Friday, February 28, 2020

Her name was Lillie Mae

My paternal Grandpa, Carroll Harvey Lankford Sr. passed away on May 13, 1970. After the funeral, I distinctly remember someone approaching Daddy, telling him that he represented a woman who was Grandpa’s daughter. He wasn’t talking about the four daughters we all knew and loved—my Aunts Lucile, Alice, Liz, and Betty—he meant another daughter. That’s pretty much all I remember about that day. I don’t know if Daddy ever had any other contact with the man or the daughter he represented. Daddy talked about his family a lot but that was never part of the conversations we had. And to tell you the truth, I’d actually forgotten about her.

Now fast forward 50 years to February 9, 2020 when I should have been doing research for my next blog post but instead, started searching the Lankford surname on the Family Search website. New records are posted all the time so I periodically do my due diligence and check all of my “go to” sites. Normally, I’ll scan a few pages and then move on to do what I sat down to do. This particular day though, I kept going, page after page, until I saw the names C. H. Lankford and Eva Eskew who had a daughter named Lillie Mae Lankford in a Polk County, Georgia Index to Delayed Birth and Birth Certificates filed in 1942. Oh my, what had I stumbled on to? And then I remembered the secret daughter. Was this her? I had to know more about Lillie Mae.

Polk County, Georgia delayed birth record for Lillie Mae Lankford (click to enlarge)

I wasn’t prepared to go full blown research yet though. I first wanted to figure out whether there was a connection between Polk County and Greene County where my Grandpa lived most of his life. That part confused me because as far as I knew, he only lived in Greene and Oglethorpe Counties in Georgia during his lifetime.

I asked Mama what she remembered about the man at the funeral and she said only that he represented the daughter. My Aunt Betty remembered that Grandpa often spoke to a man in Greensboro but never thought much about it until he approached her at Grandpa’s grave site and asked if she knew she had another sister. She referred him to Aunt Lucile and Daddy thinking it was the wrong place and time to discuss. I asked a cousin what she knew and she’d never heard about the possibility of another aunt. A family secret that if anyone knew anything about, wasn’t discussed. So, what information do records provide?

Grandpa was married twice, first to Eva Eskew in Greene County, Georgia on March 28, 1913. I knew about her but always thought her last name was Askew. When I finally found the marriage certificate, I remember thinking that George A. Merritt, the Ordinary for Greene County, had misspelled her last name. I often see my maiden name Lankford spelled as Langford within the same family so perhaps the same thing happens with Eskew and Askew.

Marriage certificate for Carroll Lankford and Eva Eskew (click to enlarge)

His second marriage was to my Grandma, Floria Mae Burnette, also in Greene County, on March 12, 1922.

Marriage certificate for Carroll Lankford and Floria Burnette (click to enlarge)

On a side note, Grandma had a brother named Samuel A. Burnette who was married to Kittie “Lorene” Askew. For some reason, I thought Eva was Kittie’s sister which would mean her parents were William Clarence Askew and Adaline Ruth Mullins. But after I found the delayed birth index, I took a hard look at the 1900 and 1910 census records. Since Eva was born in 1895, she would have been enumerated with William and Adaline Askew in both census records if she was their daughter. It didn’t take long to see my mistake. In 1900, William “Clarence” Askew was still single and living at home with his parents. There was a daughter named Kittie in the home but she was his sister.

William Clarence Askew family in 1900 census (click to enlarge)

By 1910, William Clarence Askew was married to Adaline Ruth Mullins and they had five children. In the 1910 census record, you see Kittie L. but no Eva. If Eva was their daughter, she would have been four years old and should have been enumerated with the rest of the family.

William Clarence Askew family in 1910 census (click to enlarge)

So, I have determined that Eva was not their daughter and I have been wrong all this time. If you follow my tree on and have that connection, please take note—I’ve made the correction.

I next searched “Eva M. Eskew,” this time using the correct spelling of her last name, and found another Polk County delayed birth record (date filed unknown). It provided the names of Eva’s parents, William Kinch Eskew and Lizzie Channell.

