From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

Gomez, Hazel E. J. Thompson

The following information comes from In Darkness With God, by A. L. Gomez-Jefferson; and U.S. Census Records. The author's mother, Hazel Gomez (1891- 1983),was born in Toledo, OH. She was the wife of Bishop Joseph Gomez [or Gomes] (1890-1979) of the AME Church who was also a civil rights leader and pioneer. He was born in Antigua.

Hazel Gomez's maternal grandfather was John Dent, a slave born in Paducah, KY. He escaped from slavery by taking his master's horse and riding to Ohio, a free state, where he met and married [Mt.] Sterling, KY, native Sara Jane Grubb.

The Dents had 12 children; one of their daughters, Julia Anne, was Hazel Gomez's mother. In 1880, the family lived in Toledo, where John Dent was a laborer. His parents were born in Maryland and brought to Kentucky as slaves. John and Sara Jane Grubbs are listed in the 1850 U.S. Census as free persons living in Wayne, OH.

On the paternal side of her family, Hazel Gomez's grandfather, George Henry Thompson, was born in 1804 in Madagascar, an island nation off the coast of Africa in the Indian Ocean. His birth name was Hari Orara, but it was changed when he was sold into slavery in Kentucky. He escaped and settled in Philadelphia. In 1826, he married 14-year old Eliza Elizabeth Ford, who was white; they moved to Canada, where they had 11 children. Their son, George Thompson, was Hazel Gomez's father.

Kentucky County & Region

Read about McCracken County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Montgomery County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Paducah, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Mt. Sterling, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Item Relations

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NKAA Source: In darkness with God: the life of Joseph Gomez, a bishop in the African Methodist Episcopal Church

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Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Gomez, Hazel E. J. Thompson,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed June 23, 2024,

Last modified: 2024-06-10 16:42:48