24 October 2019

(OTL) Amanda Jane Stubbs Watts and Tuberculosis of the Spine

She was my 2nd great grandmother.

Amanda Jane "Mandy" Stubbs was born on 23 May 1856 in Christian County, Missouri. She was one of at least eleven children born to Arametta/Ametta Friend and Robert Stubbs. Mandy married James Riley Watts (1860-1952) on 4 April 1880, and they possibly had seven children:

- William Robert Watts (b. 1881)
- Harrison Watts (1883-1957)
- George T. Watts (b. abt 1885)
- Cora Etta Watts Prine (1887-1974) *my great grandmother
- Minnie May Watts Lawson (b. abt 1891)
- Leroy Watts (1892-1966)
- Nellie Watts (name provided by my grandmother, but I've found no other information about her)

Image by White River Valley Historical Society
Mandy Jane Stubbs Watts died 15 April 1911 in Marion, Ozark County, Missouri and was laid to rest at Bethel Cemetery in Taney County.

Ozark County Times (Gainesville, MO)
Friday, 5 May 1911 - pg. 5
Mrs. James Watts, nee Mandy Stubbs, was born May 23, 1856, died April 15, 1911. She married James Watts April 4, 1880; to this union were born 7 children 5 of whom are still living.

She was a kind and loving wife and mother, we miss her very much but God said "come unto me."

...We should be happy to know that she is at rest, she made an early profession and leaves a clear record behind.

She had been in bad health for some time but bore it well until the end. For four or five years she was unable to do her work but she found comfort in Jesus.

...We cannot call her back but we can go to her; so do not weep but follow on to the "glory land."

The bereaved ones have our sympathy.
This obituary combined with Jane's death certificate, which showed her cause of death as Tuberculosis of the Spine, painted a sad and suffering ending to her life. It reminded me of a book I am currently reading: The War Outside My Window: The Civil War Diary of LeRoy Wiley Gresham, 1860-1865 [affiliate link]. This book not only details life in middle Georgia during the Civil War, it also details the plight of a young man suffering through what modern doctors say was tuberculosis of the spine, also known as Pott's Disease. Excerpts from the "Medical Afterword" portion of the book:
...LeRoy early on develops an open sore on his back...Plasters and salves and liniments are employed to treat the back pain and the sores, but the young patient goes on to develop abscesses, first on the left side of his back, and later on both sides...In 1863 (and perhaps earlier) they are "running freely," discharging large quantities of pus continually, suggesting the presence of a large, deep, and incompletely evacuated source of infection.

As the pain intensifies, LeRoy's back becomes so weak he cannot sit up without pain...

On May 23, 1864, he writes, "One joint of my spine, right between the abscesses is very sore and you can see the matter, as it runs from the joint to the abscess."

In early 1865, LeRoy's throat is sore and swollen. Indigestion, anorexia, nausea, vomiting, cholera-like diarrhea, and finally bloody dysentery follow...

Gresham's back ulcers, progressing to chronically draining abscesses, and the progressive pain and weakness in his spine, suggest that he suffered from Pott's Disease -- extrapulmonary tuberculosis of the spine, extending into the paraspinal or psoas muscles and causing the chronic drainage there...

[Evolution of spinal tuberculosis summarized from medical journals "in our current era:"]

The natural course of skeletal tuberculosis without chemotherapy passed through three stages spanning 3-5 years. In the "stage of onset," lasting from one month to one year, the localized disease developed into a warm tender swelling with marked localized osteoporosis and minimal destruction. In the "stage of destruction," lasting one to three years, the disease progressed until there was gross destruction of the vertebrae with deformity, subluxation, contractures, and abscess formation. The abscesses finally ruptured and drained as ulcers and sinuses developed frequent secondary pyogenic [pus] infection...

