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”

15 thoughts on “Clara Hoskins Green – Thomas’ Mother

    1. I don’t think my grandmother’s signed their books, but I have many with my parent’s signatures. I have my grandmother’s signatures on letters.

  1. Once again, some amazing research. And I just love that hand written family tree. I have a couple of these and have made copies that I often find easier to work with than their computerized counterparts.

    1. The one above has several dead ends and probably wrong information, but I’ve found there is usually a grain of truth in there to work with. Giving Clara’s last name as Hoskins is something I have only seen here so far, but I think it is a real clue.

  2. The detective work never stops 🙂

    Is DNA helping to solve anything? To my mind it is another document though because we only inherit a fraction of any forebear’s DNA it can be hard to piece together.

    1. DNA has helped recently. In two past cases it validated theories about slave owners but more interestingly, it connected me to Clara’s other daughter and validated that she was a daughter because I was unable to find that proof in the records. I will be writing about it later in the challenge when I get to S for Sarah Jane Ray Primus. After finding Thomas I did a lot of research on a family he lived with in 1870 because I thought they might be related. And because I had done the research, I was able to see where the DNA matched up with some of my 3rd and 4th cousins. Without the research, I wouldn’t have recognized the names. That’s what usually happens with dna cousins.

    1. As the article stated, many people make the claim that do not actually have Cherokee blood. Among African Americans it was/is a way to explain physical characteristics in ancestors that are not African without claiming white ancestors. I don’t think there is any basis for that claim in my family.

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