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.


Friday, December 27, 2013

Friday's Photo: Family Treasures

This is my husband in 1954. The dog is long gone, but we have the chair in the attic. Both of my children used it. I think that I should label and photograph our family treasures so that in later years, my children will know what they are giving away. 

How will your children know about your family treasures? 


© 2013

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!

Enjoy this holiday time with your families.  Thank you for reading my blog this year. I appreciate your encouragement and comments!


© 2013

Friday, December 20, 2013

Friday's Photo: Dad's Birthday

Dad and William blowing out candles.
December 1993

Tomorrow, December 21, would have been my father's 93rd birthday. He passed away in 2001 at age 80. I found his birth announcement in the Baylor County Banner a few years later. Dad was born on December 21, 1920 in Seymour, Baylor County, Texas. This announcement was found in the issue published on December 30, 1920. 


© 2013

Friday, December 13, 2013

Friday's Photo: Christmas 1937

I spent the day with my mother and her visiting sister. It's nice that they can be together this time of year!

Here is a picture of Mom and Aunt Janet taken in 1937. 


© 2013

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Will My Real Great-Great-Grandfather Please Stand Up!

Sometimes I feel like I am playing that old game show "To Tell the Truth" when looking for my great-great grandfather, John L. Hairston. Three or more John L. Hairstons claim to be my great-great-grandfather and a panel (myself and other Hairston researchers) ask questions and vote as to which one is my great-great-grandfather. Once the votes are cast, the host asks, "Will Diana's real great-great-grandfather please stand up?" 

My great-grandfather, Phillip A. Hairston

I know that John L. Hairston was my great-great-grandfather as I found him as the father of my great-grandfather, Phillip A. Hairston, in the 1880 census of Falls County, Texas. My John L. Hairston was one of at least three John L. Hairstons living during his lifespan

From my great-grandfather, Phillip A. Hairston's, obituary, I knew that the John L. Hairston family lived in Hinds County, Mississippi prior to moving to Falls County. I found my John L. Hairston in Hinds County in both 1850 and 1860. However, I was unable to identify his parents. 

After posting a query on a Hairston message board in the late 1990s, I was contacted by Ed Bregenzer.  He was a Hairston family researcher (but not a Hairston) and he and Victor Hairston had compiled The Hairston History. Ed knew all about my John L. Hairston. He believed that my John L. Hairston was the son of Robert Hairston and Sarah Lang who married Syrene Thompson. This John L. Hairston also had a son, Phillip. 

Well, my John L. and Ed's John L. were both born in South Carolina in about 1811 or 1812, but they were not one in the same as Ed's John L. remained in Alabama until at least 1880. 

Weeks later, Ed again contacted me. He and Vic had conferred and thought that I should look at John Lewis Hairston, son of Hugh Brown Hairston.  

In The Hairston History, the following was written about John Lewis Hairston, son of Hugh Brown Hairston.

 "Note: ! We think, November 2000, that this is the John L. Hairston that first left Georgia, most likely went into Alabama and from there traveled to Arkansas for a short period of time and at least by 1853 was in Hinds County Mississippi. Later, from there he went into Texas. 

No exact proof that this is the correct John L. Hairston, but it is the last John L. Hairston that we haven't eliminated as being the correct person."

I have not been able to prove that my John L. Hairston is the son of Hugh Brown Hairston and neither did Ed or Vic. However, more than 50 Public Member trees at say that it is so. J

If John L. Hairston is the son of Hugh Brown Hairston, his grandfather is also John L. Hairston. John L. would have had several cousins and an uncle named John; at least one was John L. 

So, if I were one of the panelists on that game show, here are ten questions that I would ask the contestants.  

1. Who were your parents? 

2. Was your son Phillip A. Hairston (and what was Phillip's middle name)?

3. Who were your wives? 

4. Was one of your wives Native American?

5. Were you the John L. Hairston who received land in the Georgia Cherokee Land Lottery of 1832? Or, was that your grandfather?

6. Were you the Lewis Hairston who was arrested, in Butts County, with James M. Hairston (son of Hugh B. Hairston) for gambling in the dance house in 1831?

7. What became of your children?

 8. Was anyone hurt in the house fire in 1870?

9. When and where did your parents die? 

10. Who was the James Hairston who died, at age 36, in Falls County in 1905?

I have more questions and some, including many of the above, can never be answered. On a positive note, autosomal DNA results and some new clues found by browsing tax records at lead me to believe that I should continue looking at the Hugh Brown Hairston family. 

Meanwhile, will Diana's real great-great-grandfather please stand up? OR, at least stand out!


© 2013

Sources: Georgia Cherokee Land Lottery, 1832 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2000. Public Member Trees [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2006.

Georgia. Inferior Court (Butts County). Inferior court minutes 1826-1850, Butts County, Georgia. Salt Lake City, Utah: Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1958. Microfilm.

