Zachariah Taylor’s son, Addison is listed as the “owner” of Thomas Allen on his military file. Thomas Allen listed Foster Ray as his former enslaver on all of his official papers. Why? What was the connection between Taylor and Foster?
After looking for a marriage between their children and finding none, I looked for a relationship between their wives. Again, none.
Then I noticed that a Prudence Peters showed up on both of the trees. I went back several generations, I found that Addison Taylor’s paternal grandparents were Zachariah Taylor and Prudence Peters. After Zachariah died in 1797, Prudence married Foster Ray’s widowed grandfather Nicholas Ray. Nicholas’ first wife Susan Sheckles, was Foster Ray’s grandmother.
Nicholas Ray and Prudence had one child together, Samuel Taylor Ray. Both Foster’s and Addison’s fathers were Samuel’s brothers and he would have been both Addison’s and Foster’s uncle, making them cousins by family if not by blood.
After spending half the day wondering around among Joseph Sharp Yowell’s records and family members, I decided I would not even try to just write up his story. This will be the story of how I researched just about everybody that appeared in this year’s A to Z Challenge.
I found his name when I was looking through Thomas Ray Allen’s pension file for names to use in this challenge. “Yowell” was perfect for “Y”. Then I copied all the pages with his name. I am not using all of them in this post because some just have his name and there are others with more information.
Next I set up a tree for Joseph Yowell on Ancestry.com. I did this for all the people that I wrote about during this A to Z Challenge. That way I am able to find and save their records.
Below is a chart with various records I found for Joseph Yowell and how they relate to each other.
1. on the left, is a record from the U.S. National Homes for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers, 1866-1938. On the top right of the form they list his closest relatives. First is his brother Fletcher Sharp who lived in Lebanon, KY. The second is his cousin Mollie Bates who lived in Indianapolis. At the bottom of the form they mention his widow, Diana Sharp, who ordered his grave stone. She lived in Lebanon, Kentucky.
2. The pension card says that Joseph Yowell also used the name Joseph Sharp. It also has his widow’s name, Diana Sharp.
3. 1880 Census, Lebanon Kentucky. When I found a Joe Sharp in the 1880 census, I was not sure if it was my Joe (Yowell) Sharp. When I saw that he was living with Fletcher Sharp and his family and was listed as Joe Sharp, brother, I knew I had found the right Joe Sharp.
4. Marriage record of Diana Abell and Joe Sharp. Diana was named as his widow in the first document.
5. Death Certificate. In addition to telling us what he died of, it gives his parent’s first names. His father’s name was Major.
6. I followed Joseph’s brother Fletcher around in the records for awhile, then I looked at his wives. He was married twice. First to Ann and second to Nancy, both with the surname of Miller. I wondered if they were sisters, so I followed them around. I found Nancie Miller in the 1870 census living as a house servant in the large household of a white couple, William and Minnie Sharp. Also living there was 80 year old Major Sharp, probably Joseph Yowell’s father.
I did find his cousin Mollie living with her husband in Indianapolis but did not find Joseph living with them. I did find her family a few pages away from the Sharps in one of the census records from Kentucky.
I never found Joseph Yowell and Diana living together. He was listed as “single” in several records and as married or widowed in others, even though she survived him.
Joseph Sharp Yowell’s name – his father was Major Sharp and his owner during slave days was John Yowell. This name appeared on his military records, however I was unable to find a John Yowell who owned slaves in 1850 or 1860 in Taylor or Marion county.
Joseph Yowell appeared in the Indianapolis as “Joseph Yowell” in 1899. In the 1900 Census he appeared as Joseph Sharp. In 1910 he was in the Soldier’s Home and was Joseph Yowell in that census and in the records that he generated there.
When Thomas Ray Allen joined the military in 1864, he was unable to sign his name. I wonder how he learned to read and write. Did he attend classes? Did his wife, who had attended school as a child teach him? Either way, I was very glad when I first received his file and saw that he could sign his name.
Henry Wiley, younger brother of Kate Wiley, was born free in 1855 to Woody and Sarah Wiley. Soon after he was born, the family moved from Virginia to Athens Ohio. He was the middle child. Henry attended school along with his brothers and sisters and learned to read and write.
When his father Woody, died in 1873, Henry was 18. His father asked him to make sure that all his just debts were paid, he thought they could be paid by the sale of his horse and wagon, but if not Henry should pay them and get reimbursed from the sale of the land. He was left one of the beds and bedding, with the remainder of the household goods going to his sister Sarah. He also appointed Henry as executor and stated that the property be divided between three of his children, Henry, Sarah and Armintha, when Armintha came of age.
!n 1884, at the age of 29, Henry married 23 year old Polly Fish. They lived in Springfield, Ohio where they owned their own home free from mortgage. Henry was a brick mason, an occupation he followed for the rest of his life. Polly kept house. They had only one child, a daughter, Glenna Belle, born in 1885. Sadly, Glenna Belle died when she was just six years old.
He testified for her when she was applying for her widow’s pension on February 4, 1908.
“Henry Wiley aged 53 years of 34 W. Clark St. – Springfield P.O., County of Clark State of Ohio who being duly sworn upon his oath declares as follows: That he is a brother of Kate Allen, widow of Thomas Allen late a member of Co. D. 5th USCCav. (United States Colored Calvary) and that he has known her all of his life, covering all of her girlhood days: that she was married to the soldier Thomas Allen March 5th 1880, and that they lived together continuously as man and wife until the date of his death which occurred November 10th 1907 and that she never was married to any one prior to her marriage to the soldier Thomas Allen, and that they were never separated or divorced from each other, nor has she remarried since the death of her said husband Thomas Allen – His means of knowledge of above facts are from his being a brother of said claimant and about her or in touch with her during all of her life.”
