Saturday Night Genealogy Fun Challenge – Who Was Born On My Birthday?

The Saturday Night Genealogy Fun challenge this week:

1) Is there a person in your genealogy database that has the same birth date that you do? If so, tell us about him or her – what do you know, and how is s/he related to you?

2) For bonus points, how did you determine this? What feature or process did you use in your software to work this problem out? I think the Calendar feature probably does it, but perhaps you have a trick to make this work outside of the calendar function.

Me, my niece,Deignan and my step-grandaughter, Maya.

 I  found three people in my Reunion data base with my birthday.  
1.  My niece Deignan was born on August 30, 29 years after I was.
2.  My step-grandaughter Maya was born on August 30, 58 years after I was.
3.  Elizabeth Ferguson was born 22 years before I was and is the wife of my first cousin twice removed husband’s great uncle.  In other words, she is not a blood relative but a result of one of my wandering searches.

It took me some time to figure out how to find this information in my REUNION genealogical software, which is why I am posting on Sunday night instead Saturday.  I found it by going to my calendar, under LIST, then picking Birth as the event, include ALL PEOPLE, month of AUGUST and then picking LIST.  I got a window with all the August birthdays, scrolled down to August 30 and voila, there they were.

Jerome Cleage, the doppleganger’s Second husband – is he related to me?

In a recent post I talked about my grandmother Pearl Reed Cleages singing doppelganger Pearl Holmes Cleage.  In this post I will explore the other Pearl’s second husband Jerome Cleage.  Was he related to my grandfather Albert Cleage?  Both were Cleages, both with roots in McMinn county Tennessee.  In the marriage record found on Family Search for Pearl Holmes and Jerome Cleage I found he was born October 20, 1880 in Rhea Springs, Tennessee to Richard and Adeline (Wasson) Cleage.  He was married to Pearl on September 23, 1914 in Cleveland, Ohio.

In 1870 there were three Richard Cleages in all of Tennessee, two black and one white.  All three were in McMinn County.  This was where Samuel Cleage settled in the 1820’s with the slaves he had brought from Virginia and the ones he picked up as payment for building houses all along the way.  I noticed when I looked in the book “The Hidden History of McMinn County” by Joe Guy, that the slaves were described as Angolan.  I wonder how the author knew that?  I will have to write and ask.  When Samuel Cleage was killed by one of his overseers the slaves were split between his two sons, Alexander and David.  My ancestors came off of Alexander Cleage’s plantation.  I don’t know which one Jermone’s people came off of.

Of the three Richards, the white Richard Cleage the great grandson of Samuel and the grandson of Alexander, was nine years old at the time of Jerome’s birth.  I disregarded him as a possible father of Jerome.  The other two Richards were both sons of Charles Cleages. There were two of them.    Charles and Martha’s son was 3 months old in 1870.  I don’t think he fathered Jerome at the age of ten.  The other Richard was the fifteen year old son of Charles who had no wife ennumerated with him in the 1870 census.  Charles did have 8 Cleage children living with him, who I assume were his sons and daughters.  Relationships were not specified in the 1870 census.    This Richard would be about 25 by the time Jerome was born in 1880.  One of this Richard’s younger brothers was named Jerome.

Richard and Adeline Cleage were enumerated in Rhea county in 1880.    I found Richard, a hostler (he cared for horses), and his wife Adeline was a cook. They lived in the household of John Abernathy, a physician. They had two children, both born in Texas, two year old John and one year old Emma.  Jerome had not been born yet.  I was suspicious of the Texas birthplace thinking it might be a transcription error but Texas was listed on all the records I found for them.  I wonder how Richard and family ended up there and what they did and why they returned to Tennessee.

I can’t find any of the family in 1900.  In 1910 I found Adeline widowed, living with two of her teenage children, Hosea and Louise, in Hamilton County, Tennessee.  Jerome’s sister Emma was a servant living with the Irving Reilly family in Chattanooga, Tennessee. I didn’t find Jerome until his marriage in Cuyahoga, Ohio in 1914.  In his WW 1 Draft registration card in 1918 he and Pearl were married and living in Cleveland, Ohio.  In the 1920 Census Jerome is divorced, living with his mother Adeline in Cleveland, Ohio.  He is 35 if he was born in 1885 or 40 if he was indeed born in 1880.

Adeline died June 20, 1926 in Cleveland.  Her son Archie signed the death certificate. Two months later sister Emma died.  In the 1930 Census  Jerome was listed as 49, a servant living in Shaker Heights, Ohio with the Eugene S. Carr family.  On Jerome’s draft registration card in 1942 Jerome is living with his sister Louise at E.101 St. in Cleveland.  He  is described as a 5’5″ Negro weighing 140 lbs, of light brown complexion, bald with gray hair.

