Thomas David Stout Carey was born on July 17, 1852, most likely in Elizabeth, New Jersey. His mother was Mary Elizabeth Stout Carey, but he never knew his father. His mother was characterized by her granddaughter Irene as being a foul mouthed, unpleasant sort of person. By all accounts, she steadfastly refused to help him in any way with his desire to know his roots. At some point in time, he was rewarded with a clue to the location of his birth or former residence: Elizabeth __, NJ. Whether it was a return address or some legal document I do not know. To make matters worse, writing was not clear and might have been Elizabeth City, North Carolina.
His early life was troubled, at best. His mother determined that she was
unable to care for he and his sister,
Mary Alice, when they were very
young and placed them in an orphanage. His sister was adopted, and was lost to
him for many years. He got into a bad crowd, and was removed to a reform school
perhaps in his early teens. Oral tradition says that it was probably the best
thing that had happened to him to that point in his life. While there he
learned a great deal about metalworking of various sorts (I have a tin box that
he may have made during that time), and spent most of his life earning a living
as an ornamental ironworker. Continuing the oral history, he was released from
his incarceration on his 21st birthday, July 17, 1852. His mother was waiting
for him at the door, and let him know that she expected him to care for her the
rest of her life. To his credit, he did, though Irene said that it was not an
easy thing, as she was not an easy woman to please. I do not have any proof as
to where the foregoing events took place.
The first time that we have a geographical fix on Thomas is November 16th, 1878, when he marries Mary Ellen Doyle at St. John Roman Catholic Church in Chicago, Cook Co, Illinois. Mary Ellen is previously to be found with her father and step-mother in Belvidere, Boone Co, Illinois (through the 1870 census.)
From here they moved southwestward. Mary Alice was born in 1879 in Illinois, then they settled permanently in Omaha, Douglas, Nebraska, where the other 5 children were born: Gertrude, William, Leonard, Thomas (Jr.) and Irene. Thomas had located his sister by 1899, married to William Reisner and living in the vicinity of Colorado Springs, Colorado.
The family continued to grow and prosper in Omaha. At this point Thomas' daughter (Mary) Alice can tell you more about their life through some letters she wrote her sister Gertrude from 1899-1900. (Please take a look, and tell me what you think.) Thomas (Jr.) dies in 1899. Gertrude is married in 1906, William in 1908. Mrs. Carey (Sr.) dies in 1910. Irene and Leonard are married in 1914. Mary Ellen Doyle Carey dies in 1918, and Thomas in 1922.
(Mary) Alice continued as a legal secretary and Court Clerk for the rest of her career and never married. In the late 1930's she is found at 677 So. Berendo in Los Angeles, California. I do not have the date or location of her death at this time.
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