Polk County Georgia delayed birth record for Eva Mae Eskew (click to enlarge)

Then I searched “William Kinch Eskew” and found a marriage record that shows Kinchen Askew and Elizabeth Channell were married in Greene County on March 9, 1890. So now we know that at some point, William Kinch (Kinchen) Eskew and Elizabeth (Lizzie) Channel lived in Greene County.

Kinchen Askew and Elizabeth Channell marriage license (click to enlarge)

In the June 21, 1900 census record, Eva’s father was enumerated with the martial status of “W,” or widowed. This means that Lizzie Channell Eskew died sometime between Eva’s birth on September 9, 1895 and this census record (I haven’t found a death record yet). William Kinch Eskew had also moved his family to the Poplar Springs District of Clayton County, Georgia. In this record, Eva’s birth year was recorded as September 1892, not 1895, but that often happens.

William Kinch Eskew family in 1900 census (click to enlarge)

Eva’s father married Annie Mae Merritt in Atlanta, Fulton County, Georgia on December 27, 1900. By the time the census was taken on April 26, 1910, he had moved his family to Greensboro, Greene County, Georgia. Eva, age 16, was the oldest child in the home. This is the first record that I found her living in Greene County.

William Kinch Eskew family in 1910 census (click to enlarge)

To keep the timeline straight, remember that Grandpa married Eva Eskew in Greene County on March 28, 1913, three years after the 1910 census was taken. Lillie Mae Lankford was born in Polk County on January 12, 1916. Grandpa’s World War I service card shows he was inducted into the U.S. Army in Greensboro on September 6, 1917. The registration card shows that he was single when he registered. That would mean that Grandpa and Eva must have divorced shortly after Lillie was born in 1916.

World War I service card, Carroll Lankford (click to enlarge)

World War I registration card, Carroll Lankford (click to enlarge)

On January 13, 1920, I found Eva, enumerated as single and living as a boarder in Greensboro.

Eva Eskew in the 1920 census record (click to enlarge)

That same day, the census enumerator found Grandpa, single and living alone 7.5 miles away in Penfield, Greene County, Georgia. It took me a while to find him since he was enumerated as Calvin.

Carroll Lankford in the 1920 census record (click to enlarge)

Below is a record from the U.S. Social Security Applications and Claims Index for the period 1936–2007. In it, you see that Eva M. Eskew was married to William Lankford and had a child named Lillie Mae Hagan. William is clearly not my Grandpa’s name but if you read the blog I posted for him here, you’ll see that the paper trail often lists names that are incorrect. You’ll also notice that I made no mention of a fifth daughter, again because I forgot about her. Lillie Mae must have married a man whose last name was Hagan.

Social Security Applications and Claims Index for Eva M. Eskew (click to enlarge)

So, what do you think? Was the little girl, Lillie Mae Lankford, born nearly 104 years ago in Polk County, Georgia, my Grandpa’s oldest child? If so, Grandpa and Eva were married so why was she kept a secret all those years? I guess we’ll never know the answer to that question. If you’re researching these families and can provide insight into this mystery, I’d love to hear from you.


  • Carroll Lankford and Eva Eskew, Marriage Certificate, State of Georgia, County of Greene, recorded April 1, 1913.
  • Carroll Lankford and Florrie Barnett, Marriage Certificate, State of Georgia, County of Greene, recorded March 15, 1922.
  • Carroll Lankford, Georgia, World War I Service Cards, 1917–1919.
  • Carroll Lankford, World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917–1918.
  • Eva Mae Eskew, Births, Vital Statistics Index, Polk County, Georgia, date recorded unknown;
  • Kinchen Askew and Elizabeth Channell, Marriage License 271, State of Georgia, Greene County, recorded March 9, 1890.
  • Lillie Mae Lankford, Births, Vital Statistics Index, Polk County, Georgia, recorded 1942;
  • U.S. Federal Census, District 0043, Greene County, Georgia, 1900.
  • U.S. Federal Census, District 0056, Greensboro, Greene County, Georgia, 1910.
  • U.S. Federal Census, District 0058, Greensboro, Greene County, Georgia, 1920.
  • U.S. Federal Census, District 0063, Penfield, Greene County, Georgia, 1920.
  • U.S. Federal Census, District 0065, Hutchinson, Greene County, Georgia, 1910.
  • U.S. Federal Census, Poplar Springs, Clayton County, Georgia, 1900.
  • U.S. Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936–2007.

