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.


Monday, April 30, 2012

Monday's News: Erath County, Texas

I spent a day last summer at Austin's Dolph Briscoe Center for American History reading old newspapers from Erath County, Texas. My great-grandfather, Terrell  Bryan settled there in 1878 and my grandmother's Hairston family moved to Erath County in 1883. My grandparents, Redic Bryan and Myrtie Hairston married in Erath County in 1900.  I learned much about my grandparents and their extended families while reading these historical newspapers. I also learned much about the community and liked the following article describing Erath County and Stephenville. 

The Erath Appeal - March 19, 1903


© 2012, copyright Diana Quinn

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Sunday's Obituary: Ellen Agnes Murray - Sister Mary Columbkill

Sister Mary Columbkill

Ellen Agnes Murray was born on January 09, 1888  in the villiage of Burren, in the old Parish of Abby, now New-Quay, County Clare, Ireland.  She was the daughter of James Murray and Cecilia Linane.  Her name is listed as Helena on the Register of Baptismal, her Record of Apostolic Services gives her name as Ellen Murrayand her obituary gives her name as Ellen Agnes Murray.  As a nun, she took the name Sister Mary Columbkill.  

Could this have been in Ireland?

Ellen Murray arrived in the US on April 17, 1908 from Queenstown.  She resided in New York City and in Westchester, New York prior to entering the Congregation of the Sisters of the Holy Cross.  Her date of entry into the convent was listed as August 28, 1917 from St. Raphael's Parish in Westchester, NY. She received her Habit on January 6, 1918 at Saint Mary's Convent in Notre Dame, Indiana. 

Sister Columbkill's Record of Apostolic Services indicates that she attended school until the sixth grade in Ireland, she completed secondary school in 1931 at Saint Mary's Convent in Indiana and was a graduate of Mount Carmel Hospital School of Nursing in Columbus, Ohio.  She studied orthopedics, surgery, and medicine. 

Sister Columbkill was visiting her sister, Julia Murray Moylan, in Ireland when she fell ill and returned to the United States by plane.  She died several weeks later on June 18, 1955 at Mount Carmel Hospital.  Her funeral was attended by many.  Honorary pallbearers included the Governor of Ohio and the Mayor of Columbus.  Two of her obituaries are below. 

Sr. Columbkill Is Dead at 67 At Mt. Carmel

Sister M. Columbkill, 67, of the Congregation of the Sisters of the Holy Cross, known to hundreds of patients who received her kindly ministrations at Mt. Carmel Hospital, died Saturday morning at the hospital where she served for the  past 34 years.

She was stricken several weeks ago while visiting a sister in her native Ireland and was returned here by plane.

Supervisor of the medical division at the hospital, Sister Columbkill was greatly beloved by the many patients who had received her solicitous care, Mother Constantine, hospital administrator said Saturday.

Born Ellen Agnes Murray in County Clare, Ireland, the Sister came to Mt. Carmel in 1921 and was a graduate of the Mt. Carmel Hospital School of Nursing.

Surviving, in addition to her sister in Ireland, are a sister in Dubuque, Iowa, and three sisters in New York City.

Omission of flowers has been requested.

                                      Columbus Dispatch June 18, 1955

Requiem Mass Is Offered for Sr. Columbkill

Bishop Ready presided at a Solemn Requiem Mass Tuesday in St. Joseph Cathedral for Sister Mary Columbkill, C. S. C., supervisor of the medical division at Mount Carmel Hospital, who died Saturday.

The Mass was offered by Monsignor John W. Kerrigan, chaplain of Mount Carmel Hospital. Father Hugh Murphy and Father Thomas Sabrey served as deacon and subdeacon, respectively.

The Bishop gave final absolution and spoke briefly, lauding Sister’s work for the Church and the community in her 34 years of labor at Mt. Carmel.

Active pallbearers were Doctors Michael Anthony, Perry Ayres, Robert Murnane, Carey Paul, Alexander Pollock, and William Sparling.

Honorary pallbearers were Governor Lausche, Mayor Sensenbrenner, Norman Altman, Ben Arnoff, H. O. Bratton, Thomas J. Carroll, John D. Connor, Wilby S. Cowan, Andre Crotti, Robert Daly, H. B. Davidson, Frank Dunbar, E. H. Echenrode, John Falter, Huston Fulton, Paul Gingher, Col. Chester W. Goble, David Graham, E. W. Harris, Fred R. Hearn, James Henry, Fred Jones, Phillip T. Kniez, Henry Lacey, Charles Lazarus, Robert Lazarus, Dalton Maloney, Thomas J. Murnane, J. Real Neth, Dr. Clark Pritchett, Philip Reed, Harrison Sayre, C. C. Sherburne, James W. Shocknessy, E. J. Stedhem, Dr. Wells Technor, and Dr. Judson Wilson. 

