Looking Back: Reeds travel to Ky. to research Reed, Clemens and Caldwell ties
Jere Caldwell and members of the Reed family gather to talk about their family connection. From left, are: Laurel Reed Adams, Russell Reed, Jere Caldwell, Jennifer Reed and Thomas and Mabel Reed. (Photo/Brenda S. Edwards / November 21, 2011)
Thomas began his family search in 1961 with records in Missouri and he learned about the pioneer Reeds who were in Danville in the late 1700s.
The current Thomas Reed goes back to pioneer Thomas Reed (1763-1817), and his wife, Rosella, who married Sept. 10, 1787. They had six children, including Thomas Jr., who came from Virginia to Kentucky.
Thomas and his wife, Mabel, of Kirksville, Mo.; their daughter, Laurel Adams, of Bloomington, Ind.; and their son, Russell, and his wife, Jennifer, of St. Peters, Mo., made their first trip to Danville to find more information on the Reeds, Clemens and Caldwell families.
They are direct descendants of Preston Brown Reed, who was born July 4, 1809, in Jessamine County, and died Feb. 28, 1865, in Missouri. He was raised by his brother, Thomas, after their parents died. Preston attended a preparatory school at Centre College, and was a politician prior to the Civil War. He also was a lawyer and a two-term Missouri State Senator prior to the Civil War.
Preston and another man received letters from William D. Kerr of Danville, who was connected to Kentucky School for the Deaf, about the possibility of establishing a state school for the deaf in Missouri. This led to Preston helping found the first Missouri School for the Deaf in Fulton, Mo., and Kerr was the school’s first superintendent. Preston also helped create the first state Lunatic Asylum in Missouri, also located in Fulton.
Preston and Mary Finley Tate married March 17, 1841, and had 11 children.
A daughter of James Tate of Fulton, Mo., Mary, was born May 21, 1822, and died March 22, 1887. She was the granddaughter of Isaac Tate and Jane Henderson Tate of Kentucky, who moved to Missouri in about 1823. The Tate family came from Augusta County, Va., to Kentucky.
The Reeds first visited their cousin, Jere Caldwell of Lebanon Road, who has information that pioneer Thomas Reed Jr. was married to Isabella Clemens. They are connected through the Clemens family. Isabella Clemens’ sister, Elizabeth, was married to Charles Wickliffe Caldwell, Jere’s ancestor. The Clemenses are children of Jeremiah Clemens. His brother, Ezekiel Clemens, is an ancestor of Samuel Langhorn Clemens (Mark Twain).
Jere explained the different pronunciations of Caldwell in this area, and those in Tennessee and Virginia. In Kentucky, it sounds like Calwell, as it did when they arrived. “Everywhere else, it’s pronounced as it’s spelled: Caldwell,” Jere said.
She added the Caldwells stayed near Cub Creek, Va., for two generations and moved to Danville in spring 1792. Three groups moved to Springfield, then went on to Western Kentucky near Hopkinsville, and others went to Tennessee. Four Caldwell cousins stayed near Danville.
The Reeds were pleased to see a picture of Isabella Clemens Reed, wife of Thomas, hanging in the hallway of the Caldwell residence. The portrait was painted by A.C. McLean in 1838. Isabella was a sister of Elizabeth Clemens Caldwell.
The portrait had been in the possession of Calvin Fackler Charles Wickliffe Caldwell before it was returned to the Caldwell residence in Danville after the death of Jere’s sister, Ann.
The Reeds went to Bellevue Cemetery to find tombstones of their ancestors that were moved from the Ball-Reed Cemetery on Gose Pike, and also found other Reeds in the old cemetery. “We mainly came to research the Reeds,” Thomas said.
Local genealogist Carolyn Crabtree has been corresponding with Russell Reed since June about the Clemens connection. “He was thrilled to learn that he was also kin to Calvin Fackler,” said Crabtree.
Fackler is Russell Reed’s cousin.
Thomas Jr., who married Isabella Clemens, had a daughter named Jane Clemens Reed, who married John Turner Fackler, father of Calvin Morgan Fackler.