Wednesday, January 19, 2022

The Reconstruction Epidemic: Preface

 

When a hobby becomes work, the passion disappears. I've had to lay the Mortons down, happy to have identified the siblings of Rev. Samuel Parsons Morton, because it became too overwhelming. I became ill, and I will pick that file back up in the near future. That's not the only project I have smouldering in the fire. The mystery of the Davis/ Pickler link is awaiting documents from the Archives and most specifically, my ability, if it exists, to make sense of the various, but few, peices of the puzzle that remain.

There's also the discovery I made while simply attempting to identify the origins of an unusual trait after a very surprising DNA match, that will blow the roof off the verbatim reputation of a long narrative concerning the Stanly County Hudson family, and one that overlaps into the Hills, which is the family of my paternal grandmother's Mother. And there's always my projects of the Mountains of Stanly County and the Women who didn't Exist, but Did. I have a whole stack of them to get to.

So, I went back to the old reliable court records, always fodder for sparking my curiosity and inspiration.

Once an aquantaince remarked that I had a talent for 'digging up dirt'. True, but brickwalls are nearly always built upon dirt. 


Since the invention of morality and proper social behavior, human beings have been straying outside the lines.

In the earliest of records of Stanly County, North Carolina, and before, single women had been being brought to court for having children outside the bounds of matrimony, some for falling prey to men who had promised to marry them, and didn't, or those who already were married.. Every year, there were a handfull of defendants.

These unions were the source of children, if who survived, would often become a perplexity for modern descendants trying to piece together a family tree. Some spend decades trying to figure out who Sarah was the widow of; or who the mysterious 'John' was that little Henry named in his marriage certificate, but that there is no record of. Being a bastard was an embarrassing thing to be in those days, and to some, still is. The good thing is, if an illicit relationship can be identified, that breaks down that brick wall and can open up an entire world of another family line, which, with dna research, can be proven. So, this is a project I often undertake when 2 and 2 in a family tree does not equal 4.

A Quick Look at Lindsey

For instance, take my recent post on Lindsey Frank Yow. All these family trees had him as the youngest child of Dennis and Mary Yow, a couple who were well past your normal child-bearing years when he was born. He was also 15 years younger than the child who preceded him. Something was askew. 

Looking at his records, he consistently named his mother as Mary, but never listed a father at all. So, why did he leave Dennis's name off when Dennis actually lived longer than his wife Mary, and raised the boy. That is because Mary, Dennis's wife, was not the only Mary in the family. They had a daughter named Mary, who went by "Polly', and I found a bastardy bond for her the year that Lindsey Frank was born. Dennis and his wife Mary had raised the boy, but they were his grandparents. Mary Jr. was his mother and his father was Henry A. Easley, the son of a wealthy planter who got Polly pregnant and then married a more 'respectible' girl. 



There was something unusual I noticed while searching through the bastardy bonds. While previous years had supplied a steady, but light, flow of these documents, the years following the Civil War, in the late 1860's and early 1870's, there was a heavy increase of them. A baby boom, so to speak. 

 The answer for that lie in the landscape of the Era of Reconstruction, the state that the county had been left in after the war. 

So many men had been killed in the Civil War, that it caused a great imbalance in the remaining population. Add to that, the many young men who went west and never returned, some who had families. It was a population of widows and orphans, with a scant few boys and tettering old men, and a scarce splattering of intact families and able-bodied men. 

Some widows and girls were lucky enough to marry, either to younger boys just coming of age who had been too young to fight, or to old men the age of their fathers, or grandfathers. However, a great number of others struggled for survival in a world not patterned on the life of unmarried women. 

During the absence of the soldiers, the world had turned upside down. There was devastation and despair. Farms had long gone untended and Mother Nature was taking back over. A social structure had collapsed with nothing in its place. 

Immediately after the war, you find no such records as Bastardy Bonds or Superior Court records. It was if the world had come to a standstill, but by 1867, and especially, 1868, the wheels of society again appeared to turn. Deeds were being recorded , suites were being filed, crimes were being tried, and couples who were coupling outside the boundaries of marriage were being brought in on charges of adultery, fornication, and bastardy. 

