Benjamin Bostic

Poor Ben Bostic! Sentenced to reform school until the age of 21 for STUBBORNESS!. Benjamin was born on 1 April 1876 to Rachel Steemer and William Bostic right here in Worcester. The youngest member of the Bostic clan, his mom died when he was only 11. His dad was a prominent figure in the Worcester Black community but absent from his family. Ben’s big brother … Continue reading Benjamin Bostic

Whatever Happened to Albert Vickers?

One of the family mysteries that I hope to solve is Albert Vickers. Albert’s early life is well-documented but his death is not. I’ve researched his whereabouts after 1918 for years without success. A little about the life of cousin Albert- Albert Vickers was born sometime in 1862 to Dianah (also called Anna) Hazard and Christopher Vickers. There are multiple Christopher Vickers in the 1800s … Continue reading Whatever Happened to Albert Vickers?

Muriel and Alfred Shepard

When I think about my dad, it’s not my biological father that comes to mind. The man I call ‘Daddy’, Alfred Bruce Shepard, was my step-father. He raised me and loved me as if I were his biological child and I am forever grateful for it. When I discovered I was pregnant with my first child, I called him first – weeks before I told … Continue reading Muriel and Alfred Shepard

The Worcester Whirlwind

What does a statue, a street, a parking garage and soon a museum in Worcester all have in common? They are all named after Marshall “Major” Taylor, famed cyclist and world-champion who called Worcester his home. Marshall Taylor was born on 26 November 1878 in Indianapolis, IN to Gilbert and Saphronia Taylor. When a child, Marshall was gifted with a bicycle by a wealthy white … Continue reading The Worcester Whirlwind

Mary Williams Toney Ford

Mary was born Mary Carrol in Boston probably around 1815. Her father was Edward Carrol and we only know that her mother’s first name was also Mary. She married sometime prior to 1835 to someone with the last name Williams. I’ve not located that marriage record to date. She married Davenport Augustus Toney on 20 April 1835 in Waltham, MA – a small town not … Continue reading Mary Williams Toney Ford

Notes on James Augustus Toney

Some notes on the life of my 2nd great-grandfather- his youngest son Edwin married Nellie Scott born 6 Aug 1834 in Waltham, MA – preferred name was Augustus died 6 Aug 1903 in Worcester at the Home Farm at age 69, paralysis and heart disease. Parents – Davenport Augustus Toney, born January 1803 in Athol/Royalston. died 17 May 1846 in Fitchburg and Mary M. (Carrol) … Continue reading Notes on James Augustus Toney

Jonathan Robert Storms

Jonathan Robert Storms was born in Vergennes, VT to Primus Storms, Jr and Anna Ayres around 1850. He was part of the third generation of land-owning Black farmers in Addison County, Vermont. His free grandfather and enslaved grandmother traveled from Fishkill, NY to Vermont in the late 1700s with Platt Rogers. Jonathan worked as a horse jockey until moving to Worcester with his wife, Orphia … Continue reading Jonathan Robert Storms

Orphia Mason Storms Aldrich

Orphia Mason was born on 30 June 1854 into a large upstate NY family. Her father Lafayette Mason was a Black landowner in Elizabethtown, NY. He acquired the land after serving in the Civil War. Orphia’s mother was Mary Wheeler. Three of the Mason sisters married free Black men in Vermont. Thirza Mason married Eugene Storms, Frances married Stephen Bates, and Orphia married Jonathan Robert … Continue reading Orphia Mason Storms Aldrich

Nellie Scott Toney

My great-grandmother, Nellie Louisa Scott Toney, died during my freshman year in college and I wish almost daily that I had asked her about her family. I loved and respected Grama Nellie, a woman who gave love to her family and always stood strong for them. Nellie Louisa Scott was born in Worcester, MA on 19 September 1887 to Hannah E. Scott of West Boylston, … Continue reading Nellie Scott Toney

Lewis Dominis

Lewis Dominis was born 5 July 1888 to Rebecca Dora Brooks and William Dominis. He graduated from the Worcester Public School system and went off to Boston to attend college. A gifted artist and musician, he graduated from the Massachusetts School of Art (now MassArt) and secured a position as Supervisor of Art in the Massachusetts school system. A job offer from Clark Atlanta University … Continue reading Lewis Dominis