Richard Wiley Ray was my second-great-grandfather on my paternal side. Today would have been the 103rd anniversary of his passing in 1912. He was born in Hardeman County, Tennessee in July of 1830. I have not found his family listed on any census yet for 1830 or 1840. His occupation was that of most in the area, a farmer of poor means. He married my second-great-grandmother Martha Ledbetter in 1851 in Wayne County, Tennessee. She was the daughter of James P. Ledbetter and Martha Meadows. It was not until 1870 that they showed up in the census for McNairy County, Tennessee where their daughter Lucy Ray would meet and marry Robert Declave Kendrick, my paternal great-grandfather in 1881. She would bear him one child, James Lacy Kendrick in May of 1884. After her death James Lacy Kendrick was raised between the homes of her sisters Caldonia Ray-May and Florence Ray-James.
1860 U.S. Federal Census
August 23rd, 1860 Census in Seventh Civil District in Dyer County, Tennessee lists R W. Ray, age 29, born in Tennessee. Enumerated with him is his wife, M L., age 26. R W’s occupation is listed as farmer. Their personal estate is valued at $70.00. He is also enumerated with his children, E E E, age 5, N H. C., age 2.
Source Citation: Year: 1860; Census Place: District 7, Dyer, Tennessee; Roll: M653_1248; Page: 360; Image: 126; Family History Library Film: 805248.
1870 U.S. Federal Census
August 9th, 1870 Census in Tenth Civil District in McNairy County, Tennessee lists Richard W.Ray, age 43, born in Tennessee. Enumerated with him is his wife, Martha L., age 35. Richard’s occupation is listed as farmer and Martha’s occupation is listed as keeping house. Their personal estate is valued at $200.00. Richard, Martha and Nancy are listed as cannot write.He is also enumerated with his children,Nancy H. C., age 12, Martha E., age 9, Lucy F., age 6, and Margarett F., age 3.All of his children are born in Tennessee with the exception of Margaret F.,who was born in Kentucky.
Source Citation: Year: 1870; Census Place: District 10, McNairy, Tennessee; Roll: M593_1549; Page: 314A; Image: 633; Family History Library Film: 553048.
1880 U.S. Federal Census
June 3rd, 1880 Census in Tenth Civil District in McNairy County, Tennessee lists Wiley Wray,age 52, born in Tennessee with both parents listed as born in Tennessee.Enumerated with him is his wife Martha L, age 46, born in Tennessee. Wiley’s occupation is listed as a farmer and Martha’s occupation is listed as keeping house. He is also enumerated with his children, Nancy H. C., age 21, Martha E.,age 19, Lucy F, age 16, Margaret F., age 12, Zilpha, A, age 9. All of his children are born in Tennessee with the exception of Margaret F., who was born in Kentucky. His children Nancy H.C., Martha E. and Lucy F. was listed as having attended school within the census year.
Source Citation: Year: 1880; Census Place: District 10, McNairy, Tennessee; Roll:1268; Family History Film: 1255268; Page: 142C; Enumeration District: 125.
1900 U.S. Federal Census
June 25, 1900 Census in Tenth Civil District in McNairy County, Tennessee lists Richard W.Ray, age 69, born July 1830 in Tennessee with both parents listed as having been born in Tennessee as well. Enumerated with him is his wife, Martha, age 68, born in Jan 1832, in Tennessee. Richard W. and Martha will have been married for 49 years this year. The marriage produced seven children with only four children still living. Richard’s occupation is listed as farmer and he was without work for a period of three months in the census year. He and his wife Martha are listed as being able to read and write. They own the home they are in on their farm. Farm schedule is number 189. They are also enumerated with a boarder named Sarah Tolbert, age 34.
Source Citation: Year: 1900; Census Place: Civil District 10, McNairy, Tennessee;Roll: 1586; Page: 12A; Enumeration District: 0083; FHL microfilm: 1241586.
1910 U.S. Federal Census
May 14, 1910 Census in Tenth Civil District in McNairy County, Tennessee lists R. Wiley Ray,age 79, born in Tennessee. Enumerated is his wife Martha, age 76, born in Tennessee. R. Wiley and Martha would be married for 59 years this year. It is their only marriage.There were seven children born to this union and only four children are living as of this point. R. Wiley’s occupation is listed as farmer on a farm. Farm schedule is number 249. R. Wiley and Martha owned their home on their farm. R. Wiley is listed as able to read but not able to write. Martha couldn’t read or write. Also enumerated with them is their daughters. Dona May,age 52, born in Tennessee, and widowed having had no children. Florence James, age 43, born in Kentucky, also widowed but having two children with none living.
