AfriGeneas Free Persons of Color Forum
LEWIS, CLANTON, SMITH, HALL, WILLIAMS, AND MORE
DESCENDANT OF AMBROSE LEWIS(?) - ALSO, CLANTON (WHITE QUAKER MASTER AND FATHER OF GREAT-GREAT GRANDMOTHER)/ LEWIS (SETTLING IN SOUTH COLCHESTER, ONTARIO)/SMITH (NEW CANAAN - CANADA)/ HALL (LEXINGTON, KY)/ WILLIAMS (COLUMBUS, OH).
My great-grandfather, Berry Lewis, b. 1810-13 (a free man) in Virginia, seems to be the son of Ambrose Lewis (Alexandria,VA)- veteran soldier and sailor of the American Revolution. I wrote to Anita Wills, after reading her account of her ancestor, Charles Lewis, who was Ambrose's brother. Years ago, I recorded information passed down from my granduncle, and it all fits (I have details.)
Berry left VA to live in Ohio but met with hard times there so he moved back to VA. He met and married Lucy Clanton (daughter and slave of her master-Edward Clanton- a Quaker)-VA-. She was born approx. 1823. Berry and Lucy married approx. 1838-40. Their daughter, Josephine was born in VA in 1842.
Even though Berry was free, Lucy was not. They escaped through the Underground Railroad (UGRR) and settled in Ohio (1843-1844.) They had six (6) more children: John William,born in 1845 was my great-grandfather; Mary Jane, born 1847; James, born 1849l; George, born 1951; Charles, born 1853; Nancy, born 1855. Because of the danger of capture by slave hunters, they moved to Canada and settled in South Colchester, Ontario. There, they had four (4) more children: Lucy, born 1858; Robert, born 1860; Emmanuel, born 1862; and Desdemona, born 1866.) The entire family was identified on U.S. and Canadian census reports.
John, my great-grandfather, enlisted in the Union Army at age 19 (August 23, 1864) at Pontiac, Michigan - Michigan Colored Troops/Company G. The name was later change to the 102nd Regiment US Colored Soldiers. After discharge, John went back to Canada, met and married Evangeline Smith, born 1854 in Indiana, (daughter of Daniel Smith and her family tree is available) of New Canaan. They married at Grosse Ile, Michigan in 1875 and was married by Justice of the Peace, Andrew Dudgeon. In 1879, they moved to Salem, Michigan (and yes, I know why they chose Salem) and became the first African-American settlers there. (The Lewis family still resideS there and the house John built in 1883 and the one his son built in 1909 still stands and are livable.)
John and Evangeline had eight children: Ethel Naomi, born 1877; Raymond Chester, born 1878 (he is my grandfather); Victor Emmanuel, born 1881; Roy Elmer, born 1883; Bernice Helena, born 1886; Mattie Evelyn, born 1889; John Franklin, born 1892(the granduncle who passed on the family history to me); and Evangeline, born 1900. All lived well into their old ages except for Evangeline.
In 1909, Raymond Chester married Emma Williams (born 1888 in Lexington, KY. Her family tree is also available). She was the daughter of Reuben Williams (OH) and Julia Hall (KY)- and my great-grandparents. Julia Hall was the daughter of Louis Hall, born 1829 in MD and a Confederate KY Colored Troop, Co. D., veteran - and Emeline Burl,born 1852, Bourbon County, KY. Louis and Emeline were married in Nov. 1866 and their marriage date is posted in the "Book of Marriage Bonds, Colored, 1866-1873, on page 34, in Fayette County, KY. They had eight (8) children total.
Julia was either widowed or divorced from Reuben because in 1903, she and her daughter, Emma, moved to Detroit, MI and lived at 67 Garfield. Emma kept a diary/address book that is now 100 years old. I have that book. She wrote names of friends in several states. An interest note is that in the book she devoted a page to nine young men which was entitled "THE BOYS OF DETROIT AND WINDSOR." Among the names was Walter Collins, Andrew Cruzett and others who have proved to be prominent names at that time. My grandparents, Raymond and Emma, met and married in May, 1909 at the Russell House in Detroit. They settled in Salem, Michigan and eventually Emma's mother and grandmother settled there.
Raymond and Emma had eight children: Lydabell, born 1910; Robert Harland, born 1913; Virginia Elaine, born 1915; Lindsay, born 1917; Raymond, Jr., born 1919; Ernestine Wilma, born 1922; John, born 1925; and Julia Ann, born 1927 (Julia is my mother). I know the birth dates and death dates of 85% of my ancestors. Of my mother's family, Ernestine is the surviving sibling.
All of this may seem to be an abundance of information, but I want to know more. I'd better rephrase that-I have to know.
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