In 1942,  I found a mention of my father, Rev. Albert B. Cleage in The Cleveland Call and Post.  While in Divinity school at Oberlin he preached regularly at the Union Congregational Church but was going to be in Detroit one weekend so someone else was preaching the article explained.   I wonder if any of the Cleveland Cleages went to those services.The last mention I find of Jerome is in a small article in The Cleveland Call and Post where he attended an impromptu Bond Rally at the Chauffeurs’ Club in 1944.  His brother Richard  died in Cleveland in August of 1955.  I have yet to find a record of Jerome’s death.

I guess I will never know if Jerome was related to my grandfather or even if their people came off of the same plantation but they did both start out in McMinn County Tennessee and by the early 1900’s had almost all relocated to the north – Cleveland in Jeromes family’s case and Detroit in my family’s case.  I found a bad photograph of brother Archie in a newspaper article online and I see a resemblance to my cousin Richard Cleage.  It could be both bad photographs of men wearing glasses.  The insert is my great uncle Henry’s son Richard.  The other is Jerome’s brother Archie.

Part 1 – My Grandmother Pearl Cleage’s Doppelganger

A Family Photograph – 1892

This photograph was taken in Montgomery during 1892 while the family was in mourning. Jennie holds two year old Daisy while four year old Fannie stands beside her.

Howard Turner and Jennie Virginia Allen were married in June of 1887.  Howard’s father, Joe Turner gave them land to farm in Lowndes County, Alabama. Joe wanted the land to stay in the family forever. By 1892 Joe and Howard were arguing constantly about Howard and Jennie’s desire to sell the land and move to Montgomery. The day of the fateful bar-b-que the arguments had been particularly violent. Jennie was in Montgomery visiting her parents , with their two young daughters, when word came that Howard had been shot dead at the bar-b-que.

Jennie moved back to her parent’s house with her children, Fannie and Daisy. She took the title to the land to a lawyer and asked him to make sure all was in order so she could sell. When she returned the lawyer told her that the title was not clear and she didn’t own the land. Jennie believed that her father-in-law had paid the lawyer to get the land back for himself. She cut ties with the Turners and went to work as a seamstress, the trade her mother Eliza had taught all six of her daughters.

Many years later, when Fannie was grown, she ran into one of her Turner cousins. She asked the cousin about what her mother believed – that Joe Turner had his son killed to keep the land. It wasn’t true. The lawyer had stolen the land for himself. They didn’t know who killed Howard.

Fannie was my maternal grandmother. Howard and Jennie were my great grandparents. Joe Turner was my great great grandfather. I didn’t know his or wife’s name, nor any of Howard’s siblings names until I found them in the 1870 and 1880 census in Lowndes County, Alabama when I began to do online research in the 1990s. Joe and Emma Turner lived on the farm with their children, Lydia b. 1862, Howard b. 1863, Fanny b. 1864, Joe b. 1867, Anna b. 1869, Alonza b. 1873.

I won!

I won first place in the AfriGeneas FAMILY HISTORY MONTH CHALLENGE #1  with my piece Childhood Homes and Memories.

Now to get busy on Challenge #3.

FAMILY HISTORY MONTH CHALLENGE #3

Your family photos might hang on the wall or kept in an album or box or displayed on the mantle, table or cabinet.
Pick your favorite family photo and tell us the story behind it.
Interpret the theme any way you like. Write as long or short as you like. For this challenge, especially, please post the photo that you’re writing about.

Memorial Day and the Fourth of July 1950’s

"4th of July Nanny and Poppys"

On most Saturdays and all holidays my mother, my sister and I would drive the two blocks down Calvert on Detroit’s west side to pick up my aunt and her three daughters for the ride over to my grandparent’s house on the East side.  We four oldest would sit in the back while the youngest sat up front between the adults.

Poppy, my mother’s father set up a table in the yard for holiday meals.  He made it from boards set up on saw horses.  There were chairs at each end of the table..  On each side of the table were benches made by setting planks on wooden boxes.

A wooden fence ran around three sides of the yard and separated us from the alley.  The block was laid out with two long sides with a lot houses and two short sides with only two houses.  Poppy and Nanny’s house was on a short side.  The alley cut behind the houses and makes an “H”.  If it hadn’t been for the wooden fence, we would have been sitting in the alley, as it was we had complete privacy.  That’s how it seemed to me at the time anyway. Above the fence we could see the backs of the houses and tenements and garages that ran along one long side.

Looking at the photographs the only thing I can make out on the table is the white enamel pitcher which would have held the Hawaiian punch, our picnic drink, which was usually served in red, green and gold metal “glasses’.