Source Citation: Year: 1910; Census Place: Civil District 10, McNairy, Tennessee;Roll: T624_1511; Page: 14B; Enumeration District: 0143; FHL microfilm: 1375524.
1912 Death Record and Burial Information
On February 16th,1912 R.W. Ray at the age of 80 years and 7 months passed away in Stantonville, McNairy County, Tennessee. He was born in Bolivar, Hardeman County, Tennessee.His cause of death was listed as Dropsy. He was in life a farmer. His last known attending physician was E.G. Sanders. At the time of his death he was still married to his wife.
Source Citation: Tennessee State Library and Archives; Nashville, Tennessee; Tennessee Death Records, 1908-1959; Roll #: 20.
In 1845 my great-great-great-grandfather, Dr. John A. Kendrick made a purchase of 200 acres of land in McNairy County, Tennessee for a total of $25.00. He passed away in 1850 and the land was sold as per direction of his will. One day I may find someone that will know precisely were the land was so that I can stand on the land that my ancestor cultivated near the end of his life.
The State of Tennessee:
TO ALL TO WHOM THESE PRESENTS SHALL COME – GREETING.
Know we, that for and in consideration of the sum of twelve and one-half cents per acre, paid into office of entry taker of McNairy county, and entered on the 13th day of November 1844 pursuant to the provisions of an Act of General Assembly of said State, passed on the 11th day of January, 1842, by No. 7113 THERE IS GRANTED by the said State of Tennessee, unto
John A. Kendrick
A certain tract or parcel of land containing two hundred acres by survey bearing date the 3rd day of February 1829 lying in said county, in range 4 & 5 section 3.
Beginning on a state and 2 hickories 48 pols North and 76 pols West of the 2 mile ____ that stands North of the S.E. & S.W. corner of said Section Runs Thence East 252 Pols ___ Hickory and Ber Oak pointer thence South 127 pols to a Hickory & White Oak Point___ thence West 252 pols to a Hickory Be__ ____ & Hickory Pointing thence North 127 pols to the beginning.
With the hereditaments and appurtenances. To have and to hold the said trace or parcel of land, with its appurtenances, to the said John A. Kendrick and his heirs forever.
In witness whereof, James C. Jones Governor of the State of Tennessee, hath hereunto set his hand and cause the Great Seal of the State to be affixed, at Nashville, on the 20th day of May in the year of our Lord One Thousand Eight Hundred and Forty 5 and of the Independence of the United State the Sixty 9th.
By the Governor:
James C. Jones
Jno. S. Young
Secretary of State
My great-grand-uncle Thomas Benton Kendrick was born on May 7, 1843 in Tennessee to Thomas and Sarah (Carothers) Kendrick. He grew up in McNairy County. He would at the age of 20 join the Confederacy to defend the South during The American Civil War. At the age of 26 he would marry his wife, Francis Isabelle Anderson, of what would be a 42 year long marriage giving them 5 children; Margaret M., Ida M., James William, Dora Isabelle, and Emmett Albert. Thomas was a farmer who was self-employed. Thomas passed away on April 27, 1924 in McNairy County. He was buried in Old Clear Creek Cemetery outside of Stantonville on April 28, 1924.
1850 Census: U.S Federal Census
December 6th, 1850 Census Tenth District in McNairy County, Tennessee lists Thomas Kendrick, age 7, born in Tennessee, parents listed as both born in Tennessee. He is listed as having attended school within the year. Enumerated with him is his parents Thomas, age 35, and Sarah, age 30, Kendrick; siblings John , age 10, Ann, age 5, and James, age 2.
Source Citation: Year: 1850; Census Place: District 10, McNairy, Tennessee; Roll: M432_888; Page: 125A; Image: 255.
1860 Census: U.S Federal Census
September 13th, 1860 Census District Number 10 in McNairy County, Tennessee lists Thomas B. Kindrick, age 17, born in Tennessee, parents listed as both born in Tennessee. He is listed as having attended school within in the year. Enumerated with him is his parents, Thomas, age 46, and Sarah, age 39, Kindrick; siblings, John A., age 19, Sarah A., age 15, James A., age 12, Lucinda, age 9, Matilda, age 7, Mary, age 5, George, age 4, and Henry D., one month old.
Source Citation: Year: 1860; Census Place: District 10, McNairy, Tennessee; Roll: M653_1262; Page: 473; Image: 546; Family History Library Film: 805262.
The American Civil War Period
According to the muster roll for the Co. E, 18 (Newsom’s) Tennessee Cavalry he is listed as a Private in the confederacy and that he enlisted on June 10, 1863 in Franklin County, Alabama by Capt. Wisdom for the period of 3 years or the war. He was last paid according to the muster roll by Capt. Lindsey on January 1, 1864. Thomas Benton Kendrick filed for a pension (#11096) for his service during the Civil War.