Friday, February 21, 2020

Grover Bennett Lankford

This blog post is another in a series connecting the dots in my tree to the souls buried at Bairdstown Cemetery in Bairdstown, Oglethorpe County, Georgia.

A small stone in Bairdstown Cemetery marks the grave of Grover Bennett Lankford, an infant who did not survive his first year of birth. Grover, born on October 8, 1884 most likely in Oglethorpe County, Georgia, was the first child of newlyweds William Mell Lankford and Nancy Ella Young. William and Nancy celebrated their first anniversary on December 11, two months after his birth.

Grover's time on Earth was short. He died, probably at home, on July 12, 1885, when he was just over nine months of age. I have yet to find a death record for him so don't know what caused him to die so young but possibilities are diphtheria, typhoid fever, cholera, or whooping cough, all common in 1885.

Grover’s parents would go on to have eight more children—Howard Young Lankford, Annie Lou Lankford, Robert Chester Lankford, Masina Elizabeth Lankford, Vesta Bell Lankford, Pauline Lankford, William Reese Lankford, and Otis Elmore Lankford. He would be my 2nd cousin 3x removed with our nearest common relatives being Charles L. Lankford and Miss Moore. His paternal grandfather was Robert Chester Lankford, brother of my 3rd great-grandfather, James Meriweather Lankford.

Friday, February 14, 2020

Hattie Jane Rhinehart, from the hills of Tennessee

Hattie Jane Rhinehart Shields
Hattie Jane Rhinehart, daughter of William Dearnald Rhinehart and Roda Elizabeth “Bettie” Sneed, was born in Flat Creek, Sevier County, Tennessee on March 24, 1895. She was the youngest of five children—Sarah Malonia Rhinehart, Ollie C. Rhinehart, James (Jim) Daniel Rhinehart, Arlie Mack Rhinehart, and Hattie Jane Rhinehart. Hattie is my maternal great-grandmother. Her children called her Mommie all of her life. We called her Grandma Shields. Hattie had a paternal aunt named Hattie Jane Rhinehart so may have been named after her.

With no proof to back this up, it’s believed that Hattie’s family began in this country when two or three Jewish brothers immigrated from Germany. One settled in Tennessee, one in Texas, and one went to an unknown location. My DNA ethnicity estimate doesn’t include anything from Germany though so I am questioning that family lore.

On June 11, 1900, Hattie and her family lived in the 13th Civil District of Sevier County, Tennessee. Hattie was enumerated as five years old, born in April 1895. Her parents had been married for 14 years and her mother had five children, all of which were living and still in the home. Hattie’s father William was a farmer, most likely being assisted by his 10-year-old son James who was enumerated as a farm laborer.

William D. Rhinehart family
Hattie was educated in a one room schoolhouse, learning to write using chalk and slate-rock. She learned to read from the Bible. She loved to read and did so often most of her life.

Hattie was just 13 when her father William died in Tennessee on April 19, 1908 at the age of 44. He was buried at Catons Chapel Cemetery in Sevierville, Sevier County, Tennessee. Hattie was probably still mourning her father’s death when she married James “Stewart” Shields, son of Samuel “Cas” Shields and Martha Ogle, in Sevier County on March 30, 1909. Her bother-in-law Ashley Sutton and Stewart posted a $1250 bond when they filed for the marriage license on March 29. The ceremony was performed by the local Justice of the Peace, A. D. Eledge, who it turns out lived seven houses from the Cas Shields family. Hattie was 14-years-old and Stewart was 17. Hattie and Stewart had 12 children over a 30 year period—Daisy Lee Shields, Willie Mae Shields, James B. Shields, Betty Ann Shields, Paul Sam (he went by Paul Sam) Shields, Bessie Lucille Shields, Mary Nell Shields, Dorothy Joline Shields, Bobbie Jean Shields, Charles Dewayne Shields, Loyal Mack Shields, and an infant that did not survive.

