Thursday, December 31, 2015

52 Ancestors 2015 Edition: #50 Uncle Ray Being Naughty

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 50 (December 10-16) – Naughty. We all have an ancestor who probably received coal in their stocking.

It's 11:16pm so I am really getting down to the wire with getting these prompts done. 

This picture I posted here on this blog before a couple of years ago but I couldn't help but to re-share it especially since it seems to fit the theme here. Now by no means do I think that my maternal grand uncle Ray Bryant was deserving of receiving coal in his stocking but this picture definitely shows how he could be a bit "naughty" at times.


52 Ancestors 2015 Edition: #50 Uncle Ray Being Naughty --How Did I Get Here? My Amazing Genealogy Journey, Bryant family, Morehead City
Ray Bryant, Mary Bryant Horton (my grandmother), Annie Marie Bryant Barnes seated on couch. 
Eloise Bryant Grigsby seated on the floor. My uncle Napoleon Sanders is kneeling on the right.


Next stop Prompt 51!






52 Ancestors 2015 Edition: #49 Thomas Duke Harrison --Born on Christmas Day


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 49 (December 3-9) – Holidays. What ancestor do the holidays put you in mind of?

I did pick my 2nd great grandfather Thomas Duke Harrison for Week 42 of this year's challenge but I don't really see any reason why I can't choose him again especially since his birthday fell on Christmas Day.  Plus I am running short on time in regards to getting caught up on these prompts before the New Year. It's 5:26 pm EST as of this writing so time is a ticking. (Smile) According to Thomas's death certificate he was born on Christmas Day. The year he was born was most likely around 1856 based on what was listed on an early marriage record for him. 

I've featured my 2nd great grandfather quite often on this blog.

Here are some past posts that highlight his life:

Rev. Thomas Duke Harrison -- Part one.


Rev. Thomas Duke Harrison--Part two.

52 Ancestors: #19 What Did Church Mean For Rev. Thomas Duke Harrison

Those Places Thursday: Old Brunswick County Courthouse --Where Thomas Duke Harrison Married Lizzie Hynes

52 Ancestors 2015 Edition: #42 Thomas Duke Harrison --Makes Me Proud!

Okay on to prompt 50!

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

52 Ancestors 52 Weeks --2015 Edition: #48 Thankful For The Place I Call Home

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.

Oh boy, I am really in for it now. I have 4 weeks worth of prompts to catch up with by the end of tomorrow. Can I do it? We'll see. 

Week 48 (November 26-December 2) – Thankful. November 26 is Thanksgiving in the U.S. Interpret the “thankful” theme however you’d like.

Now you're probably wondering what this thing is I created. It's a word cloud that I made for free on the website WordClouds.com. This was my first time making one of these and I think it came out not too shabby. 

So what does this have to do with the theme "thankful?"  The places that I've listed here are some of the places my ancestors came from. These were the places they called home. Finding where my ancestors lived and researching about their lives has allowed me a chance to feel more connected to them. I carry their spirits in my heart and in my mind. If you look at the word cloud, you may just be able to make out that it is in the shape of a heart. Some say that home is where the heart is. My ancestors have brought me on a journey home. They have led me to my own heart.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

52 Ancestors 52 Weeks 2015 Edition: #47 David Sampson --Hunter and Camp Bryan Chef

Image courtesy of the book, Craven County 
by Lynn Salsi and Frances Eubanks
Dave Sampson is on the left.


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 47 (November 19-25) – Sporting. Do you have a relative who was involved in sports?

This theme was a bit challenging for me. I had to think outside the box of typical sports to find an ancestor that fit this topic. Then I remembered that hunting is often considered a sport and so I decided to go in that direction with this week's prompt.

My 2nd great grand uncle David Sampson was an excellent cook. He was the chef at Camp Bryan a hunting campground found in Craven County, NC.  He was not only a chef but quite the hunter as well.  

