Neal Family Reunion history
For the 2008 Neal Family
Reunion (Theme: Honoring and
Preserving the Neal Family Legacy), organizer Carole E. Neal of Castro Valley,
California, included family history trivia in pre reunion correspondence. This was
her final summary that included answers. Carole has given permission for us to
use as an example for you to flatter her by using her idea for your own
reunion. First, her introduction, then her questions and answers, which should
give you some ideas to share your own history with your family.
Personally, I believe there should be one or more
Griots in each generation so that the family story continues to live. You may recall having heard the word
Griot (pronounced “gree-oh”) used when Alex Haley told the story of his family
in the epic novel and TV program, “Roots.” Historically, Africans and those of African descent have
relied on oral history more so than written history. That makes the work of the griots all the more
important. Hopefully, our Neal
Family history will continue to be passed down, generation to generation. We do have a story to tell; one that
can be an inspiration to the younger family members. I have attached the answers if you want to save it to your
- Eleazer, Sr. had a daughter from a previous marriage. What were her name and her
nickname? Answer: Alice Singleton, Aunt Suh.
- Eleazer, Sr.'s parents were Stephen and Francis [Williams] Neal.
Name their children. Answer:
James, Godfrey, Stephen, Joseph, Ransome, Dan, Eleazer, Jacob, Frances, Noel, and Timothy
- When and where was Eleazer, Sr. born? Answer: October 20, 1880, Wisner, LA. He passed away on October
11, 1964 at the age of 84. He
was laid to rest at the Oakley Cemetery, Gilbert, LA.
- Stephen and Francis’ family earned its living by farming and cotton
was a major crop. At a
particular point in time boll weevils became a problem, eating at the
crop, so the family moved to get ahead of the boll weevils. Where did they move? Answer: to the Mississippi Delta.
- Eventually, two of the family members returned to Louisiana,
settling in Winnsboro. Who
were they? Answer: sons Eleazer and Stephen.
- Of the family members who did not return, name some of the cities
where they lived? Answer: Greenville, Leland, Arcola, and
Trail Lake - all in Mississippi.
- Who is Godfrey Neill to Eleazer, Sr. and why is Godfrey’s last name
spelled differently? Answer: Godfrey Neill was Eleazer, Sr.’s
paternal grandfather. His
last name is spelled Neill because that is the way the census taker
spelled the name on the Federal Census record.
- Godfrey Neill was born about 1815 in what state? Answer: Virginia.
Godfrey’s wife, Julia, was born in Georgia in 1826. Their children were William,
Alfred, Stephen, Marlinda, Solomon W., Francis, and Samuel.
- Who were Jesse and Anna Eliza [Davis] Ward to Ollie [Ward]
Neal? Answer: Jesse and Anna Eliza were Ollie’s
- Jesse Ward was born in 1865 in what state? Answer: Texas. Jesse’s
wife Anna Eliza was born in Louisiana in 1868.
- Ollie was the second youngest daughter. When was she born? Answer: June 1891.
- Name Ollie's siblings. Answer: Henry, Carrie (“Cassie”), John,
Alfred, and Caroline
- Who is Lemuel (Lem) Davis to Ollie Ward and where was he born?
Davis was Ollie’s maternal grandfather. He was born in Maryland in 1825. His wife, Ann, was born in 1824 in North
Carolina. Their children were
Caroline, Henderson, Cynthia, Alfred, Corrina, Lee, Anna Eliza, and
Charlotte. Note: re: Lemuel Davis’s being born in Maryland, there’s that
ancestral connection to our 2006 reunion, which was held in the Baltimore,
- What is the relationship between Eleazer, Sr. and Philip Neal? Answer: They were first cousins. Their fathers, Stephen and
William, were brothers.
- Who were Philip Neal's parents? Answer:
William and Caroline (Peebles) Neal. Philip Neal passed away June 9, 1963 at the age of
96. He was laid to rest at the
Oakley Cemetery, Gilbert, LA.
- In many instances, African American families have followed naming
patterns when a child is born. In the Neal Family the name Solomon
is found in several generations. List three Neals who had the first
name of Solomon and where they fit in the family. Answer:
Solomon W (son of Godfrey and Julia Neill); Solomon Louis (son of Eleazer,
Sr. and Ollie Neal; Solomon Edward (son of William and Alice Neal). Also, Isaac Solomon Neal, son of
Lawrence and Debbie Neal, was named after his grandfather Solomon Louis
- Which Neal brother was known for offering to buy
his children, nieces, or nephews "a nickel dip of cream"? Answer: Eleazer Neal, Jr. (Uncle
Lee). He would to buy us a
tasty ice cream cone, referring to it as a nickel dip of cream. J
- Two Neal family members were known for their
famous teacakes. Name them. Answer: Aunt Melissa and Aunt Eliza.
