Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Tombstone Tuesday: Sidney Bryant Hester and Mott Hester

Sidney Bryant Hester (1865--1966)
Mott Hester (1867--1947)
2nd great grand aunt and uncle
Sidney Bryant Hester's sister, Jonas, was the mother of my great grandfather Frank L. Bryant
Bayview Cemetery  Morehead City, NC

Monday, January 30, 2012

Amanuensis Monday: The Whitney/Harrison Family Bible--Part two

Here's the next section of the Whitney/Harrison Family Bible. Last Monday, I featured the first part of the bible in the post titled:  Amanuensis Monday: The Whitney/Harrison Family Bible --Part one. 

Page 12

George Keho died Dec 24, 1929
Julia Whitney baby born 1929 or 30

William Arthur Harrison 
born Jan 29, 1934

Page 13

Sarah J Whitney died 
Sep 12 1937 at 1:26 o'clock

Carrie E. Harrison died 
Aug 1st 1939 at 4:30 o'clock

Bobby Harrison born 
July 28 1939 at Good Shepard Hospital

Page 14 of the bible I am choosing to keep private at this time. This page does document the death of my 2nd great grandmother Mary Williams Harrison who died Dec 28, 1943 at 11 o'clock. The death of her grandson Rudolph H. Harrison is noted on this page as well. It says that he died April 15--19, 1966 in New York City.

Page 15

John T. Harrison Sr. (father)
Died June 22, 1974
Buried June 26, 1974
(Greenwood Cemetery)
83 years when died
Born: Dec. 22, 1891

Page 16

John Thomas Harrison Jr.
Died Wednesday morning 22 Nov. 1978
Buried Monday morning National Cemetery 27 Nov. 1978
Born ........March 16, 1916
Age..........62 year old
Died ( City) Elizabeth City, NC.

Page 17

Page 18

Mrs. Elizabeth (Betty) Harrison Reynolds
Born.....October 6, 1887 (Aunt/Mother)
Died .....29 December 1978
Place ......Craven County Hospital
Age......91
Buried ......Jan 3, 1979 Greenwood Cemetery
She raised her nephew....Bobby Harrison
after the death of his mother (Carrie E.
Harrison)  She was the only mother I knew 

Mr. Edward Harrison (Uncle)
Born.........
Died.........Jan. 10, 1979
Place........Pasadena, Maryland
He was our Uncle on my Father's Side

Page 19

Mr. Freddie Harrison, Sr.
Died....Veteran's Administration
Hospital.....Nov. 9, 1979
Buried....Nov. 13, 1979 in the 
National Cemetery 54 yrs old when died.

Mr. Samuel David Harrison
Died:  June 11, 1981
Burial: 
Place: St Petersburg, Fla.
Born: March 18, 1919
Age: 62 yrs old


Page 20

Earl Whitney Harrison -Born: 25 May 1928
Died: 25 Feb 85
Time: 4:00 p.m.
City/State: Willingboro, NJ
Age: 56 yrs of age
Burial: 1 March 85


Page 21

Mrs. Sarah Ethel Harrison Roseman
Born: August 30, 1917
Died: May 28, 1987
Place: Roxboro, Massachusetts
Burial "Cremation"
Age 69 when died.
would have been 70 in Aug

Mr. Lemuel Richard Harrison
Born:  February 20, 1921
Died:  December 28, 1987
Place: Hollis, New York
Burial: 
Age: 66 yrs old. 


It feels like this is a good breaking point for today's post, ending with my grandfather's entry in the family bible. Happy researching everyone! More from the family bible next Monday.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Those Places Thursday: Cemetery At Mt Olive AME Zion Church

On Sunday January 15, 2012,  I made a visit to an old African American cemetery located behind Mt Olive AME Zion Church to pay my respects to some of my ancestors. Last year a researcher friend from the New Bern area made the trek to this cemetery and sent pictures to me for which I am forever grateful for. Since I was in North Carolina for my Aunt Rosa's funeral, I made sure I took some time out to visit this special place. This land where this cemetery is located was I believe mentioned in my 3rd great grandfather Mortimer Mitchells deed for his land.

