Tag Archive | Sympathy Saturday

Sympathy Saturday: James "Skin" Octavius Culley

James Octavius Culley was the child of Lucindy Culley and William Godette.  He was born on November 16, 1920 and died July 18, 2001.  He was raised by his Grandparents James H. Culley and Lucinda Dove. 
James O Culley was a black farmer and owned his own property.  He was a sociable individual and enjoyed talking to his neighbors about the days gone by.
James’ nick name was “Skin” and that is what most people knew him by. James is my 3rd Cousin 2x Removed.
James Octavius Culley
Piney Grove AME Zion Church Cemetery
Craven County, NC
Courtesy of John47 at findagrave
James Octavius Culley
Piney Grove AME Zion Church Cemetery
Craven County, NC
Courtesy of  John47 at Findagrave

Sympathy Saturday: Johnny Roy Mitchell, Sr.

     Your name, Johnny Roy Mitchell (my birth father) and the few items on this blog post is all I would have had of you, but somehow by the age of 21 you had three other children, my younger siblings whom I have gotten to know and love.  I have no memories of your existence, as the relinquishment papers were signed before I took my first breath.  I searched for you, and couldn’t find you.  You were a brick wall that finally came tumbling down when I found your sister Aunt Debra, may she rest in eternal peace.
     This was the first photo Aunt Debra gave to me of you….A splitting image of my youngest son, Michael.  When I saw this photo, I knew I was your child.
Johnny Roy Mitchell, Sr.
10 May 1951-14 Oct 1972

   I am not really sure why your life had to end so young, but the newspaper article about your death is what led me to you.  It was like you wanted to be found, and since then my world opened up and my family expanded.

Johnny Roy Mitchell
News Pilot, San Pedro, CA
Pg. A2

      I heard various stories of why you died.  We know it was an overdose, but it was a possible homicide.  The investigation did not go too far, and the decision was made that it was an accident.  We will never really know the truth.  Living the life you led sent you to an early death.  I grieve for you because you became a statistic at a time when it took a prayer and a blessing for  black males in the “ghetto” to make it to 21 without either dying, or living life in prison.  I just hope and pray that you have peace as you slumber into eternity.

Death Certificate Deferred

Final Death Certificate


Johnny Sr. and Mary Mitchell

      With the union of Johnny Roy Mitchell and Rosemary Lara (deceased) I was blessed with siblings that I would get to know (Herlinda, Johnny and David) and cherish.  (I had a different mother). I could not imagine my life without them.

David & Me
Our first photo together

Johnny Roy Mitchell, Jr

Herlinda Mitchell & Me

Sympathy Saturday: Osborne Ambrose Martin

Sympathy Saturday – While Funeral Card Friday and Sunday’s Obituary revolve around a clipping related to the death of an ancestor or relative, with Sympathy Saturday you can post about any aspect of the passing of a person. This is an ongoing series by Anne Kruszka at GeneNotes and Generational.

Osborne Ambrose Death Certificate

     Osborne Ambrose Martin was my Second Cousin 1x removed.  He was born to Jacob Martin and Izora C. Whittington on August 29, 1911 in Township 5, Craven, North Carolina.  Osborne was named after my Great Grandfather Ambrose E. Cully’s son Osborne Ambrose Cully, who was born March 29, 1899.  My Great Grandfather’s Sister Sarah Frances Cully was Osborne Ambrose Martin’s Grandmother. Our common ancestor is William Henry Cully. Jr who is my Great Great Grandfather and the father of Ambrose and Sarah F. Cully. 

Osborne was married to Jennette Moore and they were blessed with children.  Osborne died of a Brain Tumor on June 26, 1971 in Durham, North Carolina at Duke Hospital in Durham, NC.  He was buried at the Hyman Chapel Church Cemetery in Craven County, NC  on July 1, 1971.

Osborne Ambrose Martin

     I recently posted Osborne’s son’s (Julian Martin) obituary on my blog and I was contacted by Osborne’s grand-daughter (Tracy Martin).  I was very excited because my side of the family were not connected with any of the North Carolina family members of this branch of our tree for over 60 years or more.

     So I say, post and document about your ancestors on the internet, because it only takes Google and luck to link you up with family.