Tag Archive | North Carolina

Amanuensis Monday: NC Negro Church Bombed

There had been various bombings and burnings of buildings in the Black Community of New Bern, Craven County.  Even though Vanceboro is 21 miles away from New Bern, they are both located in the county of Craven.
I intend on posting an update on this article so that I can present an idea of what was going on during this time period in our Nation, States, Cities and Counties.  This was in the years of the Civil Rights Movement, and it was the fight against Jim Crow.
I felt that this article was important for historical context and will develop the reasons in my next post.
Paper: Seattle Daily Times
November 1, 1965
NEW BERN, N.C., Nov. 1.-(UPI)
A Negro church near Vanceboro was bombed yesterday.  It was the third bombing in Craven County  this year.
The Sheriff’s office reported the St. Joe Free Will Baptist Church was damaged extensively.
 Negro leaders said no civil-rights meetings had been held in the church.

Sympathy Saturday: James Octavius Culley and Adam Culley & Lucinda Culley

In April of 2011, I sent off for copies of obituaries with the Cully/Culley Surname from the New Bern Library, Kellenberger Room. I ordered about twenty (20).  I believe all but one would be related to my Cully line.  It was important that I receive these obits, so that I could see the names of their descendants and then link them to my other research.

Sun Journal, 4/21/1969, Pg 11, Col 2
Sun Journal 21 July 2001 Pg A4

I added this last one for my cousin Debra Newton-Carter, whom we just met as we are working on the Culley-Carter Branches of our trees and we have found our family connection.  She posted to her blog last week:
Tombstone Tuesday, Lucinda F Culley Carter

Sun Journal, 12/20/1979, Pg 2A, Col 1

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Sympathy Saturday: In Loving Memory of Zara Frances (Cully) Brown

Zara Frances Cully
(Copyright Protected, Not to be used without permission)

I was asked recently if I had a younger picture of Zara Cully Brown.  So I have decided to post a few of her pictures.  I am pretty sure Zara’s Great Grandson has some pictures of her, and will make a request and post at a later date.

Zara F. Cully was my Grandmother’s, Agnes Cully Peters oldest sister.  Aunt Zara was born February 26, 1892 in Worcester, Massachusetts.  Her parents were Nora Ann Gilliam and Ambrose E. Cully, who were born and raised in New Bern, Craven County, North Carolina, and in 1890 relocated to Worcester, MA.  Zara’s mother gave birth to numerous children.  The number has been told through the years to be about 21 children, but as of date, I am only able to document twelve, as some of her children died in childbirth, through miscarriage or at a very young age.  Aunt Zara died February 28, 1978.

Aunt Zara and my Aunt Hannah both married a set of  Brown brothers.  Zara married James M. Brown, Sr (Daddy J) and with their union they had four children, and one died in childbirth.  Their children were: James M., Jr., Mary Gale (Polly), and Emerson, whom are all deceased.

Here are the other two Photo’s in my Collection:

Aunt Zara’s Press Photo
Copyright Protected, Not to be used without permission.

Aunt Zara with my Dad’s mother Helen (Bunn) Porter Thompson in my parent’s living room.
Copyright Protected, Not to used without permission.

I remember Aunt Zara very well, even though I was ten years old when she died.  I remember how my mom would get excited when she would call us on the phone. My mother would put me on the phone to talk to her, and Aunt Zara would always ask me how I was doing in school, and if I was enjoying my extra-curricular activities.  She would let me go after she told me she loved me.

I attended Aunt Zara’s funeral, (I was 10yrs old) and I was amazed by the many people that came to her funeral.  The cast from the “Jefferson’s” were in attendance, and I had the opportunity to meet them during the Repast.  My favorite cast member at that time was Harry Bentley (Paul Benedict).  He kept me and all my little cousins running around laughing.

I will always remember my Aunt Zara as a wonderful woman.  She was very kind to me and our family.  Let me tell you one thing that might be a little trivia…My Aunt Zara on the “Jefferson’s” loved Bloody-Mary’s….Well in real life she really did!  That was her drink of choice!  So, I know that Zara has her Bloody-Mary in heaven while my mother is drinking her Martini’s.

Treasure Chest Thursday: Rev. William Henry Cully (abt 1830-1902)

I have known for the past six years the name of my 3G-Grandfather, but really knew nothing about him.  With today’s technologies, I have been able to trace my pedigree of the Cully family back to the 1800’s, which is usually difficult when you are searching for someone that is a “Person of Color” before the Antebellum Period. 

