Monday, December 29, 2008

Greetings From the White House

On Saturday night, I began an Internet search on 'White House birthday greetings for Centenarians' because my Aunt Della will be turning 100 next year. Aunt Della is the youngest sister of my paternal grandmother Hattie. Even though Aunt Della won't turn 100 until December 26, 2009, I wanted to look into this matter early so that my family would know what to anticipate. I wasn't sure if a birthday greeting from the President of the United States was automatically sent, or if someone needed to submit a request. From my Internet search, I learned that a request has to be submitted at least six weeks in advance and that the honoree has to be a U.S. Citizen.

I was extremely surprised to learn that individuals as young as 80 can receive a birthday greeting from the President of the United States. Wow, I thought after reading this, Aunt Della, and my other elderly relatives, such as my 86-year-old maternal grandmother, could have already received a birthday greeting form the President of the United States if I had known about this age criteria.

I also learned that official greetings from the White House are not only sent for birthdays, but also for other special events such as a 50th anniversaries, Weddings, a Baby's Birth, Eagle Scout Award, Girl Scout Gold Award Bar, and Bat Mitzvah's or other equivalent events.

I'm looking forward to utilizing the White House Greeting card to honor my Aunt Della and other elderly family members, as well as to welome the births of two new additions to my family (a great niece and a great nephew whose arrivals are expected in February and March of 2009.) The White House Greeting Cards will be even more special for my family since they will be signed by the first African American President of the United States of America, Barack Obama.

For more information on Greetings from the White House, visit the websites below.

  • How to Order Greeting from White House
  • National Centenarian Awareness Project
  • Sunday, December 28, 2008

    Proximidade Award

    I am honored to be a recepient of the “Proximidade Award” Many thanks go to fellow Bloggers Msteri of Heritage Happens and Cindy of Everthing's Relative, for nominating me for this award.

    This is the Proximidade blog award. The details of the award are as follows:

    "These blogs invest and believe in PROXIMITY - nearness in space, time and relationships! These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in prizes or self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers! Deliver this award to eight bloggers, who must choose eight more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award."

    I have added the Proximidade Award logo to my blog and also placed links to the persons who gave me this award in this posting. Additionally, as a recipient of this award, I am required to nominate eight other blogs. Below, is a list of my nominations for the “Proximidade Award.”

    1. Steve’s Genealogy Blog

    2. Life in England

    3. Christine's Genealogy Website

    4. The Blessedness of Believing

    5. Genealogy – Photograph – Restoration

    6. Another American in London

    7. Food, Family, Fun

    8. The Apple Doesn't Fall Far From the Tree

    Finally, I will leave comments on each of these blogs. Thanks again to Msteri and Cindy for your nominations.

    Tuesday, December 16, 2008

    Having a Good Time

    The tall man in the middle of this photo was George Goode (abt. 1900-1956), who was the husband of my Aunt Lena Bullock Goode Dunn (1902-1949). Lena was a half sister of my great great grandfather Andrew Bullock (1862-1915). I do not know the names of George Goode's friends in this photo, but they all look like they were having a great time!

    Tuesday, December 9, 2008

    Brick Wall Knocked Down Through DNA Testing

    I am pleased to announce that DNA test results have confirmed a paternal relationship between the descendants of Arthur “Ardie” Pair (1864-1929) and Mabry Pair (1858-bef. 1900), both who lived in Greensville County, VA. My reason for testing the Y-chromosome or paternal DNA of these two families is that the documents (two marriage licenses and death certificate) found on my great grandfather Ardie did not name his parents. However, I determined the name of Ardie and Mabry’s mother through several research methods.

    1. Marriage License. Locating Mabry’s 1879 marriage license which named his parents as “Hal and Rainey.” No surname was listed for the parents on the marriage license.
    2. Surname Search. Doing a surname search of PAIR marriage records in Greensville County, VA which revealed that a Rainey Pair married a Joseph Briggs in 1867.
    3. Census. Search of the 1870 and 1880 censuses for Rainey Pair Briggs and Joseph Briggs where Ardie and Mabry were found living with their mother and stepfather in 1870.

    Since I had not found any documentation on the paternity of my ancestor Ardie, I turned to DNA testing for answers. I wanted DNA test results to prove or disprove a paternal connection between Ardie and Mabry Pair.

    In order to test these two lines, I needed to test direct male descendants of these two families. In October 2008, a great grandson of Mabry Pair took a 46-marker DNA test from DNA . In November 2008, my father, who is a grandson of Ardie Pair took the same type of test. Results for both tests were received in late November with exact matches on all 46 markers. The paternal Haplogroup for these two tests is E3a.

    The 46-marker test results mean that these two families share a paternal ancestor within the last six generations or 150 years. I do not know when Hal, the common ancestor in these two families, was born or died; however, I do know that he was a common ancestor within the last five generations of this family.

    Further, these matching results also mean that the descendants of Mabry Pair have the same African connection as the descendants of Ardie Pair. In July 2007, one of my father’s brothers took a Y-chromosome test through the African Ancestry DNA Company) The results of this 8-marker test match present living people in three African countries:
    1. Balanta people in Guinea-Bissau
    2. Yoruba people in Nigeria
    3. Akan people in Ghana.
    These African Ancestry results mean that the Pair family has genetic African cousins living in these countries and that we share a paternal ancestor who lived thousands of years ago.

    Sunday, December 7, 2008

    Mississippi to Africa: A Journey of Discovery

    Congratulations to my online friend, Melvin J. Collier, on the publication of his new book "Mississippi to Africa: A Journey of Discovery" This book captures Melvin’s fourteen-year journey in uncovering the buried history of his maternal grandmother's family-a journey that took him back seven generations, from northern Mississippi to the Piedmont hills of South Carolina, and even back to a specific people and region in West Africa where his ancestry undoubtedly began.

