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)

Document Day: Helen Bunn Thompson

Helen Bunn Thompson
August 16, 1903-November 6, 1989

(L to r) Rochelle Bunn and Helen Bunn Porter-Thompson

     About Photo:  Rochelle Bunn is my Grandmother’s niece; the daughter of her brother Robert Wesley Bunn, Jr.  This photo was taken at my Grandmother’s back house.  She had property in the front. This is the famous Ivy plant that ran from the back yard all the way to the front yard to the street.

     I spent every Summer in South Central, Los Angeles at my grandmother’s until I was 18 years old.  I have many memories of my grandmother Helen.  She was a church going woman and was a member of Ward AME Church in Los Angeles, where she took an active role until her illness.

     Last year, I drove up to Los Angeles to take pictures of Helen Bunn’s headstone and leave flowers.  The pictures did not come out as the headstone was of a mixed colored granite material and the print did not show up in the picture. I possibly will go back and try to capture it again, even though I have thought about replacing the headstone (which is a possibility).

     My father Walter James Porter was my grandmother’s only child.  She took pride in him and in everything he did. She migrated from the South and eventually to Los Angeles for greater opportunities for my father.  My grandmother had been married at least 5x.  I used to try to pry the information from her about her marriage to my dad’s father, but she didn’t say much except that she ran away from Louisiana to Arkansas to get away so that my dad would have a good education.  The migration of my grandmother was in various areas and she paved the way for many of the Bunn & Porter Clan to various cities and states. (another post to come)

According to my grandmother’s death certificate:

      Her name was Helen Thompson and she died November 6, 1989 at 2:10am.  “I remember when the phone rang at our house, at 2:20am in the morning…and I knew she died before my dad came in the room to tell me.  I had dreamed about my grandmother before the call…I believe she came to me to tell me that she loved me  and that she was going to be with Jesus as the song “Go Tell It On The Mountain” began to play in my head…one of the songs my grandmother sang as she sewed or just sang anytime during the day.

    Many primary documents are not accurate.  Helen’s Death certificate did not have complete information recorded.  Her father Robert W. Bunn was born in North Carolina and not South Carolina.  The name of her mother was unknown by the informant, but had they asked me, I could have told them.

     When I look at the cause of death, it is a reminder to me that one needs to exercise and eat healthy.  Yes, my grandmother lived to 86, but I would love to live to this age and beyond.  I also believe that black women from the south were stronger (at least what I saw of Helen) than women that never had to work the fields.
     Helen chewed tobacco and she would talk about her days in the cotton and tobacco fields as a child and young adult.  ( One day I asked, what is that you are eating, and she said try it, I put a piece of what she was chewing  in my mouth expecting something sweet.  My face contorted and I spit that tobacco out!  Ewww! I was like “What Is That!?!” It was a real piece of tobacco that had not been refined.

     My grandmother Helen told me stories that I never had a day to experience and I love her for sharing. (of course she kept some of her secrets to herself).

     One fine day I will see my Grandmother again, and maybe on the mountain.

     GO TELL IT ON THE MOUNTAIN!

Document Day: Alvaina Canady Cully Taylor

Alvania Canady Cully Taylor
Ancestry.com

     Alvania “Canady” Cully Taylor was born on March 1, 1873 to Allen Canady and Silvia Orum.  Alvania married George William Cully (1869-1919) and through their union a son was born, William Allen Cully (1895).

     At the time of Alvania’s death she was married to Charles Taylor.  She died of Valvular Heart Disease on February 27, 1925.   Alvania was buried at the Little Witness Cemetery, Havelock NC.

     Alvania’s first husband George W. Cully was my Great Grand Uncle.  His parents were William Henry Cully and Nancy Harkley, My Great Great Grandparents.

  [side note]

     Alvania’s son William A. and daughter in-law Catharine named their daughter (Alvania Cully b. 1927)

*Alvania’s name was misspelled in death certificate document

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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

 

Document Day: Sylvester W. Carter WWI Draft Registration Card

     “Document Day” is a daily post for any day of the week.  I have a large saved collection of Shoebox Documents from Ancestry.com to be evaluated over time as I am building my family tree.  I felt it necessary to share  and post what I have so that it might be helpful to myself and to those who might be searching the same surnames in the same locale.  

Sylvester W. Carter-WWI Draft Registration Card
Ancestry.com

     Sylvester W. Carter was the husband of my 1st Cousin 2x removed, Izora C. Whittington (1884-1974).


     Sylvester was born May 15, 1880, and was a resident of New Bern, Craven Co., North Carolina on September 12, 1918 when he completed his WWI Registration Card .  


     At the time of his registration, Sylvester was married to Olivia W. Martin.  According to their marriage certificate on FamilySearch.org, they were married on May 15, 1907.


     Sylvester was listed as Negro, Native Born.  He also was listed as being of a medium height, medium build, and having Brown eyes and black hair


     Sylvester was a Carpenter for a company in New Bern, Craven, NC. (Had difficulty making out the name of the company he worked for.)