The couple featured in this vintage snapshot are identified on the reverse as “Neysa & Anthony Travis.” They were married in 1948 in Los Angeles, California. Anthony died in 1980 and Neysa in 1984. They are buried in Rose Hills Memorial Park.
Neysa Estelle was born Nesser Easter Hansett on June 4, 1904 in Mecklenburg County, Virginia. She was named after a maternal aunt. Neysa’s father, James Henry Hansett, was a laborer and truck driver. Her mother, Hester (Hamilton), died in 1915. Neysa was 11 years old at the time and with three younger sisters; Ruhamah, Rozena, and Sarah, I’m sure Neysa had to grow up fast.
Anthony was born in Point Coupee Parish, Louisiana where he was one of at least 18 children born to Anthony and Leontine (Christophe) Travis. With that many mouths to feed I’m sure Anthony grew up quick as well.
I wish I knew how each of them ended up in Los Angeles. Neysa was registered to vote in LA in 1946 as Mrs. Neysa Lyons. I wasn’t able to find out how long she’d been married or what became of Mr. Lyons. As of 1942 Anthony was single and still living in Louisiana…New Orleans to be precise. He too was previously hitched, but uncovering details about that marriage proved to be impossible.
Just as I was bemoaning the lack of information I was able to find I struck a small nugget of genealogy gold! I happened upon an article in the California Eagle, a Black owned and operated newspaper in Los Angeles.
As disclosed in the above article, the Willing Worker’s Club of California was a civic and charity organization. I had no luck unearthing anything further. But, thanks to the bit at end of the news clipping we learn that Neysa could sing! “Mrs. E. Bernice Washington, Neysa Travis, and Brenda Joyce Austin rendered vocal numbers…”