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Posted: 1303192421000
Classification: Query
Edited: 1303192575000
Benjamin Franklin Cage, Sr (1814-1887) and his first wife, Mary Ann Cayce-Baker-Cage (widow of D Davis D Baker) are my 3rd great granparents whose marriage is recorded in Matgorda County, Texas - married April 10, 1846. Benjamin and Mary had two known children before Mary died on January 10, 1850 (reportedly buried on the Old Cage place in Clinton/Wharton) being: 1) Sarah Jane Cage (1847-1914) who married Jesse Thomas Teas (1835-1899) who are my 2nd great grandparents and buried in Teas Family Cemetery just south of Lockhart, Caldwell Co, Texas; and 2) Thomas Jesse Cage (1849-1929) who first married Agnes Andrewnette "Nettie" Wright (1856-1894) and had 9 children before Nettie died; 2nd married to Matha Almira "Mattie" West and had one son before Thomas Jesse Cage died (Mattie then remarried to James W. "Jim" Roan and had two more children).

I have my family connections rather complete up to Benjamin Franklin Cage, Sr., but am having a struggle to identify absolutely who his parents were (just that he was born in Sumner County, TN where the William Cage and James Winchester families were tightly woven).

Is there anyone that has absolute proof of who his parents were? I have recently found records in the Tennessee archives of Sumner County, Tennesee index and ordered a certified copy that I think MIGHT be Benjamin Franklin Cage:
Index located at:
shows: Here is the link to the archives. The info says his name was orginally Trophonius J. C. Winchester and changed to Benjamin Franklin Cage 1819. Also, in 1819, a record of a R. Eliza Winchestor, late mother of Benjamin F. Cage

So, I ordered a certified copy from the TN Archives and it gives little more than the index except it does give his full name versus initials in the middle names.

"CHAP. 54.
AN ACT to alter the name of Trophonius James Cage Winchester.
Sec. 1. Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Tennessee, That Trophonius James Cage Winchester, son of the late R. Eliza Winchester be herafter called Benjamin Franklin Cage.
Speaker of the House of Representatives.
Speaker of the Senate.
Nov. 15, 1819."

Note: I assume (above) that the R. Eliza (possible Cage maiden name)Winchester was deceased by Nov 1819 since she is referred to as "late" R. Eliza Winchester, but not sure if "late" could have other meanings or not - perhaps prior name?
Unfortuntely there a number of TN archive records that are missing during the critical time between 1814 & 1819 (records missing and incomplete).

My Teas-Brown relations indicate that our Benjamin Franklin Cage was born a Winchester and that his mother was a Cage, changing his name from Winchester to Cage. So, I did some recent research and above finding in TN is the only Winchester-Cage name change reference being: R. Eliza Winchester or Benjamin Franklin Cage in Sumner County, TN archives - a name change on Nov. 15, 1819 to a Benjamin Franklin Cage. My Brown relations also indicated I am a distant cousin (1st cousin 5X removed) of Col John Coffee "Jack" Hays (Tx Ranger) whose parents were Harman Hays and Elizabeth Cage (daughter of Maj. William Cage of TN & Nancy Ann Hall-Morgan-Cage).

Also, in addition to his parentage question, there are historical errors in our Benjamin Franklin Cage after migrating to Texas. He was shown as being killed in 1838 in Leon Creek by Indians and being buried in a mass grave -when in fact, he was actually badly injured and went home to Wharton taking over a year to heal. There are service records in 1842-1846 serving as a Captain proving he was back and alive (not dead) and did not die until 1887 (Buried in Blanco Cemetery by his 2nd wife Nancy Elizabeth Bethia Grier). Nancy's obituary in 1903 states that she was a widow, a Florida War pensioner from Benjamin Franklin Cage, Sr's serving in the Florida War. Benjamin and Nancy (his 2nd wife) had at least 4 children.

Maggie Gus Teas-Brown (a daughter of Jesse Thomas Teas and Sarah Jane Cage) reportedly tried to get Benjamin Franklin Cage's wrongful death recording on the mass grave memorial removed, but to our knowledge it has not been removed as having died in 1838 and being buried in a mass grave.

So, Benjamin had two children from 1st marriage and 4 children from 2nd marriage. He lived in later years in Crab Apple Creek area on Blanco county and is buried in Blanco Cemetery by his 2nd wife.

I an descended from his 1st marriage via his daughter Sarah Jane "Sallie" Cage-Teas. Thier daughter, Jimmie Teas-West-Harvey was my great grandmother via her 1st marriage to Robert Milam West (son of Peter Lawley West and Virena Clementine Gill-West). Robert died young in 1900 and my grandmother was the only child born to Jimmie Teas and Robert Milam West, bring Myrtis Emma West-Shelton who married Mancel Elbert Shelton (my maternal grandparents).

There are many common law and illigitimate children recordings back in those days with the Winchester and Cage lines included, some having recorded name changes (e.g. James Winchester and some of the Cage's). Our family records have always indicated we are descended from the William Cage line, but which one is it is the question (up until recently I had thought his father was Capt John C Cage (son of William Cage), but recent findings indicate that most likely is not correct).

ANYONE with information on Benjamin Franklin Cage's parentage, etc. to share, please contact me:
Lynda P Lehmann-French

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