Katherine Wiley – Thomas Allen’s Wife

It was Katie Wiley who started me on the investigation that found Thomas and his pension records. When I found a letter addressed to my grandmother, Pearl Reed c/o Katie Allen, I began searching to find out who she was and discovered so much more than I had looked for.

Sometimes I have a problem finding enough documentation to build a picture of the person I am writing about. This time I had the opposite situation. I will try to be brief.

Kate Wiley was born free to Woody and Sarah (Daniels) Wiley, about 1860 in Virginia. In the record above it says Halifax, in other records it says Fairfax.  She was part of the large family of Deborah Wiley. We find Deborah Wiley and her children described in the Pittsylvania County Virginia, Register of Free Negroes.1807-1865.  I am only sharing Deborah and Woody’s descriptions.

Registration Number # 9, March 18th, 1816,

The said DEBORAH WILEY is a mulatto girl between18 and 19 years of age, about five feet four or five inches, has black bushy hair, aquiline nose, effeminate voice and rather pleasing countenance.

Reg # 406, January 16th, 1847, WOODY WILEY, a free born man of colour, is a yellow man, twenty eight years old the 4th day of October, last, five feet nine inches high.

Reg # 9, Sept 24, 1852, DEBORAH WILEY,a free negro born free who hath been numbered and registered in the Clerks office of the County Court of Pittsylvania is this day again registered.

The said DEBORAH WILEY, is a yellow woman five feet two & 1/2 inches, about fifty seven years old, (copies of Deborah’s reg. & all later Wiley reg. furnished by Court Clerk for move to Ohio).

Deborah and her children moved first to North Carolina and then to Athens County Ohio where they were living by the 1860 census.  A ten year old  Katherine Wiley was living with Deborah Wiley and her son Jackson and his wife. Another son, Israel Wiley lived next door. Katherine’s father, Woody and the rest of his family lived in the same county.  The members of these households were all listed as mulattoes, born in Virginia, except for Deborah who was born in Kentucky and the younger children who were born in Ohio.

Some of the family was involved in the underground railroad – helping escaping slaves make it to freedom.

In 1870 an 18 year old Kate Wiley was working in Washington County Ohio, the next county over from Athens, in what appears to be a rooming house for students With Physician Benjamin F. Hart listed at the top. Kate is listed a domestic.

In 1880, Miss Kate Wiley, colored, appears in the Indianapolis, Indiana City Directory. That same year she married Thomas Allen, who was working as a laborer at that time. Not too long afterwards they bought the house at 2715 N. Capital where they lived for the next 40 years. Kate did not work outside of the home until after her husband died in 1907.

In 1907 and 1908, Kate had to go though hearings to determine if she was eligible to receive a pension based on Thomas’ service in the USC Calvary.  She began to receive a pension in April 1908.

In the 1910 Census 54 widowed Kate was living in the house on N. Capital with her older sister, 68 year old Sarah Wiley. Kate was working as a domestic. She owned the house, which was mortgaged. She had given birth to no children. Sarah was single and did not work outside of the home.

In 1915 Katherine Allen appears in the Springfield Ohio City Directory at 34 W. Clark Street. In August of that year, the mailman returns her pension check with the information that she was dead.  She died on June 9, 1915 and her body was returned to Indianapolis to be buried at Crown Hill Cemetery, where Thomas Allen was buried.

While investigating the life of Kate Wiley, I found that her family connected with mine in another way. Her older sister, Francis “Fannie” Wiley became the 2nd wife of Robert Augustus Busby. He was also born in Virginia and lived for some years in Athens, Ohio. They later moved to Berrian County Michigan.  James Busby, son of Robert Busby and his first wife, Harriett (Francis’ stepson) married my great grandmother Anna’s (Thomas’ sister) daughter Sarah Reed. Their children were my father and his siblings first cousins.

Here is a link to the post from the 2014 A to Z Challenge where the envelope first appeared, although I did not mention Katy because I could not find anything about her at that time.   L is for Lincoln Hospital

Jacob Roger Raynor – Pastor

Rev. J. Raynor did not appear as a witness in the pension file. He is the man who married Thomas Allen and his 2nd wife Kate Wiley.

