Saturday, November 22, 2014

Something About Me Saturday: I've Been A Clutter Bug.

I'm making some changes around my house to get more organized. I admit I have spent most of my life being a bit of a clutter bug but that's being phased out around here. I have to thank my best friend for providing me with the inspiration for this. Seeing the wonderful changes she's done in her home has definitely gotten me thinking that there is a better way to do things. The end result is that by setting up organizational systems in my house, I ultimately will have more time to do the things that I love. One of those things being genealogy of course :)

So far I've cleared out and organized the fridge and the cupboard. I used to go food shopping and then quickly come home and throw things in the fridge any which way and as a result I would lose track of what was in there. Stuff got buried or pushed further in the back that should have been rotated up front for use before spoiling. No more! Like is with like. Things that are used frequently are up front on top shelf or in the door of the fridge. Fruits and vegatables are stored in the keepers like they are supposed to. No longer are apples and oranges hidden in various plastic bags facing a long slow decay. They are washed and placed in bins where they can be seen and eaten. It's really working out well so far. Plus there's the added good feeling of when I open the refrigerator door now I see the fruits of my labor. (Pun intended.) It just plain looks nice. 

On another subject, I am enjoying some tunes I haven't listened to in a while specifically, music that helps me relax. I had forgotten how much I loved the soundtrack to the movie The Piano. The movie came out in 1993 when I was attending college. If I recall correctly, I purchased the soundtrack before I had even seen the movie. That soundtrack I would play as I was studying or doing homework. It was soothing and intoxicating at the same time. I could drift away to a far away place and yet still get my work done. I was looking for a sensory escape the other day after being around noisy children for a while and so I popped on my headphones and started listening to stuff on Youtube. Then I remembered that soundtrack. Oh what a gem. I have to remember to use tools like music to help soothe me. Just 5 minutes can make such a difference in my mood.

Here's a couple of things I've been listening to.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

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

On my post Sentimental Sunday: I Have Now Lived Longer Than My Great Grandmother Carrie, I mentioned how incredibly strong my great grandmother Carrie must have been during the tragedy of the "Great Fire of New Bern." She had just given birth to her son George Augustus Harrison on November 28, 1922. The fire took place on December 2, 1922. My great grandparents, their 5 young children, Carrie's brother Samuel David, and her mother Sarah Harris Whitney lost their home.

My great grandparents John and Carrie Harrison 
owned 10 Brown's Alley (now known as 709 Hatties Lane.)
 Arrow notes approximate location of the property.

Images are from  The New Bern Sun Journal, December 5, 1922, Tue, Page 3

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Tombstone Tuesday: Nellie Ellison Suggs --My 1st cousin 4x removed

Image courtesy of Find A Grave
Source U.S., Find A Grave Index, 1600s-Current [database on-line]. 
Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2012. Original data: Find A Grave. Find A Grave. Memorial created by Created by: Deborah Clark
Record added: Jan 13, 2014 Find A Grave Memorial# 123367178

Stone reads as follows:  
Mrs. Nell E.
Apr. 1, 1907
Aug. 6, 1965

We Trust In God To Meet

(Her birth year was probably 1897 since she was listed on the 1900 Federal Census.
 On the census her age was noted as 3 years old and her birth month was April just like it was listed on her headstone. Nellie Ellison Suggs was buried at Rest Haven Cemetery in Wilson County, NC)

Don't you just love it when you haven't checked Find A Grave in a while and all of the sudden one of your ancestors pops up! That happened to me the other day. Nellie Ellison Suggs was my 1st cousin 4x removed. She was the daughter of Harvey Ellison Sr.(b.1861--d.1925) and Laura Harper (b.1867--d.1934) of Olds, Greene County, NC.

Image courtesy of Wikipedia.
Map of Greene County, North Carolina, United States with township and municipal boundaries.
Source:  taken from US Census website and modified by User:Ruhrfisch

Nellie's father Harvey Ellison was one of Caroline Ellison Bryant's brothers. Caroline Ellison Bryant was my 3rd great grandmother.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

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

Sentimental Sunday is a GeneaBloggers blogging prompt used by many geneabloggers to help them post content on their sites. All one has to do is simply create a post in which you discuss a sentimental story or memory about an ancestor or maybe even a family tradition that touches you.

I am feeling a bit sentimental as of late because I've realized that I have now lived longer than my maternal great grandmother Carrie Whitney Harrison. I've written about her before on this blog. Here are links to those posts. 

My Great Grandmother--Carrie E. Whitney Harrison

52 Ancestors: #14 -- Carrie Ethel Whitney Harrison --She Was So Tired.

Sunday's Obituary: My Great Grandmother --Carrie Ethel Whitney Harrison

I turned 42 last month. My great grandmother Carrie Harrison passed away at the young age of 41, just two months shy of her next birthday. It's hard for me to fathom that at 41 she was the mother of 13 children. 13 children! Gosh, the workload of taking care of a family that large, I can only imagine. She had to be oh so strong. A couple of months back I was reviewing through some information I had gathered about the Great Fire that took place in New Bern, NC on Dec 1, 1922.  The fire destroyed most of the homes in the African American neighborhood of the city at that time. New Bern is where my great grandparents Carrie and John T Harrison called home. 

I stopped for a moment and thought, they were already married and had children at this point. I looked back on the 1920 Federal Census to see what the household dynamic was again. 

