Friday, January 21, 2022

Masina Elizabeth 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.

Masina Elizabeth Lankford, daughter of William Mell Lankford and Nancy Ella Young, was born in Oglethorpe County, Georgia on December 15, 1896 (see below regarding her birth). She was the fifth child of nine—Grover Bennett Lankford, Howard Young Lankford, Annie Lou Lankford, Robert “Chester” Lankford, Masina Elizabeth Lankford, Vesta Bell Lankford, Pauline Lankford, William Reese Lankford, and Otis Elmore Lankford. Masina is my 2nd cousin 3x removed. Our nearest common relatives are Charles L. Lankford and Miss Moore. Her paternal grandfather was Robert Chester Lankford, brother of my 3rd great-grandfather, James Meriweather Lankford.

As soon as I started working on this post, I noticed a problem. The census record, enumerated on June 21, 1900, recorded Masina’s birth as December 1889 which is different than the year 1896 that is engraved on her tombstone. 

So, I guess let’s see where this leads us. 

Ten-year-old Masina and her family lived in a farm rented in Fluker, Greene County, Georgia in 1900. She was enumerated as Masinah, and as mentioned above, her birth was recorded as December 1889. Her parents had been married for 17 years and her mother had given birth to eight children, seven of which were living. That accounts for the loss of Masina’s brother Grover, who died at nine months of age on July 12, 1885. The family buried Grover at Bairdstown Cemetery. Her father was a farmer and brother Howard a farm laborer. Masina and her sister Annie were both attending school. Masina’s maternal uncle, Jim Young, lived with the family and also worked as a farm laborer.

On April 20, 1910, Masina and her family lived on Bowhill Green Road in Bairdstown. Masina was enumerated as age 19 which if correct, would mean she was born about 1891. Still not the 1896 on her tombstone. Since the last census was taken, Masina’s mother had given birth to another sibling—a brother named Otis. Sadly, at age 12, Otis would die in an accidential shooting in Greene County, Georgia on December 29, 1914. Otis was buried in the family plot at Bairdstown Cemetery. Masina’s father worked as a farmer on a general farm. Her brother Chester worked as a laborer on a home farm. Everyone except William and Otis could read and write. Both William and Otis were attending school. A news article published in The Athens Daily Herald stated that Masina and her sister Vesta lived in Bairdstown in June 1917. A second article published in September 1917 stated they lived in Maxeys, Oglethorpe County, Georgia. In both cases, they were visiting a friend named Miss Ida Power who lived in Winterville, Clarke County, Georgia.

On January 7, 1920, 28-year-old Masina lived with her parents on Lexington Road in Bairdstown. If her age was correct, that would make her birth year about 1892, having just had a birthday in December. Along with Masina, there were three adult siblings still living at home—Vesta, Pauline, and William. Her paternal uncle, Charles Lankford, lived in the home as well. Everyone in the home worked except for Masina and her mother. Her father was a farmer on a home farm, Vesta a common school teacher, Pauline a high school teacher, William a manager on a home farm, and uncle Charles painted houses. Masina’s brother Chester (enumerated as Robert C.) and his wife Mendie (Hayes) lived next door. In November 1926, Masina was involved in a two car accident that involved her sister Annie and her husband John Mayo, and three of their children—James, Billy, and Anne. They were all apparently sitting in the Mayo car in front of Masina’s house in the Athens area when another driver lost control of their car and struck the Mayo car. Masina’s sister Annie sustained severe injuries and was taken to Athens General Hospital. It was noted in the news article detailing the accident that Masina taught school in the neighborhood and was a boarder in the house she lived in at the time. A year later, Masina and her sister Vesta attended a weiner and marshmallow roast in the home of Mr. and Mrs. C. R. Crawford in August 1927.

I’ve been unable to find Masina in the 1930 census records. She’s not in Crawford or Bairdstown, both in Oglethorpe County. I found Vesta teaching in Bibb County but Masina wasn’t with her. Masina’s mother Nancy died on December 9, 1933 in Oglethorpe County. The family buried Nancy at Bairdstown Cemetery. Masina’s brother Chester died of heart disease in St. Louis, Missouri on October 22, 1938. His body was brought home to Georgia and buried at Bairdstown Cemetery. Masina lived in Crawford, Oglethorpe County, Georgia at the time according to Chester’s obituary.

On April 5, 1940, Masina was a lodger in the home of Connie Hopkins, located in Bradberrys, Clarke County, Georgia. She’d been living in that home since at least 1935. Masina was teaching in the public school system with a yearly income of $630. Masina’s father died in Oglethorpe County on October 6, 1944. She and her brother-in-law John Mayo were named as administrators of the estate on December 4, with Masina being the principal. Masina was required to take an inventory of the estate by January 1, 1945.

By the time Masina’s sister Vesta died on Christmas Day 1963, Masina had moved back to Crawford. Vesta named Masina as the executrix in her will and left her entire estate to Masina. Vesta was buried at Bairdstown Cemetery. Masina was still living in Crawford when her sister Annie died on September 7, 1966. The family gathered at Masina’s Crawford home after Annie’s burial at Crawford City Cemetery. The family gathered again in 1967 when Masina’s brother Howard died on October 26. Howard was buried at West View Abbey in Atlanta. Masina’s sister Pauline died unexpectedly on May 25, 1969. Pauline was buried at Crawford City Cemetery on May 27. Masina apparently felt she needed to get her affairs in order and prepared her will on August 16 that same year.

