Andrew Lincecum, Free Born

Andrew Lincecum was born 1853-1860, likely in Louisiana.  This 3rd cousin of mine was a son of Rezin Bowie Lincecum and Annise (Annis, Annisa) Bowie.

I have seen Andrew’s surname spelled many different ways:  Lincecum, Linceycum, Lynscum, Lincecom, and Linscomb.  And though I’ve seen him referred to as Andrew most often, Andy and André are also noted.

My family and family history (so far as I know) is very caucasian white.  So it was a mild surprise to see R. Lincecum, a white planter, married to Annise, noted as Black in the 1860 Catahoula Parish, Louisiana Federal census.  These were the parents of Andrew, so his “color” was given as mulatto.  A notation was added to the census for the children of this union:  Free Borne —

What might that mean? Per Wikipedia:

The term free people of color…in the context of the history of slavery in the Americas, at first specifically referred to persons of mixed African and European descent who were not enslaved.  The term was especially used in the French colonies, including La Louisiane…  In these territories and major cities, particularly New Orleans, and those cities held by the Spanish, a substantial…class of primarily mixed-race, free people developed.  These colonial societies classified mixed-race people in a variety of ways, generally related to visible features and to the proportion of African ancestry…

In the Thirteen Colonies, settled by the British, and later in the United States, the term free negro was often used to cover the same class of people – those who were legally free and visibly of ethnic African descent.  It included persons of mixed race…

On the flip side, Christophe Landry of Louisiana Historic & Cultural Vistas, notes the following:

From 1699 to 1868, mixed color marriages were expressly forbidden.

So I wonder, were Rezin and Annise “officially” married? I just don’t know the answer to that yet.

Returning to Andrew, specifically, his race was noted in a fairly consistent way across the census records taken over the span of his life:  1880 – mulatto; 1900 – black; 1910 – black; 1920 – mulatto; and 1930 – negro.

Andrew was occupied as a farmer the majority, if not all, of his adult life.  About 1887-1889, he married Minerva Maxwell, possibly a daughter of Jackson and Mary Jane M(c?)axwell.  Census takers considered her to be black, Indian, mulatto, and negro.  The couple had five children:  Wallace, Mary Ann (Anise), Roley, Otta (Ida), and Edward.

An interesting note might be that Andrew’s son Roley (Rollo, Raleigh, Rolle) lived to be more than 100 years old.

By the time the 1940 Rapides Parish, Louisiana Federal census was taken, Minerva was a widow.  She later died 22 September 1956.

Visit Andrew Lincecum’s page in the Lincecum Lineage database.

What I Know About Walter Earl Lincecum (1898-1953)

Starting with nothing more than a 1922 newspaper article titled War Hero Begs Aid Of Sympathetic In Helping Him To Conquer Habit, it took me quite a while to figure out where Walter Earl Lincecum fit in the family tree. Let me know if you agree with the findings.

Walter’s father was Joseph Shelby Lincecum (d. 1919), son of Leonidas L. Lincecum and Sarah Virginia Lauderdale. Joseph was married three times: First wife was Clara Edith Whitson (1868-1955). They were married in 1891, and divorced in 1896. Second wife was Mamie N. Means (1882-1963). She and Joseph were married in April 1897. Third wife was Adele Plante, and that couple was married about 1906.

Walter’s mother was Mamie N. Means of Pennsylvania. She, too, was married three times. Her marriage to Walter’s father was her first. Her second husband was Andrew Robert Schultz/e, and they were married in 1901. Mamie’s third husband was Charles C. Francen, and they were married before 1918.

Walter was born 17 January 1898 in Los Angeles, California. For the taking of the 1900 U.S. Federal census, Walter was with his mother and her second husband, still in Los Angeles.

Credit: Library of Congress, Music Division

In the summer of 1917, an FBI case file denotes Walter was a “slacker.” Quoting from the file:

Report made by Geo. W. Hartz, dated 5 July 1917

At San Francisco, Calif.

While standing at the corner of Fourth & Market Sts., in company with Detectives Curtin and Kalembach, of the San Francisco Police Department, we stopped two men and requested them to show their registration cards. One of these men produced his registration card, but the other, WALTER LINCECUM, was unable to do so. When asked his age, stated that he was nineteen years old, born Jan. 17, 1898, at Los Angeles, on Temple Street. He appears to be about 22. When questioned by Agent, he stated that he had been ‘bobtailed’ out of the army for enlisting under age, having enlisted at a recruiting office below the Chronicle Building on Market Street, February, 1915, under the name of “Walter Schultz” and served eighteen months in F Battery of the 2nd Field Artillery at Camp Stotsenburg, P.I., being dishonorably discharged about August, 1916, for misrepresenting his age.

Agent asked for his discharge papers. LINCECUM stated that his mother had torn these up…LINCECUM stated that his mother could be found at Lageigus, near Santa Barbara, and she had remarried, her name now being MRS.MAMIE FRANZEN; further stated that he had been in San Francisco for six weeks, having tramped here from Los Angeles; that he resides at Hotel Windsor, on Eddy St., and is employed in the candy store at 110 Ellis St.