"Mississippi, State Archives, Various Records, 1820-1951," images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 24 Dec 2013), Hinds > County tax rolls 1831-1848, Box 3655 > image 286 of 319.

Hairston, James, Report of Death no. 26188 (1905), County Clerk, Texas, Falls County. 

Hairston, Victor , and Edward Bregenzer. The Hairston History.  1998. Print.

"Texas Items." Galveston Tri-Weekly News.  13 Apr. 1870, 97 ed.: 1.

Year: 1850; Census Place: Hinds, Mississippi; Roll: M432_372; Page: 165A; Image: 336.

Year: 1860; Census Place: Hinds, Mississippi; Roll: M653_582; Page: 674; Image: 206; Family History Library Film: 803582.

Year: 1880; Census Place: Fort Deposit, Lowndes, Alabama; Roll: 20; Family History Film: 1254020; Page: 117A; Enumeration District: 106; Image: 0536.

Year: 1880; Census Place: Falls, Texas; Roll: 1302; Family History Film: 1255302; Page: 190B; Enumeration District: 038.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Friday's Photo: Pearl Harbor

Whit Criswell Bryan standing in front of the Mobile Naval Hospital
Number 2 in 1942. 

Tomorrow is Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day. It will be 72 years since the bombing of Pearl Harbor. 

My father, Whit Criswell Bryan was assigned to the U.S. Naval Mobile Hospital No. 2 on December 1, 1941. 

The hospital, which had arrived at Pearl Harbor in crates on November 26, 1941, was assembled by medial staff in sugar cane fields overlooking the harbor. Much of it was still in crates when the attack occurred on December 7.  

Dad told me that only the sleeping quarters for those assigned to the mobile hospital had been completed and that while patients slept in the quarters, corpsmen and other personnel slept in trenches. 

Check out the links below to see my previous Pearl Harbor posts. 


© 2013


Last witnesses | Memories of Pearl Harbor attack. (n.d.). Entertainment and Guides for Hampton Roads, Va.. Retrieved December 6, 2013, from

Pearl Harbor Navy Medical Activities. (n.d.). Pearl Harbor Navy Medical Activities. Retrieved December 6, 2013, from 

Photographs and newspaper clippings from the collection of Diana Bryan Quinn. 

Monday, November 25, 2013

100th Anniversary of the Founding of the Irish Volunteers

William Joseph Quinn
Today is the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Irish Volunteers. This took place at the Rotunda in Dublin and 7,000 people are reported to have attended the first meeting. 

William Joseph Quinn, my husband's grandfather joined the Irish Volunteers in 1914. Click here to see in my nine posts beginning November 6, 2011 that describe his service in the Irish Volunteers.


© 2013


"Ceremonies mark 100th anniversary of the Irish Volunteers." Irish Times. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Nov. 2013. <>.

"Irish Genealogy News: Military Archives marks founding of Irish Volunteers." Irish Genealogy News: Military Archives marks founding of Irish Volunteers. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Nov. 2013. <>.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Documenting My Davis Family: Nancy Ellen Davis

Courtesy of Michael Mann, Quincy, IL
Nancy Ellen Davis, was a daughter of Seth H. Davis and Margaret "Peggy " Jones and sister to my great-great-grandmother, Olive Caroline Davis.  She was born August 22, 1844. At age 19, she married Henry Page in Edmonson County. In 1870  Nancy and her husband lived in Hardinsburg, Breckinridge Kentucky with son George, age 2.

In 1880, they continued to live in Breckinridge County with son George, then age 11. Henry Page was working as a teamster.

In 1900, Nancy Ellen "Ellen" was living very near her brother, Larkin Davis, in Rocky Hill Station, Edmonson County. Her marital status was divorced and she reported that she was the mother of two children and only one was living.  Her son, George, and his wife, Clara Saunders, were living in Warren County, Illinois and working as servants

In 1910, Henry and Nancy Ellen were living together - their status was married. Again, it was reported that Nancy Ellen was the mother of two children, but only one was living. Her son, George, and his family were living in Galesburg, Knox County, Illinois. 
Courtesy of
Michael Mann, Quincy, IL

On February 24, 1912, Nancy Ellen and Henry moved to the Illinois Soldiers and Sailors home in Adams County. They remained in that home until their deaths; Henry in 1917 and Nancy Ellen in 1932. They are buried in Sunset Cemetery in Adams County, Illinois.

One very interesting item was found while looking for Nancy Ellen and her family. A death certificate for a Virgil L. Page, who died August 2, 1937,  names Henry Page and Ellen Davis as his parents. Virgil was born on November 11, 1875 and was not living with Henry and Nancy Ellen in 1880. He would have been four at the time of the census. Remember that Nancy Ellen was reported as to having 2 children with only one living in both 1910 and 1900. The living child would have been her son George W. Page. However, Virgil was also living. Was Virgil an adopted son? Could he be "Virgia," the son who was living with Olive Caroline on the 1880 census? 

