Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Tombstone Tuesday: James A Green --2nd cousin 2x removed

James A. Green
(October 30, 1911--January 22, 1986)
Stone reads:  October 31, 1911 for DOB
St. Stephen's MB Church Cemetery
1156 Janiero Road Oriental Pamlico , Pamlico County, NC
My 2nd cousin 2x removed
Image courtesy of Find A Grave
Picture uploaded by Tilena Aldridge

James A. Green is connected to me through my Whitney family line. Samuel Whitney was my maternal 2nd great grandfather. His brother Augustus Whitney had a daughter named Margaret Whitney who married a Tully Green. Margaret and Tully were James's parents.

Monday, October 27, 2014

52 Ancestors: More Mentions Of Thomas Harris In Newspapers.

I am so behind on this challenge, it's not even funny. I'm not giving up though. If you are not familiar with this project created by Amy Johnson Crow of the blog No Story Too Small, click here.

My 2nd great grand uncle, Thomas Harris of Larchmont, NY couldn't seem to stay out of the papers.

If you missed my other posts about him, here are the links:  

Thomas Harris's Ambition Takes Him To Larchmont, NY --Part one

Thomas Harris's Ambition Takes Him To Larchmont, NY --Part two


After his attempt at becoming the Reciever of Taxes in Larchmont, he continued to run his successful livery business. Based on the following article, it appears to me he ran an honest operation. 


 The New York Times, July 20, 1905,  Page 1

I get the impression that Thomas's wealth was exaggerated a wee bit. Don't get me wrong, I do believe that for a while he was able to do quite well for himself and his family.  I just don't know think he was the "millionaire" that they were making him out to be in newspapers.  Here's an excerpt from an article that ran in the Reading Times, February 24, 1903 where he talks about the attention he received because people were under the impression that he was so well off.  This was written when he was in the midst of his run for Tax Receiver of  Larchmont.

He is now receiving scores of letters in every mail from persons who have an idea he is a millionaire. He is asked therefore to endow schools, to provide for the aged of his race, to educate children, to build churches, and to obtain the release of the unfortunates from hospitals and prisons. Some of his letters are of encouragement, telling him to persist in the fight for the sake of his race. 

All that press coverage from the election, did not go unnoticed. Over the years, he continued to receive letters from African American societies from across the country.

The New York Times, December 28, 1906, Page 3

My 2nd great grand uncle was a man who was able to give something back to his community. In this article, it's mentioned that he contributed $1,000 to a fund to erect an African American church in Larchmont. Certainly he wasn't the originator of the cake-walk as it says here, but perhaps he helped to make it popular in the village of Larchmont.


The New York Tribune, August 28, 1905, First Edition

Here's another example of Thomas Harris giving something back. In this article it mentions he awarded prizes to Sunday school competitors at a picnic.

The New York Age, July 15, 1909, Page 4

This last article highlights a 45th birthday party that Thomas Harris held at the Plymouth Inn in Larchmont. 




 Springfield Missouri Republican, June 17, 1908.  Page 3


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Thomas Harris's Ambition Takes Him To Larchmont, NY --Part two

 Image courtesy of taoty image ID: 10045442 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net



If you missed part one, here's the link:  Thomas Harris's Ambition Takes Him To Larchmont, NY --Part one

As a recap, I left off with Thomas Harris, my 2nd great grand uncle, trying to get elected for the position of receiver of taxes for the village of Larchmont, NY. He knew it was going to be an uphill battle for him to win. I like how he summarized his feelings about this from one of the article's I featured yesterday on this blog.

They can't prevent my nomination unless they dig up the dead ones in the cemetery. I don't need the votes of the rich people. The boys that are with me are good enough for me. As for my personal ability, they all know me around here. I am as straight as a die. There is nothing shady about me. Larchmont is a swell place and I like all the people around here, and because I have lived here for a score of years I think I am entitled to hold a political office."
Segment is from an article in 
The Wilmington Morning Star, Feb 28, 1903, Page 2


So what were the results of the election?  Here's the short version.

The Wilmington Messenger, 5 March 1903, Page 6

And the long version.

The Port Chester Journal, March 12, 1903


This would not be the last time you would read about my 2nd great grand uncle in the paper. More tomorrow. :)



The Book Of Me: Prompt 50 --Godparents

If you are not familiar with this wonderful project that was created by Julie Goucher of the Angler's Rest blog, please refer to this link: http://www.anglers-rest.net/book-of-me-written-by-you.html.
This week's prompt is - Godparents

Did / Do your Godparents feature a great deal in your life
Do you know your Godparents?
How do they link in to your family?
Other stories or influences from your Godparents
Are you Godparents to anyone?

When I was younger, I would see my Godparents usually over the Summer or during Christmas. That's when they would usually be in town visiting my aunt, Rosa Bryant Sanders, one of my maternal grandmother's sisters. My Godmother was the daughter of another of my grandmother's sisters, Loris Bryant Gwyn Helton. Her name was Melba Gwyn McCarther and she was married to my Godfather Trevathan McCarther until her death on March 22, 2011.


Melba Lee Gwyn 
My Godmother when she was a baby. So cute!

Melba's high school graduation picture.


