Saturday, January 4, 2014

The Hunter-Nelloms Connection: Discovering My 2nd Great-Grandmother Annie Elizabeth Nelloms-Barrow

I never imagined I would create a blog about the ancestors, but I am excited about sharing their story. Thanks to kindred spirit, Luckie Daniels, and her sincere desire to see all new bloggers get online and honor our ancestors, she has inspired many to dig deep and listen to the ancestors in order for their voice to be heard. Thank you Luckie and thank you African American Genealogy and Slave Ancestor Research (AAGSAR) family for all the support. Ancestors, this blog is for you.

It was the spring of 1987 when my English Teacher tasked our class with our research project which was to develop a family tree. At the time I knew my maternal great-grandparents on my grandmother, Jessie Mae Heath-Eubanks' side and so I began the task of asking questions. I knew the assignment would be easy as I spent every summer and weekends at my great-grandparents house, so I knew the family history or at least I thought I did. My grandmother's parents were Mitchell Heath and Anna Lue Barrow, and there story will be told in another post.

My Great-Grandmother, Anna Lue Barrow-Heath, often talked about her family and our southern roots. Granny, as I called her, was born in Chambers County, Alabama near the state line and near West Point, Troup County, Georgia. Granny went down south every year to visit family and sometimes her sister, Sarah Barrow-Thompson, traveled with her. Each trip south consisted of visiting the Nelloms families in Atlanta as well as Troup County in the areas of LaGrange and West Point and some visits even back to Chambers County in Alabama. I knew Granny's maiden name was Barrow, but she always talked about the Nelloms. So my first question to Granny was "Who are the Nelloms?"

Granny always talked about Uncle Mans, Uncle Bossie, Uncle Clem, Uncle Tom, and Uncle Henry. But many stories were told about Uncle Bossie and Uncle Tom which were two of her favorite uncles, and they were Nelloms. They were the brothers of Granny's mother, Annie Elizabeth Nelloms-Barrow. Granny died in 1989 and I felt like my ancestral journey was closing in as Granny possessed generations of knowledge until I turned to her sisters, Sarah and Clara Mae. Through Aunt Sarah and Aunt Clara Mae I learned that Grand Annie's mother's name was Minerva and that she was married to a Hunter. Granny always said her mother was a Hunter before marrying Granny's father, and later becoming Annie Barrow. So who are the Hunters I asked and wondered as Granny always said her mother's maiden name was Hunter and yet the family name was Nelloms. As you see, my journey started off with confusion.

 
Annie Elizabeth Nelloms-Barrow
Sitting in front of her house on Richmond Street in Cincinnati, Ohio
 

For years, Granny and her surviving sisters always said Grand Annie was a Hunter, but Grand Annie's brothers went by Nelloms. I searched and searched for the family in Alabama and Georgia for years only finding Grand Annie married in the 1920 Census living in East Point, Georgia. My big discovery of Grand Annie did not come until 2010, when I found her as a girl in the 1900 Census living with her parents in Lee County, AL. Grand Annie, as she was called, was born in June 1891 in Opelika, Lee County, Alabama and was the daughter of Edward Hunter and Minerva Hunter. She was listed along with her sisters and brothers, whose names were slightly different than what I had been told for years (more on that story later), but it was indeed the family I had been searching for years. Then I found the family again in 1910 Census living in Troup County, GA but this time under the surname Nelms ( an original form of the Nelloms surname).

 
 
Edward Hunter and Minerva Nelms Family,
1900 Census Image for Lee County, Alabama

My Nelloms mystery continued until I noticed Minerva, now listed as NervyAnne Nelms, was listed as a widow living with her son Henry Nelms in 1910. I continued searching till I finally discovered the marriage certificate of Edward & Minerva which provided proof of the Nelms family connection as Minerva's maiden name was Nelms. I finally understood the Hunter and Nelloms connection, but wondered why Edward and Minerva's children went by the surname Nelloms. Grand Annie and her siblings were listed with the Hunter surname in the 1900 Census, Nelms in the 1910 Census and thereafter. After further research and discoveries, I learned the Hunter children of Edward and Minerva all went under the Nelms surname after the death of their father. The Nelloms spelling came later.

Discovering Grand Annie among the records was a joy and bridged the gaps in our family's history after many years of searching and speculating over the Hunter and Nelloms connection. Grand Annie is the matriarch of our Alabama and Georgia connection, and her story is being discovered more and more each day.

42 comments:

  1. Have you figured out why they went back to her maiden name when the father died? I wonder. Congrats on getting the blog up and going!

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    1. Thanks Kristin! I have not as of yet. No one in the family has a clue. Some had almost forgotten about the Hunter surname until I started asking questions and presented our history at family gatherings.

