This is my 5th year participating in the A to Z Challenge. This year I am going to use the life of my great grandmother, Anna Ray Reed’s brother Thomas (Ray) Allen as the basis of my blog posts in April. I first “found” him in late November of 2016. Thomas served in the United States Colored Troops during the Civil War. By ordering his pension file I was able to find the names of his family, friends and people who served with him during the war and the name of the man who formerly enslaved him. Through researching these people using census records, directories, Catholic Baptismal records and DNA matches, I was able to find other family members and get a picture of his life in the late 1800s and early 1900s.
Click to learn more about the A to Z Challenge.