Friday, January 29, 2016

52 Ancestors – James C. Lankford (73-2016)

Marker at Penfield Cemetery
James C. Lankford, son of James Meriweather Lankford and Caroline B. Hobbs, was born in November 1849 in Woodville, Greene County, Georgia. He was the second child of seven—Mary F. Lankford, James C. Lankford, Emma S. Lankford, Emerette R. Lankford, Nathan Lankford, Laura J. Lankford, and Marion Lankford. He went by Jim.

On August 14, 1850, an infant James lived with his family in the 14th District of Greene County. His father was a farmer. The family lived three doors from his grandparents Nathan Augustus Hobbs Sr. and Mary Elizabeth Lankford Hobbs.

On July 21, 1860, 11 year old James lived with his family in Woodville, Greene County, Georgia. His father was now a “stock trader” with real estate valued a $1,500 and personal property valued at $4,000. I imagine they lived pretty well.

At the young age of 12, James was most likely thrown into the role of “man of the house” after his father left home to serve the Confederate States of America during the period May 1861 to May 1865. His father, James, served in Company C of the Third Regiment Georgia Infantry, or the Dawson Grays, and then in Company C of the Georgia State Troops Regiment.

James married Mary Ann Wilson, daughter of Oliver Porter Wilson and Jane Elizabeth Johnson, on January 5, 1868 in Greene County. The marriage ceremony was performed by Lucius C. Broome, Justice of the Peace. James and Mary were pioneer citizens of Greene County. Together they had 10 children—Homer J. Lankford, Alice Beman Lankford, Julia Lee Lankford, Jessica Corinne Lankford, James Vason Lankford, Mary Corrine Lankford, Nathan Lawrence Lankford, Vincent Thomas Lankford (Langford), Oliver Wilson Lankford, and Lillie Della Lankford.

Greene County, Georgia marriage license of James C. Lankford and Mary A. Wilson

On June 8, 1870, 22 year old James and 20 year old Mary lived in Penfield, Greene County, Georgia. James was a butcher and Mary was keeping house. His sister Emma and her husband James Wilson, also a butcher, lived four doors away. Sometime before 1880, Emma died and was buried at Penfield Cemetery in Penfield.

On June 10, 1880, James, Mary, and their children Homer, Alice, Julia, and Jessie lived next door to his parents in Falling Creek, Oglethorpe County, Georgia. James was now a blacksmith.

On May 12, 1883, The Atlanta Constitution via the Oglethorpe Echo ran the following news article: “A few weeks ago while Mr. J. C. Lankford was plowing along down on Dr. Janes’s home place he plowed up the frame of some person who had been buried there in the past. It was lying due east and west and was in its natural form. The contents were gathered up and carried to Dr. Janes for examination and he pronounced it to be an Indian child between 8 and 12 years old.” This is significant to me because it shows a connection to Dr. Thomas P. Janes and the Lankford family. You’ll find some history on this connection from my blog post about my great-grandmother, Alice Beman Lankford.

It appears that James liked to fish. On March 12, 1886, a news article ran in a Greene County newspaper stating “Vase McWhorter and J. C. Lankford are the champion fishermen and they will soon begin to try their hand.”

James’ father died in Lithonia, DeKalb County, Georgia on October 29, 1887. I have yet to find where he was buried.

By June 1, 1900, James and his family had moved back to Woodville. James and Mary had celebrated 31 years of marriage. His nephew, Julius C. Wilson, son of Emma S. (Lankford) Wilson, lived next door with his wife Elvie and son Julius. James supported his family as a farmer.

James’ mother died on January 8, 1906 in Baldwin County, Georgia. James filed an “Application for Pension Due to a Deceased Pensioner” on February 14, 1906 to pay her funeral and last illness expenses. I have yet to find where Caroline was buried.

Widows Indigent Pension Roll with James' signature

Just two years later, James died on January 21, 1908 in Greene County. He was buried at Penfield Cemetery in Penfield. His obituary reads “Mr. J. C. Lankford. At 1 o’clock Tuesday morning, Jan. 21, 1908, Mr. J. C. Lankford’s spirit passed to the great beyond, in the sixtieth year of his age. Mr. Lankford was a busy man, with boundlis energy but never to busy with his own affairs to lend a helping hand to those in distress, and need of help. He was a good neighbor, a faithful and enthusiastic friend, and a man who will be missed in the community. He leaves a large family, a wife, five sons, and five daughters and three sisters, who with a host of other near relatives and friends deeply mourn his untimely departure from our midst. The funeral was conducted by Rev. J. S. Callaway and the interment was in our city cemetery. E.B.R.”

