No Longer Enslaved

Reading the post Freedom’s faces on the blog Scuffalong:Genealogy, reminded me of a post I did several years ago about my enslaved ancestors who were born into slavery and lived to be free. I am reposting it today, as I take a one day break from following the life of formerly enslaved Thomas Allen and his friends during the A to Z Challenge.

I have no photograph of Annie Williams (mother of Eliza Williams Allen) who was born about 1820 in Virginia and died after 1880 in Montgomery, Alabama.

I do not have a photograph of  Matilda Brewster (mother of Dock Allen) who was born in Georgia.

Eliza
Eliza Williams Allen B. Alabama
1839 – 1917
docallen
Dock Allen B. Georgia 1839 – D. Alabama 1909

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eliza Williams Allen was my great great grandmother. She was born in Alabama about 1839 and died free in Montgomery, Alabama in 1917. She was a seamstress.  You can read more about Eliza here A Chart of the People in Eliza’s Life and Eliza’s Story – Part 1 with links to the other 3 parts.

Dock Allen was my great great grandfather. He was born a slave in Georgia about 1839 and died free in Montgomery, Alabama in 1909.  He was a cabinet maker. You can read more about Dock Allen here Dock Allen’s Story.

I have no photographs of  my great grandparents William Graham who was born about 1851 or his wife Mary Jackson Graham born about 1856. Both were born in Alabama and died dates unknown.  William Graham was a farmer. They were my grandfather Mershell C. Graham’s parents. You read more about him here William Graham, Alabama.

I do not have photographs of my grandmother Fannie Mae Turner Graham’s paternal grandparents.  Her grandfather Joseph Turner was born in Alabama about 1839. He died in Lowndes County, AL in 1919. He was a farmer and owned his own land. His wife Emma Jones Turner was born about 1840 in South Carolina and died about 1901 in Lowndes County Alabama.  You can read more about them here,  Emma and Joe Turner of Gordensville, Lowndes County, Alabama.

Celia Rice Cleage Sherman with grand daughter Barbara Cleage.
Celia Rice Cleage Sherman
grand daughter Barbara Cleage.

Frank Cleage was born around 1816 in North Carolina. He was enslaved on the plantation of first Samuel Cleage and then his son Alexander Cleage.  I do not have a picture of Frank Cleage and have no stories about him. His name appears on my great grandfather, Louis Cleage’s death certificate.

In the 1870 Census he was living with his wife, Judy and six children, including my great grandfather, in Athens, Tennessee. I also have a marriage record for Frank and Judy dated 20 August, 1866.  I don’t know if they were married before and the children are theirs or if they came together after slavery. Judy was born about 1814.

Frank is mentioned in a work agreement between Samuel Cleage and his overseer in this post – Article of Agreement – 1834.

They were both born in slavery and lived most of their lives as slaves but they lived to see freedom and to see their children free. You can read more about them here Timelines – Frank and Juda Cleage.

No photograph of Louis Cleage B. 1852 in Tennessee and died 1919 in Indianapolis, IN.  Louis and Celia were my grandfather Albert B. Cleage’s parents. Louis was a laborer. You can read more about Louis Cleage here – Lewis Cleage – Work Day Wednesday.

Celia Rice Cleage Sherman was born into slavery about 1855 in Virginia.  She died about 1931 in Detroit, Michigan. She was a cook. You can read more about Celia Rice Cleage here Celia Rice Cleage Sherman.

I do not have photographs of my great grandmother Anna Allen Reed who was born about 1849 in Lebanon, Kentucky and died in 1911 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  She was my grandmother Pearl’s mother.  You can read about her here – Anna Allen Reed.

Anna’s mother Clara, my great great grandmother, was born about 1829 in Kentucky and died after 1880 in Lebanon, Marion County Kentucky.  You can read about her at Clara Hoskins Green, Thomas’ Mother You can see some of their descendents here My Father’s Mother’s People.

 

Thomas McDougal – Witness and Former Brother-in-law

Thomas McDougal was born into slavery about 1839 in Larue County Kentucky. His mother was Fannie McDougal and his father, Ephraim Martin.  He was the oldest of eight, including Georgeanna MacDougal, Thomas Ray Allen’s first wife.

On July 14, 1864 he was mustered into Company “F” of the 107th Colored Infantry (USTC) in Lebanon, Kentucky.  Looking at the records, it seems he was mustered in as a sergeant.  He also mustered out as a Sergeant.