Stewart Shields - Hattie Rhinehart marriage certificate

After the marriage, Hattie and Stewart moved in with her widowed mother in the 13th Civil District of Sevier County, which is where the census enumerator found them on April 29, 1910. Her sister Ollie and brothers James and Arlie were also living in the home. Her mother Bettie was a farmer on a general farm that she was renting. Hattie’s siblings were all farm laborers, as was her husband Stewart. She was the only person in the home not working. All of her mother Bettie’s children were still living. Hattie’s sister, Malonia, lived next door with her husband Ashley Sutton and daughter Georgia. Two months after the census was taken, 15-year-old Hattie gave birth to her daughter Daisy (my Granny) in Sevierville.

Stewart, Daisy, Hattie, and Willie Mae Shields

Malonia Rhinehart Sutton
Sometime after Daisy was born and before her second daughter Willie Mae was born in 1914, Hattie and her family, including her mother, loaded up the wagon and moved to Whitfield County, Georgia. Around 1914, her sister Malonia became ill. Needing someone to help take care of herself and her children, Malonia and her family also moved to Whitfield County. It’s believed that Malonia had some type of cancer. Her health worsened until she died on November 25, 1916. She was buried at Deep Springs Baptist Church Cemetery in Dalton, Whitfield County, Georgia, leaving three young daughters behind, ages seven, three, and one. Malonia’s oldest daughter Georgia would later tell her granddaughter that the one vivid memory she had of that time was sitting in the wagon that carried her mother’s wooden casket to the cemetery.

From October 1917 until June 1919, Hattie’s brother Jim Rhinehart served in the U.S. Army during World War I. Jim was shipped to France where he served as a Wagoner in the Supply Company of the 318th Field Artillery.

On January 5, 1920, Hattie, Stewart, their four children (Daisy, Willie, James, and Betty), and her mother lived in Dalton. Stewart was a farmer on a general farm and her mother Bettie was a farm laborer on a home farm. Hattie, Stewart, and Bettie could all read and write. Daisy and Willie were both attending school. James was two and a half years old, and little Betty was just three months old.

1920 Soundex cards

On April 18, 1930, Hattie, Stewart, and their now eight children continued to live in Dalton, at Prater’s Mill and Deep Springs Roads. Stewart’s father, mother, and brother Blaine lived next door. Hattie’s mother Bettie had moved back to Sevier County and was living with her widowed sister, Mary Sneed Loveday, niece Ellen Loveday and nephew George Loveday. Hattie, Stewart, Daisy, Willie, James, and Bettie could all read and write. Paul and Bessie were unable to read and write but were attending school so it wouldn’t be long before they could check that box. Hattie’s sister Ollie Rhinehart Mathews died of pellagra of the bowels at the age of 45 in Sevierville on July 24, 1934. She was buried at Catons Chapel Church Cemetery in Sevierville. By 1935, the family had moved to Blackstock, Catoosa County, Georgia.

Hattie, Stewart, and Mack Shields
On April 23, 1940, Hattie and her family still lived in Blackstock. Stewart and Paul Sam were both farmers, working a 30-hour week. The highest grade that Stewart had completed was third; the grade box was unchecked for Hattie. Even though four of the children had left home—Daisy, Willie, James, and Betty—there were still seven children at home—Paul Sam, Lucille, Mary, Joline, Bobbie, Charles, and Mack. Hattie’s mother Bettie died of breast cancer in Sevierville on July 23, 1945. She was buried two days later at Catons Chapel Cemetery. I had a photo of William’s headstone thanks to someone posting it on his Find-A-Grave memorial so thought I’d request one for Bettie’s stone. Unfortunately, she must be buried in an unmarked grave because the volunteer that responded told me the following: “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.”

My Mama remembers Grandma Shields as a very sweet person. During the early 1940s, Mama lived in Chattanooga, Hamilton County, Tennessee with her father Sam Holland (my Granddaddy). Daisy (my Granny) had been declared unfit by the courts after she left Granddaddy and Mama so he had sole custody. Grandma Shields stepped in and played a key part in Mama’s life at this time. Since Grandma Shields lived in Tunnel Hill, Catoosa County, Georgia, Granny’s brother Jim Shields drove to Chattanooga and picked Mama up every weekend so she could spend it with Grandma Shields. On Sundays, Granddaddy came to pick her up and take her back home to Chattanooga. Mama spent her summers in Tunnel Hill.