Excerpt from Masina's will

Masina, the last of the four Lankford sisters, died in an Athens, Clarke County, Georgia hospital on June 11, 1972 following a six weeks illness. She was buried at Bairdstown Cemetery following a service held at Crawford Baptist Church. Masina lived in Oglethorpe County the majority of her life. She never married and was always called “Baby.” She graduated from the University of Georgia and was a school teacher for over 40 years, teaching in Clarke, Oglethorpe, and Rockdale counties in Georgia. Masina was 75 years old at the time of her death. 

Her Last Will and Testament was filed in Crawford, Georgia on July 7, 1972. She named her brother William as her executor and relieved him “from making any inventory or appraisement, from giving any bond, and from making any return to any court.” In addition to requesting that all her debts be paid and that she be buried in a Christian-like manner, she requested her “funeral arrangements be as nearly like that of my deceased sister, Vesta, as possible, and it is my desire that a monument similar to that over her grave be placed over my grave.” Some of her furniture apparently belonged to her sister Annie and her husband John Mayo. Masina directed that the furniture be given to their children as it was not part of her estate. The pieces included the following:

  • All of the furniture in her front bedroom, with the exception of the mattress and springs
  • Matching pieces of dining room furniture (table, buffet, china cabinet, all dishes in the china cabinet, and six chairs)
  • Spool bed, dresser and bench, and chest of drawers, including the bed linen in the drawers, which was in the back bedroom
  • Dining room furniture and dishes in the china cabinet

Masina had already given a living room desk to Anne (Annie’s daughter) and Charles Lambeth so she instructed William to have it delivered to the couple. All other furniture was left to her beneficiaries named below, with the hope that it could be agreeably divided between them. If they could not agree upon a division, then she authorized her executor to sell the same and divide the proceeds in the same manner as the residue of her estate.

Masina named the following beneficiaries:

  • One share to her brother William, or his wife and children (share and share alike) should he predeceased her.
  • One share to Anne Mayo Lambeth, William Mayo, and James Mayo (one-third share to be equally divided between them), the three children of her deceased sister, Annie.
  • One share to Mendie Lankford, wife of her deceased brother, Chester. In the event Mendie predeceased Masina, then her share was to be equally divided between her six children—Robert C. Lankford, Mell Lankford, Norris Lankford, Otis Lankford, Nancy Lankford Rodden, and Vesta Lankford Murphy.

Masina left her brother William all of the bank certificates she owned at the time of her death. She directed that all the rest and residue of her estate be divided into three equal shares:

  • One share to her brother William. Should he predecease her, then it would pass to his wife and children, share and share alike.
  • One share to her sister Annie’s three children (named above) to be equally divided.
  • One share to her sister-in-law Mendie Lankford. Should Mendie predecease Masina, then it would pass to her six children (named above).

Masina filed her will on August 16, 1969. One of the witnesses on her will was Connie Hopkins, her landlord in 1940.

Now back to her birthdate. The paper trail is all over the place, but which one do you believe? 

  • Tombstone: December 15, 1896
  • 1900 census: Dec 1889
  • 1910 census: 1891
  • 1920 census: 1892
  • 1930 census: ??
  • 1940 census: 1899
  • Georgia Deaths, 1919-98 database: abt. 1897
  • Social Security Death Index: December 15, 1896

If you have a record that proves the 1896 date, I’d love to hear from you.


  • Estate Case File, Last Will and Testament of Vesta Bell Lankford, 1964, F. D. Maxey, Ordinary, Georgia, Oglethorpe County.
  • Estate Case File, Masina Lankford, Oglethorpe County, Georgia, Wills and Probate Records, 1742–1992.
  • Grover B. Lankford tombstone, Bairdstown Cemetery, Bairdstown, Oglethorpe County, Georgia.
  • Last Rites Held Sun. for Howard Langford, Oglethorpe Echo, November 2, 1967.
  • Lexington Personal and Social News, The Banner-Herald, Athens, Georgia, August 31, 1927.
  • Masina E. Lankford, Georgia, U.S., Death Index, 1919–1998.
  • Masina Lankford, Georgia, Wills and Probate Records, 1742–1992.
  • Masina Lankford, U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935–2014.
  • Miss Masina Lankford obituary, Athens Banner Herald, June 12, 1972.
  • Miss Vesta Lankford obituary, Oglethorpe Echo, December 26, 1963.
  • Mr. Chester Lankford obituary, Oglethorpe Echo, October 27, 1938.
  • Mrs. Annie Lankford Mayo obituary, Athens Banner Herald, September 8, 1966.
  • Personal visit to Bairdstown Cemetery.
  • Seven Injured and Two Cars Wrecked in One Accident, Jackson Herald, Jefferson, Jackson County, Georgia, November 18, 1926.
  • U.S. Federal Census, Bairdstown, Oglethorpe County, Georgia, 1910, 1920.
  • U.S. Federal Census, Bradberrys, Clarke County, Georgia, 1940.
  • U.S. Federal Census, Fluker, Greene County, Georgia, 1900.
  • Winterville, The Athens Daily Herald, Athens, Georgia, June 15, 1917 and September 21, 1917. 