Jacob Roger Raynor was born in Tennessee around 1838. Or 1839 or 1842 or 1849 depending on which census you are looking at.  He was in Indianapolis by 1870.  In the 1870 census, Jacob, his wife Sarah and his mother-n-law made up the household. All were literate and he was attending school. Relationships between household members were not specified in the 1870 census, however Sarah and Jacob both gave the same last name.  His occupation was listed as “cook”. His moterh-in-law, Jennie Harper, did laundry and his wife kept house.

In 1873 Jacob R. Raynor and Sarah Bennett were married in Indianapolis. I realize that this is three years after they were living as a married couple. Perhaps they had been married during slavery and decided to have their marriage recorded and legalized.

In the census for 1880, the year that he married Thomas and Katie Wiley, Rev. Raynor lived at 123 4th Street with his wife and mother-in-law. His occupation was given as Minister of Colored Baptist Church. His wife, Sarah, was an artist in a wax works.  His mother-in-law kept house.

Rev. Raynor was a Baptist minister also working as a carpet layer to supplement his income.  I found several small items in the Indianapolis Recorder, an Indianapolis black newspaper.  The items usually mentioned funerals he preformed and Sundays when he preached. The article below gives a brief history of First Baptist Church and mentions Raynor as an early pastor. He continued to preach there through the years. It’s too bad the attached photograph was of a different pastor.

Indianapolis Recorder 1902-01-11

“The New Bethel Baptist church was organized in the year of 1875 in a house on Tinker street, known now as Sixteen No. 1209, the home of William Jackson. During the summer of that year they were successful in erecting a small house at the present location. Elder J. R. Raynor was pastor and superintended the work with much success. In the fall of 1883 Elder J. F Franklin was called but stayed but a short time. In the spring of 1884, the present pastor Elder N. A Seymour was called to lead them. He preached with telling effect and in the spring of 1885 the church called an ordination council and after  a careful   examination Elder Seymour was found eligible for ordination and on August 12 1885, he was selected for the work. With a few- faithful friends, a strong confidence and will power, he went into the work, took Christ for his council and the Holy Spirit to lead him. Rev. Seymour has been successful in paying the original debt and bought the adjoining lot, which gave them a space of 170 ft. deep and 65 ft.  wide. A new church has been erected on this site, that has a seating capacity of 800, at the cost of $5,700 and is second to none in the  city. The first services in the new church tomorrow. See program in church notes. MC”

In the 1900 census Raynor is living alone but there is no information about him. All the lines are blank. I am not sure what this means – had his wife and mother-in-law left or died? Was he not home when the census enumerator called and none of the neighbors knew more than his name?

By 1910 he was listed as widowed.  He lived alone, rented his house and occupation was minister in a Baptist church.  Items stopped appearing in the Indianapolis Recorder after 1915 and he does not appear in the 1920 census. Although I did not find a death record, I believe that he died around 1916, in his mid seventies.

 

Insufficiency, Aortic – Cause of Death

Aortic Insufficiency (click link for more information.)

“Aortic insufficiency is a heart valve disease in which the aortic valve does not close tightly. This allows blood to flow from the aorta (the largest blood vessel) into the left ventricle (a chamber of the heart).”

The same article says that rheumatic fever was the main cause of aortic insufficiency in the past.  Also that diagnosis was made by hearing a heart murmur and the patient having other symptoms.

This is a copy of Thomas Allen’s death certificate from his pension file. Before I received the file, I found his death certificate on ancestry.com. Finding his mother’s name to be “Clara Green” made me realize that he was my great grandmother Anna’s brother and that is the reason I sent for the Pension File.

Georgie McDougal Ray – Divorce Testimony

Part of this testimony is written in Thomas Ray Allen’s own handwriting.

Thomas Ray Allen’s first wife Georgie Ann Martin/McDougal was about 1853 in Larue County Kentucky.  Her mother was Fannie McDougal and her father was Ephriam Martin. In the records her surname is given as “Martin” although Thomas uses “McDougal”.  She had a large number of siblings. One brother, Thomas McDougal, served in the United States Colored Troops, although in a different unit than Thomas Ray Allen.