Hattie and her brother Jim Rhinehart (child unknown to me)

Several of Grandma Shields children are close in age to Mama so she had built-in playmates in her aunts and uncles. Sometime Hattie's brother, Arlie Rhinehart and his wife, Martha or Aunt Marthie, would pick Mama up in a wagon and take her to his house for a few days. Mama remembers shelling corn and saving the cobs for the outhouse when she stayed with Grandma Shields and Uncle Arlie. Being on the farm meant there was always lots of work to do. Mama remembers that Grandma Shields hand milked the cows. She gave the first few squirts of milk to the cat and then kept milking until she had two gallons of milk. After she finished, she’d put a few nubbins of corn in her apron. As she walked outside, she tossed the corn on the ground for the chickens. While they ate the corn, she’d decide which chicken she wanted to cook for dinner. Then she’d pick it up, wring its neck, and take it in the house and pour boiling water over the chicken from a pot she’d started before going out to milk the cows. Then she’d defeather and gut them (the worst part), and fry it in her big iron skillet for dinner. Grandma Shields made the best cornbread you ever had to go with the chicken, along with summer vegetables picked from the garden. And of course, she was a southern cook so you know there would be a pan of biscuits when she didn’t make cornbread. Mama remembers going to the spring to wash clothes. Grandma Shields would take her scrub board, octagon soap, and the dirty clothes to the spring, put them in a tub, and then hand scrub and rinse them. Then they’d carry the clothes back to the house and hang them up on the clothes line. After the clothes were dry, Grandma Shields would heat up the iron so she could iron the white shirts the boys wore with their overalls on Sunday.

Stewart and Hattie Shields
My parents married when Mama was 15; she had my sister Bonita at age 16. The marriage was only a year old when Daddy left. Once again, Mama’s uncle stepped in and moved Mama and Bonita to Tunnel Hill. They spent some time with Grandma Shields and some time with Granny while Mama got a divorce. Since Mama now had to support herself and Bonita, she got a job in Chattanooga. Grandma Shields helped by taking care of Bonita while Mama worked. After a year, Mama got an apartment in Chattanooga. After a while, Daddy showed up again and they ended up getting married again and moved back to Atlanta. I know Mama was thankful for Grandma Shields help during this trying time in her life.

In 1954, Hattie and Stewart lived in Tunnel Hill. Stewart, however, worked as a janitor for the O. B. Andrews Company, a paper manufacturer that made paper margarine wrappers among other things, in Chattanooga. Stewart used a hammer to knock the perforated sheet out of a big sheet of paper. He worked there until his retirement; date unknown.

Hattie thought TV was the devil’s instrument. In the late 1950s, it was thought she had cancer so the doctor sent her to a cancer hospital in Rome, Georgia. She stayed there a year but doctors eventually determined she didn’t have cancer after all and sent her home. While she was gone, Stewart bought a TV for the house. When Hattie returned and saw the TV, she made him put it in the back room. But low and behold, she started watching it and found a soap opera she liked called Love of Life. One actress, named Vanessa, was her favorite. At the time, Mama was pregnant with her fifth child and when she was born, Hattie asked Mama to name her Vanessa, which she did.

Mama and Bonita standing in the Shields home driveway
with a cake for Hattie's son Charles

Stewart (we called him Pappy) was a farmer and owned 65 acres of land in Tunnel Hill. He gave one acre each to Granny and Paul Sam. I have very fond memories of going to visit Grandma Shields when my siblings and I were younger. She lived down the road from Granny, who we often visited. Bucket’s in hand, we’d walk down the dirt road to Grandma Shields’ house, picking blackberries along the way and thinking about the blackberry pie someone would make later that day. You walked into Grandma Shields’ house through the back door. The front of the house had a porch across the front that overlooked a beautiful pasture. There was an L-shaped porch on the back that always had stuff on it, including rocking chairs. My sister Bonita remembers sitting out there listening to the Grand Ole Opry. Grandma Shields had a big quilting rack set up in the living room and everyone sat around it working on a quilt section. They let Bonita sit with them and do something like she was working on the quilt too.

Shields home in Tunnel Hill, Georgia

Stewart Shields standing in the driveway of the Tunnel Hill home

Grandma Shields played the fiddle, banjo, and mandolin; Stewart played the banjo, fiddle, and guitar; and several of her children played as well. In 1910, Hattie and Stewart formed a band they called The Skillet Lickers and played around Sevier County. I imagine there was always music in the house.

