Forgotten Creely Surname Discovered!!

Takes Family Back to Colonial St. Louis and St. Ferdinand Roots

Kaskaskia, Il > St. Louis > St. Ferdinand (Florissant), Missouri

By Jim Keith


In 1988, my mother, Julia Eileen died, never knowing her real father's name....and all her life her mother, Clara Barton never told her the truth about her real father. My grandmother, Clara was married seven times and most often reverted back to her maiden name of Barton.
My mother thought her father was named.....Carruthers...and my grandmother never corrected her. She only thought that......because she was very young when Clara and her father divorced and she knew his name started with a, "C."
All her life, she felt that she was illegitimate.....and accepted that fact. We could live with that.
Then, when the internet became popular and I decided to research our family history, I learned so much and found a wonderful ninety-one year old lady named Ruby, who was once my grandmother's sister-in law. She and I met and realizing her age may have taken its toll on her memory, I decided....maybe she could help solve some of the family's mysteries. [Photo at left is Julia Eileen Barton, but her real name at birth was Julia Eileen Creely]
I told Ruby the accepted family story, that my grandmother, Clara Barton probably got pregnant, not married and this guy....Carruthers....refused to marry her....and so she left Mt. Vernon, IN and moved to East St. Louis about 1914 or so moving in with her (Ruby) and Clara's older brother, Lawrence.
Ruby just sat there....listening to my story and with her wonderful little toothless smile....said, " Boy, you got it all wrong......."
She told me the most marvelous story that actually, Clara Barton moved to East St. Louis and lived in a rooming house owned by Julia Truckey.......and met Julia's son, Charles Creely....and they fell in love skipped off to Indiana and got married....and that's how your mom came about.
So, my mother's father was Charles CREELY....sometimes spelled CREELEY and my mother was named after Charles' mother, Julia.
Now, thinking WHY DIDN'T my mother know about this, well it was a family secret that when Charles and Clara broke up about 1921.....Clara went back to Barton and Charles went on his way and my mother, Julia Eileen was now....a Barton and due to her age, she forgot or never knew how to spell CREELY....and soon forgot her father. Clara just told Ruby not to talk about it and she kept that secret for all these years.
Checking WPA indexes in Posey County Indiana and obtaining marriage records and census records, I found that , that blessed old lady was right.....and my mom never knew the truth. [Marriage Application]    [Marriage License]   [1920 Census]
So, in doing the research on the CREELY/CREELEY line I found so much information and how historical that family and its time in Kaskaskia and St. Louis and then to St. Ferdinand, and finding that her real father, my grandfather, once owned and operated the Wedge Cafe in south St. Louis during the 1950's....we passed there and we ate there once in awhile while going to Downes Swimming Pool........and we and he never knew.
My mom died not knowing that Charles Creely/Creeley remarried and had several children....half brothers and sisters to my mom.

Charles Creely, Sr. (left)

Sadly, I guess is was done in those days....Charles never told his kids....about his first marriage and about my mom.........................until I found his son, Charles Clinton, Iowa a few years ago.......and we shared stories and one important photo of his his early years, which resembles my brother so much it was scary.
Then, when meeting one of my grandfather's daughters, I remembered something that has always puzzled me......genetics.
My mother had webbed toes.....and my oldest brother, Bob has the same webbed toe gene and so does his one else in our where did those webbed toes come I took a chance and I asked Dolly you have webbed toes........................and sure enough, she had the same webbed toes as my mother and brother. It must be a Creely thing.


Bob Keith and family (oldest son of Julia Eileen, grandson of Charles Creely)


Creely, Founding Settlers and the French Connection:

My research shows Charles Creely was the son of C. Oliver Creely, who was the son of William F Creely and Mary Demotte.  William's father was Edward (Eduard)  Creely who was married to Therese _____ and he was the son of Francois (Francis) Creely and Rosetta Loraine. Francois Creely was the son of Jean Baptiste Creely and Elizabeth Delisle.  Jean Baptiste Creely was the son of Jean Baptiste Creely (Sr. ?) and Anglique Lasonde....and so on an so on......
I am so proud of my Creely line......and its place in the history of St. Louis and St. Ferdinand (Florissant).......and would love to communicate with others in this line, maybe they may have some photos of the old family, ones I would dearly love to see.
Thanks so much for this opportunity to share this story.
Jim Keith
724 Vine Court
Sulphur Springs, MO 63052

Photos of Keith brothers with Charles Creeley, Jr. of Clinton, Iowa (right).[half brother of Julia Eileen]


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