In my post, Thankful Thursday: Thankful For Another On-Line Connection, I featured a newspaper article that mentioned David Sampson's talent for imitating the call of birds and other animals. A talent I am sure was honed while he worked as a guide for hunting parties at Camp Bryan.

You can read more about this charismatic man in these posts:

Dave Sampson a True Riverdale Character --Part one

Dave Sampson a True Riverdale Character --Part two

My Speculation Regarding Dave Sampson's Parentage

Mappy Monday: Camp Bryan, NC and "The Savory Dishes Of An Aged Negro."


You can also read about him on The Kellenberger Room blog:  

http://kellenbergerroom.blogspot.com/2014/11/dave-sampson.html


Let's see if I can get another post done by the end of the day. If I do, that would leave me with just 4 more to do by the end of the year. I just might get caught up. :)


Thursday, December 24, 2015

Blog Caroling 2015: O' Holy Night






Blog Caroling is back everyone for 2015!  This beautiful tradition was originally created by Footnote Maven many years ago. I would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas! Go and enjoy your loved ones company. Share stories and make new memories. 

I love me some Patti just like Mr. James Wright Chanel. I've decided to share this recent performance of O' Holy Night she sang with John Legend on TARAJI & TERRENCE'S WHITE HOT HOLIDAYS 2015. Sing along if you wish or just sit back and enjoy.

O' Holy Night
Composed by Adolphe Adam in 1847 to the French poem "Minuit, chretiens"(Midnight, Christians) by Placide Cappeau. Singing version created by John Sullivan Dwight

(information courtesy of Wikipedia)

O holy night, the stars are brightly shining;
It is the night of the dear Savior's birth!
Long lay the world in sin and error pining,
Till He appeared and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope, the weary soul rejoices, 
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn. 

Fall on your knees, O hear the angel voices! 
O night divine, O night when Christ was born!
O night, O holy night, O night divine!

Led by the light of faith serenely beaming, 
With glowing hearts by His cradle we stand.
So led by light of a star sweetly gleaming,
Here came the wise men from the Orient land.
The King of kings lay thus in lowly manger, 
In all our trials born to be our friend!

Fall on your knees, O hear the angel voices!
O night divine, O night when Christ was born!
O night, O holy night, O night divine!

Truly He taught us to love one another;
His law is love and his Gospel is peace. 
Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother
And in His Name all oppression shall cease. 
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we, 
Let all within us praise His holy Name!

Fall on your knees, O hear the angel voices!
O night divine, O night when Christ was born!
O night, O holy night, O night divine!



52 Ancestors 2015 Edition: #46 Lillian Harrison Barrow


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 46 (November 12-18) – Changes. Highlight an ancestor that went through many changes or that you had to change your research strategies to find.

I am still behind on this challenge but I'm not giving up. I will finish it. Hopefully, it will be before the start of the new year. Well let's be honest. That's probably not going to happen since I haven't even finished wrapping all my holiday shopping. I will just keep pushing forward knowing that at some point I will cross the finish line :)

I've chosen for this week's prompt to highlight the life of my maternal great grand aunt Lillian Harrison Barrow.  During her lifetime she went through a few different name changes because she was married 4 times.

Her date of birth according to her gravestone was July 12, 1899. The day and month I believe are correct but the year was probably closer to 1896 or 1897 based on her age on the 1900 census.  She was one of nine children born to Thomas Duke Harrison and Mary Jane Williams in Wilmington, NC. So name number one was Lillian Harrison.

Next, she become Lillian Petersen sometime prior to 1920. Apparently she married a gentleman with that as his last name. Here's the problem.


Source Information:  Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census [database on-line].
 Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2010. 


This is the only entry I've found for her in the 1920 census. She was recorded living with her parents but where's the husband?
Who was he?

I found in Ancestry.com's North Carolina Marriage Records 1741-2011, an entry from 1918 in Beaufort County for a Henry Peterson who married a Lillian Harrison.  The Lillian featured in that entry was of the right approximate age but I have no other info to confirm that this in fact was my "Lillian" Anyway, name number two was Peterson.