In 1870 Georgie Ann was enumerated twice, once with her family in Larue County and then with her future husband Thomas in Marion County.  Thomas Ray Allen and Georgie Ann were living with his sister Sarah Ray Primus and her family.  Georgie’s occupation was given as “servant”.

Thomas Ray Allen and Georgie were married on March 9, 1871 in Larue county. They moved to Indianapolis about 1877 and were divorced there in 1878.  I lost track of Georgie after that, finding her only once in the 1880 census. She was living in Indianapolis, divorced and doing washing. I found someone with the same name giving mandolin lessons and so wanted it to be her, but when I followed up that person in the census it was someone else.

I found this information in the Pension file and in census records.

 

Foster Ray – Slaveholder

Click to enlarge. Thomas Ray Allen gave this testimony two months before his death.

I had never heard the name of Foster Ray before reading it in my 2X great uncle Thomas Ray Allen’s military papers.  Foster Ray was born in Washington County Kentucky in 1796, the second son of Nicholas Ray Sr. and his wife Susan Sheckles. They were a large family with seven or eight children.  In the 1820 census he was 24 years old and was the only person in his household. He had no slaves and was engaged in manufactures.

Foster married Marietta Phillips in 1829. In the 1830 census he was enumerated in Lebanon, KY. There were 9 people in his household. That included 4 enslaved. In 1837 he received a land grant for 50 acres in the recently organized Marion County. The new county included Lebanon and other parts formerly of Washington County.  In 1840 Foster’s brother Nicholas died and his son Hugh Ray came to live with Foster, who seems to have had no children.  In the 1840 census the household included three free white people – Foster, Marietta and Hugh, who was about five years old. There were also five enslaved which included one male under 10; one male and one female between 10 and 23 and two females between 24 and 35.

In 1850 when Thomas would have been about 2 years old, Foster Ray was enumerated in Hannibal Missouri. He was lodging at the Brady House with his wife and nephew. His occupation was listed as “Pork Packer” with real estate valued at $12,000. Hugh was attending school. There were 38 people staying at the Brady.  This included nine families.  This is the first census where slaves were enumerated separately. One fourteen year old girl was counted for Foster Ray.  He had land in Missouri, Kentucky and Illinois. Thomas would have been about two and living back in Kentucky on Foster’s land there. I could find no list of his enslaved there.

In the 1860 census, Foster was enumerated in Lebanon, Kentucky again. He was 62, his wife Marietta was 47, Hugh was 24. They were all literate. Ninety year old Nancy Ray, black,  was enumerated with the family.  Had she been freed? Was it a mistake? I don’t know.  She was illiterate.

Foster’s occupation was “farmer” with real estate worth $120,000 and a personal worth of $100,000. In 2015 dollars, this was wroth over Six million dollars. He owned 28 slaves between the ages of six months and sixty years. My uncle Thomas Ray Allen, now about 12 was among them. No names are given for the enslaved, so I can only guess. Hugh was a clerk with real estate worth $700 and personal worth of $24,000.  He owned one 64 year old male.

Foster Ray’s and Hugh’s list of enslaved. Because there are no names, I can only guess that the 12 year old mulatto male I highlighted is Thomas Ray Allen.

Foster Ray died on January 15, 1863. He wrote a will and left everything, his lands and slaves and all to his wife Marietta Phillips Ray and his nephew Hugh B. Ray.  Unfortunately for me, because he left his estate in order, there was no list of those enslaved on his plantation.

Thomas Ray Allen joined the United States Colored Calvary two years later. He considered that Foster Ray was the only slave owner he had.

 

 

Doctor’s Medical Testimony

The medical testimony that was given regarding the physical condition of Thomas Ray Allen over the years was covered in his pension file. I have chosen one testimony from the beginning of the process and one from near the end of his life to share. (Click to enlarge the handwritten reports.)

The first doctor’s testimony is dated December 13, 1894. At this time Thomas’ pension of $12 a month had just been reduced to $6 a month.

