Monday, January 20, 2014

52 Ancestors: #3 Rhoda Ann Lavender

Very little is known about Rhoda Ann Lavender. At least, I know very little about her. As I skim through my tree looking for ancestors to feature in this 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge from No Story Too Small, I'm finding I say that about too many ancestors. And this is just week #3.

Rather than skipping over those folks and continuing to ignore them, I'm going to look at what I need in order to do justice to their story. I'm not the only one facing this problem of too many holes in my research. That sneaky Amy Crow has put us all to work in 2014 with this challenge. Thanks, Amy.

Now back to Rhoda.

Rhoda was married twice and had five children. She married Stephen Bradford Lair on 25 Aug 1829 in Lincoln County, Kentucky. Their sons, William Thomas and Jerome Burke, were born about 1830 and 1832. Family stories say Stephen died when the boys were very young. Rhoda married Thomas Ramsey on 20 Jan 1839 in Lincoln County.

Rhoda and Thomas were living in Rockcastle County, Kentucky in 1840. They had three children together — Margaret born in 1840, Joseph Love born in 1842 and Harriet born in 1844. I don't know when Rhoda died but she wasn't with Thomas and the children in the 1850 census.

Her youngest granddaughter, Janie Ramsey (who was born about 50 years after Rhoda died) said that Rhoda's father was John Lavender of Lincoln County and that John had four other children — Joseph, Elizabeth Jane, Allen and Amelia. Janie did not know the name of Rhoda's mother.
Janie also said that the family lived in this house that was on the corner of Main and Richmond Streets in Mt. Vernon and Thomas had his blacksmith shop behind it. (There is a parking lot there now but I remember that house.) And finally, according to Janie, Rhoda and Thomas were buried in the oldest part of Elmwood Cemetery in Mt. Vernon without markers.

Not only do I not know much about Rhoda. I'm know sure how accurate most of what I "know" really is. I never met Janie. Her information came to me second or third or maybe fourth hand. People who knew her say she was a wealth of family history knowledge. Turns out I don't even have a record for either of Rhoda's marriages — just an entry in an index. (Discovered that when I looked for them to use with this post.) I haven't looked for any of these folks in Lincoln or Rockcastle records.

Rhoda doesn't appear by name in a census record. There may not be much out there to fill in the blanks of her life but it's obvious that I haven't really looked. Yet.

Written for 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge at No Story Too Small

Rhoda was my 3rd great-grandmother through her daughter, Margaret E. Ramsey.

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