Thursday, April 17, 2014

Thankful Thursday: Thankful For Another On-Line Connection

On my post, The Wonder Of Wandering, I featured a couple of newspaper articles that discussed an enterprise that was run by a family with the last name of Mallett. They ran Clare Fibre Works in Riverdale, NC which employed a large number of individuals from the area. One of the the Mallets, specifically one by the name of Charles E. Mallet had a connection to one of my ancestors.  David Sampson was my 2nd great grand uncle who I have written about quite a bit on this blog.  If you are new to my blog, here are two posts about him.

Dave Sampson a True Riverdale Character --Part one

Dave Sampson a True Riverdale Character --Part two

On the 1880 Federal Census, Dave Sampson was listed as working as a porter in a store for Charles E Mallett. Charles and David were approximately the same age. I wonder what their relationship was like.  

Source Information: and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
 1880 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Source Citation: Year: 1880; Census Place: Township 7, Craven, North Carolina; Roll: 959; Family History Film: 1254959; Page: 227B; Enumeration District: 039; Image: 0623.

Recently, I connected with a descendant of the Mallett family on who happened to have a public family tree with a picture of the Mallett gentlemen posed together.  Guess who was pictured with the bunch?  Mr. Charles E. Mallett!

(Standing --left to right:   James Fleming Mallett, Charles Edward Mallett, Charles Peter Mallett, Robert Gibbs Mallett.  Seated --left to right:  Eugene Pierre Mallett and George Hooper Mallett.)

 Charles Edward Mallett

I have to send a thank you out to Mr. David Mallett Jr. for allowing me to use this photograph. There's just something about seeing the faces of people who knew your ancestor that resonates with me. I look at Charles Mallet's picture and I just want to go up to him and say, "Hey, what did you know about my 2nd great grand uncle David Sampson?  What was he like? What sorts of stories could you tell?" 

Speaking of Dave...I have to say there is always a story to be found about this guy. Just today, on I found this article regarding the man. Check this out.

 The New Bern Sun, August 20, 1908, Page 8

Image courtesy of the book, Craven County 
by Lynn Salsi and Frances Eubanks
Dave Sampson is on the left.

P.S.  Okay technically now it is 12:10 AM Friday, but I did start it Thursday, so I am sticking with the Thankful Thursday title. :)

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: Siesta Key, Florida 2014

So we are in Siesta Key, Florida again and you know what that means...

Meaney's Mini-Donuts!

"Oh yeah!"

The Beach

"Must dig"

"Still digging"

"Find anything yet?"

"Okay I'll stand still for a picture."

Happy Family!

Happy Me :)

Monday, April 14, 2014

It's Time For A Siesta!

Just chilling with the family again down in Siesta Key, Florida for a few days.  These are the moments in life we live for. Not sure how often I will get to posting this week. I think I will just wait and see how it goes. The most important thing for me to do is to remain "present." I don't want to miss a thing. :)

Friday, April 11, 2014

52 Ancestors: #11 --Annie Taylor Mitchell --The Heart Of A Family

Nine times out of ten, it is the mother’s touch that makes a house a home. From tending to scraped knees, handling the wash, or cooking the meals, the way in which this is done will set the tone, the rhythm, and the spirit of the household. If done wrong, it can bring about a lifetime of pain and wounded spirits. If done well, it’s influence will spread to generations. 
Annie…yes my Annie Taylor Mitchell, somewhere in my heart I know it was you with your kind spirit that set the tone, rhythm, and spirit of your family’s lives.  Although, you've been gone oh so many years, I can still hear the words of encouragement you whispered to your children. Your hopes are now part of our hopes and dreams for something better. Thank you seems too modest of a word to cast out to try to convey the depth of gratitude I feel in my heart for you. Your kindness and wisdom are part of my spirit now. I never met you, but I know you. I feel you. 

According to her tombstone, my maternal 3rd great grandmother Annie Taylor Mitchell was born on August 1, 1832.  Based on information on two of her children's death certificates, she was born in either Martin County or Granville County, NC. Annie and her husband Mortimer Mitchell settled in Riverdale, NC and lived out their lives there. They were parents to Alfred, Rosa, Mary, Maggie, and Nancy as well as another child who I've not been able to find any information on as of yet.

