Friday, July 14, 2017

Baby Girl Lankford

Baby Girl Lankford, daughter of Cornelius Lankford and Betty Cross Reid, was “born dead” in Tempe Hospital in Tempe, Maricopa County, Arizona on November 26, 1949. Baby Girl Lankford was a victim of RH disease. Her death certificate listed the disease or condition directly leading to death as monstrosity, caused by her mother being Rh negative and her father Rh positive. Wait, what? I had never seen monstrosity listed as a cause of death and it shook me. I can’t imagine how it made her parents feel when they were handed a copy of the death certificate. A time in their life that should have been filled with great joy was instead labeled a monstrosity! Baby Girl Lankford, part of the Curtis Caldwell Lankford/Nancy A. E. McCarthy line, was buried at Tempe Cemetery on November 28. Curtis Lankford was the brother of my 3rd great grandfather, James Meriweather Lankford, so she would have been my 4th cousin, 1x removed.

Partial death certificate for Baby Girl Lankford (ca. 1949)

This was the first time I had seen a Lankford in my family tree living in Arizona so of course I had to find out what took them there. Cornelius, originally born in Oglethorpe County, Georgia, moved to Mecklenburg County, North Carolina at some point in the 1940s where he must have met Betty, born in Charlotte. Betty’s mother was Bessie Mae Cross Reid, also born in North Carolina. Bessie divorced Betty’s father Fred Olin Reid and married Daniel Thomas Selvage on May 1, 1948 in Mecklenburg County. Bessie and Daniel apparently moved to Arizona after they married. If you dig deep enough, you find that Daniel previously had ties in Arizona. Bessie was living in Phoenix, Maricopa County, Arizona on February 12, 1949 when Cornelius and Betty were married so that tells me that Cornelius and Betty were either visiting her mother in Arizona or had moved there. Betty died in Charlotte on January 27, 1999 so apparently didn’t stay in Arizona.

Partial marriage certificate for Cornelius Lankford and Betty Cross Reid

Anyone who does genealogy knows how easy it is to get sidetracked when doing research. This is what happened to me when I sat down to do some research for another blog entry. I originally planned to research Joseph Jackson Lankford, grandfather of Cornelius Lankford. Instead, during one of my searches on, I found the death certificate for Baby Girl Lankford and the next thing you know, three hours had passed.

Although this happened years ago, after I finished writing this blog entry, I said a prayer for Baby Girl and her parents Cornelius and Betty.

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