Tag Archives: #migration

Eliza’s Children Move North – The Great Migration

Migration routes of Eliza’s children.
Mary Allen McCall

Mary Allen, Eliza’s oldest daughter, was born in 1856 in Dallas County, Alabama. The family relocated to Montgomery after Freedom. 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. Several years later, they 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.

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Ransom Allen

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

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

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

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"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, Daisy and Alice, in 1922 to join her oldest daughter, Fannie Mae Turner Graham(my grandmother) after she married and moved there in 1919.

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Anna Allen

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

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

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Abbie Allen Brown

Abbie Allen Brown was born in 1876 in Montgomery. She married Edward Brown. 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.

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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 Pope Gilmer also lived in Milwaukee. Her youngest son Robert Pope and his family had moved to 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.

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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 between 1917 and 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.

Lowndes Adams Found in 1965 -Migration Story Part 5

Today while looking for old Easter pictures, I found a partial answer to the question I asked at the end of my blog post on the migration from Montgomery to points north – Did Lowndes Adams and my grandfather ever see each other again, or keep in touch?  I found a photo from 1965 of Lowndes and four of his sisters.  I don’t know where it was taken, not at my grandparents house for sure, but it shows they did keep in touch. From L to R we have: Jessie, Maude, Jane, Alice and Lowndes.

Here is a list of household members in the 1900 census.
James M Adams         53
Ida Adams                  41
Sarah Adams              18
Emaline Adams          16
Maud Adams              13
Ida Jessie Adams        12
Lowndes W Adams      9
James Russel Adams    6
Alice Adams                 3

Although Jane doesn’t appear in this census, she does appear in the 1910 census as an 8 year old.

More about the migration here:
The Migration From Montgomery to Detroit
Migration Story Part 2
Migration Story Part 3
The Migration Continues Part 4

Now back to looking for those Easter pictures.

The Migration Continues Part 4

Mystery woman, Rufus Taylor, his wife Nan.

After posting  Migration Story Part 3 last week my cousin, Ruth (who is not related to Nan) asked her cousin (who is related to Nan) if Nan was married to Rufus Taylor, who was Victor Tulane’s cousin and my grandparent’s friend.   The answer was, yes, Rufus was Nan’s third of four husbands.  After Rufus died, Nan married a Mr. Murphy and ended up in Ohio, where she died in 1988.

The Migration Part 3 – Those Left Behind

After reading the letters my grandfather’s friends wrote to him in Detroit from Montgomery, I wondered what happened to those he left behind.  Did they stay?   Did they leave?  I know that my grandparents never returned to Montgomery once they married  so I wondered if he ever saw any of them again.  I didn’t find them in the photographs in the backyard of the house on Theodore but, if they had moved to Detroit there wouldn’t have been any backyard photos.  Those were reserved for out of town guests.

Below slide show of Mershell and some of his friends. Click any photo to stop and click again to resume. The post continues below it.

Slider

The six young men mentioned were Lowndes Adams, Robert Blakley, Rufus Taylor, Lewis Gilmer, Edgar Speigner and Nathan.  I was able to follow them with varying degrees of success.  There were twists and turns and connections and dead ends.  And always more information to look for and check.  Today I decided to write up what I have found  so far.

Lowndes William Adams was born February 11, 1893, in Montgomery, Alabama to James and Ida Adams.  James was a grocer.  Lowndes was the 5th of 7 children.  They all were educated and several of his sisters were teachers.   Lowndes worked as a stenographer and later was the branch manager of an insurance company.  He never married and shared his home with his widowed mother, several sisters, nieces and nephews.  He was in Montgomery in 1930.  He died in Detroit in 1977.  My grandfather died in 1973.  I wonder if they had a chance to spend time together.

Lowndes older sister, Emma Lena, married Edgar Speigner before he registered for the WW 1 draft in 1917.  Edgar was born September 17, 1882, in Montgomery. He and his brother Charles were raised by their mother, Carrie Taylor who was a cook.  Tall and stout,  he worked as a pullman porter all of his adult life.  Edgar and his wife Emma, raised four children.  He died in 1954 in Montgomery, Alabama.

Rufus Taylor was born January 19, 1886 in Montgomery.  His parents were Jordan and Fannie Taylor.  Rufus was a cousin of Victor Tulane.    Victor was married to Eliza and Dock’s daughter, Willie Lee.  Rufus lived with the Tulane family for many years and worked in the store first as a clerk and then as a salesman.  He remained in Montgomery and married Nan Nesbitt Jones.  As far as I know he had no children but helped raise Nan’s son, Albert, from her first marriage. Nan Nesbitt was the niece by marriage of another of Dock and Eliza’s daughter, the youngest, Beulah. That is, Nan was the stepdaughter of Beulah’s husband’s sister.  (Are you confused yet?) Rufus died in Montgomery at the age of 51 in 1937.

I believe Nathan was Nathan Nesbit, a cousin of Nan but have not been able to follow a trail, yet.

Lewis Abram Gilmer was born in Alabama on May 18, 1885.  I’m not sure if he was born in Montgomery but he was raised there by his parents Louis and Carnelia Gilmer, along with 7 siblings.  His father was a porter, a butler and a chauffeur.    Lewis worked as a bank messenger in Montgomery.  He and his wife, Annie, had four children.  The oldest was born in 1910 in Montgomery.  The second was born in1924 in Mississippi and the two youngest were born in 1925 and 1927 in Detroit, Michigan.  Lewis worked as a porter at a department store in Detroit.  He died there in July, 1969.  I tried to find a link between Lewis Gilmer and Ludie Gilmer, who was the son-in-law of Beulah Allen Pope.  No luck.  Both their wives were named Annie but not the same Annie.

