Friday, February 8, 2013

Looking for Lula Lanier

Lula was the oldest child of Joseph Smith Lanier and Nancy Jane Bennett. She appears in census records with them in 1870, 1880 and 1900 but I’m betting she didn’t actually live with them in 1900.

In 1870, Joseph, Nancy Jane and their only child (Lulie Lanier, age four months, born in January in Alabama) lived in Chambers County, Alabama. 

By 1880, the family lived in Rock Mills, Randolph County, Alabama and Lula had two brothers and two sisters. She was listed as Lousiana (I think), age 10, born in Alabama. The spelling appears to be Lousiana (maybe a misspelling for Louisiana) but it could be something else.

Joseph and Nancy’s census record for 1900 includes all of their living children as opposed to all of their children living with them at that time in Monroe County, Mississippi. Their daughter Emma married in Chambers County, Alabama in 1889 and did not move with the family to Mississippi. She lived in Coweta County, Georgia in 1900 with her husband and four children. Their daughter Hettie married in Monroe County in 1898 and lived there with her husband and daughter in 1900. Yet both Emma and Hettie were listed in their parents’ household—Emma as a widow, Hettie as single.

So, even though Lula was included as a widow, age 31, born Jan 1869 in Alabama, it is entirely possible that she did not live with them in 1900.
Considering Lula’s age, it’s more likely that she married before most of the family moved to Mississippi about 1897 but there isn’t a marriage record in Chambers or Randolph County for her.

I know that Lula lived until at least the 1930s or 40s. Her sister Sallie’s granddaughter (born in 1926) remembers her as “short and plump with white hair.” She also remembers calling her Aunt Lula and Aunt Lou but doesn’t remember where she lived, what her last name was or anything about a husband or children.

Unless a marriage record is located or a descendant found, it’s unlikely I’ll ever find Lula. If you know anything about her (or anyone else in the family), please e-mail me.


  1. Wonderful information here, Linda - I hope you find someone who actually knows about your Lula! And I'm interested in finding the parents listing ALL their living children, whether residing with them or not - I've run across this before in a friend's family and thought it very odd. It had made me doubt my research to find a married daughter listed here, as well as with her 2-years-married husband and new baby, in another home in another town. Amazing. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Celia, it made me doubt but additional research proved there was no question those two daughters were married and living elsewhere. It turned out to be very helpful to me that they listed all their living children in that 1900 census record.