...[S]pinal tuberculosis...causes a sharp angulation, of "gibbus" deformity of the spine, with impingement on the nervous tissue of the spinal cord, leading to paralysis...
Even if my great, great grandmother "only" suffered a fraction of what this young man did, I am saddened to think of it. Imagine trying to put on a brave face for a husband and (at least) five children. This revelation about her death gives so much more meaning to "she had been in bad health for some time but bore it well until the end."

May you rest in peace, Grandma Watts.

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21 February 2019

Nancy Jane Lincecum Delap (1826-1898) and Family

Nancy Jane Lincecum was born 2 August 1826, likely in Cape Girardeau County, Missouri. She was one of at least ten children born to Harmon Lincecum/Linsicum and Lucinda "Lucy" Thompson.

On 4 January 1848 in Cape Girardeau County, Nancy married Grotville/Grandville Wright Delap. He was born about 1816-1822, a son of John Delap and Matilda Mitchell. (This according to the family tree at FamilySearch.)

By the taking of the 1850 census, however, Nancy is back home with her parents. It seems her husband had passed away within just a couple of years of their marriage. I have not yet found proof of the precise time of Mr. Delap's death, and for a period wondered if the couple had simply split up. No life without Nancy has come to light, though, and a Mexican War Pension Index shows she filed for a widow's share in 1887.

As you can see, Grandville was a member of the 3rd Illinois Volunteers. It's helpful to remember Cape Girardeau County, Missouri is across the Mississippi River from Alexander County, Illinois.

Image by Brenda Johnson (2017).
Permission for use granted in
FindAGrave bio.
To my knowledge, Nancy and her husband had only one child -- a daughter named Rachel Matilda was born 4 September 1848. By the time the little one was a toddler, Nancy was a single mother. She lived with family most of the rest of her days. Her parents until they died, and her daughter and son-in-law after their marriage.

Nancy Jane Lincecum Delap/p died 6 August 1898 and was buried in Fairview Cemetery at Arbor, Cape Girardeau County, Missouri.

Rachel married George Washington Hitt 2 June 1872 in Cape Girardeau County. He was born 8 March 1851, a son of Robert L. Hitt and Mary Ann Smith. Rachel and George stayed in Cape Girardeau County and raised a farming family. For the 1876 Missouri State census, the operation included 2 horses, 5 cattle, 3 sheep, 6 hogs, 65 bushels of corn, 10 lbs tobacco, and 16 lbs wool.

I know of five children born to George and Rachel Hitt. The 1910 Cape Girardeau County, Missouri Federal census noted Rachel had six children, with five living at the time. So there possibly is at least one additional child that likely died young.

- Robert L. Hitt was born 16 September 1873. He married Altha Wiseman 24 March 1904 at Cape Girardeau County, Missouri. She was a daughter of Thomas W. Wiseman. Robert died 4 November 1950 at St. Louis. Cause of death was coronary thrombosis, with hypertension and coronary artery disease. Altha died 19 February 1977, and both she and Robert were buried at Fairview Cemetery.

- Mary Jane Hitt was born 4 December 1875. She married Dennis L. Bowers (1869-1914) 16 August 1896 at Cape Girardeau County. He was a son of Wiley J. Bowers. After Dennis's death, Mary married George W. Miller on 3 August 1919. She died 7 September 1939 and was buried in Fairview Cemetery.

- Malinda Adaline "Addie" Hitt was born 18 March 1880. She married Elman/Elmer Sullinger (1875-1963) 19 March 1902 at Cape Girardeau County. He was a son of Levi Larkin Sullinger (1850-1934) and Martha Blocker. Addie died 7 January 1965 and was buried with Elmer at Fairview Cemetery.

- Joel Levi Hitt was born 7 September 1884. For his 1918 World War I draft registration, Joel was described as tall and slender, with blue eyes and light hair. He was single most of his life, occupied with farming. For the 1930 Cape Girardeau County, Missouri Federal census, he was more specifically a poultry farmer. Joel married Emeline Cox 28 June 1930 at Cape Girardeau County, but the couple was divorced before the taking of the 1940 census. Joel died three years later from liver and gall bladder cancer. Burial was in Morgan Memorial Park Cemetery at Advance, Stoddard County, Missouri.