John Wesley Blakley was born January 22, 1893 in Montgomery, Alabama.  He married Virgie Dorsette Beckwith,  who wanted to leave the south according to John’s letter to Mershell.  He was a barber in Atlanta before WW 1 and in Chicago, Illinois afterwards.  He and his wife do not seem to have had any children.  John was in Chicago in 1942.  I have not yet found a death record or census records for 1900, 1910 or 1920 so I do not know his parent’s names or if he had siblings.

You can find part 1 and part 2 by clicking on these links.

The Migration – From Montgomery to Detroit

Dock Allen was born around 1832 into slavery in Georgia.  He died free in 1909 in Montgomery Alabama.  He was a carpenter.  His mother, Matilda Brewster was born in Georgia into slavery.  I don’t know when or where she died.

Eliza Williams Allen was born into slavery about 1839 in Alabama.  She died free in Montgomery Alabama in 1917.  She was a seamstress.  Her mother, Anne Williams was born into slavery in South Carolina about 1820 and died free in Montgomery before 1900.

Dock and Eliza’s daughter Jennie Virginia Allen Turner was born in Montgomery, Alabama in 1866.  She was a seamstress.  She died in 1954 in Detroit, Michigan.  In 1887 she married Howard Turner.  He was born in Lowndes County Alabama in 1864.  He was murdered in Alabama in 1892.  His father, Joe Turner, was born into slavery in Alabama about 1839. He was a farmer. He died free in Alabama in 1919.  Howard’s mother, Emma Jones, was born into slavery in South Carolina about 1840 and died free in Alabama in 1901.

Jennie and Howard’s daughter, Fannie Turner Graham was born in Lowndes County, AL in 1888.  She died in Detroit, Michigan in 1974.  She managed a grocery store before her marriage to Mershell C. Graham in 1919.  Mershell and both of his parents were born in Alabama.  Mershell moved to Detroit, Michigan in 1918.  In 1919 he returned to Montgomery to marry Fannie.  They both returned to Detroit immediately following the wedding where they roomed with friends from Montgomery for several years.  Mershell worked at Fords Motor Co. in the parts section.  When they were ready to buy their own house they sent for Fannie’s mother, Jennie and two sisters.  All of Fannie and Mershell’s children were born in Detroit.  In 1946 Fannie’s Aunt Abbie came up from Montgomery and lived with Mershell and Fannie until her death in 1966.

By the 1960s all of Dock and Eliza’s children and grandchildren had left Montgomery and were living in Detroit, Michigan; Chicago, Illinois; Madison, Wisconsin and New York City.  Mershell’s relatives remained in Alabama but contact was lost and we don’t know what happened to them.  Joe and Emma’s children stayed in Lowndes County, some moving to Montgomery and Birmingham by the 1930 census.  Because my grandmother lost touch with them before leaving Alabama I only know by following the census where they went.  I believe some eventually moved to Chicago but I’ll have to wait for the 1940 census to verify.

My cousins and I grew up in Detroit surrounded by family on both sides, who had left Alabama, Kentucky and Tennessee to end up there.  Of my grandparents five granddaughters, two remain in Detroit as do their children and grandchildren.  One now lives in California where the majority of her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren were born and live.  My sister and I, along with most of our children and grandchildren live in Atlanta Georgia.

…to be where you can breathe a little freedom

Lowndes Adams, Rufus Taylor and Lewis Gilmer
Lowndes Adams, Rufus Taylor and Lewis Gilmer
204 Oak Street
Montgomery, Ala
April 7, 1917

Dear “Shell” – From my early acting in answering your letter, you may know or imagine how proud I was to receive a letter from the boy. I have thought of you often and wondering at the same time, if I was just to receive a postcard from you; for as you have said about me, I consider you one of my closest and most trusted worthy friends. It doesn’t seem that one can realize the feeling that exists until a separation, but after looking into the proposition, knowing that you had to get located, being in a new land, and being among strangers would consume lots of your time. I am certainly pleased to know that you are so well satisfied with Detroit and the surroundings. Yes, I would be tickled to death if I could be up there with you, for I am sick and tired of this blooming place. I know it must be an inspiration to be where you can breathe a little freedom, for every body down here are beginning to feel that slavery is still existing in the south.
The Teacher’s Association has been in session here from the 4th to the 7th and quite a number of visitors are here. The boys thru my chivalry managed to give a subscription dance, and believe me I came in an inch of being fagged out. You know how you have to run a “jinke” down to get a $1.00 from him. We had quite a success as well as an enjoyable one. Cliff was to make the punch but on account of his training being too late for him to even come to the ball, it fell my time to do something and I did wish for you but managed to brave the situation and tried to follow as close as I could remember my seeing your making punch and for a fact I really made that punch taste like “a la Shell punch”, and it turned out to be perfect class.
Alabama Medical Association will convene here on 9 and 10 and they are giving a dance at Tabors Hall on Randolph and Decatur Sts. No, not a full dress affair, so I think I shall attend. Sam Crayton is here from Chicago and he is very anxious for me to return with him, but I am afraid he will have to go and I come later.
Well, the U.S. is really in War with Germany and we can’t tell what the next war may bring. It will mean suffering for humanity, and we people down here especially. I am just as neutral as can be and expect to stand pat in the idea.
Yes, people are leaving here in droves for all directions and now you can miss them off of the streets. As many people that hung around the drug store on Sunday, you can scarcely find a dozen there now.
I have seen Miss Turner but once and that was down town. I know she keeps you well informed of herself. There is no news of interest. My sister Jessie was married in February and is now living in Pensacola, so you see so far 1917 has been lucky for me. Now old boy, I shall expect for you not to allow such long gaps between our writing each. All of my family sends the best of wishes to you and Mrs Wyman and Hubby. The boys and girls join in with me and send their share.

Your devoted pal,
Lowndes