Document Day: Ambrose E. Cully (Death Certificate)

Ambrose E Cully

         When I began searching my mother’s maternal line, I began looking for information on her Grandfather, Ambrose E. Cully.  I knew little about him, as he died before my mother Betty Peters was born.  The only thing I had to go by was the writings my mother left behind that gave accounts to his life from her mother’s memory.
     Ambrose E. Cully was born in April of 1863 according to an 1870 U.S. Census that has him listed as (7) years old.  Ambrose parents were William Henry Cully, Jr. & Nancy Harkley (Hartley), both born in North Carolina.

     Ambrose was the only child of William & Nancy that migrated to Worcester, MA in 1889 or 1890.   This is the branch of the tree that I have done my most research.  Ambrose married Nora Ann Gilliam in 1890.  There were various stories as to how many children she gave birth to, but based on documentation 13 children could be accounted for, (of which two died in birth). 
     Ambrose was a mulatto, and passed for white. Ambrose was a Free Person of Color as was his father William H. Cully Jr., and  his Grandfather William H. Cully Sr., was a born as a Free Person of Color.  I have various stories as to his occupations.  What I have documented as of date: Farm Hand, Laborer, Car Washer, Chauffer, and according to his death certificate attached, messenger.  According to my mother’s writings, Ambrose worked for a very rich family (The Higgins) in Worcester, MA and was the Families Employee Supervisor.  (I am looking into the validity of this position).
     Ambrose died May 8, 1925.  An interesting fact is that he died on his daughter, my grandmother’s (Agnes Mae) birthday.  Also his son Wendell Phillip died on May 8, 1980.
According to the attached document Ambrose had Valvular heart disease and died of Pulmonary Tuberculosis at the Worcester City Hospital.  Ambrose lived at 126 Belmont, Worcester, MA.  He was widowed at the time of his death as his wife Nora died in November of 1911.
     The Death Certificate has Ambrose listed as 53 years and 1 day, but according to my calculations and documentation, Ambrose died at 63 years and 1 day.
Ambrose’s supervising medical doctor who signed his DC was Charles A Drew from Worcester, MA.
Ambrose Elander Cully was buried in Hope Cemetery in Worcester MA on May 11, 1925 next to his wife Nora A. Gilliam and Son William E Cully.
*According to original documents Nancy’s surname is most possibly Harkley. According to a transcribed marriage bond Nancy’s surname is Hartley.

*Hartley or Harkley? Post (Explanation)

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