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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.


Sunday, September 16, 2018

#52ancestors Post Thirty-Seven: Redic E. Bryan was a Member of the Texas Immigration Information Bureau

This week's writing prompt for #52ancestors is closest to your birthday. That means I would need to write about my father's father, Redic Eli Bryan - his birthday was the day after mine. Redic, my grandfather, was born on August 2, 1870 - 85 years before my birth. He died in 1929 so most of what I know about him is what Dad remembered from his childhood or what I read in old newspapers.  

I would have really preferred another topic as I had nothing new, but a search through the photo albums took me to this certificate for the Texas Immigration Information Bureau. Redic was enrolled as a member of the bureau for one term - August 1915 to July 1916. 

According to the certificate, the Bryan family was living in Knox County, Texas close to their longtime home of Baylor County.  Redic spent two terms as Tax Assessor in Baylor County (ending in 1914). He didn't run for a third term. It might be that he believed in rotation of office and had promised to serve only two terms. 

"TRUTH About Texas." contains Texas Land
land laws, and federal farm loan
law protecting 
land buyers against inflated
values, $2 per year, 25c per 
Texas Immigration Information Bureau, Dallas.

Found in The Wichita Beacon (Wichita, Kansas),
December 2, 1916, page 19. 
Was the Texas Immigration Information Bureau Redic's current job in 1915? Further Internet research didn't answer my question. I did learn this bureau was not a government job and had nothing to do with the United States naturalization process. 

A publication of this bureau, Truth about Texas, was found in Southern Methodist University's digital collections. This publication is a promotional booklet, which highlights specific cities, counties, and regions of Texas and describes living conditions. Agricultural, business, and manufacturing opportunities are listed as well as real estate available for sale or exchange.

The Texas Immigration Information Bureau, a state-chartered institutionwas formed by businessmen to protect home seekers and investors by presenting statistical, geographical, and other information about properties for sale. 

I suspect Redic may have been paid during his term as Texas Immigration Information Bureau member. Information about land for sale and other county information was needed for each publication. Dissemination of information and publications must also have been a need. 

If Redic was paid, I'm sure it was not enough to support his family. From information found in the Baylor County Banner at The Portal to Texas History, I learned he left Seymour in Baylor County for nearby Vera in January 1915 to open a store.  In August 1915, his wife and children moved back to Seymour. In January 1916, Redic sold his business in Vera to Penick-Hughes of Stamford. He worked for a time in Spur, Texas and made a few trips to other parts of Texas and one to Denver. In June 1916, he opened a store in Seymour where he sold ice and later, produce. I wonder if he finished his term with the Texas Immigration Information Bureau?

If you want to know more about the families I research, click here to like my Facebook page where you will see each post and other genealogical finds. 

© 2018


Family photographs and documents from the collection of Diana Bryan Quinn

The Portal to Texas History. The Baylor County Banner. Web. 16 Sep. 2018. <>.

The Wichita Beacon. Texas Immigration Information Bureau. 1916. Web. 16 Sep. 2018. <>.

Truth about Texas, Vol. IV, No. 2. Texas - Photographs, Manuscripts, and Imprints. DeGolyer Library, Southern Methodist University., Digitized: 2018. Web. 16 Sep. 2018. <>.

Sunday, September 9, 2018

#52ancestors Post Thirty-Six: Mitchell Giddens was a Shoemaker

August 4, 1834 - Sale of shoes, by Mitchell Giddens, as well as patching, mending,
and adding soles to shoes for Jesse Oates. This was found with other receipts

paid by the administrator of Jesse Oates' estate.

This week's writing prompt for #52ancestors is 
work.  I choose to write about Mitchell Giddens as one of the few documented facts about Mitchell is his occupation of shoemaker. 

December 25, 1833 - Sale of shoes, by Mitchell Giddens, as well as patching, mending,
and adding soles to shoes for John L. Clifton. 

According to a handwritten record from another family member's research, Mitchell was born on October 12, 1802, and died on December 18, 1852.  Dates for other family members have been accurate so I can only assume this is correct. I suspect these dates were copied from a Bible, but I may never know. 

