Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Once Upon a Time in Morehead City......

When I started my tree, I was so interested in seeing how fast and how far back I could go. I was interested in names and dates and then seeing names and dates that came before the next person. In the last year my focus has been fleshing out these names and turning them into people. What were their lives like? How did they get here? On my maternal line I have been blessed to find out so much due to the fact, the family stayed in Morehead City and New Bern predominantly.

My wonderful grandmother, Mary Cole Bryant Horton (July 22, 1922--Aug 7, 2001) was born in the town of Morehead City, NC. She was one of 7 children and had 3 sisters and 3 brothers. They lived in a house that was on land the family had owned since 1907. Her parents were Ophelia T Jones (Nov 20,1894--Feb 20,1939) and Frank Linmore Bryant (Oct 6 1890--Dec 20, 1953)


Grandma and me.

Frank Bryant

 Ophelia Jones Bryant



    I feel blessed to have these pictures. When speaking to my friends and especially those who are of African American descent, so many don't have pictures of their great grandparents. So many of my friends don't know anything about their great grandparents. It is so important that families talk about this stuff. Life can be busy and full of distractions but it is so important that everyone out there sit down and begin the conversation in your own homes about family history. Good, bad or indifferent....pass what you know on to the next generation. Everyone has a right to know where they came from.  The information empowers the person who carries it. They will gain insight on family relationships, why they are the way they are.





  

           

Monday, May 30, 2011

Okay....Here We Go! LOL.

Okay, I finally did it. I have been on an incredibly journey over almost two years searching for my ancestors and I kept telling myself, I needed to document this. You need to write this information down and document the process, not only what I learned about the people who came before me, but how I felt as I made these discoveries. How this whole process has affected my life has been absolutely incredible. Until I started searching, I was under the impression that I would never know anything about my lineage beyond my grandparents. Being of African-American descent you think...oh hey, it's just not possible due to slavery to find anything out. And then August of 2009, I started asking questions of my parents. I started looking on-line through records and then I was hooked. I could find things out. For the first time I realized, there is information available, I could find out more. Names, faces on old black and white photos that suddenly were presented to me from long ago packed away boxes that had been closed up in closets or drawers for God knows how long. A conversation and subsequently an intimacy level developed with my parents that had never existed before. I feel blessed.


My ties are are to eastern North Carolina, with most of my ancestors associated with Carteret and Craven Counties. Family Surnames:  Bryant, Mitchell, Jones, Harrison, Whitney, Harris, and Taylor.

This picture is the picture that sparked my curiosity regarding family history. It hung in my maternal grandmother's bedroom when I was a child and I would always stop to look at it when I visited her.


Ophelia Jones Bryant
(Nov 20, 1894--Feb 20,1939)

My grandmother, Mary Horton, was 6 months old when this picture was taken. I treasure this picture so much.