Friday, January 14, 2022

William Murphy

My husband Charlie’s paternal grandparents were Charles Homer Murphy (son of Martin Murphy) and Dessie Church (daughter of Lucinda Murphy Church. Lucinda’s parents were John Murphy and Joanna Ullom. John was born 1820 in Wetzel County, Virginia (now West Virginia). His father was William Murphy, the subject of this post and my husband’s 3rd great grandfather. William is the furthest back I can document in this family. You can see the DNA connection in the tree below.

You can see the blue hits showing my husband's DNA connection to William Murphy, b. 1790
(click to enlarge)

Joanna’s father was Elijah Ullom. She was born 1830 in Pennsylvania. Charles’ parents were Martin William Murphy and Sarah Elizabeth Anderson. Martin was born 1853 in Marshall County, Virginia. Sarah’s parents were Lewis Anderson and Mariah Eckelberry. She was born 1859 in Littleton, a small community in Wetzel County. Martin’s parents were Samuel C. Murphy and Nancy Daugherty. Samuel was born 1825 in Monongalia County, Virginia. Nancy’s parents were John P. Daugherty and Catherine Brannon. She was born 1826 in Marshall County, Virginia. Samuel is the furthest back I can document in this family line. I write all of this because I wanted to show the link to Monongalia County and Joanna’s birth in Pennsylvania. Both show up in William’s story, my husband’s 3rd great grandfather.

So, are the two Murphy lines connected? It’s something I’ve pondered for years. I don’t know the answer to that question but thought it was time to work on William’s line and go from there. So, the purpose of this post basically to gather research into a timeline. If you’re researching this family, take this with a grain of salt. It’s just me trying to figure out what I have.

I had already found John and Joanna (Ullom) Murphy in the 1850 census living in Monongalia County, Virginia. The head of the household was a 60-year-old male (birth year 1790) named William Murphy born in Maryland. A search of this information turned up a William Murphy born in Frederick, Frederick County, Maryland about 1790. Frederick is located approximately 164 miles from Monongalia County. That was my starting point.

1800: William and George Murphey lived in District 1 of Frederick, Maryland. William, the subject of this post, would have only been 10 years old at this point so this couldn’t be him. It does put Murphy’s in the area though. Could one be William’s father?

1810: P. Murphy, W. Murphy, and J. Murphy lived in Frederick Maryland.

1813 – 1815: The War of 1812 started on June 18, 1812. On June 8, 1813, a 21-year-old male named William Murphy, born in Frederick, Maryland, was enlisted for a period of five years by Lieutenant Johnson as a Private in the Army, 22nd U.S. Infantry, at Connellsville, Pennsylvania. The enlistment record notes that he was 5’10”, had gray eyes, and light hair and complexion. At the time, he worked as a forgeman, which Wiktionary defines as “a blacksmith on a large scale.” The following remarks were noted on the enlistment record:

Co. Book 276. Capt. Milliken’s Co. Drew Clothing Oct. Nov. Dec. 1812. Feb. July & Sept. 1813. Deserted from Oswego, Oct. 8, 1813. Transf’d to Capt. Poulk’s Co. Bk._M.R. of Capt. Saw---- Co. Dec. 31, 1813. Deserted Capt. Willis Poulk’s Co. Book 277. Joined at Queenstown. U.C. July 20, 1814 from desertion. Drew Clothing Sept. Nov. & Dec. 1814. _ D.R. Feb. 16 & I.R. Feb. 23, 1815. Present. I.R. of Capt. S. W. Kearney’s, Co. 2 Infy. June 30, 1815 present _ 22 Made 2.

The war ended on February 17, 1815. Of course, I could be all wrong and have the wrong William. There were three other William Murphy’s on the enlistment record, which unfortunately, doesn’t provide a description and birth information.

Enlistment record p. 1 (click to enlarge)

Enlistment record p. 2 (click to enlarge)

1820: William Murphey lived in Election District 1 of Frederick, Maryland. James, Patric [sic], and George Murphy were close by—perhaps two of the three Murphy men from 1810 above.

Date unknown: William marries (wife unknown) and I believe they had at least six children—Grafton Murphy, William Murphy Jr., John Murphy (born March 1820 and my husband’s 2nd great grandfather), Michael Murphy, Mary Ann Murphy, and Ezekiel Murphy. They move to Monongalia County, Virginia.

1830: William Murphey lived in the Western District of Monongalia County, Virginia. There were eight free white persons living in the home:

Males - Under 5: 1
Males - 5 thru 9: 1
Males - 10 thru 14: 2
Males - 40 thru 49: 1
Females - 5 thru 9: 1
Females - 15 thru 19: 1
Females - 40 thru 49: 1
Under 20: 6
20 thru 49: 2
Total Free White Persons: 8

The numbers match up but the sex doesn’t. 