Indianapolis, Indian December 13, 1894

Medical testimony

This is to certify that I am acquainted with Thomas Ray, who was a private Co D. 5th Reg. U.S. Colored Vol. Cavalry, and I have been his physician for the past two years. I know that he has total deafness of right ear. He also has chronic Dyspepsia, and Gastro-Intestinal indigestion. He is not able for manual labor, more than half the time. In my opinion he is entitled to more pension than he is receiving. Certainly it should not be reduced, in his present physical condition. This is in my own hand writing. (I have been a regular practicing physician and surgeon for 16 years. Graduate of the Medical College of Indiana.)

I have no interest whatever in the case.

Very Respectfully,

Geo. H.F. House M.D.

State of Indiana

Marion County

Subscribed and sworn before me the undersigned Notary Public in and for said County and state this 13th day of December 1894

Theodore F. Harrison  Notary Public

 

Twelve years later, in July of 1907, Thomas was in even worse shape. His pension remained unchanged at $6 a month. Thomas died five months after this examination in November of 1907.Medical Evidence

State of Indiana

County Marion

Personally appeared James M. Phillips whose Postoffice address is 427 W. 10 St. Indianapolis County of Marion and state of Indiana, who, being duly sworn, upon his oath declares as follows:  that Thomas Ray or Allen came under his care and treatment on or about June 10th 1907, suffering as follows: catarrah of the stomach, & piles,& has catarrah of the bowels, kidney and urinary trouble & swelling of the lower extremieties . This man is generally broken down, and has not a perfect organ in his body. That the catarrah of the bowels has caused a bad case of chronic diarrhoea. This man is wholly & totally diabled for any and all work or labor & is confined to the house & part of the time confined to the bed, & my opinion he will not live to exceed two months. He will not be able to leave the house for an examination & will have to be examined at his house.

His case is an urgent one & deserves prompt & immediate attention, as he will not last long.

This affidavit is written at my dictation & I know the contents thereof.

That from the date of my discharge from the army (Co. D 2 Mass.) I practiced as a physician until about 16 years ago & since that time have given Indian (?) treatment exclusively.

Affiant has no interest in  this matter.  James M. Phillips

Subscribed and sworn to me this 24th day of July 1907 and I certify tht the party whose name appears signed the foregoing affidavit is the person he represents himself to be a good redible witness, so far as I know, and that I have no interest in this matter.

Official signature Bert Delp  Notary Public

Clara Hoskins Green – Thomas’ Mother

My grandmother Pearl Reed Cleage’s hand written family tree.

Finding my 2X great grandmother’s name – Clara (Hoskins) Green on Thomas Ray Allen’s death certificate made me realize that he was my great uncle.  I had seen her name on my great grandmother Anna’s death certificate and on the family tree that my grandmother Pearl wrote out for me, but I had never heard any stories about her except that she was Catholic and a Cherokee Indian. Which, judging by the amount of Native American dna in her descendants dna, that was not the case.

On both Anna’s and Thomas’ death certificates, their father’s name is given as James Allen and Louis Allen. I have found no records, aside from the death certificates, to connect Clara with an Allen. I believe that is because it happened while she was enslaved.  Thomas named his owner as Foster Ray. Both of Thomas’ sisters went by the last name of Ray. I believe that Clara was enslaved on the Ray plantation also, but have no records to prove it.  There were ties between Clara’s family and Perry and Rachel Hoskins.  Rachel Hoskins left money to Clara’s daughters, Anna and Sarah. I have no records to show what that relationship was. Here is what I have been able to find about her.

Clara was born in Kentucky about 1825.  In 1870 she lived in Lebanon, Kentucky with her husband James Green, ten year old Benjamin Green and five year old granddaughter Josephine “Josie” Campbell.  I do not know if Benjamin was their child, another grandchild or a nephew.  He was attending school and was able to read. Clara did not work outside of the home. James was a carpenter. Both were illiterate. Her three children lived within walking distance of her home. The neighbors on both sides were also carpenters.

