The Elkey Families
Elkey Men Served In The Civil War:
Later, the Elkey name shows up in lists of Black men who served in the Civil War. John Elkey was wounded in 1864 but survived the war and was mustered out in October 1865. He was 30 years old when he enlisted. He left at home his wife, Maria Jackson Elkey and four small children – Katie, 4, William 3, Susan Maria 2, and John Jr, an infant. They lived in the Mountain Road area of North Granby. Like so many veterans, John Elkey died after the war at the young age of 39.
Cousins George F. and Henry Elkey were soldiers in the 11th U.S. Colored Heavy Artillery Regiment and both died in the war. Henry, born in 1821, was the oldest son of Harvey and Fanny Freeman Elkey, who lived on Lost Acres Road. George was the son of Sterling and Rachel Elkey and lived in the Mountain Road school district. From his teen years on, George lived at 24 Notch Road and worked for Riley and Maria Spring Dibble. He married Susan Freeman in 1863 and they had a little girl named Georgia Ann.
The Elkey Family Lived In Granby Over 100 Years:
Just as there have been Holcomb's (Holcomb or Holcombe) in town for 100 years, there have also been members of various branches of the black Elkey family.
The first mention of an Elkey is Austin Elkey, born in 1794 died in 1886, a laborer and stonemason. He was listed in an account book in 1849 as being owned by L.P. Case, a lumberman. Another, Austin Elkey, joined the 14th Rhode Island Heavy Artillery and defended New Orleans in the Civil War. There were also members of the Elkey family living in Great Barrington, Otis and Barkhamsted, Hartland, East Granby, Windsor.
The Salmon Brook Historical Society has the certificate promoting George to the rank of corporal. Two years after his death, George’s widow Susan married his brother, Lewis J. Elkey.
By the early 1900’s Elky descendants and other farm laborers began to leave the Farmington Valley for better-paying jobs and a more stable future. They moved to Westfield, Springfield, Boston and New Haven. Elkys are listed in census records as stonemasons (further generations), cooks and porters in hotels.