- Rosa B. "Rosy" Hitt was born 28 February 1887. She married John Benjamin Sledge (1865-1950) after 1930. He was a son of John Z. Sledge. Rosa died 1971 and was buried with John at Fairview Cemetery.

Rachel Matilda Delap Hitt died 10 January 1916 at Cape Girardeau County and was buried at Fairview Cemetery. George joined her fifteen years later.

Image by Brenda Johnson (2016). Permission for use granted in FindAGrave bio.

21 January 2019

Individual Report for Ira Preston Lincicome (1892-1967)

This is my first post regarding an individual who is of no relation to me. Ira is part of a sizeable group of LINCICOMEs found in the area of Jackson County, West Virginia, a good number of which descend from Levi Lincicome and wife Jeraldine / Geraldine McKee. Levi moved into West Virginia from across the river in the area of Washington County, Ohio. (Full disclosure: I am new to Ohio River Valley history and research.)

Michael Poe wrote the following in the Introduction for his book titled Images of America: Jackson County (pub. 2008).
The mighty Ohio River was the lifeblood of the early settlers and, for many years, it was the only way to reach the western edge of Virginia...

Communities flourished along the Ohio River in the early 1800s due to trade and commerce from keelboats and stern-wheelers...Sawmills in Ravenswood and Murraysville supplied wood for furnaces and food supplies for crews.

...By 1885, the Ohio River Railroad entered Jackson County, leading to trade extending the entire length of the Ohio River on the western edge of the state. The railroad established depots in Murraysville, Ravenswood, and Millwood along the river...By 1892, the Ravenswood, Spencer, and Glenville Railroad (RS&G) extended through Crow Summit, Sandyville, Duncan, and Liverpool into Roane County.
Ira Preston Lincicome was born 10 November 1892 in Jackson County, West Virginia. He was one of at least eight children born to James Swazy "Sweezy" Lincicome (1862-1925) and Amanda A. "Manda" Kennan (1869-1938).

Ira married Birdie A. "Bird" McBride – who was about 17 years of age at the time – on 7 January 1914 in Jackson County. She was a daughter of Nathan F. and Effie G. McBride.

The young couple had a daughter, Garnet Aileen, before they were parted by Birdie's death due to Tuberculosis on 13 December 1916.

Nine months later, the widower Ira was serving his country in World War I, and it appears he spent at least some time overseas. Following from U.S. Army Transport Service Passenger Lists, 1910-1939 database at Ancestry.com:
Lincicome, Ira P.
Pvt. 1st Class / Battery D, 314th Field Artillery
Ship = U.S.S. Zeppelin; departed Brest, France 17 May 1919.  "Camp  Stuart / Newport News, Virginia" stamped.
Emergency Contact: James S. Lincicome / father / R.F.D. #1, Sherman, West Virginia
Ira completed his service in June 1919. The following year, on 25 November 1920, Ira married Daisy Kidder in Wood County, West Virginia. She was born 22 February 1903 at Elizabeth, Wirt County, West Virginia to Greenberry Kidder and Sarah Ella Bishop. By April 1940, Ira and Daisy were settled at Ravenswood in Jackson County, where he worked as a car salesman. Some twenty years later, the couple was residing at 2508 Fairview Avenue in Parkersburg, Wood County.

Daisy died 30 March 1965 at Parkersburg, making Ira a widower once again. Her cause of death was Peribronchial Pneumonia, with contributing factors of Hypertensive Cardiovascular Disease, Diabetes Mellitus, and Obesity.

Ira died two years later on 25 June 1967 at the Veterans Administration Center in Martinsburg, Berkeley County, West Virginia. Cause of death was Acute Cardiac Failure; Arteriosclerotic Heart Disease; Emphysema and Pulmonary Tuberculosis. Both he and Daisy rest in Arlington Memorial Gardens at Parkersburg.