Thomas McDougal F Sergeant Sergeant

Company F included many men mustered in from Lebanon, Marion County, which is next to Larue County, where Thomas McDougall lived. Below is a description of the movements of the   107th Regiment, United States Colored Infantry during the war.

“SERVICE.–Duty in Kentucky until October, 1864. Ordered to Baltimore, Md., thence to City Point, Va., October 26. Siege of Petersburg November 3 to December 7. 1st Expedition to Fort Fisher, N. C., December 7-27. 2nd Expedition to Fort Fisher, N. C., January 7-15, 1865. Bombardment of Fort Fisher January 13-15. Assault and capture of Fort Fisher January 15. Sugar Loaf Hill January 19. Federal Point February 11. Fort Anderson February 18-20. Capture of Wilmington February 22. Northeast Ferry February 22. Campaign of the Carolinas March 1-April 26. March on Kinston and Goldsboro March 6-21. Action at Cox’s Bridge March 23-24. Advance on Raleigh April 9-14. Occupation of Raleigh April 14. Bennett’s House April 26. Surrender of Johnston and his army. Duty at various points in North Carolina and in the Dept. of the South until November, 1866. Mustered out November 22, 1866.”

Members of the 107th Infantry of the U.S. Colored Troops at Fort Corcoran, Washington, D.C. Courtesy of Library of Congress

Thomas McDougal disappears from the end of the Civil War until I found him in Indianapolis in 1891 listed as a carpenter in the City Directory. In the 1900 Census he is living as a widowed roomer and working as a janitor. 1900 was also the year he testified for Thomas Ray Allen during his pension hearing, saying that he knew Thomas Allen to be who he claimed to be.

In 1904 Thomas McDougal entered the U.S. National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers in Grant, Marion County Indiana.  He was 67 years old.  In the 1910 Census he was listed as 71, living at the Home and unable to read or write. He signed his testimony with an “X” above.

On February 28, 1915, Thomas McDougal died of lobar pneumonia at the National Military Home.  He had been ill from August 16, 1914 to February 28, 1915.  This seems a long time to suffer from pneumonia, however I remember having pneumonia when I was six and being confined to bed for so long that when I finally was able to go back downstairs, I felt like I was in a new house.  I also have to remember that there were no antibiotics at that time.His birth date is given as 1841 and his age as 74.  He was a widower and his occupation was given as farmer.

Thomas McDougal is buried at Crown Hill cemetery.  His grave marker is above.

Lottie Withers Sullivan – Introduced Thomas and Kate

Lottie Withers Sullivan testified during Kate Wiley Allen’s pension hearing that she introduced Thomas Allen and Kate Wiley.

Lottie Sullivan declares as follows:

“That I knew Kate Allen and Thomas Allen since I was a girl and prior to their marriage to each other. I was the person who introduced the claimant to the soldier. At that time claimant was considered a single girl. After their marriage I continued to see them quite often at least every month, and I know they always lived together as man and wife and were never separated or divorced and claimant has not remarried. All the property of any kind the claimant owns consists of the small house and lot where she lives, # 2715 North Capital Ave, this city. She derives no income from any source and is dependent on her own labor and efforts for a support, to my best knowledge no one is legally bound to support her.  I do not know the value or rental value of her property. I would consider her household goods worth about $30.00. I am not related to claimant.”

When I first read Lottie Sullivan’s testimony, I wondered how she knew Thomas Allen and Kate Wiley well enough to introduce them when she was ten years younger than they were and so a child when they met in 1879.  As I went through various census records, I realized that she played rather lose with her age.  She was actually about the same age as Kate was when she introduced them, twenty years old.

Lottie was born in Kentucky about 1959. In 1870 she was eleven years old and lived in Indianapolis with her mother Jane and her step-father Levin Ballard, a carpenter.  There were also numerous other children in the house, siblings and two baby nieces.  The school age children, including Lottie, were attending school. An older sister did laundry and an older brother was a laborer.  The oldest household member were illiterate.

Levin Ballard died in 1879. In the 1880 census,  Lottie’s mother, Jane Ballard, and her oldest sister, Caroline Thornton, worked as domestics. Her older brother was now a teamster. These three were unable to read or write.  Twenty one year old Lottie took in washing and was literate. Caroline’s eleven year old daughter Anna,  attended school.    They had one border, a twenty six year old house painter.

On February 9, 1881 Lottie married Henry Sullivan. In the 1900 census Henry and Lottie owned their home, which was mortgaged. Henry worked as a coachman. Lottie took in laundry.  Her 81 year old widowed mother lived with them and did have an occupation. The mother had borne seven children and only one was living. Lottie had no children.  They had a 14 year old border. Everybody in the household could read and write, except Henry who could not write.

