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African-American Genealogy & Slave Ancestry Research Alabama Grahams Investigations

Finding Proof of Relationship in an Obituary

Click to enlarge.
“13/Feb/1918 on Barron’s farm.”
A photograph from my Graham photo album. Annie Graham and her children lived on Oscar Barron’s farm for several decades. I believe these are her children – at least the 3 youngest. Click to enlarge.

Graham, Mrs. Annie, Elmore. Funeral service will be Sunday at 11 a.m. at East Chapel MP church. The Rev. Paul Cook will officiate. Burial will be in Jackson Cemetery with Ross-Clayton Funeral Home directing. Survivors include one daughter, Mrs. Emma Reves; sons, Clyde Jackson, William Jackson, Birmingham, and Joe Jackson; a brother, Marshall Graham, Detroit, Mich.; 16 grandchildren; 43 great-grandchildren; three daughters-in-law, Mesdames Edith, Odessa and Ethel Jackson; and other relatives. She was a member of the Esters of America Society No. 1.

When I first found this obituary for Annie Graham Jackson on Ancestry.com, I wondered about a son named “Joe” as I had never heard of him before. At first reading I thought that “Marshall Graham” in Detroit was her son, formerly identified as “Mershel”. On re-reading I realized that the “Marshall Graham” was listed as her brother, my grandfather Mershell who lived in Detroit. His name was sometimes listed as “Marshall”.

I have been looking for something to tie my grandfather Mershell C. Graham to Annie Graham and her brothers. All of them listed the same parents, but I could not find them in the same household. This does it.

I had also been looking for some documentation that Paul Jackson, the name that appeared on their records, was their father, as they always appeared with their mother (who was listed as single) in the censuses.

Jackson, Clyde, Elmore. Funeral services will be Sunday at 3 p.m. from Jackson Chapel AME Zion Church with Rev. J. D. Harriston officiating. Burial will be in Long’s Cemetery with Ross-Clayton Funeral Home directing. Survivors include the widow, Mrs. Edith Jackson; three daughters, Mrs. Hattie Glenn, Mrs. Alice Roper and Mrs. Annie B. Jackson; four sons, Clyde Jackson B. Jr., Montgomery, William Jackson, Cleveland, Ohio, and Sam and James Jackson Elmore; nine grandchildren; five sisters, Mrs. Emma Reeves and Mrs. Rosa Mae Thomas, both of Montgomery, Mrs. Delphine Walker, New York, Mrs. Hannah L. Farley, Deatsville, and Mrs. Mary K. Tonsel, New York; five brothers, Will Jackson, Birmingham, Powell Jackson, Elmore, John Jackson, Florida, and Henry and Joe Jackson, both of Millbrook; five sisters-in-law; three brothers-in-law; and one son-in-law. He was a member of Ivy Vine Lodge No. 103, F. & A. M.

In Clyde Jackson’s obituary in The Montgomery Advertiser, all of Paul Jackson’s children are mentioned, both those with Annie Graham (underlined in blue) and those with his two wives, Anna Edwards Jackson and Hattie Abrams Jackson (underlined in red).

After church in Detroit about 1927. Mershell Graham, holding my mother Doris, Fannie, Mary V. and Mershell Jr.

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You can read a post about Annie Graham at this link “S” is for Possible Sibling, Annie Graham

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Detroit Grahams

Poppy in the Garden

My maternal grandfather Mershell C. Graham in his garden with my cousin Dee Dee. About 1946. We called him Poppy.

I came across this photo while looking for a picture for my cousin last night. I don’t remember seeing it before, although I must have because it’s in my box of Graham photographs.

Since the end of the April A-Z Challenge this year, I’ve been working on my grandfather’s migration story – his move from Montgomery, Alabama to Detroit, Michigan in 1917. The more I look, the more I find, much more than I had originally been looking for.

When I saw the prompt for Sepia Saturday this morning, it reminded me of the picture of my grandfather in the garden and I decided to post it while I continue to work on putting together his larger story.

For other Sepia Saturday Photos, click .
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A-Z Challenge 2020

Reflections on the 2020 A-Z Challenge

I had been reading along with Sarah Zama’s continuing story on her Old Shelter Blog last year, when she mentioned that we were entering the twenties again. I decided to write about my family during that time period. On January 1, 2020, I wrote to her “I have got my A to Z schedule all laid out and every letter is sketched in. The theme is – My Family in the Roaring 20s. I hope other people do the 1920s too.”

