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The Story as I know it

Roberta Fredonia Ray was born in Macon county Missouri on June 29,1851.  At least that is where her family was on the 1850 Census.   Her parents were John C. Ray and Zerelda Caldwell. She was a twin to Frances Russell Ray.  On the 1860 Kentucky Census they were listed as being 9 years old.

In 1855 John Ray's father died back in Livingston County Kentucky where the family had come from.  John moved his family back to Kentucky to take over the family farm. Roberta would have been about 4 years old. 

On June 27, 1870 Roberta F. Ray married Mansfield Burgess at Mrs. Ray's home. Witnesses included Thomas Ward, Owen Wilson and E. Leeper. from the 1870 Marriage Register, Livingston County,KY. This event is also noted in Livingston County-Kentucky Marriages 1839-1871 compiled by Joyce M. Woodyard.   They settled on a farm between Smithland on the Ohio River and Iuka on the Cumberland River.

Roberta and Mansfield  had 8 children:
1.  Charlie W. Burgess, born April 10 1871, died October 10, 1873
2.  Jettie Burgess, born Oct. 24, 1872, wed Leothus Rhea.  She died Sept 23, 1916
3.  Milton M. Burgess, born 1875, he lived in the family homestead until he died in 1962. His wife's name was Mattie B
4.  Nellie Burgess, born 1877, ran away - last known where abouts was a letter addressed from St. Louis in the late 1940s.
5.  Mittie Zee Burgess, born Nov 12, 1877 (twin to Nelly or close births?), died Jan 26, 1888
6.  Alfred Duley Burgess, born c1880.  He moved to Georgia and raised Braman cattle and was still alive in 1955.
7.  Alice Pearl Burgess, born c1884, wed Carl Wiggins and lived in Paducah KY, died c 1960.
8.  Betty Beulah Burgess , born Jan 12, 1889, wed James Maddox and lived in Paducah KY, died 1981.

Shortly after her youngest child was born, Mansfield died, Sept. 14, 1890.  He was 52 years old.  Milton became the head of the house.  I have a family photo on the day of his wedding.  The youngest child looks about 4 years old.  Roberta was very thin and small, but held her head up with pride. If you would like a copy CONTACT US.

Roberta died Oct. 18, 1900 of cancer.  She is buried in Lower Leeper Cemetery with her family. Lower Leeper is on Highway 937 below Smithland.  The family was poor as the land was poor.  All the children left the county, but Milton . I remember visiting his house in the 50s.  It was very small, maybe 3 rooms and stood on the top of a round hill.  There was a large bell on a post.  That was what Milton had rung to get help when his wife died.


If you know the answer please CONTACT US.

    1. Get deed for the land


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Maier_Associates: Copyright 2013

Doc; gsray010
Date created: 2/19/2004
Date edited 7/7/2013