I was happy to learn that my 2nd great-grandfather was highly regarded by his family and community.

Friday, January 22, 2016

52 Ancestors – Julia Virginia Burnette (72-2016)

Julia Virginia Burnette
Julia Virginia Burnette, daughter of Thomas Terrell Burnette and Elizabeth Jones, was born February 17, 1915 in Greensboro, Greene County, Georgia. (A side note on her birth year: the U.S. Social Security Death Index lists her birth year as 1915. The U.S. Social Security Applications and Claims Index lists her birth year as 1916. I’ve always used 1915 so for now, will stick with that year.) She was the youngest child of 13—Luther Terrell Burnette, Eva Drucilla Burnette, Floria Mae Burnette, Jesse Burnette, twin to Jesse, Willie Loyd Burnette, Prince Albert Burnette, Claudia Burnette (twin), Maudie Burnette (twin), Henry T. Burnette, Eleanor Estelle Burnette, Samuel A. Burnette, and Julia Virginia Burnette. Julia was my great-aunt.

I have no way to confirm it, but I believe Julia’s middle name was to honor her paternal grandmother, Millicent “Virginia” Overton Burnette. Unfortunately, Julia never got to know her grandmother as she died on January 10, 1916 and was buried at Shiloh Primitive Baptist Church Cemetery in Loganville, Walton County, Georgia.

On February 13, 1920, Julia and her family lived in the Walker District of Greene County, Georgia. Her father was a farmer on a general farm. There were ten children living in the home when the census enumerator came around. Julia’s grandfather, Samuel Pride Burnette, 78 years old and widowed, was living in the home as well. Her brother Luther and his wife Etta Belle lived next door. Julia’s grandfather Samuel died in Monroe, Walton County, Georgia on September 2, 1926. He was buried with her grandmother Virginia at Shiloh Primitive Baptist Church Cemetery in Loganville.

On April 14, 1930, the family still lived in the Walkers District of Greene County. Only three of the children were left in the home now—Henry, Sam, and Julia. Everyone in the house was able to read and write. Her brother Luther and his wife still lived next door and now had two daughters—Hazel and Francis. Julia’s father was still a farmer and her brother Henry was a farm helper.

Sometime before 1938, Julia met Ernest Moody. I’m told they never married but together had a son they named Eugene “Sonny” Gilliard Moody on July 18, 1938 in Greensboro. I have no other information on Ernest so have not had any luck in researching him.

Eugene “Sonny” Moody
Two years later, Julia’s father died on February 6, 1940 in Greensboro. He was buried at Walker United Methodist Church Cemetery there in Greensboro. On April 26, 1940, 25 year old Julia lived on Veazey Road in the Walkers District of Greene County with her widowed mother and brother Henry. Julia was a laborer on a farm. The highest grade she had completed was fifth. The census enumerator recorded Julia as single. There was no record of her son Sonny in the home. I’ve searched for Sonny, but so far haven’t been able to find him anywhere else.

Julia married Jerry Meyer Gregory, son of John W. Gregory and Cleo McLain, in the early 1940s, location unknown. I don’t know the exact date of marriage but have narrowed it down to between 1941 and 1942. According to the Atlanta, Georgia City Directory, Jerry and his first wife Mary lived in Atlanta in 1940. I don’t find a record for 1941, but in 1942, Julia and Jerry lived at 714 Central Avenue SW in Atlanta. Born on March 30, 1884, Jerry was 31 years older than Julia. He had two children by his first wife—a daughter named Anna Mae Gregory and a son named John (Buck) Gregory. Buck was a pilot. Jerry adopted Julia’s son Sonny in Atlanta and he took the last name Gregory at that time. In 1944, they still lived at 714 Central Avenue. Julia worked as a packer for the Bullock Manufacturing Company and Jerry, a plumber, ran his business—Gregory’s Plumbing—in Atlanta. I can actually thank Julia and Jerry for my existence. After returning from the Navy in the late 1940s, my father moved from Greene County, Georgia to Atlanta and lived with his Aunt Julia and Uncle Jerry. Jerry took him under his belt and taught Daddy, as well as two of my uncles, the craft of plumbing. While living with Aunt Julia, Daddy met my mother who lived across the street. They married about seven months after meeting and the rest is history. Daddy remembers that Jerry was a good man—good to everybody. Jerry always had a cigar in his mouth and a billfold thick with money. Jerry treated Daddy as if he were his own child.

