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Home: Regional: U.S. States: Indiana: Union County

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Little Orphan Annie a.k.a. Mary Alice (Smith) Gray
Posted by: Brigette Cook Jones (ID *****9825) Date: April 02, 2007 at 13:59:25
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I am doing research on Mary Alice (Smith) Gray - the inspiration for James Whitcomb Riley's Little Orphan Annie. I am most interested in contacting any family members or others that might have any history or stories about Mrs. Gray.

I am also interested in tracking down Mrs. Gray's family tree - here is what I have so far:

Mary Alice Smith - born September 25, 1850 near Liberty (Union Co.) Indiana. Died March 7, 1924 and burried in Philadelphia Cemetery - just outside of Greenfield, IN.

Need info on her Mother and Father - I am desperate for this. I am running into road blocks on this one. Mom and Dad were not listed on her death certificate; can find no birth certificate for her; and no marriage application. Census records have been no help. Dad may have been named Peter - but there is no Peter Smith listed in 1850 census in Union Co.

Mary Alice was living with her Grandmother - Mary Smith b: 1800 - in Reedville (Hancock Co) in 1860. Today the town is known as Carrollton or Finly - once known as "Tailholt."

Mary Alice also had an aunt - Malinda E. (Smith) b: 1823 Rittenhouse and uncle - John Rittenhouse b: 1820 - living in Philadelphia (Hancock Co.) IN.

The Rittenhouses were married in Shelby County, IN in 1841.

Mary Alice married John Wesley Gray in 1868 and had 5 children. Per the 1880 census the children listed were: William - b: 1869; Corda - b: 1876; Daisy - b: 1878; and Cordela - b: 1880. Per family history the children were: William; Cordelia; Dollie; Daisy and Ethiel. So, I don't have an exact match.

The family doesn't know what happened to William - also known as "Uncle Whidge"

Cordelia married a Colestock. There were four children: Gertrude, Walter, Herman and Clarence. *I have been in contact with some of Clarence Colestock's descendants.

If anyone knows of the whereabouts of the rest of the family. I do know that Daisy Gray married a Jessup and had at least one daughter - Mary Alice Jessup.

Dollie Gray married a man with the last name of Marsh and lived in Indianapolis. I don't know if there were any children.

I am doing research on this family and the character of Little Oprhan Annie - - any assistance would be greatly appreciated!!

Brigette Jones

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