My Journal


May 31, 2012

It has been a while since I have written in my Journal.  Not because I haven’t been doing anything pertaining to genealogy, family history, or researching.  As a matter of fact, I started Boston University in January 2012 and completed my course of study in Genealogy Research in April of 2012.  I had to really focus and was always so busy studying that I really had no time to focus on my blogging.  So now I am focusing on my future and am trying to find new ways to earn a living by doing genealogy.

Today, I went to a couple of antique stores and purchased some photos that were from the late 1800’s to the early 1900’s.  I am going to start a new blog where I will post photo’s and lost treasures that I research and hopefully locate their lost families.

Today as I was looking at the old photo’s at one of the antique stores, I received a call from a Walker Bacon’s wife, whom I have been searching for about three years.  I had spoke with Mrs. Bacon, informing her of my mother’s relation to my mother.  My mom had the same birthdate as her husband Walker and my grandmother made Walker Bacon’s 1st wife’s dress in the 1950’s.  I had to get off the phone as the cell phone interfered with the cameras in the store and the security camera went out.  I hope that Mrs. Bacon calls me back as I would love to speak with her husband and to her again.

I hope not to be gone so long again on my journal as it is still my goal to continue tracing my progress everyday on what I do to bring history alive.


December 30, 2011

     I pretty much took a break from posting in December and even journaling.  With all the Thanksgiving and Holiday Plans unto and preparing for the New Year, I decided to take a break.  Sometimes, you just have to that.

     I made my Goals List for 2012 and posted on my facebook page, but will post today on my Blog.

     I am making plans to travel for the 2012 year.  I will most likely make short working trips this year to do my family research as I feel I took advantage of all the other times having someone watch my Uncle, who I take care of.

     Beginning January 1st, I will do my last post on this blog and have my blog transferred completely to Word Press.

     Happy New Year to all of you, and remember Happy Researching!!!

November 21, 2011

     I decided to change the name of this page from 15 minutes a day to My Journal.  15 minutes a day is not working out for me, but I think that the journal itself will help…There is no demand on how many times I write a post in the journal and I don’t have to do 15 minutes a day.

     The last few weeks has been busy for me.  I have researched, read, and organized notebooks.  I have about 12 notebooks that I put together.  I still have many more, but I am taking my time.  I began inputting and focusing on one family member at a time so that I can put as much information together as I can in my family tree.

     I spoke with Professor Falco and his assistant at Wocester Polytechnic Institute today.  We set up the system on my computer needed for my classroom interview set for November 30, 2011.  I am quite excited, as this will allow me to help with the installment of information I have on my Grand Uncle Wendell Culley into the Colleges Jazz Archives.  I never thought I would be doing this sort of thing, but I feel grateful that I can help in preserving history.

     I also received an email from one of John Woodman Higgins grand-daughter, letting me know that she could possibly help me with employment information regarding my family.  I hope that this becomes fruitful.  

It seems to me that my ancestors want to be found and known, and I am so glad that I was the one chosen for this task.  That is probably why I had this healthy curiosity growing up.  Didn’t know it was a gift until this task came to me.

As I always say, Happy Research!  Until next time!             

November 6, 2011

     Over the next few weeks, I will be archiving 8 X 10 family photo’s in notebooks.  I have one  3 hole punch notebook one inch filled so far.  I am placing each photo in a presentation protector sheet as I am tired of digging through unorganized boxes of photo’s.  I plan on indexing and listing the names on the back of each photo to so that if anything happens to me, others will know who the individuals are.

     I have been inquiring on and other genealogy walls regarding the surnames Peters, Gravely, Hairston, and Wilson Families in Henry County, Virginia.  I have received some responses.  I have also discovered some family books and historical books on Googlebooks, that I will need to either locate or read on-line.

     I had the opportunity to be on and speak about my family research project and discuss the life and times of my father, Walter J. Porter.

     One of the other things that happened for me this week is that I was sent a photo of my Uncle Wendell Culley playing his trumpet with Lionel Hampton’s band.  I was given permission to use on my blog and family research project.  I will probably prepare a post in a few days.

     So I am out for now!  Happy Researching!!!

October 28, 2011

      I have been so busy with my research and writing my blog, I had neglected my 15 minutes a day.    What have I been up to?  Well, I started back with my internship with Dr. Caroll Waymon, who is the San Diego Black Historian.  He is preparing his papers for donation to San Diego State University.  His collection will be the largest collection donated by one individual in the history of SDSU.