The Gregory’s started the 1950s status quo still living at the Central Avenue house in Atlanta. Julia now worked for H. W. Lay and Company, a potato chip factory. This confirmed what Daddy remembered—that she worked on the assembly line at the Lays potato chip factory in Atlanta for many years. At some point in her career, she also worked at the Gordon potato chip factory. Jerry still worked at his plumbing company. Jerry’s first wife Mary lived across the street at 710 Central Avenue and apparently was the bookkeeper for the plumbing company. The status quo wasn’t meant to be though and sometime before 1956, Julia and Jerry divorced. Jerry died on May 11, 1956 in Fulton County, Georgia and according to Daddy, they were already divorced by then. Later that year, Julia’s mother died on December 2, 1956 in Greensboro. She was buried beside her husband at Walker United Methodist Church Cemetery in Greensboro.

Sometime before November 1963, Julia married William Newton Stroud, son of Charles Stroud and Mary Viola Gilmore. This date is based on the U.S. Social Security Applications and Claims Index that listed Julia as “Julia Virginia Stroud” in November 1963. Julia and William lived in Covington, Newton County, Georgia.

Tragedy stuck the family when Julia’s only child, Sonny, was killed instantly by a drunk driving teenager who ran a stop sign in DeKalb County, Georgia on September 30, 1976. Sonny, who lived in Decatur, DeKalb County and was only 38 years old, was buried at Crestlawn Memorial Park on October 4. He left two young sons behind.

Sonny’s obituary noted that Julia lived in Covington in 1976 so I assume she was still married to William at that time but at some point they divorced. I don’t know her movements after her divorce but records show that she lived at 2846 Jones Street in East Point, Fulton County, Georgia from 1993 to 1999. Julia’s life came to a sad ending in 1999 when she was found dead in her Jones Street home on August 16, 1999. The exact date of death is unknown, however, it was determined that she had been dead about three weeks. The cause of death was cardiac dysrhythmia, an irregular heartbeat. She apparently had a pacemaker. Julia, who was 84 years old, was cremated on August 19 at the Cremation Society of Georgia in Atlanta. No service was held.

According to Daddy, Julia worked all of her life and was still working at the time of her death.

I have quite a few unknowns in Julia’s life story so there is still more work to be done. But, because I do new research on each new 52 Ancestor blogpost, I know more about Julia than I did before I started writing this.

Friday, January 15, 2016

52 Ancestors – Sarah Malonia Rhinehart (71-2016)

Wedding photo
Sarah Malonia Rhinehart Sutton
Sarah Malonia Rhinehart, daughter of William Dearnald Rhinehart and Roda Elizabeth Sneed, was born March 7, 1887 in Sevier County, Tennessee. She was the oldest child of five—Sarah Malonia Rhinehart, Ollie C. Rhinehart, James Daniel Rhinehart, Arlie Mack Rhinehart, and Hattie Jane Rhinehart.

On June 11, 1900, Malonia and her family lived in Sevier County. Her last name was spelled Rinehart. Malonia’s parents had been married for 14 years. Her father was a farmer. At age 13, Malonia was able to read but not write.

Malonia was 21 when she lost her father who died in Tennessee on April 19, 1908. He was 44 years old. William was buried at Catons Chapel Cemetery in Sevierville, Sevier County, Tennessee. Sadly, William didn’t live to see his eldest daughter walk down the aisle the next month when she married Ashley B. Sutton, son of an unknown father and Sarah M. Sutton, in Sevier County on May 10, 1908. Together they had four children—Georgia Lee Sutton, Mapher Sutton, Daisy Gladys Sutton, and Dixie Roena Sutton.