Each of these documents had it's on story. There were multiple situations and reasons behind the birth of each of these children, but most resulting from desperation.

There's the story of the tenant and landlord, a single woman who lived quite well upon the edge of her landlords property. He was a married man and prominent member of the community. She had borne several children by him. All was well, until a man came from outside the community, and fell in love with this woman. The landlord was inflamed and kicked her out of the house, legally, taking her to court, having her and this gentleman charged with Fornication. Yet, love prevailed, and the couple married and had a few more children of their own They now lie peacefully side by side on the hill of Canton Baptist Church Cemetery.


There's the young widow who paid the merchant for provisions for her children the only way she could.

There was the prominent farmer who basically had three wives at once, only one of them legal.

There were the fellows who would be called child sex predators today.

Then there were the out and out 'soiled doves', the girls who turned their misfortune into funds.

Every bond led to a story, even if it was simply in the face of destitution and hopelessness, all pretense of morality and propriety was thrown to the wind.









Monday, January 17, 2022

A Quick Look at Lindsey


 


Some peoples lives brushed across the face of time like a loose lash, just waiting to fall. Thus was the brief life of Lindsey Frank Yow. 

Most people accept records at face value and never really, really look at them. Just because a child is in the home of a pair of adults in the early years of the census, when relationships were not given, or even after they were, and named as a child, they were not always a child of the couple, who may have actually been guardians. This happened in the case of my paternal grandfather, whose mother died shortly after his birth, and who was raised by his mother's sister. He even went by her last name at times, as she and her husband were his guardians, but when he joined the army and later got married, he used his real surname and real parents. To someone who didn't know, he may have looked like a child of his aunt and uncle who disappeared. To those looking at his records after he became an adult, it would look like he had just dropped from the sky. Yet, he was there in plain sight the whole time.

Such is the case of Lindsey Frank Yow, sort of. Everyone had gotten him wrong, yet he told us who he was the whole time.


Name:Linsey Tow[][]
Age in 1870:14
Birth Date:abt 1856
Birthplace:North Carolina
Dwelling Number:15
Home in 1870:Tyson, Stanly, North Carolina
Race:White
Gender:Male
Post Office:Albemarle
Occupation:At Home
Attended School:Yes
Inferred Father:Dennis Tow
Inferred Mother:Mary Tow
Household MembersAge
Dennis Tow71
Mary Tow70
Manoog Tow30
Linsey Tow14

Lindsey Frank first shows up in the 1870 census of  Stanly County as a 14 year old, in Tyson Township, in the home of Dennis and Mary Yow. I recently did a post on DennisYow and his affair with Jane Williams, after they were convicted of Fornication and Adultery in 1849. 

The Affair of Dennis and Jane

Dennis was a married man and a good 25 years older than Jane Williams. He is shown in the home with his dedicated wife, Mary in the 1850, 1860, 1870, and 1800 census. Dennis had been married to Mary Schoffner Yow for a very long time, since around 1825. 

Every family tree has Lindsey Frank Yow as their youngest child, since he is living in their home. You can't blame them, because following, in the 1880 census, we find an 84 year old Dennis living with a 24 year old Lindsey, and the relationship given is 'son'. Mary Schoffner Yow has already passed on and the young man was definately taking care of the elder. Cut and dried, right? No.


Name:Lindsey F. Yow
Age:23
Birth Date:Abt 1857
Birthplace:North Carolina
Home in 1880:Tysons, Stanly, North Carolina, USA
Dwelling Number:157
Race:White
Gender:Male
Relation to Head of House:Son
Marital Status:Single
Father's Name:Denis Yow
Father's Birthplace:North Carolina
Mother's Birthplace:North Carolina
Occupation:Farmer
Neighbors:
Household MembersAgeRelationship
Denis Yow84Self (Head)
Lindsey F. Yow23Son

Just take a look at the math.. Dennis shows up in the 1830 and 1840 censuses in West Pee Dee, Montgomery County, the half that became Stanly. In 1850, his children are all listed in his home and his year of birth is given as 1798, which was most likely pretty accurate. 