In his deed it describes his land as "a certain parcel of  land situate in the and bounded and described as follows lying on the North West side of the meeting house branch beginning where the main road (crosses) said branch thence down the branch to the great branch and with the great branch to the said Vine A Tolsons Corner to a marked bay. Thence the said Tolsons live to the main road thence with said to the beginning. In the above tract of land those six acres to be excepted for the use of the church and school house the remainder the said part of the second parties."

So on this day I was walking on the land and breathing the air of my ancestors and it was wonderful.

Shot from the rear of the cemetery facing towards 
the church and church parking lot. Shows how far back from road their graves are.


My ancestors graves all lined up together.
From left to right
1st stone --Effie and Annie Sampson. 2nd stone --Alfred Sampson.
3rd stone --Mary Sampson. 4th stone --David Sampson
5th stone --Eva Sampson. 6th stone --Annie Mitchell

Effie and Annie Sampson
1st cousins 3x removed

Alfred Sampson
1st cousin 3x removed

Mary J Mitchell Sampson
2nd great grand aunt

David Sampson 
2nd great grand uncle

Eva May Sampson
1st cousin 3x removed

Annie Taylor Mitchell
3rd great grandmother

No stones could be found for my 3rd great grandfather Mortimer Mitchell and his son Alfred Mitchell, but I would bet they are buried near or possibly in the same row as the rest of the family. There is space on the other side of Annie Taylor Mitchell's grave that I suspect that may be where they are buried.

I know this blog post is very similar to one I wrote in June of 2011 but I couldn't resist posting pictures of these graves again. These pictures this time are ones I took myself which makes them extra special to me. Here's a link to that post from June 2011 which shows a picture of Mt Olive AME Zion Church in Riverdale, Craven, NC. Mt Olive AME Zion Church




Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: My Great Grandparents --John Harrison and Carrie Whitney Harrison

John T Harrison Sr. and Carrie Whitney Harrison
My Great Grandparents. 
New Bern, NC.


On Sunday January 15, 2012, I had a lovely visit with my Aunt Carrie of New Bern, another of my grandfather Lemuel Harrison's siblings.  Apparently, I had met her before when I was a child but just couldn't remember for the life of me, what she looked like. Thanks to her I have a copy of this beautiful picture. Thanks Aunt Carrie!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Amanuensis Monday: The Whitney/Harrison Family Bible--Part one

The cover of the Whitney/Harrison Family Bible


I tried on this recent trip to Morehead City and New Bern to pack in as much as possible to my visit and luckily I was able to connect with my mother's father's side of the family. Two of my grandfather Lemuel Richard Harrison's siblings are still alive. Amazing right. There was such a broad span of ages since there was a total of 13 children. My Uncle Bobby, the youngest of the siblings has the family bible and shared it with me during our visit. What a blessing he is. Glad to have had a chance to know him. I hear when he laughs my grandfather Lemuel, which I love because it keeps his memory and spirit alive for me. My grandfather died back on December 28, 1987. It has been awhile since I have heard his voice but when I hear Uncle Bobby, although not the same...the cadence and his laugh bring me right back to grandpa. Love it! So my Uncle Bobby, lives in Morehead City now and I am ever so grateful for having a chance to see him again.  Also, I am glad I have had a chance to hold in my own hands something held and owned by my 2nd great grandfather Samuel Whitney--the family bible. The bible was passed down from the Whitneys to the Harrison family line. Births, marriages, deaths from Whitneys and Harrisons are recorded in this book. I enjoyed opening the bible up and immediately recognizing Samuel Whitney's handwriting. I was familiar with it from seeing it in his older brother Augustus Whitney's Civil War pension file.

Page 2

Page 3

Bristor F Whitney
The Son of Samuel Whitney & Sarah J. Whitney was born the 20th of June 1884.

