AfriGeneas States Research Forum
[PA] SC, PA, NY -- Westcott, Wise, Hazel, Aspinall
Charles and Laura Hazell, parents of Lucy Hazell Westcott (1889-1983) of Pennsylvania
(Associated surnames: Westcott, Wise, Swails, Screven, Lewis, Hazel, Dalberg, Aspinall, Anderson)
Lucy Hazell Westcott, wife of Samuel Westcott, is the daughter of Charles Hazell and Laura Wise Hazell. Her mother Laura was born in 1868 in Virginia to Uriah Wise and Hannah Strange Berry Wise. Lucy’s father Charles was born in Georgia, most likely in Savannah. He apparently is a member of a family with ties to Charleston, SC as well as Savannah, GA. In 1910 “Charles Hazel” (born c. 1871 in GA) lived with wife Laura and daughter Lucy at 1026 Chadwick in Philadelphia. Charles was a driver for an auction house. Laura and Lucy had no outside employment. Of Laura’s three children, only Lucy survived. Lucy is also counted in the household of her maternal grandparents in Chambersburg in 1900 and 1910. “Charles Hasel” had worked as a blacksmith in Philadelphia in 1890. In 1900, it appears that Lucy’s parents lodged with another family on W. 40th St. in Manhattan where Cora/Lora (Laura) Hazel worked as a domestic and Charles Hazel as “hotel help.” They lived next to the family of dressmaker Harriet Aspinall, widow of brick mason Albert A. Aspinall of Charleston, SC. The Aspinall/Aspinwall family was well educated, including among their relatives in Charleston a school teacher, Nicholas K. Aspinall, son of Albert and May/Mary Aspinall and brother of Albert A. Aspinall, Lawrence Aspinall, and Susan Swails. Harriet’s husband, mechanic/brick mason Albert A. Aspinall, had an account with the Charleston branch of the Freedman’s Bank. So did Harriet Aspinall’s brother, James W. Anderson, who was able to sign his bank application, although he had lost his left hand in an industrial accident in New York where he worked as a mechanic. In Savannah, GA Nancy Hazel (born c. 1792) lived with her son, carpenter Clifford Anderson, and his wife Louisa. Her other children include porter Henry Lewis and Dollie Dalberg, wife of whitewasher James Dalberg/Delberg/Delbring.
Laura’s husband Charles Hazel probably was born in Savannah, GA to a family of skilled workers (bricklayers, carpenters, house painters) and hotel and restaurant workers with roots in Charleston, SC. Several African Americans with Hasel/Hazle/Hazel/Hazell surname had accounts at branches of the Freedman’s Bank in both cities. A painter named Charles A. Hazel (born c. 1848, most likely father or uncle of Laura’s husband, Charles Hazel) was born in Charleston, SC but had moved to Savannah, GA by 1869. His father, Peter Hazel, also was a painter. His mother, possibly Nancy Hazel, was dead or otherwise separated from her husband Peter by 1869. Two siblings of Charles A. Hazel, James and Peter, worked as hotel or restaurant waiters: James in Charleston, SC where he served as secretary of Waiters United Association; Peter in Charleston, formerly with US navy, and also at “Scriven House” in Savannah, GA. This could be a hotel or restaurant, or perhaps the home of Savannah’s mayor John Screven. A third sibling, Lavinia, was a dressmaker in Charleston. Lavinia Hazel Ringold had a son also named Charles, born about 1869 in SC. Although their father, Peter Hazel, signed an X as his mark, his children, including Charles A. Hazel, were literate members of a black community that included other literate workers and skilled artisans. Charles A. Hazel and his family had a history of membership in African-American unions, mutual aid societies, and other religious, occupational, and social organizations. A man named Peter Hazel also served in the Union navy during the Civil War.
According to family oral history, Laura Wise Hazell and her husband Charles Hazell belonged to several fraternal associations, lodges, or mutual aid societies. Like her sister Julia Taliaferro Hunt Toney, a beautician and store owner who belonged to a Garvey-influenced church in Pittsburgh’s Hill District, Laura Wise Hazell in Philadelphia, most likely marched in Garvey parades with fellow members of her church and benevolent associations.
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