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Martha Jane (Rainey) Norton Family

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Biography Grandmother Martha Jane Norton Rainey

Accessed 24 Jan 2020

Grandmother Martha Jane Norton Rainey's family tree as she related to me, her granddaughter, (Mary) Loma Flowers, in the year of 1921.

Ransom Norton married Elizabeth Faith in the state of Kentucky. To this union were born 12 children three sons and nine daughters. Two of the boys died in infancy. The other lived to age 19. He died and was buried in Kentucky. Ransom and Elizabeth Norton, with their nine daughters, left the state of Kentucky for Texas in the year 1851 traveling by the way of steamship down the Red River. The names of the daughters are Nancy, Margaret, Rachel, L Byron, Rodia, Abigail, Sarah, Anna, and Martha Jane. On the trip to Texas, Abigail had taken sick. They thought it was seasickness, but she became worse and worse ended up dying of acute indigestion. They prepared her body the best they could for burial. She had one dress she especially liked. They put it on her. The steamship anchored alongside the river bank just long enough to dig her grave and have her lonely funeral. Her father committed her back to God who had given her unto them and said "Goodbye, daughter darling, until the resurrection morning. You're resting place is so lonely. Not another body buried near. The river bank is your resting place an old Red River for your marker. Goodbye, till we meet again." Then again they started on their journey Ma couldn't remember where they landed on Texas soil. After arriving in Texas they moved into a two room log cabin near Wills Point, Texas. One evening late a group of men and a woman with a baby riding horseback stopped and asked for water. They then asked if they might spend the night as the woman and the baby were very tired. The men pitched camp in the yard but asked that they let the woman and baby stay in the house, which they did. There were two men that stood guard at all times. This woman was Synthia (Cynthia) and Parker her baby was Quanah. Synthia had been captured by the Indians when she was a small child. She couldn't speak English. These men had recaptured her and we're carrying her back to her own people. She did not want to go as she grew up with the Indian people and had married one of the chiefs. They had several children together. She hated to leave her husband and her other children behind. Synthia got away from them several times but they caught her later. The Nortons moved out near Elmo between Wills Point and Terrell. While there Sarah died and was buried in an old graveyard. They lived in and around there until the daughters were grown and married. Nancy married Bob Ray Margaret married Charlie Leftrage Rachel married Jim Reeves. Elvira married john Doken (Daken?) Rhodia married Dock Ellis. Annie married Dock Williams and John Wilhite. Martha married Jeff Rainey. To Jeff and Martha Rainey were born five children: one son and four daughters. Their names Laura, Frank, Matty, Mollie, and Amanda. In the year of 1880, Jeff Rainey sold all positions except a wagon and team and their furniture. All the food they had was a very small mess of cornmeal. He, supposing to move from Johnson county near Cleburne, Texas where Amanda was born to Rusk County, he got into the wagon pretending to go see a man to settle some last minute business. He drove off to never return or was heard from him since. Indirectly, a report came to mom that he carried another woman off with him. Amanda was two years old. Mom had pride and self-respect and shouldered her great responsibility to care and feed her five little fatherless children. She had no furniture, no place to go, nothing to feed those five little mouths. She bravely asked the neighbors for work: to wash, iron, scrub, cook, cut wood, and work in the field. She did any job to make an honest living for her brood. When the neighbors saw her honesty and integrity, they began helping her. They gathered up odd and ends of furniture for them and let them move into a little corn crib for shelter. One neighbor gave them milk for Ma milking for them. Another gave them corn to shell on shares for them for their meal. Different folks killed hogs and ma helped them out to get some of the meat.