28 December 2018

Verlon Lee Lincecum Eleazar & the U.S. Cadet Nursing Corps

Verlon Lee Lincecum Eleazar (1926-1998)Verlon Lee Lincecum was born 14 September 1920 in Grant Parish, Louisiana. She was one of at least seven children born to Gideon G. "Gid" Lincecum (1881-1970) and Emma Lee Brister (1887-1976). I have her as the sixth child, and second daughter. Siblings include the following:

  • Loyd Francis Lincecum (1907-1997)
  • Clifton "Skinny" Lincecum (1909-2009)
  • Gordon A. Lincecum (1912-2011)
  • Ineeta E. Lincecum (1914-2000)
  • John Brown Lincecum (1918-2007)
  • Margarite "Margie" Lincecum (1926-1998)

Verlon Lee married Dr. Leon Joseph Eleazar, Jr. after 1947. He was a son of French-born L. J. Eleazar, Sr. (d. 1978) and Elodie Guidry (d. 1976). Leon Jr. died 14 August 1975, and Verlon Lee died 23 August 1998 at Lafayette Parish, Louisiana.

Prior to her marriage to Leon, Verlon Lee studied and trained to be a nurse. By 1941, she was a student nurse at Tri-State Hospital in Shreveport, Caddo Parish, Louisiana. By January 1944, she had obtained a Registered Nurse degree and was a member of the U.S. Cadet Nursing Corps. Her postgraduate study was completed at Barnes Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri. In April 1945, Verlon had completed training to become a Nurse Anesthetist, and was back at Tri-State in that capacity soon after – definitely by 1947.


[Source: U.S. World War II Cadet Nursing Corps Card Files, 1942-1948 via Ancestry.com]

U.S. World War II Cadet Nursing Corps

By United States Government Printing Office; scan provided by Pritzker Military Library, Chicago, IL; CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia CommonsHistory per Wikipedia:

The United States Cadet Nurse Corps was established by the U.S. Congress on June 15, 1943…Its purpose was to ensure the country had enough nurses to care for its citizens at home and abroad during World War II…

…Successful applicants were eligible for a government subsidy that paid for tuition, books, uniforms, and a stipend. In exchange, they were required to pledge to actively serve in essential civilian or federal government services for the duration of World War II…

Cadet nurses came from across the nation and from all backgrounds. Some joined because they wanted to become nurses, others for the free education, and others joined because their country needed them…

…The Cadet Pledge follows:

At this moment of my induction into the United States Cadet Nurse Corps of the United States Public Health Service, I am solemnly aware of the obligations I assume toward my country and toward my chosen profession; I will follow faithfully the teachings of my instructors and the guidance of the physicians with whom I work; I will hold in trust the finest traditions of nursing and the spirit of the Corps; I will keep my body strong, my mind alert, and my heart steadfast; I will be kind, tolerant, and understanding; Above all, I will dedicate myself now and forever to the triumph of life over death; As a Cadet nurse, I pledge to my [country] my service in essential nursing for the duration of the war.

End of the Corps

Following the surrender of Japan in August 1945, President Harry Truman set October 5, 1945, as the final date for new student admissions, allowing for an "orderly transition of an important wartime activity"...Student nurses were providing 80% of the country's nursing care in more than 1,000 civilian hospitals…

In January 1945, the Surgeon General, Thomas Parran, Jr., appeared before the House Committee on Military Affairs and said, "In my opinion, the country has received and increasingly will receive substantial returns on this investment. We can not measure what the loss to the country would have been if civilian nursing service had collapsed, any more than we could measure the cost of failure at the Normandy beachheads."

A plaque dedicated to the Nursing Corps was placed in 2017 at Eisenhower Park, East Meadow, New York. It reads, in part, "They saved lives at home, so others could save lives abroad."

