The Life, Times and People of Thomas Ray Allen #A to Z Challenge Theme Reveal

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.

24 thoughts on “The Life, Times and People of Thomas Ray Allen #A to Z Challenge Theme Reveal

  1. I’m so excited to find and follow more family history blogs! I, too, recently uncovered a relative who was a Union soldier. He was from Louisiana, so I was a bit surprised.

    I’ll be family history blogging at Lincecum Lineage. It’s a one-name study blog, but my posts in April will all be related to me.

  2. My mother’s done a lot of genealogy for our family, so I think it’s cool that you’re bringing yours to light. Great A-Z theme!

    1. Thanks Anne! I find it hard to tear myself away from research to write it up so I’m looking forward to concentrating on writing during April.

  3. I look forward to following your A-Z challenge again, Kristin. For various reasons I am not taking part this year, apart from a contribution to the One Place Studies blog where I am writing to the letter S. Good luck with the pace and pressure!

  4. I always think it’s fantastic when you get a glimpse into the past, especially when it’s through someone who is connected to you in some way.

    Good luck with the challenge.

    Cait @ Click’s Clan

    1. Researching my family history has made history so much more real for me.

      Your theme is unique. I will be checking in April.

  5. Kristin:
    I happened across your site while looking for background information about my ancestors. I am Samuel Cleage’s Great-Great-Great Grandson. I have never known much about my mother’s family until the last couple of years (she was a Cleage), and only recently discovered the old Cleage homestead near Athens. My son and I, while exploring, finally found the family cemetary, abandoned and overgrown with brambles, near a construction site of nearby apartments. There were some tombstones with names (including Samuel’s), but many more overturned and unmarked stones in the area. It is my understanding that the cemetary included both family and slaves.

    1. I sent you an email, Bill. I was wondering if you took any photographs of the cemetery. So many old cemeteries have been neglected.

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