Ashley B. Sutton
On April 29, 1910, Malonia and her family lived in Civil District 13 of Sevier County. She was enumerated as Lona Sutton, married for one year, and the mother of one child—Georgia, age 1. The Sutton’s were surrounded by family at that time. Malonia’s family was enumerated as family number 165. Family number 166 was Bettie Rhinehart, Malonia’s mother, and Malonia’s siblings—Ollie, James, Arlie, and Hattie. Hattie, age 16, was married to James S. Shields (age 18), who was also living in Bettie’s home. Hattie and James had been married for one year. They were my great-grandparents. Family number 164 was Malonia’s brother-in-law George Sutton. He lived next door with his wife Onie (or Ollie) and son Ashley. There was also a William S. Sutton, enumerated as George’s father, living in the home but I believe he was actually Ashley and George’s grandfather. In 1900, William was enumerated as the head of household in Sevier County with his wife Mary, daughter Sarah, and grandsons George, Ashley, Arnel, and James. The William in 1910 was 75 years old (born May 1836) and was the same age as the William enumerated in 1900. Ashley and George, both 14 years old born in April 1886, were apparently twins.

Marriage bond

Malonia’s only son, Mapher, was born in Sevier County on October 3, 1910. Sorrow came to the Sutton house a little over three months later on January 23, 1911 when Mapher died of whooping cough. The location of his grave is unknown to me. A second daughter, Daisy, was born in Sevier County on October 15, 1913. Malonia’s youngest sister Hattie also named her first daughter Daisy which was apparently a popular name in the early 1900s. According to the Social Security Administration, it was in the top 100 names at that time. Malonia’s youngest child, a daughter she named Dixie, was born in Sevier County on April 26, 1915. Young Dixie would never know her mother though. Sorrow came once again to the Sutton household when Malonia died of unknown causes (to me anyway) on November 25, 1916 in Georgia, most likely Whitfield County. She was
buried at Deep Springs Baptist Church Cemetery in Dalton, Whitfield County, Georgia.

Friday, January 8, 2016

52 Ancestors – William Dearnald Rhinehart (70-2016)

William D. Rhinehart family
William Dearnald Rhinehart was born August 22, 1863 in Sevierville, Sevier County, Tennessee. His parents have been a mystery for me. Early in my research on William, census records told me his mother’s name was Elizabeth Rinehart (also spelled Rhinehart; born about 1826 in Tennessee) and that he had several siblings. In all census records, Elizabeth was never recorded with a husband and she always had the last name of Rinehart. I’ve looked for records in William’s name that might record his father but kept coming up with nothing. It wasn’t until last weekend when I finally found a death certificate for William’s sister, Sarah E. Rhinehart Thomas, that I had a breakthrough. Sarah’s death certificate listed her mother as Betsy Rinehart, born in Tennessee. It listed her father as “Elegetmalmate” and had a big “X” beside the location of his birth. Now what in the world did that mean? Who would name their child Elegetmalmate? I’m thinking that’s an awful weird name to give someone.
Sarah E. Rhinehart Thomas death certificate
But then I did what I often do when I want answers—I Googled it. The top word in the query was “legitimate.” That’s when the lightbulb went off. Since the word started with an “E,” did the person recording the information on the death certificate mean to write “illegitimate” and just didn’t know how to spell it? That’s what I’m thinking. After making this discovery, I looked for Elizabeth in earlier census records—I wanted to find her with her parents. That would at least tell me what her maiden name was. I found them living in Sevier County, Tennessee in 1850. Her father was Conrad (enumerated as Conard) Rinehart and her mother was Rachel. Elizabeth was 25 years old. Her father was born in Virginia and her mother was born in Tennessee.

Tennessee state marriage records for Greene County record the marriage of Conrad Rinehart to Rachel Shaver on February 15, 1813.
1813 Greene County, Tennessee marriage record
This information matches what I find in later census records so this must be William’s mother and her maiden name was actually Rinehart. That would explain why I never find her with a husband. And, since all of her children have the surname Rhinehart, I’m assuming their father was also “Elegetmalmate.” I’ll keep looking for a record that provides the name of William’s father, but for now, I believe I’m on the right track with regards to his mother and his surname.

If all this is correct, William’s siblings were Sarah E. Rhinehart (born about 1845), Louisa Rhinehart (born about 1848), Elizabeth Rhinehart (born about 1856), George L. Rhinehart (born about 1876), and Hattie Jane Rhinehart (born about 1878). There was an 18 year age difference between Sarah and William.

