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May 2016 – Page-2

Annie Ray Andrews (courtesy of Florida Memory)

Annie Ray Andrews (courtesy of Florida Memory)

In our last posting, we looked at the life of “Bertie” Boomer. In this posting we are looking at another member of one of the “Charter” families of the Koreshans, the Andrews family, and in particular, Annie Ray Andrews, the daughter of A.W.K. Andrews and Virginia Harmon Andrews. Annie Ray was one of those “second generation” Koreshans. May 6th marked Annie’s 137th birthday. She was born in Binghamton New York, the family home of the Andrews family. It was in Binghamton where her father and mother decided to leave everything behind to follow Dr. Teed. The book, “Folks we knew while in the K.U.”, written by Marie McCready says:

“Dr. Andrews, a physician and surgeon from New York state, and Virginia of southern birth, were among the first converts. Virginia, with her white hair and soft voice, was the typical “southern lady” type. …Annie Ray’s hair turned white while she was still young, which, with her black brows and lashes gave her a distinctive appearance.”

The photograph above shows Annie as many have remembered her. She always dressed very well. Here she is in one of her many hats. ((1)) Although there is no documentation to verify, it appears that Annie dropped out of the Unity shortly after Dr. Teed’s death. Whether or not she was ever a “believer” could probably be debated. She was a member of that second generation of Koreshans which included the likes of Claude Rahn, Laurie Bubbett, Allen Andrews and others. Annie lived in several places, including New York City. There does not seem to have been an animosity between her and the Unity, or her family. But, like many, after the death of Dr. Teed, she moved on. Take a look at this photograph taken in New York in 1912. Laurie Bubbett, Annie Ray and Clause Rahn are seen enjoying New York. She apparently stayed away from the Unity for some time as the May 1916 “Community Current Events” mentioned her visit with her mother and brother after a five year absence.

Annie Ray Andrews Death Certificate

Annie Ray Andrews Death Certificate

THE FLORIDA State Press Association held its annual convention this year at Kissimmee. The American Eagle, our weekly publication, was represented by its editor, Brother Allen Andrews, and THE FLAMING SWORD by Sister Berthaldine; Sisters Virginia Andrews and Bertie Boomer taking advantage of the trip also. At Kissimmee they were joined by Miss Annie Ray Andrews of Brooklyn, N. Y., who had not seen her mother and brother in five years. Sister Bertie continued her journey on to New York, but the rest of the party arrived home on Sunday the 16th, reporting a most enjoyable time.

She died in 1928 from complications after surgery. See the copy of her death certificate above.

  1. Portrait of Koreshan Annie Ray Andrews. 18–?. Black & white photoprint, 7 x 5 in. State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory. []

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