Sarah Jane Whitney was born October 11th, 1859

Carrie and John Harrison was married October 14, 1914 

Page 4
Samuel David was born November the 3rd 1885
Daved Whitney - 72 yrs old. 
Died March 13th 1957

Page 5

Johney E Whitney was born 
May the 16th 1887

Page 6

Johney H Whitney was born
the 27th of Sept 1888


Page 7

George W was born January the 2nd 1891


Page 8

Benjamin was born November the (looks like originally was the 3rd but scratched out 25 is written in above) 1893

Sarah E Whitney was born April the 20th 1904
Lilly Child a girl
Ellen Whitney born Jan 22 1909
Julia Whitney born 22 May 1914
Edner Lucil was born 3rd Feb 1917

(The birth of Benjamin on this page was in reference to one of Samuel and Sarah Whitney's children. The others match the names and dates listed for a Lillie F. Whitney's children. She was a niece of Samuel Whitney who lived in New Bern.)

Page 9

Amy Ularah was born May the 12th 1896
James Edward Harrison was born April 2--1938 (Oct 24--1938 was crossed out )
James Edward Harrison died May 1991 Age 53 when died
James 1 year/9 mos older than Bobby
Robert Eugene Harrison (Bobby) was born July 28-1939
52 years old in 1991


Page 10

Carrie Esther was born October the 11th 1897 on her mother's birthday. She was 38 years old, (correction written in ink) was 42 years when died.
John Thomas Harrison jr. was born March 26, 1916
Sarah Ethel Harrison was born August 20th 1917
Samuel David born March 18, 1919
Lemuel Richard was born February 20, 1921
George R Harrison born Nov 28, 1922
Frederick Harrison Jan 20 1924 (correction written in ink)-25

Page 11

George died July the 15th
Bristor died 1884 on June 20th
Johnnie died in Sept 1888
Margaret Fleetie Bell Harrison born July 13 1926
Earl Whitney Harrison born May 25 1928
Rudolph H Harrison  born Apr 28-30
Edwin Whitney (March/Jan 18) 1929
Rudolph Henry Harrison born April 27, 1930
Carrie Mae May 7 1932


More from the bible next Monday.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

So Thankful For My Recent Trip to New Bern and Morehead City--Part two.

Some more reasons to be thankful for my recent trip to North Carolina. Here are pictures of my great grandparents Frank and Ophelia Bryant when they were a little older. The pictures were in the living room of my Aunt Rosa and Uncle Nat's house. So many wonderful pictures I got a chance to look at this past week. Here are three of them. The third picture is of my Aunt Eloise Bryant Grigsby when she was a young  lady. Amazing how much she looks like her mother Ophelia.

Frank Bryant


Ophelia Jones Bryant

Eloise Bryant Grigsby

Friday, January 20, 2012

So Thankful For My Recent Trip To New Bern and Morehead City--Part one.

The word thankful to me can not fully describe how grateful I am for having the experience I just came back from on Tuesday. To catch everyone up with where I am now, I had two deaths in the family last week an uncle and an aunt. My Uncle Vincent Harrison, I did not get to know so well as a child because he was quite a bit older than me. He was my mother's half brother. My Grand Aunt Rosa however, was a different story. She took care of me during the day while my parents worked up until I went into kindergarten. We seemed to be always be over at Aunt Rosa's house whether it was for the holidays or family cook outs or whatever. She was a special lady. If you were on her good side she would show you the kindest heart and the best cooking you would ever taste in your life. If you were on her bad side, well...I would have to say I'm sorry for you because she would put you in your place. The lady had a terrific sense of humor and the prettiest smile. I will miss her.

Rosa Bryant Sanders



Anyway, this experience of going to New Bern and Morehead City, NC was amazing. I reconnected with cousins. I saw my sweet Uncle Nat, Rosa's husband. Now if you want to talk about someone with a great sense of humor and terrific comic timing, my Uncle Nat is the man. 

Here is the handsome gentleman.
I love my Uncle Nat.
He is a true gem.

In addition to reconnecting with family I hadn't seen in ages, I got to do something that I always wanted to do. I visited the grave of my Great Grandmother Ophelia Jones Bryant. Her picture that used to hang in my Grandmother Mary's bedroom, was the inspiration for me to begin my genealogy journey. Here's that picture again.

Ophelia Jones Bryant and Mary Cole Bryant

Her grave.
Picture taken January 15, 2012.


The Homegoing Service for my Aunt Rosa took place in the family church. St Stephen's AME Zion Church was the church she attended as a child and the same church at which her mother Ophelia was the organist as noted by Ophelia's obituary.


