Wild Goose Chase

Doing my family tree has been a great and remarkable journey for my whole family, and the journey continues. We all hit those brick walls and there’s still a few in my tree that are quite intriguing. One person in particular is my paternal grandmother’s grandfather, my 2g-grandfather Young Cage or as others knew him Cage Young, this is where the wild goose chase with him begins.

To start off both of my grandmother’s parents actually have the wrong last names and this was a family detail I didn’t know until I got on around 1999. I started off doing like most would do adding my parents then my grandparents and when I got to my grandmother Willie Lee Hayes I must’ve wasted a few weeks on surnames that I have no blood relation to at all. Her maiden name of Hayes is a pretty simple story: her father Willie White Hayes (b/1873) father was John White and he passed when Willie was young and Willie was raised by an uncle named Hayes. This Mr. Hayes had married an aunt of his so he wasn’t related to the Hayes family but being raised by them took on the name of Hayes and carried it his whole life and his children were all named Hayes although everyone knew he was actually a “White”. So that was an easy answer but now grandmother’s mother was Isabel Young (b/1880) and her father was Cage Young, but then we find out about Cage Young’s past and find out that his real name was Young Cage. I spent weeks on these records going round and round till I finally got enough sense to call my elders, first call was aunt Earnestine known as “The Hall of Records”, then uncles David & Tyrone and I get this all straight. Aunt Earnestine was born in 1924 and has a memory better than anyone I’ve ever met, vivid details of events from her childhood, it’s just amazing. So now after hearing what they know and all the names they can recall I go back to my PC and start digging through the 1870 & 1880 census and bingo, everyone they told me of was verified in the census, I LOVE IT!

My gg-grandfather Young Cage was born according to his census records around 1849 in Lewisville Arkansas, the first record of him is in the 1870 Lewisville, La Grange Township Census showing him married to Caroline b/1849 and they have 2 children Fulton Cage b/1866, and Mary Cage b/1867. Next door is Caroline’s parents so we learn her maiden name of Howard. Then as the story goes he met my 2g-grandmother Morning Haynes b/1854 who was living also in Lewisville and the 2 of them ran off to Louisiana and he changed his name to Cage Young. Caroline and Young Cage had 3 more children Alex Cage b/1871, Jane Cage b/1874. and Susan Cage b/1875. Morning and Cage Young have 6 children: Nettie Young b/1872, William “Bud” Young b/1875 (both born in Arkansas). The next child born to Morning and Cage was Grant Young b/1877 in Louisiana so we know that Cage & Morning came between 1875 & 1877 to Louisiana then they have Cimantha Young b/1878, Isabel Young b/1880, and Ezekiel "Buster" Young b/1893 all born in Louisiana. So it looks like he started switching his name around before he came to Louisiana. I wonder if Caroline and Morning knew each other, it was a small town.

Ok so now he has 2 sets of kids, his first are all named Cage and the later ones were all named Young. Now somewhere in between there in 1875 Young Cage still with his original name has another daughter with a unknown mother named Sallie Cage, her death certificate names Young Cage as her father. Sallie lived in the same area as all the rest of his family that he left in Arkansas who had all settled around Cut Off and Red River in Miller County. Sallie never lived with Caroline and Caroline stated in the census that she's the mother of 5 children so I'm not sure who the mother of Sallie is. From a 1913 newspaper article we learn that Cage Young was the father of 24 children! - Read Story - In the 1910 census it lists 2 young children Joseph Young b/1901 & Josepheus Young b/1903 which should be children with his wife Mariah. Adding up all these kids comes to 15 children so I have no idea who the other children were, they may have died young with no records.

Young Cage’s different sets of kids met and from what I hear picked cotton together and would say “my daddy was Young Cage” the other’s would say “my daddy’s Cage Young” and my grandmother also knew some of the Cage’s and aunt Earnestine recalled the names of Alex, and Sallie and said most all the rest of the Cages had died young. I’m still trying to find out who Young Cage’s parents are and I went up into Miller County Arkansas this summer with my uncle Tyrone and aunt Velma trying to find Cut Off and Red River and absolutely no one had even heard of these towns that are known as townships in Arkansas. Eventually we did find one person that knew where Cut Off was and she told us it was an all white part of Arkansas near the town of Fouke which has a reputation as a rather bad town for blacks so we didn’t go there and kind of figure my Cage relatives have probably left Cut Off long ago. Young Cage finally returned to Lewisville around 1915 and died there in 1919. Lewisville is my next trip, so the journey continues…….Young Cage Family Tree