…LINCECUM was then taken into custody, en route to the Department of Justice…

According to the Washington Passenger and Crew Lists, 1882-1965 database at Ancestry, Walter Lincecum was “employed” on the ship Charles E. Moody, arriving at Port Townsend, Washington 20 October 1917 from Port Honolulu, T.H. [Territory of Hawaii] 4 September 1917. His occupation was Ordinary Seaman, he had been engaged in Honolulu a few days prior to leaving the port, and was “to be paid off” at arrival. It was noted Walter was 19 years of age, and had a “tattoo [of ] old maid back L. hand.”

Walter Earl Lincecum enlisted again in the U.S. Army 16 April 1918. He represented the state of California, and was a private in Battery D, 4th Trench Mortar Battalion, Trench Artillery. A handwritten note on the back of his U.S. Headstone Application reads, “Prior Serv. Enl. 3-13-14, Other than Hon. 6-13-15, Served under the name Schultz, Walter.” This confirms the story he told the law enforcement agents in July 1917.

Walter, this time, was honorably discharged on 8 February 1919. He spent at least some time overseas (France, in particular) during this stint of service.

By January 1920, Walter E. Linsecum and his first wife were living in Los Angeles. There is some ambiguity as to the name of said wife. Her first name is noted as “Helen” in a census record, yet marriage records show Walter married Marty Wells Alfredson July 1919 in Los Angeles. Subsequent research suggests Alfredson was her first married name, and a birth record shows her name to be Marguerite Irene Anthony (1899-1983).

Now we reach the time in Walter’s life when the newspaper article mentioned in the first sentence of this post came to be published. The copy I saw was dated 8 January 1922, and the newspaper was the New Orleans States (Louisiana):

War Hero Begs Aid Of Sympathetic In Helping Him To Conquer Habit, Lost His Wife And Baby; Now Shattered, Can’t Help Self.

When Walter E. Lincecum, 23 years old, left his home in Los Angeles in April, 1918 to fight for Old Glory “over there,” he had just turned 20, and the rose was in his cheeks.

Today, less than four years later, the glow of youth is rapidly leaving his face.

Not entirely bereft of his will power, Walter Lincecum has gone from one to the other, knocking at the doors of city institutions and piteously crying for succor. But in each case the walls of our boasted social temples have been impervious to his wails.

Walter Lincecum was about to give up the struggle to save himself from a living death. The New Orleans States is not a social agency, but it owes a certain duty to humanity. And having eyes to see and ears to hear, it absorbed the story of this young man in order to unfold the remarkable facts to its readers.

…Walter Lincecum is a morphine addict.

There is, of course, nothing remarkable about that. There are in this city alone, scores of such unfortunates. But there are many reasons why one should lend a listening ear to Lincecum’s story.

The average morphine addict has become such through choice or evil association. At least nine of every ten we find in our minds have fallen to unfathomable depths of degradation and a like percentage of these outcasts of society have neither the will power nor the inclination toward regeneration.

Causes Tragedy In Life.
Aside from its frightful ravages, morphine has forced a tragedy in the life of young Lincecum. Through its baneful influences it has caused him to lose his most cherished possessions — his wife and baby boy. With her infant in her arms Mrs. Lincecum a year ago fled from her husband as one might flee from a leper. She left him in Los Angeles and went to her relatives in Seattle.

Left alone, Lincecum’s desire for morphine became greater. Already the drug had sunk its fangs into his system and threatened to enslave him beyond all help. The reader should have seen Lincecum as he told his story. Standing six feet and two inches tall, and weighing 160 pounds, this youthful giant impresses one at once with his sincerity of purpose. Even as he told his story the writer found it hard to realize that the handsome, intelligent figure before him was a prey to morphine.

Less than four years ago Lincecum answered his country’s call and joining a mortar battalion at Fort McArthur, Cal., sailed the same year for Brest, France. He was strong then, of body and mind. And in order that Old Glory might wave on triumphantly, young Lincecum was ready and willing to plunge into the jaws of the enemy’s stronghold.

And now —

What a wonderful — or rather pitiful — transformation. The young giant who scoffed at German bullets and machine gun fire today crouches in terror before a more deadly enemy. He must have between four and six grains [grams?] of morphine daily. And as time goes on he craves for more. Its grip is tightening upon him.

In his home town Lincecum failed to get the medical aid which he craves. He wants to conquer this muscular giant which is gnawing at his vitals. But he is helpless. Lincecum is industrious. He is a book salesman and finds little trouble getting work.

Wants Wife’s Forgiveness
“But what is the use,” he wailed. “Almost every penny I earn goes towards the purchase of that damnable stuff.” And then he told of losing his wife and baby.

“If I have to lay down my life afterwards, I mean first to make a man of myself and to clasp them in my arms once again before I die. I want to hear my wife’s sweet voice breathing into my ear words of forgiveness and I want to feel the chubby arms of my little boy clasped about my neck. I want my wife some day to look again lovingly into my eyes and feel proud of me.” Lincecum stopped abruptly. Tears welled in his eyes. He began again:

“I have come to your city for help. My own could find no way. But again here I was disappointed. For here, too, there seemed no way of helping a creature such as I am. I have gone to the Red Cross, and to other bodies to which I believed I was entitled to go for aid. But there was no way.