Paul Sam Shields playing the banjo

Loyal Mack Shields from The Settler's Magazine

Stewart died suddenly at 71 years of age on September 7, 1962, a Friday night. They found him dead in the field by his house in Tunnel Hill. He was buried at Nellie Head Memorial Baptist Cemetery in Catoosa County, Georgia. Hattie moved in with her son Paul Sam after his death. Her granddaughter Evelyn remembers my Granny (Daisy Shields) and her husband Hoyt (Vest) coming to their house to pick Hattie up (and sometimes Evelyn) to attend a Dalton tent revival. They always stopped for a root beer float on the way home. Evelyn also remembers that she could always talk to Hattie about anything and enjoyed going to church with her. After living with Paul Sam for a couple of years, Hattie moved back to Sevierville and lived with her sister, Ollie, in the house owned by cousins Mack and Ellen Loveday. Mack and Ellen were the children of Mary Catherine Sneed Loveday, sister of Hattie’s mother Bettie. This house was previously owned by Bettie before the Loveday’s lived in it. Hattie and Ellen worked hard to prepare food for the winter months. They would lay a white sheet out on the porch and lay green beans out to dry. They called these leather britches. They stored food in fruit jars under the front porch, canned vegetables, sausage, and beef. We visited Grandma Shields when she lived in this house. I’m told this is the house where we helped feed the pigs.

Hattie and her cousin Ellen Loveday

Lankford kids feeding the pigs

About 1970, our family celebrated having five living generations. The picture below includes the representative members—my great-grandmother Hattie Rhinehart Shields, my Granny Daisy Shields Vest, my mother Fay, my sister Bonita, and her son Brian.

Five generations - Hattie, Daisy, Fay holding Brian, and Bonita

Hattie’s brother Jim died in Sevier County on January 29, 1971 at the age of 80. He was buried at Shiloh Memorial Cemetery in Pigeon Forge, Sevier County, Tennessee. Hattie’s son James died in Sylacauga, Talladega County, Alabama on September 26, 1972. He was buried at Nellie Head Memorial Baptist Cemetery in Catoosa County, Georgia. Her daughter Betty died in Birmingham, Jefferson County, Alabama on February 16, 1975. She was buried at West Hill Cemetery in Dalton.

Mama remembers getting a call at work in the Atlanta metropolitan area that Hattie was in the hospital. She left work and headed to Memorial Hospital in Chattanooga where Hattie had been admitted, arriving at the hospital room minutes before Hattie died on April 11, 1982. She was buried beside Stewart at Nellie Head Memorial Baptist Cemetery in Catoosa County after a funeral service officiated by Rev. Junior Bryson. Hattie was 87-years-old.

Hattie beside a stream in the Smokies
I have never heard anything but nice words about Grandma Shields. I hope she knows she’s still alive in our minds and hearts.

  • Chattanooga, Tennessee, City Directory, 1954.
  • Obituary, James Stewart Shields, Chattanooga Daily Times, Chattanooga, Tennessee, September 8, 1962.
  • Obituary, Mrs. Hattie J. Shields, unknown newspaper, April 13, 1982.
  • Personal memories of Fay Lankford, Bonita Streetman, Denise Murphy, Evelyn Shields Jenkins, and Carol Defore.
  • Settler, vol 3, no. 4, December 1986, Sevier Printing Incorporated.
  • State of Tennessee, Sevier County, Rite of Matrimony, March 30, 1909.
  • U.S. Federal Census, Blackstock, Catoosa, Georgia, 1940.
  • U.S. Federal Census, Civil District 13, Sevier, Tennessee, 1900, 1910.
  • U.S. Federal Census, Lower Tenth, Whitfield, Georgia, 1920, 1930.
  • U.S., Army Transport Service, Passenger Lists, 1910-1939.
  • U.S., Department of Veterans Affairs BIRLS Death File, 1850-2010.
  • U.S., Lists of Men Ordered to Report to Local Board for Military Duty, 1917–1918, Tennessee.
  • U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918, Registration State: Tennessee; Registration County: Sevier; Roll: 1877690.

