The Collins Family has a rich history steeped in strong religious values, love for family, and concern for our fellow persons. As it is with most African American families, our history has not been recorded in a book, but has been passed on orally from generation to generation. Much has been lost or forgotten over time, but we are proud to record what we do know as of today. Our family with the help of the Lord has been very resilient, our fore-parents withstood the hardships of slavery and many of us living today have persevered through the burdens the Great Depression, World Wars, the Civil Rights movements and mini recessions. But here we proudly stand today on the shoulders of our ancestors and are continuously working to leave a Legacy for future generations, so they can stand even taller on our shoulders.
The First Generation:
As accurate as it can be remembered, our family roots began around the late 1800's, shortly after the Civil War and the emancipation of the slaves. Base on the birth records of their children, it is guestimated that our grandparents were born in the latter part of the 1870's. It was a time of hope and a great deal of uncertainty for the newly free slaves, but Jeff Collins met Phyllis Levert and decided to explore their new freedom together.
They married and bore eleven children in Akron, Alabama. The children were born in a six-room shack that stood on the side of the road. The children were: Ed, Lewis, Andrew, Chris, Alexander, Johnny, Hagar Collins Prince, Annie Collins Littlepage, Charlie, James, and Earnest. Grandpa Jeff and Grandma Phyliss were very devoted parents and God fearing individuals who instilled in their children a love for the Lord. The children and grandchildren were always carried on a wagon to Elwood A.M.E. Zion Church in Akron. Grandpa and Grandma were hard working farmers who while sharecropping, grew cane, watermelon, peas, as well as raising chickens and pigs to provide for their family needs.
Grandma Phyllis died at home in 1944 and Grandpa Jeff passed away in 1946, while living with his son Lewis in Birmingham, Alabama.
A special thanks Uncle Chris Collins family who started this wonderful Family Reunion tradition and took the time to begin recording our history. Our recorded history begins with our grandparents, Jeff and Phyllis Levert Collins.
Click the link below to Learn about the Second Generation