    Melvin also has been busy with numerous book signings and I wish him much success in this endeavor.

    Related Links

  • Mississippi to Africa: A Journey of Discovery

  • Mel’s Roots Diggin’ Site

  • Mississippi to Africa website
  • Friday, December 5, 2008

    Last Visit with Aunt Dorothy

    This picture was taken in late November 1981 and it was the last time I saw my Aunt Dorothy Thornton Andrews before she died the following year. Aunt Dorothy was from Enfield, NC and had moved to New Jersey when she was a young woman. During my freshman year in college, my maternal grandmother Emma and I took a trip to Newark, New Jersey for Thanksgiving to visit relatives. Aunt Dorothy and her husband James (sitting in chair) lived in East Orange, NJ, which is a close to Newark. I am not sure who the young boy was picture in this photo. Perhaps he was a boy from the neighborhood.

    Aunt Dorothy was a sister of my grandfather Minor Elwood Thornton.

    Thursday, December 4, 2008

    Obama family goes Unplugged on Access Hollywood!

    In this 4-part video, the family of the now President-Elect Barack Obama, his wife Michelle, and daughters Malia and Sasha are interviewed by Access Hollywood. The interview was conducted during the Summer of 2008.

    Obama family goes Unplugged on Access Hollywood! (Part 1 of 4)

    Obama family goes Unplugged on Access Hollywood! (Part 2 of 4)

    Obama family goes Unplugged on Access Hollywood! (Pary 3 of 4)

    Obama family goes Unplugged on Access Hollywood! (Part 4 of 4)

    Monday, December 1, 2008

    Tombstone Parking Meter

    Talk about a way to get attention even after death. I found a photo on another blog of a tombstone with a parking meterplaced on it. It is the grave of Barbara Sue Manire (1941-2005).

    This is definitely one of the most unique tombstones I’ve ever seen.

    Sunday, November 30, 2008

    Same DNA Haplogroup for Two Family Lines

    I recently received E3a Haplogroup results for Y-chromosome DNA tests for two of my family lines. Haplogroup E3a is also known as Haplogroup E1b1a. Both tests were 46-markers and were done through DNA. The family lines with the matching Haplogroup are the PAIR family of Greensville County, VA and the THORNTON family of Halifax County, NC.

    PAIR is the family of my father and paternal grandfather.
    • Roy PAIR (1945- )
    • Matthew “Mack” PAIR (1897-1987)
    • Arthur “Ardie” PAIR (1864-1929)
    • Hal PAIR (?-?)
    THORNTON is the family of my maternal grandfather Minor Elwood Thornton (1913-1979).
    • Minor THORNTON (1893-1966)
    • Plummer THORNTON (1857-bef. 1910)
    • Robert THORNTON (1815-?)
    Although both test results matched the E3a (aka E1b1a) Haplogroup, only 24 out of 46 markers matched between these two family lines. (See matches in Red below)

    Tuesday, November 25, 2008

    Grandma Bell’s Kitchen

    The photo above shows what the kitchen of my great grandmother Bell Bullock Johnson looked like. Here, my mother Dorothy (hands in pot), and her sister Emma Belle are standing in the kitchen of their maternal grandmother, Bell Bullock Johnson. They lived in Newport News, VA and their grandmother lived in the town of Ridgway in Warren County, NC.

    My mother and her siblings visited Grandma Bell from time to time during their childhood, sometimes staying with her during the summer. This photo was taken in 1958 and during that year Mama turned age 14 and her sister age 12.

    It look like Mama is washing her hands in this pot. During the time that this photo was taken, Grandma Bell did not have running water in her house. She either got water from a well on her property or from the spring nearby.

    This photo was taken in 1959 in the kitchen Grandma Bell’s kitchen. Her youngest son Richard (right) is standing here with her youngest daughter Emma, who is my maternal grandmother.

    Sunday, November 23, 2008

    Double Cousins

    I love this photo from the funeral program of Cousin Martha Johnson Eaddy (1928-2003). She was obviously a dog lover. Cousin Martha was a double cousin of my maternal grandmother Emma.

    Martha’s father Charlie Johnson (1884-1951) was a brother of Grandma Emma’s father George Johnson (1893-1932). Both Charlie and George were sons of Plummer Johnson (1846-1917) and Susan Jerman Johnson (1858-1939). The Johnsons lived in the town of Ridgeway located in Warren County, NC.

    Martha’s mother Kate Bullock Johnson (1888-?) was an aunt of Grandma Emma’s mother Bell Bullock Johnson (1890-1982) and a sister of Grandma Bell’s father Andrew Bullock (1862-1915). Both Kate and Andrew were children of Ottoway Bullock (1832-abt. 1907) of Warren County, NC. Kate was a daughter of Ottoway’s third wife Julia Taylor Bullock (1855-1921) and Andrew was the son of his first wife Mimmy Bullock (1835-bef. 1873).

    Thursday, November 20, 2008

    Sista of the Church

    In this photo, I was modeling in a church fashion show. The dress, scarf, and purse are mine, but the hat was on loan for modeling from a local store. The fashion show was held around the mid 1990s. I call this my “Sista of the Church” outfit because in many African American churches, no outfit is complete without a hat. I do not wear hats to church on a regular basis like my grandmother and my sister Deborah do. However, I do enjoy wearing hats to church occasionally. I own one church hat which I purchased in February 2007 to wear to the 100th anniversary of one of my family churches in North Carolina.

