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Friday, June 27, 2014

Friday's Photo: Elizabeth Frances Giddens

Myrtle Newman and Elizabeth Giddens (seated) 1912

In honor of today's reunion with a Giddens descendant, I am posting photos of his grandmother, Elizabeth Giddens. Elizabeth was the daughter of Charles Giddens and Mary Lucy Glynn. 

Elizabeth Giddens James 1917

Katherine Butler, Elizabeth and Florence Giddens
Anna Butler and Edith Giddens (my grandmother)

Look for more Giddens family photos next Friday. 


© 2014


Family photographs and documents from the collection of Diana Bryan Quinn

Thursday, June 26, 2014

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: #25 Vinson Hairston

My current theory is that the Hugh Brown Hairston family moved from Butts County, Georgia to Meriwether County, Georgia by 1840. Hugh Brown Hairston might have died in the 1840s and his wife and children may have moved to Hinds County, Mississippi where possible older son, John L. Hairston was living. Or maybe Hugh Brown died in Hinds County. By 1850 some of the family moved back to Alabama and mother, Sarah McElhaney Hairston, remained there until her death between 1870 and 1880. 

Note that this is just a theory and not entirely factual.  However, the key to this theory is #25 of my 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks, Vinson Hairston. He was said to be the son of Hugh Brown Hairston and Sarah McElhaney and is consistently found with said to be Hugh Brown Hairston family members. 

No Story Too Small
Vinson Hairston has been found as Vince, Vincent, Vinceton, and V. This less than common Hairston family name has been extremely helpful in the sea of John, Robert, and Mary Hairstons.

A Vincient Herston was living in Meriwether County with six other family members in 1840. At 16, he would have been the oldest male child living at home. There was one male over 50 living in the household. Was that his father? Other family members also lived in Meriwether County.  I know that John L., my great-great-grandfather, sold land to his brother James M. in Meriwether County. And, a John and a James M. were living in that same county in 1840.

1848 Tax Rolls - Hinds County, MS
In 1847, John L. Hirston, Robert Hirston, V Hirston, and Alexander M. Hirston paid county taxes in Hinds County, Mississippi. The only Hairstons listed on the 1848 tax rolls of Hinds County were John L., Vincent, and Robert. 

John L. Hairston lived in Hinds County with his wife and children in 1850 while Robert, Vinson, Sarah (their mother), and sister Mary's family lived in Macon, Alabama. A Vince Hairston, along with a Robert Hairston, were farmers, living together in Macon County in 1860. 

In 1870, a V. Hairston was living with three Stallings children (probably the children of sister Mary) and his mother, Sarah, in Lee County, Alabama. 

A 60 year old Vince Hurston was living with Tim and Amy Roberts and daughter, Amanda on the 1880 census of  Tallapoosa, Alabama. Also in that household were Jane Cook (sister to Vinson) and Henry Stallings (his nephew).

That 1880 census is the last mention that I find of Vinson Hairston. However, according to census records, he and/or other family members owned land. I will be researching the land records in July so I am sure that this is not the last that you will see of Vinson Hairston. 


© 2014

Sources "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.

Year: 1850; Census Place: District 21, Macon, Alabama; Roll: M432_9; Page: 276B; Image: 173.

Year: 1860; Census Place: Northern Division, Macon, Alabama; Roll: M653_14; Page: 842; Image: 361; Family History Library Film: 803014.

Year: 1870; Census Place: Loachapoka, Lee, Alabama; Roll: M593_23; Page: 305A; Image: 184; Family History Library Film: 545522.

Year: 1880; Census Place: Kinderhook, Tallapoosa, Alabama; Roll: 33; Family History Film: 1254033; Page: 419A; Enumeration District: 146; Image: 0445.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Friday's Photo: A Birthday Party in 1936

Mom and Aunt Janet are on the left. Mom has checked dress and Aunt Janet is sitting beside her. 