Source 1900 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. 
Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2004.

Sadly, Annie's husband Mortimer died sometime between 1887 and 1900. She was listed as widowed on the 1910 Federal Census, still living on the family farm near two of her daughters and their families. If you missed my post about Annie's husband, Mortimer Mitchell here's the link:  52 Ancestors: #10 --Mortimer Mitchell --In Search Of Opportunity And Security.   

Source Information: 1910 United States Federal Census [database on-line].
 Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2006.

In 1910, Annie's daughter Maggie moved back in with her mother after her divorce from her first husband, Alonza Pelham. I bet Maggie appreciated the comfort and support she received from her mother during this time. 

Annie Taylor Mitchell passed away on June 5, 1911. Her grave is in the same row as my Sampson ancestors. Gone but not forgotten. Her influence lives on.

Annie Taylor Mitchell
August 1, 1832 --June 5, 1911
My maternal 3rd great grandmother
Mt Olive AME Zion Church Cemetary
also know as Riverdale Community Cemetery

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: Harrison Family Memory Board

Here's my latest memory board. If you missed seeing my first two, here are the links to them:

(Left to right -Top row:  My 2nd great grandfather Thomas Duke Harrison, my mother and my brother, my cousin Nicole and uncle Ricky, my grand uncle Earl Harrison, my mom with her dad Lemuel Harrison. Seconnd row:  My cousin Billy and his father/grand uncle William Arthur Harrison Sr., my grandpa Lemuel Harrison with his sister/my grand aunt Carrie, my great grandparents John and Carrie Harrison, my brother, my mom. Third row:  My grand uncle Robert, my grand uncle Freddie Harrison, my cousin Audrey Harrison, my cousin Kiira and me, my uncle Vincent Harrison, grandpa and me. Fourth row:  Grandma Vadnie and grandpa Lemuel, grand aunt Carrie again, my cousin Jordan, my uncle Bobby, and my aunt Wanda.)

Happy Wednesday Everyone!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

52 Ancestors: #10 --Mortimer Mitchell --In Search Of Opportunity And Security

I am participating in the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge put forth by Amy Johnson Crow of the blog No Story Too Small. If you aren't familiar with the challenge be sure to check out her blog.

Something has been in the air this week. I think my Riverdale, NC ancestors have been working behind the scenes to provide me with information. It all started with me receiving a copy of a picture of my 1st cousins 3x removed, Annie and Effie Sampson.  That led me to corresponding with a few folks who grew up in the community. With all this Riverdale activity going on, I thought it would be the right time to highlight the life of my maternal 3rd great grandfather, Mortimer Mitchell.

Mortimer Mitchell was born sometime around 1835 in either Martin or Granville County based on information I found on the death certificates of two of his kids. The following marriage record that I found in the North Carolina, Marriage Index, 1741-2004 online database on, I believe is for my ancestor.  I don't have 100% conclusive proof yet, just a hunch.

Source Information: North Carolina, Marriage Index, 1741-2004 
[database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2007.

I should back up a minute and explain why I think this is him and my 3rd great grandmother, Annie Taylor Mitchell. Mortimer and Annie were together by 1855 because their oldest son was born around 1856. Notice the date that their cohabitation started, was September 7, 1956. That would kind of make sense then.  If this is indeed Mortimer and Annie, it's interesting also to note that Annie is going by the the name "Sarah Ann Hester." Was Hester perhaps a prior slave owners name? Also, could she have been kin to Mott Hester. I've featured Mott Hester here on this blog before but here's a little refresher.  Mott Hester was married to my 2nd great grand aunt Sidney Bryant Hester of Morehead City. Apparently the families knew each other because Mott was the informant on the death certificate of Mortimer and Annie's son Alfred Mitchell.  

Another question would be why did Mortimer and Annie move from Beaufort County to Carteret County? Perhaps they had once lived in or around Washington, NC.  If that was the case then maybe this newspaper article excerpt shows the reason why they would have left.

The burning of Washington, N. C.

