Thursday, December 19, 2013

Zara Cully Brown of The Jeffersons: Thankful Thursday

Adopted Maternal Ancestry


Over the years, I have found that fellow genealogists and family historians are some of the kindest people.  They are very giving and most of the time very helpful.  I am very thankful for my fellow family historians, as I have gotten further ahead in my research because of their spirit of giving.  I have also been able to have my research embellished with photos, and other items that I may not have had unless my friends had not kept their eyes open for particular items.  I also enjoy doing the same for others.

Today, I want to thank my genealogy friend G. Johnson, whom I have never met, for purchasing a copy on ebay and sending me an Ebony Magazine from January 1976 Issue with a picture of my Great Aunt Zara Cully Brown on the front cover.  

I have seen this particular issue, and I believe that it was in my mother's possession years ago, however we lost many of our old Ebony magazines from water damage.

This is a copy of the cover below:

Isabel Sanford, Sherman Hemsley, Zara Cully Brown
Ebony Magazine, January 1976 Issue
The Jefferson's

Zara Cully Brown was my Great Aunt.  She was the daughter of Nora Ann Gilliam & Ambrose Osborne Cully, born in Worcester, MA on January 26, 1892.  Zara was the second to the eldest of 13 children.  She was raised in a family of performers.  She played the piano, however her specialty was reciting poetry and performing in plays.  

She was a elocutionist and an actress.  She performed at a very early age and it had been her desire to become an actress in Hollywood, which she accomplished in her Winter years.  

Zara gave birth to four children, of which 3 survived.  They were James, Jr. , Mary Gale & Emerson.  She was married to James M. Brown, Sr.

Zara died from Cancer on February 28, 1978.

Zara was the hope of her parents, a product of the First Fruits after the Reconstruction period.  It was a time of moving forward and making way for a better life after Slavery.  I believe that Zara, fulfilled that hope in her life...and just as the Jefferson's theme song is "Moving On Up!"  I believe Zara moved on up and made it happen in her life and I can clearly see it in the life of her descendants.  


10 comments:

  1. "Momma" Jefferson was something! Glad she had family that cared about her and continue to make her Family History known.

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    1. That is the nicest thing for you to say True! It makes me wonder who would let her story be told if I didn't. I just thank God that he has allowed me the opportunity to research and honor my ancestors. Thank you for reading my blog...It means the world to me.

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  2. I loved your aunt she was hilarious! I want to thank you for sharing this with us. We enjoyed having your aunt on TV.

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    1. Thank you so much Wayne. She was a gem and I am so glad that she meant something to the world of acting. Something she was blessed to do. I know she loved all her fans.

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  3. How could we not remember your Aunt Zara?! She filled our youth with lots of endearing and familiar laughs! Such a wonderful gift to receive and generous act of kindness!:)

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    1. Thank you Luckie for your comments. I am so gracious for such a wonderful gift.

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    2. I just finished watching the episode of the Jefferson's when George wanted to dig up his father and bury him next to his mother. I loved watching the Jefferson's when it was on many years ago. I still watch the reruns. Mother Jefferson was a great actress. She brought so much to the series; for that reason I got on the computer to look up something about Zara Cully. Thanks for sharing her with us.

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  4. I'm am glad that I found your blog. For years I've bn looking for information on your aunt Zara Cully. I watch her on the Jefferson every Tuesday on TV1. She, along with the others, were great actors. Thnks for sharing a little history on your aunts life.

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    1. Thank you for finding me. I appreciate your comments.

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  5. I was just watching the episode when she pretended to hurt her back by a fall. I think acting has gone so downhill since the days of the Jeffersons. Will always love your great aunt!!! Love, Deb Wong

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