© 2013
Sources Kentucky, Death Records, 1852-1953 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2007. Illinois, Deaths and Stillbirths Index, 1916-1947 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2011.
Original data: "Illinois Deaths and Stillbirths, 1916–1947." Index. FamilySearch, Salt Lake City, Utah, 2010. Index entries derived from digital copies of original records.

Edmonson County Marriages (n.d.). Edmonson County Marriages. Retrieved November 23, 2013, from

Find A Grave (n.d.). Retrieved November 21, 2013, from

Illinois State Archives. (n.d.).  Retrieved November 23, 2013, from

Year: 1870; Census Place: Hardinsburg, Breckinridge, Kentucky; Roll: M593_450; Page: 88B; Image: 180; Family History Library Film: 545949.

Year: 1880; Census Place: Cloverport, Breckinridge, Kentucky; Roll: 405; Family History Film: 1254405; Page: 47D; Enumeration District: 020; Image: 0200.

Year: 1880; Census Place: Edmonson, Kentucky; Roll: 412; Family History Film: 1254412; Page: 569C; Enumeration District: 042.

Year: 1900; Census Place: Coldbrook, Warren, Illinois; Roll: 350; Page: 2A; Enumeration District: 0083; FHL microfilm: 1240350.

Year: 1900; Census Place: Rocky Hill Station, Edmonson, Kentucky; Roll: 518; Page: 14A; Enumeration District: 0035; FHL microfilm: 1240518.

Year: 1910; Census Place: Galesburg, Knox, Illinois; Roll: T624_299; Page: 2A; Enumeration District: 0148; FHL microfilm: 1374312.

Year: 1910; Census Place: Parker, Edmonson, Kentucky; Roll: T624_469; Page: 7B; Enumeration District: 0044; FHL microfilm: 1374482.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Friday's Photo: A Gravesite Photo

The Grave Site of John F. Kennedy - 1966

I was in third grade when President John F. Kennedy was so tragically killed 50 years ago. I remember arriving home from school and, as I got off the bus, another child was standing at the bus stop announcing the news. 

The photograph of the president's first grave site was taken with my "World's Fair" camera in the summer of 1966. 

This initial grave site was 20 feet by 30 feet and was surrounded by a white picket fence. After more than 16 million visitors to Kennedy's grave site in three years, it was determined that a larger plot was needed. To honor the memory of the president, 3.2 acres were set aside for the grave area and accommodations for the visiting public. 

Taken in 2009 by Jesse Thorstad


© 2013



President John Fitzgerald Kennedy Gravesite. (n.d.). Arlington National Cemetery. Retrieved November 21, 2013, from

Kennedy gravesite. (2013, November 19). Flickr. Retrieved November 22, 2013, from

Friday, November 15, 2013

Friday's Photo: Another Picture of Harriet

Harriet Louisa Albritton Bryan 1836 - 1909

Last week, my distant cousin Jane sent me this copy of a tintype in her family's collection. There are no identifying marks; however, I have no doubt that this picture, which has to be over 100 years old,  is another of Harriet Louisa Albritton Bryan, my great-grandmother.  

Thank you, Jane, for sharing!


© 2013


Photograph used with permission. From the collection of Jane F. Aebersold.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Find More Than Names and Dates at Ellis

One of my favorite places to visit in NY, Ellis Island, reopened last month. It was damaged last year, on October 29th, by Hurricane Sandy. Read about the damage by clicking here. According to the blog, Heartbreak & Hope: Stories of Ellis Island, visitors will have access to the main building and the wall of honor. More areas will reopen as repairs are completed.

Not one of my ancestors immigrated through Ellis Island. However, my husband's paternal grandparents and  several of their brothers and sisters immigrated from Ireland and arrived, first, at Ellis Island. 

You can find so much more than names and dates when reading ship manifests at Ellis Island. org. While looking for my husband's Murray family, I found physical descriptions, addresses, family names and relationships. 

My husband's grandmother, Susan Murray, came to the United States, through Ellis Island, on September 4, 1921.  She was the last of the six Murray sisters who came to the United States. She and three other sisters came through Ellis Island.  Susan arrived on the S.S. Carmania from Liverpool. She named her father as J. Murray, her age as 22, her place of birth as New Quay, and her final destination was the home of her sister, Kate Murray, in Westchester, New York. 

Catherine "Kate" Murray, who later married Peter McGing, sailed from Queenstown, in Ireland, on the S.S. Carmania on April 12, 1911 and arrived on April 19, 1911.  Her age was listed as 19 years. Her destination was NYC and she was going to stay with her sister Ellen in New York. She was 5'5'' with a fair complexion, fair hair and blue eyes.  Kate’s last residence was listed as Burren and she listed her father, James Murray of Burren, County Clare as the nearest relative in Ireland. 