--The Presbyterian, Catholic, and Methodist Churches at Washington, N. C., were all burnt by the Yankees before they evacuated the town. A letter from a lady residing there says:

‘ The Yankees left on Saturday and took all of the negroes with them; they did not leave a half dozen negroes in the town. It was the greatest day I every witnessed, and God forbid I ever should witness such another scene; for while they were leading, the town was wrapped in one sheet of flames.--They had fired it in several places. About one half of the town is burnt up — all the upper part;

--The Daily Dispatch: May 23, 1864. Richmond Dispatch. 2 pages. by Cowardin & Hammersley. Richmond. May 23, 1864. microfilm. Ann Arbor, Mi : Proquest. 1 microfilm reel ; 35 mm.

During the Civil War, Washington, NC came under Federal control at the end of April 1863. The Union army was forced to evacuate the city on April 28, 1864. With the city in ruin, any former slaves would be looking for a place that could provide security and opportunity.  The Union's presence since March 1862 in Morehead City and New Bern provided security and opportunities to many former slaves who came to live in those areas. This may be the reason why Mortimer and Annie Mitchell made it to Carteret County and registered their marriage there.

Mortimer and Annie had at least 5 children together.

Alfred F Mitchell (July 31, 1856--February 24, 1934)
Rosa "Rosetta" Mitchell Jones --my 2nd great grandmother (July 17, 1861?--October 3, 1931)
Mary Jane Mitchell Sampson (August 1, 1864--August 21, 1945)
Margaret "Maggie" Mitchell Thompson (March 2, 1872--July 17, 1913)
Nancy Mitchell (born about 1873 --?)

I am so very proud of this self-made man named Mortimer Mitchell. He is the reason why my Mitchells and Sampson family lines were able to sustain themselves. He is the one who was able to purchase property in 1878 that would become the home to all of them. You can see a copy of the deed on my post The Audacity To Own Land.
On my post Now I Know Where To Go!, I show an aerial view of the property courtesy of Google Maps.

My 3rd great grandfather worked the land he purchased and become a successful farmer. He was able to raise his family and become a respected member of his community. Mortimer's family can be seen on 1870 and 1880 Federal Censuses living in the community they called home --Riverdale. 

  Source Information: 1870 United States Federal Census [database on-line].
 Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2009. 

 Source Information: and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
 1880 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. 

Here's Mortimer and Alfred Mitchell listed in the Chas. Emerson & Co.'s New Bern Directory 1880--1881 along with other Riverdale, NC farmers.

Since Mortimer lived in a rural community, I didn't think I would be able to find much on him when I researched New Bern, NC newspapers on I was pleasantly surprised to come across these two mentions.

 Daily Commerical News (New Bern, NC), 5 October 1881, Page 1

New Berne Weekly Journal, 7 April 1887, Page 3

Yes, it's just jury duty. Nothing too exciting but helpful nonetheless. It's helpful because Mortimer died before the 1900 Federal Census. At least now I know his death was sometime between 1887 and 1900.

In January 2012, I visited the cemetery located behind Mt. Olive AME Zion Church in Riverdale, NC.  I was able to pay my respects to my Mitchell and Sampson ancestors. I could not find a stone for Mortimer Mitchell but I did find Annie Taylor Mitchell's stone and there is space next to her grave that may be where my 3rd great grandfather is at rest.  

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

The Book Of Me: Prompt 29 --What's in your bag/pocket?

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:

This week's prompt is - What's in your bag/pocket?

Do you routinely carry a bag or holdall?
What do you carry?
Why do you carry it?
What do you carry it in?
Do you carry differently things on specific days or to specific places?

Be afraid. Be very afraid. What you are about to see is no re-enactment. This is a true story of bag pushed to it's limit.  This is the story of my purse.

First let's set the mood. Play the Youtube video just so you have some music to go along with the visuals. Next scroll through the images. I warn you, it is not pretty.

In case I need to write something down.

Receipts...why did it have to be receipts?

Paint swatches (in search of that perfect blue for the bathroom)

Hair rubber bands...don't ask me why so many.

Make-up. Some of this has seen better days.

Would be useful if I ever got around to signing up on-line. Perhaps someday.

Target coupon...might need that.

You know you are getting to the bottom when you find the change that's coated
in little bits of everything that has been in your purse for the last 4 months.

The big picture

Yeah I got a problem. Time for Spring cleaning.