Three years before William’s birth, his mother and sisters lived in Sevier County, Tennessee.
1860 Sevier County, Tennessee census record
On June 10, 1870, William lived with his mother Elizabeth and sisters Sarah E. and Elizabeth in Flat Gap, Jefferson County, Tennessee. The census enumerator spelled their last name “Rineheart” and enumerated William (age 6) with the middle initial “A.” Elizabeth at age 50 was keeping house. Her daughters Sarah (age 25) and Elizabeth (age 14) were both enumerated as “at home.” Elizabeth and her daughters were able to read and write. There was no adult male in the home. There was also no sign of Louisa in this census record. She would have been 22 years old by this time so perhaps she had married and moved out of the home. Daughter Elizabeth wasn’t enumerated in the 1860 census record but she shows up in 1870. She would have been 4 years old then so why wasn’t she living with the family. Was she living with someone else at the time? Or had something else happened to her?

1870 Jefferson County, Tennessee census record
On June 3, 1880, William and his family lived in the 15th Civil District of Sevier County, Allensville, Tennessee. There was still no adult male in the home. Elizabeth was enumerated as the head of the family. Her father was born in Virginia, her mother in Tennessee. At age 17, William was a farm laborer. Sarah is 35 years old and enumerated with “no occupation.” A brother and sister has been added to the family since the last census was taken—George L. (age 4) and Hattie Jane (age 2). William named his youngest child Hattie Jane (my great-grandmother), I assume after his youngest his sister. Again there was no sign of William’s sister Elizabeth. The census enumerator recorded the birthplace of William’s father as Tennessee. 
1880 Sevier County, Tennessee census record

William married Roda Elizabeth (Bettie) Sneed, daughter of William Sneed and Mary Fine, in Sevier County, Tennessee, on March 22, 1886. Together William and Bettie had five children—Sarah Malonia Rhinehart, Ollie C. Rhinehart, James Daniel Rhinehart, Arlie Mack Rhinehart, and Hattie Jane Rhinehart. William was 12 years older than Bettie.

William’s son James was born in Sevier County in 1890. James filed for a Tennessee, Delayed Birth Records in 1942 stating that both of his parents were born in Sevier County.

On June 11, 1900, William and his family were enumerated in Sevier County. William and Bettie had been married for 14 years. William, at age 36, made a living by farming. Bettie had five children, all of which were living. They were enumerated as Sarah M. (age 12), Ollie C. (age 11), James D. (age 10), Arlie M. (age 8), and Hattie J. (age 5). Their last name was spelled Rinehart.
1900 Sevier County, Tennessee census record
William died in Tennessee at the age of 44 on April 19, 1908. He was buried at Catons Chapel Cemetery in Sevierville, Sevier County, Tennessee. Bettie went on to live until the age of 77 when she died from breast cancer in Sevierville, Sevier, Tennessee on July 23, 1945. She was buried two days later at Catons Chapel Cemetery.

William was my 2nd great-grandfather.

A final note on my research for William if you’re also researching this family—I’ve assumed the above information to be true so keep that in mind when you do your own research and help me find proof! Census records show William’s father was born in Tennessee so that’s a start.

Tombstone photos from Find A Grave Memorial# 44211930. The photos were taken by Tangled Web Weaver (#46967364) who added this piece of information: I could not find any other Rhinehart graves in this cemetery and he had lots of open space around him so wife could possibly be buried there also but I did not see a stone at all. Hope I helped! :) Teresa

Friday, January 1, 2016

52 Ancestors – Samuel C. Murphy (no. 69-2016)

Samuel Murphy's tombstone
Samuel C. Murphy, parents unknown, was born on September 15, 1825 in Monongalia County, Virginia (eventually becoming West Virginia). Unfortunately, I can’t take this Murphy line any further back than Samuel. If anyone can, I’d love to hear from them. Samuel was my husband’s second great-grandfather.

Samuel married Nancy Daugherty, daughter of John P. Daugherty and Catherine Brannon. I haven’t found a marriage record for Samuel and Nancy yet but the census enumerator for October 1850 recorded them together and their first child was born in November 1850 so that gives you an idea of when they may have married. Together Samuel and Nancy had five children—Mary C. Murphy, Martin William Murphy, Margaret Emily Murphy, Elmer Elsworth Murphy, and Nancy E. Murphy. Our Murphy line runs through Martin.

