Birthplace and Old Home of Thomas B. Reid

Let’s see what we have in the Thomas B. Reid Family Photo Collection today.

Below is a photo of the birthplace of Thomas B. Reid, as the back of the photo reads: “Birthplace, Cumberland, Md”.


You might be wondering why I am so certain that this is the home that Thomas B. Reid was born…Well…I began doing some background research on Thomas, and in the New York Passenger List dated December 7, 1922, Thomas was returning from Kingston, Jamaica to New York and the travel document stated that he was born in Cumberland, MD.

I have other documents showing that he lived in Maryland, but he had also lived in West Virginia.  I also connected through Ancestry with one of the descendants of Thomas Reid, and it is documented that Thomas was born in Cumberland, MD.  So it is very probable that this is Thomas’ Birthplace.

I then came across the photo below:

On the back of the photo it says: “Our Old Home”.  I am not positive that this is the same home as the one above this one, as it is clear that their are fewer windows on the house in the front.  It is possible that this photo is of the homestead of Thomas’ Mother & Father Lavinia & Frank B. Reid, as they owned a home in West Virginia.  The writing on the back had different handwriting than the one above.  As I do further research and comparisons of other photos in my possession I hope that I will be able to know for sure what home this is.

As I stated earlier, I have been in contact with one of the descendants of Thomas, and it is possible that he holds a lot of the answers for me.  My goals is to post and make these photos available to their family members.

Now of course if you know anything about these phortos or are a family member please drop me a message.

From Jacksonville: Zara Cully Brown

I made travels to New York in 2010 and copied pages and pages of articles, advertisements and announcements that pertained to various ancestors.

Some of these ancestors I knew, and some I did not..and for some, I was fortunate to hear stories about them.  I however knew my Aunt Zara.  She was an actress in Hollywood and played Mother Jefferson on the “Jefferson’s”.  I  was 10 years old when she died.  I didn’t  know the early life of Zara as she was born in the 1890’s…so piecing the puzzle together, and putting skin on the bones of who she was has been most rewarding.

Here is an article written in the Chicago Defender (National Editon) on December 24, 1927 where my maternal Great Aunt, Zara Cully Brown is mentioned.


[Transcribed Top portion]



The presentation of Damon and Pythias was a great success recently in Jacksonville, Fla.  The participants did their parts well and the huge audience showed their appreciation by heartily applauding.

Dr. R. L. Brown, one of the leading physicians of the town and a very able dramatic actor, did the role of Damon and really was at his best.

Miss Thomas cleverly did the part of Calanthe and  Mr. Hines as Pythias was perfect in casting.

The play was elegantly costumed and was abundant with scenic splendors.  The presentation was ably directed by Mrs. Zara Cully Brown.



In the article above, Zara Cully Brown is a participant as a dramatic reader at the St. James Presbyterian Church in Harlem, New York.  This is the church my mother was a member of and had her confirmation here.  I visited this church in April 2010.  The Church was amazing!

I could sense my ancestors as I walked and worshiped in the very place they acted out their weekly routines.  Zara was a dramatic reader in Worcester, MA, in Florida, and she continued doing this in New York in December of 1939.  Zara also was faithful to helping others that were sick and shut-in.

I have so many articles to share and will continue to do so.  If you are interested in seeing more, you can go to the Category “Family and Friends in the News” under the Picture Tab.


Designers Inspect Fall Embroidery

Here is another article with my Grandmother Agnes C. Peters inspecting embroidery with some of her other fashion friends.

New York Amsterdam News
August 12, 1950


Agnes Peters, Mary Lou Chandler, Annie Grantland and Jean Moore, four well-known person in fashion circles study display prepared by National Hand Embroidery and Novelty Manufacturing Association for Verta Hayes show at Tavern-On-The Green.



Sponsor Fashion Show: Agnes Cully Peters

Agnes Cully Peters was my maternal Grandmother. She was a fashion designer in New York City. This is one of the many newspaper advertisements/newspaper articles that I have come across.


Sponsor Fashion Show:

Fashions of 1951 will be presented Sunday evening, Dec. 17, at Renaissance Ballroom by Madeline’s Beauty Salon and a Committee of Citizens.  The affair is a benefit for the New York Baptist Home For The Aged.

Among the exhibitors will be Mary Lou Chandler, Margaret Pegues Floyd, Agnes Cully Peters, Zelda Valdez, Spencer Flournoy, Arthur Smith, Nele Cuyjet.

*[Zelda Valdez (1905-2001) was also known as Zelda Wynn Valdez.  She was the first African American fashion designer to own her clothing shop in New York City.]

Thomas B. Reid Going to Jamaica

Thomas B. Reid on way to Jamaica

Mr. Thomas B. Reid worked for the Jamaica Embassy. This is one of the many photos that I purchased from an estate sale that were in the Thomas B. Reid photo collection. I am currently researching Mr. Reid and his family.

Mr. Thomas B. Reid was born in Cumberland, Maryland on December 5, 1896 and died in Dade, Florida on October 30, 1982.

I have a wealth of information pertaining to Thomas B. Reid which will be shared throughout the Reid Family Ancestry Blog.