Civil Ware Muster Roll for Thomas Benton Kendrick
More on the 18th Regiment, Tennessee Cavalry (Newsom’s)
Overview: 18th Cavalry Regiment [also called 19th Regiment] was organized in May, 1864, by consolidating six companies of Newsom’s Tennessee Cavalry Regiment and four companies of Forrest’s Alabama Cavalry Regiment. Its members were recruited in Hardeman, Madison, Henderson, and McNairy counties. The unit was assigned to T.H. Bell’s Brigade in the Department of Alabama, Mississippi, and East Louisiana. In Mississippi it sustained 22 casualites at Brice’s Cross Roads and 95 at Harrisburg. Later the regiment was active in Tennessee and in March, 1865, was consolidated with the 20th Tennessee Cavalry. It moved to Alabama and on May 3, the 18th/20th contained 29 officers and 217 men. The next day they were included in the surrender of the department. The field officers were Colonels John F. Newsom and Dew Moore Wisdom, Lieutenant Colonel Joseph D. Ozier, and Majors William Y. Baker and William T. Parham.
Source Information: National Park Service. U.S. Civil War Soldiers, 1861-1865 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2007. Original data: National Park Service, Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System, online <http://www.itd.nps.gov/cwss/>, acquired 2007.
Marriage of Thomas Benton Kendrick and Francis I. Anderson
November 16th, 1869 a marriage license was granted to T.B. Kendrick and Miss. F.I. Anderson was granted a marriage license by R.M. Thompson, clerk of McNairy County, Tennessee. There were married the same day by R.W. Michie.
Source Information: Ancestry.com. Tennessee State Marriages, 1780-2002 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2008. Original data: Tennessee State Marriages, 1780-2002. Nashville, TN, USA: Tennessee State Library and Archives. Microfilm.
1870 Census: U.S Federal Census
August 15, 1870 Census Tenth Civil District of McNairy County, Tennessee lists Thos. B. Kindrick, age 26, born in Tennessee. His occupation is listed as a farmer. His personal estate is valued at $250.00. Enumerated with him is his wife, Francis I., age 24, born in Alabama. Her occupation is listed as keeping house. He is living two doors down from his parents Thomas and Sarah Kindrick and six doors down from his brother John A. Kendrick and his wife and children.
Source Citation: Year: 1870; Census Place: District 10, McNairy, Tennessee; Roll: M593_1549; Page: 318A; Image: 641; Family History Library Film: 553048.
1880 Census: U.S Federal Census
June 17th, 1880 Tenth Civil District in McNairy County, Tennessee lists Benton Kendrick, age 37, born in Tennessee with both of his parents listed as being born in Tennessee. His occupation is listed as a farmer. He is listed as married to Francis, age 34, born in Alabama with both of her parents listed as being born in Alabama. He is enumerated with his wife, and children, Margaret M., age 8, Ida M., age 4, James W., age 2, and Dora, eight months old and John Anderson, age 27, who is listed is a laborer.
Source Citation: Year: 1880; Census Place: District 10, McNairy, Tennessee; Roll: 1268; Family History Film: 1255268; Page: 150D; Enumeration District: 125.
1900 Census: U.S Federal Census
June 23rd, 1900 Tenth Civil District in McNairy County, Tennessee lists Thomas B. Kendrick, age 57, born May 1843 in Tennessee with both of his parents listed as being born in Tennessee as well. He will have celebrated 31 years of marriage to his wife Francis, age 55, born in March 1845 in Alabama with both of her parents listed as being born in Tennessee. Thomas and Francis had five children, all living. His occupation is listed as farmer and he has worked all year on the farm. He is enumerated with his wife and child, Emmett (16), who was born June 1884 in Tennessee. Thomas and Francis, as well as their son Emmett, are all three listed as able to read, write and speak English. Thomas is listed to have own the home they live in. Farm Scheduled was listed as 183.
Source Citation: Year: 1900; Census Place: Civil District 10, McNairy, Tennessee; Roll: 1586; Page: 11B; Enumeration District: 0083; FHL microfilm: 1241586.
1910 Census: U.S Federal Census
May 5th, 1910 District Number 10 in McNairy County, Tennessee, in Graham Creek, lists Benton Kendrick, age 66, born in Tennessee with both of his parents listed as being born in Tennessee as well. He will have celebrated 41 years of marriage to his wife Francis I., age 64, born in Alabama with both of her parents listed as born in Tennessee. It was the only marriage for both. His occupation is listed as a farmer on a general farm and was self-employed. Thomas and Frances had five children and as of this year only three children are listed as living. Thomas also owns his home and it is free of mortgage. He is enumerated with his wife and child, Emmett, age 26, who is working as a teacher for the Primary School.
