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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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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.