Monday, November 28, 2011

Cully Family Update

     On Wednesday, November 30, 2011, I will be interviewed by Richard Falco, director of the Worcester Polytechnic Institute's Jazz Department.  The interview will be about the migration of the Cully family from North Carolina to Worcester, MA.  I will be discussing the life and family history roots of Wendell Phillip Culley, who was an American Trumpet Jazz musician and played on over 200 recordings.

     I will be taking a break until Wednesday as my computer crashed and I will be spending some time to prepare for the interview that will take place online.  When I decided to do family history and genealogy, I had no idea as to all the other avenues that the stories of my family would come to life, and that I would have the opportunity to share them with the public.

     Once the interview is completed, edited and posted online, I will give a link so you will have the opportunity to see it.

As Always!  Happy Researching!!!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

First Fruits of Freedom: Index #2 (Jane B. Collins)

     This is a continuum of an index series of First Fruits of Freedom, by Janette Thomas Greenwood to see prior posts go here.

     Looking through the index of First Fruits of FreedomI came across the name Collins, Jane, 152 on page 228.  Could this be my Great Great Grand Aunt?  I immediately went to page 152 and here is an excerpt of that page:
"As the Worcester Telegram so delicately put it, such institutions "In the city have always drawn the line on the race questions with distinctness,"  In response, twelve women from the AME Zion Church organized "the Woman's Progressive Club, of Worcester, Mass.,"  In October 1898 and incorporated the organization two years later.  Like the city's many fraternal organizations, the Progressive Club incorporated both southern-and northern-born members.  Of the twelve founders, three were from the South: Jane Collins hailed from North Carolina..."
     Jane Collins most definitely had to be my Great Great Grand Aunt.  Through prior research of my Great Grandfather Ambrose Cully's in-laws, this is what I found in the records.  Jane Collins was known as Jane B. "Ellis" Nelson and was born in January of 1840.  Jane was born to Zara Humphrey Jones & Benjamin "Ellis" Nelson in North Carolina. Jane's sister was my Great Great Grandmother Hannah "Singleton" Nelson Gilliam.  A later post will be dedicated to the "extra" surnames as the Nelson family were born into slavery, and the adoption of the various names has its own history.

     According to the Craven County marriage registrar, Jane married Joseph A. Collins prior to August 1866, as they were cohabitating before emancipation.

     Prior research and my research trip to Worcester this past April 2011 revealed to me that the Collins, Gilliam and the Cully family were active members of the Zion AME Church in Worcester, Massachusetts.

     So to keep this post to the point, my question was, "Is this my Aunt Jane Collins?"  A few years ago, I came across this newspaper article from The Worcester Spy, Jan 2, 1902.  Even though this article was written a few years after the forming of the Woman's Progressive Club, it is very relevant to answering the question.

Worcester Spy
Jan 2, 1902
DINNER AND CONCERT FOR HOME OF THE AGED
     The Woman's Progressive Club gave a turkey dinner yesterday afternoon from 12 to 6 o'clock which was well patronized.  The proceeds will go to the Home for Aged Colored People on Liberty Street.  The committee in charge of the dinner was Mrs. Minnie Lee (chairman), Mrs. Ida Wilson, Mrs. Amos Walker, Mrs. Sylvester Kennard, Mrs. John Kennard and Mrs. Jennie Everett.  The dinner was served by the younger members of the club.
     In the evening there was a concert under the auspices of the club, in charge of Mrs. Jane B. Collins.  There were songs by the chorus of the club readings by Miss Ada Bell, Miss Jessie Brogden, Miss Annie May Bell, Miss Jane Gilliam and Miss Virone Dudley; Solos by Joseph Gilliam; prayer by Rev. Hiram Conway; address by Rev. W. H. Coffey; reading of the Emancipation Proclamation by George Dominus; duets by Misses Harriet and Georgiana Shannon, Miss Marie Kennard and Miss Inez Dudley and Misses Hannah and Zara Cully.


You could imagine my excitement when I linked this article with the information in First Fruits of Freedom.  In this article my Great Grandmother's siblings were listed Jane Gilliam and Joseph Gilliam.  Also My Grand Aunts, Hannah and Zara Cully were in the article and this confirmed to me that I had made the family connection.  Aunt Zara had played on the Jefferson's TV Sitcom.  Last in my list but first in the article was my Great Great Grand Aunt Jane B. Collins.  The Women's Progressive Club was an auxiliary of the AME Zion church, so I knew the information from First Fruits of Freedom was on the exact trail I needed to be on.