Name:Dennis Towe[][]
Gender:Male
Age:52
Birth Year:abt 1798
Birthplace:North Carolina
Home in 1850:Smiths, Stanly, North Carolina, USA
Occupation:Laborer
Industry:Industry Not Reported
Cannot Read, Write:Yes
Line Number:37
Dwelling Number:663
Family Number:666
Household MembersAge
Dennis Towe52
Mary Towe48
John Towe24
Catharine Towe21
Mary Towe18
Delcey Towe14
William Towe12

His wife Mary is not far behind him. She was born between 1800 and 1802. Dennis and Mary actually had 7 children. Two of their daugthers had already married by 1850.

Year           Child                              Mary's age if we keep her at 1802

1826     John W. Yow                              24

1829     Malinda Catherine                       27

1830     Lucynthia                                    28

1832     Jincy Lucia                                  30

1838     Mary Polly                                  36 

1839     Dorothy Dulcie Dolly                   37

1840     William A.                                   38 

 

If you scroll back to the 1870 census, you see the 16 year age difference between Willaim A. and Lindsey F.

Mary Schoffner Yow was 54 years old when Lindsey Frank Yow was born. Menopause baby? Possible, I suppose, but not likely. 

Name:Dennis Yow
Age:65
Birth Year:abt 1795
Gender:Male
Home in 1860:Stanly, North Carolina
Post Office:Albemarle
Dwelling Number:539
Family Number:541
Occupation:Farmer
Real Estate Value:100
Personal Estate Value:150
Cannot Read, Write:Y
Household MembersAge
Dennis Yow65
Mary Yow63
Polly Yow23
William Yow22

Another odd thing about Lindsey was although he was born in 1856, he isn't in the home in the 1860 census, the only one I have not featured. He was alive, so where was he? I don't know, but maybe they hid him. Why would they hide him, well, keep reading and the answer may become clear. 



The next step in Lindsey Frank Yow's life was a wedding. It's not ver yeasy to read, but on December 13, 1833, L. F. Yow, aged 27, son of Unknown and Mary Yow, married Ellen Huneycutt, age  16, daughter of Nicie Hunycutt and Unknown. That Unknown was certainly a popular guy. So it appears that both bride and groom were 'Children of the Dust', which happened quite often, two of them marrying each other, as they were in the same social class.

Name:L F Yow
Gender:Male
Race:White
Age:27
Birth Year:abt 1856
Marriage Date:14 Dec 1883
Marriage Place:Stanly, North Carolina, USA
Father:Unnown
Mother:Mary Yow
Spouse:Eller Huneycut
Spouse Gender:Female
Spouse Race:White
Spouse Age:16
Spouse Father:Unnown
Spouse Mother:Nisy Huneycut
Event Type:Marriage

The wedding took place at the home of J. W. Honeycutt, Justice of the Peace. He may have been related to the bride. Witnesses were C. D. Lowder, P. L. Honeycutt and Lina McIntyre.

Name:Hunycutt[][]
Age:38
Birth Date:Abt 1842
Birthplace:North Carolina
Home in 1880:Big Lick, Stanly, North Carolina, USA
Dwelling Number:206
Race:White
Gender:Female
Relation to Head of House:Self (Head)
Marital Status:Single
Father's Birthplace:North Carolina
Mother's Birthplace:North Carolina
Occupation:Keeping House
Cannot Read:Yes
Cannot Write:Yes
Neighbors:
Household MembersAgeRelationship
Hunycutt38Self (Head)
Ellen Hunycutt8Daughter
Rebaca Hunycutt7Daughter


In the 1880 census, Ellen is just 8, and she has a little sister, Rebecca. How young was this girl actually?