    Sunday, November 16, 2008

    Aunt Dorothy Wearing a Hat

    This is my Aunt Dorothy Thornton Andrews (1921-1982) who was a sister of my maternal grandfather Minor Elwood Thornton (1913-1979). Aunt Dorothy was born in the Enfield area of Halifax County, NC. She moved to East Orange, NJ during her early adult years and remained there until her death.

    I believe this photo may have been taken during one of her visits to NC. I have seen a photo of my grandfather sitting in this chair and was told that it was taken during a visit to NC.

    Saturday, November 15, 2008

    Barack Obama’s Family Tree

    The family tree of President-Elect Barack Obama has diverse branches. He is an example of the cliché that says that “you can’t judge a book by its cover.” When you look at him, you see a tall, light-skinned, African American male. What you don’t see in his physical traits is that he is the product of an American Caucasian woman and an African man from Kenya and that his ancestors came from a sundry of places such as Africa, America, and Europe.

    Obama’s election as 44th president of the United States continues the presidential legacy in his family. Obama is a distant cousin of three U.S. presidents -- Harry S Truman, George W. Bush and George Herbert Walker Bush. He is also a distant cousin of Vice President Dick Cheney, as well as actor Brad Pitt.

    For more information on Barack Obama’s family tree, visit the following websites.

  • Son of Presidents and Tribal Chiefs
  • Bios of Obama’s Family Members
  • Interactive Obama Family Tree
  • Obama’s Family Tree
  • Graphical View of Obama’s Family Tree
  • Wednesday, November 12, 2008

    Mitosearch DNA Database

    Mitosearch is a free website by FamilyTreeDNA where individuals can enter both mitochondrial and Y-chromosome results for any DNA testing company. Other features of this website include searching site by Haplogroups, comparing DNA results with others, and contacting other testers whom you may have a DNA match.

    Monday, November 10, 2008

    Barack Obama Wins!

    Congratulations to Barack Obama on his election as the 44th President of the United States. His acceptance speech was held in Chicago, IL on November 4th, 2008.

    Veterans History Project

    The Veterans History Project (VHP) is designed to collect and preserve remembrances of American War veterans and civilian workers who supported them. This initiative of the United States Congress was created in t he year 2000 as part of the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. The VHP project collects remembrances of veterans who served in the following six wars:

    1. World War I (1914-1920)

    2. World War II (1939-1946)

    3. Korean War (1950-1955)

    4. Vietnam War (1961-1975)
    5. Persian Gulf War (1990-1995)
    6. Afghanistan and Iraq conflicts (2001-present)
    Remembrances of home front civilians who actively supported the war efforts are also invited to participate in this project. Civilians include war industry workers, USO workers, flight instructors, medical volunteers, defense contractors, etc.

    The Veterans History Project memories are archived in the American Folklife Center of the Library of Congress for use by researchers. The project collection consists of donated items such as first-hand oral histories, memoirs, photographs, letters, diaries, official separation documents (DD-214, etc.) and other historical documents from World War I through current conflicts. Project items such as interviews are conducted and submitted by volunteers who work individually or as part of a group or organization.

    For more information on participating in the Veterans History project, visit the websites listed below:

  • Veterans History Project
  • Veterans History Project Questionnaire

  • Frequently Asked Questions

  • Veterans History Project Brochure
  • Sunday, November 9, 2008

    International Black Genealogy Summit

    The first International Black Genealogy Summit will be held October 29-31, 2009 at the Allen County Public Library, in Fort Wayne, IN. This purpose of this summit is for all black historical and genealogical societies in the U.S., Canada and the Caribbean to come together to celebrate the joys and challenges of black genealogy.

    For more information, visit the summit website.

    Sunday, October 12, 2008

    A Bridge to Somewhere

    Although I was not able to attend the Obama rally in my city on October 4, 2008, I passed by the street bridge which led to the area where he spoke. In this photo, these people had walked across the street bridge into the downtown Newport News area where Senator Obama would be speaking that afternoon.

    I had been out of town on a retreat that day and the Interstate exit to my home was on the other side of this bridge. I drove through this exit around 12:30 p.m. as people were on their way to the rally. The people I saw were probably the late ones who would have been in the back of the crowd.

    As I sat at the stop light after exiting the Interstate, I watched from my rear view mirror and driver's window, the masses of people beginning their walk across the bridge which was in the opposite direction of where I was driving. As I drove through the green light, to my left I saw rows of cars for several blocks and people walking towards the bridge. That's not a bridge to No Where, I thought, It's a Bridge to Somewhere. I continued my drive home wishing that I had been home earlier so that I could have attended the rally.

    Tuesday, October 7, 2008

    Obama Comes to Town

    Last Saturday, October 4, 2008, Democrat Presidential Candidate Barack Obama visited my hometown. I did not get to see him, but thanks to online videos and photos, I can see what occurred during his visit. Below is a video of a portion of his speech in Newport News, VA.

    Wednesday, October 1, 2008

    Finding Church Trustees Through Newspapers and Other Sources

    My great-great grandmother Luvenia Jeffress Bullock (1864-1951), also known as "Holy Venia," established a church named Veanus Chapel House of Prayer in Vance County, NC around the early 1930s. Land deeds beginning in 1941 name various trustees of this church. Veanus Chapel continued many years after Grandma Luvenia’s death. I noticed some of the same names on the deeds related to the church from transactions in 1951, 1955 and 1966.