Source Citation: Year: 1910; Census Place: Civil District 10, McNairy, Tennessee; Roll: T624_1511; Page: 10B; Enumeration District: 0143; FHL microfilm: 1375524.
1914 – 1920: Civil War Questionnaires
The chief purpose of the following questions is to bring out facts that will be of service in writing a true history of the Old South. Such a history has not yet been written. By answering these questions you will make a valuable contribution to the history of your State.
In case the space following any question is not sufficient for your answer, you may write your answer on a separate piece of paper. But when this is done, be sure to put the number of the question on the paper on which the answer is written, and number the paper on which you write your answer.
Read all the questions before you answer any of them. After answering the questions given, if you desire to make additional statements, I would be glad for you to add just as much as you desire.
1. State your full name and present post office address.
Thomas Benton Kendrick, Stantonville, Tenn.
2. State your age now.
Bornd May 7, 1843
3. In what State and county were you born?
McNairy County, Tenn.
4. Were you a Confederate or Federal soldier?
5. Name of your Company? E. comanded
(B) Number of Regiment : 19 Tenn Cavlry Commanded by __ Jef Forist
6. What was the occupation of your father?
7. Give the full name of your father Tomas Kendrick born at ___________________________ in the County of Murry State of Tennessee He lived at _______________. Give also any particulars concerning him, as official position, war services, etc.; books written by, etc.
8. Maiden name in full of your mother: Sary Carothis She was the daughter of: William and Sarn Car Who lived at ________________.
9. Remarks on ancestry. Give here any and all facts possible in reference to your parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, etc., no included in the foregoing, as where they lived, office held, Revolutionary or other war services; what country the family came from to America; where first settled, county and state; always giving full names (if possible) and never referring to an ancestor simply as such without giving the name. It is desirable to include every fact possible and to that end the full and exact record from old Bibles should be appended on separate sheets of this size, thus preserving the facts from loss.
10. If you owned land or other property at the opening of the war, state what kind of property you owned, and state the value of your property as near as you can.
11. Did you or your parents own slaves? If so, how many?
12. If your parents owned land, state about how many acres.
13. State as near as you can the value of all the property owned by your parents, including land, when the war opened.
14. What kind of house did your parents occupy? State whether it was a log house or frame house or built of other materials, and state the number of rooms it had.
Log house 2 Rumes
15. As a boy and young man, state what kind of work you did. If you worked on a farm, state to what extent you plowed, worked with a hoe, and did other kinds of similar work. (Certain historians claim that white men would not do work of this sort before the war.)
Any thing done on the farm that is all a mistake about whites not workin on the farm.
16. State clearly what kind of work you father did, and what the duties of your mother were. State all the kinds of work done in the house as well as you can remember — that is, cooking, spinning, weaving, etc.
Father did all sorts of work done on a farm. Mother done any and all sorts of work in hous keeping house work.
17. Did your parents keep any servants? If so, how many?
18. How was honest toil — as plowing, hauling and other sorts of honest work of this class — regarded in your community? Was such work considered respectable and honorable?
Yes and verry cheap at that
19. Did the white men in your community generally engage in such work?
Yes them that was able verr fiew was able to ___ on a count of ___
20. To what extent were there white man in your community leading lives of idleness and having other do their work for them?
Very fiew not many slavs heer
21. Did the men who owned slaves mingle freely with those who did not own slaves, or did slaveholders in any way show by their actions that they felt themselves better than respectable, honorable men who did not own slaves?
I never saw mutch diference in them as ther was not many slaves here in this parte of the cuntry
22. At the churches, at the schools, at public gatherings in general, did slaveholders and non-slaveholders mingle on a footing of equality?
___ thou had to do it.
23. Was there a friendly feeling between slaveholders and non-slaveholders in your community, or were they antagonistic to each other?
Thar was th had to be
24. In a political contest in which one candidate owned slaves and the other did not, did the fact that one candidate owned slaves help him in winning the contest?
Not mutch ther was not many slavs in this country. I no the did not alow Rebs to voat for fiv years.
25. Were the opportunities good in your community for a poor young man — honest and industrious — to save up enough to buy a small farm or go in business for himself?
I trid to but nevir did
26. Were poor, honest, industrious young men, who were ambitious to make something of themselves, encouraged or discouraged by slaveholders?
