Document of The Day: Hannah Nelson-Singleton Gilliam Death Certificate

This is an electronic copy of my 2X Great Grandmother Hannah Nelson-Singleton Gilliam’s Death Certificate, which I found on familysearch.org   Hannah passed away at her sister’s residence at 49 Bowdoin Street, Worcester, MA on February 23, 1914.  I am pretty sure Hannah lived with her sister during this time, as they were very close, and they tended to help one another during the many years they lived in Worcester.

HannahGilliamDeathRecord

Hannah became a widow in March of 1867, when her husband Daniel Gilliam passed away. Daniel was a former slave and only lived a few years as a Freedman. He did not migrate with Hannah and her family to Worcester as they migrated in the late 1870’s.

Hannah was the daughter of Benjamin (Ellis) Nelson and Zara (Jones) Humphrey/Humphries both born in New Bern, North Carolina.

Hannah’s sister Jane B. Collins was the informant.  Hannah’s cause of death was Cancer of the Liver/Gallstones.  When doing research on my Maternal Ancestry, I find that many of them died of some form of Cancer, as did my mother.

One thing I find helpful is to keep track of the causes of death of each of your ancestor’s as you will possibly begin to see a pattern.  This information might help descendants as to what type of prevention methods one might take towards their health.

When I see that Hannah died of Cancer of the Liver, I wonder if maybe she had been a drinker.  It is very possible as I also find that many of my ancestors also died from diseases due to alcoholism or heavy drinking.

Hannah was buried at the Hope Cemetery, Worcester Ma in Lot 5817, Section 76.  Her memorial is on Find-A-Grave at: Hannah Nelson-Singleton Gilliam

Fearless Females Blog Post: March 20 – Elusive or Brick Wall Ancestor

March 20 — Is there a female ancestor who is your brick wall? Why? List possible sources for finding more information.

My brick wall is my 3x Great Grandmother Zara Humphrey Jones.  It is possible that Zara was born sometime in 1810 in the state of Virginia.  I am unsure of the date but her children Hannah Singleton-Nelson Gilliam and Jane Ellis-Nelson Collins who were  born approximately 1830-1840.  The dates are never fully accurate because most of the time slaves did not know what year they were born in.  I have found multiple years for Zara’s daughters.  Zara married Benjamin Ellis Nelson and the year they started cohabitation are not clear.

Zara’s slave names are Humphries and Jones.  I need to go to the archives in Virginia and see if I can locate some slave records of some sort.  I hope to have the opportunity in the next few years, to visit Virginia and do an extensive search.

One of the documents that revealed Zara and Benjamin’s names were in a Freedman’s Bank application.   The other document that revealed the other Slave surnames were on my 2x Great Grandmother Hannah’s death record.

(Fearless Females Blog Post) March 1-Favorite Female Ancestor

Today begins the 1st Day of Women’s History Month!  A month to celebrate the women in our life and those that made a difference in history past and present.

Once again, in honor of National Women’s History Month, Lisa Alzo of The Accidental Genealogist blog presents Fearless Females: 31 Blogging Prompts to Celebrate Women’s History Month.

I have decided to participate in the Prompts:  So here we go!

March 1 — Do you have a favorite female ancestor? One you are drawn to or want to learn more about? Write down some key facts you have already learned or what you would like to learn and outline your goals and potential sources you plan to check.

Possibly Jane B. Collins Courtesy of Gail Cully Middleton

I have been passing this photo off as my Great Great Grandmother Hannah D. Nelson Gilliam as I just assumed this was her instead of my Great Great Aunt Jane B. Collins, who is Hannah’s older sister.  This picture came from my cousin Gail’s old photo collection, whose father, Raymond Mansfield Cully Sr. was raised by Jane beginning in 1911 when his mother Nora A. Cully died leaving 10 children behind.

My assumption was because Hannah lived in the Cully home and took care of the children until her daughter died, it had to be her.   The grandmother Hannah died in 1912.  Raymond most likely had in his possession a photo of his Aunt Jane since he spent most of his childhood in her home and cared for her in her elderly years. So, I now believe that this might actually be a picture of Jane B. (Nelson) Collins.  My goal is to research and find out if this is a photo of Jane or Hannah.

My favorite Woman Ancestor that I want to learn more about is Jane B. Collins.  Her slave names were (“Nelson & Ellis”).  Jane was born approximately January 1840 in North Carolina.    Jane was co-habitating with John A. Collins in 1860, and married him officially August 20, 1866 in New Bern, North Carolina.  In the late 1870’s, Jane migrated with her husband, immediate family, extended family, and other migrants from New Bern  to Worcester, MA in the  late 1870’s.

I found Jane listed in the book, “First Fruits of Freedom” (pg. 152) by Janette Thomas Greenwood.  A book about the migration of former slaves and their search for equality in Worcester, Massachusetts, 1862-1900.   She was one of twelve women from the AME Zion Church that organized “The Woman’s Progressive Club, of Worcester, Mass.”  She was active in the political and women movement of that day and a leader in the Black Community of Worcester.

I have found her mentioned in a few news articles coordinating events at the AME Zion Church through the Woman’s Progressive Club.  I would like to know more about her and what impact she had in the migration movement helping and supporting newcomers into Worcester, MA.

I am not sure of how many children Jane had if any.  Her sister’s children are shown as residing in Jane’s home in 1870, with Hannah absent.  I would like to find out her descendant family line if possible.  I would also like to do further document research on Jane by making another trip to Worcester, MA to see if I can confirm that this is a picture of her, and to possibly find her in a directory or newspaper article with her photo.

Jane B. Collins died in September of 1925.  My goal is to order her death certificate so that I have an exact date of death.  I have made a trip to the Hope Cemetery in Worcester and found her headstone along with her husband Joseph.

I am so intrigued by this mulatto, who was born a slave and despite her circumstances became a leader in her church and community.