Lennon Family Tree

Cold calls. Can be stimulating & nerve-wrecking at the same time. This is what I spent time on Saturday doing as I was in search for information about my Lennon ancestry.

In my last post, I shared how I had been contacted by a woman researching the family of a Rufus McNair and how I was trying to link him to my family ancestor, Rufus McNair. Inspired by her recounting of making cold phone calls to some of my McNair relatives, I thought I should again pursue my Lennon ancestry. In search of information, I called five Lennons that I think are my distant cousins. While I did not get any answers to what I was looking for, they were able to provide me with some details that I can further research as I look for clues. We will continue to stay in contact and this week I’ll be sending all of them some of the data I’ve collected on their/our ancestry.

So, what was I seeking? Well, one of my not so strong connections in my Lennon line has been trying to determine who Lucinda’s maternal grandparents are. Lucinda was my great-grandmother. Unfortunately, all seven of her kids have died we have no one in the family left who knows anything about her ancestors.

When I started the tree, I did not know who her parents were. I was able to ascertain that:

  • Her death certificate lists an Etta Lennon & a John Lennon. Lucinda was born in Abbotsburg, Bladen County, North Carolina around 1887.
  • Her SSA lists a Louis Lennon & a Mary Lennon.
  • Searching the 1900 census for her I was finally able to locate only on Lucinda of right age in Columbus or Bladen county. This Lucinda is indicated as being born in Oct 1887 and lives only a few households away from her soon-to-be husband, Lewis Robinson. The census record lists her mother as Ann J. Lennon.

While there is a discrepancy between the SSA application information and her death certificate information, I truly feel that I have the right Lucinda in 1900. Hmm.. you may be thinking, “but her mom’s name was Ann J.” in the census record? Apparently, Lucinda’s mom went by several variations on a name. While I have not seen it written out as whole like this, I think her full name may have been Annette and she would sometimes go by Ann, Annie or Etta.

Now on to verifying who Ann J. was? Ann J. would have been born around 1862.

  • The cohabitation records of Columbus County, TN have a listing for the marriage of a John Lennon & and Annie J. Lennon. I could find no marriage info for a Louis & Mary Lennon. According to the marriage register, Annie J.’s parents were Council & Abi Lennon. John and Annie J. were married in 1882, thus if this were my Etta, she would have been about 20 years old.
  • In 1910, I find her enumerated as Etta and she has married a man named Isaac Robinson. From the census record alone, I was fairly certain this Etta was the same as the mother, Ann. J of Lucinda in 1900. Really because two sons, John A. Lennon and John H. Lennon that were exactly the right age older than the two sons John Lucinda has as brothers in 1900. Interestingly enough, Lucinda would name a son John and a son Isaac.
  • The marriage record of Etta Lennon and Isaac Robinson indicates that her father was Counsel Lennon who was still alive and her mother (no name given) was deceased. Hmm.. same name for father as found in her first marriage record.

Very compelling evidence here that the Ann. J of 1900 is the same as the Etta of 1910. Both have the same name listed for father, Council Lennon. Who is this Council Lennon?

Since I had information that her parents were Council & Abigail, I go off to look for them. Lo and behold, I find them!

  • In 1870, Council and Abigail are married with four children. Only one is a girl and she is a nine-year old girl named “Aetta” – right age to be my Etta!
  • In 1880, Council & Abigail have seven kids with them now and the girl who had been enumerated as “Aetta” before, is now enumerated as Ann E. J. So, this tells me she had variations on her name.
  • I find Council in 1900 living with a new wife now and a younger set of kids and in 1910 he is living with a son. This means that he was indeed alive in 1905 when his daughter Etta remarried and that indeed his first wife (Etta’s mother), was no longer around. This matches the info on Etta’s 2nd marriage certificate.

So, with all these clues, I am certain that Lucinda’s mom is indeed the daughter of said Council & Abigail Lennon. Now, the thing is, Counsel had 13 other kids.

The first descendants I spoke to are descendants of Council’s youngest child, William Dewey Lennon. One was his daughter, and the other was one of his grandsons. I also spoke to the ex-wife of one of another of William Dewey Lennon’s grandsons. The other two descendants that I spoke with were grandsons of Council’s son Grant Lennon (a whole brother to Lucinda). They were all pleasant to talk to, were glad that I had contacted them , and were looking forward to getting some information from me this week. I should learn not to be so nervous – this could potentially unlock some important clues!

Trying a new tactic

Today I received a group of birth and death certificates that I requested from Bladen County, North Carolina. The certificates were for the children of a man whom I suspect to be a brother of my great-grandmother, Lucinda Lennon Robinson (see previous post below). As the family structure as I have it is an educated guess based on the information I’ve culled together (and with help from a distant cousin), I have a theory of who her siblings were.

So, I’m going to try and find a living child or grandchild of this possible brother to see if I can find any connections to my great-grandmother. We’ll see if I get anywhere!

Happy Birthday Lucinda!

Today would have been my great-grandmother Lucinda’s birthday. She was born May 28, 1887. Well, 1887 is most likely the year she was born. This is the year shown in the 1900 census and in the SSDI database. However, on her death certificate, her birth year is listed as 1885. Since the 1900 census is closer to the time, I’ll go with that date.

Lucinda is my mother’s paternal grandmother and my mother remembers her well. She describes Lucinda as being a very sweet person and just the nicest person you’d ever meet! My mother thinks that she is now in life, starting to resemble her grandmother.

Lucinda had nine children. Her husband, Lewis Robinson, died when the youngest child, her only daughter, Lucinda, was about two years old. I understand from my mother that all of her children were very close to their mother Lucinda. When she died in 1969, my grandfather, her youngest son, Herman, put up such a fuss at her funeral in not wanting her to be removed, that when he died, almost 20 years later, the funeral home director remembered him.

Lucinda was from Columbus County, North Carolina, near the NC/SC state line. I know that the family lived in both NC and Georgia at some point, though, they are still elusive to me in 1910 – I have not been able to locate them. When they moved to Manhattan, by 1920, they would stay there. Lucinda lived at 159-48 Apt. 12H Harlem River Drive in Manhattan at the time of her death. She had been living here already for many years. Herman, my mother’s father, remained living in that same apartment (along with his brother Ike) until he died in 1986. I well remember visiting him here and I’m amazed that the family had lived there so long.

I still have research to do on Lucinda’s family – her parents and siblings are still somewhat of a mystery to me. Happy Birthday Lucinda!

Great discovery

Over the weekend, I had a great confirmation and discovery! My mother’s paternal grandfather had been quite elusive for us in official records. With the help of a fellow researcher, we did think we found him in the 1900 census living a few doors away from the woman he would eventually marry, my great-grandmother Lucinda. If this was he, then we would finally have his parents names – William & Rebecca. Well, I was waiting to receive his death certificate from the state of NY and it came Saturday. Sure enough, his parents were William & Rebecca! My mother and I are quite thrilled about this! We have now added a new generation.

In other genealogy news, I have picked up a new genealogy book and my mother found two more over the weekend that she is sending to me. I’ll post more on them later. So far, I am learning quite a bit from the reading I have been doing on genealogical research.