    On April 11, 1951 trustees of Veanus Chapel named on the deed were Alfred Carroll, Alice Henderson, and Georgia Suitt. On September 28, 1955, trustees of Veanus Chapel named on a deed were Estora Bynum, Rev. J. C. Adams, and Georgia Suitt. On February 28, 1962, trustees of Venus Chapel House of Prayer named on a deed were Estora Bynum, Sarah Booth, and Georgia Suitt. I noticed that the 1962 deed of trust was notarized in Durham, NC, which is adjacent to Vance County, NC. This discovery led me to believe that Trustees Bynum, Booth, and Suitt probably lived in the city of Durham. These deeds were obtained from the Vance County, NC Register of Deeds office.

    From there, I used Internet resources on to trace some of the trustees of Veneaus Chapel House of Prayer (Estora Bynum, Georgia Suitt, and Sarah Booth). Using the clue obtained from the 1962 Deed of Trust, I did a name search for these three individuals and used Durham as the locality in the query.

    I immediately discovered from this Internet search that I had wrongly assumed that Estora Bynum was a woman, based on the first name. This search revealed a male named Rev. Estora Andrew Bynum (1908-1996) who lived in Durham, NC. Records found on Rev. Bynum include his death records (social security index and death record), and the newspaper obituaries of his wife Annie and their son Fred. The Social Security death index and the North Carolina Death Collection, 1908-1996, (now 1908-2004), records also listed a Georgia Suitt (1896-1981) and a Sarah Booth (1895-1981) of Durham.

    Even more exciting than the above findings was the locating of the online newspaper obituaries on for Rev. Bynum’s wife Annie and their son Floyd. In the wife’s obituary, she is named as “Overseer Annie B. Bynum.” Overseer is a ministerial title used in some holiness churches to describe a person who is in charge of other churches in addition to the one they pastor. In many cases, the Church Overseer is the one who has established the various churches they oversee. Rev. Estora Bynum is named as the late husband of Overseer Annie B. Bynum. A further clue from the obituary is that Annie’s funeral was held at Friendship House of Prayer in Durham, NC in May 2005. The online obituary of the Bynum’s son Floyd, who died in New Jersey in 2004, names both parents individually with the title “Rev.” in front of each of their names.

    Internet clues from the North Carolina Death Collection and the Social Security index also gave me death dates for the three trustees, which enabled me to obtain newspaper obituaries through the mail from the Durham, NC Public library of the Trustees Rev. Estora Bynum, Sarah Booth, and Georgia Suitt.

    The obituaries of these trustees all indicate that they had a connection to Friendship House of Prayer Church in Durham, NC. Rev. Estora Bynum’s 1996 obituary indicates that he was pastor of this church.

    Sarah Booth’s 1981 obituary indicates that “she helped establish several churches in the United Holy Church religion and worked with Friendship House of Prayer.” The obituary further states that she was “active in missionary work and established many prayer bands.” The obituary also gives kinship clues between the Trustees because it names Evangelist Annie B. Bynum as Sarah Booth’s daughter. That would make Sarah Booth, one of the trustees named on deeds of Veanus Chapel House of Prayer, the mother-in-law of Trustee Estora Bynum, who was also named on the deeds.

    The 1981 obituary of the third Trustee named on the deeds, Georgia Suitt, is very brief, however, it does reveal that she was associated with Friendship House of Prayer and that her funeral was conducted by Rev. Estora Bynum.

    Needless to say, I am thoroughly excited about these discoveries on three of the Trustees of my ancestor's church, Veanus Chapel House of Prayer. I suspect that Friendship House of Prayer may have been the former “Veanus House of Prayer.” I plan to write the church regarding my research and ask for information on their history. I hope to also find people in this church who are either descendants of the Bynum, Booth, and Suitt families, or who would remember any of these individuals. I also hope to visit this church before the end of the year.

    • Land Deed, Grantors: Annie McPhatter Plummer (widow), Maggie McPhatter Lucas (widow), Sallie Shaw Howard (widow), Victoria Shaw Walker (Divorced), Silas Shaw (single), Abraham Shaw (widower), J. T. McPhatter and wife, Elaine McPhatter Grantee: Alford Carroll, Alice Henderson, and Georgie Suitt, Trustees of Veanus Chapel House of Prayer, Vance County, NC Register of Deeds, Deed Book 291, Page 279-281, April 11, 1951.
    • Land Deed, Grantors: B. H. Hicks and wife Emily S. Hicks and S. E. Jennette and wife Anne T. Jennette Grantee: Estora Bynum, Rev. J. C. Adams, and Georgia Suitt, Trustees of Veanus Chapel House of Prayer, Vance County, NC Register of Deeds, Deed Book 322, Page 561-562, September 28, 1955.
    • Deed of Trust, Grantor: Mechanics and Farmers Bank Grantee: Estora Bynum, Sarah Booth, and Georgia Suitt, Trustees of Veanus Chapel House of Prayer, Vance County, NC Register of Deeds, Deed Book 381, Page 143-144, February 19, 1962.
    • Obituary of Georgia Suitt, Durham Herald-Star Newspaper, October 16, 1981.
    • Obituary of Floyd L. Bynum, Star-Ledger, New Jersey Online, Newark, NJ, July 10, 2004,
    • Obituary of Overseer Annie B. Bynum, Durham Herald Star Newspaper, Durham, NC, May 26, 2005,
    • Obituary of Rev. Estora Bynum, Durham Herald Star Newspaper, Durham, NC, 1995.
    • Obituary of Sarah Lipscomb Booth, Durham Herald Star Newspaper, Durham, NC, July 24, 1981.
    • Obituary of Georgia Bass Suitt, Durham Herald Star Newspaper, Durham, NC, October 16, 1981.
    • Social Security Death Index,
    • North Carolina Death Collection, 1908-1996,
    Written for the Carnival of Genealogy

    Friday, September 26, 2008

    The Death of Ottoway Bullock

    Many early North Carolina marriage licenses indicate whether the parents of the bride and groom were alive or dead. Since official death certificates did not begin until 1913 in North Carolina, this information on the marriage licenses has been invaluable in my family research prior to 1913. In order to estimate the time frame of death for North Carolina ancestors who died prior to 1913, it is necessary to locate the marriage licenses of all of their children if possible, not just your direct line.

