Saturday, December 29, 2018

Baby Boy Langford

For my last post of 2018, I’d like to remember an infant whose time on Earth was too short. Ninety-two years ago this month, Baby Boy Langford was born on December 22, 1926 to Robert Chester Lankford Sr. and Mendie Octavia Hayes. It was Christmas week and should have been a time of joy and happiness for the Lankford family who lived in Charlotte, Mecklenburg County, North Carolina. It was anything but that. Baby Boy Langford was most likely born prematurely and hadn’t fully developed yet so they probably immediately knew he was in trouble. Dr. H. N. Abernathy attended to the baby, but his little body couldn’t sustain life and he died at 6 p.m. on December 26. His death certificate recorded him as “Infant of R. C. Langford” so it’s possible he was never given a name, but I can’t confirm that. Baby Boy Langford was buried at Trinity Cemetery in Charlotte the following day. He left behind four siblings who ranged in age from seven to two and were probably confused by what had happened to their little brother—Robert Chester Lankford Jr., Nancy Lowe Lankford, Mell Thomas Lankford, and William Norris Lankford. His parents would go on to have two more children—Vesta Mendie Lankford and Otis Young Lankford.

Baby Boy Langford would be my 3rd cousin, 2x removed. Our nearest common relatives are my 4th great grandparents, Charles L. Lankford and Miss Moore. His father, whom I believe went by Chester, was originally from Oglethorpe County, Georgia, but moved the family to Charlotte sometime after 1920. Chester and Mendie are buried near my grandparents at Bairdstown Cemetery in Oglethorpe County.

In case you’re wondering why I’ve spelled the baby’s last name with a “g” and his father and siblings with a “k,” I’ll note that those letters are often switched with the names Lankford/Langford. I’ve chosen to use Langford for the baby since that’s how it’s listed on his death certificate. You can even see where a “k” was originally used for his father but then someone wrote a “g” over the “k” in three places. Most of the records I’ve found for his father uses the “k,” so I use Lankford for him and his other children.

Gone, but not forgotten.


  • U.S. Federal Census, Bair, Enumeration District 137, Oglethorpe County, Georgia, 1920.
  • Infant of R. C. Langford, certificate number 313, North Carolina, Death Certificates, 1909–1976.
  • Obituary, Mr. Chester Lankford, Oglethorpe Echo, October 27, 1938.
  • Obituary, Otis Young Lankford, St. Louis Post, January 15, 1997.
  • Obituary, Vesta M. Lankford Murphy, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, August 31, 2000.

No comments:

Post a Comment