --single
Starling J --grandson b. Sept 1899 --single
Ellen Kerr --famaly (family) b. February 1882

My great grandmother went by the first name of Ellen or Ella in the few records I've come by with her listed in them, so this Ellen Kerr could be her. The Ellen Kerr here in this census entry was noted as "family." I haven't figured out the connection yet, if there is one. The census enumerator may have made an assumption when the household information was recorded. Here's what I do know about Celia Robinson and her family

1) Celia Robinson's maiden name was listed as "Cedie Crummedy" on her daughter Janie Robinson's death certificate. This may or may not be correct. On the death certificate of Carrie Robinson Richardson, another of Celia's daughters, Celia's maiden name was listed as "Celie Crumley." Haven't come across too many folks by the last names of Crummedy or Crumley in Sampson County but the last name Cromartie is another story. The Cromartie surname comes up quite a bit. I could see how someone may have incorrectly transcribed the name. Perhaps it was actually Cromartie

2) Celia was married to a man named Rage Robinson. Great name, right? Anyway, Rage was born in Bladen County and apparently died by the time the 1900 census came around because Celia was listed as a widow then. The family connection to Ellen Kerr may be through the Robinson surname. So far I've come across quite a few Robinsons in Sampson county but I haven't been able to identify a connection yet. 

3) This is when it gets interesting. In 1910, guess where Celia Robinson and her family were living? Wilmington, NC. Hmm. I am thinking that this may be how Ella made her way to Wilmington. She went with the family she had been living with. This makes sense, you go where your resources are. The folks she had lived with were moving, so she moved. Plus, the city would have provided her with better opportunities for work and possibly education. 


Source Information:  Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2006. Source Citation Year: 1910; Census Place: Wilmington Ward 1, New Hanover, North Carolina; Roll: T624_1124; Page: 7B; Enumeration District: 0085; FHL microfilm: 1375137

But of course Ellen was not living with the Robinsons. Oh if it were so easy. Oh well, I should know better by now. With my Ella, it's always complicated. 

More to come tomorrow.


Friday, February 13, 2015

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

Friday Faces From The Past:  Janice Murrell's Confirmation Day --How Did I Get Here? My Amazing Genealogy Journey
Janice Murrell is standing in the second row, last one on the right.


Friday Faces From The Past:  Janice Murrell's Confirmation Day --How Did I Get Here? My Amazing Genealogy Journey

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 grandfather's petition for naturalization index card.


Source Information:  Ancestry.com. New York, Index to Petitions for Naturalization filed in New York City, 1792-1989 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2007. Original data: Soundex Index to Petitions for Naturalization filed in Federal, State, and Local Courts located in New York City, 1792-1989. New York, NY, USA: 
The National Archives at New York City.


I like plotting things out on a map. It's a great way to get a sense of where things were in relation to where your ancestors lived.



Images courtesy of Google Images
970 Tinton Ave is noted in red and Trinity Episcopal Church of Morrisania is marked in yellow.

This map shows how close the church was to the Murrell household. It was easily within walking distance of their apartment. 

Image courtesy of Google Maps

Trinity Episcopal Church of Morrisania
698 East 166th Street, Bronx, NY 10456


Wednesday, February 11, 2015

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

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 United States in hopes of finding a better life. How does one become so brave to leave everything and everyone you know behind. How do you say goodbye to your parents. How do you hug your mom and know that will probably be the last time you ever see her. I give my grandfather mad props for being able to do what he did. I couldn't bear to leave my mother behind. It would hurt too much. What about my great grandmother Frederica? How tough it must have been for her to know that she must let her child go so he could go out in the world to find his life.

A few years back, I spoke with a cousin of mine from Barbados via telephone and learned the names of my great grandparents and my great grandmother's mother. My great grandmother Frederica Augusta Inniss was born in St Philip Parish, Barbados sometime prior to 1871. Whether she was an infant or a young child at the time of her baptism, I do not know. 


Image courtesy of FamilySearch.org

I really don't know much about her. I know that she along with her husband, George Murrell lived in an area called MarleyVale.


