Sunday, October 25, 2015

Celebrating At Chuck E. Cheese's

Just last Sunday we were celebrating my daughter's birthday with her friends at the place where a kid can be a kid. That's right, we did the Chuck E. Cheese's thing. It was great fun. Here are a few pictures from that day. 




















One highlight from that day didn't take place at Chuck E. Cheese's. On the morning of her party, my daughter created this message for me for my birthday. I love how creative she is. She used some pipe cleaners, a head band, and a couple of elastic hair ties and she set this out on her bed.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

52 Ancestors 2015 Edition: #41 Isabelle Kerr Blue --My 1st Cousin 3x Removed

52 Ancestors 2015 Edition:  #41 Isabelle Kerr Blue --How Did I Get Here? My Amazing Genealogy Journey

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 41 (October 8-14) – Colorful. Everyone has at least one “colorful” ancestor. Share the story of one of yours 

The ancestor I chose didn't have a particularly colorful life, but her name I found to be rather pretty. Well, her married name I should say --Isabelle Blue. Just sounds so sweet and feminine. Anyway, Isabelle was born Isabelle Kerr and she was my 1st cousin 3x removed on my maternal line.

I came across something I hadn't seen before while researching Isabelle Kerr Blue. 

Here's her death certificate.


52 Ancestors 2015 Edition:  #41 Isabelle Kerr Blue --My 1st Cousin 3x Removed --How Did I Get Here? My Amazing Genealogy Journey
 Source Information Ancestry.com. North Carolina, Death Certificates, 1909-1976 [database on-line]. 
Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2007.

Isabelle's age and the name of the undertaker were left blank. Another curious thing that was missing was the cause of death of my 1st cousin 3x removed. 


Some of this was figured out when I came across this:


52 Ancestors 2015 Edition:  #41 Isabelle Kerr Blue --My 1st Cousin 3x Removed --How Did I Get Here? My Amazing Genealogy Journey
Source Information Ancestry.com. North Carolina, Death Certificates, 1909-1976 [database on-line]. 
Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2007.

This is an amendment to Isabelle Blue's death certificate. I've never seen something like this before. Hey, in genealogy there's always something new to learn. 

Additional information provided:
Age: 40 
Undertaker:  Arthur McKoy (his address) Tomahawk, NC
Principal causes of death:  No physician. Thought to have had a tumor of the stomach.

So young she was! Her parents were a Hayes and Masura Kerr of Tomahawk/Franklin, NC. Masura Kerr died prior to June 1900. Isabelle would be raised by her father Hayes and his second wife Mary. On the amendment to the death certificate, it's noted that her age was "40," that would make her year of birth 1893. Comparing this to Isabelle's age noted on the censuses from 1900--1930, I believe her birth year was more than likely somewhere between 1891 and 1893.

Here's how Isabelle and I are connected:


52 Ancestors 2015 Edition:  #41 Isabelle Kerr Blue --My 1st Cousin 3x Removed --How Did I Get Here? My Amazing Genealogy Journey


52 Ancestors 2015 Edition:  #41 Isabelle Kerr Blue --My 1st Cousin 3x Removed --How Did I Get Here? My Amazing Genealogy Journey
Source Information Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2006. Source CitationYear: 1910; Census Place: Franklin, Sampson, North Carolina; Roll: T624_1132; Page: 8B; Enumeration District: 0081; FHL microfilm: 1375145

Here's a look at Isabelle's family in 1910. Her father, Hayes Kerr, was a landowner. He inherited his land from his father Jacob Kerr who I've written about before on this blog. You can see where Hayes was mentioned in his father's will here. Anyway, Isabelle lived and worked on the family farm until she married Scott Archie Blue on September 7, 1912.

52 Ancestors 2015 Edition:  #41 Isabelle Kerr Blue --My 1st Cousin 3x Removed --How Did I Get Here? My Amazing Genealogy Journey
Source Citation Description Series : Marriage Register (1865 - 1979)Source Information
Ancestry.com. North Carolina, Marriage Records, 1741-2011 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: 
Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2015.