Happy Birthday to Mom and Aunt Janet! I thought that these pictures from your 1936 birthday party in Queens would bring back some memories. Two birthday cakes - one for each of you! Mom would have been four years old and Aunt Janet, three years old. 


© 2014

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: #24 Redic Eli Bryan, My Grandfather

Undated tintype of Redic found in the Bryan Family Bible

Redic Eli Bryan was born in Bienville Parish, Louisiana on August 2, 1870. He was the son of Terrell and Harriet Albritton Bryan. He left Bienville Parish for Texas in 1878 with his family. 

Undated photo of Redic E. Bryan

Redic earned a first grade teaching certificate and taught school for five years in Erath County. He was teaching at Sims Valley during the 1895-1896 school year and received $50.00 each month. In the 1896-1897 school year, he was found teaching at the school in Center Grove. The Center Grove School is now a part of the Stephenville Historical House Museum. 

Redic, wearing a Woodmen of the World convention ribbon

By 1898, he was working in a bar owned by Lon Latta, his brother-in-law, and by 1899, he appeared to have his own business and was called "the popular caterer of Dublin" in a local newspaper. 

Redic Eli Bryan and Johnie Myrtlene "Myrtie" Hairston were united in marriage on February 7, 1900 at the home of Myrtie’s parents, Phillip and Lodema Criswell Hairston.  Redic was 10 years older than Myrtie and it was said that he first met her when he purchased a horse from Phillip Hairston. 

In 1905, Redic, his wife and daughters, and his in-laws, relocated to Baylor County. Two years later, Redic sold his farm of 140 acres at a profit of $13.00 an acre. He and his family moved to Big Spring in Howard County, Texas. His Hairston in-laws remained in Baylor County. Less than 18 months later, Redic and family returned to Baylor County where they settled in the Levelview area.

In 1910, Redic successfully ran for Tax Assessor of Baylor County with 154 votes over his opponent.  He served for two terms as Tax Assessor from 1911 to 1915.  

My dad said that his father was a truck farmer. Well, Redic didn't appear to grow his own fruits and vegetables. He sold all of his farm implements prior to moving to Big Spring. However, as early as 1912, he was purchasing produce to resell. 

Redic worked for the Texas Immigration Information Bureau from 1915 to 1916. During that time, he continued with his produce business. In 1916, he opened a store in Seymour, Texas where he sold ice and eventually some produce.  

I don't know how long Redic kept the store as in April 1919, the following article was found in the Baylor County Banner.  

Mr. R. E. Bryan is down at the oil fields with his teams.   In fact, a number of our people have been there lately.  Messes L. H. and C. M. Casselberry of Plainview have been among the number.  There is good money in the work, but the kind of weather we have been getting lately is not favorable for work.

And, on January 8, 1920

Lost: Somewhere between Porter well and Seymour a 10ft. hose, steel lined, with yellow cloth.  Had been used for loading fuel oil.  Reasonable reward to finder.  R. E. Bryan  14-15pd

In a letter written by his wife, Myrtie, their financial situation was described as good in 1920 - much better than in previous years. Is this because of the work in the oil fields or maybe an inheritance from Myrtie's mother, Lodema Criswell Hairston?

Thought to be Myrtie and Redic sometime after 1920.

Myrtie died in 1927, leaving Redic with three young adults and two young children in his care. 

Redic took his own life, at the age of 60, only two years after his wife's death.  Financial problems and lack of work were thought to be the reason.


© 2014

Sources Texas, Death Certificates, 1903–1982 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2013.

Family photographs and documents from the collection of Diana Bryan Quinn.

Baylor County Banner [Seymour] 19 Nov. 1909: Microfilm.

Baylor County Banner [Seymour] 3 Apr. 1919: Microfilm.

"County Election Returns." Baylor County Banner [Seymour] 5 Nov. 1912: Microfilm.

"Levelview." Baylor County Banner [Seymour] 11 Oct. 1912: Microfilm.

