August 16, 2015

Louisa Davis Allen, 1917 - 2015

Louisa Davis Allen
Louisa Davis Allen passed on July 19, 2015. She was 97 years old. My 1st cousin one time removed, "Liza" was the daughter of Ernest Davis and his wife Evie Allen. She was one of 10 children born in Granville County, NC.

When she was 19, she married Richard Lee Moore, Sr. They had two boys: Vance Julian and Richard, Jr. Vance passed in 2006, and some think he may have had a twin who did not live past birth, Ernest Davis Moore.  

Lisa married Paul Parker Allen when she was 36. I'm not sure what happened to Richard Sr, though he may have been killed in WWII, although I cannot find a death certificate for him. Paul Allen died in 1974.

Liza once showed me a gold wedding band she said belonged to my great great grandmother, Lucinda Davis. Granny Lucinda (Liza's great grandmother) died in a house fire in 1922. I have a grizzly image in my head about that ring on her finger, but aside from made me very happy to be able to see my great great grandmother's wedding ring.

Liza lived all her life in the Granville and Franklin County areas in central North Carolina. 

Edith Davis Gulley, Buss Davis,
Richard Moore, Jr.,
Charlie Davis, Louisa Davis Allen,
Mildred Davis Parrish
Edith, Vera, and Louisa Davis (sisters)

Liza was quite the pickle. She had the reputation for being very opinionated and didn't care who knew it or what they thought of her. 

She was one of a kind, for sure. 

July 12, 2015

Abandoned, Old and Interesting Places in North Carolina

Photos by the talented guys at Abandoned,
Old and Interesting Places
I've been wanting to give a shout out to the really talented photographers who maintain the FaceBook site "Abandoned, Old, and Interesting Places."

Scott Garlock and Cye Gray use their talents to document disappearing Americana. I'm especially pleased the Americana they are taken with is my beloved North Carolina. 

All of the pictures to the left are from their FB pages and I can't tell you (or them!) how much I enjoy following their stores and photos. 

So be sure to give the page a visit, but only when you have time to linger and really appreciate the beauty of another time in North Carolina history.

June 24, 2015

Grimes Wills

If you've done research in North Carolina for any length of time, you are probably familiar with Grime's Abstract of North Carolina Wills.

I've referenced it many times at the NC Archives or in one library or another. But did you know that it's online now??  WooHoo!

Maybe it's been online for a long time and I'm just now seeing it. But it's new to it might be new to you, too!

It is on the Library of Congress site, as well as others, but the link I use most often is in the East Carolina University's Digital Collections

Just a bit of North Carolina trivia:

  • John Bryan Grimes was NC Secretary of State for 22 years.
  • His daddy was Confederate Major General Bryan Grimes.
  • His granddaddy was a Congressman.
  • Before he entered NC politics as a Democrat, he was a tobacco farmer. 
  • He grew up on his family's plantation in Pitt County.
Source: NCpedia

God bless Mr. Grimes. He sure left us researchers a true gem.

June 21, 2015 Is it time to part ways?

I love I know a lot of people gripe about them and I'm sure they have good reason. But my experience with Ancestry has always been a good one, ever since it was back in the dark ages when not everyone had a home computer. Like around 1989.

Ancestry has kept me entertained and utterly entranced for many a happy hour. And I like having my public tree on Ancestry. Not only does it serve as a sort of back up to my tree on Family Tree Maker (not the only back up, of course) but I've actually made friends and met family members via Ancestry. 

HOWEVER, I'm thinking maybe - just maybe - it's time for a break. And it breaks my heart to think I could no longer log on to Ancestry any old time I need an escape from my real life. But...there are reasons:

1. Ancestry made me fat and lazy. No kidding. I spent so much time on my rump flitting around Ancestry over the years that I've totally ignored the hundreds of documents in my files that scream to be transcribed. I have a blue ton of stuff that needs to be analyzed and sorted. 

2. Ancestry sucks me in to a degree that I ignore other sites that are probably rich in nuggets and information. Like,, and the digital files of the Southern Historical Collection at UNC. Ancestry has actually hampered my development as an amateur genealogist by making me not work for the information I need.

