I can't find William Thomas Randolph's Parents/ He: Born 1845-Died 1922 in NJ

+3 votes
I am trying to find out who William Thomas Randolph's parents were. His wife

was Emma (Ray) Randolph, and they lived in Dover, NJ. They married in Dover, NJ  in 1873. I have his Death Certificate,(Died-Feb. 1922) but neither parent's name is on it. William's daughter, Evalina Randolph, was my grandfather's(Clarence F. Byers) mother.
WikiTree profile: William Randolph
in The Tree House by
retagged by Vic Watt
Hi Dell, I tried to find information about William Thomas Randolph for you.  Am I correct that he was African-American?  That seems to be what most of the US Censuses show. If that is correct, we need to add tags to you question so that the people who know something about that branch of genealogy can help.
Hello Vic Watt, and thank you for your reply. I have a copy of William Thomas Randolph's Death Certificate, and it has his birth date on March 17th 1849, not 1845, and, he died on February 24th 1922. In the different census, in 1860 he is listed as "White", then after he married Emma Ray, in 1873, who is black,the 1880 census lists him as "Black", then, the 1900 census lists him as "White" again!, then, when he moved to live in Newark, NJ, he is listed as "Black" The census takers saw a black women as his wife and assumed he was also black, even though he was born white, and it has caused a lot of confusion with the census. There is a Charles Randolph, in 1822,, he would be 27 years old,  who married Margaret, who lived in Burlington County, New Jersey, who had a son born in 1849 named William Randolph, and I wonder if this might be his parents. There were only two William Randolphs born in 1849, and, the other William's middle name was S.

I don't want to just assume that the other one born in 1849 is my grandfather's grandfather, but he is the only left. I would like to confirm it.
Dell, I have started a profile for William so we can add when we know in one place, as well as possible leads.  The profile is at Randolph-1882.

Thanks Vic. My main goal is to find the name of William Thomas Randolph's parents, and, to see if they are related to HartsHorn FitzRandolph lineage, or another FitzRandolph lineage. (I wanted to provide an update: I have William Thomas Randolph's Death Certificate and it has him born on March 17th 1849 and dies Feb.24th 1922, and he was 72 years old 11 months. Many census have his birth year as in 1845, not true. The informant on the death certificate did not know who his parents were, and lists on the parent line as "Unknown" for father  and mother lines on the certificate). William was married to Emma Ray,  in 1873, in Dover ,NJ, and their first chils was Evalina Randolph, my grandfather's (Clarence F. Byers) mother. Evalina and Clarence are buried at the Orchard Street Cemetery, Dover, NJ. William is supposed to be buried there also, but me and two family members went to every grave in the small cemetery, it took three hours, and did not find a grave for William. Any and all new data is greatly appreciated.
Dell, I would probably believe the early censuses over a death certificate for your ancestor's birth.  If the informant on the Death Certificate didn't know the name of his parents, I don't think that person can be trusted to know his birth year. Three sources give his birth year as approximately 1845, including the 1880 US Census.  The censuses show that he got younger as he aged (52 in 1902, 56 in 1920.) The 1920 US Census also shows that he was born in 1845.

I would contact the Orchard Street Cemetery office directly to determine if it has records for Randolph's burial.


The informant for his Death certificate was his youngest daughter, Mary Randolph, and she didn't know the name of his father or mother, or, her grandparents! Mary

was also the executor of his will, that he had made while he was living, in 1921, a year before he died, and he had to verify his age with the lawyers, at their office. If only Mary would have known his parent's names, this would have solved the problem!

2 Answers

0 votes
William Randolph 5 years old negro,living in Bridgewater Township,

with Samuel Rogers and wife Mary and others all negros.
by Wayne Morgan G2G6 Pilot (922k points)

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