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.

Treasure Chest Thursday: Agnes Cully, her mirror & Shoe Horn Magnet

My Grandmother Agnes Cully attended the Women’s Trade School in Worcester, MA to take Dress Making Classes. In the picture below, she is the only African American in her graduating class. My mother shared with me that the people at the school were very nice to her and enjoyed her presence at the school. Agnes, born May 8, 1900 had been sewing as a little girl making dresses and outfits for her dolls. Her Grandmother Hannah Gilliam would question Agnes where she got the clothing, and Agnes would tell her she made them herself. Hannah, would whip her because she thought Agnes was lying since she did not have any formal training.
 Hannah had been born into slavery so this was the normal custom of weekly whippings she would give to the many children her daughter, Nora A. Cully had, since Hannah was the one who took care of them while Nora was continuously pregnant with a child or trying to recover.

Agnes Cully front and almost center (only African American)

These are a couple of items that I can always remember in my mother’s room growing up.  After my mother Betty Porter passed away in 2004, these are the items that I kept as heirlooms or treasures and hopefully will pass down to the next generation.  I never met my grandmother Agnes as she died three years before I was born.  I like having these items because I know that her hands touched them and I know she used the Horse Shoe Magnet daily as she was a fashion designer in New York.

Silver Hand Held Mirror

Silver Hand Held Mirror

Horse Shoe Magnet

Horse Shoe Magnet


© Yvette Porter Moore-All Rights Reserved

Sympathy Saturday: Nora A Cully and William E. Cully (Mother and Son)

     I was told by my mother Betty Mae Peters, that her grandmother, my great-grandmother, Nora Ann (Gilliam) Cully spent most of her adulthood pregnant.  Nora had many children, miscarriages, and stillbirths, that her body did not have time to recover.  Nora died November 9, 1911 after giving birth to her daughter on November 5, 1911, who they named Nora J Cully. [The birth index was transcribed incorrectly, stated Nora was named Norma J A Cully]
Photo of Nora A [Gilliam] Cully
December 28, 1871- November 9, 1911
Nora A [Gilliam] Cully Death Certificate
FamilySearch.org

     Documentation is so important.  Even when stories are handed down orally, I find that linking the stories with documentation, verifying the stories, gives great confirmation that the oral tradition was accurate.

Birth Index for Nora J Cully, Daughter of Nora Gilliam Cully dated Nov. 5, 1911
     I had the opportunity to visit Worcester, MA in April of 2011.  This is a picture request from find-a-grave as all the pictures I took in Worcester, MA were lost to technical difficulties with my camera.  (Learning that I must always backup everything immediately.)
Nora Ann [Gilliam] Cully, Hope Cemetery, Worcester MA, Lot 6767, Sec. 76
     Nora’s Son, William “Willie” Elander Cully died September 14, 1912 and was buried next to his mother Nora A [Gilliam] Cully.  The Headstone is a dual headstone, with Williams writing on the backside.

Willaim E. Cully, Jan 19, 1893-Sept 14, 1912, Hope Cemetery

William E Cully Death Certificate
FamilySearch.org

     William was 19, when he died on September 14, 1912.  He was an Elevator boy for a Department Store in Worcester, MA.  He died of Acute Endocarditis.

Hope Cemetery Sign