Name:Frank ?? Yow[Frank Grow]
Age:43
Birth Date:Jul 1856
Birthplace:North Carolina, USA
Home in 1900:China Grove, Rowan, North Carolina
House Number:49
Sheet Number:14
Number of Dwelling in Order of Visitation:242
Family Number:245
Race:White
Gender:Male
Relation to Head of House:Head
Marital Status:Divorced
Father's Birthplace:North Carolina, USA
Mother's Birthplace:North Carolina, USA
Occupation:Day Laborer
Months Not Employed:0
Can Read:Yes
Can Write:Yes
Can Speak English:Yes
House Owned or Rented:Own
Farm or House:H
Neighbors:
Household MembersAgeRelationship
Frank ?? Yow43Head

The marriage obviously was not a happy, as the next time we see Frank, in the 1900 census, he's working as a Day Laborer in China Grove in Rowan County, and he is divorced.

Name:Frank ?? Yow[Frank Grow]
Age:43
Birth Date:Jul 1856
Birthplace:North Carolina, USA
Home in 1900:China Grove, Rowan, North Carolina
House Number:49
Sheet Number:14
Number of Dwelling in Order of Visitation:242
Family Number:245
Race:White
Gender:Male
Relation to Head of House:Head
Marital Status:Divorced
Father's Birthplace:North Carolina, USA
Mother's Birthplace:North Carolina, USA
Occupation:Day Laborer
Months Not Employed:0
Can Read:Yes
Can Write:Yes
Can Speak English:Yes
House Owned or Rented:Own
Farm or House:H
Neighbors:
Household MembersAgeRelationship
Frank ?? Yow43Head

He returned to Cabarrus County, after that and sought a living in mining, as the Concord newspapers espoused that he was pretty good at it. 

CLIPPED FROM

The Concord Times

Concord, North Carolina
01 Jul 1903, Wed  •  Page 3



He escaped the 1910 census, probably from being single and fluid. I find no sign that he ever remarried, however, the informant on his death certificate, J. L. Towell, stated that he was married. I looked to find out who J. L. Towell of Cabarrus County was, and in the 1920 censu, discovered he had been apppointed Superintendant of the County Home, which tells me that Frank was probably sick, and unable to work and had probably been admitted to the County Home. 


Name:Frank Yow
Gender:Male
Race:White
Age:60y 10m 25d
Marital Status:Married
Occupation:Farmer
Birth Date:25 Jul 1856
Birth Place:Stanly Co.
Death Date:20 Jun 1917
Death Place:Cabarrus, North Carolina
Burial Date:21 Jun 1917
Burial Place:MT. Olive
Father:U
Mother:Polly Yow

Frank died on  June 21, 1917, in Cabarrus County at 60 years old. Again, he names his mother, Polly Yow and father 'U" for unknown. Polly is a nickname for Mary. He was buriedat Mt. Olive Church, near Mount Pleasant. 

So who was Polly Yow? Well, for one, she wasn't Mary Schoffner Yow, wife of Dennis Yow. Let's go back to that 1870 cencus real quick.


Name:Manoog Tow
[
Age in 1870:30
Birth Date:abt 1840
Birthplace:North Carolina
Dwelling Number:15
Home in 1870:Tyson, Stanly, North Carolina
Race:White
Gender:Female
Post Office:Albemarle
Occupation:At Home
Inferred Father:Dennis Tow
Inferred Mother:Mary Tow
Household MembersAge
Dennis Tow71
Mary Tow70
Manoog Tow30
Linsey Tow14

See the mangled anem of the 30 year old woman in the home of Dennis Yow, Manoog ? Looking at the actual document, its 'Mary Yow', not "Mannog Tow". These transcribers (head shaking)....at any rate, this was Mary "Polly" Yow, daughter of Dennis and Mary Yow, Sr., and the mother of Lindsey Frank Yow.  She shows up as 18 in the home of her paretns in 1850, 23 in 1860 and 30 in 1870, notice how she keeps getting younger?


Name:Mary Gow
Gender:Female
Marriage Date:17 Jul 1870
Marriage Place:Stanly, North Carolina, USA
Father:Dennis Gow
Mother:Gow
Spouse:John Carpenter
Spouse Gender:Male
Spouse Father:Thomas Carpenter
Spouse Mother:Betsy Carpenter
Event Type:Marriage

Shortly after this census was taken, Polly got married, leaving her son with her parents. Dennis and Mary Schoffner Yow were the grandparents of Lindsey Frank Yow, not his parents, but they raised him. Mary "Gow", daughter of Denniw and Mrs. "Gow" married John Carpenter,  son of Thomas and Betsy Carpenter. They were married in Albemarle at the office of the Justice of the Peace, W.G.Green. 

