Thank you for visiting my blog!

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.

If we have a common ancestor, or if you have questions or comments that you don’t want to post, please go to the "About Me" tab to send me an e-mail.

Reading this Blog

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.


Saturday, September 24, 2011

Forgotten Family - Part VII: The Unnamed

This is the last of seven blog entries about the pictures sent to me by my cousin Jackie and my search to identify those in the pictures. I continue to search for the identities of the many forgotten family members in these pictures. Family names could be ALBRITTON, BIGGS, BRYAN, CHISUM, CRISWELL, EVANS, GILBERT, GRESHAM, HAIRSTON, HAMMETT, KEITH, LATTA, NOAH, PYLE, SELMAN, THOMPSON, AND WYLIE. Below are some of the  photographs that remain unnamed. 

This photograph was taken after 1902 in Dublin, Texas. I have always 
suspected that it could be the daughters of Harve Keith and Laura 
Louise Bryan; however, I have since learned that my grandparents 
lived in Dublin. Could this be DeRay and Marie Bryan?
Updated - August 31, 2019
These girls are the daughters of Harve Keith and Laura Louise Bryan.
For more information about the photo, visit this link. 
Friday's Photo: Eddye Kathryn Keith, Another Photo Mystery Solved

Is this a Bryan baby? 

Who is this young man? 

These certainly could be pictures of my father. However, he and his brother looked very much alike as children. 

I like looking at the clothing in this picture. I would like to know more about the time and the women. Are these all family? Is one of the older women my grandmother? The girl second from the right might be DeRay Bryan.

Visit my web pages, Unknown Family Pictures to see many more unidentified photographs. 


© 2011, copyright Diana Quinn

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Forgotten Family – Part VI: The Painting

One of the highlights of my trip was a day in Oklahoma with Juanita and her family.  Juanita had become a special friend. She wrote often, sending stories about growing up in Texas and of her farm in Oklahoma.  A very talented artist, she wrote about her paintings, teaching art classes, and of taking art classes while working in San Diego during WWII. On my day in Oklahoma, I met Juanita’s younger siblings, her children, and some of her grandchildren. I took pictures of the side-by-side that once belonged to my grandmother and left with an oil painting of my grandmother; a gift from Juanita. This beautiful portrait of Myrtie Hairston Bryan hangs in my home and serves as a constant reminder of my once forgotten family. 

This a portrait of my grandmother in her wedding dress. I have two photographs 
of her wearing this dress. Scraps of the dress fabric, as well as the trim, 
were found in the family bible. A description of Myrtie's coloring was found on the 
back of an old photograph. Juanita used the photographs and fabric scraps to help 
with the portrait. The curtains in the background were similar to those in 
Juanita's home. She stated that she added the table and flowers for balance. 


© 2011, copyright Diana Quinn

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Forgotten Family – Part V: The Trip

My father passed away in August of 2001 at age 80. The following month, I traveled to Texas with Sharon, who I met as a result of posting the photographs. This would be the first of many shared genealogy research trips. We attended a family reunion, visited several new-found cousins, and visited the hometowns of our grandparents and great - grandparents. Visits to cemeteries, courthouses, libraries, and local museums were also a part of the trip.  More photographs were identified and while I shared my pictures, new pictures of family were shared with me.  New connections, stories, and found documents have put faces with my otherwise forgotten family

 Updated Information 8/31/2019
My second-cousin-once-removed, Nadine Thompson Waugh of 
Stephenville, Texas, had some very interesting photos
In 2001 this photo was thought to be Mattie Hairston Chism 
Thompson and her daughter, Stella Chism. However, 
more information has revealed other possibilities. 
Visit the following link to learn more about the photo. 
52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: #34 Martha Elizabeth "Mattie" Hairston 
Chisum Thompson - A Timeline and Surprising Information 
about a Well Circulated Photograph

Hairston Albritton "Buster" Bryan.
This picture of my father's brother, who died in 1940, was found in the 1923 Seymour High School Jackrabbit while visiting Seymour, Texas. This yearbook was found in the Seymour Public Library.  The information found indicated that he was tall, played football, and was a member of the glee club. 

Floyd Thompson and Phillip and Lodema "Dink" Hairston were identified on this old picture from Cousin Jackie. The children were not identified, but assumed to be DeRay and Marie Bryan. 

This copy of the same picture, seen while visiting Juanita's home, shows a boy on a bike, 
my father's brother, Buster. 


© 2011, copyright Diana Quinn

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Forgotten Family – Part IV: The Letter

In November 2000, I received a seven-page reply from Juanita, Floyd Thompson’s daughter.  This was the first of many yet to come. Juanita was a few years older than my father and remembered playing with him as a small child.  She remembered the hand-painted china that my grandfather brought my grandmother from his trips, the lye soap that her mother made for my father’s older brother, and the deaths of my grandparents.  She wrote of the death of her younger sister in a house fire that destroyed her family’s home and of how my Uncle Buster gave (or traded) the furniture and china that had once belonged to his mother, my grandmother.  Juanita described the furniture including an oak side-by-side that she had in her home. The letter brought tears to my father’s eyes.  A picture of four well dressed young people is that of her parent’s double wedding.  I had Juanita’s baby picture as well as one of her brother.  My favorite picture, one of four young children, was that of Juanita and three of her siblings. 