My Grahams

In my eight years of participating in the A to Z Challenge, I have never gotten such an early start. Usually I spend everyday during the month of April researching and writing my posts.

I had known most of the people I wrote about. They were my parents, my grandparents, my aunts and uncles. I had even met one of my great grandmothers. I had visited some of the places they had lived, heard their stories, collected their memories and had many family photographs.

In February, I started putting the posts together, matching photographs with memories and I had written the majority of my posts when the Covid-19 pandemic came crashing in. Even so, I was ahead of ahead of myself when April 1 rolled around.

I did some adding and changing, as I went along, but it was much less stressful than usual. There was lots of time for visiting other blogs and commenting. I am not really sure if I visited more, but I didn’t have to do it at midnight! There was a core of blogs that I visited everyday, commenting most days, adding a few different ones here and there. Most of my regular visits were to blogs I follow all the time or from former challenges. I found several new ones that are now added to my list.

I seem to have received about the same number of comments as last year. I tried to reply to all of them and visited back all who posted.

You can find an index to my posts here 2020 A to Z Challenge.

Thank you to everyone who makes the challenge work and to everyone who read my posts and to those who commented. And to my husband Jim who proof reads my posts. Although I do sometimes change up afterwards, so he’s not to blame if some errors creep in!

See you all back next April!

My Cleages. Grandmother Celia to the right. Hugh down front, Louis looking right. Henry in the middle. My father Albert with the hat. My grandfather with baby Barbara.

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A-Z Challenge 2020 Detroit Grahams

Z – ZOO, Belle Isle

Mershell Jr, Mary Virginia (or is that Doris?) and their father, Mershell Graham in front of the Conservatory on Belle Isle. 1920s.

The Belle Isle Zoo was originally established on the island in 1895 with a deer park and a bear den. By 1909, the Detroit Zoo on Belle Isle had 150 animals in 32-acres. The Belle Isle Children’s Zoo was established in 1947 dismantled in the 1970s. In 1980, the Belle Isle Safari Zoo was opened with raised walkways expanded into the wooded area. The Belle Isle Safari Zoo closed in 2002. Historical Gallery and Fun Facts

The route from the Graham home on Theodore to Belle Isle. That is the same route we took in the 1950s from my grandparents house to Belle Isle.

Can’t Get Animals For Belle Isle Zoo

Buying Trip Fruitless; Market Empty; War Blamed

Added to the other shortages which have taken the joy out of life during the past year, we now have the wild animal shortage.

The lack of supply in this commodity was brought forcefully to the attention of E. G. Becket, commissioner of the park and boulevard department. Last week when efforts to obtain additional specimens for the Belle Isle zoo came to naught.

James Timmons, animal keeper at Belle Isle, was sent on a scouting expedition by Mr. Heckel, with instructions to bring back some zebras, camels and any other specimens obtainable. A trip to Cleveland Toledo and Cincinnati resulted in a report from Mr. Timmons that no animals worth buying were to be had.

“The scarcity of wild animals for zoo and menagerie specifically is due to the World War.” H. W. is Busch, park department superintendent, said Sunday. “There have been no importations for more than four years, with the result that what stock is offered for sale is of such poor quality that the city cannot affort to waste its money.”

According to Mr. Busch, the supply of deep sea fish from which the aquarium is stocked also is limited. A recent trip made to the West by Mr. Heckel in quest of deep sea fish failed to produce a single specimen.

The park department has a fund of $2,500 to spend for zoo specimens this year and to date has succeeded in placing but one order, which is for a pair of ostriches. These are expected to arrive within a few weeks.

I can’t believe this is my last A to Z post for 2020!

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A-Z Challenge 2020 Cleages Detroit

Y – YOUNGEST Cleage Anna Cecelia born 1925

Anna Cecelia Cleage was born on January 29, 1925. The youngest of the seven children of Albert and Pearl Cleage, she was named after her paternal grandmother, Anna Celia Rice Cleage Sherman. Anna was born at home in the house on Scotten, as were all the Cleage girls,.