In 1912 Polly was 60 miles from home in West Elkton, Preble, Ohio visiting her eldest brother James and his family, when she died. She had been there for two days. Cause of death was congestion of lungs with ??? mitral regurgitation. She was 50 years old. Her niece Janey was the informant.
Two years later Henry married Martha Johnson Edwards, a widow with six children. The children were pretty much grown by the time of the marriage with only two remaining at home by 1920, a 20 year old daughter who worked as a servant and a 16 year old boy who wasn’t in school or working.
Tragedy struck again in November 1925 when Martha’s son-in-law, Floyd Strawder hit her over the head with an iron bar and killed her. Her skull had been fractured. I expected to find him in prison in 1930, but he was living as a divorced (no surprise there) cement worker in a boarding house.
In 1933, Henry Wiley died at his residence of a heart attack, influenza being a contributory factor. Mrs. Will Jones was the informant and she did not have much information about him. He was 78 years old and was buried in Ferncliff Cemetery and Arboretum in Springfield Ohio, a 240 acre combined arboretum and cemetery.
As I went through Thomas Ray Allen’s pension file, I wondered why it was so difficult for him to get his pension raised when his medical reports showed how debilitated he was. There were those who thought that many of the veterans were not really in need of their pension money, that it was a drain on the Federal coffers.
I have shared some quotes below with some of the hows and whys of this state of affairs. After reading about Arthur Bull, another Civil War Veteran trying to get his pension, on the blog Molly’s Canopy, I realized that Thomas was fortunate in not having to travel long distances to a doctor as some of the rural veterans did.
“The Dependent and Disability Pension Act was passed by the United States Congress (26 Stat. 182) and signed into law by President Benjamin Harrison on June 27, 1890. The act provided pensions for all veterans who had served at least ninety days in the Union military or naval forces, were honorably discharged from service and were unable to perform manual labor, regardless of their financial situation or when the disability was suffered. The bill was a source of contentious debate and only passed after Grover Cleveland had vetoed a previous version in 1887.” From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Dependent and Disability Pension Act
“The biggest single change to the pension system came in 1890 with the Dependent Pension Act. Because most veterans did some kind of manual labor to support themselves and their families, and their ability to do so declined over time, political pressure for more help increased (as did the public pleading and private, desperate letters). The 1890 Act expanded eligibility to veterans who were disabled and unable to do manual labor even if that disability was not a direct result of the war. They just had to have served ninety days and been honorably discharged. The result was a huge increase in expenditures and numbers of veterans receiving a pension. More than a million men were on the pension rolls by 1893 and pensions ate more than 40% of the federal government’s revenue. One of the side effects of this legislation was a large number of men transferring their pensions from their previous disability pensions to these new service pensions because the new pensions paid more.” Civil War Pensions by Kathleen L. Gorman
“Those pensioners most often labeled as frauds were widows, especially young women who had married veterans much older than themselves, supposed “cowards,” and, in the Federal system, black veterans.” Civil War Pension…
“Eight U.S. colored regiments, as they were called during that time were founded here and three others were trained here. So roughly ten thousand African American men became soldiers at Camp Nelson. In 1864 and 1865. The significance of those recruitments, first of all, was that it was the beginning of the end of slavery in Kentucky. Second of all, these men made a significant contribution to the union victory in the Civil War. A number of regiments were involved in large and small engagements. A number of soldiers were stationed at critical transportation nodes where they protected garrisons, they protected bridges, they protected supply depots.
The Camp Nelson a refugee camp was started in December 1864. And it began, had kind of a mixed beginning because these refugees, who were initially the wives and children of the enlisting U.S. colored troops, were not really supposed to come in the camp, but soldiers brought them them in because they were afraid their owners, former owners would retaliate against them. They also were hoping that the wives and children would also gain their freedom. So, they brought them into camp with them. They set up a lot of shanties throughout the camp. And finally in November 1864, the commander General Speed Fry, ejected all of the refugees from camp. Took them in wagons up towards Nicholasville on a very very cold November day. Many of them were exposed to very cold weather through the night. And out of the four hundred that were ejected, roughly one hundred died within a few weeks of this event. This created a large uproar. And the Army changed their policy. And in December a month later, constructed what they called the come home for colored refugees. Their families, the families of the enlisting soldiers, came to Camp Nelson to escape slavery themselves. They escaped the immediate condition of slavery, and they also hoped to gain their freedom.”
Thomas Allen appears in the 1888 Indianapolis City Directory living at 2715 N. Capital street. He continued to live there until his death. His wife Kate lived there until at least 1913, her last appearance in the City Directory before moving back to Ohio.
The diagram below is taken from an Indianapolis Sanborn map from 1887. A Wikipedia entry says “The Sanborn Maps were originally created for assessing fire insurance liability in urbanized areas in the United States.” Thomas and Kate Allen’s frame house had 1.5 stories. The half a story meant that the upper story was under the roof and so only half as large as the first story because the eaves take up some of it. The dotted lines indicate a porch.
Thomas’ house is 1.5 story frame house. There are two rooms downstairs and two small porches, one in the front and one in the back. It seems to be the smallest house of those shown above. On the back of the lot was another dwelling, numbered 2715 r, where my great grandmother, and her family – including my grandmother, lived in 1902. I thought it was interesting that the three black residents, all laborers, owned their houses free of mortgage. And that everybody on this chart was literate.
Looking through the enumeration district where the house was located in the 1900 Census, it was a mostly white district. There were a fair number of naturalized citizens and a number who had been born in Ireland or Germany or who had parents born there.
I found the information here in Thomas and Kate Allen’s pension file, the 1900 census on Ancestry.com, the 1897 Sanborn map at this link, and Wikipidea.
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.
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 ancestry.com, familysearch.org, 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.
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.
“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.
“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.