Next up was the surname Bridgeford. Now this one I learned of from a newspaper article I came across while researching Lillian's father Thomas Duke Harrison

Mrs. Lillian Bridgeford, wife of Mr. William Bridgeford, Baltimore, MD., formerly of Norfolk was a visitor in the city enroute to New Bern, NC, to visit her parents, Rev and Mrs. T D Harrison. 

--from the Norfolk Journal and Guide, July 20, 1929, Page 4.

At least this time I had a name for the husband. This marriage did not last for too long because by 1940...

Source Information:  Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census [database on-line].
 Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2012.

... Lillian was married again! This time her husband's name was a William Black. According to the 1940 census, the couple had resided together at the same place since 1935. Perhaps Thomas Duke Harrison didn't like the looks of husband number 2, William Bridgeford, back in 1929 when Lillian and him made a visit home to New Bern. Perhaps he simply died.

If you look at the census entry again you will see the name of Lillian's 4th and final husband. Lee T Barrow was listed as a lodger living with Lillian and her 3rd husband in 1940. 

The curious thing about all this is that I haven't been able to locate marriage records for Lillian's last 3 marriages.  

Lillian Harrison Barrow died December 19, 1996. She's buried next to her husband Lee T Barrow at Garrison Forest Veterans Cemetery in Baltimore County, MD.


Friday, December 18, 2015

Friday Funny: The Secret To His Success


I recently purchased online a book called Sailing the Carolina Sounds:  Historical Places and My Favorite People by James T. Cheatham because it featured a small chapter about one of my ancestors. I found out about the book after doing a search on Google to see if I could learn anything new about any of my Hester relatives and Bingo! I found this.

James Arthur Hester is connected to me through my mom's side of the family. He was the nephew of the husband of my 2nd cousin 2x removed. He was also the dockmaster at Morehead City Yacht Basin for 50 years. 

I haven't had the opportunity yet to read the book in it's entirety. I look forward to some time after the holidays when I can catch up on my recreational reading. Anyway, I was able to read a portion of the book on-line before I made my purchase. The snippet made mention of why James Arthur Hester was so successful at his job. I couldn't help but smile after reading it.

James's success with boat owners and captains is explained in a true "Jamesism":  "You've got to have an understanding, cause if you have an understanding, you won't have a misunderstanding."



Sunday, December 13, 2015

52 Ancestors 2015 Edition: #45 Willis Harvey Jones Sr. --1st Cousin 3x Removed

Image courtesy of  Freshwater and Marine Image Bank at the University of Washington.

Menhaden fishermen lifting a purse-seine net.


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.

Willis Harvey Jones Sr. was a menhaden fisherman. He was also my 1st cousin 3x removed on my maternal line. Here's how he's connected to me. 



Willis was born on February 6, 1890 in Morehead City, NC. He was one of 9 children born to William Henry Jones and Emma Shepard Jones. Three of his siblings worked in the medical field. Willis and his brother George were the fishermen.

You can learn about how important the menhaden fishing industry was to Carteret County, NC in this article that was published in Our State magazine. Here's the link:  The Fish That Built Beaufort.

I've also included a link to a post I did back in November 2011. It features videos of fishermen singing old work chanteys. A chantey was a song that was sung by the fishermen to help coordinate the timing of when to hoist a net out of water. 

The picture I have featured at the top of this post shows the back breaking work it was to pull fish out of water.  Willis Harvey Jones was no stranger to hard work that's for sure!

He married Caroline Hester on February 22, 1912 in Morehead City. The couple had at least 5 children together:  Amy, Esthma, Willis Jr., Emma, Frederick. Willis's wife Caroline was a cousin of mine as well. Her mother, Sidney Bryant Hester, was my 2nd great grandmother Jonas Bryant's sister. 


