Nanearl Eleanor "Mutsey" (Fleming) Whitley: 1906 - 1973
My great grandmother, Nanearl Eleanor “Mutsey” Fleming was born November 22, 1906 in New Orleans, Louisiana to George Fleming, Jr. and Cora Page, both natives of New Orleans. Nanearl was affectionately known as “Mutsey” to all of her family. Although she was one of ten children, Nanearl’s became the oldest by the age of two when four children preceded her in death.
Nanearl’s surviving siblings were:
- Thelma Florida Fleming (1910 – 1984)
- George Philip Fleming (1913- 1997)
- Raymond Arthur Fleming, Sr. (1915 – 1977)
- Joseph Walter Fleming, Sr. (1920 – 2004)
- Earl Fleming. Sr. (1925 – 2010)
At the age of 15, Nanearl left New Orleans and married William Leon Whitley, Jr. of Beaumont, Texas and moved to Berkeley, California in 1923 where they would live for the rest of their lives. They were one of the first African American families to reside in Berkeley during that time.
William and Nanearl had three children:
- Leona Edna Mae Whitley (1924 – 2004)
- Coralee Whitley (1925 – )
- Gail Herbert Whitley (1935 – )
- Information obtained from the oral histories of Leona (Whitley) Williams, Cora (Williams) Willis-Malone, Nanearl (Williams) Toussaint, Melvia (Williams) Gray-Smith
- Nanearl (Fleming) Whitley’s Death Certificate referenced on 2 May 2020.
- Thelma Fleming’s birth certificate obtained from the Louisiana State Archives: 29 Aug 2012
- George Fleming’s funeral program and obituary: 25 Jul 1997
- Joseph Fleming, Sr.’s funeral program and obituary: 11 Sep 2004
- Raymond Fleming, Sr.’s funeral program and obituary: 15 Nov 1977