“One man advised me to plead guilty to some federal offense that I might be sent to the Atlanta penitentiary, where I could be cured.

(Continued On Page Two)


Sunk To Depths, World War Vet, Wants To Make Comeback

(Continued From Title Page)

I suppose I can be cured there. But God knows a hospital is a more proper place to treat my case. I decided to try again before taking his advice. Another man told me to come here, he said The States would take up my case if it was a worthy one, and so I am here.”

Lincecum does not want any money; he is strong and willing enough to work for it, and when normal, is a good salesman. He does not ask for food or clothing or any of the world’s goods. He asks for medical aid. He wants to crush the monster which is threatening to crush him.

And so —

What Will You Do?
Will New Orleans turn away this big, handsome, intelligent young man, just as his own native city turned him away? Must he leave here perhaps to find help elsewhere?

Is there a physician of prominence in New Orleans who will take this young man’s case and cure him. Lincecum can be cured of the drug evil. The reason he can be cured is because he wants to be cured. He will doubtless make a good patient, for he craves help. His future depends upon it — and the future for him is bright.

Lincecum has no money, but he has a grateful heart, which is crying out for pity. He cannot afford to pay — not just now, at least.

“Often I kneel beside my bed and pray for relief. I pray that the grip of this monster be released from my throat. I seldom sleep because of my nervousness and because of the heart-rending, haunting thought of my wife and baby being away from me,” he said, his voice trembling with emotion.

It was while Lincecum was on his way back from France — still in the service of his country — that he contracted influenza on the steamship Montana. An unscrupulous attendant on board the ship offered him morphine to ease his pain. He took it. How good he felt after that. And when the effect of the first dose died away and the suffering returned, he took more morphine, and again it eased his pain. Not only did it ease his pain but it gave him a soothing feeling. And so he gradually became a slave to the drug. When he landed at Camp Mills, New Jersey, his first thought was to search for morphine. He had no trouble finding it. He secured it again in Los Angeles and he has found no trouble buying it wherever he goes.

Lincecum is waiting and praying for an answer to this appeal.

New Orleans is noted for its hospitality and its charity — and for its eminent medical men.

Is there one among these gentlemen who will give enough of his time that Walter Lincecum might become worthy of that wife and baby and bring to him the joy of hearing the words of forgiveness which he craves so much?…

A doctor did step up to help Walter, as reported in the New Orleans States (Louisiana) 15 January 1922. At that publishing, Walter had been in a self-imposed (with the help of a doctor) detox for five days. He was not in an institution. Title / headlines of article: DOPE FIEND TELLS STRUGGLE TO BREAK CHAINS…Walter Lincecum Makes Brave Fight Against Habit.

On 2 January 1925, Walter E. Lincecum married Jewel M. Quinn in Detroit, Michigan. Marriage records show Walter was a resident of Detroit, and was occupied as a cartoonist. Jewel had been married once before so I’m unsure if Quinn is a maiden or married surname.

Walter was back in California by February 1931. He and wife Jewel made it into the San Francisco Chronicle as victims of an automobile accident:


Hurled through the windshield of the automobile in which he and his wife had “hitch-hiked” a ride on their way to Los Angeles, a World war veteran was almost scalped and his wife suffered cuts and bruises when two machines collided at El Camino Real and Thirty-ninth avenue, San Mateo, late yesterday.

Walter E. Lincecum, 33, 60 Seventh street; his scalp almost torn off, cuts and bruises to the face, neck and shoulders and possible internal injuries.

Mrs. Jewel Lincecum, 27, 60 Seventh street; cuts and bruises to her face, head, neck and arms.

…The injured were removed to San Mateo Community Hospital.

According to his April 1942 World War II draft card, Walter was then staying at a hotel in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He was occupied as a salesman, and his mailing address was given as that of his mother’s in Los Angeles, California.

— U.S. World War II Draft Cards Young Men, 1940-1947

Walter Earl Lincecum died at Los Angeles County Hospital (California) on 16 June 1953. His death certificate offers he was divorced at the time, and most recently had been occupied as a self-employed cartoonist. Cause of death was Myocardial Infarction; Bronchopneumonia – Primary.

Walter was buried in Valhalla Cemetery at North Hollywood, California.

Walter E. Lincecum
Pvt Btry D 4 TM Bn
World War I
Jan 17, 1898 – June 16, 1953

If I’ve put Walter in his proper place in the family tree, he was my 4th cousin, 4x removed. A couple of things I am most curious about concerning cousin Walter: (1) the name of his little boy, and (2) images of his work as a cartoonist. Do you have any information to share?

Visit Walter Earl Lincecum’s page in the Lincecum Lineage database.

WWI, Mexico, & an FBI Case File Involving Dr. Addison Lincecum

In the years leading up to the United States’s entry into World War I, Dr. Addison Lysander Lincecum (1874-1965) was occupied as the Assistant Health Officer for the state of Texas. In 1917, if not earlier, Dr. Lincecum began receiving odd and unsolicited letters from a man named Oscar J. Mayer. Mr. Mayer purported himself to be a physician in Tampico, Mexico.

