My Best Genealogy Find Of The Year Was...

This post is part of the Genealogy Blog Party hosted by Elizabeth O'Neal of the My Ancestors Descendants Blog. If you aren't familiar with the Genealogy Blog Party, be sure to visit her blog so you can learn more about it. 

This month Elizabeth O'Neal has two theme ideas for posting. The second is a Cookie Exchange where you can share your favorite holiday cookie recipes.I have to admit my family wasn't much into baking cookies during the holidays when I was kid. My family made pies. Perhaps, it's time to start a new tradition though. I am eager to see what recipes bloggers share as part of the blog party. 

Theme idea number one is to share what I consider to be my best genealogy find of the year. I would have to say my best genealogy find of the year has been connecting with DNA cousins.

DNA testing made it possible for me to confirm my Sampson County, NC roots through my great grandmother Ella Kerr Smith Dixon. You can learn more about my great grandmother 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

Back in June of this year, I received notification a DNA match on my father's side of the family. You can read about that in this post,  Another DNA Cousin Connection! Woohoo! This Time Through My Paternal Line

This connection was special because I gained a whole bunch of cousins who are descended from my paternal grandmother's sister, Edna Smith Dix. 

What I haven't had a chance to reveal until now is that I have been able to track down where the descendants of a Bryant Henry Kerr Sr. eventually settled. First of all, who was he? It turns out he was another child of my 3rd great grandparents Jacob Kerr and Clara Kerr. Here's a look at this branch of my family tree. 

Jacob Kerr -- Clara Kerr
            Bryant Henry Kerr Sr. -- Tina Boykin

                           Bryant Henry Kerr Jr. -- Lillie Mae Peterkin

                                                                  Ulysses Kerr

A couple of years ago when I started researching my 3rd great grandparents, I found them listed on the 1880 Federal census for New Hanover County, NC. 

My Best Genealogy Find Of The Year Was... "How Did I Get Here? My Amazing Genealogy Journey
Source Information and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
 1880 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. 
Image courtesy of

Jacob and Clara Kerr had many of their children, as well as, four  grandchildren residing in their household. I traced their grandson, Bryant Kerr's movements through the census and learned ...

Source Information 1900 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2004.  Image courtesy of

                   ...that Bryant Henry Kerr Jr. had moved to Berrien County, Ga by 1900 with a brother named George. They were working as day laborers on a farm. (I've only had time to do  cursory research on this newly found brother. I haven't found any other documents yet that mention him but I will keep looking.)
Anyway, back on the subject of Bryant.  He was someone who I initially created a test tree for on I create test trees for individuals who I'm not quite sure if or how they fit into my my main tree.  Bryant Henry Kerr Sr. I couldn't find any trace of in records other than this name mentioned in the U.S. Social Security Applications Index for for his son Bryant Henry Kerr Jr.

My Best Genealogy Find Of The Year Was... "How Did I Get Here? My Amazing Genealogy Journey"
Source Information U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2015. Original data: Social Security Applications and Claims, 1936-2007.

Image courtesy of

Junior's mother,Tina Boykin, married a man named Henry Faircloth by 1880. She was living with him in Clinton, Sampson County, NC. With this bit of information in mind, I believe Bryant Henry Kerr Sr. more than likely died sometime between 1875 and 1880. 

Bryant Henry Kerr Jr. was married at least twice but perhaps as many as three times. Here on the 1910 Federal Census, it shows Bryant with his wife Ida and it is listed that this was a second marriage for both parties. They had been married approximately 9 years. This would indicate perhaps Bryant had a short lived marriage between 1900 and 1901. Perhaps a wife died in child birth?

My Best Genealogy Find Of The Year Was... "How Did I Get Here? My Amazing Genealogy Journey"
Source Information 1910 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2006.  Image courtesy of

By 1930, Bryant had another wife--a Lillie Mae Peterkin. From looking at the census. Bryant had at least 10 children between his two wives Ida and Lillie. 

Ida's kids:

Pauline, John, Elias, Bryant, Thelma, George 

Lillie's kids:

Bertha, Ulysses, Joseph, Margaret

It appears that things didn't work out between Bryant Henry Kerr Jr and Lillie because by 1940 she was married to someone else and living in Pahokee, Palm Beach, Fl. Bryant remained in Ocilla, GA living with his son George and his family.

My Best Genealogy Find Of The Year Was... "How Did I Get Here? My Amazing Genealogy Journey"
Source Information 1940 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. 
Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2012. Image courtesy of

Now I am going to turn the focus toward one of the children that Bryant Henry Kerr Jr. had with Lillie Mae Peterkin. Ulysses Kerr was born to Bryant and Lillie on November 29, 1921 in Ocilla, GA.
After his parents parted ways he resided with his mother in Pahokee, Fl. He enlisted in the army as a young man. He married an Ida Mae Richardson on November 14, 1947 in West Palm Beach. I also learned he became a police officer for the Pahokee Police Department. Ulysses Kerr died Oct 2, 2002 in Belle Glade Fl.  While researching him, I was lucky enough to find a picture. 

Now when I saw Ulysses's picture for the first time, there was something about it that seemed oddly familiar. I finally figured it out when I looked at my father's army photos.

My Best Genealogy Find Of The Year Was... "How Did I Get Here? My Amazing Genealogy Journey"
Ulysses Kerr is on the left and my father is on the right.

So far, I've come across 2 DNA cousin connections on linked to to this particular branch of the Kerr family line. Who knows what connections I'll make in 2018?


  1. Congratulations on finding so much many family connections this past year!

  2. I love those DNA finds that can be documented! Nice wrap up.

  3. We're connected through Kerr and other familiar tree names.

    Please email Me



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