Willis Harvey Jones Sr. was a lifelong resident of Morehead City. By 1940, his hard work as a fisherman paid off and he was able to purchase his own home at 1312 Fisher St.


Source InformationAncestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. 
Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2012.

Image courtesy of Google Maps



Image courtesy of Google Maps

Which just so happens to be right across the street from 1400 Fisher St, the home of my great grandparents Frank and Ophelia Bryant. 


Willis Harvey Jones Sr. died from lung cancer on November 25, 1967.  He's buried at Bayview Cemetery in Morehead City, NC.


Image courtesy of Find A Grave.
Created by: Barbara Blankenship
Record added: Oct 21, 2007 
Image added by: Mojo Warren
Find A Grave Memorial# 22352380.

(Gravestone shows his year of birth as 1894. His death certificate listed the same. Willis's WWI draft regristation card had his year of birth as 1890 as well as his marriage record to Caroline Hester. I have opted to go by the earlier year in my records.)

Friday, December 4, 2015

Friday Funny: She Could At Least Make Us Some Sandwiches

My daughter was home sick today from school so we spent the day hanging out together. She asked if we could play Super Mario Bros. on the Wii, something we hadn't done in a while. Mario was my game back in the day, so of course I said, "Sure!"  As we were playing she said the following:

"You know that Princess Peach really should do something more than just say thank you for saving her.  I mean really after all these levels. She should at least make us some sandwiches or something."

If I had had a drink in my mouth at the moment she said that, the liquid would have squirted out of my nose from laughter.


Friday Funny: She Could At Least Make Us Some Sandwiches


52 Ancestors 2015 Edition: #44 John Thomas Harrison Jr.--Survived A Very Scary Day

52 Ancestors 2015 Edition:  #44 John Thomas Harrison Jr. --Survived A Very Scary Day --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 44 (October 29 – November 4) – Frightening: Do you have an ancestor who did something frightening or lived through a scary event? Do you have your own ghost story in the family? Now is the perfect time to share!

Can you imagine being 4 years old, the eldest of five children and your home and entire neighborhood caught fire. There's nothing left when it is all said and done. Just rubble, ash, chimneys reaching up toward a cold December sky. Feeling lost, lonely, confused and probably heartache for losing all that was familiar to you. That 4 year old happened to be my grand uncle John Thomas Harrison Jr.

The Great Fire of New Bern took place on December 1, 1922. To learn more about what occurred that fateful day, you can check out these posts:

Not So Wordless Wednesday: Newspaper Clippings Of "The Great Fire Of New Bern"

Sentimental Sunday: I Have Now Lived Longer Than My Great Grandmother Carrie

Here's the link to a New Bern Historical Society article regarding The Great Fire:  http://newbernhistorical.org/massive-fire-sweeps-across-new-bern-1922/

Thankfully, the Harrison/Whitney clan were able to recover from the effects of this disaster. No one from the family died or was injured by the fire. John Jr.'s parents, Carrie Whitney Harrison and John Harrison Sr. were able to rebuild their home and raise their family in New Bern.

John Thomas Harrison Jr. married Sarah Richardson of New Bern on January 26 1938. Their marriage license was neat to review because I learned who performed the ceremony. 


52 Ancestors 2015 Edition:  #44 John Thomas Harrison Jr. --Survived A Very Scary Day --How Did I Get Here? My Amazing Genealogy Journey
Source InformationAncestry.com. North Carolina, Marriage Records, 1741-2011 [database on-line]. 
Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2015.

My 2nd great grandfather Rev Thomas Duke Harrison married the couple at his home at 37 Lincoln Street in New Bern! It appears to me that were at least 2 other family members present. The first witness was John Jr.'s aunt, Ellen Harrison Mitchell. Samuel Harrison is the next witness signature listed. He was John Jr.'s brother. 

I haven't found any evidence of John Harrison Jr. and Sarah Richardson having any children, yet. Early on in their marriage John split his time between two cities.  He was recorded twice in the 1940 census.


