Several days ago, I found the will of Alexander Cleage, which mentioned my Cleage Ancestors: Frank, Juda and Lewis Cleage by name, as he willed them to his wife. After finding the will, I did two things. First, I went back through the other documents I have concerning the white Cleages and slavery. I found a bill of sale wherein David Cleage and his sister Elizabeth sold some of their inherited slaves (including my great-great grandfather, Frank) to Alexander. I had believed that my family went from Samuel Cleage to son David, and remained with him, after Samuel’s death. This cleared that up.
Next, I set up a tree for the white Cleages on Ancestry.com. Through the shakey leaves I found another will. This one for Elijah Hurst, father of Alexander’s wife Jemima Hurst Cleage. In the will, Elijah deeds Jemima my great-great grandmother, Juda, who (along with several other slaves) he had already given her when she married. There was a wealth of information and documentation available on Ancestry which I am going through now.
After going through those documents, I will modify the timelines I have for Frank and Juda Cleage. I am also going to be looking for traditions surrounding giving ones daughter a couple of slaves to take with her when she married. This is the second case of that I have found in my family. My great great grandmother Eliza was given to Edmund Harrison’s daughter Martha Harrison, when she married Milton Saffold.
This is the year that I plan to devote some real time to writing up my family history. More about that later.