In the 1880 census James and Clara lived by themselves. James occupation was still listed as carpenter but he was also sick and disabled. Benjamin was no longer living there. I have not yet found him anywhere else. My great grandmother Anna Reed lived next door with the six children she had then, Josie 15, George 13, Sallie 10, Lulie seven, Hugh four and two year old Minnie. Nobody in either household could read or write. None of the children were in school.  Several people who lived near her had tuberculous.

Clara died before her husband. I do not have a death date because Marion county did not keep death records at that time, however, on October 31, 1895, Frank White was appointed to administer the estate of James Green, deceased. Because there was no mention of Clara, I surmise that she was already dead.

As Clara was Catholic, I hoped that I might find her and her family in the Baptismal or Burial records for Marion County. I found her daughter Sarah and her children listed as being baptized at St. Augustine Catholic church. I did not find Thomas or Anna listed. A Clara was listed, but if Clara was born in 1825, I do not think she would have given birth ten years later.

“Ceremonies of baptism supplied, 6-21-1835, to St. Charles Catholic Church of Susanna Rebecca, servant of Widow Osking or Hoskins. Age 7 weeks. Sponsor, Teresa, servant of Th. Spalding. Mother: Clara, servant of Widow Osking or Hoskins.”  from  the CD “Marion   County – Black   Baptisms”

 

 

Bluford Hubbard – Served with Thomas in the U.S.C.T.

Gravestone. Click to enlarge.

On September 5, 1864, Bluford Hubbard enlisted in the United States Colored Troops (Calvery) in Lebanon, Kentucky. He was 19 years old. It was a month after Thomas Ray Allen had enlisted.  Bluford was born about 1845 in Taylor County, Kentucky.

On his enrollment papers he is described as 5 ft 7 in, copper colored with black hair and black eyes. He had been enslaved by George Hubbard of Taylor County and enlisted without his consent. Bluford served along with Thomas until the end of the Civil War in 1866 and was mustered out in Helena, Arkansas.

Bluford returned to Taylor county and a year later married Eunice Buckner. They lived near to his mother Rachel Gaddie and several of his siblings. Bluford farmed and Eunice kept the house and worked along with him. Six children were born to them but only two lived to adulthood, John born in 1872 and Lewis born in 1878.

USTC enlistment paper. Click to enlarge.

By the late 1880s the family had moved to Indianapolis, Indiana. In 1887 Bluford began to receive an invalid pension. He testified for the first time in 1897 that he knew Thomas Allen to be one and the same as Thomas Ray because he had served with him in the army and also continued to see him over the years.

Testimony of Bulford Hubbard.
He testified again in 1897. Click to enlarge his testimony.  His name is spelled “Buford” here, but “Bluford” most places.  This transcribed copy of his testimony was included in Thomas’ pension file.

He is listed as a pensioner in the 1900 census. He and his wife Eunice have been married 33 years.  Six people lived in the household on Paca. The two sons are listed as common laborers. Eunice’s younger sister, Fannie, is living with them and both Eunice and Fannie are taking in washing. Seven year old nephew Burford Palmer is also a part of the household.  The three younger members of the household are literate. The older ones are not.

In 1908 Bluford was admitted to the Old Soldiers Home in Center, Grant, Indiana. He was still ennumerated with his family in the 1910 census.  Eunice is doing laundry for a private family, both sons are laborers. Nephew Burford is 16 and an actor and comedian. There is one border who is also a laborer.  The family is still renting the house at 868 Paca Street.

Bluford Hubbard died on February 2, 1915 of chronic nephritis (inflamation of the kidneys). His son Lewis was the informant on the death certificate and gave Bluford’s parent’s names as Zealer Hubbard and Rachel Gaddie.  He was buried in Crown Hill Cemetery and has a veteran’s headstone.

His son John died in 1929 of a pulmonary hemorrhage brought on by tuberculosis. Bluford’s widow, Rachel, lived for another 20 years after her husband’s death, dying in 1935 at the age of 84 of bronchial pneumonia.  Lewis disappeared after the 1920 census.