52 Ancestors 2015 Edition:  #44 John Thomas Harrison Jr. --Survived A Very Scary Day --How Did I Get Here? My Amazing Genealogy Journey
Source Citation Year: 1940; Census Place: New Bern, Craven, North Carolina; Roll: 
T627_2894; Page: 8A; Enumeration District: 25-23

Here he is first shown living with his wife's family in New Bern at 29 Carroll St. His occupation is noted as being an attendant in a barber shop. My guess is that probably did not pay a lot and perhaps is why....

52 Ancestors 2015 Edition:  #44 John Thomas Harrison Jr. --Survived A Very Scary Day --How Did I Get Here? My Amazing Genealogy Journey
Source Citation Year: 1940; Census Place: Baltimore, Baltimore City, Maryland; Roll: T627_1518; 
Page: 63A; Enumeration District: 4-278

... he was also working as a delivery helper in Baltimore, MD. This second census entry shows that he was staying with his Aunt Lillian and her husband William Black and other family members as well. 

I don't have a picture of John but I was able to get a little bit of a description of what he looked like from the back of his World War II draft card.


52 Ancestors 2015 Edition:  #44 John Thomas Harrison Jr. --Survived A Very Scary Day --How Did I Get Here? My Amazing Genealogy Journey
Source Information Ancestry.com. U.S. WWII Draft Cards Young Men, 1940-1947 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011.


Height: 5'11" 
Weight:  146 lbs
Race:  Negro
Eyes:  Brown
Hair:  Black
Complexion :  Light brown
Other obvious physical characteristics:  Mark in temple.

Once I saw this information, I had a sense of what he looked like. He had that tall thin Harrison build that my grandfather had when he was a young man. 


My grandfather Lemuel with his sister Carrie

The description also reminded me of what my brother looked like when he was in high school, except for the mark in temple of course.


52 Ancestors 2015 Edition:  #44 John Thomas Harrison Jr. --Survived A Very Scary Day --How Did I Get Here? My Amazing Genealogy Journey


52 Ancestors 2015 Edition:  #44 John Thomas Harrison Jr. --Survived A Very Scary Day --How Did I Get Here? My Amazing Genealogy Journey
Pictures of my brother from his younger days.


Did you catch the date the draft card was filled out? October 16, 1940. On the front of the draft registration card it showed that my grand uncle had yet another job that year. 


52 Ancestors 2015 Edition:  #44 John Thomas Harrison Jr. --Survived A Very Scary Day --How Did I Get Here? My Amazing Genealogy Journey
Source Information Ancestry.com. U.S. WWII Draft Cards Young Men, 1940-1947 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011.

I guess you could say he did whatever he could to earn a living. 

John served in World War II, enlisting in the army on May 13, 1944. After the war, he lived with his wife at 213 Jones St in New Bern while working as a laborer. 

52 Ancestors 2015 Edition:  #44 John Thomas Harrison Jr. --Survived A Very Scary Day --How Did I Get Here? My Amazing Genealogy Journey
Source Information Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011.Source Citation DescriptionTitle : New Bern, North Carolina, City Directory, 1947


52 Ancestors 2015 Edition:  #44 John Thomas Harrison Jr. --Survived A Very Scary Day --How Did I Get Here? My Amazing Genealogy Journey
Image courtesy of Google Maps

213 Jones St, New Bern


John Thomas Harrison Sr. passed away in 1974. His obituary made mention of his son John Jr. living in Riverhead, NY. at the time. I don't have any idea for how long he lived there.

John Thomas Harrison Jr. died November 22, 1978. He's buried at New Bern National Cemetery.

52 Ancestors 2015 Edition:  #44 John Thomas Harrison Jr. --Survived A Very Scary Day --How Did I Get Here? My Amazing Genealogy Journey
New Bern Sun Journal
November 25, 1978


I know I am so behind on these 52 Ancestors prompts but I'm determined to finish things out. On to #45!
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