Mitchell was born the year his father died in Wayne County, North Carolina. Mitchell's mother was thought to be Sarah Taylor. John's estate was divided equally between his wife and eight children. Six of Mitchell's siblings have been documented; Isaac, John, Jacob, David, Elizabeth, and Abram/Abraham. An eighth sibling has not been identified.  Mitchell's mother married Jesse Flowers prior to 1810. 

Mitchell and at least two of his siblings were minors when their father died.
Court records were found showing Jesse Flowers, their mother's husband,
was appointed guardian. However, there appeared to be some
mismanagement of the children's inheritance and Stephen Smith
was appointed guardian of the children. 

In 1835, Mitchell witnessed the will of Bryan King in Sampson County. Mitchell was living in the Buck Swamp district of Wayne County in 1840 and the census indicated he had a wife and three young children under the age of 5. Mitchell was to married Letisha Britt, daughter of William C. Britt and Patience Bell. No marriage record has been found. 

Mitchell remained in Wayne County through at least 1841 where he was found that year
on a voter list. In this 1850 census record, the Mitchell Giddens family was found living
in Duplin County. Mitchell's occupation was listed as shoemaker

On November 2, 1852 in Duplin County, Mitchell Giddens signed a petition to remit the remaining term of William Barnham's prison time. Barnham was convicted of manslaughter for killing a nine-year-old boy. Barnham was described as having feeble intellect. James T. Giddens, Henry B. Giddens, and Lewis D. Giddens also signed the petition. 

A little over a month later, on December 18, 1852, it is reported by a family member that Mitchell died. Nothing documents the location or cause of his death; however, on December 18, 1852, it was reported a man died on the tracks near the Warsaw Depot. Warsaw was in Duplin County. Was this Mitchell Giddens? 

Found at

Mitchell's burial place is unknown. At Find A Grave, it is suggested he was buried in the Troublefield Cemetery in Giddensville where his wife, Letisha was buried in 1895.  This is unlikely as it wasn't until the 1860s when his sons purchased land and opened businesses in Sampson County that Giddensville was established. The earliest known burial in the Troublefield Cemetery was that of Peter B. Troublefield in 1872.

No probate record for Mitchell was found. In 1860 Letisha was living in 
Buck Swamp district of Wayne County with children; Sally, Henry, David, 
Mary, and Rustus (Bryant). Daughter, Patience Elizabeth is living nearby 
with her grandfather, William Britt. Son, George was working as a 
daguerreotypist in or near Clinton in Sampson County. Son,  John was 
working as a turpentine distiller in Piney Grove, Sampson County. 
Son, James T. Giddens could not be found in the 1860 census. 

If you want to know more about the families I research, click here to like my Facebook page where you will see each post and other genealogical finds. 

© 2018


Clifton, John L. Papers, 1784-2001 and n.d.; (bulk 1830-1889) [manuscript]. David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.

Family photographs and documents from the collection of Diana Bryan Quinn

Letisha Giddens {Tisseu Giddings} in the 1860 United States Federal Census. Web. 9 Sep. 2018. <>.

Man Killed. 24 Dec 1852, Page 2 - Wilmington Journal at 1952. Web. 9 Sep. 2018. <>.

Memorials in Troublefield Family Cemetery - Find A Grave.  Web. 9 Sep. 2018. <>.

Mitchell Giddens in the 1840 United States Federal Census. Web. 9 Sep. 2018. <>

Mitchel Giddens in the 1850 United States Federal Census. Web. 9 Sep. 2018. <>.

"North Carolina Estate Files, 1663-1979," database with images, FamilySearch ( : 21 May 2014), Wayne County > G > Giddens, John (1802) > image 28 of 30; State Archives, Raleigh.

Friday, September 7, 2018

Friday's Photo: The First Day of First Grade

My first day of first grade. My brother was not yet in school and looks
dressed for play. That's my parents 1957 Chevrolet in the driveway. 

I have posted this photo previously but didn't realize until last week, it was taken on my first day of first grade. I attended Louise Luxford Elementary School on Bayshore Road in Princess Anne County.  Although the school did not move, it is now on Haygood Road in the city of Virginia Beach. 

Louise Luxford Elementary was a brand new school. My mother and I attended the dedication on September 6, 1961. Mom said I was the only child in attendance. I remember Miss Louise Luxford, the director of instructional personnel, on stage wearing a suit and white gloves. Click here to read more about Miss Louise Luxford and the history of the school. 