Women gave their dress tails to make the children cloths and one man gave her the remnant cotton to pick, which Ma then the children gathered at night. They picked the seeds out of the cotton and made themselves beds. Ma was not lazy. She worked all the time. Much of her work was five miles from home. She walked to and fro on the way back she gathered wood and carried it home for cooking, heating or wash wood. They had no well. There was a spring about a quarter of a mile from the house where she carried all their water from three big buckets at the time . One in each hand. and then the other on her head. Where ever she worked, the people gave her food to eat. She saved it to carry home to the children. Many days she worked from daylight until dark without any lunch and most of the time didn’t eat all that she wanted (and needed) for breakfast and supper, so that her children could have more. Naturally she had to leave the children at home alone. Larah, the oldest, had to keep watch over the rest. Even if she, herself, was too young to do much with them or for them. This it the way they grew from babies into grown ups, with no guidance or the advice of a father. Larah grew up from childhood into womanhood more or less self-raised. During the early age of womanhood. Misfortune ove took her by a man much older than she. Jim Henderson got her with child. He being a marreid man couldn’t protect her or give the child a name. Their child was a girl named Clara. Before the child was born Frank (who later went by BF) said the family was disgraced and “he or Larah--one had to go”. Ma’s heart was already broken into a thousand pieces. Here was her second blow. What was she to do? Either problem was enough to kill her, but she had to decide. So she said, “I need Frank so much to help support the other children” And she asked Larah to go. She helped her pack what few clothes she had into a flour sack. Larah walked away out of their lives and memories. Never to have her name mentioned again among themselves or their families when they were married. This information was furnished by my Aunt Mollie McCreary.) Frank (who had to leave school at 5th grade), Mollie and Amanda never mentioned having a sister Larah to their children, until a few years after Ma died. One day, Amanda received a letter from Larah who lived in Big Cabin Oklahoma, she worte, that God had forgiven her many years ago, and ask her family’s forgiveness. And would very much love to hear from them if they cared to write. She said that they many never meet here on earth, but she would meet them in Heaven. Amand and Mollie wrote to her. She later sent her picture for us to see. She was a beautiful woman and she had several children by Mr. Nichols. Clara, her first born, lived in Vinita Oklahoma. In the year of 1943 Joe and I were on our way to see Eldredge Mame who was stationed at Fort Leonard Wood, MO. We went by to see Josephine, Aunt Larah’s baby. She married Bob Green and they have several children. We spent the day and took some pictures with them. Neither Clara or Josephine knows how only their mother lost track of her family. I didn’t get to see Clara, which I deeply regretted. Ma died of liver trouble in March 9, 1923. Before Ma passes away while very low she called “Larah, Larah come to me, Larah, I want you.” Mollie and Amanda knew who she was referring to, but the rest of us thought Ma was unconscious. We asked who she thought Larah was and they made us hush. Several years after Ma died, an old man with long beard came through the Elm Grove Community asking people where Martha Rainey was. They told him she was dead. Forrest saw him and he asked Forrest about Martha Rainey. Forrest carried him to the cemetery and showed him her grave. The man would not tell Forrest his name. He asked Forrest who he was. He told the stranger that he was a grandson of Martha Rainey’s and his mother was Mandy (Amanda) Rainey Flowers. Forrest said that the man had the keenest black piercing eyes that he ever looked at. He was riding a stocking-legged horse. He spurred his horse and rode away, leaving no trace or was seen after that. Every place the stranger stopped for information, the people said there was something queer about that man, besides refusing to tell his name. We all believed this man was Pa Rainey, but we will never really know. Mollie Rainey McCreary Mollie Rainey married Jim McCreary July 2, 1893 at old Bethel Baptist Church by Reverend Newt Morris. To this union was born seven children foot sons and three daughters: Katie Lee born April 25, 1894 died March 23, 1923 Kenneth Clifton Sept 9 1898

Connie Curtis Nov 20 1900 Frank Mayfield Oct 5, 1903 Virgie Corene Oct 26 1906 Hulett Marie Feb 4, 1911 JR JR March 11 1913 (Aunt Mollie died June 3, 1955) Amanda Rainey Flowers William Riley Flowers and Amanda Rainey married April 2 1899 at Denman Texas Vanzant Co by Rev Newt Morris a Baptist preacher. William Riley Flowers born Feb 11 1867 died Oct 29 1926 Amanda Rainey Flowers March 27 1878 died Feb 15, 1955 They had three sons and eight daughters: Theran Dewitt Feb 21, 1900 died May 4 1900 Avis May Feb 19, 1901 (died July 5 1902) Floyd Forrest April 26, 1902 Willie Clifton Dec 16, 1903 Married Birdie Windham Mary Loma Nov 6 1905 Married Joe A Mann June 9 1934 Claudia Berl Nov 8 1907 Married Jim downing Johnnie (daughter) Merle April 24, 1910 Married Richard Yates and Johnny Ackerman(?) Agnes Inez Dec 21, 1912 Married Lester Huckaby and Bill Loftis Hezle Irene March 7 1916 Albert Dean Franki Maurine Dec 21 1918 Died Aug 21, 1932 Martha Kate June 26, 1923 Married Howard Yates. Jesse Lee Flowers William Riley Flowers first marriage was to Mary Alice Hart and th this union were born three sons: Everett and James both died in infancy. Jesse Lee was born Dec 28, 1889. Our half brother, but is more than a whole brother to us. He is our second daddy and how we do love him. Jesse Lee married Maryln Hyde Dec 5 Date: 1921 Description: My mother, Vergie Ann Speed, gave me the typed original of her great grandmother, Martha Jane Norton Rainey, which I have downloaded. I re-typed it for practical purposes. My mom tells me that she has only wonderful memories of Grandpa (Frank) Rainey.


I will format this later, I had to re-add it for some reason. Oaks-601 21:56, 16 March 2020 (UTC)

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