"For Sale." Baylor County Banner [Seymour] 13 Apr. 1907: Microfilm.

"Local News." Stephenville Tribune [Stephenville] 24 Jul. 1896: Microfilm.

"Lost." Baylor County Banner [Seymour] 8 Jan. 1920: Microfilm.

Letter from Myrtie Hairston Bryan to Amy Criswell Barton courtesy of Lena Criswell.  

"R. E. Bryan in Business." Baylor County Banner [Seymour] 29 June. 1916: Microfilm.

Stephenville Tribune [Stephenville] 25 Aug. 1898: Print.

Stephenville Tribune [Stephenville] 9 Feb. 1899: Print.

Stephenville Tribune [Stephenville] 11 Nov. 1905: Microfilm. 

The Erath Appeal, Vol. 2, No.29, Stephenville, Texas, Feb. 8, 1900: Print 

No Story Too Small

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Honoring the Fathers in My Family Tree - 2014

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


© 2014

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Friday's Photo: Terrell Little "Bunch" Bryan

Terrell Little "Bunch" Bryan 1861 - 1939

My father fondly remembered visiting Aunt Bunch and he remembered not liking her fried okra. Aunt Bunch was his father's older sister, Terrell Little Bryan Biggs. 

Terrell Little "Bunch" Bryan was named for her father, Terrell Bryan. She was born in Bienville Parish, Louisiana on July 13, 1861.  The war had begun earlier that year and her father enlisted in the Confederate Army just a few month's after her birth.

James D. Biggs
A Wedding Photo 1880
Terrell Little Bryan married James D. Biggs on May 16, 1880 in Erath County, Texas where they raised eight children. 

The tintype of Terrell Little Bryan (above) was found in my father's Bryan family bible and labeled "Aunt Bunch." 

The photograph of James D. Biggs and of the couple were said to have been taken on their wedding day. These photographs, also tintypes, were found in the collection of Marguerite Cook Clark of Bienville Parish. Marguerite was a descendant of Joseph B. Bryan, brother of Terrell Little Bryan's father. This is another example of the Texas Bryans keeping in touch with the Louisiana Bryans. 


© 2014


Family photographs and documents from the collection of Diana Bryan Quinn.

Photographs used with permission. From the Marguerite Cook Clark collection.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: #23 Jesse B. Hairston Lived in Falls County, Texas

The solid lines indicate that the connection to the family is documented while the dotted lines indicate that direct evidence has not yet been found to make the connection.

In 2001, I visited the Falls County courthouse in Marlin, Texas. I was looking for my great-great-grandfather, John L. Hairston and was sure that I would find everything that I wanted to know about his family. Well, 13 years have passed, I am still looking for his family.

No Story Too Small
During this visit, although I found several records and learned a few new facts, more questions were generated.  One set of questions revolved around an entry in a deed book. J. B. Hairston was found leasing wells from D. M. Currie in 1893. Was this my John L. Hairston? Could the clerk have just written a J. B. instead of J. L.? Did the clerks ever make mistakes in the deed books? If this was J. L. Hairston, then he was still living in 1893. Would these questions ever be answered?

These questions were finally answered as I researched the Samuel Hairston family. J. B. Hairston is not John L. Hairston, but Jesse B. Hairston, son of Samuel Hairston who is a possible brother to John L. Hairston.

1870 United States Census, Chambers County, Alabama
Jesse B. Hairston, the son of Samuel B. Hairston and Matilda Glasgow was reported to have been born in 1859 in Georgia. He is found in the 1860 and 1870 censuses living with his parents in Alabama and in 1880 was living in Alabama with his sister, Ella D. Hairston Simonton and her family.

On November 6, 1884 Jesse B. Hairston married Fannie Garrett in Bell County, Texas and by 1889, he was paying taxes in Falls County; listed along with his brother, Edward V. and father, Samuel B

1900 United States Census, Falls County, Texas
In 1900, Jesse B. Hairston was living with his wife, Fannie and children Robert, Sammie, Claudie, and twins, Inez and Irene.