Nancy (Daughtery) Murphy's tombstone
On October 12, 1850, Samuel and Nancy, both 25 years old, lived in the 33rd District of Marshall County, Virginia. Samuel was a farmer. Three of their children were born during the 1850s—Mary in 1850, Martin in 1854, and Margaret in 1859.

On September 6, 1860, Samuel, Nancy, and their three children lived in the community of Adaline in Marshall County, Virginia. Samuel was a farmer with real estate valued at $375 and a personal estate valued at $150. Nancy’s parents lived five houses away. His son Elmer was born in 1862.

Samuel was drafted and mustered into service as a private on September 20, 1864 at West Brighton, Pennsylvania to serve for one year in Company D, 11th Regiment of the Pennsylvania Volunteers. He appeared on the muster roll for the months of September and October 1864. Near the end of October or the first of November 1864, the regiment was drilled hard at Yellow House, near Richmond, Virginia. Samuel was forced to lay out on the damp ground at nights and suffered from exposure. He was sent to the field hospital near Yellow House on the Weldon Railroad where he was treated for rheumatism for about 10 days. That was followed by a bout of chronic diarrhea so Samuel was removed to Depot Field Hospital in City Point, Virginia where he was treated another 10 days. He was then sent to Harwood Hospital in Washington, DC where he was treated for phthisis pulmonalis (later known as tuberculosis) by Dr. Bucher about five or six months. He was next taken to Whitehall Hospital near Bristol, Pennsylvania where he was treated for intermittent fever about 30 days. Samuel was finally sent to McClellan General Hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for treatment of diarrhea and anemia from intermittent fever. He remained at McClellan until he was mustered out of service on July 17, 1865 suffering from lung disease, liver affection, and derangement of the stomach.

Samuel returned home from the war a broken man and suffered the rest of his life. In early September 1865, he saw Dr. Owens of Wetzel County, West Virginia. Dr. Owens, who had been Samuel’s family physician for at least 20 years, found Samuel’s disease to be chronic hepatitis with considerable hypertrophy subject to severe spells of hepatic colic. Dr. Owens determined that Samuel was not able to perform manual labor and that his disease was not curable. Dr. Owens felt that Samuel had been a sound man at the time of his enlistment and stated that he had every reason to believe that Samuel had contracted his disease while in the service.

Samuel and Nancy added to their family in 1866 when daughter Nancy was born. The following year, his wife Nancy died in Marshall County on February 7, 1867. She was buried at Greenfield Ridge Cemetery in Marshall County. Her parents are buried beside her.

Samuel married Tabitha A. (Boner or Bonar) Clark, daughter of David Bonar and Elizabeth J. Core (at least that’s what it looks like on Tabitha’s death certificate), on November 27 or 28, 1867 or 1868 (I see both dates on pension records) in Pennsylvania. This was a second marriage for Tabitha who was first married to James Clark on August 13, 1846 in Marshall County, Virginia. James served as a private in Company K, 17th Regiment, West Virginia Volunteer Infantry. Tabitha and James had five children together—Eliza J. Clark (born 1848), Emiline Clark (born 1853), Charles W. Clark (born 1856), Ann R. Clark (born 1861), and Artimace Clark (born 1864). James died of chronic diarrhea contracted while in the service of the United States on July 29, 1865 at Fish Creek in Marshall County. Tabitha was drawing a widow’s pension on James at the time of her marriage to Samuel.

On July 26, 1870, Samuel and Tabitha lived in the Center Township of Wetzel County, West Virginia. He had a full house with both his children with Nancy and Tabitha’s children with James Clark all living in the home. Samuel was a farmer with real estate valued at $500 and a personal estate valued at $200. There was a William Murphy (age 27) family living next door to Samuel and a James Murphy (age 50) family living next door to William. I’ve yet to determine whether James and William were an extension of Samuel’s family. It’s conceivable that James was his brother based on his age. William, at age 27, could have been James’ son. Something to work on.