The letters were suspicious enough to Dr. Lincecum that he reported them to the FBI (known then as the Bureau of Investigation). Dr. Mayer was looked into as being “very pro-German,” but his ties to Mexico at the time likely didn’t go unnoticed. Some background –

The Tampico Affair began as a minor incident involving U.S. sailors and Mexican land forces loyal to Mexican dictator General Victoriano Huerta during the…Mexican Revolution. A misunderstanding occurred on April 9, 1914, but developed into a breakdown of diplomatic relations between the two countries. As a result, the United States invaded the port city of Veracruz, occupying it for more than six months…

…In January 1917, Germany sent the so-called Zimmermann Telegram, which implied that a Mexican alliance with Germany against the US would result in Mexico regaining territory taken from it by the US in prior wars and that Germany’s forthcoming unrestricted submarine warfare campaign would guarantee defeat of the British and French. The British interception of Zimmermann’s telegram and the German unrestricted submarine warfare against US merchant ships, soon afterward, were effectively both final justifications that President Wilson needed to request a declaration of war against Germany, in April 1917.

Anti-American sentiment in Mexico from the Tampico incident was the chief reason that the government kept Mexico neutral in World War I. Mexico refused to participate with the US military excursion in Europe and granted full guaranties to German companies for keeping their operations open, specifically in Mexico City.

– From Tampico Affair via

Text of first report in the case file:

Report Made By: Erby E. Swift
Place Report Made: Laredo, Texas
Date: 6/26/17
Title of Case and Offense: Dr. Oscar J. Mayer / German Matter

At Laredo Texas:

If the number of unfavorable reports partly substantiated count for anything, the man listed in above caption is certainly playing a highhanded game of intrigue.

The Military, Immigration, Health and Customs Depts. have all stated to me that they believe Dr. Mayer is very pro-German. Dr. A. L. Lincecum, Asst. State Health Officer while here recently stated to me that he was actually afraid of the man as he was making from one to five trips monthly into the states from Tampico Mexico without apparent reason. That he writes him (Lincecum) letters of such a nature that if they were read by anyone it would be thought that he was an intimate personal and professional friend, while he hardly knows the man and has no business relations with him whatsoever. That these letters are written from all points in Mexico and the U.S. and refer to Colonization, Health, friendly meeting etc. and that he cannot explain such uncalled for letters except that Mayer is doing it with intent to make him a ‘goat.’

Attached to special Agent in Charge Barnes’ copy of this report are two original letters which Dr. Lincecum sent me as samples with the request that I bring them to the notice of the Dept. I will only quote one which I must admit certainly has an unusual compostition in view of the statement of Dr. Lincecum that he has no relations of any nature to in any way justify such mystifying letters which infer decided intimacy between the two. The one letter reads as follows:

Monterrey, Mexico, May 24th, 1917.
Dr. A. L. Lincecum, Asst. State Health Officer, Austin Texas.
My Dear Doctor: Just to tell you that I am on my way to Mexico City where I will stay some 3-7 days. I may then have to go to Washington or return to Laredo prior to going back to Tampico. I will keep you informed so you are posted. Trusting you are attending to our mutual interests, I am, with best regards.
Yours very truly,

In the other letter attached written from New York and date June 16th, last he informs the Dr. Lincecum that he is in Washington on matters of great interest about which he will acquaint him (Lincecum) when he seems him etc.

Lincecum assures me that the letters are absolutely unwarranted in their freedom of expression, apparent familiarity and the appearance of professional relations and that he believes this man Mayer may be simply using him as a protection.

Dr. Mayer is at all time interested in all Germans detained at the Detention Quarters of the Immigration. While he claims to have only a benevolent interest I distrust him as does every person who knows him.

His unwarranted letters to Dr. Lincecum, his too frequent trips to our cities of New York, Washington etc. from Tampico where he is simply a physician, his general appearance and the many reports from Tampico as to his anti-american stand there at which place he is the official physician of the German interned sailors causes me to consider him as up to dangerous work which he is “putting over” in a very delicate manner.

He crossed to Mexico through this port yesterday and will return soon. It is possible that more would be gained by closely watching him than in searching as he would be more apt at seeing someone than in carrying papers etc. Could I have instructions regarding him?

About 10 months later, another report was written on the subject of Dr. Oscar J. Mayer, Pro German Suspect, and his relationship with A. L. Lincecum, who had recently been called into active military service:

Report Made By: R. W. Tinsley
Place Report Made: San Antonio, Tex.
Date: April 27, 1918
Title of Case and Offense: IN RE: DR. OSCAR J. MAYER / PRO GERMAN SUSPECT

At San Antonio, Texas.

The following information from A. L. Lincecum, Capt. E.R.C. Co. 9, 3rd Battalion, Camp Greenleaf, Chickamauga Park, Ga, dated April 25, 1918, has been received at this office:

“In reply to your request for information as to the whereabouts of Dr. Oscar J. Mayer, formerly of Tampico, Mexico, I will state that I have heard nothing from or of him since last July or possibly August first. The last correspondence I had from him I sent to Mr. Swift by D. H. C. Hall of Laredo, Texas. I was in Tampico in September 1917, but Dr. Mayer was not there. Harry Greer of Tampico thought your department possibly had him in charge at that time. Dr. Mayer’s wife resides in San Francisco, and her brother in Chicago, so Mayer told me. My suspicions were first aroused by his scheme to colonise American-German farmers in the state of Vera Cruz adjacent to the oil bearing territory. He then began to wire me of his moves in Mexico and the U. S. Those telegrams I could find I sent to Mr. Swift.”

