Category Archives: A-Z Challenge 2017

Richard Clay – Witness

Benjamin Clay first appears in the Indianapolis City Directory as a laborer in 1867. He and his wife, Zina Fishback Clay were born in Kentucky.  His son Richard was born in 1868, the second of seven children, all born in Indianapolis. All of the children attended school. Richard went through the sixth grade.

In 1892, Richard Clay married the first of his three wives, Minnie Cummings. Both were 24 years old.  She has also been born in Indiana, but could not read or write. In the 1900 census she had given birth to three children and one was still alive, but did not appear to be living with them.   He was working as a laborer and continued to work laboring jobs for the rest of his life, including a coal yard, a grocery/bakery and a foundry.

In 1901, Richard testified at Thomas Ray Allen’s pension hearing that he had heard him say that he suffered from various ailments. That same year he married his second wife, Hattie Elkins. I have Elkins cousins, but was unable to find a connection.He was 33 and she was 22.  They had no children.  Richard and Hattie continued to live in rental houses. In 1921, Hattie died of uterine cancer that metastasized to the abdomen. She was 40 years old. Her husband was the informant and gave her parents names. She was buried in New Crown Cemetery.

In 1929, sixty one year old Richard married forty year old Nettie Kelly, his third wife. She was born in Georgia, was literate and worked as a servant for a private family. By the 1940 census, Richard was 72 had not worked during the past year. She had worked as a home aide for 32 weeks during that year.  They rented their house and did not own a radio. Nettie had completed the 2nd grade.  She was the one who gave the family information to the census enumerator.

In February of 1948, Nettie Kelly Clay died of a cerebral hemorrhage. She was buried in New Crown Cemetery. Richard was the informant. He did not know her parent’s names. The undertakers were Jacob Brothers Funeral Home.  I noticed that they were undertakers for quite a few of the people I am writing about.

In January 1941 Richard Clay applied for social security benefits. He gave his birth date as 1858 and his birth place as Bowling Green, Kentucky.

Richard Clay died at home of stomach cancer on October 15, 1951. His age was listed as 93, although he was closer to 83. He had been seeing a doctor for six months. His nephew, Gilbert Hall was the informant.


Contradictions in researching Richard Clay.  In the earliest records, 1870 and 1880 censuses and the record for his first wedding, his birth date was given as 1868. In the 1900 census his birth date was given as 1855. In the 1910 census his birth date was given as 1860. In all of these records, his birth place is given as Indiana.

In 1920 his birth date is again given as 1855. In 1930 his birth date was given as 1880.  In 1940 his birth date was given as 1858. In his social security application his birth date is given as 1858, as it is on his death certificate.  On all of these records his birth place is given as Kentucky, Olan County Kentucky or Bowling Green Kentucky.

His parent’s names are consistent.

I found the information for this post on and in the Pension File of Thomas Ray Allen.

William M Quinn – Witness

William Quinn was 36 when he testified for Thomas Ray Allen at the beginning of the pension process, when he was just trying to get his pension. This testimony was given in 1891. The pensions were instituted in 1890. This General Affidavit was “For the testimony of EMPLOYERS OR NEAR NEIGHBORS of the soldier, (other than relatives) who have known him before his enlistment or since his discharge and return from the army.” Quinn testified that he had known Thomas Ray Allen for twenty years.

William Quinn and Charles Kyte testified that: “he is a man of good moral character and not addicted to any vicious habits. We have often heard him complain of deafness and of his back hurting him, also of his stomach and he now suffers more or less all the time from the above disabilities – our knowledge of the facts above cited are gained from our often seeing him and from our intimate acquaintance.”

William Quinn was born into slavery about 1854 in Hodgenville, Larue County, Kentucky to Simon and Phoebe Quinn. He was the oldest of seven children.  Thomas Ray Allen’s first wife was also born in Larue County.

Twenty-two year old Quinn married Julia Ann Cole in their home county on May 31, 1876. She was eighteen.  By 1880 he was in Indianapolis, Indiana working at a barber shop. Julia was not with him. Probably she was waiting back in Kentucky for him to get settled.

By 1900 they were together again and had been married 24 years. There had been no children. Quinn was a barber. Julia did not work outside of the home, however they had seven lodgers so she had plenty of work.  All of the lodgers were born in Kentucky, except for the wife of one who had been born in New York.  Everybody was literate.

William Quinn continued to barber, eventually having his own shop.  Julia continued to have a house full of borders until 1940 when they were living in an apartment and neither was working. They did have another, unnamed, source of income.  Perhaps they were renting out the barbershop and the boarding house. Or maybe they sold them.  Quinn had never attended school while Julia had attended for three years. That makes it all the more impressive that they were both literate and that he was able to sign his name so well when giving his testimony.

The words on the back of this sheet showed through in a distracting way. I used photoshop to try and make it easier to read, hence the difference in color from other sheets in the file.

