Monday, August 5, 2013

Sometimes It's All About Timing

There are times that certain ancestors grab my attention out of the blue. I can't explain how this happens or why... it just does. A couple weeks ago I started thinking about Ann M (Berryman) Fry. She was married to George Fry whom I blogged about here. They were only married a few years when Ann died, leaving behind two sons one of which was Tyree Curtis Fry, my gg grandfather. I always wondered how Tyree got his name and where it came from. I also wondered about Ann. Where did she come from? Why haven't I looked into this sooner, and what is making me think of it now? So I suddenly decided to do a little digging on Ann.

I found Ann listed in the 1860 Platte, Clay County, Missouri census with her father Charles Berryman as head of the house. There were a couple children listed, Ann is 14, but no mother. Next I checked the 1850 Gallatin, Clay County, Missouri census, where the mother, Manerva Berryman, is listed. My hypothesis is that Manerva died sometime between the two census years. What made me gasp though, was the name of Ann's brother listed in the same census, Tyre C Berryman. Apparently Ann named her second son after her brother. In my search I discovered this same brother would also move (follow Ann and her husband?) to Colorado. I was unexpectedly touched by this. As far as I can tell this is the only sibling that moved to Colorado. What makes this especially powerful is that Ann became ill in Denver and died in 1873 before any of them settled onto the land there. Her brother easily could have gone back to Missouri where the rest of the family stayed, instead he remained.

After this nugget of information was found I turned to Find A Grave. Sadly I couldn't locate a grave on the site for Manerva/Minerva. It either hasn't been posted yet, or it has been lost to time. I did however find the grave for Charles Berryman. He died in 1864 and appears to be buried in an obscure family cemetery, Eberts Cemetery, located on somebody's farm in Clinton County, Missouri.

Find A Grave, Find A Grave Index, 1836-2011, digital images ( accessed 25 July 2013), photograph, gravestone for Charles H. Berryman (died 1864), Clinton County, Missouri.

The photo was posted just 1 month ago on Find A Grave! How is that for timing? Some may say it was luck, coincidence, or just diligent researching. A Roman philosopher, Seneca, said "Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity." While I do agree with this to a point, sometimes it's all about the timing too.


  1. Cinamon, I and a another genie friend have long held the theory that ancestors CHOOSE to be found - or not. We've learned brick walls will remain until that pesky ancestor WANTS it to fall. Dead ancestors are never really "gone", only inhabiting another dimension. If they were intensely private individuals in life, they'll remain so after death. If there were secrets they didn't want exposed while they were alive, they will keep such secrets hidden until it's "okay" to lead a researcher to the documents and such that reveal them.

    So your statement that "ancestors grab my attention" is absolutely correct. For whatever reason, your Ann Berryman Fry WANTED you to know about the connection between her brother and her son, his namesake, NOW. Think of it as a "Yoohoo" from the other side of the veil...

  2. Thanks for the info - my great great grandfather, Frances Barrow, married into the Berryman family in Iron County, MO around 1875. The Berryman's are great American family. Hope to visit the cemetery someday.

  3. Minerva was the daughter of Truman White Bivens & Anne Moore. Minerva had an older brother named Tyra (or Tyre) T. Bivens. Hope this adds dimension to your family name heritage.

  4. Minerva was the daughter of Truman White Bivens & Anne Moore. Minerva had an older brother named Tyra (or Tyre) T. Bivens. Hope this adds dimension to your family name heritage.