Sister Columbkill, 67, a native of County Clare, Ireland came to this country shortly before entering St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception, Novitiate for the Holy Cross Sisters, Notre Dame, Ind., in 1918.  In 1921 Sister came to Mount Carmel.

Sister was a graduate of the Mount Carmel School of Nursing and studied orthopedics, surgery and medicine.

Her kindness and generosity won for her hundreds of friends throughout the diocese. 

She was stricken several weeks ago while visiting a sister in Ireland and was flown home. In addition to her sister in Ireland, she is survived by a sister in Dubuque, Ia., and three sisters in New York City.

Burial was in Mount Calvary Cemetery.

                                                Catholic Times, June 24, 1955


© 2012, copyright Diana Quinn

Friday, April 27, 2012

Friday's Photo: The Quinn Family

Mary and Helen Quinn - Photo taken at Mueller's on 2196 Third Avenue in New York City.
This beautiful picture of two girls was sent to me in 2007 by a descendant of the Quinn family. She was unable to identify the girls.  However, just two weeks ago, we visited my husband's aunt and she immediately identified them as Mary and Helen, the daughters of John and Ellen Quinn.  

John Quinn - Passport Photo
John Quinn was born in Kinvara, County Galway, Ireland on June 14, 1890. He was the son of William Quinn and Bridget Brannelly of Kinvara. His brother, William Joseph Quinn was my husband's grandfather. 

According to John's passport application in 1924, he came to the United States on October 28, 1914 and was naturalized as a citizen on June 8, 1918 in Spartanburg, South Carolina while serving in the United States Army. 

The 1930 census shows John married to his wife, Ellen and working as a taxi cab driver. 

This is John Quinn and I assume that the woman is Ellen and that this is a wedding picture. This picture was also taken by Mueller's at 2196 Third Avenue in New York City.
John Joseph Quinn (right) and friend during WWI

As always, if you have information about this family, please contact me


© 2012, copyright Diana Quinn

Monday, April 23, 2012

Monday’s News: Jail Delivery

Fifty-five year old, Terrell Bryan,
my great-grandfather, was the citizen
who heard the cries of Mr. Dunn. Born in
Bienville Parish, Louisiana, Terrell
settled in Stephenville in 1878.

Jail Delivery

The Acting Jailor Overpowered by Two Outside Men

STEPHENVILLE, Erath Co., Tex., July 4.
-Four prisoners escaped from the county jail about 1o’clock this afternoon. Sheriff Shands and his deputy attended the celebration at Huckaby today and left R. Dunn in charge. When Dunn went up to give the prisoners their dinner he was seized just as he entered the corridor by two strong men who had secreted themselves and had been laying for him since breakfast.  One of them held him secure while the other opened the cell. They then told all the inmates who desired to celebrate independence day to vacate quickly. Four prisoners walked out and four remained in their cells.  Mr. Dunn was then incarcerated, the lock thrown on and the four men rain down stairs, jumped the fence and were at liberty.

About 2 o’clock Mr. Terrell Bryant’s {Bryan’s} attention was attracted to the jail by Dunn’s loud cries for help, and going there he learned the facts.  After releasing Dunn they raised the alarm and soon every man that could muster a gun and horse was in pursuit.  T. M. Creswell brought in a pair of the boys this evening and the other two, Phil Roberts, wanted in Tennessee for assault to murder, and Jack Kimball charged with horse theft here, are still at large.  A strong posse still pursues them. The prisoners have with them a Winchester and it is thought will make a fight when overtaken.
                                                     Dallas Morning News – July 5, 1891


© 2012, copyright Diana Quinn

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Sunday's Obituary: James Thomas Giddens

The obituary for James Thomas Giddens, brother to my great-great grandfather, George Lullen Giddens. He was the son of Mitchell Giddens and Letisha Britt of Sampson County, North Carolina.

