April 3, 2014

Lucinda Davis Hall, 1839 - 1922

My great great grandmother, Lucinda Davis Hall, is one of those ancestors who seems to tug at me. I'm not sure why that is, and in spite of all my research, I don't feel I've gotten to know her very well beyond the well documented facts. 

Lucinda was born between 1839 and 1844 in Granville County, NC. She was the daughter of Jonathan Davis and Tildanthe Bailey/Bayley. Her brother was Jonathan was also my great great grand grandfather.

There was a significant age difference between her parents. John would have been 65 if Lucinda was born in 1840, which certainly isn't impossible and it's hard to know precisely when Lucinda was really born. Families often gave conflicting information to census takers or were sometimes confused as to their own ages or birth year. 

Her death certificate indicates she was born in 1840, yet the various censuses give varying years between 1839 and 1844. Her gravestone says she was born in 1844.  Folks in her part of Granville County were generally suspicious of outsiders, and regarded census takers as the next best thing to a thief. They didn't always report the truth when it came around to a stranger asking a lot of questions, particularly if that stranger is associated with the government.

Grandma Lucy shows up in the 1850 Census at age 11 living with her parents, John and Matilda in the Beaver Dam area of southern Granville County along with her siblings Mary, Priscilla, Sally, Allen, Elias and Elizabeth. 

On Jan 5, 1859, Lucinda married John Ruffin Davis in Granville County. She would have been around 17 - 19 years old. A number of family members have told me Lucinda and Ruffin were not married, but clearly their marriage license says otherwise. The snippit below is from North Carolina, County Marriages, 1762-1979:

So it makes sense that in the 1860 census, she is living with John R. Davis, age 35. Lucinda is now age 20, or so she says. Also in the household is Francis Allen, age 30 as well as John and Lucinda’s daughter Indiana, age 6 months. They are living in the Beaver Dam area of southern Granville County. I have no idea who Francis Allen is. Do you?

I cannot find Lucinda on the 1870 census. 

John Ruffin must have died sometime between 1850 and 1880 when Lucinda married Simon Hall. It is possible John Ruffin died of illness from the civil war in 1863, although he died in Granville County. The problem with this theory is that two of Lucinda's children, James Medicus and Charles were born after 1863, so maybe he died later. Still working on that one.

On the 1880 census, Lucinda was 38 years old and living with husband Simon Hall, age 32. Simon was a farmer born in Orange County, NC around 1835. Also living with them was Sidney (age 19), Medicus (age 13), and Charles (age 10) Davis - all sons of Lucinda and Ruffin. The census lists all three of them as “son-in-law” in spite of ages. How can a 10 year old be a son-in-law? Most likely, Simon was providing information for the census taker and he misunderstood that they were Simon's step sons. Or maybe he didn't know the difference between a son-in-law and a step-son.

On the 1910 census, Lucinda says she was born in 1840. She is listed as 70 years old, living in Youngsville with son Medicus, age 42.

Lucinda’s death certificate indicates she died of burns she received in a house fire on July 22, 1922. She was 82 years old. She was buried at Good Hope Baptist Church in Youngsville, NC the same day she died. 

I've scoured the local papers but can't find a news report of the fire. But back in 1922, perhaps the local fire department didn't respond and they just let the house burn itself out.

An elderly family member claims to have Lucinda's wedding ring that was taken from her finger after her death. Although a grisly image, I'd sure love to have that ring, if only we could verify it's origin. You know how family stories go!

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