After the meal it was time to clean up.  The grownups would do it while we played in the yard.  This was in contrast to real life during the week when we did the clean up and the dishes.  I think this gave them time to talk while they worked and as I now know, doing the dishes is no big deal.

Then we’d have the long drive back home to the west side through all those interesting neighborhoods where I’d imagine what life would be like if I lived … there.  And we’d sing songs and play car games.  I wonder how long it really took.  An hour? We didn’t take the expressway, all through neighborhoods.  No urban renewal yet, or not on our route, and the neighborhoods were always full of people on porches and kids in the street.

My Grandmother Pearl Cleage’s Doppelganger – part 1

While researching my paternal grandmother Pearl Reed Cleage, I found many references to her singing in her church and at community events in Indianapolis, Indiana. Later I looked in the online date base, ProQuest Historical Newspapers and found numerous society shorts in the Chicago Defender column “Brief News from the Buckeye State” about Pearl Cleage singing with the Harmony Trio in Cleveland, Ohio. The articles were dated from 1915 to 1922.

Finally I came across an article dated December 30, 1922 with the title “William Anderson Buried.” It mentioned that he left to mourn his passing Mrs. Margaret Anderson, a son, William Anderson Jr and a daughter Mrs. Pearl Cleage Johnson. So, was Pearl Cleage Johnson his step daughter? How did she go from Pearl Cleage in a May 21 short item about singing to Mrs. Pearl Cleage Johnson in the obituary? Why was there no marriage announcement? Was Cleage her maiden name? Probably not since she was singing as Mrs. Pearl Cleage. Perhaps a former marriage?

Recently I came across this information again while cleaning up my files and decided to see what I could find out about Mrs. Pearl Cleage Johnson. I started by looking for Pearl Cleage on FamilySearch. References to my grandmother Pearl Cleage appeared and then a marriage record for Pearl Cleage to Burl Johnson in Cleveland Ohio on August 19, 1921. The brides name was Pearl Holmes Cleage, maritial status was divorced. She was born in 1884 in Fort Wayne, Indiana. . Her mother’s maiden name was Margaret Banks. Her father’s name was Harry Holmes.

I found her at 16 in the 1900 census living with her mother’s sister and husband. Living in that household were Harvey Martin and his wife Vaudalia, their three children, Vaudalia’s sister Marnir and niece Pearl. I found Vaudalia and Margaret Banks in the 1880 census living with their parents Pleasant Owen and Clara Banks, in Delpos, Van Wert, Ohio. Baby sister Mamie (not Marnir) were also there. I found that Clarinda was born in Ohio and Pleasant came there from Virginia before 1850. He fought with the U.S. Colored Infantry in the Civil War. Once I get started it’s hard to stop looking.

I found two other marriage records for Pearl Holmes. She married Robert Williams June 6, 1908 in Cuyahoga County, Ohio. She married Jerome Cleage on September 23, 1914 in Cuyahoga County, Ohio. It gives her previous husband’s name as Williams but doesn’t say if she was divorced or he died. Jerome’s birthplace was Rhea Springs, Tennessee. His father’s name was Richard Cleage and his mother’s name was Adeline Wason.

What I learned about Pearl’s life from various online records was that she was born in Fort Wayne Indiana in 1884. Her father died before 1900 leaving her mother a widow working as a servant in Dayton, Ohio while Pearl lived with her aunt. Pearl married three times and had no children. She was active in her church, St. John’s A.M.E. (the oldest African American church in the Cleveland area) both singing and in club work. In the 1910 census she and her new husband Robert Williams, a teamster, were living with her mother, 4 year old brother and stepfather in Cleveland. In 1920 she was not with Jerome Cleage and again living with her mother, brother and stepfather. In 1930 her stepfather was dead and her mother was living with Pearl and husband Burl in Cleveland. I found one photograph of Pearl in 1939 as a member of “Cleveland’s Popular Mystery Pals Club.” Unfortunately it is a horrible copy in the online paper and it is impossible to see what she looks like. Burl died in 1947. I have not found a death date for Pearl yet.

In part two I look for a connection between my grandmother Pearl’s husband Albert Cleage and the other Pearl’s second husband, Jerome Cleage who both came from south east Tennessee.

Wordless Wednesday – More Visitors in the yard

"Theodore backyard Rance Allen"

Another in the series of photographs taken in my maternal grandparents yard in Detroit.  Shell was my grandfather.  John Wesley was my grandmother’s first cousin who was visiting from Chicago.  This photo was taken the same day as the fourth photo down on the linked page, dated September 21, 1961.  On the back of the photo it says “Our backyard 9-21-1961 (right to left) John Wesley, John Bishops son, Ernest and Shell”