1830 census schedule (click to enlarge)

1840: Nothing found for this decade so far.

October 10, 1850: The Murphy family lived in District 37 of Monongalia County, Virginia (now West Virginia).

William, 60, farmer, real estate $2000, born in Maryland
John, 27, farmer, born in Virginia, cannot read
Joanna, 21, born in Pennsylvania, cannot read
Ezekeal, 19, farmer, born in Virginia
Catharine Pethtel, 15, born in Ohio, attending school

The 1850 census didn’t record the marital status unless the person had married that year. There wasn’t a female living in the home that could be William’s wife. Had she already died? John is William’s son and I believe Joanna his wife, not William’s daughter. The age and birthplace match what I know for Joanna Ullom Murphy. Ezekeal was William’s son. Mary Ann married Robert Bradford Pethtel. They were enumerated with a 14-year-old daughter named Catherine, born in Pennsylvania, in the 1850 census for District 37, Monongalia, Virginia. Two other children were born in Ohio. The Catherine living with William Murphy was 15, born in Ohio. Are they the same girl?

1850 census  (click to enlarge)

August 28, 1852: The following notice was published in the American Union out of Morgantown, West Virginia:

Virginia, ss—At Rules held in the Clerk’s Office of the Circuit Court of Monongalia county on the first Monday in July 1852:

Joshua M. Davis and Margaret his wife late Margaret White, Daniel M. Gapen and Ann his wife late Ann White, John W. White and Joseph G. White, children of Grafton White the younger, deceased, who was a son of Grafton White, senior, heirs of said Grafton White, senior, deceased, Complainants, vs.

William White, Michael White, -- Butters and Hannah his wife late Hannah White, John Gidley, Thomas Hannen, William Murphy, Grafton Murphy, William Murphy, junior, John Murphy, Michael Murphy, Robert Petlitel and Mary Ann his wife, late Mary Ann Murphy, an Ezekiel Murphy, Defendants,

The object of this suit is to have a division of the lands of which Grafton White died seized, divided among his legal heirs at law, or sold as in the discretion of the court may seem best.

And the said Thomas Hannen, -- Butters, husband of Hannah Butters, and John Gidley, not having entered their appearance, and it appearing from an affidavit filed in this cause that they are not inhabitants of this Commonwealth, it is ordered that they do appear within one month after due publication of this order and do what is necessary to protect their interests. It is also ordered that this order be published four successive weeks in the Monongalia Mirror, a weekly newspaper published in Morgantown, Monongalia county, Virginia, and be also posted at the front door of the court house of said county of Monongalia, on the first day of the next county court of said county.

G. S. RAY, Clerk. G. R. C. Allen, for Compl’ts. August 21, 1852. 158-5t.

This record is where I come up with the names of William’s children. I could be wrong but several of them match up with other records.

June 4, 1860: Ezekiel Murphy, now the head of the family, lived in Wadestown, District 7 of Monongalia County, Virginia. He was first married to Sarah Stiles and then to Jerusha Church. I believe Harriet and Harvey’s mother was Sarah. William lived with him. There were several White families which harks back to the 1852 announcement above. Other researchers have listed Nancy White as William’s wife. I haven’t found anything to confirm that, but if it’s correct, could these be members of her family? 

Ezekiel Murphy, 28, farmer, personal estate $650, born in Virginia, cannot read
Jerusha Murphy, 29, born in Virginia, cannot read
Harriet Murphy, 8, born in Virginia
Harvey Murphy, 6, born in Virginia
Ivana Murphy, 3, born in Virginia
Wm Henry Murphy, 2, born in Virginia
William Murphy, 75, farmer, born in Maryland

1860 census record (click to enlarge)

The paper trail ends with the 1860 census record. William was 70 years old at the time. I’d love to know who William married and when. Are the children I’ve listed correct? Who were his parents? When did he leave Maryland? So many questions and obviously more work to be done. If you can help, I’d love to hear from you.


  • Forgeman;
  • Public Notice, American Union, Morgantown, West Virginia, August 28, 1852
  • U.S. Federal Census, District 1, Frederick, Maryland, 1800.
  • U.S. Federal Census, District 37, Monongalia County, Virginia, 1850.
  • U.S. Federal Census, District 7, Monongalia County, Virginia, 1860.
  • U.S. Federal Census, Election District 1, Frederick, Maryland, 1820.
  • U.S. Federal Census, Frederick, Maryland, 1810.
  • U.S. Federal Census, Western District, Monongalia County, Virginia, 1830.
  • William Murphy, U.S. Army, Register of Enlistments, 1798–1914. 

Friday, January 7, 2022

Christopher Columbus Walker

Christopher Columbus Walker, son of John Thomas Walker and Emily Caroline White, was born in Anderson County, South Carolina on February 9, 1840. There were at least five other children in this family—Chester Milton Walker, Benjamin Franklin Walker, Cynthia Caroline Walker, Isaac Newton Walker, and Emily Caroline Walker. Christopher was the husband of my 2nd great grand aunt Miranda Elizabeth Holland, sister of my 2nd great grandfather Leroy Thomas Holland. We have no common relatives.