I discovered that my family on the Cully line were a “free people of color” in the early 1800’s, as my 4G-Grandfather, William Cully, Sr. had been bonded to William Dove of New Bern, Craven County, NC as an apprentice in the trade of a Cooper.  (I have reason to believe that the Cully’s were related to the Dove’s in the 1800’s, but I have not found any proof, except in later generations the Dove’s married into the Cully line.”  The link below will show proof of William Cully and his brother James Cully being bonded at a very young age.


Below is the 1850 Census of my 3G-Grandfather’s family.  In this census William Cully, 17, son of William Cully, is who I began focusing on so I could put some skin on his bones.

Name: William Cully
Age: 17
Estimated Birth Year: abt 1833
Birth Place: North Carolina
Color: Black
Gender: Male
Home in 1850 (City,County,State): Craven, North Carolina
Family Number: 710
Household Members:
Name Age
William Cully 50
Mary Cully 40
William Cully 17
Jessy Cully 16
Phebe Cully 14
Mary Cully 3

Source Citation: Year: 1850; Census Place:  , Craven, North Carolina; Roll: M432_626; Page: 311B; Image: 185.
(Then in the 1860 Census William Cully Jr., was listed with his wife Nancy.)  Following are the other Census Reports.

1860 United States Federal Census about William Culley

Name: William Culley
Age in 1860: 29
Birth Year: abt 1831
Birthplace: North Carolina
Home in 1860: Reevs, Craven, North Carolina
Gender: Male
Value of real estate: View image
Household Members:
Name Age
William Culley 29
Nancey A Culley 25
Sidney A Culley 5
Julia A Godett 12
Jeremiah Godett 3

Source Citation: Year: 1860; Census Place: Reevs, Craven, North Carolina; Roll: M653_894; Page: 6; Image: 11; Family History Library Film: 803894.

1870 United States Federal Census about William Culley

Name: William Cally
[William Cully] 
Birth Year: abt 1835
Age in 1870: 35
Birthplace: North Carolina
Home in 1870: Township 5, Craven, North Carolina
Race: Black
Gender: Male
Value of real estate: View image
Household Members:
Name Age
William Cally 35
Nancy Cally 33
Sarah Cally 9
Ambrose Cally 7
Melvina Cally 4
Mary Cally 2
George W Cally 5/12

Source Citation: Year: 1870; Census Place: Township 5, Craven, North Carolina; Roll: M593_1132; Page: 283B; Image: 18; Family History Library Film: 552631.

The Census of 1880 shows my Great Grand father Ambrose Cully along with Williams wife Nancy and their other children.

1880 United States Federal Census about William Culley

Name: William Culley
Home in 1880: Township 5, Craven, North Carolina
Age: 47
Estimated Birth Year: abt 1833
Birthplace: North Carolina
Relation to Head of Household: Self (Head)
Spouse’s Name: Nancy Culley
Father’s birthplace: North Carolina
Mother’s birthplace: North Carolina
Neighbors: View others on page
Occupation: Farmer
Marital Status: Married
Race: Mu
Gender: Male
Cannot read/write:


Deaf and dumb:

Otherwise disabled:

Idiotic or insane:

Household Members:
Name Age
William Culley 47
Nancy Culley 43
Ambers Culley 18
Melviney Culley 14
George H. Culley 10
Metildie Carter 22
Mary J. Candey 3

After 1880, I was not able to find information on my 2G Grandfather as very few US Census reports of 1890 did not survive a devastating fire.

So after more investigation I discovered on the New Bern, NC Public Library website at The Kellenberger Room, there were listings of Obituaries.  William H Cully was listed and so I ordered his obit.   With this piece of evidence of William H. Cully’s life, I was able to pinpoint his actual date of birth and his date of death and learn a little more about what type of individual he was.

[obit Below]

New Bern Daily Journal Aug 6, 1902
Rev. William H Cully, a highly respected colored man of this city
Died Saturday morning at the advanced age of 72 years. The
Deceased was noted for his piety and other traits of good character,
And many friends.  By his Industry and steady habits, he accumalated
A very good bit of property.

This was my treasure Chest item, which now will lead me to land deeds.

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