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  2. Very excited for you Dante! I know this was a big leap-of-faith and you've made it! So glad Grand Annie and all your Ancestors history will never be hard to find again. You've given them a home and voice. Well done!:)

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    1. Thank you so much Luckie!! And I must say the Ancestors are working today as I have found another branch of the family!! Another post coming SOON!!! ;-)

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  3. Congratulations on becoming a member of the blogging community. Understanding multiple surnames in a family takes a little time, you did it.

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  4. Congrats on your first post, Dante. I look forward to learning more about your Alabama and Georgia Ancestors.

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  5. All This! What took you so long? I am so Pleased and Congratulations! You now have a HOME for your ANCESTORS! Don't it feel good? We have a lot of common migration patterns. I'll keep a look out! Great 1st Post!

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    1. Thanks True Lewis and you are right ALL THIS..LOL! It feels awesome and the Ancestors blessed me with another amazing discovery today!! Look out for another post.

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  6. Welcome to the world of blogging! Your ancestors called and you certainly delivered. Well done! I'm looking forward to reading more of your family story. :)

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  7. Great 1st blog!!! Congrats to you. Looking forward to reading more about your journey....

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  8. What a great JOB!!! Congratulations :)

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  9. Wow, you did it with a bang! Welcome to the world of blogging. Your post was amazing and very informative. I can't wait to read more about your journey and discoveries. Great job!

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  10. Great information! Keep up the good detective work.

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    1. Thank you Delores! The Hunter-Nelloms connection had us all stunned for several years.

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  11. Congrats on the new blog. The names can take you in so many different directions. Great find, and wonderful post. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Thank you so much for sharing in my journey!

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  12. Dante, welcome to AAGSAR and the world of genealogy blogging! You and your ancestors' did it!! And from the looks of things, you are fast at work on your second post. Which will lead to a third post, and a fourth post and so on . . . ROFL!! Your first post is wonderful and I will be stopping by to learn more about your family too.

    Happy New Year and Happy Ancestor Hunting to you this year too!

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    1. Thanks so much Liv! I truly appreciate all the support! Happy New Year and Happy Ancestor Hunting to you as well!

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  13. Congratulations on your first Blog! You got the ball rolling and we hope to connect many dots! My research on the Spencers, Neloms, and Hunters of Georgia dates back to the early 1800's...I am excited for you and us as their descendants!

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    1. Hey there Cousin Janet! The Ancestors are proud! I had to step out on faith and just listen to their voices. As we continue to work together, many will be blessed! Thank you for the support!

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  14. Great job Cousin Dante! I really enjoyed your first blog! I am looking forward to reading more of your efforts.

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    1. Thank you dear heart & Happy New Year! Look out for our Mississippi roots coming to a blog near you! LOL

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  15. Congratulations on starting you blog and what a way to start off. Excellent post! Thanks for sharing and I look forward to reading more.

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    1. Thank you Andrea! The Hunter-Nelloms Connection is a huge reason why I sm so attached and dedicated to research as well as bringing my ancestors story to the surface. I want to make them proud!

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  16. Sometimes it takes a while to figure something out but once you do its so worth it. Its great that you had aunts to step in and help you on your journey to finding how the two names were connected!

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    1. Thank you Erlaine! Still pushing hard to honor the ancestors!

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  17. You're off to a great start. Keep up the good work.

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    1. Thank you for the encouragement and standby as there is more to this story!

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  18. Thank you for introducing Grand Annie and the rest of the clan to the world.

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    1. Thank you for stopping by and sharing in Grand Annie's introduction. Her story is one of my beacons in championing my family to grab ahold our our Ancestors' legacy and pave it forward for the future generations.

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  19. Dante - Congrats on your blog and this excellent post! I'm a believer in telling our ancestor's stories so they are not lost to history. You've got a great start and you've already broke through a couple brick walls! I look forward to reading more about Grand Annie and wish you good luck in your continued research and blogging.
    Cindy Freed - Genealogy Circle

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    1. Thanks so much Cindy for sharing in my Hunter-Nelloms Connection journey!

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  20. Congratulations on your new blog! Keep up the good work :)

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    1. Thank you Sally! And Thank you for stopping by the blog! More to come!!!

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  21. Great job My Love on your first blog. Over the years you have shared a lot of the family history and stories with me, and now you have done an amazing job of sharing one of many of the family stories with the world. I am so proud of you and all that you do so that our children know their family and know their stories. Continue to bless us all with your beautiful words and stories! Amazing job!!!

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    1. Thank you babe! This is only the beginning! Thank you for all the support & for always believing in me & the Ancestors story!

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