On September 4, 1850, Christopher and his family lived in the Eastern Subdivision of Anderson County, South Carolina. His father was a farmer. 

I have been unable to find Christopher in the 1860 census but pick up the paper trail the following year. The Civil War began on April 12, 1861 when life changed for many people. Men lined up to enlist but Christopher held off. On December 29, 1861, he married Miranda Elizabeth Holland, daughter of John Holland and Elizabeth Hutchinson Majors, in Pickens County, South Carolina. By February 1862, it appears that Miranda was pregnant. On July 1, 1862, he was enlisted as a Private by Lt. Calhoun at the Pickens District to serve in Capt. Rene T. Beauregard’s Company of the South Carolina Light Artillery under Capt. Thomas B. Ferguson. Company Muster Rolls show that he was present for the months November and December 1862 which means he missed the birth of his first child, a daughter they named Louette Elizabeth Walker, born on November 1, 1862. The few records I found documenting his service show he also appeared on the Company Muster Roll January to June 1863 and November to December 1863. He was paid on October 31, 1862, December 31, 1862 ($50), February 28, 1863, April 30, 1863, and June 30, 1863 and issued clothing on March 21, May 7, June 24, July 27, and August 8, all in the year 1864. According to the National Park Service, Beauregard’s Company, South Carolina Light Artillery aka “Ferguson’s Battery was organized in April, 1862, at Charleston, South Carolina. After serving in South Carolina, the unit moved to Mississippi and fought under General Gist at Jackson. Later it joined the Army of Tennessee and was assigned to Palmer’s, R. Martin’s, and R. Cobb’s Battalion of Artillery. Not engaged at Chickamauga, the battery served with the army from Chattanooga to Nashville. However, most of the men and all of its guns were captured at Nashville. Captains R. T. Beauregard and T. B. Ferguson were in command.” The Company was armed with “two 6-pound smoothbores and two 12-pound Napoleons” according to the web page South Carolina Artillery Units in the War of the Rebellion. Fold3 records show the Regiment mustered out of service on December 16, 1864. The Application for Headstone for Christopher submitted by his daughter Betty in 1936 records his discharge date as April 8, 1865, the end of the war. Which is the correct date? 

After Christopher returned to South Carolina, whenever that was, the family began to grow. He and Miranda would go on to have 14 children—Louette (Lulah or Lula) Elizabeth Walker (1862), Jesse (or Jessie) Robert Walker (1866), John Christopher Walker (1868), E. Fannie Walker (1870), Mamie Princess Walker (1872), Samuel Moore Walker (1873), James Berry Walker (1874-twin), William Perry Walker (1874-twin), Lena Maranda Walker (1879), Charles C. Walker (1881), Betty Maybelle Walker (1883), and three that did not survive. A militia enrollment taken in 1869 showed that Christopher was a 29-year-old farmer living in Belton, Anderson County, South Carolina.

On July 12, 1870, Christopher, Miranda, Louette, Jessie, and John lived in the Broadway Township of Anderson County, South Carolina. Christopher worked as a farm laborer and had a personal estate valued at $105. Miranda, enumerated as Malinda, stayed at home “keeping house.”

On June 8, 1880, Christopher and his family, now with eight children, lived in Belton. He worked as a farmer, Miranda was keeping house, and sons Jesse and John were farm laborers. Lula, Jesse, and John all attended school. On June 30, 1887, it appears Christopher nearly lost his home to a fire. The Intelligencer, Anderson’s local newspaper, reported the following:

The dwelling house and kitchen of Mr. C. C. Walker, who resides on Mr. W. W. Smith’s plantation, in Garvin Township, were destroyed by fire on last Friday night about 12 o’clock. The fire originated in the kitchen, which was almost consumed before Mr. Walker was awakened. The kitchen was only a few feet from the house, and it was impossible to keep the latter from burning. Mr. Walker succeeded in saving nearly all of his household furniture. The cause of the fire is not known.

Perhaps it was the fire that brought a move to the Storeville section of Anderson County which is where Christopher lived on July 7, 1892 when The Intelligencer reported on his cotton crop:

The first cotton bloom that has been shown us this season comes from Mr. C. C. Walker’s plantation, in the Storeville section. It made its appearance on Sunday, June 27th. Mr. Walker also exhibited to us a sample stalk of his cotton crop, which measured nearly four feet in height. He has only twenty acres in cotton, and this stalk, which is well fruited, is an average one from his fields. Mr. Walker is a practical farmer, and advocates raising home supplies and making cotton a surplus crop.

In 1893, Christopher and Miranda sent son John off to Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. John would go on to become a dentist. On March 15, 1893, The Intelligencer reported that a “quilting and sociable” had been held at the Walker home and “was very much enjoyed by the young people.” A church going man, Christopher was a delegate to the first Saluda Association of the Baptist Church that met with Rocky River Church in July 1894. The Intelligencer reported that Christopher was visited by “Mr. Silas Kay and family, of Belton …” in August 1894. His daughter Louette married Silas Kay about 1881. By 1894, she and Silas had at least seven children.