- One of the San Francisco Neal brothers was an
avid fisherman, taking the boat out of Half Moon Bay to go
("dip-sy" as Ricky Ricardo would say) deep-sea fishing and would
come back with croaker (sp?) sacks full of fish like ling cod. Who
was that brother? Answer: Solomon Neal.
- Who was the first Neal sibling to move to the
Bay Area? Answer:
Carey Neal and his family in the 1940s. They came to Richmond, CA where his wife, Ludy, had
family. However, they didn’t
stay in the Bay Area and eventually returned to Winnsboro, LA.
The next brother to move to California was Jesse and his family
in November 1944.
- True or False. Eliza and her family lived in the Bay Area for a period
of time. . Answer:
True. They lived in
Richmond where her husband, James, had found work in the shipyards. Subsequently, he died. At the time Eliza completed the
application for social security (April 1944), she listed her address as
4820 Cutting Boulevard, Apt. 5, Richmond, CA. About 1945, Eliza returned to Louisiana and made her
home in Homer
- Ollie Ward Neal died in 1923 from illness.
Back then, Black people really didn't have access to hospitals and medical
care and she'd developed pneumonia. After her death, who raised the
Ollie’s parents, Jesse and Annie Eliza Ward, raised the oldest and
youngest, Carey and Eliza.
The rest of the boys were raised by their Dad, Eleazer, Sr.
- What church did the Wards attend and where was it
located? Answer: Mt. Zion Church of Christ
(Holiness), Gilbert, LA.
- What church did Eleazer, Sr. and his sons
Augusta Baptist Church, Winnsboro, LA.
- What was the name of the business that Eleazer,
Sr. had? Answer:
Neal and Sons Grocery in Winnsboro.
- Who was the first Neal brother to marry? Answer: Charlie.
- List the spouses for the seven Neal
November 15, 1935 – Charlie married
Miss Melissa Robinson
October 4, 1936 – Carey married Miss
May 15, 1937 – William married Miss
September 17, 1938 – Jesse married
Miss Juanita Lewis
December 31, 1938 – Eleazer married
Miss Penny Green
– Eliza married Mr. James Matthews
11, 1946 – Solomon married Miss Fannye Seals
- Which one of Ollie [Ward] Neal’s siblings lived
in Homer, LA? Answer: Alfred Ward.
- What did the Neal brothers call Carey, Sr? Answer: Chief.
- We know of family members who have served in the
US military from World War I to the present. Name those family members and their respective branch
of service. Answer: Alfred Ward (Army, World War I). Solomon
Louis Neal (Army, World War II).
Solomon Edward Neal (Army).
Carey Neal, Jr. (Army).
Lonnie Roy Neal (Army).
Elmer Neal (Army).
Isaac Neal aka “Buster” (Army). Lannie Ernest (Army). Larry Neal (Marine Corps, Army, and Marine Corps
Reserves). Christopher Royce
Neal (Army). Edward (“Jamal”)
Neal (Navy). André
Christopher Neal (Air Force). Some served during the Korean
War, the Viet Nam War, Desert Storm, and most recently Christopher Royce
Neal saw active duty in the Iraq conflict.
- Which Neal brother was a die-hard San Francisco
Giants baseball fan? Answer: Eleazer Neal, Jr.
No matter how badly the team was playing he still had faith in his “boys.”
- Two Neal brothers attended Grambling State and
were educators? Who were they? Answer: Carey and Jesse.
- What type of cookies did Aunt Penny always have
on hand to serve guests when they visited? Answer:
coconut cookies (macaroons).
- Can you identify the family members in the
attached photos? Answer:
Oops – I forgot to attach the photos! I will save this question for another time. Sorry about that.
- Which Louisiana college has graduated many Neal
family members? Answer: Southern University, Baton Rouge,
- Before his retirement, what was William Neal’s
occupation? Answer: William carried on the family
tradition and earned his living by farming. His main crop was soybeans.
- Which Neal brother was the President of the
Franklin Parish Retired Teachers’ Association? Answer: Carey Neal, Sr.
- When did Charlie and his family move to California
from Louisiana? Answer:
in the late 1950s.
- Who was Uncle Tim and where did he live? Answer: Uncle Tim (Timothy Neal) was
Eleazer, Sr.’s younger brother and he lived in Leland, MS.
- Neal Family members are located across the
U.S. Name the states where
family members currently reside.
California, Florida, South Carolina, Georgia, Colorado, Nevada,
Hawaii, Maryland, New York, Rhode Island, Michigan, Kansas, Texas,
Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana.
In California’s Bay Area, family members live in the following
cities: San Francisco, Foster
City, Antioch, Stockton, Tracy, Union City, San Jose, Milpitas, Castro
Valley, and up north in Clear Lake.