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Randle El Family History
No matter how long we believe the earth has been in existence, one thing is sure.  Lots and lots has been written about the history of mankind and civilization.  From the Bible to history books to trivial pursuit games, the history of the earth and its people has caught the attention of many.

Much has been written about the history of black people.  Most of it by people who are not black.  We have allowed our story to be written by people who do not hold us in the best light or want to tell our full story.  Don't get me wrong, we have some very accomplished black historians and story tellers.  A diverse group of people that some took too seriously and some not seriously enough.
I believe to get the full story of our black experience each family must write, must record those things that are or were significant in their family history.  Sometimes there will be a memory dredged up that is not pleasant or is unflattering to a family that has reached a certain station in life.  These stories can be hard to tell.  Particularly for early generations who are trying to break the yoke of oppression.

I feel, however, that these are the very stories we should be telling our children and grandchildren.  For we learn valuable lessons from the experiences of others.  It is these lessons that allow us to grow and prosper, to avoid the pitfalls of the human experience and make a better life for ourselves.

I will write this family history as I know it.  I will not try to paint any other picture except that which leads to the truth.  I will fill in the blanks spaces with information as I progress and receive information from others.  Some will agree, some will disagree.  If I include something that you know is wrong please correct me.  I want the truth to be told. 
Angeline Trimm Randle El
Henry Randle El, 
Charlie & Angeline's Oldest Son
Lyla Randle El Bey
Daughter of Charlie & Angeline.
Charlie A. Randle El
Son of Charlie & Angeline
John Randle El
Son of Charlie & Angeline
Frances Randle El Cook Bey
Daughter of Charlie & Angeline
My quest to put together our family history began on Ancestry.com with the 1930 census which was released to the public in 2002.  I discovered the census listing for Charlie Randle, his wife Angeline and nine of their 14 children along with Charley's older brother Prince.  The children listed were Henry, Fred, Frances, Charlie, Lila, John, Geneva, Jeraline, and Frank.  Not listed in 1930 were Charles Elma (1905-1929), Callie (1906-1908), and Clemmie Mae who, by this time was married to T.G. Gandy.  Also not listed were Thomas Booker and Angelee, the last two sons.  The family resided in Oktibbeha County in the area surrounding Starkville, Mississippi.  This was an encouraging find and propelled me to look further.

Using the information I found in the 1930 census I was then armed with enough information to find additional information in the earlier census documents that had eluded me.  The 1880 census was the earliest record, I found, that was reliable enough for me to build a family history on.  This census listed Charlie Randle, his mother (Elizabeth) and father (Henry) and his 10 siblings.  This meant that I had found my great grandfather and great grandmother, grand aunts and uncles. 
Frank Randle El
Son of Charlie and Angeline
Some of the names of the children listed in the 1880 census are different from the names that have been passed along from one family reunion to the next.  The names listed in the 1880 census are, from oldest to youngest:  Mary Ann (b 1846), Julia Ann (b 1848), Henry (b 1859), Gillie (b 1860), Alice (b 1861), Ada (b 1863), Lizzie (b 1865), Calidonia (b 1867),  Frank (b 1869), Prince (b 1871) and Charlie (b 1975).  The names that we have traditionally known are: Callie, Annie B., Giles, Betty, Suzie, Prince, Henry, Clemmie, Charlie, Frank and Jethro.  Now we have the dilemma of which list is correct.  It would be hard to say without someone having first hand knowledge of the family in 1880.  The census takers often wrote down the wrong names, mixed up names, misspelled names and then names were mixed up in the transcription of the field data.  So who is who?  That still needs further research.

There is a census from 1870.  However, I don't consider this census very reliable because it was the first US census to include blacks.  Prior to 1870, blacks were counted on slave schedules and listed only by their first names, ages and gender.  This information was very unreliable.  The very existence of a particular person was very difficult to verify, thus making positive identification virtually impossible.  So rather than speculate I will use the 1880 census as my starting point even though I have some evidence of family history prior to 1880.

Using the 1880 census and the 1930 census to bookend my research timeframe, I began a concerted effort to find out as much information as I could about Charlie, Angeline and their family.  Charlie and Angeline were married in 1904 at Greenville, MS.  He was 29 and she was 17.  They had their first child in 1905 When Charles Elma was born.  A second daughter, Callie, was born a year later in 1906. From that point Charlie and Angeline had a child every 2 to 3 years until their last son Angelee was born in 1932.  In all They had 14 children with only Callie not growing to adulthood.  

The family supported itself by farming a piece of land in Oktibbeha County in northeastern Mississippi near Starkville.  Papa farmed 8-10 acres of land that he paid $105.00 per year to rent.  He had 2 cows, 6 mules, 2 horses and 12-15 hogs.  He also owned a horse drawn press, a mowing machine and a dump rake that he used in his hay bailing enterprise that he ran to keep his sons busy during harvest time.

I don't know how much education any of the children got except my dad, John, who only went thru the 6th grade.  In spite of it all, every one of the children held down good respectable jobs as adults and supported their families well.  From all reports, Papa was well respected by his neighbors and those he did business with.  He instilled these values in his children who did likewise with their children.  The family attended True Vine Baptist Church in Sessum, where Papa was, reportedly, a deacon of the church

Charlie Randle passed away in 1935 leaving his wife with 11 of 14 children at home.  About this time a considerable number of blacks had started to make their way into the industrialized cities of the north.  For many St. Louis, Missouri was the first stop and some decided to settle there.  We have many Randle family members who call St. Louis home.  Charlie's family decided that Chicago was their destination and began the migration process in 1937.  

The family settled on the near north side of Chicago at 907 N. Sedgewick Street.  The oldest brother, Henry, didn't make the trip to Chicago, but struck out on his own.  The oldest brother to make the trip to Chicago, Fred, had married Beatrice Williams and by 1940 they had four children of their own.  Fred and his family lived at 366 W. Oak Street.  The next oldest brother, Charlie A., was also married at this time to Elizabeth Bibbs and they had two children.

The 1940 census revealed quite a bit about where the family was and how the Randle clan had grown and changed.  I will address more of that in my next update.  For now I am publishing what I have so that I can make the family reunion information available to as many as possible.  I will be updating this site as often as I have additional information to add to it.  So don't make this your last visit.

I am Joseph Randle El, grandson of Charlie Randle (Papa).
Thomas Booker Randle El
Son of Charlie and Angeline
Jeraline Randle El Brooks
Daughter of Charlie and Angeline
Angelee Randle El
Son of Charlie and Angeline
Geneva Randle El Nelson
Daughter of Charlie and Angeline
Fred Randle El
Son of Charlie and Angeline