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African American Issues

Memorial Day Weekend | Texas Black History

…what a morning! Last night, I continued on in my plight to find my family members from my grandmother’s side (my mother’s mother). I have found 8 generations on both sides of my family since 2010. While I was in Missouri, I discovered that half of my grandmother’s side of the family is from Austin, Texas and Lockhart & Caldwell, Texas (Lockhart & Caldwell are an hour outside of Austin). I want to share with you my good news as a result of not giving up and continuing to search for my family history!

I’ve been searching for Austin Sherrell my grandmother’s great great-grandfather after the 1900’s extensively for about 2 years. I have done all of the research on all of his children, etc. So, something told me to look at one of his children again! Ellar Sherrell Neil is my grandmother’s great-aunt. George Sherrell is her brother – my grandmother’s great-grandfather. Okay, so I look at Ellar’s death certificate and the informant is listed as Mrs. Stella Wells.

So, I started to research about her history for about 3 months. I still cannot believe what I found out. Her father was the great Willie Wells: Willie James Wells (August 10, 1906 – January 22, 1989), nicknamed “The Devil,” was an American baseball player. He was a shortstop who played from 1924-48 for various teams in the Negro leagues and in Latin America. He is widely considered the best black shortstop of his day. He also taught Jackie Robinson how to turn a double play. He is a member of the baseball hall of fame in the United States, Cuba and Mexico. There is a statue of him on the lawn of the Texas State Capitol.

It took me a minute but I kept searching and Stella Lee Wells is still alive at the age of 96 years old. When I checked out the census records (had to revisit them numerous times to figure this information out – the Death Certificate for Ellar was the key) her family lived three doors down from the Sherrell family. I then followed the Wells trail through the census and did a little more detective work and found the house she lives in today, which is the same house that Ellar Sherrell Neil lived in from the 1940’s until she died at the age of 98 years old! I found out where Ellar lived through the Austin City Directory.

Well I took my research a step further and used my talents as a genealogy curator to obtain Ms. Wells’ phone number and called her this morning. She told me that I can stop by tomorrow around 1 PM and we can chat. I am in awe right now and shocked that I discovered another piece of my history – based in Austin, Texas!

*Whatever I walk away with tomorrow is going to be genealogy heaven!!!!

Reference About Willie Wells:

African American Registry
https://aaregistry.org/story/a-baseball-legend-willie-wells/

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About kreativeYoungmillionaire

Writer | Art Librarian | Creative Mixologist | Genealogy Curator | Community Archivist

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