JEFFERSON ARMSTRONG FAMILY

 

Jefferson Armstrong was born in slavery circa 1805 in Tennessee (he states that he was born in Kentucky on the 1880 census). He married place and date unknown to a women named Angeline. She was born in 1828 in Tennessee.

Prior to the middle 1840’s, Jefferson and Angeline were moved to Missouri where in 1846, their eldest son Edward Thornton was born. Edward indicated in later years that he was born a slave, and obtained his freedom by enlisting in the Union Army, 18th United States Colored Troops, after the issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation.

Jefferson and Angeline had seven other children:

Perlina b. c. 1848 in Missouri d. 1924 Indiana

Tennessee b. c. 1854 in Missouri

Thomas b. c. 1856 in Missouri d. 1935 Indiana

Hannah b. c. 1859 in Missouri

Albert b.c. 1861 in Missouri

Susan E. b. c. 1868 in Indiana

Ebba b.c. 1871 in Indiana

It is interesting to note that Thomas, b.c.1856 always said that his father was a slave but that he was born free. Sometime between 1846 and 1856, this family or a portion of this family gained their freedom. Did their master die? Did they buy their way to freedom?  Why was Edward not freed until 1863?b I was unable to find the answers to any of these questions.

Some stories say that the Jefferson Armstrong family moved to Westfield, Indiana before the Civil War, some say after the Civil War. I believe from the children’s birthplaces that it was after the Civil War, between 1865 and 1868.

Jefferson was employed as a well digger in Westfield, Indiana. Jefferson died in 1881 and Angeline died in 1894. They are buried in the "Old Friends Cemetery", now known as Martha Doan and/or Memorial Park. There actual grave sites are unknown.

Sharon A. Craig

Hamilton Co. Historical Society

September 30, 2003