ALICE PARRIS FAMILY TREE: THE KELLY CHILDREN

Harold B Kelly Jr. In his Cardinal Farley’s Military Academy Uniform (boarding school)

Harold Kelly Jr. In his Cardinal Farley's military academy uniform-HS

Harold B Kelly Jr. During his early Oberlin University years

Harold Kelly Jr. in Oberlin U.

My mother and brother at Christmas time in the living room in Shaker Heights, Ohio

My mother & brother at Xmas

Harold B. Kelly Junior with wife, Bonnie & Daughter Danielle (both Oberlin grads)

Harold Jr. with wife & baby daughter

Rhonda and me. She just graduated from Villa Maria HS. I’m wearing the “Twiggy” style

Rhonda & me at her Graduation from Villa Maria HS

Rhonda at home in our living room in Shaker Heights

Rhonda Kelly at home

Rhonda at home from Tufts University

Beautiful Rhonda Kelly

Rhonda Kelly at Fisk University

Rhonda at twenty

Me dresed for Junior Prom

Alice Parris at Junior Prom

Me at sixteen years old

Me at sixteen years old

Me on the steps of boarding school: Villa Maria HS

Me on steps at Villa Maria H.S. in PA

Me as a Fisk University Freshman

Me at nineteen yrs old


Alice Parris Family Tree exists because it is doubtful if I will write my autobiography. I lived my life hard and fast. I would not even know where to begin. I started college at Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee. After being undecided about a “real’ major”, I spent a little shy of two years being a “beach-bum’ in Freeport, Bahamas ( where my parents owned condos) I returned to Nashville and attended Tennessee State University where I got an associate degree in science; nursing-which went from med-surgery to specializing in Forensic Psychiatric Nursing. After working in many fields of nursing for twenty-five years, I went on to write two poetry books, published song lyrics, wrote jazz music, sang jazz renditions of my favorite influences, and become a Spoken Word Artist.

Few people could ever contemplate the lifestyle of some African Americans who had money and status in a country which had tried to deny both. Few would understand the “tri-racial” community which is my mother’s heritage. For example when both race riots broke out in Cleveland, Ohio in the 60’s, I was in Europe. We lived a fantasy lifestyle provided by my father, Dr. Harold B. Kelly.

The Kelly side of my family is atypical. My grandmother, Catherine Kelly was a school teacher, her husband Peter was one of the first black postal workers. Out of seven children, three became physicians, three educators and one nurse. The Kellys are well known in South Carolina and the children of the Kelly clan still own real estate in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Dr. Peter C. Kelly lived in Conway, S.C. They were buying property in Myrtle Beach before most people realized what a treasure it was. Dr. Peter C. Kelly sent my father, Harold B. Kelly to Howard medical school. My father in turn, sent my Aunt Dr. Vermelle Kelly Piper to medical school.

The Kellys owned a house in the middle of white Georgetown S.C. which was bequeathed to two freed slave children long ago. One of my father’s ancestor jumped off of a slave ship outside of St. Maartin. He was never a slave, but a free man who acquired the name Pierre Calais upon the tiny island. Pierre Calais ventured to New Orleans and worked as a trapper. The name Peter Kelly came from the name Pierre Calais. There is no Irish connection to be found here. All of the aforementioned has been obtained by oral tradition.

There are too many fascinating events happening with this family, that I cannot figure out where to begin. A picture is still worth one thousand words. This will be the last installation of family photos. Alice Parris

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ALICE PARRIS FAMILY TREE: MY FATHER’S HOUSE

My father, Harold B. Kelly M.D.

My father, Dr. Harold B. Kelly

My mother with children before I was born

Before I was born

My father with us as young children

When we were young

My mother with us as growing children

As we grew older

These are the houses that my family lived in. Some commentary from my mother about dates

Houses where we lived


These photos are of my father, my mother with my brother and sister (before I was born), My father, brother sister and I young, my mother, brother, sister and I a little older, and the houses that we grew up in. French was my first language because I grew up in Fontainbleu, France from ages 1 1/22 to 3 1/2. We were raised by French nannies, because my mother and father liked to travel all over Europe. Dr. Harold B. Kelly was a Captain in the army and that is where we were stationed. We traveled across the Atlantic Ocean on the Queen Mary. As I have aged, the more random French will roll off of my tongue in the most inappropriate of places.

I do not remember my very early childhood. I have watched films of myself running around at an Easter egg hunt on the grounds of the villa in France. They had to show me where the eggs were. My sister, Rhonda reports that we were locked in the cellar at the convenience of Antoinette or Louisiette, when their lovers would be over when my parents were out of town. I imagine that we were naughty children; my sister, Rhonda, threw a wooden coat hanger from the winding staircase and cracked one of them in the head. She was replaced.

