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Thank you for visiting my blog!

This blog is used to share information that I find about the families that I am researching. To see these family names click on the tab above. Please feel free to contribute your stories or research and make comments, corrections, and ask questions.

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My posts can be accessed by the date posted from the column on the right. Blog posts containing specific surnames can be found by clicking on the names in the left column.


Wednesday, July 13, 2011


My grandmother’s maiden name was Giddens and her father's family was from Giddensville, North Carolina. According to, Giddensville is an unincorporated populated place located in the Piney Grove Township of Sampson County, North Carolina. To see the location of Giddensville on a map, click here.

Although an unincorporated community can have a post office and be recognized as an acceptable place name for use in a mailing address, it does not have a have a governing body that can pass laws, levy taxes, and provide services. An unincorporated community is usually a group of people who live in and around a certain area and form a town.
The first mention of the town of Giddensville, in my research of deeds, business directories, and miscellaneous records, was in 1871.  However, as early as 1863, brothers, George L. Giddens and John W. Giddens owned land and businesses in the area later known as Giddensville.
August 18, 1863 - George sold 100.5 acres to James M. Lewis for $2050 (probably Confederate currency). The land is described as “a parcel of land where I now live . . . situated near the road leading from Clinton to Wayne County at the crossroads near J. W. Giddens place of distilling.” 

December 28, 1865 - John W. Giddens sold land to J. O. Clifton for $10 described as “Land lying near the crossroads, Giddens store, and steam mill and turpentine distillery.” 

September 5, 1867 - George L. Giddens and Luellen E. Giddens sold 180 acres of land to Nancy Troublefield for $460. This sale included a portion of land at what was called "Giddens or Hugins Corner."

January 9, 1871 - A mortgage for $600 between George and Luellen Giddens and J. L. Stewart on land was described as " Near Giddensville between the home of P. B. Troublefield and the crossroads. On the road between Faison’s Depot and Giddensville.” 

1877-1878  -  According to Branson's NC Directory, farmers living in Giddensville were Charles Hines, Robert Bell, James Huggins, J. A. Oates, B. L. Scott, C. A. Oates, B. Brewer, Jesse Lane, James King, O.H. Darden, Alonzo Thompson, John Clifton, J. W. Giddens, and John K. Darden.

April 8, 1878  -  George L. and Luellen E. Giddens sold land to Henry Faison "on the road that leads from Giddensville to Faison's Depot and meets P. B. Troublefield's line."

1879 - W. L. Argue was paid $60 annually to take mail from Faison's Depot to Giddensville. He was to leave Faison's Depot at 1p.m. and arrive at Giddensville by 3p.m. each Saturday. He was to leave Giddensville each Saturday at 4 p.m. and arrive at Faison’s Depot by 6 p. m.  This was six miles each way.

March 10, 1880 - Zimri McDonald of Washington, DC accepted a contract to take mail from Faison's Depot to Giddensville and from Giddensville to Faison's Depot for $49 annually.

March 10, 1881 -  Sophia A. Pipkin, sister to George’s wife, Luellen, was the administratrix of her husband’s estate (William R. Pipkin). She was ordered to sell the property by the probate court in order “to make some assets.” George L. Giddens was the last and highest bidder.  The first tract is in Giddensville and was “the store lot” and it ends at the lot formerly called the D. C. Giddens Store.  The second tract is known as the William. R. Pipkin dwelling and was situated in Giddensville. It was on the north side of the King Branch and the east side of the road leading from Clinton to Goldboro.

1883 - George L. Giddens was on the Official Register of the United States as being the Postmaster in Giddensville.

1884 - In Branson's NC Directory, F. A. Clifton and H. J. Hines were listed as store owners in Giddensville.  J H Darden was the physician.

1889 - Charles A. Giddens received $188.95 yearly for serving as Postmaster of Giddensville.  His father, George L. Giddens, was the Postmaster at Faison where he received $464.77 yearly.

1890 - Giddensville had a population of twenty-five.  F. A. Clifton, G. L. Giddens, H. J. Hines, and Alonzo Thompson were owners of stores in Giddensville.   J. H. Darden was the town’s physician.

June 30, 1896 - Monroe Carson Giddens, of Giddensville, was listed, on a report of the commissioner of IRS as a distiller and/or owner of a distillery warehouse where spirits were kept.  