Images courtesy of Google Maps

I hope to someday be able to take my kids to the island to visit. I visited Barbados with my parents and brother back in 1998 long before I became interested in genealogy. Oh how I wish I could go back in time and have scheduled in a trip to the Barbados National Archives to do some research.

Frederica Augusta Inniss had with her husband George Murrell four children: Edna, Lillian, Rupert, and my grandfather Harold.

I wish I had stories to share about her Frederica. I don't. I wish I could glance at her face to see if my grandfather resembled her. I wish I could give her a hug and say thank you for raising such a fine son.

Thank you, Frederica! These flowers are for you.


Pride of Barbardos
The national flower of Barbados.


Saturday, February 7, 2015

Something About Me Saturday: This Too Shall Pass

Something About Me Saturday:  This Too Shall Pass --How Did I Get Here? My Amazing Genealogy Journey


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 a good time to come down with a stomach bug. By Sunday night I was a pretty washed out version of myself. My kids crawled in bed on either side of me and we began to talk about our day. On top of being worried about their Papa, now Mom was sick. They were concerned. That's when a beautiful teaching moment happened.

I started to talk to them about a time when I was a kid and my mother and I both came down with a stomach virus. Oh man, we were sick, so sick. It was awful. I can laugh about it now but back then we were not laughing at all. The only thing we could do was just lay down and bundle up under the covers in between visits to the bathroom.  I remember looking over at my mother and she looking back at me and I think the humor of the situation kind of hit us. We were just these tired, sick miserable lumps hanging out in bed and all we could do is just smile and say to ourselves, "This too shall pass."

My kids were amused by my story. They get a kick out of the thought of their mother being a little girl and grandma taking care of me like I take care of them. I saw that the worry in their faces had eased. Telling the story also improved my spirits.  Even though I was feeling like crap, I knew I wouldn't always feel that way. I also knew somewhere in my heart that my hubby was going to be okay too.

It turned out that I was right. My husband's cardiologist decided to go in and check the stent. Stent, arteries, and heart all looked good. Tom was released from the hospital on Tuesday.We still have to figure some things out. He may be having some sort of gastro issue or it might actually be angina. For now, I am satisfied that he's back home with his family. 




Thursday, February 5, 2015

Eloise Grigsby On A Cruise

Eloise Grigsby On A Cruise --How Did I Get Here? My Amazing Genealogy Journey
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.


Eloise Grigsby On A Cruise --How Did I Get Here? My Amazing Genealogy Journey
Mary Bryant Horton

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

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

52 Ancestors --2015 Edition:  #5 Annie and Effie Sampson With A Shout Out to Garrett Ward --Riverdale, NC

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 able to maintain their land. Wait, Andrea. Back up you are getting ahead of yourself. Must explain who Annie and Effie Sampson were in my family tree. 

Annie and Effie were the daughters of David Sampson and Mary Jane Mitchell Sampson. They were my 1st cousins 3x removed. My 2nd great grandmother Rosa Mitchell Jones was Mary Jane Mitchell Sampson's sister.

The picture I have featured above is a picture that was taken outside of Annie and Effie's home during the 1960's. My thanks go out again to Michael Grushinski, the very kind gentleman who provided me with me this picture and additional details about the old homeplace. Which brings me to my shout out to Garrett Ward.


52 Ancestors --2015 Edition:  #5 Annie and Effie Sampson With A Shout Out to Garrett Ward --Riverdale, NC
Annie and Effie Sampson on their land in Riverdale, NC.
Picture was taken during the mid to late 1960's.


Although he has long since passed on, thank you Garrett Ward for helping out my cousins with their land. These ladies were lifelong residents of Riverdale, a small community which is approximately 9 miles southeast of New Bern, NC. They lived off their land, by growing their own vegetables and raising chickens. I am sure they traded with their neighbors for meat and other things they may have needed.

"The kitchen had a wood burning cookstove. It didn't use the chimney on the left though. Cookstove was to the right when you went in the kitchen door. I think the chimney you see in the picture was no longer used when I knew them. 

For an older view of the Sampson home take a look at the following post: Not So Wordless Wednesday: I Think These Sampsons Want To Be Remembered!



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