Friday, February 7, 2020

Moses Horne, a 2nd great grandfather

Moses Horne, son of George Horne and Mary Brown, was born in the East Liberty neighborhood of Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania on April 6, 1832 or 1833. The book History of Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, Volume 2 by John Newton Boucher includes a sketch for George Richard Horne, son of Moses. In the book, Boucher notes “In this class may be mentioned George Richard Horne, a representative of Scotch-Irish ancestry, and a roller in the Vandergrift mills of the Amrican [sic] Sheet Steel and Tin Plate Company. His grandfather, who was the founder of the family in America, emigrated to the United States and settled in Maryland, whence he came to East Liberty, Allegheny county, Pennsylvania. He was a well known contractor in his day, and furnished the stone for the building of the old Allegheny court house and the county jail. He died at an early age, being drowned in the Butcher’s Run flood in 1838.” The grandfather mentioned in this passage would have been the Moses’ father, George Horne. It also means that because George Horne died in 1838, Moses would only have been five or six years old when the flood took place. I haven’t found any other records showing that Moses had siblings, so it’s possible he was an only child. Moses was my husband’s 2nd great-grandfather.

Raised in Allegheny County, Moses became a carpenter, which records show he did for many years. During that time, he also became a contractor (like his father before him), as well as worked in the retail business.

On August 10, 1850, Moses and his 56-year-old widowed mother lived with the Bernard O’Neil family in the Peebles Township of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. He was 17-years-old and working as a laborer. In 1858, Moses married Elizabeth Larimer, daughter of William Larimer and Magdalene Neley. Between 1859 and 1873, they had eight children—Amanda Larimer Horne, Mary Jennie Horne, Lydia Enna (or Emma) Horne, Josephine B. Horne, Ollie Bertha Horne, George Richard Horne, Keziah Chambers Horne, and one unknown child. I can only document seven of the children.

Daughters Amanda and Josephine
On June 11, 1860, Moses, Elizabeth, Amanda, and his 70-year-old mother “Mary” lived in the Peebles Township of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. Moses was working as a carpenter. In 1862, they lived on Shady Lane in East Liberty. He paid taxes in Allegheny County during the months of May and June 1863. Moses was working as a retail dealer in 1865 and paid $10 in annual taxes in Division No. Five of Collection District Number 22. It was with the help of these tax records that I finally found Moses in the 1850 census record after having looked solidly for several weeks. I’d previously looked for Moses in those census records, but this time around, I looked almost every day to no avail until I discovered the tax records. I was looking in the wrong township. It made me very happy to find the 1850 census record if I must say so myself! I needed to see if there were other children in the Horne family and it was this record that told me the answer was probably not. The 1862 Pittsburgh city directory showed that Moses’ widowed mother was still living in the home and he was still working as a carpenter. He was still living on Shady Lane and working as a carpenter in 1868 but there was no mention of his mother Mary. Sometime during that year, Moses moved his family to Paulton, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania. 

On July 8, 1870, Moses and his family lived in the Manor Dale area of the Washington Township, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania. Moses, who was working as a carpenter, had real estate valued at $1200 and a personal estate valued at $500. Elizabeth was keeping house. Daughters Amanda, Mary, and Lydia were attending school; son George was just a baby at five months. Moses’ 75-year-old mother Mary was living with them. It took me a while to find Moses in the 1870 census record due to a transcription error—Worn vs. Horn or Horne—but like in 1850, I kept looking and finally found the record. Around 1875, Moses and his family moved to Apollo, Armstrong County, Pennsylvania. He immersed himself into the community by becoming active in politics as well as joining the Apollo United Methodist Church. 

On June 25, 1880, Moses and his family still lived in Apollo. He was a dealer in groceries. His 10-year-old son George was a clerk in a store so was most likely helping his father. Elizabeth stayed busy keeping house while daughter Amanda was a dressmaker. I can personally attest to Amanda’s sewing skills as I have in my possession a baby dress she made for her son Benjamin Gordon Smith about 1884. Click here if you’d like to see and read what I wrote about Ben’s dress several years ago. At age 20, Amanda was no longer attending school, but Jennie, Lydia, Josephine, Ollie, and George all were. Moses’ youngest daughter Keziah was enumerated as Kizzie. In 1882, Moses attended the wedding of his daughter Amanda to John Milton Smith, my husband’s direct ancestors. The wedding took place in Apollo, so it’s possible that if the Horne family had not moved there, I wouldn’t be married to my husband today as she might have never met John and the family wouldn’t be what it is today!

