Earlier this month, the subject of one of my Wordless Wednesdays was my Great Grandaunt, Ellen Lorrelle Brown. Ellen was born in Lacassas, TN. She was the daughter of the Hillery and Bettie Brown; one of fifth with two sisters and two brothers.
Ellen attended Fisk University in Nashville, TN and (according to family lore) was one of the Fisk Jubilee Singers in or about 1910.
The original Jubilee Singers introduced ‘slave songs’ to the world in 1871 and were instrumental in preserving this unique American musical tradition known today as Negro spirituals.
They broke racial barriers in the US and abroad in the late 19th century and entertained Kings and Queens in Europe. At the same time, they raised money in support of their beloved school.
For music historians and family historians alike, this would be a terrific connection to the past….if sourced. My problem is, so far, I can’t find a source to confirm or deny the story. Now, to be fair, I haven’t gone beyond internet and ancestry.com searches. I’m hoping some corresponence with the modern version of the group will yield some confirmation. If it does, you’ll see it here first.