Melba McCarther
(January 25, 1945--March 22, 2011)


Since Melba's passing, my Godfather found love again and remarried. I met Gloria his new love back in 2012 when I visited Morehead City for my Aunt Rosa's funeral. She's a lovely lady.

 My brother David, My Godfather's new wife Gloria,
 my cousin Keisha, and my Godfather Trey

I remember it was a real treat visiting my Aunt Rosa's house when my Godparents and my Aunt Loris were in town. The house would be filled with talk and laughter. Oh those were good times. I carry many good memories. 

As the years went on, we didn't see each other as often. I always carry their love with me though. 

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Thomas Harris's Ambition Takes Him To Larchmont, NY --Part one

1904 Hughes and Bailey Map
Image courtesy of the Library of Congress


Larchmont, NY huh?! Okay Thomas Harris, how did you get there and why? Hmm. If you missed my last post, Sometimes When We Search For One Thing, We Discover Something Else, here's a bit of a recap. Thomas Harris was my 2nd great grand uncle.  I had been researching newspaper articles on Thomas's sister, Hester Harris Pierce and her husband William T. Pierce, when I made the discovery that Thomas was living in Larchmont, NY.

I knew that Thomas Harris's resided in Wilmington, NC in 1880 based on information found on the Federal Census.

Source Information:  Ancestry.com and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 1880 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2010. Source Citation: Year: 1880; Census Place: Wilmington, New Hanover, North Carolina; Roll: 974; Family History Film: 1254974; Page: 168C; Enumeration District: 147; Image: 0571.

He was approximately 14 years old at the time and was working as a waiter. I wonder what sort of restaurant he worked at? Did he hear in passing conversation that there was opportunity to be found up north? Perhaps a chance to start a business of his own, maybe even own his own home? Maybe this is how he came to the decision to move to Larchmont, NY.

Larchmont is located approximately 18 miles northeast of midtown, Manhattan. It's conceivable that Thomas may have found work in New York City first and then moved subsequently to Larchmont. I do know that in 1897 he was residing in that area.  


Source Information: Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1821-1989 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011.  1897--New Rochelle, New York, City Directory.


The 1900 Federal Census clearly shows that Thomas Harris was a property owner.  His occupation listed as a liveryman corroborates the information I found in the city directory listing. Thomas was an ambitious man. He had his own business but that wasn't his only aspiration. 


Source Information: Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2004. Source Citation: Year: 1900; Census Place: Mamaroneck, Westchester, New York; Roll: 1175; Page: 3B; Enumeration District: 0075; FHL microfilm: 1241175.

  He suffered a setback in 1902 when a fire destroyed his stable.


 Democrat ChronicleJanuary 13, 1902.

This was not going to stop him. He rebuilt his business and set his eyes on another goal. Tom Harris sought the Republican nomination for the position of tax receiver for the village of Larchmont.

The Times Dispatch, Richmond VA, Feb 17, 1903.

Did they say he made $50,000 on his livery business?! Say What! I guess you could say he was successful. Wow!

New York Herald, February 19, 1903, Page 6

The lyrics of the song mentioned here may have proved helpful. Could 1882 be the year that Thomas Harris arrived in Larchmont? The Citizens Republican Club enjoyed the dinner that Tom had set out before them. Then things "got real" if you know what I mean very shortly. Folks didn't like all the fuss that this ambitious man of color was making.

The Wilmington Morning Star, Feb 28, 1903, Page 2

I've got to get ready to run errands now so the results of the election I will post tomorrow. I have to say though I am so impressed by Thomas Harris. He must have known this was going to be a battle but he went for it anyway.


Saturday, October 18, 2014

Sometimes When We Search For One Thing, We Discover Something Else

As I mentioned at the end of my post, 52 Ancestors: Hester Harris Pierce --My 2nd Great Grand Aunt, I was able to find leads on what became of couple of her siblings while I was looking researching newspaper articles on Hester and her husband. Just as a refresher I'll mention that Hester Harris Pierce was the daughter of my 3rd great grandfather Bristow Harris from Wilmington and New Bern, NC. I am a descendant of Bristow's second family who lived in New Bern, NC through his daughter Sarah Harris Whitney. Bristow Harris's second family consisted of Lemuel T Harris, Sarah's brother and Amy Brown Harris, Sarah and Lemuel's mother. Hester Harris Pierce was their 1/2 sister who was born in Wilmington.

Lemuel Harris became a waiter who settled in Boston, MA. Whatever became of Bristow Harris's other children that were from Wilmington? Here's a clue on one of them.


The New York Age,  July 4, 1907.



And just like that I had found the key to unlock the door on what became of Hester Harris Pierce's brother, Thomas Harris.


To be continued...

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Not So Wordless Wednesday: Ladybug Birthday!

My ladybug turned 7 today. S-E-V-E-N! How is this even possible? My husband and I had a blast bringing up cupcakes to her school. Cupcakes have a magical effect on people. We passed by several kids and grownups in the halls on the way up to her classroom. Most stopped whatever conversation they were having for a minute just to say...Mmmmmh Cupcakes.

We had a little party for her over the weekend. It was just family which was lovely. It was nice to see her today though in her world with her classmates around her wishing her well.