     Dr. Waymon has boxes upon boxes of papers from his childhood to his prime age of 86.  He had to make a couple shacks to hold other papers he will be donating along with tapes, videos, etc.

     I am his assistant, and work on various projects for him.  Dr. Waymon goes at least 60 years back with my family from Los Angeles to San Diego.

     Between shuffling my research of the Cully family and my internship…my 15 minutes a day may only be a few days a week.

     As I always say, “Happy Research!”

October 14, 2011

     The last few days have been full of searching on Ancestry, Fold3, FamilySearch and GenealogyBank.  I had some successes with all of the search engines.  I pretty much focused on the Peters, Higgins, and the Ray surnames.

     I found an article on The Bee magazine that mentioned my Peters family going to visit in Janesville, NC.  I could not locate the place on Google.  I thought it could have been Jonesville.  I mentioned to Debra Newton-Carter and she suggested that I look at Jamesville.  Well that was correct!  I was able to find my family in Jamesville.

     I think I will spend the next few days inputting info on my family tree, reading, and reading more about the lives of the Higgins family, of which my Cully family worked for.

     Until then, happy research!!

October 12, 2011

     Well I really thought I would be doing a 15 minute post everyday…Maybe I should but when I am researching for information on the Cully family and others and posting daily, I tend to just say, “later”.  

     I have had a few great days in genealogy and family history.  I received a call from Mr. Falco of Worcester Polytechnic Institute to do an interview regarding my Cully family with emphasis on my Grand Uncle Wendell Culley.  Wendell had played the trumpet throughout Worcester, MA, and played professionally with bands such as Count Basie, Cab Calloway, Lionel Hampton, Noble Sissle, and many other individuals.  I will have the opportunity to be video’d and streamed live into the classroom and be interviewed by Mr. Falco and the students of which will be recorded and placed into the New England Jazz Database.  Mr. Falco is gathering from various sources info about Wendell Culley, and possibly will be interviewing Raymond Cully about his father Ray & Wendell as Ray was the drummer who influenced Uncle Wendell’s playing style.

     I just really have to praise and thank God that I have listened to the “Spirit” the “Ancestors” because it was in this day, and at the right time that I was purposed and called to make sure that my ancestor’s stories are told. I wonder somehow, “Why me?” ‘How me?”  

     I spent lot’s of time on Genealogybank and was able to find info on my Peters family in DC. I looked years before but the info was not in their database, so it is a good thing to let time to go by and re-search the info again.

    This is all for now…I have lot’s of research to do.

Happy Searching!!  Your Ancestors are counting on YOU!!

October 5, 2011

I woke up this morning to Screeching and Howling!!! I looked out my window and yelled out and two Coyotes came from behind my car and the “Good Morning” Guinea ran out and hid behind the recycle and regular trashcan. I am a Hero!!! Ask the Bird! The only problem now is there is a Hawk waiting for it, and the owner of the bird will not answer his door


My plans for today is to go through my documents, photo’s and papers that I have collected over the years, and input the information in my family tree.  

I will be spending less time trying to figure out what to post on my blog, as I think I would just like to post some of the documents that are readily available on and/or

I am trying to figure who James Octavis/Octavious Culley’s parents are.  His grandparents are James H & Lucinda Dove Culley as he is in their household in two Census reporting periods.  I hope that some clues will be uncovered soon.  I was thinking that I might have to purchase the Social Security Application form of James to find out as long as he hasn’t put his grandparents down as his Mother and Father since they raised him.

I hope to read at least two hours today.

I am out now..Enjoy your Genealogical Day!!!  

October 4, 2011

Today has not been a full genealogical day as I am trying to spend less time on the computer so I can improve my health.  I have been losing my hair as it has been thinning out and I have a couple of plugs and it has scared me to realize I need to change what I am doing everyday.  I am trying to stress less, plan more and do what I can and not worry about the rest.

Today I decided to look up Greenwood Cemetery in WV where my Great Grandmother Betty Mae (Wilson) Peters was buried.  I had looked it up before so that I get contact information and call about where her grave-site was located and to see if I could get a photo.  Well, there was no contact info, but I knew people were still being buried there as I found a few obituaries online.  

Well, I wasn’t going to let that stop me, so I decided to call funeral homes and see if they knew..(If they get bodies then they have to take them somewhere for burial).  I called Myers Funeral Home that popped up first on Google.  The lady on the other line wanted to know what I needed because she said she could help me.  The Myers-Funeral Home held the records and gave me the information of the plot location of my G G-Mother and she took my e-mail so she could have the undertaker take a picture of the grave for me, and send to me in a few days.  She was very helpful.  I had been wanting this information for awhile, but didn’t use my creativity to get the info.  There is always a way to get what you want.