    Ottoway Bullock, who was born February 1832, was the father of my great great grandfather Andrew Bullock (1862-1915). Through searching the marriage licenses of Andrew’s brothers Oscar and Nathan, I have been able to determine that Ottoway Bullock died sometime between March 1906 and December 1907.

    • Oscar Bullock, married Mattie Burnett on March 11, 1906. The marriage license states that his father, Ottoway Bullock, was alive.
    • Nathaniel (Nathan) Bullock, married Lillian Howard on December 29, 1907 in the Smith Creek township of Warren County. Nathan’s parents were listed as Julia Bullock, who was still living, and O. Bullock who was listed as dead by this date. (I assume that O. Bullock stood for Ottoway Bullock.

    Marriage License of Oscar Bullock to Mattie Burnett

    Marriage License of Nathan Bullock to Lillian Howard

    Friday, September 19, 2008

    Traditional Funeral Attire

    For older generations such as my great grandmother Bell Bullock Johnson (1890-1982), it was customary to wear all black to a funeral. The black apparel also included a black hat. This custom has not been necessarily continued as a whole with younger generations. Below are photos from a family funeral in Richmond, VA that occurred possibly in the 1970s.

    (Front) Aunt Bessie Bullock Carroll (1901-1991), a sister of my great grandmother Bell. Grandma Bell is the lady in the back.

    (Left to right) Aunt Bessie; Emma, a daughter of Bell and Bessie’s sister Channie; and Grandma Bell. Here we see more of the outfits of the older ladies wearing black dresses, hats, and purses, and their niece wearing a flora print dress. Even though we can’t tell from the photos, I assume that the older ladies were also wearing black shoes.

    Verlena, daughter of Bessie and Bell’s sister Mima; Aunt Bessie; and Emma, daughter of Bessie and Bell’s sister Channie. I do not know the name of the little girl, but she is a granddaughter of Emma. In this photo, we see more of a contrast between the clothing of the older lady and the younger ones.

    Tuesday, September 16, 2008

    I Love Your Blog Award

    I am honored to be one of the recipients of the “I Love Your Blog Award.” Many thanks go to fellow Bloggers Msteri of Heritage Happens, and Miriam Midkiff of AnceStories: The Stories of My Ancestors for nominating me for this award.

    The rules associated with this award are as follows:
    • Can put the logo on his/her blog

    • Must link to the person who gave the award

    • Must nominate 7 other blogs and link to them

    • Must leave a comment on each of the nominated blogs
    I have added the "I Love Your Blog Award" logo to my blog and have also placed links to the persons who gave me this award in this posting.

    Additionally, as a recipient of this award, I am required to nominate seven other blogs. Below, is a list of my nominations for the “I Love Your Blog Award.”
    1. Steve’s Genealogy Blog by Stephen Danko
    2. Creative Gene by Jasia
    3. Welcome to My World by Judy Roo
    4. The Blessedness of Believing by Linda Meadows
    5. Genealogy – Photograph – Restoration by George Geder
    6. Life in Possum Holler by Carolyn Billingsley
    7. Footnote Maven by Footnote Maven
    Finally, I will leave comments on each of these blogs.

    Thanks again to Msteri and Miriam for your nominations. I am honored to be included in a group of such Great Bloggers.

    Monday, September 15, 2008

    My Ten Favorite How-To Genealogy Books

    Like most genealogist, I have a ton of genealogy related books. These books include numerous how to genealogy books for beginner to advanced levels, as well as county, city, and church histories.

    Below are ten of my favorite How-to genealogy books and workbooks.
    1. Allen, Desmond Walls, First Steps in Genealogy: A Beginner’s Guide to Researching Your Family History, Cincinnati, Ohio: Betterway Books, 1998.
    2. Burrough, Tony, Black Roots: A Beginner’s Guide to Tracing the African American Family Tree, New York: A Fireside Book-Simon & Schuster, 2001.
    3. Carmack, Sharon DeBartolo, A Genealogist's Guide to Discovering Your Immigrant and Ethnic Ancestors, Cincinnati, Ohio: Betterway Books, 2005.
    4. Croom, Emily, Unpuzzling Your Past: The Best Selling Basic Guide to Genealogy, 4th Edition, Cincinnati, Ohio: Betterway Books, 2001.
    5. Croom, Emily, The Unpuzzling Your Past Workbook: Essential forms and letters for Genealogist, Cincinnati, Ohio: Betterway Books, 1996.
    6. Hartley, William, G., The Everything Family Tree Book, Finding, Charting, and Preserving Your Family History, Holbrook, Massachussetts: Adams Media Corporation, 1998.
    7. Melnyk, Marcia D. Yannizze, Family History 101: A Beginner’s Guide to Finding Your Ancestors, Cincinnati, Ohio: Family Tree Books, 2005.
    8. Melnyk, Marcia D. Yannizze, The Weekend Genealogist: Timesaving Techniques for Effective Research, Cincinnati, Ohio: Betterway Books, 2000.
    9. Renick, Barbara, Genealogy 101: How to Trace Your Family History and Heritage, Nashville, TN: Rutledge Hill Press, 2003.
    10. Woodtor, Dee, Finding a Place Called Home : A Guide to African-
      American Genealogy and Historical Identity
      , New York : Random House, 1999.

