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, June 28, 2013

Friday's Photo: Terrell Bryan

Terrell Bryan 1836 - 1920

This photo of Terrell Bryan can be found in at least 27 different trees at, at least three times in this blog, and on many other websites. 

What most don't realize is that this photograph is a copy of one of five miniature photos found in Terrell Bryan's family bible - four of Terrell and one of his wife Harriet Albritton Bryan. 

The large photograph above is a scanned copy of a photo that my father had a photographer make in the 1970s. 

The date of the original photographs is unknown; however, Harriet passed away in 1909 so we might assume that all were taken before that time. 


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Saturday, June 22, 2013

Thank You AncestryDNA

Some of you have read about my disappointment with AncestryDNA. I spent $400 on tests for myself and three family members and had thousands of matches - almost 20,000 to date. So much so, that I had to back away. I no longer checked the site for matches regularly and even when I checked, I looked at very few of the matches. 

Well, last night was different - AncestryDNA added a new search. I can search all the trees of my matches for family names or locations. 

This is a great help. I put "Giddens" in the search and could see all those who also have a Giddens in their tree. It won't tell me how I am related, but only that there is a possiblity.  However, this gives me a good direction for my research. So far, I found some really good clues for my Glynn, Giddens, Bryan and Hairston family research. 

It's not a perfect solution. Some matches don't have family trees and if the  researcher has incorrect information, I might be barking up the wrong tree. 

So thank you to AncestryDNA. I love the new search, but still want a more "advanced search" such as a chromosome browser. I don't like having to spend more money to submit my DNA to other sites.


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Friday, June 21, 2013

Friday's Photo: A Family Portrait

Phillip A. Hairston (1852 - 1917)
Johnnie Myrtlene "Myrtie Hairston (1880-1927)
Lodema Walker Criswell Hairston (1856-1919)

This photo of my grandmother, Myrtie Hairston, and her parents is about 120 years old.  She was born in 1880 and looks about 10 to 12 years old. At that time, the Hairston family would have lived in Erath County, Texas and I assume that this photo was taken in Stephenville, Erath County. One Criswell cousin has this same photo. I wonder if others exist. 


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The Dining Room Table and Other Genealogical Goals

Six days ago, I returned from my yearly genealogy trip with my cousin, Sharon. We attended the Southern California Genealogy Jamboree and after the conference flew to Salt Lake City to research at the Family History Library. 

Every time that I return from a research trip, I have new ideas and new places to look for family. However, after attending a conference I always have GOALS. 

Here are my post-conference goals:

Use Cyndi’s List.
Use Cyndi's List as a regular go-to when looking for an answer to a genealogical question. Cyndi Howells, creator and owner describes her list as “A comprehensive, categorized & cross-referenced list of links that point you to genealogical research sites online.”  I typically use goggle, but after Cyndi's session, A Guided Tour of Cyndi’s List 2.0, realized that I may save time by using Cyndi’s List.   

Learn more from my DNA. 
The Family History and DNA: Genetic Genetic Genealogy in 2013 Conference was fabulous! Well known experts talked about DNA and genealogy.  I want to learn more from my AncestryDNA results. My plans are to submit my AncestryDNA to FamilyTreeDNA and to learn to use third party tools.  A mtDNA test is also in my future. 

See more of the Library of Congress. 
The Library of Congress is an easy four hour drive from my home. And, I have family nearby. I have visited Library of Congress several times; however, have only looked at books.  In Dr. John Philip Colletta’s session, The Library of Congress: An Introduction and Overview, I learned that the LOC has 20 reading rooms and so much that can be used when looking for family. I plan to check out the newspaper collections next. 

Cite my sources.
Throughout the conference this was emphasized. I have always "connected" sources to my research, but those sources have not always been formally identified.  

Use the dining room table. 
For about 355 days a year, my dining room table is empty. Denise May Levenick’s session, Lessons from the Archive, was all about preserving family items. What to keep, what to throw away, AND how to sort. She started by explaining how to arrange items on the dining room table.  This weekend, my dining room table will be covered with my husband’s family’s photos!


Colletta, John Philip, Ph.D. (2013, June). The Library of Congress: An Introduction and Overview. Session presented at the Southern California Genealogy Jamboree, Burbank, CA.

Howells, Cyndi. (2013, June). A Guided Tour of Cyndi’s List 2.0. Session presented at the Southern California Genealogy Jamboree, Burbank, CA.

Howells, Cyndi. (1996-2013).  Cyndi's List. Retrieved June 20, 2013. From

Levenick, Denise. (2013, June). Lessons from the Archive. Session presented at the Southern California Genealogy Jamboree, Burbank, CA.


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Sunday, June 16, 2013

Honoring the Fathers in my Family Tree

Happy Father's Day to my husband - pictured
with his father William Joseph Quinn 1930-2005

My father, Whit Criswell Bryan 
1920 - 2001

Happy Father's Day to my brother, Rick. 

Happy Father's Day to my nephew, Nick.

My grandfather, Claude Louis Davis

My Grandfather, Redic Eli Bryan
1870 - 1929

My great-grandfather, Charles Allen Giddens

My great-grandfather, Phillip A. Hairston

My great-grandfather, Terrell Bryan

My great-great-grandfather, Reddick Bryan

My great-great grandfather, William Moore Criswell


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Friday, June 14, 2013

Friday's Photo: Happy Birthday to Two Special Sisters

I love this old photo of my mother (age 5) and aunt (age 4). It was taken in 1937 at their home in New York, 92-43 214th Street in Queens Village. My mother said that they were sitting on a table in their home. In the next two weeks, both my mother and aunt will celebrate their birthdays.  As children with birthdays exactly one week apart, they often celebrated them on the same day. Last year they celebrated Mom's 80th with a trip to see Yellowstone National Park. 
Happy Birthday, Mom and Aunt Janet!


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Friday, June 7, 2013

Friday's Photo: Sunny Burbank

No old photos today. I am currently attending the the 44th Annual Southern California Genealogy Jamboree and  learning a lot about DNA and new and different resources to use while  researching my family history. This is my third Jamboree. I highly recommend a genealogy conference to anyone interested in family history. 

Next year's National Genealogy Society Conference will be on my side of the country  - in Richmond, VA. 


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Monday, June 3, 2013

I've Been Featured!

I thoroughly enjoy writing this blog; however, it is nice to be recognized.  A few weeks ago, Gini Webb contacted me about featuring this blog (and me) in her "May I Introduce To You" articles that she writes for Thomas MacEntee at Genealogy Bloggers.  

Let me tell you, for me, this is a big deal! This means that people other than obligatory family members are reading this blog!

Thank you for reading my blog. And, thanks to those of you who share your thoughts and comments.

Thank you to Gini for adding me to her "May I Introduce To You" articles. After you read the article about my blog (and me), check out Gini's great blog - Ginisology


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