We also lived in North Carolina (with a beach home in Myrtle Beach, S.C.) New Jersey (while my father did a residency in OB-GYN at Harlem Hospital in New York) as well as Shaker Heights, Ohio, as my father’s medical career dictated. I attended tenth grade in the High School where Paul Newman graduated. Alice Parris

ALICE PARRIS FAMILY TREE: MY BEAUTIFUL MOTHER, NORMA

Norma Louise RichardsonNorma Louise RichardsonMy mother, Norma Richardson at nineteen years old

Norma Louise Richardson

Norma Richardson at twenty

Norma Louise RichardsonNorma Richardson Kelly in her late twenties

Norma Richardson Kelly

Norma Richardson Kelly at approximately forty years old

Norma Richarson Kelly

My mother Norma Richardson Harrison at eighty years old

Norma Richardson Harrison-my mother

My mother has been married to a physician, a Jewish attorney, a jazz trumpeter(in the Savannah Hall Of Fame) and a Professor Emeritus from University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan. She is now eighty-five years young. She is very active and possesses more vim and vigor than people a fraction of her age. She has never had to work a day in her life. She has lived in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina for twenty-five years. This is my tribute of love for the beautiful Norma, without whose DNA, I would not have been able to pass down beauty to my children & grandchildren. Alice Parris

ALICE PARRIS FAMILY TREE: MY GRANDPARENTS & CHILDREN

My young grandparents before marriage & their young children, Norma and Plummer

Plummer & Alice Richardson with children

A young Plummer Armstead Richardson-my uncle

Young Plummer Armstead Richardson

A young Norma Louise Richardson- my mother

A young Norma Louise Richardson

My grandfather, Plummer Benjamin Richardson

Plummer Benjamin Richardson-my grandfather

My grandmother Alice Cooper

Alice Cooper-my grandmother

My grandmother, Alice Cooper at an older ageAn older Alice Cooper

My grand father and uncle: Plummer Benjamin and Plummer Armstead Richardson

Plummer Benjamin & Plummer Armstead Richardson

Plummer Benjamin is shown at various stages of his life. Alice Cooper is shown at various stages of her life. While Plummer Benjamin was a mortician, Alice Cooper was a teacher with her Master’s Degree. She continued to pursue her academic career but because of the times, getting a P.H.D. that she could never use seemed pointless. Alice Cooper is a direct descentant of Sir Anthony Ashley Cooper II, son of the First Lord Proprietor of North Carolina, Sir Anthony Ashley Cooper I, per King Charles II in the 1600’s.

Alice Parris

ALICE PARRIS FAMILY TREE: THE NEXT GENERATION

Ethel Richardson firstborn of Plummer & Laura Richardson

Ethel Richarson

Plummer Benjamin Richardson WW I; my grandfather

Plummer Benjamin Richardson-WW I

Richardson’s Funeral Home established in 1918

Richarson Funeral Home hearses-est 1918

Irene Richardson and unidentified suitor

Irene Richarson and unidentified suitor

Irene Richardson

Irene Richarson

Daniel Richardson in his casket

Daniel Richardson in casket

Lucien Richardson WW II

Lucien Richarson- WW II

An older Bernice Richardson

An older Bernice Richardson

These are the children of Plummer Alston Richardson and Laura Battle Richardson. There are two more daughters for whom photos were unavailable for this post. Laura Richardson is not available. Gertrude Richardson is not available. Gertrude Richardson married musician Ernie Freeman. They had several children, one of which was the grammy winning arranger Ernie Freeman who arranged Frank Sinatra’s “Strangers In The Night.” He also arranged for Vicki Carr and other famous singers.

Richardson’s Funeral Home is now a fourth generational business. It was run by my grandfather, Plummer Benjamin Richardson. The business was expanded by my uncle Plummer Armstead Richardson. My cousin Herbie Richarson is also wealthy being invested into and running the first “colored” funeral homes in North Carolina; established in the year 1918.

Alice Parris

ALICE PARRIS FAMILY TREE: VERY OLD LEAVES

Lucian Battle of Nashville, North Carolina

Alice Parris's great-great grandfatherLaura Battle Richarson in old age

Alice Parris's great-grandmother; Laura Battle RichardsonPlummer Alston Richardson in old age

Alice Parris's great-grandfatherPlummer Alston Richarson in middle age

Alice Parris's great-grandfatherPlummer Alston Richardson’s voting registrationPlummer Richardson's voting registration

Plummer and Laura Richarson with first born, Ethel
Alice Parris's great- grandparents

Lucien Battle was my great-great grandfather on my mother, Norma Richardson’s father’s side. He lived in Nashville, North Carolina. Lucien’s daughter was Laura Battle Richardson. She married Plummer Alston Richardson. Plummer Alston Richardson is shown in his old age. Laura Battle Richardson is shown in her old age. Plummer Alston Richardson is shown in his middle age. Plummer and Laura are shown in their youth, with Laura holding their first born child, Ethel Richardson. Also shown is Plummer Alston Richardson’s voting registration dated in 1902.

According to some family historians, Plummer Alston Richardson left a North Carolina reservation and became a “colored” barber in Nashville, North Carolina. A marriage was brokered by Lucien Battle (Caucasian) for his daughter, Laura (mulatto) to Plummer. Plummer was a European/Native American mixture. During his life, Plummer Alston had become a millionaire from multiple businesses and real estate. What part Lucien Battle played in Plummer’s ascendancy is speculated upon by rumor. His wife, Laura, survived Plummer and lived to be ninety-six years old. This information was not gotten from an ancestry registry. These are the actual photos and documents preserved by the family. Alice Parris

LUNA

Photography by Stony River /AU

Photography by Stony River/AU

LUNA

Smoky-shadow remembrances;
specters of touches, smiles, shapes

of almond eyes & dripping mouths.

Now, the frozen moon cries blue.
Her tears are dreadful, epic floods.

I stand under her looming shadow,
dripping in indigo-blue memories.

Luna is pregnant
with all my scorched-earth secrets.

Alice Parris