It doesn’t appear that Giddensville was named for one person and it is unknown who first dubbed this area Giddensville. More deed research might answer this question and, one other question - How did George L. and John W. Giddens obtain all that land in Giddensville?


Thank you to George Giddens for allowing me to use his Facebook profile picture of the Giddensville sign. 

© 2011, copyright Diana Quinn

Friday, July 8, 2011

W.O.W. Women

Women also participated in Woodmen of the World (W.O.W.). In the on-line article WOW: On the Search of Graves, Steve Johnson wrote that W.O.W. women’s auxiliary groups were known as the Supreme Forest Woodmen Circle, the Woodmen Circle, and Neighbors of Woodcraft. My aunt, Marie Bryan, was a young girl when she belonged to a Woodmen Circle in Seymour, Texas.  In the picture above, Marie is the girl directly in front of the tallest girl in the group. The tallest girl may be her cousin, Millard Ray Latta.


Myrtie Hairston Bryan, my grandmother, had a Woodmen of the World headstone.  This picture of my father, Whit Bryan, next to his mother’s headstone at Woodmen of the World Cemetery in Seymour, Texas.  Written around the emblem is In Memoriam Supreme Forest Woodmen Circle.


This clipping indicates that my grandmother was a member of the Daphine Grove No. 323, Woodmen Circle. 

W.O.W. will not be the topic of my next post; however, if anyone reading this blog has information about the Stephenville or Seymour, Texas Woodmen of the World Lodges or Circles, I would welcome the information. 


© 2011, copyright Diana Quinn

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

More W.O.W.

My great-grandfather, Terrell Bryan, belonged to a Woodmen of the World Lodge, also referred to as a Woodmen Camp, in Stephenville, Texas. This is his grave marker in West End Cemetery, Stephenville, Erath County, Texas.  It resembles a tree trunk and encircled on the emblem are the words Woodmen of the World.  According to, grave markers were one of the benefits of belonging to W.O.W until the 1920s when it was discontinued due to cost. Grave markers were originally intended to be uniform tree stump type designs, but not all cutters followed the designs; many created very elaborate renditions of the tree trunk.  These grave markers or monuments were often dedicated and unveiled in formal ceremonies.

Visit this web site, Graveyards & Gravestones to see many beautiful Woodmen of the World gave markers. 


© 2011, copyright Diana Quinn

Sunday, July 3, 2011


Woodmen of the World (W.O.W.) is not the topic that I planned to choose for my first blog entry, but I have spent the better part of my research time this week searching historical Texas newspapers for information about Woodmen of the World.
According to the Woodmen of the World web site, the fraternal organization was founded in 1890 by Joseph Cullen Root. Root believed that members of the W.O.W lodges should be active in helping those in need. During the early years of the organization, member’s benefits included life insurance and grave markers. Today the organization has approximately 2,000 community-based Woodmen of the World lodges with about 800,000 members.
My reason for researching the W.O.W. is this photograph of my grandfather, Redic E. Bryan. I always wondered about the ribbon, but didn’t think to search for it until I attended Maureen Taylor’s* Photography, The Civil War and Your Family Pictures at Southern California Genealogy Jamboree in June. She discussed veteran’s organizations and showed a similar picture of a man wearing ribbons with a hat on the table beside him. When I returned from my trip, I rescanned this photo at 600dpi so that I could better see the ribbon and compare it to those found through searches at Google and eBay. Although the writing was partially covered and not legible, Redic Bryan’s ribbon easily matched Woodmen of the World convention ribbons.
When and where was this convention? Google and historical newspaper searches for Woodmen of the World and the photographer, Harper & Co. did not answer this question. However, I did learn from the Dallas Morning News at, that my great-grandfather, Terrell Bryan, was voted banker of the Stephenville Woodmen of the World Lodge in both 1894 and 1904.
For more information about W.O.W., click on the links below. I hope that you enjoyed my first blog entry.
Diana, the official site
Visit the Masonic Museum at to view an actual beneficiary certificate.
*I purchased Maureen Taylor’s book, Finding the Civil War in your Family Album which has lead me to re-examine many of my family pictures.

© 2011, copyright Diana Quinn