Source Information: 1920 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2010. Source Citation: Year: 1920; Census Place: New Bern Ward 4, Craven, North Carolina; Roll: T625_1293; Page: 44B; Enumeration District: 25; Image: 493.

In 1920, the household consisted of John and Carrie, three of their children, Carrie's mother and brother. Seven people living together in a small house. My grandfather Lemuel Harrison was born February 20, 1921 so that would have been eight people without a home when the fire took place in 1922.  Then I thought wait a minute...wasn't there a child born in 1922? Sure enough there was.

George Augustus Harrison was born November 28, 1922. The Great Fire of New Bern took place on December 1st. Can you imagine that?! My great grandmother Carrie had a newborn to take care of as well as 4 other young children when the family lost their home.  That's a strong woman to handle all of that!

I found this news clip from December 2, 2008 which gives a summary of what occurred on that fateful day so many years ago.
To view it click on the following link:

Friday, November 14, 2014

More Details About Thomas Harris's Election Loss

I have to send out big thanks to Lynne Crowley of the Larchmont Historical Society for finding these additional articles and sending them to me regarding my 2nd great grand uncle, Thomas Harris. These articles provide even further detail into what happened on the night Thomas lost the Republican nomination to become Receiver of Taxes in Larchmont, NY in 1903.

New York Herald, Saturday, February 28, 1903

The Sun, Saturday, February 28, 1903

The Book Of Me: Prompt 53 --Your Home Town

If you are not familiar with this wonderful project that was created by Julie Goucher of the Angler's Rest blog, please refer to this link:

This week's prompt is - Your Home Town

We all have one, perhaps it is where we were born, perhaps it where we lived for that special time in our lives, or perhaps it is where we now live.

Wherever it is, why not tell us about it.

Explain where it is, don't forget we are across the world!
What is it that makes your "place" special?
Do you feel a nice comfy emotional connection?

That which is unfamiliar becomes familiar or was it always there to begin with?

That's what came out when I started to write this post. It's the underlying theme probably of why I love my hometown. 

I have chosen to write about the area I currently live in instead of one of my childhood homes. This is the place I call home and have felt the most at home at. I felt something different when I moved here. (Okay mental calculation in head...pause. Oh dang has it been 24 years?.. sigh.) Well, I came here to go to college yes 24 years ago. Crazy how fast the time goes by. I was a month shy of my 18th birthday and on my own. I was going to get my degree and then start that high paying job I thought I had to seek out.  That changed when I breathed in the crisp fresh air of upstate NY. I mean real fresh air. I grew up downstate. My first 10 years were in Queens and then the next almost eight years on Long Island. The air quality was better on Long Island but it still wasn't this air that I breathe now. Something about that fresh air brought me a piece of clarity. I had a chance to slow down and discover who I actually was inside. I found me.

Where is my hometown?

My hometown is located in what is called the Triple Cities area. This refers to the city of Binghamton, the villages of Johnson City and Endicott.  This area was once the homeplace of Endicott Johnson Shoes, IBM, and The Hull-Grummond Cigar Company.

Now before I get too far off point here, I want to refer back to the words that I began this post with. 

That which is unfamiliar becomes familiar or was it always there to begin with?

Image courtesy of Google Maps

From the point I moved into this area, something about it felt familiar. I couldn't put my finger on what it was. It just felt right. Now that was when I was in college and before I had started researching my family history. All these years later I think I may have figured it out. 

I've found some striking similarities between my current hometown and one of my ancestral homeplaces. Here are a few examples.

My mother's paternal lineage came from the city of New Bern, NC. New Bern is located at the confluence of two rivers, the Trent and the Neuse. 

Binghamton is a city located at the confluence of two rivers too. Binghamton's two rivers are the Chenango and Susquehanna.

How about architecture?

Let's look at Binghamton.
Image courtesy of Wikipedia.
Bird's-eye view, Binghamton, New York; from a c. 1910 postcard published by the Paul C. Koeber Company, New York City and Kirchheim, Germany. 

Now, New Bern.
Bird's eye view showing Neuse River in distance, New Bern, NC. c.1910

Binghamton again.
Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons. Original uploader was Dcamin at en.wikipedia.
Binghamton's Security Mutual Building

New Bern
Postcard view of Elks Temple corner of Middle and Pollock

Image courtesy of Google Maps

A view of Lincoln Ave on Binghamton's west side. 
I used to live on this block. 

New Bern
Middle St. Residence Section New Bern, NC.

Maybe there's something to this?  I don't know. 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Not So Wordless Wednesday: Some Of The Things Thomas Harris Probably Saw

These three postcard views show places where my 2nd great grand uncle, Thomas Harris, probably visited during his lifetime. I like collecting postcards. It's a chance for me to see things through the eyes of my ancestors.

If you missed my prior posts regarding Thomas Harris who was born in Wilmington, NC but settled in Larchmont, NY, please take a look at these links:

Thomas Harris's Ambition Takes Him To Larchmont, NY --Part one

Thomas Harris's Ambition Takes Him To Larchmont, NY --Part two

52 Ancestors: More Mentions Of Thomas Harris In Newspapers.

Good news. A fellow researcher sent me more newspaper articles on Thomas Harris. :)  I'll be sharing more about that tomorrow.  All I can say is that this ancestor of mine certainly did his part in making sure his name would be found! LOL.