Trouble in Detroit the year that Anna was born

By 1925  Detroit’s total population was growing faster than any other Metropolitan area in the United States, the black population was over 82,000.  Housing segregation was widespread, although there were neighborhoods such as the East Side neighborhood where the Grahams lived that black and white lived together without friction. Unfortunately that was not the story citywide as people began to try and move out of the designated black areas into the other neighborhoods. Families moving into homes they had purchased were met by violent mobs that numbered from the hundreds into the thousands. This happened in 1925 during April, June, twice in July and in September.

Ossian Sweet  was physician in Detroit. He is most notable for his self-defense in 1925 of his newly purchased home in a white neighborhood against a mob attempting to force him out of the neighborhood in Detroit, Michigan, and the subsequent acquittal by an all-white jury of murder charges against him, his family, and friends who helped defend his home, in what came to be known as the Sweet Trials.In the years after the trial in Detroit, his daughter Iva, wife Gladys, and brother Henry all died of tuberculosis. Ossian Sweet himself eventually committed suicide

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A-Z Challenge 2020 Cleages

X-Ray of Foot

Ola Cleage and daughters baby Geraldine and Ruth.

What better “X” word than “X-ray”? I googled X-ray and 1920 and found the following video about x-rays being used in shoe stores at that time. They show a shoe that they said cramps the toes. I found a similar pair of shoes on my Aunt Ola Cleage in the photo above.

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A-Z Challenge 2020 Detroit Turner

W – WORKING WOMEN

Employees of Annis Furs. My Aunt Daisy is right in the middle, 4th from each side, in the center row. My great grandmother Jennie Turner is the first person on the right of that row and Aunt Alice is right next to her.

I was not sure of the date of the above photograph of the staff at Annis Furs in Detroit. What I knew was that my great grandmother, Jennie Virginia Turner and her daughters, Daisy and Alice moved to Detroit in 1922. My grandparents, Mershell and Fannie (Jennie’s oldest daughter) had moved there in 1919. By 1930 Daisy was the only one still working at Annis. The photo had to be taken between 1923 and 1929. Looking at old family photographs, I saw that Daisy and my grandmother had their hair bobbed by 1926.

My great grandmother, Jennie Virginia Turner, learned her seamstressing skills from her mother Eliza, who had been a seamstress during slavery. My great grandmother did not teach her own daughters to sew.

Jennie V. Turner had been a seamstress working on her own account in Montgomery and worked at Annis Furs for several years after moving to Detroit, before she retired.

Daisy was “head porteress” at the store, according to the 1930 census. I do not know what Alice did when she worked there because she in 1930 census she was not employed. Daisy was also head numbers runner at Annis Furs. The “numbers” being an illegal lottery. The runner took the bets and gave them to the banker and then paid off from the banker if anyone won. See a link below if you want more information on the numbers game.

Fashion changes during the 1920s.

There is more information at blog post “They Worked at Annis Furs”

You can read more about the numbers here – Daughter of a Numbers Runner.

Categories
African-American Genealogy & Slave Ancestry Research Allen Montgomery Alabama

Eliza’s Children Move North

Migration routes of Eliza’s children.
Mary Allen McCall

Eliza’s oldest daughter Mary Allen was born in 1856 in Dallas County, Alabama. She married Edward McCall and they had six children together. One died in infancy.

In 1920, when Mary McCall was 63, her husband died. Later that year her oldest son, James Edward McCall and his family, migrated to Detroit. Mary McCall moved with them. She died there in 1937.

Mary McCall’s surviving children all left Montgomery and moved north.

  1. James Edward McCall migrated to Detroit in 1920.
  2. Anna Belle McCall Martin moved several times, arriving in Lima, Ohio in 1922. She moved to Detroit in 1930 and lived there for many years before moving to California.
  3. Leon Roscoe McCall migrated to Detroit in 1920 with his family. They later moved to Chicago, IL.
  4. William McCall died as an infant.
  5. Alma Otilla McCall Howard lived in Holly Springs Mississippi before the family migrated to Chicago by 1930.
  6. Jeanette McCall McEwen was in Chicago by 1920.

***

Ransom Allen was born in 1860 Dallas County AL. He migrated to Chicago with his wife by 1920.

His only child John Wesley Allen was in Chicago by June 5, 1917.

***

Dock Allen Jr was born in 1862. He died by drowning in 1891 in Montgomery.