Genealogy is a field that you must be inquisitive and you must not be scared to get the information that you need.  Step out of your comfort zone and be the detective you need to be. Our Ancestors are depending on us.

September 29, 2011

     Today was an interesting day for me.  My cousin & fellow Genealogist, Debra Newton-Carter, spent some time looking for one of my Great Grand Uncles, Ralph C. Cully, who I have lost after the 1920 Census.  She listened to my stories handed down to me from my Grandmother Agnes, then she got off the phone and did her research.  We soon discovered (which I already knew) that there was no information on him readily available.  So I decided that I would wait until the 1940 Census comes out to see if he is there.  When I went to Worcester, MA in April, I was not able to find any death records, any burial records at the family cemetery, or any records on him at the Library looking at City and County directories.  So right now, I will just accept my brick wall and wait.

    I also had the opportunity to share my family tree with Debra.  We have more than one link in our family tree and I really want her to have the information.  I am hoping she will share with me hers.  She is very willing to share with me info that I already have on my tree.  It really takes years to perfect one’s trees as there can be many discrepancies in the records available.

     Today I posted for “Thriller Thursday,” about a Slave murdering his mistress and attempting to murder his master.  I found this article in the newspaper on Ancestry.  This is very interesting information as we are in a generation that knows any experience of American Slavery.

     I worked on my family tree today, and I intend on working on it this evening for at least 45 more minutes before I call it a night.  I am deciding on what I want to post for Friday’s Blogger post.  Maybe I will blog a record or an article on family.

     I almost forgot!  I did have the opportunity to link up my Cousin Debra with Dennis Ellis who is most likely family to me through the Ellis line or one of the other Surnames.  He  and his family are deeply rooted in the area of where my family originated.  Debra is researching family churches and the history in the North Harlowe, Craven, NC area.  I am hoping those from the area know something or know where the info is, so she can move her project forward.  Debra is brilliant, and I know she will have a great book, once she has gathered and written her information!!

 Well, this is all for now!!!  Another day of Genealogy Everyday!!!

September 26, 2011

     I had a full day with my grandchildren Michaela “Nina” and Michael.  When I had moments of break time, I worked on Indexing.  I just signed up today to be a volunteer.  My goal is to input at least 5 documents a-day.  It probably is not much, but when you add it up over time, it ends up being quite a bit.

Today I worked on my family tree on  I have been going through the hints that I have for my ancestors.  I do not always accept all the hints, as some don’t relate to my individual, some are incorrect.  I rarely accept or add from someone else’s family tree as I have found a variety of incorrect info, or I need to be sure by backing up their information with documents.

     I am getting to the point now that I am checking my relationship with each individual in my tree.  Another thing I have realized, is that everyone in my tree has no relationship to me.  I have the mindset that when one person marries another, each family becomes a part of the whole family.  It is like one Family marrying another.  In some African cultures this is the norm, this is why it is difficult for certain cultures to divorce because it means you divorce the whole family.

     I did two posts for tomorrow’s blog.  Both are on Sylvester W. Carter.  I posted Sylvester’s WWI Draft Registration Card and his Death Certificate.  This task seemed to take me all day, as I did it a little bit at a time during the day.

Well this is all for now…A new Genealogy day is waiting for me in the morning.

September 25, 2011

     Today I start writing my journal on this fifteen minutes a day page.  I always have something to say.  It might be about genealogy or it just might be about how my day went.  Well, I had off and on sleep last night as my grandchildren from Tucson, AZ came to visit me.  I had not seen them since Christmas 2010, I believe…I may be wrong.

     This morning very early, I worked on my blog post.  I have decided to focus on the documents I have such as Death Certificates, and Registration War documents so that I can evaluate them as I write about my relation to the people in the documents and also so I can work on my Family Tree.

     I think that my evaluating each document will allow me to see information I may not have caught in the index, or summary as they do not always include everything.

     I really do not remember when I started doing genealogy, but I know that it had to be before 2000 as I have always  stopped and started throughout the years.  Genealogy has stuck with me more now than back ten to eleven years ago as the databases have improved and frankly, I just think I have the GeneBug!

     My hope really is that I put together a wonderful book for the family and that someone in my family decides to pick up where I left off when I can no longer do what I am doing. (of course if nature is good to me, then I will be around for many more decades to come.

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