Scott and Isabelle had their own farm. As far as I can tell, they had only one child named Josie Lee Blue who was born in 1913. Sadly, the child died before his 3rd birthday.

Of course, I am still playing catch up on the 52 Ancestors series so on to prompt #42!



Saturday, October 17, 2015

52 Ancestors 2015 Edition: #40 Ancestors With October Birthdays


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 40 (October 1-7) – October: What ancestor has a birthday or anniversary in October?

Here are a few of my ancestors who had October birthdays.

Maternal great grandfather --Frank Linwood Bryant:  October 6, 1890

Maternal 2nd great grandfather --Samuel Whitney:  October 1856

Maternal 2nd great grandmother --Sarah Jane Harris Whitney: October 11, 1859

Maternal great grandmother  --Carrie Ethel Whitney Harrison: October 11, 1897.

My daughter and I have birthdays this week as well. Sending out Happy Birthday cheer to anyone else celebrating a birthday this month. 

Something About Me Saturday: Goofing Around With The Family At Party City











You can learn more about my Something About Me Saturday posts here.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

A Week Of Birthday Fun!

My husband and I captured some lovely pictures this past Sunday during a family gathering we had for our daughter. Ladybug is turning 8 this week! I know E-I-G-H-T?!!!! Good Grief time goes by too fast.

If you want to see her earliest moments take a look at this post. From then until now, we've enjoyed every moment of watching this beautiful spirit grow up.


A Week Of Birthday Fun! How Did I Get Here? My Amazing Genealogy Journey
Hubby took this picture of the birthday girl.
Such a sweet face!

A Week Of Birthday Fun! How Did I Get Here? My Amazing Genealogy Journey


A Week Of Birthday Fun! How Did I Get Here? My Amazing Genealogy Journey


A Week Of Birthday Fun! How Did I Get Here? My Amazing Genealogy Journey



A Week Of Birthday Fun! How Did I Get Here? My Amazing Genealogy Journey



A Week Of Birthday Fun! How Did I Get Here? My Amazing Genealogy Journey



A Week Of Birthday Fun! How Did I Get Here? My Amazing Genealogy Journey

My husband also captured this gem of a picture.
Grandpa and the birthday girl. 


This weekend the birthday girl will get to hang with all her friends at Chuck E. Cheese's. Great way to end the week :)

Monday, October 12, 2015

52 Ancestors 2015 Edition: #39 Samuel David Whitney Leaves A House For Emma Sawyer.

52 Ancestors 2015 Edition: #39 Samuel David Whitney Leaves A House For Emma Sawyer. How Did I Get Here? My Amazing Genealogy Journey

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 39 (September 24-30) – Unusual: What is the most unusual record you’ve ever found? Or, who is the most unusual of your ancestors? (You can take that any way you want to!)

For this week, I chose not to follow the prompt. This post came about in quite a random fashion. Sometimes, I'll go to my tree and just poke around through record sets searching by surname and location and this can be the catalyst for a new post. That's what happened here with this one.

So, I'll begin by sharing from Ancestry.com's recently released Wills & Probates, Estates & Guardian Records Collection. If you haven't had the opportunity to check it out yet, by all means do so. Here's the link from Ancestry.com's blog, that will provide you more information regarding this release:   U.S. Probates are here!


The following is my great grand uncle Samuel David Whitney's probate record. Samuel's sister, Carrie Whitney Harrison, was my maternal great grandmother. You can read more about Samuel's life here


A House For Emma Sawyer! --How Did I Get Here? My Amazing Genealogy Journey

A House For Emma Sawyer! --How Did I Get Here? My Amazing Genealogy Journey
Source Information Ancestry.com. North Carolina, Wills and Probate Records, 1665-1998 [database on-line]. 
Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2015. Original data: North Carolina County, District and Probate Courts.