I don’t think ther was
27. What kind of school or schools did you attend?
Comen school and very little of that
28. About how long did you go to school altogether?
2 moth a year and I had the chiss then half that time
29. How far was it to the nearest school?
30. What school or schools were in operation in your neighborhood?
31. Was the school in you community private or public?
32. About how many months in the year did it run?
33. Did the boys and girls in your community attend school pretty regularly?
All that was well
34. Was the teacher of the school you attended a man or a woman?
35. In what year and month and at what place did you enlist the Confederate or of the Federal Government?
The 1 of June in 1862 at garnrs ferry ___
36. After enlistment, where was your Company sent first?
I don’t remeber
37. How long after your enlistment before your Company engaged in battle?
I don’t rember
38. What was the first battle you engaged in?
Fork der river Jackson Tenn
39. State in your own way your experience in the War from this time on until the close. State where you went after the first battle — what you did, what other battles you engaged in, how long they lasted, what the results were; state how you lived in camp, how you were clothed, how you slept, what you had to eat, how you exposed to cold, hunger and disease. If you were in the hospital or in prison, state you experience here.
I cant explane how I was in the war I ___ on logs and bres piles but come out all rite at last
40. When and where were you discharged?
41. Tell something of your trip home.
I was in ___ milds of home
42. What kind of work did you take up when you came back home?
43. Give a sketch of your life since the close of the Civil War, stating what kind of business you have engaged in, where you have lived, your church relations, etc. If you have held an office or offices state what it was. You may state here any other facts connected with your life and experience which has not been brought out the the questions.
I am a member of th Christi Churck Elder and clurk
44. On a separate sheet, five the names of some of the great men you have known or met in your time, and tell some of the circumstances of the meeting or incidents in their lives. Also add any further personal reminiscences. (Use all the space you want).
45. Give the name of all the members of your Company you can remember: (If you know where the Roster is to be had, please make special note of this.)
The confrat the wins
J.R. Adams was third lutenet wa commanding
46. Give here the NAME and POST OFFICE ADDRESS of living Veterans of the Civil War, whether members of your Company or not; whether Tennesseans or from other States.
J.R. Adams Selmer, Tenn
J.R. Stovall Bethel Springs, Tenn
M.M McKinzie Stantonville, Tenn
T.B. Kendrick Stantonville, Tenn
R.W. Mickey Stantonville, Tenn
Grean Hendrix Stantonville, Tenn
Tennessee Civil War veterans questionnaires / complied by Gustavus W. Dyer & John Trotwood Moore; editors, Colleen Morse Elliott & Louise Armstrong Moxley – Easley, S.C. : Southern Historical Press, c1985.
About the Tennessee Civil War Veterans’ Questionnaires:
The effort to record Civil War veterans’ experiences, during the conflict and before and after it, started in 1914. Dr. Gus Dyer, Tennessee State Archivist, developed a questionnaire and contacted all known living Tennessee Civil War veterans, asking them to return the questionnaires to Nashville.
In 1920 the project was continued by John Trotwood Moore of the Tennessee Historical Commission and also State Librarian and Archivist. The 1,650 completed forms were returned by 1922 and were made available for historical research.
1920 Census: U.S Federal Census
January 24th-26th, 1920 Census Civil District Number 10 in McNairy County, Tennessee has Benton Kendrick, age 78, born in Tennessee with both parents also listed as being born in Tennessee. Thomas is listed as living with his youngest son, Emmett A. and his wife, Hattie and their newborn Arvon on Stantonville Road. He is listed as a widower and doesn’t have an occupation listed.
Source Citation: Year: 1920; Census Place: Civil District 10, McNairy, Tennessee; Roll: T625_1753; Page: 12B; Enumeration District: 138; Image: 786.
1924 Death Record
On May 27th, 1924 at 12:20 pm Thomas Benton Kendrick passed away. His cause of death is listed as Chronic Vascular Heart Disease. He was under doctor’s care from May 1922 until the time of his death. His doctor was listed a H.C. Sanders. His birth was listed as May 7, 1843 in Tennessee and he was 80 years, 11 months and 20 days old. He was a widower. He was in life a farmer. His father was listed as Thos. Kendrick born in North Carolina and his mother was listed as Sarah Caruthers also born in North Carolina. He was buried at Clear Creek Cemetery on April 28th, 1924 (I am assuming this is a data error and it should be May 28th, 1924). Information provided for his death record was given by J.W. Kendrick (his son) from Michie Tennessee.
Source Citation: Tennessee State Library and Archives; Nashville, Tennessee; Tennessee Death Records, 1908-1959; Roll #: 170.
The Death Certificate of Thomas Benton Kendrick
Featured Photo by Wayne Austin, July 18, 2008.