If anyone had opportunities for a fresh start, it was Lucinda. Have you ever researched that ancestor- (you know you have one!)- that made you say to yourself, “This person is certifiably NUTS!” Well, Lucinda is my “certifiable”.
BIRTH: THE FRESHEST START OF ALL
Lucinda Jane* DOW was born to Henry Burton and Rebecca WHITE DOW on 7 December 1852 in Wisconsin. In the 1850 federal census and 1855 state census, the family lived in Prairie Du Chien, Crawford County, Wisconsin, so most likely she was born in that area. Prairie Du Chien is a rural area in the southwestern corner of the state near the Wisconsin-Iowa state line. According to the 1900 census, Lucinda had 9 siblings. Of those 9, I only know the names of 5 of them. From a medical standpoint, it would be interesting to know if the other 4 children were miscarried or stillborn. Was Lucinda's mother prone to miscarriages or stillbirths and, if so, was Lucinda also? And further, is that something that can be passed down genetically?
MARRIAGE #1: AN OPPORTUNITY FOR A FRESH START
At 15 years old, Lucinda married George ALBIN on 12 August 1868 in Adams County, Iowa. I previously believed that together they had one child- Mary Rebecca ALBIN. Last week, I found a family tree on Ancestry stating that Lucinda and George also had a son that was given up for adoption. I have not heard back from the Ancestry tree owner and am still trying to learn about this son. The son was named William Edgar and was adopted by a GIESE family. It seems that at some point in his life he learned that he was adopted and that his biological parents had the name Albin because he named one of his sons Albin GIESE. I have been unable to figure out the relationships in this family. Lucinda and George were not living together in the 1870 census. Lucinda was living in Nodaway, Adams, Iowa, with her family and the couple's daughter, Mary Rebecca. It appears George was living some 4 hours away in Scott, Johnson, Iowa, with his family. There was a 4 year old in George's family's home named Edgar but Lucinda and George's son, William Edgar, should only have been 2- 3 years old at the oldest. This is the extent of my knowledge about this relationship right now.
MARRIAGE #2: HITTING THE REFRESH BUTTON
At age 23, Lucinda got a fresh start with James Thomas GIBSON. They married in Adams County, Iowa, on 16 September 1875. Lucinda brought into the marriage her daughter, Mary Rebecca ALBIN. James Thomas (“J.T.”), supposedly a widower, brought to the marriage his 10 children. Together, they had 2 daughters- Barbara Myrtle GIBSON (born 1881) and my great-grandmother Dettie Louisa GIBSON (born 1883).
By the time the 1880 census was taken, Lucinda was again living with her parents in Dexter, Cowley, Kansas. Her daughter, Mary Rebecca, was with her but J.T. and his children were not with her. (Barbara and Dettie hadn't been born yet.) It is possible that J.T. was in jail or running from the law as there was a court case involving him beginning in 1879. It is unknown where his minor children were at this time. They were not living with J.T.'s adult children, William or Eliza Jane. Nor were they living with J.T.'s or Lucinda's parents. I have been unable to locate his other adult children- Jane Lucinda, Mary Elizabeth, Martha, or Samuel Luke- in 1880. I believe possibly J.T.'s daughter, Mandy (Ella Amanda), was working as a servant in the BOURDETT household in Dexter, Cowley, Kansas, in 1880. Mandy was 12 at this time. Lucinda was listed as still being married at the time of the census and she was working in Winfield, Cowley, Kansas, as a servant in the household of James and Lissa SHORT.
This family unit is found one more time in the 1875 Kansas state census living in Cedar, Cowley, Kansas. None of J.T.'s children were living with them nor was Mary Rebecca living with them. The household consisted only of J.T., Lucinda, and the two daughters born to them (Barbara and Dettie). One thing I noted of interest in this census was that Lucinda was listed as Mulatto. This is something I had not noticed before and will need to follow up on. As with her first marriage, I cannot say what happened with Lucinda's second marriage. By 1890, Lucinda had moved on to yet another relationship.
MARRIAGE #3: GETTING CLOSER TO A REAL FRESH START
On 25 November 1890 in Benton County, Arkansas, Lucinda married David A. JONES. Lucinda is listed as Lou on the marriage certificate and I wonder if she was trying to indicate a change (or trying to make a change) in her life by changing her name a little. David JONES was 49 and a widower at the time of the marriage. He had at least 5 children prior to marrying Lucinda. Together, they had a son- Leander B. "Lee" JONES.
At the time of the 1900 federal census, Lucinda and David were living in Dickson, Benton, Arkansas, with her children Barbara and Dettie, and their son, Lee. In this census, Lucinda declared she had 6 children total and 5 were still living. As noted above, I can account for only 5 of those children. Between 1900-1905, Lucinda and David divorced.
MARRIAGE #4**: ONE LAST TRY AT A FRESH START
On 1 August 1905 Lucinda married Robert S. GATEWOOD in Columbus, Cherokee, Kansas. Lucinda can be found in the 1910 federal census living in Joplin, Jasper, Missouri- just across the state line from Columbus- with her son, Lee. She is listed as being a widow.
DEATH: NO MORE NEED FOR FRESH STARTS
Lucinda DOW ALBIN GIBSON JONES GATEWOOD's obituary appeared in the 27 June 1919 edition of The Joplin Globe (Missouri) newspaper. It states, “Mrs Lucinda Jones, 67 years old, died at the home of her son, Lee Jones, B street and Maple avenue, at 8:10 o'clock last night.” She was laid to rest at Peace Church Cemetery in Joplin, Jasper, Missouri. This cemetery was in disrepair for a lot of years and many of the headstones no longer exist nor, I hear, is all of the cemetery brush-free and available to look at. I have been to Peace Church Cemetery and was unable to locate a gravestone for Lucinda. I hope she is resting in peace.
I have so many questions about Lucinda and every time I do more research on her, I learn new things. They are always things that bring more questions than they answer. I sometimes walk away thinking she must have been quite a promiscuous woman, and maybe a very unhappy woman. Was she difficult and that's why she couldn't keep a husband? Did she make poor choices in spouses? Was she just incredibly unlucky in her choices? One thing I know, with this many stepchildren there shouldn't be any reason why we can't learn more about her in the years to come. She never disappoints me when I try to find her- other than at the cemetery, of course. But perhaps it's just that she doesn't want to be remembered dead, but alive. Maybe she loved her crazy life, was very opinionated and non-traditional, and lived her life just the way she wanted and with no regrets. I'm looking forward to finding out some day. In the meantime, I know I can always count on finding her in the records somewhere.
Please take time to comment if this was helpful to you or you have additional information about these families. Also, please take time to click on over to my sister-in-law's blog, Down in the Root Cellar to learn about her sharp-shootin' ancestor, Martha "Mattie" Teal. Thanks for stopping by- I hope you enjoyed learning about my ancestors.
~ Lisa at Days of Our Lives
*Just this week I found a family tree on Ancestry that lists Lucinda's middle name is Catherine. I had never heard this before and have not received a reply from this person so I've been unable to get more information. I have always been told and always read that her middle name was Jane. However, Lucinda does appear in a Joplin City Directory with the middle initial C.
**There has been talk of a possible additional marriage to a man with the last name of LOVE but I have neither found nor received any information that lists her by the LOVE name.