Copies of this report are being furnished the New York Office and Major Barnes, Intelligence Officer, Fort Sam Houston, Texas, for their information.

The file contains further information about the searching for Dr. Mayer in New York. He was not located, but his brother Adolph was. Adolph claimed Dr. Mayer had been in New York, but left “several months ago” and “returned to Tampico, Mexico, where he is practicing medicine. At the same time [June 1918] he is engaged in selling oil lands around Tampico to people in the United States. About one and half years ago he was conducting some money transactions between the United States and Tampico, Mexico. This fact aroused suspicion and he went personally to Washington, where he succeeded to prove that the money belonged to people who bought property in Mexico…No other information is obtainable in this City at present.”

And so ends the file.

After the war, Dr. Lincecum continued to practice medicine in Texas. He died 6 December 1965 at Lavaca County. Visit Dr. Addison Lysander Lincecum’s page in the Lincecum Lineage database.

Freedmen in Name Only? 13 Enslaved on Barry Plantation.

Even though Mississippi’s infamous “Black Code” would not be passed for a few more months, this labor contract between Uriah Barry and thirteen recently emancipated men, women, and children shows that life was not much different for them in the months (and years) immediately following the Civil War.

This Agreement with Freedmen was especially interesting to me because it was created so soon after the end of the Civil War.  All the men, women, and children who signed on to be laborers on the Barry Plantation in Holmes County, Mississippi carried (possibly without choice) the surname of BARRY.  And the number of freedmen in the document (13) is the same number of individuals counted as enslaved of Uriah Barry for the 1860 U.S. Federal census.  Their pay under this “new” contract? Board, Clothing & Medical Attention.

The names of those who were (possibly, probably) enslaved by Uriah Barry just months before:

  • Charles Barry, age 28
  • Louisa Barry, age 24
  • Luis Barry, age 70
  • Ritter Barry, age 50
  • Rachel [see dependents list below]
  • Jackson Barry, age 22
  • Lucy Barry, age 15
  • Isaac Barry, age 9
  • Mary Barry, age 8
  • Amanda Barry, age 6

Those aged 15 and above signed with a mark of X.  A list of “Dependents” follows:

  • Rachael Barry, age 40 – Decrepit
  • Daniel Barry, age 5
  • Alis Barry, age 4
  • Luis Barry, age 2

Uriah Berry/Barry was my 1st cousin, 7x removed.  He was a son of Nancy Lincecum and William Green Berry.  A transcription of the agreement follows, but note images of this document may be viewed online at

Agreement with Freedmen.

This Agreement, made this 12th day of August A.D., 1865, by and between Uriah Barry of the County of Holmes and State of Mississippi, of the first part, and the person hereinafter named and undersigned, Freedmen of the same place, part hereto of the second part, ——–

Witnesseth, That for the purpose of cultivating the plantation known as the Barry Plantation in the County & State aforesaid, during the year commencing on the 12th day of August A.D., 1865, and terminating on the 1st day of January, 1866.  The said Uriah Barry party of the first part, in consideration of the promises and conditions hereafter mentioned on the part of the second part, agrees to furnish to the said laborers and those rightfully dependent upon them, free of charge, clothing and food of good quality and sufficient quantity; good and sufficient quarters; medical attendance when necessary, and kind and humane treatment; to allot from the lands of said plantation, for garden purposes, one acre to each family; such allotment to include a reasonable use of tools and animals for the cultivation of the same; to exact only one half a day’s labor on Saturdays, and non whatever on Sundays.

And it is further agreed, That in case the said Uriah Barry shall fail, neglect, or refuse to fulfil any of the obligations assumed by ________, or shall furnish said part of the second part with insufficient food or clothing, or be guilty of cruelty to, he shall, besides the legal recourse left to the party or parties aggrieved, render this contract liable to annulment by the Provost Marshal of Freedmen.  And it is agreed on the part of the part of the second part that will each well and faithfully perform such labor as the said Uriah Barry may require of them for the time aforesaid, not exceeding ten hours per day in summer and nine hours in winter, and in case any laborer shall voluntarily absent himself from, or shall neglect, or refuse to perform the labor herein promised, and the fact shall be proven in such manner as the Provost Marshal of Freedmen shall deem proper.

IT IS FURTHER AGREED, That any wages or share of profits due the said laborers under this agreement, shall constitute a first lien upon all crops or parts of crops produced on said plantation or tract of land by their labor.  And no shipments or products shall be made until the Provost Marshal of Freedmen shall certify that all dues to said laborers are paid or satisfactorily arranged.

[signed] Uriah Barry

Visit Uriah Berry’s page in the Lincecum Lineage database.

Go here for a specific example of a southern state’s Black Code.

