Eliza’s father was William Rainey (dates unknown). Who was her mother?
Eliza was born in Alabama on 17 March 1862, according to her Texas death certificate. Her father’s last name was given as “Raney” by one of her daughters who supplied the information for the death record. The unnamed daughter did not know the first name of Eliza’s father or the name of her mother.
Eliza has not been found on the 1870 U.S. census. The only clue to the name of her father is found in the marriage records of Marshall County, Alabama. Eliza married Toliver Watson Wallace at the home of “Mr. Rainy” in Marshall County on 18 April 1878. A note in the file states that William Rainey authorized William L. Wallace (Toliver’s brother) to assure the court that his 16-year-old daughter, Eliza, had permission to marry. The most interesting aspect of this permission is that the wife of William L. Wallace was Angeline Rainey. Angeline’s parents were William and Dwimity (Cormer) Rainey. Census records for William and Dwimity do not list a child named Eliza. Also, a 1920 U.S. census record for Angeline gives her name as Elizabeth. It would be unusual, but not impossible, for parents to name one daughter Elizabeth and another Eliza, a common nickname for Elizabeth. So, it should not be concluded that Eliza and Angeline were sisters. Perhaps they were cousins, or not related at all.
The first child of Eliza and Toliver was born in Cherokee County, Alabama, in 1879. By 1880 the family was back in Marietta, Cobb County, Georgia. Toliver’s parents and most, if not all, his siblings migrated to Marietta from Rutherford County, North Carolina, in 1866. His uncle, H. B. “Bird” Wallace, had moved to Marietta in the mid-1840s and established a thriving construction business.
Toliver’s brother, William L. Wallace, settled with Angeline in Cherokee County, Alabama, where they raised a family and later died. Angeline’s parents also settled there. After Toliver died in Cobb County in 1896, several items in The Marietta Journal noted that Eliza had traveled to Alabama to visit her parents. Unfortunately, no city or county was mentioned.
Can you shed any light on Eliza’s parentage? I’m happy to share the information I have and can provide source citations for any or all of the facts mentioned above. Please contact me through the comment section on this page.