Upon my great grand uncle's death he chose to leave his house and home furnishings to a woman named Emma Sawyer. I found this to be a bit curious since she wasn't a blood relative. Samuel David Whitney didn't have children with either of his two wives and both had predeceased him. My great grandmother Carrie Whitney Harrison and her family lived next door to Samuel. She passed away in 1939. Carrie's older children for the most part had moved north and out of North Carolina by the time Samuel passed away in 1957. Perhaps there was no one in the family who was interested in the property. With all this being said, I couldn't help but wonder what the relationship was between Emma Sawyer and Samuel. Was she perhaps a family friend who helped to care for him in his later years. Did Samuel have a friendship with Emma's parents since he made a reference to them in his will?

This is where things get interesting. 

The first thing I did was a search on Google with the name " Emma Sawyer" and "New Bern" as my search criteria.

I came across an article form Dec. 12, 2010 on a website called New Bern Now. The article's title is A Remembrance – Tent City – 88th Anniversary of the Great Fire of 1922. Click here to see the entire article.

The article describes a day of reflection that took place on Dec. 5, 2010 about one of New Bern's worst days. That terrible day was Dec. 1, 1922  otherwise known as the day of The Great Fire.

That same article happens to make mention of an Emma Sawyer Poole (Supposed to be Emma Poole Sawyer. Oh well, we all make make mistakes.) During the event, the great great granddaughter of Emma Sawyer, D'Chelle Hicks, read a poem that was written by none other than Emma herself! The poem itself was not featured in this initial article I found, but I did find it on another website. You can read it here. The poem describes how the fire spread through the mostly African American neighborhood of New Bern on Dec. 1, 1922. You can view a map of the area affected on a post I did last year here.


Now all this still doesn't explain what Emma Sawyer's relationship was to Samuel David Whitney but I still found it interesting. I started theorizing how these two came to know each other. 

Here's what I do know about Emma Poole Sawyer


Source Information Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications
 and Claims Index, 1936-2007 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2015.
Original data: Social Security Applications and Claims, 1936-2007.


Cornelius Poole was Emma's father as mentioned in Samuel David Whitney's probate record and her mother was Annie E. Nunn who died prior to 1910. Cornelius Poole would go on to marry by 1920 a woman named Mary Wilkins who would have truly been the only mother Emma would have known 

Here's the family group in 1910.

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: New Bern Ward 6, Craven, North Carolina; Roll: T624_1104; Page: 2B; Enumeration District: 0027; FHL microfilm: 1375117

Cornelius Poole's occupation was a "keeper" of a "livery stable." He owned his own home located at 93 Bern St. His stable was located at 97 New St.


Hill Directory Co. New Bern City Directory 1911--1912
Listing of  Livery, Boarding and Sale Stables


With the asterisk next to his name, it appears that Cornelius was the only black livery stable owner in the bunch. He would have been an important member of the community, known by many I would think. This may be where the Whitneys connection to Pooles began. Samuel David Whitney's father, also named Samuel Whitney, was a drayman. Samuel Whitney Sr. would have needed a place to keep his horses.

I took a couple of days off from writing this post because life got busy as it often does. When I picked things up again, I was curious to see if perhaps the relationship between the Pooles and Whitneys may have begun further back in time. While, researching Cornelius Poole, I learned the name of his father which was Malachi Pool. I decided to do a google search using "Malachi Pool"and "New Bern." What came up is genealogy gold for anyone researching these Pool/Pooles of New Bern, NC. The New Bern-Craven Public Library has in it's collection the Pool-Jones Family Bible. Here's the link:  Pool-Jones Family Bible. Lots of names and dates of birth are found on the first page, including the birth date of Cornelius Walter Pool who was born Feb 9th 1877.

Sorry my attention deficit disorder is really acting up in this post :) Back to my initial point now. What was the relationship between the Samuel David Whitney and Emma Sawyer? I think this goes back to what happened to the neighborhood they lived in after The Great Fire of 1922.


Image courtesy of The Morning New Bernian, 10 Dec 1922, Sun, Page 16

I believe when people endure a crisis as devastating as the one that occurred in New Bern on December 1,1922, a bond forms among the people of that community. Folks do what they can to help one another. Perhaps shortly after the fire, Cornelius Poole's family helped Samuel David Whitney and his family. Perhaps those favors were not forgotten by Samuel and he wanted to do a good deed for the folks who once helped him.




