Announcing “The Alexandria’s Freedmen’s Cemetery: A Legacy of Freedom Book Pre Orders

Now Available –Alexandria’s Freedmen’s Cemetery: A Legacy of Freedom

First, I want to thank all of the descendants for giving me the opportunity to research and connect their family to the Freedmen’s Cemetery. I truly feel that their ancestors have made me a part of their family.

The book is now available through Amazon at
https://www.amazon.com/Alexandrias-Freedmens-Cemetery-American-Heritage/dp/1467140015/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1542229048&sr=8-2&keywords=Char+McCargo+Bah.

Also the book is available through the Alexandria Black History Museum (ABHM) in Alexandria, VA. I will be launching my book signing at ABHM on February 9, 2019. If you live in the area, you might want to buy the book in Alexandria from ABHM. Some of the proceeds will go to the Alexandria Black History Museum.

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Lewis Funeral Home – In the Business of Caring

Behind the scenes of the Alexandria Gazette Packet’s article on, “In the Business of Caring Bell and Johnson Funeral Service” January 22, 2019.

Grace Bell like so many African Americans in Alexandria decided to have her child in Washington, DC at the Freedmen Hospital. During the years of segregation, the Alexandria hospital had few colored beds and the condition of treatment was not the same as others for Blacks. So Grace decided in 1932 to have her son, Phillip Bell at the Freedmen Hospital.

Phillip Bell

Phillip Bell grew up surrounded with a loving mother, grandparents, Sebron and Teresa Anderson-Bell and his aunties and uncles. One of Phillip’s aunts was Alice Christine Bell Lewis who was the wife of Lloyd Lewis who got Phillip started in the funeral business. After Lloyd Lewis died in 1967, his widow Alice married Ferris Leonard Holland. Alice and Ferris worked at Parker-Gray School during the segregation era. Alice was an administrator and Ferris was the science teacher. Today, Lloyd and Alice Lewis’ son Lloyd still lives in the area.

When Phillip decided to attend the funeral home academy in New York, he did not leave his family behind. He took his wife and children with him while he was obtaining his degree in mortuary science.

Lewis Funeral Home
311 N. Patrick Street

Prior to Phillip moving his funeral business from Wolfe Street to 311 N. Patrick Street, he obtained Richard H. Poole’s funeral home that was located at the same address. Richard H. Poole died on August 7, 1987. He was born between 1891 and 1893 but his birth was reported by the Nursing Home as being born in 1900. Other documents showed he had an earlier birth. Phillip Bell took care of Richard’s funeral. Phillip’s signature was on Richard’s death certificate and the name and address of the funeral home: Lewis Funeral Home, 311 N. Patrick Street, Alexandria, VA.

Winona Morrissette-Johnson

Although, Phillip and Winona moved their business into 311 N. Patrick Street they hung out the sign for their business as Lewis Funeral Home. Phillip never forgot the generosity of his uncle who got him started in the Funeral business.

Phillip Bell and Lloyd Lewis made their mark on Alexandria’s African American History. They indeed provided a needed service in the African American community.

Check out this article, “In the Business of Caring: Bell and Johnson Funeral Service, from the Alexandria Gazette Packet on pages 8 and 14 at
http://connectionarchives.com/PDF/2020/012220/Alexandria.pdf.

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The Other Alexandria: Highlighting 2019

Behind the scenes of the Alexandria Gazette Packet’s article on, “The Other Alexandria: Highlighting 2019 – dated January 9, 2020.

I want to let all of you know how much I appreciate our written conversations and the many genealogical topics along with Alexandria’s hometown stories we shared throughout 2019.

Below is a link to my last article of 2019 that came out this week, it highlights all of my articles for 2019 in the Alexandria Gazette Packet. I appreciate all of my followers and readers. I hope to continue our relationship during 2020.

Thank you and Happy New Year!

Check out my article in the Alexandria Gazette Packet on page 8 at
http://connectionarchives.com/PDF/2020/010820/Alexandria.pdf.

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At Heart a Firefighter for Life: Gerald Amos Wanzer

Gerald Amos Wanzer

In the Alexandria Gazette Newspaper dated Wednesday, December 19, 2019, on page 6 and 7 is the story of Gerald Amos Wanzer. Gerald has historical ties to the community in the West End of Alexandria, VA known to many as Seminary.

You can read his story in the Gazette on page 6 and 7 at http://connectionarchives.com/PDF/2019/121819/Alexandria.pdf

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Parker-Gray School’s One-Hundred-Year Anniversary

On August 15, 2020, the Parker-Gray Alumni Association will be celebrating the 100-year Anniversary of Parker-Gray School. If you want to assist the Parker-Gray Alumni in planning this celebration or you want to attend this celebration, please contact Mrs. Alice Thompson at 703-549-8178.

You can read a recent article titled, We Were the “Bull Dogs: Parker-Gray School” at
http://connectionarchives.com/PDF/2019/120419/Alexandria.pdf.

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