On June 24, 1880, Samuel, Tabitha, and their family lived in the Liberty District of Marshall County. Samuel was a farm laborer. According to this census record, Samuel’s father was born in Ireland and his mother in Virginia. This is the only record I’ve found that reflects his father’s birthplace. I once found a researcher on the Internet that recorded Samuel’s father as David Murphy from Ireland but for the life of me don’t know what that record was. I keep that tidbit in the back of my mind as a place to start though. At least this census record confirms the location as Ireland. His daughter Emily, age 21, worked as a domestic. Martin, age 24, worked as a farm laborer, possibly helping his father. Elmer, enumerated as Emmer, age 18, worked as a laborer. Tabitha’s son Charles, age 23, was a farmer. Her daughters Rebecca, age 18, and Arte, age 16, were both enumerated as “at home.” There was a six year old grandson named James L. Blake living in the home as well.

1880 Soundex Cards for the Samuel C. Murphy family

Samuel applied for an Invalid Pension on July 12, 1879 alleging disease of the liver, stomach, and lungs. On July 7, 1882, he requested an increase in his pension of $4 per month stating that the disease increasingly caused general debility, rendering him unable to perform manual labor of any kind and preventing him from following his usual occupation of farming. Samuel stated that he lived in New Martinsville, Wetzel County, West Virginia at the time of the request. An increase to $6 was approved on November 15, 1882. On December 10, 1883, now a resident of Flint, Doddridge, West Virginia, Samuel again requested an increase in his pension. This request was rejected on June 17, 1884.

Samuel was examined by doctors in 1882 and 1884. Both doctors found that Samuel weighed 140 pounds and was 5 feet, 10 ½ inches tall. He had a fair complexion. Samuel was again examined on May 14, 1890 and stated that he had pain in his left breast, his stomach, and under his left shoulder. He was unable to work to any extent due to the pain in his left side. He slept with great difficulty, often remaining awake most of the night. He coughed a good deal. He further stated that he had been confined to his bed about four weeks that spring. The doctor found Samuel to be rather thin and poorly nourished. The left lobe of his liver was enlarged and tender. Samuel’s pension was increased to $10 that same day.

According to a Veterans Schedule in June 1890, Samuel was enumerated in the McElroy District of Tyler County, West Virginia. On February 3, 1892, Samuel, now living in Booher’s Mills, Tyler County, West Virginia, applied for another pension increase. He stated that he was unable to work. His lungs pained him. He was short of breath and coughed a great deal. He spit up “thick corruption of mornings” but did not spit up any blood. His stomach swelled and pained him. His liver pained him. He had pain under the point of his right shoulder blade. He believed his liver was badly affected and his heart fluttered at times. Doctors examined him and found him to be thin, weighing 135 pounds. His skin was clear and free from eruption. Samuel had a debilitated appearance and from indication was unable to do but very little labor. They found him to have roughened breathing over both lungs. He had hypertrophic nasal catarrh, with his mucous membrane being congested, thickened, and inflamed. The pharynx was in a catarrhal condition—an inflammation of the mucous membrane. He had catarrhal trouble of the whole respiratory tract, caused probably by exposure and cold. His tongue was flabby and slightly coated and had tenderness over the gastric region as well as prominence from gaseous distension. Samuel had chronic gastritis as a result of a bad diet.

Samuel died from “liver trouble” on December 18, 1899 in Booher, Tyler County, West Virginia. He was 74 years old at the time of his death. Samuel was buried on December 20, 1899 at Victory Cemetery in Shirley, Tyler County, West Virginia. An Administrator’s Bond in the amount of $1,000 was filed on December 23, 1899 in Tyler County naming John S. Booher (principal) and James W. Booher (surety) as administrators of Samuel’s estate. His estate was charged for taxation on the Land Books for Tyler County for the year 1900 with 11.3/4 acres of land on Indian Creek, valued for taxation at $74 and for 58.1/2 acres of land on Indian Creek, valued for taxation at $366. On February 12, 1900, Tabitha filed for a widow’s pension in Tyler County which she continued to receive until her death on May 15, 1921.

I visited the National Archives in Washington, DC several years ago and had them pull the Civil War pension records for Samuel. I don’t know what they do now but at the time you were not allowed to take anything into the room where you view the records except the debit card you used to make copies of the records. They provided lockers so I left my belongings in one and made my way to the room at my scheduled time. Once there I was handed a huge file for Samuel. I remember the excitement of holding the original post-Civil War records. I had to be very careful as the pages were very brittle. I didn’t want them disintegrating in my hands while I made my copies. If you ever visit DC, be sure to include a trip to the Archives during your visit. Just be sure to do your homework before you go.