J. T. Giddens, of Durham
Correspondence of The Observer
Durham, Aug. 19 – Mr. J. T. Giddens, for more than fifteen years clerk of the city market, died suddenly last night between 9 and 10 o’clock at his home on West Main street. Heart trouble was the cause of his sudden end. Mr. Giddens was as well as usual prior to his death. He went home from the market in his usual good humor and cheerfulness.  He at a hearty supper and sat on the front porch with his wife until nearly 9:30.  A few minutes later he was taken with a violent coughing spell and complained that he could not breathe.  He went to the porch again and sat in a chair. Ten minutes later he was a corpse. 
Mr. Giddens was about 70 years of age and came to Durham from Sampson county little more than 20 years ago. Soon after coming here he was appointed market clerk and during the many upheavls and changes in officers he held his position.  He was married twice, his first wife being Mrs. Frances Turner. Of this union there are eight living children, two sons (one in Florida and the other in Georgia) and six daughters. Two of the daughters reside here. His second wife was Miss Mattie Nichols, who survives him.  He has three brothers – George Giddens, of Dunn; Henry Giddens, of Sampson County, and R. Giddens, of Arkansas. Also one sister, Mrs. Sallie Bradsher {Bradshaw}, of Dunn, survives. The funeral and burial took place this afternoon, the funeral service being conducted from the home at 4:30 o’clock by Rev. M. Bradshaw, pastor of Main Street Methodist church, of which Mr. Giddens was a member, assisted by Dr. J. C. Kilgo, President of Trinity College.

                                                             Charlotte Observer August 21, 1908


© 2012, copyright Diana Quinn

One Thing Leads to Another, Changes to My Blog

Decided that the rain rather than the piled up 
laundry would be a better photo for this post J

I have spent the better part of the weekend playing with my blog. It rained today and I had a good excuse; however, there is no excuse for yesterday and I just noticed my laundry pile.

This all started when I decided to make some changes in order to attempt a more user friendly blog. This was a time consuming task as I always want to do what can’t be done.  However, in the search for tutorials, I found some really good blogs with some great ideas and advice.  So, thank you to the following blogs.
These were only a few of the many, many blogs that I looked at this weekend.  I spent so much time on the Internet and like genealogy (and Pinterest), one thing leads to another. In the process, I signed up with and played with iStockphoto, Photobucket and PicMonkey.

Now back to my blog . . . . 

My labels list is now titled Surnames In My Posts. Click on a surname to see all posts that contain that family name.  My posts can be found by location as well – just click on the tab for Irish Genealogy to see all the posts about my husband’s Irish family. I will add new categories as my posts continue. 
To make it easier for me to post consistently, I have decided to use some blogging prompts that I have seen on Geneabloggers and other genealogy blog sites.  I will use the following prompts.
  • Sunday’s Obituary – Each Sunday, a found obituary will be posted.   
  • Monday’s News – A news article about family or a location that I am researching will be posted on every Monday.
  • Friday’s Photo - On Fridays, I will post a mystery photo or one with family interest.   
This will make it easy to post regularly, but still allow me to post bigger genealogy projects as I have time.

Thanks for reading my blog. I hope that you enjoyed today’s ramblings. Watch for my post tonight as I will post an obituary from my Giddens family in North Carolina and tomorrow’s Monday’s News will be an article about my great-grandfather and escaped prisoners in Stephenville, Texas. 


© 2012, copyright Diana Quinn

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Family Photos: School Days

Monte DeRay Bryan, about 1919

DeRay Bryan, my father's older sister, was a teacher in Texas. She graduated from Seymour High School in 1920 and attended Simmons College in Texas. I know that she taught in Baylor County. She taught third grade at the Seymour Grade School in 1924, but I don't know if she taught at other schools in the area. DeRay was teaching in Lamb County (Amherst) at the time of her mother's death in 1927. By 1928 she was in Borger, Hutchinson County where she taught first at Weatherly and later at West Ward.  DeRay remained in Borger and taught until 1941. 

Pictures of DeRay and some of her young students at one school are below. The school name and location is unknown. Some of her students wrote their names on the back of the pictures. If you recognize this school please comment or send me an e-mail ( 

Some students wrote their names on the back of this picture:
Leta, Beulah, Delina, Cecil, Lays, Mary, and Thelma

Mary and Cecil was written on the back of this picture. Notice a horse and rider in the background at the right and a horse and buggy in front of the school. 

On the back of this picture is written Beulah, Leta, Thelma, Mary, Delina. The names were written by individual students. Note that there are only two girls in this picture. 

My Aunt DeRay is the young woman between the two girls. 


© 2012, copyright Diana Quinn  

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Family Photos: The Courthouse in Seymour

I saw a picture of the old courthouse being demolished at the Baylor County Museum Facebook page.  My grandfather worked in the courthouse as he served two terms as the tax assessor. However, he worked in the courthouse before the remodel and the addition of the rounded dome. To see the courthouse prior to the dome click here.