On June 18, 1900, Christopher and his family lived in a rental home on F Street in Anderson, Anderson County, South Carolina. Christopher was enumerated as Columbus C. Walker and worked as a furniture sealer. Miranda was enumerated as having had 14 children, 9 of which were living. Three adult children remained at home. Son Jesse was enumerated as 33 years old and married 10 years, however, there was no sign of a wife living in the home. Jesse worked as a day laborer. Lena, age 21, worked as a weaver in a cotton mill, and Charlie, age 19, worked as a slubber hand in the cotton mill, someone who removed the bobbins from the spindles in the mill. Christopher’s son Jesse died in Pelzer, Anderson County, South Carolina on February 6, 1908. He was buried at Cedar Grove Baptist Church Cemetery in Belton.

On April 20, 1910, Christopher, again enumerated as Columbus, lived in a rental home on Catlett Street in Varennes, Anderson County, South Carolina. At age 70, Christopher had retired. There was a boarder named John Hanna, an 80-year-old widower, living in the home. 

Christopher died in Anderson County on January 19, 1913. He was buried at Silver Brook Cemetery (aka Old Silver Brook Cemetery) in Anderson. 

A year after his death, Miranda filed for a widow’s pension but needed witnesses from other men who served in Beauregard’s Artillery with Christopher. To find them, an article was published in The Intelligencer on February 17, 1914:

Survivors Wanted of Beauregard Company. Are there any survivors in Anderson or among the readers of The Intelligencer of the Beauregard Artillery? Information to this effect will be received very gratefully by Mrs. C. C. Walker, relict of the late C. C. or “Lum” Walker, who served in that command. It will be necessary in getting some important matters settled for Mrs. Walker to have two of his comrades to state as witnesses that they knew the deceased and that he was a member of that command. Unfortunately the military history of Anderson county is in such poor shape that it is difficult to get information of this kind. Some old comrades please let Mrs. Walker hear from them. Mr. Walker enlisted in the Beauregard Artillery on the 6th of July, 1863 and served until the surrender. The captain of his battery was named Ferguson. Mr. Walker died on the 19th of January, 1913.

His daughter Betty (Mrs. W. H. Moore) applied to the War Department for a military headstone on September 4, 1936. The application recorded Beauregard’s regiment as Company F, the only record I’ve seen that shows that. As noted above, the record provides a different enlistment year, 1861 vs. 1862 on the Company Muster Rolls. It also provides a discharge date, but is it correct?  

click to enlarge


  • Battle Unit Details, Confederate South Carolina Troops, Beauregard's Company, South Carolina Light Artillery (Ferguson’s), The Civil War, National Park Service;
  • Christopher Columbus Walker, U.S., Headstone Applications for Military Veterans, 1925–1970.
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( accessed 01 January 2022), memorial page for Christopher Columbus “Lum” Walker (9 Feb 1840–19 Jan 1913), Find a Grave Memorial ID 19749534, citing Silver Brook Cemetery, Anderson, Anderson County, South Carolina, USA; maintained by Gale and David Moore (contributor 46910034).
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( accessed 01 January 2022), memorial page for Jessie Robert Walker (26 Aug 1866–6 Feb 1908), Find a Grave Memorial ID 48777468, citing Cedar Grove Baptist Church Cemetery, Belton, Anderson County, South Carolina, USA; maintained by Cousins by the Dozens (contributor 46904925).
  • Local News, The Intelligencer, Anderson, South Carolina, June 30, 1887, July 7, 1892, March 15, 1893, October 25, 1893, and August 29, 1894.
  • Personal visit to Old Silverbrook Cemetery, Anderson, South Carolina.
  • Roll of Citizens, Militia Enrollments, 1869.
  • Saluda Association, The Intelligencer, Anderson, South Carolina, July 25, 1894.
  • South Carolina Artillery Units in the War of the Rebellion;
  • South Carolina Ferguson’s Light Artillery (Confederate);
  • Survivors Wanted of Beauregard Company, The Intelligencer, Anderson, South Carolina, February 17, 1914.
  • U.S. Federal Census, Anderson, Anderson County, South Carolina, 1900.
  • U.S. Federal Census, Belton, Anderson County, South Carolina, 1880.
  • U.S. Federal Census, Broadway Township, Anderson County, South Carolina, 1870.
  • U.S. Federal Census, Eastern Subdivision, Anderson County, South Carolina, 1850.
  • U.S. Federal Census, Varennes, Anderson County, South Carolina, 1910.
  • Weaste Cemetery Heritage Trail, Some Old Job Titles from the Textile Industries;

Friday, December 31, 2021

George Washington Lankford Sr.

George Washington Lankford Sr., son of Curtis Caldwell Lankford and Nancy A. Elizabeth McCarty, was born in Penfield, Greene County, Georgia on July 15, 1863. There were 14 children born to this family—William A. Lankford, Mary A. Lankford, Irena Rebeckah H. Lankford, John R. Lankford, George Washington Lankford, Charles Moore Lankford, Wade Hamilton Lankford, Joseph Jackson Lankford, Nancy Crawford Lankford, Florence Lee Lankford, and four that did not survive. George is my 1st cousin 4x removed. Our nearest common relatives are Charles L. Lankford and Miss Moore.