Image courtesy of a book called New Bern by Vina Hutchinson.

Temporary housing in the form of a "tent city" was set up for those who were left homeless from the Great Fire. A tent is temporary shelter. A house now that can become a home. People lost homes on December 1, 1922. Upon his passing, Samuel David Whitney made sure that Emma Poole Sawyer would have a place to call home.

Of course the way Samuel David Whitney and Emma Sawyer came to know each other could have been something much simpler. She may have been someone who was hired to help care for him My grand uncle died from cirrhosis of the liver, something brought on most likely from alcohol abuse. The loss of two wives and his sister probably weighed heavily on his heart.


Emma Sawyer already had a place to call home by the time Samuel died in 1957. After The Great Fire of 1922, her father and step-mom were able to rebuild their lives. Their home was at 618 Bern St., which was very close to where Samuel resided.


Image courtesy of Google Maps

Samuel David Whitney resided at 711 Browns Ave
 and  Emma Sawyer and her parents resided at 618 Bern St.

Cornelius Pool(e) died November 4, 1938. His widow, Mary continued to live on Bern St until her death on September 8, 1962. Emma Poole married Leonard Augustus Sawyer on June 2, 1930. Emma and her husband who was a tailor resided on on George St in 1937 but by 1947 Emma was back living at 618 Bern St. I haven't found the death certificate for Leonard Sawyer yet but I believe he died around that time. I know he was deceased by 1954 because...


Source Information Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1989 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011.Description Title : 
New Bern, North Carolina, City Directory, 1954

...Emma was listed as his widow in a 1954 
New Bern City Directory living at 711 Brown's Ave. 

After Samuel David Whitney's death, Emma didn't stay at Brown's Ave. Her last place of residence I found for her was 1902 Washington St, New Bern. She passed away on January 18, 1993.

It seems to me that the house left to Emma Sawyer was more than likely a way to pass on something to someone who was good to Samuel David Whitney in his later years. 

Friday, October 2, 2015

52 Ancestors 2015 Edition: #38 Riverdale, NC --My Favorite Place To Research

52 Ancestors 2015 Edition:  #38 Riverdale, NC --My Favorite Place To Research --How Did I Get Here? My Amazing Genealogy Journey

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 38 (September 17-23) – Favorite Place: What has been your favorite place to research? Which ancestor came from there?

Riverdale, NC has turned out to be my favorite ancestral place to research, thus far. The town is located approximately 9 miles southeast of New Bern.


52 Ancestors 2015 Edition:  #38 Riverdale, NC --My Favorite Place To Research --How Did I Get Here? My Amazing Genealogy Journey
Image courtesy of Google Maps

It's a small rural community. It always has been. I would have never known about it if I hadn't begun researching my great grandmother Ophelia Jones Bryant of Morehead City. Ophelia's mother Rosa Mitchell Jones came from this small town and so that's how my journey to learn more about Riverdale began.

I believe my 2nd great grandmother Rosa wanted a life that was different from the one her parents had. I don't think she like the isolation of the small farm community she grew up in. She moved to Morehead City in 1880 with her husband Alexander Hamilton Jones and made a life there.

Here's a list of some of my other Riverdale, NC ancestors: 

3rd great grandparents Mortimer Mitchell and Annie Taylor Mitchell

Siblings of Rosa Mitchell Jones:   Mary Jane Mitchell Sampson, Alfred Mitchell, Maggie Mitchell Thompson.

David Sampson --husband to Mary Jane Mitchell Sampson and their children Annie, Effie, Alfred, Eva and Rosa Sampson Blake.

My 2nd cousin 2x removed Mary Jane Gatlin.


My favorite memory regarding researching my ancestors from this area revolves around my visit to Mt. Olive Church Cemetery in Riverdale a few years ago. It is also known as Riverdale Community Cemetery. You can see pictures I took from that visit here.

I am still lagging behind on these prompts. UggghhhHHHH! (Said A-la Charlie Brown.) One day soon I will catch up. Honestly. Well...at least I'll try :) 

On to #39!


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