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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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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.


Friday, November 30, 2012

Friday's Photo: The James Children

Dorothy, John, and Evelyn James - about 1925

This picture of the children of Elizabeth Giddens and her husband, Louis M. James was taken in Easton, Pennsylvania about 1925.  Elizabeth was the sister of my grandmother, Edith Giddens, and the daughter of Charles Giddens and Mary Lucy Glynn. 

Evelyn James Lilly,  the last surviving child, died this week at age 91. Evelyn was my mother's first cousin. I only remember meeting her once, but my mother often talked about her cousins,  Dorothy and Evelyn. 

Click here to see Evelyn's obituary. 


© 2012

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Get Your Flu Shot!

From the Baylor County Banner - October 24, 1918
However, this was not the end. Influenza continued its deadly campaign into 1919. 

Last year, I looked for information about some soldiers from Baylor County, Texas who died during World War I. Not surprisingly, about half of them died from disease rather than from fighting overseas. By 1918, the influenza had spread around the world. Most families would not make it through the pandemic untouched as it is estimated that at least a quarter of the United States population fell ill and more than 50 million died worldwide before its end in 1920.

My father's Hairston family lost a family member.  Hugh Gresham, of Estelline, Texas, was just 19 years old when he died of influenza in 1919. 

In NYC, my great-great grandmother, Julia Harvey Glynn died of bronchial pneumonia on February 12, 1919. Could influenza have been a contributing cause of the pneumonia?

Schools, church services, lodge meetings, theaters, bars, factories, and even courtrooms were closed to limit the spread of the disease. In Baylor County, Texas, where my grandparents lived, 29 deaths* were reported by the Baylor County Banner on December 19, 1918. In the months ahead, many more in that community and millions worldwide would lose their lives to influenza. 

To learn more about this pandemic, watch Influenza 1918 at the American Experience from PBS. 

* Deaths reported by the Baylor County Banner on December 19, 1918 occurred between October 18 and December 15, 1918. 
  • Ben F. Martin - 1/2 year
  • Mrs. Orval Cox - 19 years
  • Henry E. Lewis - 31 years
  • J. Covington - 30 years
  • Katie Jones - 10 months
  • Grace Lowry - 17 years
  • J. H. Patterson - 68 years
  • Mrs. Rosa Tipps - 23 years
  • Luther Jones - 15 years
  • E. E. Breedlove - 38 years
  • Mrs. W. T. Wheeler - 46 years
  • Infant of Mrs. and Mrs. Tim Nix - 1 month
  • Mrs. H. A. Lowry - 29 years
  • Burnett Bailes - 18 years
  • Mrs J. A. Bailew
  • Annie Lee Caldwell - 14 years
  • D. A. Holman - 84 years
  • Albert Wirz - 22 years
  • Mrs. T. J. Praytor Jr. - 36 years
  • Frida Wirz - 15 years
  • Mrs. C. B. Daniel - 32 years
  • Mrs. H. C. Harrison - 29 years
  • W. H. Strange - 37 years
  • N. B. Williams - 39 years
  • Leonard E. Hill - 32 years
  • J. N. Cassle
  • Claude Clouse - 3 years
  • Mrs. Claude Clouse
  • Mrs. John McCauley


© 2012



John M. Barry, The Great Influenza, The Epic Story of the Deadliest Plague in History (Penguin Books, 2005).

Influenza at Camps. The Baylor County Banner [Seymour, Texas] October 24, 1918.

Harvest of Death. The Baylor County Banner [Seymour, Texas] December 19, 1918.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Honoring Our Veterans

Today is Veterans Day, a day that we honor our veterans. Veterans Day, originally Armistice Day,  began after WWI to honor those who fought in "The Great War." In 1954, November 11th became Veterans Day, an official United States holiday, honoring all armed service veterans. 

For more information visit History of Veterans Day at the United States Department of Veteran Affairs. 

Today, I am posting a short list veterans from the various branches of my family tree; many who did not serve in traditional U. S. armed forces. Most served during wars and some volunteered while others did not.  I will save this list for next Veterans Day and add to the list as I find more. If you know of others, please comment below or send me an e-mail. 

Whit Criswell Bryan, USN - WWII, Korea, Vietnam

Elizabeth Bryan, USN

William Joseph Quinn III, USA - Korea, Vietnam

James G. Richardson II, USA

John Joseph Quinn, USA - WWI

Charles Giddens, USA and USN - WWI, WWII

Mitchell Giddens, USA - WWI, WWII

Joseph Oscar Noah, USA - WWI

Terrell Bryan, CSA - Civil War*

Tilman Capers Bryan, CSA - Civil War*

Joseph B. Bryan, CSA - Civil War*

George Luellen Giddens, CSA - Civil War*

Seth H. Davis USA, Civil War

Simon Baker Bryan, Georgia Militia - Second Seminole War

James Bryan, Georgia Militia - Second Seminole War

John Regan, Georgia Militia - Second Seminole War

John Giddens, NC Minutemen - American Revolutionary War

Ralph Regan, NC Militia - American Revolutionary War

*I didn't know if I should include my ancestors who fought in the Confederate States Army, but found the following at the Sons of the Confederacy website: 

"First, and most significant is the fact that by Public Law 85-425, May 23, 1958 (H.R. 358) 72 Statute 133 states –“(3) (e) for the purpose of this section, and section 433, the term ‘veteran’includes a person who served in the military or naval forces of the Confederate States of America during the Civil War, and the term ‘active, military or naval service’ includes active service in such forces.”