John grew up in Tyson Township, the son of Thomas Jackson and Elizabeth 'Betsy' Broadway Carpenter. 



A section of the 1880 census of Tyson township, Stanly County.


In the 1880 census, they are living right next door to Mary's father, Dennis, who has Lindsey living with him. Mary was quite a bit older than John, and near the end of her childbearing years, so they only had one child together, a son, named William J. Carpenter.

The neighbors were mostly Mabry's, Mauldins and Kimreys, which places them in an area south of Albemarle and North of Aquadale, the northern part of Tyson Township.




John and Mary would relocate to Coddle Creek in Iredell County by 1900, where John was farming. They still just had the one son, William J., now a teenager. This was the year Lindsey Frank Yow would be found working in China Grove, in nearby Rowan County, and listed as Divorced, however, I've not yet found Ellen still alive.

William J. is not the only child in the home, there is an 8 year old Della Yow, listed as a boarder, but who is she?

Name:William J Carpenter[William J Carpinter]
Age:24
Birth Date:Nov 1875
Birthplace:North Carolina, USA
Home in 1900:Coddle Creek, Iredell, North Carolina
Sheet Number:15
Number of Dwelling in Order of Visitation:254
Family Number:257
Race:White
Gender:Male
Relation to Head of House:Son
Marital Status:Single
Father's Name:John Carpenter
Father's Birthplace:North Carolina, USA
Mother's Name:Polly Carpenter
Mother's Birthplace:North Carolina, USA
Occupation:Farm Laborer
Can Read:Yes
Can Write:Yes
Can Speak English:Yes
Neighbors:
Household MembersAgeRelationship
John Carpenter55Head
Polly Carpenter65Wife
William J Carpenter24Son
Dalla Yough14Boarder

After  a considerable amout of digging, I can only come to one conclusion, she was their Granddaughter. Ellen may have been deceased, and 'Dalla Yough" , who was actully Della Yow, was born about 2 years after the wedding of Ellen and Frank. Polly had let her parents raise Frank, and now she and John were raising Della.







Coddle Creek is on the southernmost end of Iredell County, a very elongated county. Apparently, it did not work out well there for the family, as by 1910, Jon and William had moved to Mt. Ulla in Rowan County.


Name:John Carpenter
Age in 1910:61
Birth Date:1849[1849]
Birthplace:North Carolina
Home in 1910:Mount Ulla, Rowan, North Carolina, USA
Race:White
Gender:Male
Relation to Head of House:Father
Marital Status:Widowed
Father's Birthplace:North Carolina
Mother's Birthplace:North Carolina
Native Tongue:English
Occupation:Laborer
Industry:Home Farm
Employer, Employee or Other:Wage Earner
Able to read:No
Able to Write:No
Neighbors:
Household MembersAgeRelationship
Will Carpenter37Head
Laura Carpenter25Wife
May Carpenter4Daughter
Jim Lu Carpenter3Son
Glenn Carpenter2Son
John Carpenter61Father

Mary Yow Carpenter died sometime between 190 adn 1910. I don't know where she was buried or even what county they were in at the time. It was most likely either Iredell or Rowan. John is now a widowed father, living with his son. William has married, to Laura Mary Alice Rogers and has had three children already. 



Name:Della Yow
Cemetery:Amity Evangelical Lutheran Cemetery
Burial or Cremation Place:Iredell County, North Carolina, United States of America

There's also another person missing. Della Yow has passed away ,too, very young. She is buried at Amity Evangelical Lutheran Church in southern Iredell County. This beautiful little church is located southwest of the town of CLeveland, but it's just north of Mount Ulla, which is in Rowan County, but it no longer has a post office. 






John Carpenter died sometime before 1920, probably closer to 1910, as he does not have a Death Certificate, which picked up during that decade, nor do we know where he was buried. Prboably, like Polly,somewhere around Mt. Ulla, and without a stone,or with a stone that  weathered away.

