My mother was first married in 1799, to Oliver Reed,
No record of Elizabeth and Oliver Reed's marriage has been found. Their marriage was probably closer to 1805. According to the index record of the Immaculate Conception of our Lady Church, Eugenia Reed was baptized on August 10, 1806. Her parents were Henri Oliver [Reed] and Elizabeth Doyle. (add scan) I believe Eugenia was later called Eliza Virginia. In the 1850 Census of Fayette County, Illinois, Eliza Nichols is shown as being born about 1807.
and lived with him until he was assassinated by a man named Jones, who entered the house when the family were asleep, and striking Reed with a seat of a loom, knocked his brains out, at the same time severely wounding my half-sister, Eliza Virginia, then six months old. The blow and the screams of the child awakened my mother, who sprang from the bed, and recognizing the assassin, said, "For God's sake, Jones, spare my husband's life!" Jones said, "You know me, G-d--n you! you shall tell no tales." With this, he caught up a sugar trough and struck my mother on the head with it. The blow rendered her senseless. Jones, believing he had completed his work of death, then left the house. My mother soon revived, called upon the neighbors for assistance, and told who had committed the murder. Jones was arrested, convicted and afterwards hung for the crime.
I have not found "original" documents verifying this, but many of the early county histories report the murder of Oliver Reed by Emsley Jones. For this crime, Mr. Jones was the first white man hung in Randolph County. From court records it is apparent this was not the first time Mr. Jones was in trouble with the law.
The injuries received by my mother, from the blow struck by Jones, affected her all the rest of her life.
One possible result of head trauma is seizures. Could this be how Elizabeth was "affected" for the rest of her life?