Monday, October 12, 2009

Cyrus BLACK family

For many years Cyrus BLACK was one of my brick walls. I knew little except that Amy Melissa BLACK (1835-1871), wife of Morgan Harbin LOONEY (1821-1901), was said to be the daughter of Cyrus BLACK and Elizabeth HARKEY and that the BLACKs were said to be Scottish.

I have not posted to this blog since last Thursday (today is Monday), but I have been very, very busy researching all weekend. Last week a LOONEY related cousin named Katy contacted me and I started researching Amy and Morgan LOONEY's son Edgar Hayden LOONEY's line. In the process I also discovered more about the BLACKS, which was very exciting to me, since they have long been a blank page in my research.

About six months ago I was very excited to finally find Cyrus BLACK on a census record. The family was living in Coweta County, Georgia and there was little Amy Melissa BLACK, age 11. This was the first documented proof I had found of Amy's parentage and I now also had dates, ages, birth places and siblings for the family.

1850 United States Federal Census
Name: Cyrus Black
Age: 42
Estimated Birth Year: abt 1808
Birth Place: North Carolina
Gender: Male
Home in 1850(City,County,State): Division 19, Coweta, Georgia
Family Number: 613
Household Members: Name Age
Cyrus Black 42 NC
Elizabeth Black 38 NC
Eliza E Black 16 NC
Amy M Black 11 GA
Nancy C Black 4 GA

I also found Cyrus and family on the 1840 Census:

1840 United States Federal Census
Name: Cyrus Black
Township: Cedar Creek
County: Coweta
State: Georgia
age 30-40: 1 [Cyrus]
<5:1 [Amy]
5-10: 1 [Eliza]
20-30:1 Elizabeth]

Previously I had found a Cyrus BLACK in Texas, but he was 20 years too young, so I thought he might be a son. Then this weekend, searching for children of Edgar Hayden LOONEY, I found Elizabeth BLACK with a previously unknown daughter.

What was even more exciting for me is I found Earl Mortimer "Mort" LOONEY also in the household. I have spent many hours searching for Mortimer, son of Morgan and Amy, and his siblings. After Amy's death Mort and his siblings were split up. Two of his children told me he went to live with his "old maiden aunts" and I also searched for them. It turns out he was living with his grandmother, Elizabeth (HARKEY) BLACK and his Aunt Lavantia BLACK HICKMAN, Amy's sister.

1880 United States Federal Census
Name: Lewis J. Hickman
Home in 1880: Fayetteville, Washington, Arkansas
Age: 41
Estimated Birth Year: abt 1839
Birthplace: Indiana
Relation to Head of Household: Self (Head)
Spouse's Name: Lavantia C.
Father's birthplace: Virginia
Mother's birthplace: Virginia
Occupation: Druggist
Marital Status: Married
Race: White
Gender: Male
House Number: 11713665
Household Members: Name Age
Lewis J. Hickman 41 IN (parents b. VA)
Lavantia C. Hickman 30 GA (parents b. NC) wife
Gussie Hickman 5 AR dau
Homer H. Hickman 3 AR son
Elizabeth Black 68 NC mother-in-law, widow
Mortimer Looney 9 boarder AR (father b. SC, mother b. GA)
Emma Sohns 19 W Servant OH
Laura Sohns 13 W Servant OH
John Forest 23 B Porter AR
Adaline Mellette 63 Aunt VA (parents VA)

I feel certain that this is the correct Elizabeth BLACK since Mort is living with her. Lavantia must be her daughter since she is listed as Lewis Hickman's mother-in-law. They are living in Fayetteville, AR, which is where Amy died in 1871.

So from this information I am concluding that the previously found Texas Census is in fact Cyrus and Elizabeth BLACK, parents of Amy. Maybe when they moved to Texas, they decided to pass for twenty years younger than they really were. Or perhaps someone just unknowingly gave the wrong information. They were living in the Gilmer, Upshur, Texas area where Morgan, Amy, and other family members were teaching at the LOONEY School.

1860 United States Federal Census
Name: Cyrus Black
Age in 1860: 32
Birth Year: abt 1828
Birthplace: North Carolina
Home in 1860: Western District, Upshur, Texas
Gender: Male
Post Office: Cypress
Household Members: Name Age
Cyrus Black 32 NC
Elizabeth Black 28 NC
Levantia Black 14 GA

Cyrus also shows up on the Texas State Census Slave Schedules in 1860 with 16 slaves ages 28-2.

I still have not found them in 1870, but it looks as if Cyrus took out land grants in Arkansas in that year, so he was still alive then. There are a number of General Land Office (GLO) land grants for a Cyrus BLACK and I am not sure if they are all for this Cyrus.

10 Mar 1852 Huntsville, Lauderdale, AL 40.04 acres
1 Sep 1856 Jackson, AR 40 acres [Cancelled]
1 Dec 1859 Huntsville, Lauderdale, AL 80.1 acres
20 July 1870 Jackson, AR 40 acres

He shows up on 1860 Arkansas State Censuses in Randolph and Jackson Counties, I assume for land taxes. They probably thought about moving to Arkansas (and maybe did), but then definitely moved to Texas. Then they later moved to Arkansas when Morgan and Amy went there.
By 1885 the HICKMANS, Elizabeth BLACK, and Mort LOONEY had moved to Pittsburg, Crawford County, Kansas.

Kansas State Census Collection, 1855-1925
Name: Lewis J Hickman
Census Date: 1 Mar 1885
Residence County: Crawford
Residence State: Kansas
Locality: Pittsburg
Birth Location: Indiana
Family Number: 240
Marital Status: Married
Gender: Male
Estimated Birth Year: abt 1840
Race: White
Line: 14
Roll: KS1885_31
Household Member(s): Name Age
Lewis J Hickman 45 IN
Lovanta J Hickman 37 GA
Gussie Hickman 10 AR
Hemer H Hickman 8 AR
Clifton G Hickman 3 AR
Elizabeth Black 73 NC
Morton Looney 14 NC [This should be Mortimer and AR, but I still think this is Mort.]

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Copyright © Teresa McVeigh 2009

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