St Stephen's AME Zion Church
Morehead City, NC



Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Been Gone Four Days And Yet It Feels Like Two Weeks.

I wanted to say thank you to everyone for their thoughts and prayers during this tough time. I just returned from Morehead City, NC this evening. It has been only 4 days but it feels like two weeks to me. The Homegoing  Service for my Aunt Rosa Sanders was absolutely beautiful and I feel absolutely blessed to have had the opportunity to have gone. I have to say my head is swirling with all the family stories and information I learned about this past weekend. It was a lot to take in, so my brain is a bit tired. Going to get some rest tonight and begin fresh in the morning.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Rest in Peace-- Vincent Harrison and Rosa Bryant Sanders

This week has been a hard week for my family. Two of our loved ones have passed within 48 hours of each other. First, my uncle, Vincent Harrison on Sunday and the other my grand aunt Rosa Bryant Sanders yesterday. I will be away from my blog for a couple days as a result.

Vincent  A. Harrison
January 27, 1959--January 8, 2012

Rosa Bryant Sanders
September 17, 1925--January 10, 2012

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Three Generations of Murrell Men.

My Dad, Brother, and Grandpa, Harold O. Murrell.
About 1968 I think.
Grandpa was still in great shape! 
I learned later that he used to box for extra money when he worked in the Venezuela oil fields.
It shows.

Friday, January 6, 2012

My Grandpa, Harold Murrell--Part three

Ah-Ha. Just got off the phone with dad for clarification of the story of my grandfather's journey from Venezuela to the U. S. When my grandfather and a buddy of his arrived at the port to leave he initially wanted to go to Canada. There wasn't going to be another ship headed to Canada for another two weeks. The boat for the U. S. was due to leave and so that is the one he boarded. He had had enough of Venezuela and just wanted to get out. I have some more research to do about the history of the oil industry in Venezuela now. Just what I need, more research to do. LOL!  Just kidding. That's what I live for.

Anyway Grandpa arrived in the U.S  on September 29, 1927. I could not find him listed on the 1930 census anywhere but I do have that wallet that I posted a picture of in My Paternal Grandfather, Harold Murrell--Part one. In that wallet there was an address listed  2394 7th Ave, NY, NY.  I compared this to the address I found on the 1930 census for my grandmother. At that time she lived with her mother Ella, two sisters Edna and Hilda,  and a cousin. The address for her was 274 West 128th St. NY, NY.

Image courtesy of Google Maps
Address locations for Ethel Smith and Harold Murrell
in 1930
Ethel was located at Point A and Harold at Point B.


My grandparents met at the place they both worked, the Morgan Laundry. They were married in 1932 and later moved and settled in the Bronx. They lived at 970 Tinton Ave as evidenced by my grandfather's naturalization petition.

Image courtesy of Ancestry.com

I knew my grandpa as granddaddy. That is what I called him when I was a little girl. It was not until I was grown that I saw images of my grandpa in his youth. I knew he was young at some point of course but my mental image of him was of a retired man, who loved his soap operas and his afternoon nap. He loved to walk his dog, Shane and I would tag alongside him. He enjoyed a good cup of hot tea with lemon and a slice of Sara Lee pound cake. He loved to read his paper and do "The Jumble" word puzzle. He would put up with me telling him the story of the three bears over and over again, usually during the time he was trying to nap. He would tell me stories. I especially loved the one where he would tell me how he lost all his hair. According to him, he was walking down the street one day with the dog and a huge wind came along and blew all his hair away. After I heard this story for the first time I kind of got nervous about my own hair when a windy day would come along. Now you may ask what is the point of this long ramble? Well, the point is that it was a bit of a shock to me to see images of this man in his youth. I mean I know this now but when you are a child you don't really have a sense that someone has lived a whole lifetime of life before they get to be a grandparent.  I am impressed to see the man was confident and knew who he was. I mean look at this picture.
He knows he looks good. LOL! 
I love it.


Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Pictures of My Grandpa --Harold Murrell

Harold O. Murrell
A man on a mission!

Back Row 2nd from left, Harold O. Murrell.
He served in the National Guard.