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Zerelda Caldwell was born in Kentucky in 1816, in Livingston County .  Her father was David Caldwell via her marriage license noted in next paragraph and her mother was Catherine Davidson, Livingston County, Kentucky Marriage Records Vol. I Oct 1799 to July 1839 film number 851647, 5th item .

ZereldaCaldwell married John C. Ray in Caldwell County in 1835. From the Kentucky Department of Libraries and Archives we have a copy of the marriage bond. Copies are available upon request. It reads "Mr. N.G.Dallem   Dear Sir, this is to certify that you are authorized to (iper) a marriage licence to John Ray to marry my daughter Zerelda given under my hand this 7th Jan 1835 signed David Caldwell and teste N. M Witherspoon, A.D.Witherspoon and C.C. Lockett "

John Ray and William Wyatt put up a bond of fifty pounds dated January 7, 1835. "The condition of the above obligation is such that, whereas a marriage is shortly intended to be solemnized between the above bound John Ray and Miss Zerelda Calowell ....." Note the spelling of her name. It was signed by both men as the signatures are unique. This marriage was also noted in the Caldwell Workbook, in the chapter Kentucky Pioneers, page 303.

John Ray took his family to Missouri sometime between 1838 and 1843. We find him on the 1850 Macon County Missouri Census, District 52.  It reads as follows:
John Ray age 45, Farmer value of property $300, born KY, He was really 40 at the time. (note tombstone reading below)
Zerelda, age 34, born KY
Catharine, age 12, born KY
David, age 7, born MO
Mary Z, age 2, born MO.

John's father, Joseph Ray died in November of 1855. The extensive farm and holdings were divided between his sons. The will assigned John Ray guardianship of the youngest son Edmond R. In case John died, then son Alfred Ray would act as guardian. The will notes that "Edmond is frequently in an unsound state of mind".  John moved his family back to Livingston County Kentucky to take over the family farm.

The 1860 Kentucky Census, Livingston County, Smithland:
John Ray age 50, born in Kentucky (nice how he aged only 5 years in 10)
Zerelda 44, born in Kentucky
David C .17, born in Missouri
Mary Z. 12, born in Missouri
Roberta F. 9, born in Missouri
Frances Russell 9, born in Missouri
E.R. Ray37, born in Missouri - insane

Catharine may have stayed behind in Missouri, or she may be wed by this time. Mary Z was known later as Aunt Zee, probably for Zerelda. Roberta's middle name was Fredonia.

John Ray died on September 22, 1868 near Salem, Livingston County, Kentucky . He is buried in Lower Leeper Cemetery.  His tombstone reads "John C. Ray  12 Mar 1810   22 Sept 1868.  From Livingston Ct. Kentucky Cemeteries 1738 - 1976, page 216

On June 27, 1870 their daughter Roberta F. Ray married Mansfield Burgess "at Mrs. Ray's home. Witnesses included Thomas Ward, Owen Wilson and E. Leeper". This event is noted in Livingston County-Kentucky Marriages 1839-1871 compiled by Joyce M. Woodyard.

Zerelda Caldwell Ray died a few months later on September 20, 1870, she is also buried in Lower Leeper Cemetery.  Her tombstone reads " Zerelda Ray, wife of J.C.  1 Jan 1816  20 Sept 1870."




If you know the answer please CONTACT US.

                                        1.  What happened to oldest known daughter, Catharine?


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Maier_Associates: Copyright 2013

Doc; gscal010
Date create: 10/14/2004
Date Edited 10/13/2013