By 1910, Fannie Hairston, a widow, was living in Bell County with her mother Sarah Garrett and children Claude, Inez, and the youngest, Travis. She reported that only four of her six children were living. Robert did not die until 1920 so it is assumed that in the past 10 years, both Sammie and Irene passed away along with their father.  

It is unknown how or when Jesse B. Hairston died. There was a Jesse Hairston in Milam County in 1910, but his obituary, that same year, placed him with a different Hairston family.  Some Public Family Trees at have Jesse's death year as 1902 in Alabama, but no source is given. 

If you are a descendant of the Jesse B. Hairston family, please contact me. I have questions and more to share! 


© 2014

Sources Texas, Death Certificates, 1903–1982 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2013.

Lease from D. M. Currie and to J. B. Hairston, 8 August 1893, Falls County, Texas, Deed Book 8, page 450. County Recorder's Office, Marlin, Texas.

"Texas, Marriages, 1837-1973," index, FamilySearch ( : accessed 08 Jun 2014), J. B. Hairston and Fannie Ganett, 06 Nov 1884; citing Bell Co., Texas, , reference M59134-3; FHL microfilm 981035.

Year: 1860; Census Place: Southern Division, Randolph, Alabama; Roll: M653_22; Page: 683; Image: 289; Family History Library Film: 803022.

Year: 1870; Census Place: Fredonia, Chambers, Alabama; Roll: M593_6; Page: 87A; Image: 176; Family History Library Film: 545505.

Year: 1880; Census Place: Bloomingdale, Chambers, Alabama; Roll: 5; Family History Film: 1254005; Page: 241B; Enumeration District: 178.

Year: 1900; Census Place: Justice Precinct 4, Falls,Texas; Roll: 1632; Page: 9A; Enumeration District: 0021; FHL microfilm: 1241632.

Year: 1910; Census Place: Justice Precinct 5, Bell, Texas; Roll: T624_1530; Page: 2B; Enumeration District: 0015; FHL microfilm: 1375543.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: #22 Robert Hairston of Alabama

No Story Too Small
According to Mary Lee Anderson's The WHITAKERS and Related Families, Robert Hairston is one of five boys born to Hugh Brown Hairston and Sarah McElhaney.  If my math is correct, Robert was born about 1827 and U. S. census records indicate that he was born in Georgia or South Carolina.

It is difficult to pinpoint a Robert as this Robert Hairston without him being with family. There a number of Robert Houstons, Hustons, Hurstons, Herstons, Hairstones, Hirstons, and Hairstons living in the south. 

Robert Hirston {Hairston} was first found in a 1847 list of taxpayers in Hinds County, Mississippi along with John L., V., and Alexander M. Hirston.  John L. and V. are thought to be his brothers.

In 1850, 23 year old Robert is in Macon County, Alabama with 53 year old Sarah (probably his mother) and 26 year old Vinceant Hurston {Vinson Hairston}. 

In 1860 Robert Huston was living in Macon County along with Vincton Huston {Vinson Hairston} and W. W. Hudson. Robert was listed as the head of the family and as a land owner. 

Robert is not found after 1860. Did he serve in the Civil War? Did he remain in Alabama? Did he marry? All of these questions require much more research. Land and probate records for Macon were searched several years ago. They might need a second look. Other county records, both Macon and surrounding counties, are on my research list. 


© 2014

Anderson, Mary Lee. Volume II The WHITAKER and Related Families. Date unknown. Print and online

"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.

Year: 1850; Census Place: District 21, Macon, Alabama; Roll: M432_9; Page: 276B; Image: 173.

Year: 1860; Census Place: Northern Division, Macon, Alabama; Roll: M653_14; Page: 842; Image: 361; Family History Library Film: 803014.