Julia Ann Quinn died of an intestinal obstruction at home in their apartment, on February 8, 1943. She was 83 years old. Her husband was the informant.

A little over a year later, on April 25, 1944, William Quinn died of hemiplegia, which means that half of his body was paralyzed due to a stroke.  He died at home in the old boarding house.  He was listed as 87 but if the earlier dates of his birth are correct, he was closer to 90. Thomas Quinn, his younger brother, was the informant. Thomas lived in Illinois so perhaps came down to be with his older brother while he was ill, or maybe he hoped to persuade him to move to Chicago and live with him.

William and Julia are buried side by side in Crown Hill Cemetery in Indianapolis.


I found this information on,, Thomas Ray Allen’s Pension File (It is about 1/2 an inch thick when I squeeze it together, over 100 pages.). I also used google to find out about hemiplegia.

Lewis Pierson – Witness

Lewis Pierson (sometimes spelled Louis Pearson) was born in Shelby, Kentucky about 1837. By 1860 he was living in Danville, Indiana with the Atty. James M. Gregg family.  He had no occupation listed and was unable to read or write.

On July 4, 1864 Pierson enlisted in Company G US Colored Troops 28th Infantry in Indianapolis, Indiana. He was mustered out on November 8, 1865 at Corpus Christie, Texas. He was described as a farmer, 36 years old, 5 ft 9 in with black hair and black eyes.

He appears in the Indianapolis City Directory starting in 1879 as a barber and continued to follow that profession.  He applied for a pension in 1890. In 1904 he testified at Thomas Ray Allen’s pension hearing that Allen was who he claimed to be.

There were more USCT from Kentucky than from any other state, aside from Louisiana.

I could not find him in another census until 1900 when he was a lodger in Mrs. Jennie Sanders house on Center Street.  He and Mrs. Sanders shared quarters at several different addresses from 1900 to 1907.  She worked as a laundress while he continued barbering.  Neither one was able to read or write.

On December 7, 1907 Lewis Pierson died of pulmonary tuberculosis at home.  His father’s name was given as Dock Pierson. No name for his mother.  Mrs. Sanders was the informant.  I wondered if Mrs. Sanders was Lewis Pierson’s sister, but not knowing the mother’s name made it seem unlikely.  He was buried in Crown Hill Cemetery.

The information for this post came from records found on and Thomas Ray Allen’s pension file.

The Other N is Nelson Cantrell – Witness for Thomas Allen

Although I posted an “N” post yesterday, I had done so much research on Nelson Cantrell that I decided to write it up as the Other “N”.  Nelson Cantrell is listed on the same Declaration as Major Edmundson who we met earlier.   He testified that he knew Thomas was who he claimed to be.  He was literate and signed his name on the document below.

Nelson Cantrell was  born about 1873 in Sumner County Tennessee, the second of the eleven children of Reuben Moore Cantrell and Sarah “Sallie” Lawrence Cantrell. Reuben Moore and Sallie Lawrence were married in 1867.

In the 1880 census, the family was going by the surname of “Moore”. The father, Rueben did farm labor. The mother, Sallie kept house. Neither could read or write. The two oldest children, Eight year old Mary and seven year old Nelson attended school. The three younger children (ages five, three and one) were too young for school.

By 1895 the family begins to appear in the Indianapolis City Directory. Sarah is listed as the widow of Reuben. They are now using the last name “Cantrell”. Perhaps they, like Thomas Ray Allen, decided to use a different name because they no longer wanted to use the name of the former slave owner. This was not an uncommon practice and makes it confusing to track family members unless you realize there was a name change. I suspected there had been a name change because I could not find the family before 1880. When I found a marriage record for Sallie with her same last name and a Reuben in the same area that they were originally from, I was hopeful that I had found them. Then I found the couple in 1880 with children of the same name as they appear later. This caused a bit of joy on my part.

Nelson  first appears in 1895 as a hostler in Indianapolis. Two years later he and Julia Buckner were married. They shared a home with her family for several years. First her father was listed as head. Eventually Nelson was listed as head. Nelson continued to work as a hostler, a laborer and later as a trucker.  On his World War 1 draft registration card, Nelson was described as being tall and stout with black hair and brown eyes.

On February 23, 1930, Julia’s father, Robert Buckner died at the shared home. In May of the same year, Nelson’s wife Julia died of diabetes with lobar pneumonia as a contributing factor.

Nelson married again sometime before his death at 62 on February 7, 1940. His wife, Rosie, was 31.  The cause of death was pneumonia with emphysema as a contributing factor.

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 Williams Allen B. Alabama
1839 – 1917
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.


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.”

My recreation of the house on N. Capital using Sanborn and google maps and houses that matched that description.

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 1859. 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 not 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.  James Busby, son of Robert Busby and his first wife, Harriett (Francis’ stepson) 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-in-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 mother-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 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.