Below is a picture of my grandfather (on the right) working in the courthouse and this article published in the Baylor County Banner on June 9, 1911 describes the typewriter.  
Tax assessor, R. E. Bryan has purchased a long carriage Oliver typewriter at a cost of $160. He says that not more than seven or eight assessors in the state make our their tax rolls on a typewriter and Baylor will be right in the foremost rank.

The following article describing the new and improved courthouse was in the August 2, 1917 issue of the Baylor County Banner.

The New Courthouse, Cut Shows How the Baylor County 
Temple of Justice Looks After Finished

After more delay than was seemingly, a photograph has been secured and a cut made of the courthouse after recent repairs have been made upon it.  The photo was made by Downing and Waller and the Banner has them to thank for the picture from which this cut was made. It was taken from the northeast corner and is a good likeness.

It would be hard to give a complete description of just what changes have been made in the courthouse. The building had stood for 30 years with practically no repair and much of it was badly in need of attention.  Especially necessary was some work on the tower and it was there that the most apparent change was made. The old tower, as it has been known for so many years was torn down and replaced with a dome.  This gives a more modern and substantial appearance to the structure. The dome is painted a copper color and is set off with a flag pole from which Old Glory is want to wave.

The total repair bill for the carpenter and tine work, painting and plumbing was about $10,000.  Graham and White had the contact for the carpenter work. G. D. Peak for the painting, while a Wichita firm had the plumbing contract. The carpenter work included putting down cross grain flooring in the court rooms and in all of the offices. Then there was a complete change in the district court room.  The judge’s stand and the jury box are now on the south side. On the west side are several rows of opera chairs for the jury venire.  On the east side there are 12 comfortable swivel chairs for those who are accepted as jurors.  Close to their box is a door that leads to the jury room.  This is provided with comfortable beds, reading tableles, toilet, etc. which makes live seem less like the jail bird variety to those who are called to serve their country as administrators of justice. 

The new district court room has very little resemblance to the old one.  It is seated with heavy opera chairs which are comfortable and durable.  It has a spacious balcony seated the same way.  The room will provide for as large a crowd as will usually congregate there.

This auditorium is bordered with a very handsome oak finish panel.  The rail and all other finishings are such as will do honor to the country when seen by many visitors from elsewhere to district court. The judges table and platform, the witness box, the attorneys’ tables and chairs, etc., are handsome and substantial to a satisfactory degree.  The pretty metal ceiling, the ornamental electric lights, the inclined floor, etc., complete an effect such as would be desired in a temple of justice for a county of this importance. 

The who building received an overhauling.  New window sills were put in, metal ceiling replaces wood ceiling in the halls.  All woodwork received new paint and the walls new calcimine. Instead of a water cooler, water is now received through a bubbling fountain in one of the main hallways.  The fountain is connected with a lead coil in a large ice box, which keeps the water fine in summer time.  The lower halls are lighted from a handsome light fixture, Mr. C. D. McKeehan being the lighting artist. 

A brick toilet room has also been erected on the grounds south of the courthouse  for the use of county officials and the general public.  It is connected with the sewer main. 

These courthouse repairs put this building in good shape for a number of years.  In fact, it will likely be a long time before the need is felt for an entirely new building.  

From the Baylor County Banner, August 2, 1917


© 2012, copyright Diana Quinn

Monday, April 2, 2012

Family Photos: Automotive Businesses

According to a June 1941 issue of the Borger Herald, the Ferndale Motor Company was in Borger, Texas at 7th and Weatherly. Dad and his sisters lived in Borger, Texas after the death of their father in 1929. Dad's sister, DeRay, was a teacher in Borger. 

This was probably taken in Borger, Texas (but could have been Seymour). I remember my father telling me that he thought one of the men was Jimmy Dudley. Should have written that down as I don't remember which one. 


© 2012, copyright Diana Quinn

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Family Photos: Unknown People and Places

This woman has the same facial features as my great-grandmother, Harriet Albritton Bryan.  However, I believe that this may be one of her daughters. The building may be a clue. Anyone recognize this building? Baylor County? Erath County? Dallas? Coke County? 

New construction -  This looks like a church. Where was this?  My family lived in Erath County (Stephenville and Bethel), Baylor County (Levelview and Seymour), and Borger in Hutchinson County. 

Does anyone recognize this building? Is it a school? Is it in Seymour or Borger? I remember Dad saying that he thought this person was a coach. 

This picture is not very clear, but whatever she is standing in front of appears to be very flimsy. What is this building? My family's suggestions were an outhouse or a shed. 

Thank you for visiting my blog. 


© 2012, copyright Diana Quinn