3. It's gotten SO EXPENSIVE!  There used to be a free section of Ancestry. No more. If I want access to the whole shebang, I'll need to fork over $400 a year. That's a LOT of money to me. Not to mention the amount of money I've already spent on YEARS and YEARS of ancestry subscription fees - before they got so darn expensive. 

Oh but it makes me sad to give up Ancestry. I haven't cut the cord yet, but if I find the courage, I'll let you know if it really did cure my lazy research habits and make me a better genealogist. 

June 7, 2015

The Flip Side of Genealogy: Writing About Yourself

Back in January, the Wake County Genealogical Society hosted Dr. David Kendall, author of "When Descendants Become Ancestors: The Flip Side of Genealogy." Not only was Dr. Kendall a great speaker, but I was lucky enough to have him as a house guest and got to know him a little better. How delightful!

I recently ran across some notes I took from his presentation and thought I'd share them here:

5 Reasons to Write Your Own Life Story

1. Continuity is part of your family's history. Continue the story with yourself.

2. Education of future generations. Help them understand by telling your own story and challenges.

3. Self examination. Consider it personal therapy.

4. Consider your own greatness and how you positively impacted the world.

5. Gratitude to our Creator for the opportunity to be the link between people, past and present.

What to Write About

1. Write about what you'd like to know about your ancestors.

2. What made you the person you are today?

3. What makes you similar and different from your ancestors?

4. Live events, a day in the life, your faith, regrets, achievements. 

5. What has mattered to you in your life?

Reasons We Don't Want to Write About Ourselves

1. I don't like to think about myself.

2. "Just a" syndrome. Just a wife, just a regular person, etc.

3. Time, also known as PROCRASTINATION.

4. Any other reason we can think of to NOT think about our personal past.


No one writes their story from scratch. There is already plenty of material, our personal past is our canvas. Everyone matters. Even you.

May 16, 2015

Lorilee Little Harrison, 1788 - 1850, Wake County, NC

My 5th great grandma, Lorilee LITTLE, was born about 1788 somewhere in North Carolina, probably Wake County where she died about 1850.

She must have been very (VERY) young when she married Lovell HARRISON, son of John Footman HARRISON and Mary RAY, on 07 Feb 1796 in Wake County, North Carolina.

They had the following children:

  1. Delia HARRISON was born in 1815 in Johnston County and died about 1865 in Wake County, North Carolina. She married William PERRY on 08 Sep 1830 in Wake County.
  2. Berry HARRISON.
  3. Willie HARRISON.

Marriage Bond Lovell Harrison and Lorilee Little


Feb 9, 1796

State of North Carolina Wake County. Know all men by these presents that we Lovell Harrison and Benja. Porter both of the State and County aforesaid are held & firmly bound unto Samuel Ashe Esq. Governor & his successors in office in the fun of five hundred pounds.

Executed in the presence of W. Rucker (?)

Lovell Harrison (his mark)
Benja. Porter (his mark)

9th of Feb 1796 Liley Little

Source: NC Archives

April 26, 2015

WCGS presents "Sign of the Times: Timelines in Genealogy", April 28, 2015

Event: Sign of the Times: Timelines in Genealogy
When: Tuesday, 28 April 2015, 07:00 PM to 08:30 PM
Where: Olivia Raney Public Library, 4016 Carya Drive, Raleigh, NC 27610

Come join us to hear professional genealogist Diane L. Richard, giving her presentation "Sign of the Times: Timelines in Genealogy." Hit a brick wall? Wondering why your ancestors did what they did? Learn about timelines and they might just help you solve your puzzles! Visual representations of data can make gaps, conflicts and paths to future discoveries easy to spot. And these are NOT the timelines you learned to make in school! We will learn how various types of timelines can aid in genealogy research...and breakthroughs. Diane can be found online at All WCGS meetings are free and open to the public. Bring a friend! Refreshments will be served during social time after the presentation.

Hosted by Wake County Genealogical Society