    Wednesday, September 10, 2008

    Grandma Emma's Family Hat Traditon

    Maternal Grandmother Emma

    My grandmother’s generation and that of her ancestors, wore hats to church because of religious beliefs that a woman must have her head covered in church. This belief is based on the scripture by Paul the Apostle in the Bible.

    But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven. 1 Corinthians 11:5

    My maternal grandmother, who is 86 years old now, still honors the hat tradition learned from her ancestors.

    Grandma Emma's mother Bell

    Grandma Bell (left) and her sisters Mollie and Channie

    Grandma Luvenia, mother of Bell, and maternal grandmother of Emma

    Sunday, September 7, 2008

    How to Register & Join Facebook

    I joined the social network Facebook two weeks ago. Below is a video with information on how to set up an account.

    Tuesday, September 2, 2008

    60 Minutes – Facebook

    This is an interview by 60 Minutes of Mark Zuckerberg, the 23-year-old CEO and developer of Facebook.

    Monday, September 1, 2008

    Aunt Mary’s Notebook

    Aunt Mary Johnson (1927-1986) was a sister of my maternal grandmother. One of the things I inherited of hers is a notebook which contains Bible study and church notes. A cousin gave me this 7.5 x 8 notebook that was written possibly around 1953 and 1954. Only two pages of this notebook contain dates. Most of the pages are handwritten, but one page it typewritten. When I was a young girl, I used to receive letters written from Aunt Mary. However, I do not have any of those letters now. The gift of this notebook is precious because it gives me a sample of Aunt Mary’s handwriting that I used to read many years ago. Aunt Mary served Little Mt. Zion Holy Church in White Plains, NY as Sunday school teacher, president of the choir, vice president of the missionary department, member of the usher board, and secretary. Some of these notes in this notebook may have been recorded as Church secretary.
    Bible Study Notes

    Typewritten Notes

    Youth Day Offering

    Thursday, August 28, 2008

    I Have a Dream

    Forty-five years ago today, the famous “I Have a Dream” speech was given on the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Today, this speech is still as powerful as it was 45 years ago.

    I Have a Dream

    Wednesday, August 27, 2008

    Using Facebook

    This past weekend, I joined Facebook. It is a social networking website where you can meet new friends or groups, communicate with existing friends, as well as post photos or videos. At the recommendation, of several genealogy friends, I decided to give the site a try. Since joining, I have connected with a high school friend, a young college student I befriended earlier this year, and with current genealogy pals from various discussion boards I participate in. I have also met new friends. Some of these new friends are friends of online friends I already knew.

    To learn more about the features of Facebook, I searched for YouTube videos. Below is one of the helpful videos I found.

    Video: How to Use Facebook

    Sunday, August 24, 2008

    Sacred Sunday: Adult Choir at Little Mt. Zion Holy Church

    This is a a photo I recently received of the adult choir at Little Mt. Zion Holy Church in White Plains, NY. This church was started by Pennie Johnson Higgs, a sister of my grandfather, George Johnson. She is the older lady to the right in this photo with the white hat and scarf. My maternal grandmother's sister Mary, also attended this church. She is the tall woman on the back row to the left. Aunt Pennie died in December 1966.

    Thursday, July 31, 2008

    Cousin Isabell on Telephone

    Cousin Isabell Russell

    This is my Cousin Isabell Russell, who was a niece of my great great Grandfather Andrew Bullock (1862-1915). Cousin Isabell was a daughter of his sister Lucy Bullock Russell (1882-1967). Cousin Isabell was born in Norfolk, VA in 1916. Her parents were from Warren County, VA and moved to Norfolk for a few years before 1916. They returned to North Carolina after WWI and lived there the remainder of their lives. Cousin Isabell, however, moved to Connecticut during her adult years. This photo was probably taken in Connecticut.

    Wednesday, July 23, 2008

    DNA: Key to Life

    This is a short video which describes what DNA looks like.

    Thursday, July 17, 2008

    Jewish Puerto Ricans

    DNA testing may reveal surprises and such is the case for husband and wife, Sonia Rosa-Velez and Eliud Bonilla, whose families have a long history of living in Puerto Rico. Learn how this couple and their families dealt with their surprising DNA results.

    Tracing your Family Roots – Puerto Rico

    Tuesday, July 15, 2008

    Finding Aunt Della’s Correct Birth Year

    By the time I met my Aunt Della around 1996, I was in my early 30s, and had been researching my family history for about two years. Aunt Della is the youngest sister of my paternal grandmother, Hattie and she is now the last living of my grandmother’s siblings. Three of her brothers were alive when I began my family history research. Though various conversations with Aunt Della, I have learned about my father’s family. She used 1910 as her birth year, but often said that she didn’t think that was correct. The births of Aunt Della and her siblings had been recorded in the family Bible by her mother, Mary Eliza Robinson Moore (1880-1920,) however this Bible was destroyed in a house fire. By the time she applied for a social security card in the 1960s, she had been using the birth year of 1910.

    Early on in my research, I had located Aunt Della’s family on all the censuses available, including her name listed on the 1910, 1920, and 1930 censuses. But it would not be until about two years ago, that I would revisit the census records and reevaluate all the information given on this family. At this time, I looked at the date the census was recorded (May 9, 1910) and noticed that the age of Aunt Della was listed at ‘5-months.’ She had to have been born in 1909 I concluded. (See 1910 Census – Moore Family)

    After this discovery, I had several phone conversations with Aunt Della, but I did not want to share this new finding over the phone. In 2007, our family had a reunion and I spoke about our family history, but did not mention this new finding because I felt it was better to talk to her in private first. I did, however, mention this discovery to Aunt Della's youngest daughter, Marva Jo. She told me that she also had discovered this age discrepancy through the census and told her mother about it. However, for whatever reason her mother did not react to this news. The family also continued using Aunt Della's age based on a 1910 birth year.