Another Relative in the Corps?

Verlon Lee Lincecum Eleazar was my 4th cousin, 4x removed. In the U.S. World War II Cadet Nursing Corps Card Files, 1942-1948 database, I did find another name that piqued my interest.

Jean Etta Linsacum was a member of corps, as well. She was admitted in 1944 at age 18 and attended the Colorado Training School for Nurses at Denver. Her membership card noted her to be a daughter of Kenneth Linsacum, a farmer of Montrose County, Colorado.

30 May 2018

1929 Drowning Deaths of Gideon V. and Sabra Brown Lincecum

What happened to this young couple?

I'm tempted to label these deaths as mysterious. What is more likely, however, is that I just don't have easy access to the right source…

Gideon Val "Gid" Lincecum was born May 1895 in Gonzales County, Texas to Val Dies Lincecum (1860-1958) and Mary Elizabeth "Mollie" Murray (d. 1949).

Some time before 1917, Gid married Sabra Elizabeth "Bettie" Brown. She was born 7 May 1896 in Mississippi to J. T. Brown and Amada Gilim.

A daughter, Floriene, was born to Gid and Bettie 2 September 1918. It was noted on her Texas birth certificate that this daughter was Bettie's second child, and the only one living.  Floriene became an orphan in the Spring before her eleventh birthday, when both of her parents died on the same day – 21 April 1929. The cause of death for both was drowning.

Gid's death certificate is found under the name V. E. Lincecum. His father was noted as the not-quite-accurate E. D. Lincecum, and his mother was properly stated to be Miss Mary E. Murray. This certificate also provided that V. E. died about midnight on the above mentioned date, and that a physical examination confirmed diagnosis.


Bettie's death certificate is found under the name Mrs. V. E. Lincecum. The time of death was not as precise as that of her husband, nor was any "test" listed that confirmed diagnosis.


James S. Mann, MD was the physician that signed off on the cause of death for both V. E. and his wife. He was also the informant of personal information for both. I wonder, what was his connection (if there was one) to the couple?

g-blincecum-fagA slightly rough-hewn granite stone was placed for Gidion and Bettie at Columbia Cemetery in West Columbia, Brazoria County, Texas.

Floriene, after the deaths of her parents, spent at least some time with her grandparents Lincecum – she was listed with them for the 1930 Brazoria County, Texas Federal census. Upon her death in 2006, Floriene was laid to rest in the same cemetery as her parents.

Can anyone provide more detail about the drowning deaths of Gideon and Bettie Lincecum?

27 May 2018

Toy Pistol Caused 1901 Death of George L. Lincecum

George Lachoen Lincecum was born 4 February 1886 in Texas to George Durham Lincecum (1854-1931) and S. Frances Amada "Fannie" Stubblefield (1867-1947). Fannie was a daughter of Stephen Potts Stubblefield (b. 1824). Research suggests young George was the eldest of six children born to Fannie and her husband.

George, Fannie, and the kids were in Gonzales, Texas for the summertime taking of the 1900 census. By the end of NewYear's Day of 1901, young George was dead.

DallasMorningNews5Jan1901Dallas Morning News (Texas)
Saturday, 5 January 1901 - pg. 3 [via GenealogyBank]

Toy Pistol Caused Death.
Gonzales, Tex., Jan. 3 -- George Lachoen Lincecum, aged 15 years, who was shot in the finger Christmas with a toy pistol, from which lockjaw resulted, died New Year's day at the home of his parents, Mr. and Mrs. George Lincecum.

An obituary that ran a couple days before in the Gonzales Inquirer stated, "He was an excellent boy and was liked by all who knew him. He worked in his father's store on North Avenue and was well known. During the holidays he was wounded in the hand by a toy pistol, and a part of the wad from the cartridge remained in the wound."

gllincecum-fagBurial was in the Gonzales Masonic Cemetery.