Henry and Lottie went into the laundry business and were listed in the City Directory in 1917.

In the 1910 census they both are listed as working on their own account, doing laundry. Lottie gave her age as 38. She also said she had been married for 30 years.  They have two borders, one a 26 year old divorcee born in New York and a nine year old boy.

Lottie’s husband Henry died on February 26, 1917, just a few weeks past their 36th wedding anniversary. He had been under a doctor’s care for about a month when he died of chronic inflammation of the kidney (parenchymatous nephritis). A contributory factor was aortic insufficiency. He was embalmed and buried in Crown Hill Cemetery.

I could not find Lottie in the 1920 census, by 1930 she was listed as a border in her own house. She was seventy one, although the census says sixty seven. She was not working so I am hoping she sold her house at a good price to Atty. Forrest W. Littlejohn, who seems to own the house. The house is worth $6,000.

Three years later Lottie Withers Sullivan died of acute appendicitis at age seventy four at 3:30AM January 18, 1933.  She was buried in Crown Hill Cemetery.

 

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. Their son, James Busby 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.

Henry Johnson – Member Co. D, 5th United State Colored Volunteer Calvary

Henry Johnson served with Thomas Ray Allen during the Civil War. He testified in July 1907 about Thomas’ name change.

Johnson was born about 1839 in Adair County, Kentucky. His slave owner was James L. Johnson.  Henry Johnson enlisted for three years on August 15, 1964 in Lebanon, Kentucky. He was six feet tall. I believe this is the tallest man I’ve come across in the USCT records so far. His eyes, hair and complexion were described as black. He was 25 years old and his occupation was farmer. He was sent to Camp Nelson near Louisville, Kentucky where the rest of his troop was stationed.

Here are some activities listed in his records:

In January 1865 he was absent and sick in the hospital in Camp Nelson, KY.

August 1865 (Bugler) On duty headquarters.  (Note: Thomas Ray Allen was also listed as a bugler)

Dec, 1865, On duty with Regimental Band

October 1865 to Jan 1866 (Private) On duty, Regimental Band.

On February 23, 1866 Henry Johnson was appointed Sergent from Private.

February 1866 (Sergt) On duty in Regimental Band.

He was mustered out in Helena, Arkansas March 16, 1866.

He signed with his mark X when he joined the USCT. He was able to sign his name when he gave testimony for Thomas in 1907.

Click to enlarge.
Click to enlarge.

There were so many Henry Johnson’s that I was unable to follow him through census and other civilian records. He seems to have been an interesting man and I am sorry I was not able to get to know. more about his life.

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.

 

 

Major Edmundson Gave Testimony

Major Edmondson testified that Thomas Allen was who he said he was as he continued to try and have his military pension raised.  I do not know how they met. Perhaps they worked together. Major Edmondson’s first name was “Major”, not a rank in the armed service. He never served. The earliest that I found Major Edmondson in a record was his 1884 Marriage license. On October 8, 1884 he married Lucy Elms in Manhattan, New York. Lucy was born in Monroe, North Carolina and lived there with her mother and siblings in 1880 when she was working as a 16 year old cook.  What brought the two of them to New York City? Probably the desire for better opportunities and less discrimination.

They lived there until at least 1888 when he appears in the New York City Directory as a hostler, a man who looks after horses. In 1889 he and his family were living in Indianapolis where over the years he worked as a laborer, usually a hostler.

In 1890 his wife Lucy gave birth to their daughter Emma. She had two other children who were both dead by 1900. Lucy was literate, although Major was not. In 1900 Major was working as a hostler. Lucy was not working outside of the home. They had 8 roomers living with them. There were two married couples. They worked at various occupations, including barber, waiter, bar keeper, laborer and porter. All of them were literate. Daughter Emma attended school and could read and write. She died at the age of 13 in 1903 from Typhoid fever.

In 1910 Major worked as a janitor at the state capital. Lucy did washing for a private family.  They owned their home free and clear. Major Edmondson died in 1913.  I was unable to find a death certificate for him but did learn he was buried in Crown Hill Cemetery.  He was 63.

His widow Lucy remarried in 1918. In 1920 I found her second husband, George W. Rankin, a widower, living with his adult daughter. I cannot find Lucy so assume she died between her marriage and the census. She would have been in her early 50s.

I would have liked to find death certificates for all the members of the family. I would also have liked to find Major in the 1870 and 1880 census.  I wonder what took them to New York, how they met and why they decided to move to Indianapolis.