Tag Archive | Gilliam Surname

Fearless Females Blog Post: March 20 – Elusive or Brick Wall Ancestor

March 20 — Is there a female ancestor who is your brick wall? Why? List possible sources for finding more information.

My brick wall is my 3x Great Grandmother Zara Humphrey Jones.  It is possible that Zara was born sometime in 1810 in the state of Virginia.  I am unsure of the date but her children Hannah Singleton-Nelson Gilliam and Jane Ellis-Nelson Collins who were  born approximately 1830-1840.  The dates are never fully accurate because most of the time slaves did not know what year they were born in.  I have found multiple years for Zara’s daughters.  Zara married Benjamin Ellis Nelson and the year they started cohabitation are not clear.

Zara’s slave names are Humphries and Jones.  I need to go to the archives in Virginia and see if I can locate some slave records of some sort.  I hope to have the opportunity in the next few years, to visit Virginia and do an extensive search.

One of the documents that revealed Zara and Benjamin’s names were in a Freedman’s Bank application.   The other document that revealed the other Slave surnames were on my 2x Great Grandmother Hannah’s death record.

Fearless Females Blog Post – March 15: Six-Word Memoir Tribute

I am on my fifteenth day celebrating Women’s History Month and taking advantage of the Fearless Females: 31 Blogging Prompts to Celebrate Women’s History Month.

I have to thank Lisa Alzo of the Accidental Genealogist blog for presenting such an awesome idea.

March 15 — Write a six-word memoir tribute to one of your female ancestors.

Here are my  Ancestors I am highlighting this day with the six-word memoir.
Betty Mae Peters Porter (My Mother): Educator. Great Humor. Classy Woman. Beautiful.
Agnes Mae Cully Peters (Maternal Grandmother) New York Fashion Designer, Cancer Survivor
Helen Bunn Thompson (Paternal Grandmother) Spiritual. Quilter. Concerned Citizen. Foster Parent.
Nora Ann Gilliam Cully (Maternal Great-Grandmother) Always Pregnant. Pianist. Church-goer. Died Young.
Hannah Singleton-Nelson Gilliam (Maternal Great Great Grandmother) Former Slave. Laundress. Young Widow. Matriarch.
Jane B. Nelson Collins (Maternal Great Great Aunt) Former Slave. Freedom Fighter. Activist. Strong.

Fearless Females – March 11: Tragic or Unexpected

March 11 — Did you have any female ancestors who died young or from tragic or unexpected circumstances? Describe and how did this affect the family.

 

I mention my Great Grandmother Nora Ann (Gilliam) Cully often when I discuss an unexpected death that greatly affected the family.

Nora died a month short of 40 years on November 9, 1911 in Worcester, Mass.  She had  ten children living when she passed away.  Nora died a few days after giving birth to her daughter Nora Ann Cully, Jr.  This death affected the family as all the children were young and because of Nora’s early demise, the children were sent to various homes as the father, Ambrose E Cully was not capable of raising all the children by himself.

Fearless Females Blog Post-March 10: Religion

March 10 — What role did religion play in your family? How did your female ancestors practice their faith? If they did not, why didn’t they? Did you have any female ancestors who served their churches in some capacity?

Religion has played a big role in the life of my ancestors.  In the African American Experience, “Religion” and “Church was always central to their daily lives.

My ancestors have been members of various types of churches. Some of them have been African Methodist Episcopal (AME), Zionist AME, Methodist, Presbyterian, Catholic, Episcopalian, Church of Scientology, and various others.

My ancestors not only attended church but they participated in activities under the hospices of the church. Below is an article, with mention of a few of my ancestors.   Jane Foreman (Great Grand Aunt), Zara Culley (Grand Aunt), Mrs. Jane Collins (2nd Great Grand Aunt).  I believe this article was published in the Worcester Spy.  I am unsure of the date of the article, but I believe it would have to be between 1902-1904 as  Jane Foreman died in April of 1905.

They were celebrating Emancipation Day at the Zion Church.

Emancipation Day Celebrated in Zion Church

(Fearless Females Blog Post) March 1-Favorite Female Ancestor

Today begins the 1st Day of Women’s History Month!  A month to celebrate the women in our life and those that made a difference in history past and present.

Once again, in honor of National Women’s History Month, Lisa Alzo of The Accidental Genealogist blog presents Fearless Females: 31 Blogging Prompts to Celebrate Women’s History Month.

I have decided to participate in the Prompts:  So here we go!

March 1 — Do you have a favorite female ancestor? One you are drawn to or want to learn more about? Write down some key facts you have already learned or what you would like to learn and outline your goals and potential sources you plan to check.