As  mentioned previous, young George had five siblings:

  • Stephen Omeaux "Oma" Lincecum (d. 1970)
  • Sarah Daisy Lincecum Patton (d. 1982)
  • Val Lincecum (b. abt. 1892)
  • Norton Lincecum (b. abt. 1895)
  • Parula Russell Lincecum (1896-1971)

I have yet to find Val or Norton after the 1900  census, and wonder if they might have died at a very young age.

[Note: There is an image of young George on a remembrance card issued (presumably) about the time of his death on his FindAGrave memorial.]

25 May 2018

So I Finally Spit in the Tube – DNA Results are In

100_6264I resisted taking a DNA test for a long time. When it wasn't popular, I easily resisted. As it became more and more popular, I still (fairly easily) resisted. Why? Well, I've been "doing" my personal genealogy off and on for more than 20 years – oftentimes more off than on, to be truthful – and believed I had a basic handle on where I came from. I don't mean I was one of those who proclaimed to have a "completed tree" or anything silly as that – I've yet to really even "cross the pond" with my (personally documented) research!

I felt I had done enough to get a sense of things, I guess.

Then someone close to me had their DNA tested. His largest chunk was 39% Iberian Peninsula. And it was totally expected. What was unexpected was the mash-up rest. So many different regions (people from) came together to create him. He often says, "I have a Spanish Dad and a Hillbilly Mom." His test results were a complex confirmation of that, and the day those results came in ended with him being on the phone for hours with his siblings.

I'm pretty sure I was jealous. Not long after, my own AncestryDNA kit was ordered. When it arrived, I spit in the tube and had it back in the mail the very next day. It didn't languish on the table – where some of my other mail does – for any length of time. I was officially all in.

Fast forward a month. The results were in…and I bowed my head and said aloud, "I knew it!"


I might even have been a little angry. As silly as I know that sounds. I also owe my ancestors a huge apology, because I even remarked – more than once – that I have boring DNA. And those migrations? What a joke. I could have dictated those to anyone before taking the test.

After my arrogant attitude passed, I started enlarging that map and looking closer at the results.


Great Britain breaks down to England, Scotland, and Wales. Where that largely overlaps with the (11%) Ireland / Scotland / Wales is obvious. But do I know anything about Scottish history or culture? Nope. What about Wales? How is it different from England? Don't know. I have a lot to learn.

Where did that Scandinavian 5% come from? And what about that Finnish/ North Russian 7%? Those appear to overlap largely over Sweden. Knew nothing of that! So I have a lot to learn.

My results show no connection to the Motherland of Africa…or do they? Digging deeper into my 2% Asian South region reveals something else I didn't know (emphasis mine):

The Asia South region includes the modern-day nations of Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Bhutan and is home to approximately 20% of the world’s population…The first human migration out of Africa is thought to have followed a southern coastal route along the Indian subcontinent into Southeast Asia.

Oh, and might I throw in – I have a trace from the Iberian Peninsula!

Questions Raised, Questions Answered.

  • What about the story (seems every family has a rendition, here's mine) that Grandpa's grandma was Native American? (Answer is Nope.)
  • I have six generations of Campbells in my family tree – all born in the United States. Will I ever get back to Scotland? (Answer is Probably).
  • I have a theory that the Logues came from Ireland. Is that true? (Answer is Maybe.)

One Two More Things

Not long after I received my DNA test results, Ancestry emailed me about a new or recently updated database, U.S. Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Swedish American Church Records, 1800-1946. This is a database I might have never searched prior to testing my DNA. Guess what? Found two Lincicums. Are we related? Who knows. I have a lot to learn.

And, yes, I am aware that my DNA reaches back much farther than my personally researched genealogy. But, c'mon, when you "do" genealogy, you can't help but think of your research when looking at those DNA results. :-)

So take that DNA test (if you're the least bit interested in that sort of thing). Even if you know where you came from. Just keep an open mind. And do yourself a favor – check your arrogance before clicking on the results.

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