*Resources I used to find the information in this post: 1870, 1880, 1900, 1910, 1920 and 1930 US censuses; Indianapolis City Directories; Bluford’s military records; death certificates for Bluford, Eunice and John Hubbard; records found in Thomas Ray Allen’s pension file.  The photograph of Bluford’s gravestone is from find-a-grave. Except for the pension file, which I have in my possession, I found these records on Ancestry.com and familysearch.com  I also did a bit of random googling if something called for it.

 

Thomas Ray Allen 1847 – 1907

This is an introduction to Thomas Ray Allen. The other posts during the A to Z Challenge will expand on details mentioned here.

Thomas Ray Allen was born into slavery about 1845 on Foster Ray’s plantation in Lebanon, Marion County Kentucky.  Thomas’ mother, Clara was sixteen years old. His father’s name was Louis Allen.  Two years later his sister Sarah was born and two years after that his sister Annie (my great grandmother) was born. Slave holder Foster Ray was a farmer/merchant with lands in Kentucky, Missouri and Illinois.

Foster died in January 15, 1863 leaving everything to his wife Marietta Phillips Ray and his nephew Nicholas Ray. Unfortunately there is no probate list naming the enslaved.

Troops at Camp Nelson in May 1864

On August 15, 1864 Thomas enlisted as “Thomas Ray” in Company D, 5th Regiment of the United States Colored Troops – Calvary in Lebanon Kentucky.  He was 18 years old, 5 ft 5 in. with black hair, black eyes and copper complexion. Occupation given as “farmer”.  On March 25, 1865 Thomas was appointed bugler.  The bugler’s job was to sound directions to the troops when there was too  much confusion and noise for the commanders to issue orders by mouth.

On Thomas’ enlistment papers Addison Taylor of Marion County is listed as his slave owner, however in his pension file Thomas says several times that Foster Ray was his only former owner.  Foster Ray and Addison Taylor, who lived in the adjoining counties of Casey and Marion Kentucky, were cousins.

From March 14 through 18 Thomas was relieved from duty after falling from his horse and receiving a concussion. On March 19, he was returned to duty as they found nothing else wrong with him.  On August 15, 1866 Thomas was mustered out in Helena Arkansas, along with the rest of his regiment.

He returned to Lebanon Kentucky and in the 1870 census was living with his younger sister Sarah Ray Primus, her husband Felix and their young children. Felix and Thomas were both laborers.

On 9 March 1871 Thomas Ray and Georgiana McDougal (aka Martin) were married in her home county of Larue, Kentucky.  Her older brother Thomas MacDougal had also served in the USCT, although he was part of a different company.

Thomas Ray appears in the Indianapolis City Directory in 1877 as a hostler, a stableman who cares for horses. In January of 1878 he and his first wife Georgiana were divorced.  About 1879 he was introduced to the woman who would be his second wife, Katy Wiley by a mutual friend, Lottie Sullivan.  About this time Thomas decided to stop using the surname “Ray”, his former enslaver’s name.  He began to  go by his father’s surname, “Allen”.  He explained his choice in his Will here, Thomas Allen – Last Will and Testament.

Finding this envelope addressed to my grandmother C/o Mrs. Katy Allen sent me on a search to find out who Katy Allen was and from there to discover my USCT Uncle Thomas Allen.

Thomas Allen and Katy Wily were married by Rev. Jacob R. Raynor, a local Baptist minister on March 5, 1880.  In 1887, they were living in the cottage at 2157 N. Capital, which they bought and lived in until his death in 1907 and Katy’s move back to Ohio near the end of her life.

By 1887 his niece and nephew, George and Sallie Reed, had moved to Indianapolis. They were soon followed by their mother, his sister Anna Reed and the rest of her family by 1894.  They shared his home for several years.

In August of 1890 Thomas was 45 years old and approved for a military pension of $12 a month due to total deafness of the right ear and disease of digestive organs. In 1894 his pension was inexplicably dropped to $6 a month. Over the next 13 years he fought to have it raised to at least $8 a month, to no avail. He was examined by doctors who documented his deteriorating health.

Family members, former United States Colored Troop members and friends from throughout the years testified regularly that he was who he claimed to be, and that Thomas Ray and Thomas Allen were one and the same.  The also testified that he was ill and debilitated. Because this was long after slavery was over and he was living far from the place where he had been enslaved, nobody from the same plantation testified for him.