***

"Jennie and Lizzie"
Jennie Virginia Allen Turner

Jennie Virginia Allen Turner was born in 1866 Montgomery. Her first husband Howard Turner died in 1890. She separated from her second husband Edward Wright before 1910. She migrated to Detroit with her younger daughters in 1922 to join her oldest daughter, (my grandmother) after she married and moved there in 1919.

***

Anna Allen

Anna Allen was born Montgomery 1869. She left Montgomery for Chicago before 1900.  She passed for white and died there after 1945.

***

"Willie Lee and Naomi Vincent"
Willie Lee Allen Tulane and daughter Naomi. Montgomery, Alabama about 1910.

Willie Lee Allen Tulane was born in 1873 in Montgomery. Her husband, Victor Tulane, died in 1931 in Montgomery. She remained there until 1958. Several months before she died, she moved to New York City to live with her only surviving child, Naomi Tulane Vincent who had moved to New York in 1920 after marrying Ubert Vincent.

***

Abbie Allen Brown

Abbie Allen Brown was born in 1876 in Montgomery. She married Edward Brown and they were divorced before 1900.

She moved to Detroit in 1946 and lived with her niece, Fannie Turner Graham and her family. She died there in 1966.

Both of her sons moved to New York. The oldest, Earl Brown, lived in New York by 1917. The other, Alphonso Brown was in New York by 1925.

***

Beulah Allen Pope

Beulah Allen Pope was born in 1879 in Montgomery. She married Robert Pope. He died in 1941, in Montgomery. By 1948 She had moved to Milwaukee, WI to live with her oldest son, Charles Lee Pope. She died there in 1962. In addition to her son Charles, her daughter Annie Lee also lived in Milwaukee. Her youngest son Robert and his family lived in Chicago by 1942.

Charles Lee Pope – Moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin by 1926.
Annie Lee Pope Gilmer married and was in Milwaukee by 1922.
Robert Pope and family were in Chicago by 1942.

***

They left in this order:

Anna moved to Chicago alone between 1880 and 1900.

Ransom moved to Chicago with his wife, son and daughter-in-law before 1920.

Mary and her oldest son James Edward McCall moved to Detroit in 1920.

My great grandmother Jennie joined her oldest daughter, my grandmother, Fannie in Detroit in 1922.

Abbie moved to Detroit in 1946 to stay with her niece, my grandmother Fannie.

Beulah moved to Milwaukee, WI about 1947, to live with her oldest son Charles, who never married.

Willie Lee moved to New York to live with her daughter several months before her death in 1958, leaving no more of Eliza’s children or grandchildren in Montgomery.

Categories
A-Z Challenge 2020 Cleages Detroit News Items

V – VISITING Benton Harbor Michigan

Three of my grandmother Pearl Reed Cleage’s sisters lived in Benton Harbor with their families. My grandmother lived in Detroit. This situation called for regular visits between Detroit and Benton Harbor, Michigan.

It is 201 miles from Detroit to Benton Harbor.

 My uncle  Henry shared some of his memories of Mr. Mullins in the 1990s.  “Mullins was always referred to that way.  He was a very stern, hardy type.  Admired the Irish.  Had the long Irish upper lip himself. A very ‘Indian’ looking fellow. They lived in Benton Harbor and later moved to Detroit. 

Sir Walter Lipton’, that’s the only kind of tea he’d drink.  Rather, whatever kind he drank was that.  He’d be talking about only drinking ‘Sir Walter Lipton’, and when he finished, Minnie would tell him, “Oh, Mullin, hush up! You know that’s Salada Tea.”  When he moved to Detroit with his family the last time they figured he was 90 something years old.  He died one day walking from Tireman all the way downtown.  I think he just fell out.  Like the old one horse shay, he just give out.

Henry continued, “Aunt Minnie would talk a lot of trash.  She said he’d sit down with a bottle of wine and eat all the food, talking a lot of trash about he was a working man, he needed his strength and the rest of them were all starving to death.  All that was Aunt Minnie’s talk.  We never heard his side of it.  They lied on him and he never defended himself. They never made fun of him because he’d a beat everybody’s brains out.  He never found it necessary to say anything.  I think Aunt Minnie embellished the truth because I know we went there and tore up his lawn, his pride and joy, and he didn’t say anything much.  He had a grape arbor.  We (Me, Hugh, Bill and Harold), had a tent out there.  We’d get to wrestling and tear up the tent and the grapes and he didn’t say anything.  Probably crippled Bill and Harold after we left because they should have known better, we were just kids.”