Name:William Carpenter Jr.
Gender:Male
Race:White
Age:54
Birth Date:20 Nov 1872
Birth Place:Stanley
Death Date:6 Feb 1927
Death Place:# 4, Cabarrus, North Carolina, USA
Father:John Carpenter

William J. Carpenter, Lindsey Franks half brother, moved to Cabarrus County by 1920, like alot of farm families, to work either for the railroad or in the Cotton mIlls.. He died there in 1927, at the age of 54, of Chronic Nephritis, just like his half-brother did. He is buried at Oakwood Cemetery in Concord. His wife, Laura, survived until 1951. Together they had 8 children: Ona Mae 1905, James Lee, 1906, Floyd Glenn, 1907, Molly J. 1914, Martin Elbert, 1915, Ralph Eugene, 1918, Ruby Virginia, 1920, William Robert 1924.


So, the line of Mary Polly Yow Carpenter lived on, but that of her son, Lindsey, did not. One mystery remains, however, the identityof the father of Lindsey Frank Yow. Or does it? Frank might not have known who his father was, but I do.


The survivng bastardy bonds for Stanly County are spotty. There can be found the existing ones for two years, and then a gap of twelve years, and then again, another 7 years available.  Also, may families just 'took care of things themselves', hiding illgetimate children in their ranks, grandparents or siblings of the mother, raising them as their own, without the authorities being notified. Other couples solved the problem by getting married, but Polly Yow was taken to court and the Batardy Bond Survived. 

On the 6th day of August, 1858, in the Superior Court of Stanly County, Polly Yow swore that she was with child, and that Henry Easley, son of  M. W. Easley, was the father.

I knew exactly who Miller W. Easley was, as he had he married my third Great Aunt, Margaret Aldridge. She became his third wife and he was much older than her by then. She was not Henry's mother, but his stepmother, although he may have been older.




We first find Henry Adkins Easley in the 1850 census of Stanly County, as a 14 year old in the home of his parents, Miller and Francis Easley. They are living in Center  Township, which borders Tyson, where the Yows were living in that decade. 


Name:Henry Easly
Gender:Male
Age:14
Birth Year:abt 1836
Birthplace:North Carolina
Home in 1850:Centre, Stanly, North Carolina, USA
Attended School:Yes
Line Number:7
Dwelling Number:72
Family Number:73
Household MembersAge
Miller W Easly42
Frances Easly39
William Easly19
John Easly16
Henry Easly14
Mary Easly12
James Easly8
Sarah Easly5
Delpha Easly3
Warham Easly0


Six years later, he would be in court and about to be a father. These situations were always on a case by case situation. Some fathers embraced their children and gave them their names, others didn't, but the parenthood of the child was wiley known in the community and the child may have been known by both surnames, mothers and fathers, their entire lives.  Most fathers were like Henry, however, and seemed to just take care of their immediate financial obligation, ignore the woman and the child, and go on with their lives. Some children were never told who their fathers were, or they knew, but were told to never mention it in public. Soeme children created nonexistent fathers just to be socially acceptible, which frustrates descendants trying to trace family trees, and now with DNA evidence, confounds people trying to figure out how they are related .







Two years after his court appearance, Henry Easley would marry Elizabeth J. Smith of Cabarrus County, daughter of Louis H. and Doracs T. Sawyer Smith.

The couple was found in Albemarle in 1860 and 1870, had moved down to Tyson, where he had inherited land in 1880, buut by 1900, the had moved to Cabarrus County, where they are found in 1900 and 1910. Shortly after the 1900 census, Henry Atkins Easley passed away, in Decmeber of 1910, and is buried at Rocky Ridge, near the old Jackson Training School, where many members of my family are buried. 

With his wife, Elizabeth, Henry had 8 children, who would be Lindsey Frank Yow's half-siblings. 
They were; Mary Francis, James Lewis, Delpha Adeline, John, who must have died as a child, William Henry, Jacob Filmore, Thomas Boggan and Tabitha.