Possibly Jane B. Collins Courtesy of Gail Cully Middleton

I have been passing this photo off as my Great Great Grandmother Hannah D. Nelson Gilliam as I just assumed this was her instead of my Great Great Aunt Jane B. Collins, who is Hannah’s older sister.  This picture came from my cousin Gail’s old photo collection, whose father, Raymond Mansfield Cully Sr. was raised by Jane beginning in 1911 when his mother Nora A. Cully died leaving 10 children behind.

My assumption was because Hannah lived in the Cully home and took care of the children until her daughter died, it had to be her.   The grandmother Hannah died in 1912.  Raymond most likely had in his possession a photo of his Aunt Jane since he spent most of his childhood in her home and cared for her in her elderly years. So, I now believe that this might actually be a picture of Jane B. (Nelson) Collins.  My goal is to research and find out if this is a photo of Jane or Hannah.

My favorite Woman Ancestor that I want to learn more about is Jane B. Collins.  Her slave names were (“Nelson & Ellis”).  Jane was born approximately January 1840 in North Carolina.    Jane was co-habitating with John A. Collins in 1860, and married him officially August 20, 1866 in New Bern, North Carolina.  In the late 1870’s, Jane migrated with her husband, immediate family, extended family, and other migrants from New Bern  to Worcester, MA in the  late 1870’s.

I found Jane listed in the book, “First Fruits of Freedom” (pg. 152) by Janette Thomas Greenwood.  A book about the migration of former slaves and their search for equality in Worcester, Massachusetts, 1862-1900.   She was one of twelve women from the AME Zion Church that organized “The Woman’s Progressive Club, of Worcester, Mass.”  She was active in the political and women movement of that day and a leader in the Black Community of Worcester.

I have found her mentioned in a few news articles coordinating events at the AME Zion Church through the Woman’s Progressive Club.  I would like to know more about her and what impact she had in the migration movement helping and supporting newcomers into Worcester, MA.

I am not sure of how many children Jane had if any.  Her sister’s children are shown as residing in Jane’s home in 1870, with Hannah absent.  I would like to find out her descendant family line if possible.  I would also like to do further document research on Jane by making another trip to Worcester, MA to see if I can confirm that this is a picture of her, and to possibly find her in a directory or newspaper article with her photo.

Jane B. Collins died in September of 1925.  My goal is to order her death certificate so that I have an exact date of death.  I have made a trip to the Hope Cemetery in Worcester and found her headstone along with her husband Joseph.

I am so intrigued by this mulatto, who was born a slave and despite her circumstances became a leader in her church and community.

Sympathy Saturday: Jane "Gilliam" Foreman

     Jane “Gilliam” Foreman was born in October of 1876 to my Great Great Grand-Parents Daniel & Hannah “Nelson” Gilliam in New Bern, North Carolina.  When Jane was approximately 2 years old the Gilliam family moved to Worcester, Massachusetts.  Her regular occupation was that of a servant for the Raymond family.
     Jane died of Fibroma of the Uterus (tumors) with Peritonitis at Worcester City Hospital.  John H. Foreman was her husband.  They had only been married since October 22, 1902 (2 1/2yrs).  They had no children.  The informant was her sister Mrs. A. Cully [Nora Ann Cully] who was my Great Grand Mother which would make Jane My Great Grand Aunt.
     Wow!  Jane died at the young age of 28 1/2 years.  I think about my Aunt Jane, and it saddens me to think that she did not get to live a full life.  She had no children and she had no decedents to carry her direct line.  The cause of death was a medical condition that many people today will not die from.  The medical field has come a long way, and I am so glad that we live in this time in history.
Jane Gilliam Foreman
Commonwealth of Massachusetts DC
FamilySearch.org

Amanuensis Monday: Recital Given By Miss Jane Gilliam

     In 2004, I discovered through the NewsBank/and or the American Antiquarian Society an article in the Worcester Daily Spy dated April 4, 1902 that announced Miss Jane Gilliam’s recital.

     Jane Gilliam was my Great Grandmother’s (Nora Ann “Gilliam” Cully) Sister, which would make Jane my Great Grand Aunt.  Jane was born in North Carolina Oct of 1877 and moved to Worcester, MA when she was 3 years old.

Worcester Daily Spy News Paper
April 4, 1902

   

RECITAL GIVEN BY
MISS JANE GILLIAM

     Miss Jane Gilliam gave a recital last night in Elocution Hall, 24 Front Street.  She was assisted by the Cecilian Male Quartet and Fred Bates, tenor: George Cooper, baritone; George Stewart, bass: William Johnson, humorist: Miss Sadie Shannon, soprano: Miss Grace Johnson, pianist.  Miss Gilliam gave a number of readings which were much applauded.  There is but one more recital in the course given by the Worcester School of Elocution and Delsarte.  The next one will be by Miss Laura Joudrey.

     Seeing this article had me think “That’s Why Zara Cully Brown was an elocutionist in Worcester.”  Zara Cully Brown was Jane Gilliam’s niece, and had been an actress on the “Jefferson’s” television sitcom.