Dreams of Africa in Alabama: Who are my African Town Ancestors?

Mary EttaI began my life in a small community right outside of the city of Mobile AL in Mobile County called Plateau.  My grandparents (father’s parents) lived in an adjoined community called Magazine Point.  Magazine Point is where the Africans lived that came off of the last slave ship that came to the U.S. (the “Clotilda”).  So I grew up thinking that my father’s families came off  the Clotilda and were never slaves.  Another reason I thought that they were never slaves was because no one ever talked about slavery.   My grandmother would tell us things about her parents and her brother who were all deceased but nothing about slavery.  In this small community we had cousins living all around us or with in a short walking distance.  How were they cousins?  Once I began my research on these family lines the puzzle pieces began coming together.  I quickly discovered that all of my great grandparents on my father’s side were slaves. They had not come off of the Coltilta and even the Africans who had arrived on that ship were enslaved from 1860 – 1865.   Once the Africans were free they purchased the land that is now known as Africa Town from the person who had commissioned their captivity and enslavement (Timothy Meaher) to create their community.   http://www.encyclopediaofalabama.org/face/Article.jsp?id=h-1402

So how did my family get to live in the middle of the Africans?   My great grandfather Emp Green married Mary Etta Telfly who is the sister of William Ellis (unknown at this time why his surname is different).  William Ellis married Julia Allen who is the first born American daughter of Polee and Rose Allen who arrived from Africa on the Clotilda.

This map taken from “Dreams of Africa in Alabama” shows the land plots of the African Town community in 1920 which includes my direct family the “Green’s”.


My cousins married in the African families of Peter Lee and O. Keeby. The female pictured above is my great grandmother Mary Etta Telfly/Telfar Green and the picture listed below is her brother (my great uncle) William Ellis and his wife Julia Allen Ellis (daughter of Polee and Rose Allen from the  Clotilda.

William and Julia Ellis

 I will share more information about my great grandparents who lived in Africa Town in my next few post.  So please stay tuned …