Ellen Murray, age 17, arrived in the US on April 17, 1908 from Queenstown aboard the S. S. Mauretania.  She was 5 feet 7 inches tall with a dark complexion, black hair and brown eyes.  She states that she was planning to stay with her sister, Sarah Murray at 428 St. Nicolas Ave., NYC and that she had previously lived in Burren, County Clare.

Sarah Murray was 20 years old when she arrived at Ellis Island in NY from Queenstown aboard the Ivernia on May 6, 1903. She could read and write and her occupation was listed as servant.  She stated that she would be going to Dubuque, Iowa to live with her sister, Delia Murray, at 1428 Lockes Street.  I don't know if Sarah ever went to Iowa as by 1908, she was living in NYC. 


© 2013


Ellis Island Museum Photo taken by Diana Quinn (2003).  

Ellis Island - FREE Port of New York Passenger Records Search. (n.d.). Ellis Island - FREE Port of New York Passenger Records Search. Retrieved November 10, 2013, from

Monday, November 11, 2013

Honoring Our Veterans - 2013

Veterans Day Poster Gallery - 2013 Poster

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 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 have added to the list from my 2012 post and will add to the list for 2014 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*

David Crockett Giddens, CSA (POW) - Civil War*

James Thomas Giddens, CSA - Civil War*

Henry Clay Giddens, CSA - Civil War*

John William 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."


© 2013

Friday, November 8, 2013

Friday's Photo: Do You Know This Man?

This interesting tintype was sent to me by a descendant of Dorothy Elizabeth Harriet "Dollie" Bryan and Thomas Sumter Wylie.  Dollie was my grandfather's sister and a daughter of Terrell Bryan and Harriet Albritton. Tom Wylie was the son of Samuel K. Wylie and Maria H. McNeil. 

Tintype photographs were used from about 1855 to 1900 and were most popular between 1861 and 1871. 

This could be a Bryan or Wylie family picture. The chances of identifying this person are probably slim, but there is always the possibility that someone will have an identical picture along with a name. 


© 2013

Photograph used with permission. From the collection of Jane F. Aebersold.

Tintype Photographs. (n.d.). Tintype. Retrieved November 8, 2013, from

Friday, October 25, 2013

Friday's Photo: Doris and Friends

Front - Nancy and Mary Lou
Back - Doris and Madelyn
January 1950

Madelyn, Mary Lou, and Doris
Fall October 1950

Mary Lou, Nancy, and Madelyn - Fall 1950
I have been scanning my husband's family's pictures for several years. My favorite pictures are those that belonged to my mother-in-law, Doris Staubach Quinn, before her marriage. 

Last night, the nephew of one of Doris' friends, Mary McMullan, found a picture of his aunt on my blog and contacted me. So, I thought that I would post more of her friends in hope that I will learn more!


© 2013

Friday, October 18, 2013

Friday's Photo: Elizabeth Giddens James and Family

This is another picture that belonged to my grandmother, Edith Giddens Davis. The date on the back is 1917. 

Pictured in the back are, Elizabeth Giddens James (sister of my grandmother), Louis Miller James (husband of Elizabeth), and Lucy Glynn Giddens (mother of Edith and Elizabeth). 

In the front row are William H. House, Evan Thomas James, and Martha S. House. Evan Thomas James is the father of Louis Miller James. He was first married to Susanna Miller (mother of Louis) and after her death, married Mary House. William and Martha House were Mary's parents. Mary House James died in 1915. 

Evan Thomas James is holding his granddaughter, Dorothy Elizabeth James who was born on September 14, 1917 in New Jersey. 


© 2013

"" Family Trees - N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Oct. 2013. <>

Friday, October 11, 2013

Friday's Photo: The Easton Academy

Identified on the back as Amos Smith, Mr. Datesman,
Mr. Green, Donald Eynon, Kathryn Seigfried, Mr. S. Parks (Principal),
Mr. McCune, Eward J. Fox Jr., Billy Carhart

This card belonged to my grandmother, Edith Giddens. She attended Easton Academy in 1915. She would have been 18 years old. I don't know how long she attended, but she called it a "finishing school." She talked about walking across the bridge to get to Easton from her home in Phillipsburg, New Jersey. 

I have five books inscribed with "Easton Academy," "1915," and "Edith Giddens." 

I found very little about Easton Academy on the Internet. However, did find an 1896  Pocket Map of Pennsylvania With Compliments of Samual R. Park A. M., Principal and Proprietor of The Easton Academy. The cover of this map gives some information about the academy and states that Easton Academy is formerly Trach's Academy which was established sometime before 1880. 


© 2013