     Jane B. Collins was the Aunt to my Great Grandmother Nora Ann "Gilliam" Cully


     I will reveal more family connections from the index of First Fruits of Freedom in Index #3.



Copyright
The material, both written and photographic on these pages is the copyright of Yvette Porter Moore unless stated. Material on this site may be used for personal reference only. If you wish to use any of the material on this site for other means, please seek the written permission of Yvette Porter Moore
© 2010-2011

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

First Fruits of Freedom: Index #1

     One of the first things I do before reading a non-fiction book (for research purposes), is to glance at the table of contents, as it gives a general idea of the subject matter to be covered and it is a road map as to where the book will lead.  

     Secondly, I page through the index, looking to see if  there is familiarity with the names, places, ideas and subject matter that will be read in the book. If I find anything in the index that peaks my interest as it relates to the research, I will go directly to that page and read a paragraph or two.  Reading ahead allows me the opportunity to familiarize myself with the subject matter, and it tends to help me with my overall reading. 
     
     My interest in reading First Fruits of Freedom, by Janette Thomas Greenwood as stated on the back cover of the book:
"It offers a rare glimpse into the lives of African American men, women, and children on the cusp of freedom.  First Fruits of Freedom chronicles one of the first collective migrations of blacks from the South to the North during and after the Civil War.
     First Fruits of Freedom breathes life into the migration of African Americans leaving Eastern North Carolina for Worcester, Massachusetts through a series of networks.  By reading this book, I figured I could put flesh on the bones of my ancestors.
     
     It was told to me that my Great Grandfather Ambrose Cully (a single man) was sent by his father to Worcester so he could get away from the race issues in North Carolina. So, naturally my focus was on Ambrose.  
     
     My theory is that Ambrose met my Great Grandmother Nora A. Gilliam in Worcester, got married and started a family.  (This theory may or may not be so.)  Maybe their families knew each other in North Carolina, and they left at the same time to start a new life. (It is possible the families knew each other, but I discovered Ambrose's in-laws were in Worcester by 1880 or the later part of the 1870's).  Maybe Ambrose's father knew the leaders within the network and insisted that his son leave with them. (Very Possible.)

     I am realizing that looking at the women in the family (in-laws of Ambrose) is very important to my study.  I have gathered information via U.S. Census reports, newspapers, documents, etc., but I had not analyzed the material with my varying theories. (At least not until, I began reading First Fruits)
     
     The next post: Index #2, I will share one of the names that popped out at me,  so I can begin to answer my questions.   
     



Copyright
The material, both written and photographic on these pages is the copyright of Yvette Porter Moore unless stated. Material on this site may be used for personal reference only. If you wish to use any of the material on this site for other means, please seek the written permission of Yvette Porter Moore
© 2010-2011

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Research Update November 20, 2011

There has been a lot of progress to my research.  I have been collecting information, connecting with individuals that hold the answers to my questions and of course, taking some time to read.

Tomorrow I will be posting some of the successes of my research, as I better do before it gets lost into the other stories I have not told.

I have added 20 pages to my blog that I will be filling up in a few days.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Zara Frances Cully Brown: First Fruits of Freedom-The Title

I am taking my time reading First Fruits of Freedom by Janette Thomas Greenwood . I wanted to make a quick comment about the reading as of date. I have not gotten very far as I am on chapter #2.  What I have found very interesting about the meaning of the Title of the book, is that First Fruits (without going into detail) represents the first born generation after Slavery, of the civil war and during the Reconstruction Period in History (and it stands for the promises of equality and obtaining the American Dream.)

As I came to the understanding of the title, I connected it with Zara Frances Cully Brown's generation as she was born in 1892.  Zara's father Ambrose E. Cully was the only member of his immediate family that migrated to Worcester, Massachusetts from New Bern, North Carolina.  Ambrose followed neighborhood friends and their families who prepared the migration path at least 8 to 10 years prior to his arrival into Worcester, MA in 1889 or 1890.

I have been pleasantly surprised by some of the individuals in First Fruits of Freedom. As I gather more information surrounding what I have read, I will post my discoveries.

There is an article in the Worcester Telegram by Jacqueline Reis that tells more about the book and the author.  If you are interested go to this Link  PATH TO FREEDOM