In 1904 the doctors found him to be suffering rheumatism, chronic diarrhea and disease of the stomach. His pension remained at $6. By 1906 Dr. John W. Norrel gave evidence that Thomas’ ailments made it impossible for him to support himself.  By July 1907, the medical testimony declared that he was in much worse shape and would not last much longer without some relief.

At age 60, on September 16, 1907, Thomas Allen died at home in his own bed.  He left his wife to apply for a pension as a surviving widow, which she did successfully.  Neither he nor she had any children.  In the 1910 census, Katy Allen was living in the same house and doing laundry to supplement her pension. She died in 1915.

 

Making Connections

Last year I made contact with one of my DNA matches on 23 & Me, but I did not know how we were related because I  did not know that the name Primus was part of my family tree at that time.

Click to enlarge documents below. To navigate back to the blog post, click on the arrow up there at the top of the page.

My grandparents – Dr. Albert Buford Cleage  and Pearl Doris Reed in 1909 outside of Witherspoon United Presbyterian Church, Indianapolis, Indiana during the time the letters were written.

In November of 2016, during “National Novel Writing Month” I was working on writing a book  using my grandfather Dr. Albert B. Cleage’s letters to my future grandmother, Pearl Reed Cleage.

At one point he was sending letters to my grandmother c/o Katy Allen. I couldn’t find Katy Allen the first time I looked a few years ago when I was first blogging about the letters.

I took another look and found Katy Allen in the Indianapolis directory.

Using Katy Allen’s address I was able to find them in the 1900 census with her husband Thomas Allen.

Looking at his death certificate, I was stunned to find that “Clara Green” was listed as his mother.  That was my great grandmother Anna Ray Allen Reed’s mother. Thomas Allen was her brother.

I found Thomas Ray in the 1870 census living with Sarah Primus/Prymous. Family relationships are not given in the 1870 census.  I had experienced family members living together without being identified as such before and wondered if Thomas and Sarah were siblings.

I set up a tree for Sarah and the Primus family and eventually found a death certificate for one of the children where Sarah’s maiden name was given as “Ray”, which was Thomas’  last name before he changed it from the slave owner’s name of Ray to his father’s name, “Allen”.  Read about that name change in his Will here.

My grandmother’s handwritten family tree gives her grandmother’s name as “Clara Hoskins.” I was never able to find her using that name because she was married to James Green in the 1870 and 1880 census and using Clara Green.

I had found Perry and Rachael Hoskins living near Clara in the 1870 and 1880 census. They had also been free and enumerated in the 1860 census. I decided to take another look at them.

Although the Death Records for Marion County do not include the 1880 and 1890, I found their graves in Find-a-grave. And I found their Wills.

Perry died first. He left everything to his wife Rachael. Racheal left money to St. Augustine Catholic Churches priest and for the upkeep of her husband’s grave. She also left $20 each to Sarah Jane Primus and Anna Reed.  Unfortunately she did not mention any relationship with them.

One day recently, I received an email from 23 & Me.  I had 80 new relatives waiting to discover our link. I decided to go look and see who they were.

I have not checked 23 & Me recently because I can never make the connections between the DNA and my tree.  I wrote a contact who matched me, my aunt Gladys and several of my second cousins in the Reed line. She wrote back and gave me two names that didn’t mean anything to me. Then she added the message “Also look for the name Primus or Promise. My dad’s great grandmother was Sue (Susan). Rae Primus”.  PRIMUS! Just the family I had been looking for a connection with!

You can see Susan Primus up in the 1870 census as a nine year old. I had found Susan, one of Sarah’s daughters, but I had not found her marriage record, so her married name meant nothing to me, but Primus! These were the very people I had spent the last couple of months researching!  And because I had done all that research, I knew who they were.  The connection between two of my great great grandmother’s children has been made.

Now I am going to find the link between Perry and Rachael Hoskins and my great great grandmother Clara.

You can find other blog posts about Anna Ray Allen Reed and family here The Reeds