On June 15, 1870, George, his parents, and six siblings lived in Penfield. His father worked as a common laborer while his mother stayed home keeping house. His 10-year-old brother John was enumerated as a farm laborer.

On June 9, 1880, an 18-year-old boarder named George Langford lived with the Burwell Brooks family in Simston, Oglethorpe County, Georgia. He worked as a farm hand and was unable to read or write. George (the subject of this sketch) was no longer living with his family in Bowling Green, Oglethorpe County, Georgia so this was most likely him. George’s last name was spelled Langford vs. Lankford in the census record which is a common thing with this surname. I noticed his father’s surname was also spelled Langford in the 1880 census record. On June 13, 1887, George’s father Curtis died at the age of 59 years following a long illness. The family buried Curtis at Bairdstown Cemetery in Bairdstown, Oglethorpe County, Georgia. Happier times came seven years later when George married Jessie (or Jesse) Burton, daughter of George W. Burton and Mattie Parham and 16 years younger than him, at Greene County, Georgia on May 2, 1894. Six children were born to this union—Owen Lankford (1898), Eva Lankford (1900), George Washington Lankford Jr. (1903), Mattie Bell Lankford (1906), William Mell Lankford (1909), and Mary Lucy Lankford (1913).

George Lankford-Jessie Burton marriage license

On June 2, 1900, George, Jessie, and their son Owen lived in a rental home in Woodville, Greene County, Georgia. The census record shows that George and Jessie had been married for six years and that both could read and write. Jessie was enumerated as having had one child who was living. George worked as a sawyer in a saw mill.

By April 19, 1910, the family had moved to Union Point, Greene County, Georgia and had grown to five children. George still worked as a sawyer in a saw mill. None of the children were attending school at the time. Owen could read but not write. It was the 1910 census record that told us there were 14 children in the Curtis Lankford family. George’s mother Nancy, who was living with daughter Florence was shown as having had 14 children, 10 of which were living. 

1910 Oglethorpe County, Georgia census record showing George's mother,
Nancy Lankford, had 14 children (click to enlarge)

By January 25, 1920, the family had moved to Hudson Avenue in Eatonton, Putnam County, Georgia, 32 miles from Union Point. Hopefully, they lived in a large home because there were now 11 people under one roof—George, Jessie, son Owen and wife Florrie (Owens), daughter Eva and husband Snow Gurley, sons George and William, daughters Mattie and Mary, and George’s mother-in-law Mattie (Parham Burton Drake). George continued to work in the saw mill, now as a laborer. Owen had joined his father at the saw mill. Even though she still had young children at home, Jessie now worked outside the home as a spooler in the cotton mill. Their son-in-law Snow worked as a weaver at the cotton mill, perhaps the same one as Jessie. The 1920s were hard on the Lankford family beginning on April 12, 1920 when George’s mother died. The family buried her beside George’s father at Bairdstown Cemetery. Then tragedy struck in 1922 when George Jr., only 19 years old, died following surgery for a ruptured appendix on June 16 at the Oglethorpe Infirmary in Macon, Bibb County, Georgia. A funeral service performed by Rev. M. S. Williams was held at their home the next day followed by burial at Pine Grove Cemetery in Eatonton. Probably still reeling from the death of George Jr., tragedy struck again on July 3, 1923 in what today we would call a case of road rage. George’s son Owen was driving a car when he came upon a man named Tom Carter, who was driving a lumber wagon. Mr. Carter felt crowded on the road and an altercation ensued that ended with Owen being struck in the head with an auto jack. The blow fractured Owen’s skull and he died at the hospital the next day. George Sr. took a warrant out on Mr. Carter who was charged with manslaughter and then released on bond. Owen was buried at Pine Grove Cemetery in Eatonton on July 5, leaving a wife and child behind. Mr. Carter claimed he acted in self-defense but I’ve been unable to find a news article detailing events after his release on bond so don’t know what the outcome was. And finally, George’s sketch ends with his death on May 10, 1927 in Eatonton at the age of 63. I’ve been unable to find a death or burial record for George but this is what his Find-A-Grave memorial shows. It’s believed he too was buried at Pine Grove Cemetery in Eatonton but don’t have proof of that. Years ago, a fellow researcher visited Pine Grove Cemetery to document these Lankford deaths but she didn’t find a headstone for George. She shared the following with me: “In Pine Grove, there is a plot with 5 slabs, 1 marked for Gertrude and Lucy and 1 marked for Dorothy Agnes. The other 3 unmarked have to be Owen, George Jr. and Jessie because the cemetery records have all of them listed as section 2 lot 28. William Mell and Gladys are in section 1 Div C lot 281 1/2. No space that could be George Sr.” 

Lankford family plot at Pine Grove Cemetery in Eatonton, Georgia

Of course, I’d like to have a record to confirm George’s death and burial so if anyone reading this has one, I’d love to hear from you. 