"As a result of this law the last surviving Confederate Veteran received a U.S. Military pension until his death in 1959, and from that day until present, descendants of Confederate veterans have been able to receive military monuments to place on graves from the Veteran’s Administration for their ancestors. A Confederate Veteran should therefore be treated with the same honor and dignity of any other American veteran."


© 2012

Friday, November 9, 2012

Friday's Photo: William J. Quinn, 1931 and 1933

I thought that the Quinn / Murray family would enjoy seeing these. These are copies of William Quinn's Chauffeur's Licenses from 1931 and 1933. He drove a bus in New York City.  


© 2012

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Sunday's Obituary: Charles Allen Giddens

Found at - Click here to view. 

Charles A. Giddens was my great-grandfather. The father of my grandmother, Edith. This obituary contains a few errors and didn't tell the whole story.  

Charles was the son of George L. Giddens and Luellen Bradshaw and was born in Giddensville, Sampson County, NC. George L. Giddens married Sarah Rich after the death of his first wife in 1890.  

In North Carolina, Charles worked in his father's store and was once postmaster in Giddensville. 

By 1891, Charles was in New York City where he delivered milk. He married Mary Lucy Glynn, my great-grandmother in Manhattan on March 31, 1891. 

By October of 1891, the Giddens family was living in Crew, Virginia where he owned or co-owned a dry goods and shoe store.

He left Crew, Virginia in 1894 and moved to Phillipsburg, New Jersey where he worked as a laborer in one of the many factories. 

From about 1898 and 1920, he owned a dry goods store in Phillipsburg . Around  1920, he divorced his first wife and in 1922, married Estella Moyer Rosenburger.  They relocated to St. Louis, Missouri where he opened a clothing store. 

Around 1946, Charles Giddens and family left Missouri to settle in Edinburg, Texas where Charles and Estella opened a hotel - The Giddens Hotel. 

By 1952, Charles was retired and living in Sedalia, Missouri where he died at the age of 92. 

Charles was preceded in death by his children Elizabeth, Warren, Florence, John, and Georgie. Edith, my grandmother, was living in New York and his son Charles lived in Florida.  Mrs. Roy Wilhite was his step-daughter - Margarette Rosenburger Wilhite. 


© 2012

Saturday, November 3, 2012


About a month ago, I received my Autosomal DNA results from a test at I was shocked! I always knew that I had family from the British Isles and possibly some Native American ancestry, but neither showed up in my DNA.  According to my DNA results, my genetic ethnicity revealed 56% Central European, 42% Scandinavian, and 2% uncertain.  Was I switched at birth? If so, have I been researching families that were not mine?

A call to my mother did not calm me as she stated that the second time that I was brought to her in the hospital, she told the nurses that they brought her the wrong baby. 

Looking at the family trees of my possible matches did not help as names such as Zambito, Vizzi, Ottenhausen and Brinkmeier kept popping up and did not match my simple family names of Bryan, Regan, Smith, Davis, and Jones.

Finally, Sharon, my second-cousin-once-removed, sent me an e-mail to say that her results were in and that Ancestry matched us as possible third cousins or second-cousins-once-removed.  That was a relief. I am who I thought I was, but I still did not understand my results. 

My brother submitted a Y-DNA test to help with our Bryan family several years ago. Only males can take this test. It compares him to other Bryans and hopefully will help us find a connection to related Bryan families.  The test that I took, the Autosomal DNA, is a test that anyone can take. It has been described as a test that gives a broader picture of your complete tree rather than the Y-DNA test which traces only one line.

However, after much reading and research, I learned that Autosomal DNA doesn't actually give a picture of your "complete  tree."  It gives you a complete picture of the DNA that you inherited from your parents.  

I watched You’ve Received Your AncestryDNA Results. Now What?a video from Ancestry's Crista Cowan, and she explained how we inherit our DNA by using fruit. It made so much sense! I am going to try to explain it with fruit and vegetables, but for the best explanation, watch the video at 

Just say that  my mother's DNA has apples and oranges from her father and grapes and blueberries from her mother.

My father's DNA has peas and carrots from his father and corn and eggplant from his mother.

So, I get half of my mother's DNA (grapes and apples) and half of my fathers DNA (peas and carrots).  I have DNA from my mother's mother and her father; however, my father only passed on DNA from his father's side.  So my Autosomal DNA results will not include my father's mother's DNA.

My brother's DNA could be completely different than mine if he inherited oranges and blueberries from our mother and corn and eggplant from our father.

This tells me that if I want to know more about my background through Autosomal DNA, more family members will need to submit their DNA.  AND, just an FYI to my mother and brother - your tests have been ordered.


© 2012

Clipart from

Friday, November 2, 2012

Friday's Photo: At the Beach

My father, Whit Criswell Bryan (1920-2001) and his sisters who were visiting from Borger, Texas.  His sister, DeRay (1904-1987), is on the left and his sister, Marie (1901-1986), is on the right. These sisters raised Dad who was orphaned at age nine. They visited our home in Virginia Beach (at that time, Princess Anne County) in the summer of 1959 and this was the only time that I met them. Look closely at the picture and you will see me on the left - the unattended child who is about to go into the water. 


© 2012