Confirming a Family Story: the 1929 Death of Merle Winford Campbell

Sometimes genealogists have trouble finding evidence that proves a family tale. Even if the tale began as a truthful one, snippets here and there eventually get altered, embellished, or even omitted as the story is passed from person to person, and generation to generation. Thus changing how the tale is received or perceived.

And sometimes, we keepers of the family history get lucky.

— Morley Cemetery at Scott County, Missouri*

Merle Winford Campbell was born 1 September 1927 in Vanduser, Scott County, Missouri to my great-grandparents Norma Ethel Robins (1906-2000) and Chester Wesley Campbell (1906-1994). He was their first-born child, coming almost eleven months after their marriage. Though Merle died before she was born, he was a brother of my grandmother, Betty Sue Campbell Lincecum (1934-2014).

Family lore stated simply that Merle died of an ear infection. Fortunately, I was able to find a death certificate to support this claim.

Mearl’s death certificate provides the cause of death as Mastoiditis. Medical News Today defines the condition this way:

Mastoiditis is a serious infection in the mastoid process, which is the hard, prominent bone just behind and under the ear. Ear infections that people fail to treat cause most cases of mastoiditis. The condition is rare but can become life-threatening without treatment.

Symptoms of mastoiditis include swelling behind the ear, pus coming out of the ear, throbbing pain, and difficulty hearing.

Ear infections that do not receive treatment, as well as antibiotic-resistant ear infections, sometimes spread. When this happens, the bacteria travel to surrounding structures, including bones such as the mastoid process.

Without antibiotic treatment, the bacteria can continue spreading to the bones of the skull. They may also travel to the blood and organs, including the brain.

Middle ear infections, which doctors call acute otitis media, and mastoiditis are most common in children younger than 2 years of age.

Norma’s and Chester’s second child Lynuel (d. 2008) was born one month after the death of Merle.

Visit Merle Winford Campbell’s page in the Lincecum Lineage database.

*Image by Graver Gal via FindAGrave memorial #29636238. Permission for use granted in bio.

Which Lincecum is Listed on the Marriage Record for Gideon Berry & Sally Whatley?

[Originally posted on previous platform October 2016.]

Gideon Berry, son of William Green Berry and Nancy Lincecum, married Sally Whatl(e)y 28 February 1813 in Putnam County, Georgia.  Here is the record image retrieved from :

Georgia County Marriages, 1785-1950

In addition to the primary information gleaned from this record regarding Gideon and Sally, I am interested in the Lincecum listed toward the bottom.

Given under my hand at office this 27th of Febuary 1813 —-
for C Pendleton clk

[G?] Lincecum

Here it is again, perhaps a touch bigger:

The Gideon Lincecum and Miriam Bowie family was purported to be in Putnam County, Georgia at this time.  Hezekiah, only remaining son of the couple after the American Revolution, was the “head of household,” since his father had died some years earlier.  (Judy Jacobson’s Alabama & Mississippi Connections* states Hezekiah was in Putnam County about 1806, and specifically states he was on a tax roll for Capt. William Minton’s District of said county in 1813.)

Hezekiah was a sister of Nancy Lincecum Berry, and therefore uncle to Gideon Berry.  Hezekiah and wife Sally Hickman had seven sons.  The only one, in my opinion, who was “of age” at the time of Gideon (Berry) and Sally’s marriage, was Gideon Lincecum II.

An item in the 3 August 1814 Georgia Journal (Milledgeville newspaper) provides Gideon “Linsecum” was tax collector for Putnam County.  Judy Jacobson also notes he married wife Sarah Bryan that same year in Putnam county.

So that name is likely G. Lincecum, right? The problem I have is that particular G (if that’s what it is) is not written like any other G in the document.  Thoughts, anyone?

The Lincecums moved on from Putnam County within a few years of this marriage between Gideon Berry and Sally Whatl(e)y.  Hezekiah, along with his son Gideon, was in Mississippi by 1818.  Even Gideon Berry’s mother, Nancy (Lincecum), went on to Mississippi at some point.  She died there about 1849.

Gideon and Sarah Whatl(e)y Berry moved on from Georgia, as well.  They settled in Pickens County, Alabama by 1840.

Visit Gideon Berry’s page at the Lincecum Lineage database.

Visit Sarah Whatley Berry’s page at the Lincecum Lineage database.

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Biographical Outline of Elizabeth O’Banion Lincecum (1829-1899)

A smile hath passed which filled our home with light. A soul whose beauty made that smile so bright.

— epitaph on Elizabeth’s tombstone

Elizabeth Obanon (O’Banion?) / Cleveland was born 20 November 1829, possibly in Georgia, to Mary (maiden name unknown) Obanon Cleveland.  The 1850 Washington County, Texas Federal census suggests Elizabeth was born an Obanon / Obanion.  Mother Mary married J. M. Cleveland about 1844.

Using this record, as well as the 1860 Washington County, Texas Federal census, Elizabeth had brothers named Benjamin and John, and a sister named Martha.  Her half-brothers were William, Joseph, and Leander.  In fact, brother Benjamin (with surname Obanion) was just “two doors down” from Elizabeth Lincecum in 1860.  Separately, the rest of the siblings – at home with Mary – were all listed with the surname Cleveland.