    During the past year, I had several phone conversations with her and intended to visit, but somehow never got around to it. Another family reunion arrived this past 4th of July weekend, and I again spoke at our family banquet about our history and DNA, but did not mention this age discovery. I had prepared poster boards displaying copies of family documents. After showing them to Aunt Della at the reunion, she asked for copies. On the next day, before leaving town, I visited her with copies of documents including the 1910 census.

    Aunt Della was not surprised by this new birth year discovery which would make her 98 years old instead of 97. “Come back to see me real soon,” she said as I was about to leave her house. “You know I’m not far from 100,” she said with laughter in her voice. If she lives another year and a half, she will turn the big 100.

    Monday, July 14, 2008

    1930 Census - Moore Family

    By 1930, Robert Moore had a third wife, Elizabeth Mitchell, whom he married on February 23, 1924, in Greensville County. Several of his children had married and left home (Washington, Hattie, Sarah, and Jack.)

    1930 Census ~ Zion Township of Greensville County, Virginia

    Sunday, July 13, 2008

    1920 Census - Moore Family

    By the year 1920, all of the Moore children had been born. Mary Eliza Robinson Moore was pregnant during this year, but died from childbirth complications on March 7, 1920.

    1920 Census ~ Zion Township of Greensville County, Virginia

    Thursday, July 10, 2008

    1910 Census - Moore Family

    By 1910, Washington Moore had died, and his son Robert had taken over the household and property and was also raising his children along with his wife Mary Eliza. Robert’s mother Ellen Moore was living in the household with the family. All of the children in this household lived to be grown, except for Kattie, who died around 1915 of whooping cough. This census was recorded on May 9, 1910 and Aunt Della Moore Richardson was listed as age 5 months. That would give her a birth year of 1909 instead of 1910. Since birth certificates were not generated in Virginia at this time, it was common to get birth years and dates mixed up.

    1910 Census ~ Zion Township of Greensville County, Virginia

    I informed Aunt Della of her correct age this past Sunday. Read more about the conversation as well as a discussion about getting one’s age corrected on the Afrigeneas discussion “Getting Aunt’s Birth Year Corrected.”

    Tuesday, July 8, 2008

    1900 Census - Moore Family

    By 1900, Robert Moore had married Mary Eliza Robinson, the daughter of Joshua and Ersie Jane Providence Robinson. The married on February 2, 1899 in Greensville County. Charley Wilks was a son Washington and Ellen’s daughter, Martha. Emmet Moore, who was listed here as a nephew of Washington on the 1900 census, was the son of Luther Moore. Luther Moore was the son of Henry and Eliza Moore. Therefore, Washington and Henry Moore were probably brothers.

    1900 Census ~ Zion Township of Greensville County, Virginia

    Monday, July 7, 2008

    1880 Census - Moore Family

    By 1880, Grandma Ellen had a third child by Washington Moore named George, who was born around 1874. The Moore family had moved the Zion township of Greensville County possibly to the Liberty area where they remained the rest of their lives. Junious Scott was married by this time and Pleasant Lundy was living with his father Charles Lundy in Chesterfield County, Virginia.

    1880 Census ~ Zion Township of Greensville County, Virginia

    Sunday, July 6, 2008

    1870 Census - Moore Family

    The 1870 census was the first census which listed individuals who had formally been enslaved. Washington and Ellen Moore, and other former slaves had been free for five years when the 1870 census was taken. They married around 1865 and this was Ellen’s third marriage. Junious Scott is believed to be a child from the first marriage and Pleasant Lundy from the second. (See article on Grandma Ellen's Three Sets of children.) Martha and my ancestor Robert Moore were from the union with Washington Moore.

    Robert Moore was the father of my paternal grandmother, Hattie Moore Pair (1902 - 1956)

    1870 Census ~ Hicksford Township of Greensville County, Virginia

    Wednesday, July 2, 2008

    Haplogroup Prediction Tool

    Tonight, I found a Haplogroup prediction tool on The Genographic Project website. I used it to determine the Haplogroup of my DNA results from mitochondrial results from African Ancestry. According to this tool, I am in Haplogroup "X." African Ancestry says that my maternal results match the Biafada (Beafada) people in Guinea Bissau and the Temne people in Sierra Leone, however no Haplogroup was given with these DNA results. The only time I received a Haplogroup from African Ancestry with the U6a1 non-African results of my father’s maternal line.

    I also tried the prediction tool by typing in markers for the U6a1 test results and the Haplogroup predictor did give "U" as the group classification.

    Website: Genographic Haplogroup Prediction Tool

    Friday, June 27, 2008

    DNA Structure

    This short video explains the structure of DNA and its components: Adenine, Thymine, Cytosine, and Guanine.

    DNA Structure

    Thursday, June 26, 2008

    Uncle Volley Bailey on the 1910 Census

    After I found the 1920 census, then I discovered him on the 1910. From this census, I learned the name of his wife and the name of a son who was mentioned by his descendants. Willie L. Perhaps the descendants did not know the Volley and Lilly had a son named Willie. Uncle Volley and his family were living in the same location in 1910, as they were in 1920 census at 1716 Wall Street in the Richmond area of Chesterfield County. However, in 1910 he was listed as a “renter” of this property and in 1920, an owner. This serves as a clue for me to search for a property deed and/or land taxes for the years 1910-1920. The 1910 census also gives me an estimated marriage year of Volley and Lilly because it indicates that they married at age 20. Therefore, this marriage would have occurred around 1890.

