Ella Brown Thomas is my 3rd great-aunt (Mother’s side). It is rare for me to have a picture going back six generations! She was born in 1844 and died in 1944.She is the daughter of Emaline Brown who was born in 1832. I don’t know much about Ella Brown, but I do know that her mother was Emaline Brown.
When you are researching african american ancestors in the 1800s, it’s a challenge because the records are extremely scarce. I was able to find limited information on Emaline Brown, mother of Ella Brown. She had a savings account on 2 May 1872 at the age of 41. At the time, her parents were dead, but the records show she had nine children:
This event takes place in Mobile, AL around 1948. Alice (my mother) was 13 years old, and Eva Jasper (my grandmother – Mom’s side) was 51 years old. Eva worked for a white family as a house keeper. During this time, Jim Crow laws were still in effect and the civil rights movement was not officially active (check out the history section at the end of this post). In Mobile, Negroes worked low paying jobs, and one of the primary sources of income for Negro women was cleaning the house and keeping the children of white people.
On this day, Alice went to visit her grandmother. However, this day was different because when she arrived at Eva’s house, she had a bandana tied around her head. Alice asked, “Momma Eva, what’s wrong?”
Eva responded with her head hung low, “I’ve got a real bad headache. This bandana will help it go away. Only problem is I have to go to work today.” Without hesitation, Alice said, “What if I go for you today? I don’t mind!”