Elizabeth (indexed as a Cleveland) married Lachaon Joseph Lincecum February 1852 in Washington County, Texas.  They went on to have 9 or 10 children:  Lycurgus, George Durham, Mary E., Val Dies, Sallie, Lachaon Joseph Jr., Edna Katherine, Leolia Gideon, Lucullus Garland, and (possibly) Anna.

Elizabeth died 10 July 1899 in Gonzales, Texas.  She was laid to rest at Gonzales Masonic Cemetery, under the tombstone pictured at top.  Photo credit to Cindy S. Munson (2011) via FindAGrave – permission for use granted in her bio.

Individual Facts:

  • Census:  3 October 1850 / Washington County, Texas
  • Census:  12 June 1860 / Long Point, Washington County, Texas
  • Occupation:  September 1870 / Keeping House in Washington County, Texas
  • Census:  28 September 1870 / Burton, Washington County, Texas
  • Occupation:  June 1880 / Keeping House in Williamson County, Texas
  • Census:  3 June 1880 / Williamson County, Texas

Death notice from The Daily Express (San Antonio, Texas) dated 12 July 1899:


Gonzales, Tex., July 11 — Died at her home in Gonzales, Tex., on Monday, July 10, 1899, at 9 p. m., Mrs. L. J. Lincecum, aged 69 years, 7 months and 12 days.  The interment will be held at the Masonic cemetery at 4 o’clock this evening.

Visit Elizabeth O’Banion Lincecum’s page at the Lincecum Lineage database.

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Andrew B. Campbell (1834-1916) and Family

Just some quick Lincecum Lineage database news: I updated pages for members of the Andrew B. Campbell family, which includes four marriages and ten children.

Andrew was my 4th great-grandfather. I often see him with the middle name of Boling, but I’ve yet to find it on anything besides other family trees. Andrew was likely born 24 August 1834 in Tennessee to Johnston Campbell and Martha “Patsey” Andrews.

Andrew was in Massac County, Illinois by 1853 when he married Louisa M. Johnson. This couple would have at least ten children. A son, Thomas Henry Campbell, was my 3rd great-grandfather.

A. B. Campbell served in Company K, 29th Illinois Infantry from 1862 to 1865. He would marry three more times before his death on 27 February 1916 in Massac County. The Civil War service is reflected on his headstone in Lower Salem Cemetery.

— Lower Salem Cemetery at Massac County, Illinois. Image by Amanda Trill (2012).

Visit Andrew B. Campbell’s page in the Lincecum Lineage database.

Did John Oliver Meeks Have Wife Louisiana Brown Committed to a Lunatic Asylum?

Family lore says it’s true. Supposedly, Louisiana was disowned by her family and placed there by her husband.

To be fair, the name of the institution had been changed to Georgia State Sanitarium at the time Louisiana (aka “Lucy Ann”) was likely there. Prior to her time as an “inmate,” it was known as the Georgia Lunatic Asylum. Located in Milledgeville, today the history-filled (some say haunted) grounds are known as Central State Hospital. But anyone and everyone who grew up in middle Georgia knows that’s where they sent the “crazies.” Some of us might’ve even been threatened “to be sent to Milledgeville” a time or two.

— Lucy Ann Meeks listed as Inmate in Georgia State Sanitarium for 1900 census.

Louisiana “Lucy Ann” Brown was born 5 May 1863 in Baldwin County, Georgia. Her parents were William C. “Billy” Brown (d. 1898) and Elizabeth “Lizzie” Thigpen (d. 1897), and Lucy Ann was one of at least twelve children born to them.

Lucy Ann married John Oliver “Ollie” Meeks, son of Bennett B. Meeks, on 14 January 1883 in Washington County, Georgia. Lucy Ann was four months shy of her twentieth birthday. John was two to four years her senior.

Ten months after her marriage, Lucy Ann started having babies. She would have at least nine of them by the time she was thirty-three years old. The last one I can account for, Bettie, was born about 1896. Before Bettie was four years of age, possibly well before, her mother was an inmate in the Georgia Lunatic Asylum / Georgia State Sanitarium.

I’ll list the known children of John and Lucy Ann in a bit. First let me tell you about John’s previous marriage.

John Oliver Meeks married Nancy Brown, daughter of James and Emerline, on 8 October 1877 in Washington County. I do not know of any familial connection between Nancy and Louisiana.

Nancy seems to have been about aged sixteen years when she married John, and the couple had son Benjamin approximately one year later. This small family was listed with Nancy’s parents for the 1880 United States Federal census, and I have a hunch Nancy’s daddy James did the talking when the census taker came around.

In the space saved for noting John’s occupation, it was written, “Tramp – nothing good.” See below (third line down).

— 1880 Washington County, Georgia, US Federal census

Knowing John married Louisiana a few years after this census, I wondered how his and Nancy’s marriage ended. The 1900 census (same locale) shows Nancy Brown as the divorced daughter of J. and Emmaline. Nancy’s son “Bennie” was there, too.