  • Carter Out on Bond, Eatonton Messenger, Eatonton, Georgia, July 13, 1923.
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( accessed 26 December 2021), memorial page for George Washington Lankford Jr. (26 Feb 1903–16 Jun 1922), Find a Grave Memorial ID 129243930, citing Pine Grove Cemetery, Eatonton, Putnam County, Georgia, USA; maintained by Patty Shreve (contributor 47563794).
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( accessed 27 December 2021), memorial page for George Washington Lankford Sr. (15 Jul 1863–10 May 1927), Find a Grave Memorial ID 129388747, citing Pine Grove Cemetery, Eatonton, Putnam County, Georgia, USA; maintained by Patty Shreve (contributor 47563794).
  • George W. Lankford, Eatonton Messenger, Eatonton, Georgia, June 23, 1922.
  • Georgia State Board of Health, Bureau of Vital Statistics, Standard Certification of Death no. 21380, Owen Langford.
  • Georgia State Board of Health, Bureau of Vital Statistics, Standard Certification of Death no. 10570, Mr. Wade H. Lankford.
  • Georgia State Board of Health, Bureau of Vital Statistics, Standard Certification of Death no. 13929, Geo. W. Lankford Jr.
  • Langford Dies as Result of Blow on Head from Carter, Eatonton Messenger, Eatonton, Georgia, July 6, 1923.
  • Obituary, Mr. Kirk Langford, Oglethorpe Echo, Oglethorpe County, Georgia, June 17, 1887.
  • Personal visit to Pine Grove Cemetery, P. Moon.
  • U.S. Federal Census, Bowling Green, Oglethorpe County, Georgia, 1880.
  • U.S. Federal Census, District 0127, Woodstock, Oglethorpe County, Georgia, 1910.
  • U.S. Federal Census, Eatonton, Putnam County, Georgia, 1920.
  • U.S. Federal Census, Militia District 138, Greene County, Georgia, 1870.
  • U.S. Federal Census, Simston, Oglethorpe County, Georgia, 1880.
  • U.S. Federal Census, Union Point, Greene County, Georgia, 1910.
  • U.S. Federal Census, Woodville, Greene County, Georgia, 1860, 1900. 

Friday, December 24, 2021

Christmas morning in Monongah, West Virginia

This series of photos celebrates memories of a Christmas past in my husband's family. The children pictured below are my husband Charles and his sister Colleen. The photos were taken at their home in Monongah, West Virginia in the late 1950s. 

Christmas morning that year turned out to be a musical one. Charlie told me the instruments did in fact play music, if you knew how to play them. Charlie didn't know how to play the clarinet at the time, but he did go on to play the trumpet in his high school band. 

Charlie remembers the train set in the next two photos. He loved it and tried, without any luck, to find one for our boys. The train set stayed in the family until at least the 1970s.

Santa was good to Charlie that year. Besides the clarinet, you can see he got a Huckleberry Hound bowling game, train set, Block City building blocks, a farm set, gun and holster, what we think are several cars or model car sets, maybe a book, and some clothes.

The next photo is the Bridge Street house they lived in that Christmas. Charlie estimates living there four or five years before moving to Virginia.

I hope Santa to good to you this year. Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 17, 2021

Randall family Christmas dinner

This Christmas dinner photo was most likely taken in the early 1950s in Nutter Fort, West Virginia. It includes the Wilfred J. Randall family, his mother Harriett Randall, sister Charlotte, and cousin Jean. 

The menu that day included sweet potatoes, green beans, peas, lettuce with what looks like red and green congealed salads, pickles, pearl onions, and sliced white bread. I see one dish but I'm not able to tell what's in it. What I don't see is a meat, but I'm sure there was a ham or turkey on the menu that day. They ate off the good china and dressed up for the occasion. And I love the Santa candle holder.

The man behind the camera was Ralph Murphy, my husband's uncle. This photo is part of  the slide collection given to my husband by his Aunt Jean Murphy. To see more from the collection, click here.

Friday, December 10, 2021

Family gathering in Nutter Fort

This series of photos was taken in the basement family room at Ralph and Jean Murphy's home in Nutter Fort, West Virginia, ca. mid-1950s. Families represented include Murphy, Athya, Dudley, Gregory, and Pitchford. 

If you look closely in the first photo, you can see the corner of a fireplace mantel on the left. My husband and brother-in-law remember and loved the tongue and groove wall paneling. The room had a door that led to the garage, one to the utility room that led to the stairway, and a door to the backyard. Dinner was served on china that featured dogwood flowers, which I believe Aunt Jean still had when we visited her about 10 years ago. 

Earl and Mary Murphy were my in-laws.

Left: Earl Murphy, Mary Murphy, Ella (Nellie) Windows,and James Dudley.
Right: Ralph Murphy, Majorie Murphy, Raymond Murphy, and Jean Murphy

Raymond Murphy sitting at the kids table

Mary Murphy (note the angel candle sitting on the small shelf  behind her --
this photo told me it was taken during the Christmas season)

Marjorie Murphy helping the kids

These photos are part of the Ralph Murphy collection given to my husband by his Aunt Jean Murphy. To see more from the collection, click here.