    The marital status of the son is listed ‘married’ for one year, however finding his marriage license would give me more information on the wife and possibly her whereabouts. If her occupation is some type of Domestic or Servant, then she may have been living with her employer in 1910.

    Uncle Volley’s age is 50 on this 1910 census, which suggests a birth year of 1860. All ages given on censuses (1870, 1910, and 1920) all point to a birth year of 1860.

    The 1910 census indicates that the occupation for Uncle Volley was a “Life Insurance Agent,” which confirms the occupation remembered by his descendants.

    The 1910 census is the second document found on Uncle Volley and it furthers my research by giving the name of his wife, the name of a third child (a son), name of his occupation, age at time of marriage, and address.

    To Be Continued . . .

    See previous articles on Uncle Volley

    Wednesday, June 25, 2008

    Uncle Volley on the 1920 Census

    After Cousin Jimmy shared his new findings on the family of our Uncle Volley Bailey, I began searching the census. (See blog Cousin Jimmy Finds Uncle Volley Descendants) The first census I found on Uncle Volley was for 1920. Since his first name is often spelled a variety of ways, “Valley, Volley, Volly, etc.,” it took some time to locate him on various censuses. One thing that caught my attention on the 1920 census was that Uncle Volley’s marital status was listed as “M” for married, but there was no wife living in the household. ‘Were they separated or was she in a mental institution,” were my first thoughts about her whereabouts. One of my genealogy friends laughed when I mentioned the “mental institution” as a possibility. I had very good reason to suspect this as a possibility because I had found one of my ancestors on the 1920 census listed as “married,” but with no wife in the household. Later, I found her listed living in a mental institution on the 1920 census.

    1920 Census, Richmond City, Chesterfield County

    From studying the 1920 census of Uncle Volley’s household, I learned the following things:
    • Volley's daughters were listed as born in Virginia. Therefore based on the age of the oldest daughter, I can assume that he was likely living in Virginia by 1898.

    • Although the 1920 census did not list Uncle Volley's wife living in the household, the census did indicate that the mother of his two daughters was born in "Virginia."

    • Uncle Volley's occupation was listed as "Agent" and the company name appears to be an insurance company, but the writing is difficult to understand. His descendants had told Cousin Jimmy that Uncle Volley was an insurance agent so the census confirms this claim.

    • The 1920 census also indicates that Uncle Volley owned his home and also gives the address as 1716 Wall Street in Chesterfield County which was part of Richmond City in Virginia.

    These clues from the census gave me a great start in the construction of the life of my Uncle Volley Bailey, The Insurance Man.

    To Be Continued . . .

    Monday, June 23, 2008

    Caroline Bailey

    Caroline Bailey was the mother of my great grandmother Matilda Bailey Thornton (1856-1916) and he brother Volley Bailey (1860-1929). I suspect that there were other siblings, but I have not found any documentation verifying this relationship. Caroline Bailey was never listed on the census living in the household with her children. On the 1870 census, I found a 50-year old Caroline Bailey living in the household of Adam and Bettie (Betsy) Wilkins. Also in 1870, her children Matilda and Volley were living in the household of Josephine Bailey. The 1880 census indicates that Caroline was the mother-in-law of Adam Wilkins, therefore that would make her Betsy’s mother. I have yet found a marriage license for Adam and Besty. By 1880, Matilda was married to Plummer Thornton and living in Halifax County, NC.

    1870 Census, Household of Adam Wilkins, Dalmatia Township, Halifax County, NC

    1880 Census, Household of Adam Wilkins, Enfield Township of Halifax County, NC

    Sunday, June 22, 2008

    Cousin Jimmy Discovers Descendants of Uncle Volley Bailey

    On June 2, 2008, my cousin Jimmy Rogers announced on the Thornton Family’s website at, that he had found the descendants of our Uncle Volley Bailey. A few days later I found the death certificates of our ancestor Matilda Bailey Thornton (1856-1916) on Uncle Volley was a brother of our ancestor Matilda and we had reached a brick wall in finding her family’s whereabouts after 1870. Since Cousin Jimmy’s discovery, I have revisited my research on the Bailey family and have made numerous discoveries.

    Cousin Jimmy learned that Uncle Volley left North Carolina and moved to Richmond, Virginia where he worked as an Insurance man. Through his contacts from Uncle Volley’s family, he gathered names and some birthdates. Using this information that Cousin Jimmy found, I have found several documents on the life of Uncle Volley. The first thing I used was the census which gave me clues for further research. I already had a copy of the 1870 census which listed Uncle Volley at age 10 living in the household of Josephine Bailey. For years, I could not understand the spelling of Uncle Volley’s name on the census. I thought that it was “Vibby” and I put it in my Family Tree Maker database as “Vibby?” However, after carefully looking at the letters again, I see that what I thought were the letters “b” were actually the letters “l”.

    Because family relationships are not listed on the 1870 census, we were not sure if any of the children listed in the household belonged to Josephine Bailey. Since there is a 12-year age difference been the ages of Josephine and our ancestor Matilda, we assumed that Josephine might be an older sister or some other relative. However the death certificate of Matilda names Samuel and Caroline Bailey as her parents. There is a 20-year age difference between Josephine and Volley so it possible that she was mother. Research findings within the last few weeks are bringing clarity to the history of the Bailey family.

    1870 Census, Formosa Township (Brinkleyville) of Halifax County, NC

    To Be Continued. . .