Moses Horne family in the 1880 Apollo, Armstrong County, Pennsylvania census

On April 3, 1890, Moses attended another wedding, that of his daughter Lydia to Harry T. Henry in Apollo. And then he attended the wedding of his son George to Emma Schmidt in Armstrong County on March 26, 1892. 

A Republican, Moses was a member of Apollo’s city council in 1895.

On June 1, 1900, Moses, Elizabeth, and Josephine were living in Apollo. Moses had returned to his carpentry work. At age 35, Josephine was apparently not working. The census enumerator recorded Elizabeth as the mother of eight children, five of which were living. 

Moses died at home of heart disease in Apollo at the age of 77 on April 11, 1910. His son George was the informant on the death certificate. He was buried at Riverview Cemetery there in Apollo. The census taker came around four days later.

Moses' death certificate

Moses’ obituary ran in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on April 12:
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, April 12, 1910
Deaths in Nearby Towns
Apollo, PA., April 11.—Moses Horne, aged 77, died today at his home here. He was a steel worker and had lived here for 50 years. He was a member of the First Methodist Episcopal church. He is survived by four daughters, Mrs. Harry Henry of Vandergrift, Mrs. H. Smith and Miss Josephine of Apollo, and Mrs. V. Shepler of Leechburg; and one son, William Horne of Apollo.
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, April 12, 1910

I found his obituary interesting in that most of the information is wrong, at least as far as my research goes:
  • Not once did I find any record that said Moses was a steel worker.
  • He didn’t move to Apollo until around 1875, which would be 35 years, not 50. 
  • The church records I found have him attending the Methodist church, not the Episcopal.
  • His daughter Amanda married John Milton Smith, not Mr. H. Smith.
  • His only son was named George Richard Horne, not William.
  • It did not list his wife as a survivor. She didn’t die until 1913 and her death noticed listed her as the wife of the late Moses Horne.
Pittsburgh Daily Post, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, May 3, 1913

Whatever the case, I’m happy I decided to write this sketch for Moses. When I started it, I didn’t have any information on his father and only a name for his mother. Finding the History of Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania sketch on George Richard Horne helped take me backwards one more generation which is always exciting. 

  • Bertha Edna Smith Athya photo collection.
  • Boucher, John Newton, History of Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, vol. 2, pp. 599–600.
  • Certificate of Death number 34752, Moses Horne, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Bureau of Vital Statistics, April 12, 1910.
  • East Liberty (Pittsburgh);
  • Elizabeth Horne obituary, Pittsburgh Daily Post, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, May 3, 1913.
  • Marriage License, George R. Horne and Emma Schmidt, State of Pennsylvania, County of Armstrong, March 26, 1892.
  • Marriage License, Lydia E. Horne and Harry T. Henry, State of Pennsylvania, County of Armstrong, April 7, 1890.
  • Members in Full Connection, Apollo United Methodist Church; Pennsylvania and New Jersey, Church and Town Records, 1669–2013.
  • Members in Full Connection, Apollo United Methodist Church; Pennsylvania and New Jersey, Church and Town Records, 1669–2013.
  • Moses Horne obituary, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, April 12, 1910.
  • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, City Directory, 1862.
  • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, City Directory, 1868.
  • U.S. Federal Census, Apollo, Armstrong County, Pennsylvania, 1880, 1900.
  • U.S. Federal Census, Manor Dale, Washington Township, Westmoreland, Pennsylvania, 1870.
  • U.S. Federal Census, Peebles, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, 1850, 1860.
  • U.S. Federal Census, Washington, Westmoreland, Pennsylvania, 1870.
  • U.S. IRS Tax Assessment Lists, 1862–1918 for Moses Horne, Pennsylvania District 22; Annual Lists; May 1865.
  • U.S., Civil War Draft Registrations Records, 1863–1865 for Moses Horne, Pennsylvania 22nd vol. 1 of 3.