There were over 40 students in room 31 and I am sure my teacher had no breaks. She ate lunch with us and I don't remember any resources such as art, music, and physical education. 

My most vivid memory of first grade was carrying a rug to school. My classroom had tables, but no chairs. We knelt on the rugs while working at the tables and after lunch rested on the rugs while my teacher put her head down on her desk. 

If you want to know more about the families I research, click here to like my Facebook page where you will see each post and other genealogical finds. 


© 2018


Bell, Stephanie. Ferguson / Bell Family Tree., 2018. Web. 2 Sep. 2018. <>

Family photographs and documents from the collection of Diana Bryan Quinn

Virginia Beach City Public Schools. Our School - Luxford Elementary. SchoolMessinger Presence, 2018. Web. 2 Sep. 2018. <>

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

From the Files of Marguerite Cook Clark: Is this a school in Bienville Parish?

There are no clues on this photo so not much to say. Looking at the bows and clothing, I would guess this might be about 1910. Does anyone have a similar photo OR recognize any of those pictured?

If you want to know more about the families I research, click here to like my Facebook page where you will see each post and other genealogical finds. 

© 2018


Family photographs and documents from the collection of Marguerite Cook Clark. Accessed April 28, 2014, September 14, 2014, and November 9 to 11, 2016. Used with permission.

Monday, September 3, 2018

#52ancestors Post Thirty-Five: A Report Card from Baylor County, Texas 1927

Last week's post for #52ancestors was back to school. I am a little behind as it is back to school for me as well. I am beginning my 40th year as a speech-language pathologist in my local school division. 

Whit Criswell Bryan with his older brother
Hairston Albritton "Buster" Bryan - about 1927
This report card belonged to Whit Criswell Bryan, my father. I believe it is his first-grade report card.  He was born in Seymour, Baylor County, Texas on December 21, 1920. He was the youngest child of seven children born to Redic Bryan and Myrtie Hairston

It appears Dad did not begin school until the third period of the 1926-1927 school year. Was this a parental choice or did he have to wait until after he turned six on December 21? 

During this school year, Dad and two of his sisters, Marie (age 25) and Willa Mae (age 16) were living with their parents. Two of his brothers died as infants, DeRay was teaching in Amhurst, Texas, and Hairston "Buster" was working in Witchita Falls. 

Mrs. Pistole, Dad's first-grade teacher began
teaching at age 16 in Simpson, Kentucky.
In 1929, it was reported in the Baylor Banner
Mrs. S. W. Pistole taught for 29 continuous
years in Seymour. She was Marie Bryan's
10th-grade teacher - click here to see her report card.
This photo comes from a larger
photo taken in 1911. Click here to see the photo.
Martha Ann Harris married Samuel W.
Pistole in 1886 in Simpson, Kentucky. Sometime
after the death of her husband in 1929, she
moved back to Kentucky. She died in 1937 and
is buried in Simpson County.

Dad attended school in the Grade School Building and his teacher was Mrs. Pistole. His grades in deportment were As, but he had Cs in all other areas. Dad was frequently absent and according to the back of the report card, points were deducted for missed work due to absences. 

I doubt if Dad made up any of the work he missed. It was a bad time for the Bryan family; there were financial problems and Myrtie was sick and passed away on May 3, 1927. Dad said during his mother's illness and after her death, he would sometimes stay with relatives. 

Dad's father died in 1929 and he moved to Borger, Texas where he lived with his sisters. 

If you want to know more about the families I research, click here to like my Facebook page where you will see each post and other genealogical finds. 


© 2018


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

Harrison, O. C. The Baylor County Banner (Seymour, Tex.), Vol. 34, No. 51, Ed. 1 Thursday, September 5, 1929, newspaper, September 5, 1929; Seymour, Texas. ( accessed September 3, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History,; crediting Baylor County Free Library.

Martha “Mattie” Harris Pistole (1865-1937) - Find A Grave Memorial. 

Woman's Who's who of America: A Biographical Dictionary of Contemporary Women of the United States and Canada. Pistole, Martha Harris (Mrs. S. W. Pistole), Seymour, Texas. American Commonwealth Company, 1914. Web. 3 Sep. 2018. <>.