Juanita, Clarence, Lucille, and Bowie

August 1912, Baylor County, Texas. The double wedding 
of Floyd Thompson (a Hairston descendant) and Ora Cox
 and Terrell Biggs (a Bryan descendant) and Birdie Cox.
 Floyd was my grandmother's first cousin and Terrell 
was my grandfather's nephew.

© 2011, copyright Diana Quinn

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Forgotten Family - Part III: The Hairston Family

I continued to search for my grandmother’s Hairston family with hopes of identifying additional pictures. Extended family names were Thompson, Chisum, and Noah. Bob, a Noah descendant, and my only connection to other Hairston descendants sent me a matching copy of the above picture complete with names.  

The tattered picture above was sent by my cousin Jackie. Bob had an identical picture and was able to name each person. 

I had not been successful in locating any other descendants of the Hairston family. Thompsons were too numerous and I didn’t have enough information about the Chisum family to begin a search. My grandmother’s cousin, Stella Chisum, married a William Gresham so Gresham, a less common name than Thompson, became my focus.  During one late-night search I located more than twenty researchers at looking for Gresham families in Texas.  E-mail queries to all resulted in a reply from Carol who published a Gresham newsletter.  She suggested that I contact Bobby in Stephenville, Texas for more information about my father’s Gresham cousins.  Bobby called me the next day. He stated that he was not a Gresham, but that his mother’s uncle married into “my” Gresham family. He also put me in touch with one of his neighbors, a descendant of the elusive Thompson family.  I wrote a letter to Nadine, the Thompson descendant, and she responded quickly.  Her father was Edd Thompson, another of my grandmother’s first cousins. She identified her father’s brother, Floyd Thompson, in one of my pictures and she gave me an address for Juanita, one of Floyd’s daughters.  


© 2011, copyright Diana Quinn

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Forgotten Family – Part II: The Bryan Family

Many of the photographs once belonged to my grandparents. Dad knew almost nothing about his mother’s family and had no known cousins on that side of his family.  His father’s Bryan family would be a little easier to locate. He had been contacted by Bryan family researchers in the 1970s and saved old invitations to family reunions containing addresses.  This was 1999 and Facebook was not an option so, I posted the pictures on an on-line photo album and sent the link via the US Postal Service to as many Bryan family relatives as possible. Printed copies of the photographs were sent to the many that did not yet use computers. My efforts were rewarded. I identified many of the photographs and two of my successes are pictured below.

This picture of Monte Hammett, my father’s first cousin was identified by his granddaughter, Sharon.  Sharon, my second cousin once removed, received the link to my on-line album from another distant cousin. Sharon contacted me and we became fast friends. We travel together regularly to research our family.

I was surprised to identify a baby picture. This is my father’s sister Monte DeRay Bryan, born 1904, in Stephenville, Texas. The picture was identified soon after I received the photographs. In my search, I found a distant cousin with an identical photo, labeled DeRay Bryan. The same picture was found two years later in a 1920 high school yearbook when visiting Seymour, Texas. It was in the yearbook next to DeRay’s senior picture.  
AND, just last month, a distant Hairston cousin passed a copy of this picture on to me. It was labeled Myrtie Bryan’s baby? Buster. Although the picture was incorrectly labeled, it shows how well connected our families remained when communication was far more difficult than today.


© 2011, copyright Diana Quinn

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Forgotten Family - Part I: The Photographs

I began this story almost 10 years ago while flying home from my first genealogy research trip. This trip, with Sharon, my second-cousin-once- removed, began in Texas on September 5th and was to end on September 11, 2001. I was in the Dallas/ Fort Worth airport when the planes went down.  All U.S. airports were closed and Sharon and I remained in the Dallas area until September 14.  I was nervous about flying home to Virginia and as a distraction, while in the air, wrote about the events leading up to my trip and of the journey that we made during those 10 days in September. 

Cousin Jackie sent me over 100 photographs; most not labeled.  There were baby pictures, a wedding picture, pictures of school children, my aunts, and my favorite, a studio portrait of four young children (right). My father identified a few of the unlabeled photographs as his sisters but suggested the unthinkable - throw the remaining pictures away.

I had no close ties to Dad’s family. His parents died when he was young and he was raised by his older sisters in faraway Borger, Texas. When I received the photos, the only living descendants of my grandparents were Dad, his children, Cousin Jackie, and her two children. However, with much persistence, I was able to identify more than half of the unlabeled pictures; acquiring additional photographs and learned much, much, more in the process. 

Next -  Forgotten Family – Part II: The Bryan Family


© 2011, copyright Diana Quinn