If you might indulge me for a moment, I ask you to look again at the image of the cropped 1880 census entry above. See the Armstrong family next door to the Brown / Meeks family? Head of household A. C. Armstrong’s wife Ann is listed, but it’s also noted she was “in Lunatic Asylum.” [I wonder if this gave John any ideas?]

I know husbands (and doctors) sometimes institutionalized women who suffered from postpartum depression, and it would not surprise me if this was the case with Lucy Ann.

According to Paul K. Graham’s Admission Register of Central State Hospital: Milledgeville, Georgia, 1842-1861, other “causes of commitment” sometimes attached to women include —

  • disappointed and/or misplaced affection / love
  • anxiety
  • birth of her last child / child bearing
  • menstrual derangement / disorder / suppression
  • domestic difficulties
  • ungovernable disposition
  • distress
  • domestic disturbance
  • religious enthusiasm or excitement
  • disappointed expectations
  • ill health
  • intemperance
  • well founded jealousy
  • lactation
  • critical period [of] life
  • loss
  • unhappy marriage
  • puerperal condition or insanity
  • spiritual rappings
  • novel reading

Truth be told, I don’t know for certain why my 3rd great-aunt Louisiana “Lucy Ann” Brown was put in the lunatic asylum / sanitarium. I do know she died in Milledgeville on 27 June 1907 at the young age of forty-four. She was buried in Cedar Lane Cemetery, also known as Central State Hospital Cemetery #1. She, surprisingly, has a grave marker. So, so many — too many — that are buried there do not. I have a feeling it was added some time after her death.

— Image by John Moon via FindAGrave. Permission for use granted in bio.

— Cedar Lane Cemetery Historical Marker

Not long after Lucy Ann’s death, John Oliver Meeks married again. This time, to a woman named Bessie. She would give him at least three more children before his death in 1921. After John’s death, Bessie married again to a Mr. Cox. Bessie Cox was mentioned as a surviving stepmother in a 1968 obituary for one of Lucy Ann’s daughters.

A list of known children born to John Oliver “Ollie” Meeks and Louisiana “Lucy Ann” Brown:

  • Addie Meeks Lindsey (1881-1949)
  • Jane E. Meeks (b. abt 1885, not found aft. 1900 census)
  • Willie Robert “Algie” Meeks (1887-1965)
  • Sarah A. “Sallie” Meeks Johnson (1890-1960)
  • Marion M. Meeks (b. abt 1891, d. 1900-02)
  • Henry Clayton Meeks (1892-1936)
  • Clara Belle “Pet” Meeks Brantley (1895-1968)
  • Ruth A. Meeks (b. abt 1895, not found aft. 1900 census)
  • Bettie R. R. Meeks Bridges (1896-1942)

Visit Louisiana “Lucy Ann” Brown’s page in the Lincecum Lineage database.

Grandpa Was a Poet (And I Didn’t Even Know It)

See what I did there? 😎

Still going through Grandpa B. J. Lincecum’s photos and such, and still discovering things I did not know. For instance, he had a way with words. Especially when it came to rhyming in light poetry.

Most of the examples I found were from the time period of Grandpa’s service in the US Air Force, or afterwards, during the time he was with the Cape Girardeau, Missouri Police Department.

— March 1975, Joe Lincecum

Here are a few examples of Grandpa’s creativity.

A Holiday Thought by TSgt B. J. Lincecum

We hope and pray that “sixty four”
Will bring us all good cheer.
We pray that all the world may be
Relieved of strife and fear.

We all should be quite thankful for
Our rights to come and go,
There’s no “Big Brother” watching us
And no Passports to show.

It’s time to count your blessings,
Giving thanks for one and all.
Remember, many people live
In fear behind a wall.

So as you see the happiness
Around you on this day
Remember those who gave their all
That we could live this way.

Conscience by SSgt B. J. Lincecum

There is an old saying,
“Let your conscience be your guide,”
But you cannot measure conscience,
With a ruler, or a slide.

This proverb, is alright as such,
With one or two big “ifs,”
There’s a difference in the minds of men,
It’s not given as a gift.

It’s a thing that you must cultivate
From childhood to the grave,
Until “right” is such a habit,
You are, your conscience’s slave.

This final one’s a bit of a heavier subject. Seems to have been written about 1978.

Ode to “Pig” by B. J.

Many times, they call us names,
Such things as “Dirty Pig,”
They badger, gripe and criticize
with other verbal digs.

But let an accident occur,
A riot, fight, or brawl
then who they call to break it up
they sure don’t mind at all.

To dial the number 911
and shriek “send the Police,”
Another cop may risk his neck
and just to keep their peace.

Yes “Pig,” some people call us,
So think about it friend
We make the bed we lie in
on this you can depend.

For every person we abuse
With words or overt action
You add another to the group
The ever growing faction.

That group that always call us “Pig”
But wait, do not despair
Each time you hear this put-down
And want to pull your hair,

Ignore that connotation,
Go out and make a friend
Show all you have compassion
And soon you’ll change the trend,

From references of “Dirty Pig,”
kind words you can expect
Be firm, but fair with everyone
Good deeds will bring respect.

Visit Billy Joe Lincecum’s page in the Lincecum Lineage database.