I found quite a number of short news items mentioning the family trips. They were not nearly as entertaining as Henry’s stories.

Dr. and Mrs. A. B. Cleage Mr. and Mrs. Jacob Cleage, Henry Cleage and Miss Helen Mullins, of Detroit, Miss Virginia Lane and Mrs. Josie Cleage of Indianapolis, Ind. and Clarence Reed of Chicago, who have been guest of Mrs. Minnie Mullins, of Broadway, have returned home.
The News-Palladium (Benton Harbor, Michigan) – 13 Jul 1923, Fri – Page 4

It sounds like they had a real family party.

Who’s who

Dr. and Mrs. A.B. Cleage – my grandparents
Mrs. Jacob Cleage, wife of my grandfather’s brother Jacob.
Henry Cleage – my grandfather’s brother.
Miss Helen Mullins – my grandmother’s sister Minnie’s oldest daughter.
Miss Virginia Lane – not a family member.
Clarence Reed – my grandmother’s brother.
Mrs. Jossie Cleage – my grandfather’s sister who married a Cleage from another branch.
Mrs. Minnie Mullins – my grandmother’s sister

Mrs. Minnie Mullins and small son, John of Broadway, have gone to Detroit to visit the former’s sister, Ms. A. B. Cleage, who is ill.
The News-Palladium (Benton Harbor, Michigan) – 14 Jan 1925, Wed – Page 4

Dr. A. B. Cleage and family, of Detroit, have returned home following a week’s visit with Mr. and Mrs. James Mullins, of Broadway.
The News-Palladium (Benton Harbor, Michigan) – 6 Sep 1927, Tue – Page 4

Dr. Albert B. Cleage and family of Detroit, have returned home after a weeks visit with Mr. and Mrs. James Mullins on Broadway.
The News-Palladium (Benton Harbor, Michigan) – 30 Aug 1928, Thu – Page 4

Related Links
Mr. James Mullins 1863-1944
Minnie Averitt Reed Mullins 1878 – 1963
Josephine “Josie” Cleage
Clarence Elwood Reed
What it was like to drive 100 years ago
1900-1930: The years of driving dangerously

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A-Z Challenge 2020 Detroit Grahams

U – UNDERTAKER – Mershell Graham’s Death 1927

Aunt Daisy Turner, Grandmother Jennie Allen Turner, Mother Fannie Turner Graham Mary Virginia, Mershell and Doris. This is about the only photo where Mershell smiles.
Dr. Alexander Turner, 1926

On November 1, 1927 Mershell C. Graham Jr was killed when he was hit by a truck on the way back to school after lunch. He was taken to St. Joseph Mercy Hospital, a Catholic Hospital on Detroit’s East side. Dr. Turner was there with him when he died.

The route from the Graham house, to the elementary school and Mercy Hospital. The highways wouldn’t have been there then.

From the back pages of my grandmother Fannie Turner Graham’s Bible
“Our darling little Mershell Jr. was run over by a truck on Tuesday Nov. 1st – ’27 at 12:45 PM. on his way to school from lunch. skull crushed etc. – Neck broken – shoulder fractured- rushed to St. Joseph’s Mercy Hospital – never regained consciousness – died – same night at 2:10 – Dr Turner at his sid(e) (Fun)eral-Nov 4th … (Lavi)scount offic(iated)  sang….”

Thomas School in the last several years before it burned down.
St. Joseph Mercy Hospital Detroit, MI 2200 East Grand Blvd.
Click to enlarge

Something has gone out of our hearts but I get comfort from the following song which I’ve so often heard my mother sing: – as best I remember it:

“Go bury thy sorrow,
Go hide it with care,
‘Go bury it deeply,
The world has it’s share.
Go tell it to Jesus,
He even will hear,
His is the best solace
He always is near.”

God be with us, strengthen and comfort us in these, the saddest hours we’ve ever known, and prepare us to meet our darling boy in heaven. Amen.

8/25/29 We went to cemetery for first time today

9/7/28 – Howard came in place of Mershell, we thot – he was such a beautiful darling – stayed with us 3 1/2 years – then God took him….

Now we go to cemetery weekly.

Mershell Cunningham Graham Jr. – Death Certificate
The Detroit Tribune, May 25, 1957
The undertakers listed on Mershell Graham’s death certificate were Davis and Webster.