Sherlene\’s G-LOG

Making Sense of the Census (Fording the Langs, at Present)

Joseph Lankford (1728/29, VA – d. 1785, Lincoln Co., KY) Chronology (m. Mary abt. 1765)

Joseph Langford/Lankford (1728/29 – 1785) m. Mary abt. 1765.

This compilation of research on our earliest-known Langford ancestor, Joseph, was inspired by my mother, Ida-Rose Langford Hall, whose love of “The Search” was evident during all my growing-up years. Some of her historical gleanings are documented in her “Progenitors and Descendants of Fielding Langford” (1970, 2003), parts of which are noted below. I extend appreciation to other Langford family researchers, whose contributions are also credited with each entry, and invite your corrections and additions. My goal is to assemble, in chronological sequence, all information I can find about Joseph, as basis for continuing research by all interested in building on such. My current project is to transcribe on-line census images for descendants of Joseph Lankford (and those thought to be his siblings), looking for clues. I plan to also post these transcriptions on this site.

NAME: Among variations in spelling of the name are these: Langford, Lankford, Lankfort, Landford.

RELATIONSHIP: Joseph Langford is thought to be the fifth great-grandfather of Sherlene Hall Bartholomew (shb, hereafter). Our most recent conclusion is that he was a contemporary of the Stephen Langford, of Rockcastle County, Kentucky, who married Lois Mullin. They may have been brothers. –shb 31 Jan 2006

MIGRATION OVERVIEW: Response by my brother-in-law Barry D. Wood to a query from Roy Chadwick, copied to shb, 26 Feb 2006 [subsequently learned that Roy is of a different branch or line–see Joseph’s son Thomas’ notes–shb]. Writes Barry: “It’s actually my wife’s line. She’s from the Joseph Langford who died in Lincoln County Kentucky (that part now Rockcastle) shortly after the Rev. War. Before the war, he had patented a tract of land on the N.C. border near Danville, Virginia (Pittsylvania County). But circa 1760 he shows up in the surviving county records (such as they are) of Caroline County, Virginia. He is thought to have been a brother of Benjamin Langford (will probated in Pittsylvania County in 1810) and possibly others, esp. the Stephen Langford who was in the same neighborhood of Kentucky, and stayed there for several decades after Joseph’s death. Stephen married a second time late in life, leading some (including me, once) to assume erroneously that Stephen Langford of Rockcastle (then Lincoln & Pulaski) was the son of Joseph.” [Also, in response to a letter from Roy Chadwick, describing his own heritage, Barry adds]: “Unfortunately, as you have no doubt already discovered, the local population was small before about 1770, and the surviving records from the pre-War period are very slim. Some Langfords who may or may not be other brothers of Benjamin and my wife’s ancestor Joseph lived in what was then Stokes County, NC for a time, more or less across the state line from Pittsylvania, before moving further south and west.” –shb 27 Feb 2006

THE LINEAGE: My letter to a potential Langford researcher, 24 Jan 2006:

“Hello, [her name and contact info. protected–she soon dropped out with family problems, but I leave my letter, as it shows our lineage–shb] with copy to all Langfords on my e-list]:

“My niece [name & address protected], who lives in Milledgeville, tells me you work Fridays at the local family history center. She speaks highly of you, so forwarded your e-address, in response to my request that she find someone I might hire to do some Langford research in your area. (Thanks, Jenny, by copy of this letter, for connecting me to Linette.)

“I recently saw information about some Langford/Lankfords, of Milledgeville, Georgia, with some indication that they might be related to my Lankfords (now spelled Langford) who hail from Crab Orchard, Kentucky and other “southern” environs.

“I hope I am not sending you on a goose chase, but thought it worth at least a search of early Milledgeville records to see if there might be some connections.

“I did a Google search today, using key words “Milledgeville” and “Lankford” and came up with quite a few “hits,” including this intriguing reference:

“Legal and economic criteria for the taxation of business in Milledgeville, Georgia: Prepared for the city of Milledgeville, Georgia (Unknown Binding)by C. Lankford Walker

“This is happenstance, but I did do a double take, as my ancestor is a mirror-image “Walker Lankford,” and it seems likely that my Walker got his name from a family surname.

“Here is my line of Langfords, as recorded in my database, though it is relatives of theirs I would be looking for in Milledgeville. (I venture to say I have done little original research on the Langfords, so most of what I have is from others in the family.)

“My mother, who died 7 Mar 2005, was Ida-Rose Langford Hall. She was an active genealogist and, by every indication, she is still beating bushes on the other side, helping further ‘the Search.’ If you lose any sleep over this, you can blame her, as she will definitely haunt, if there is something worth finding, in your part of the country. 🙂

“Her father, Ernest Fountain Langford, was the son of James Harvey Langford, Jr. (m. Rose Ellen Jackson). His parents were:

“James Harvey Langford, Sr. (m. Mary Caroline Turnbaugh). His parents were:

“Fielding Langford, b. 24 Oct 1804 in Crab Orchard, Lincoln, KY, d. 8 Aug 1882, in Idaho. He and his wife (Sarah Bethurem, b. abt 1809 in Mt. Vernon, Rockcastle, KY, d. 12 Nov 1863 in Willow Creek,, Utah, of an insect bite), were first LDS converts in the line and crossed the plains, as Mormon Pioneers. Fielding’s parents were:

“Walker Lankford, veteran of the Indian wars and a carpenter, b. abt. 1769, of Lincoln County, KY, d. 1848 in Harrison, Clay, Indiana. He m. Mary or “Polly” Warren, of Alabama (d. aft 1848, of Clay County, Indiana, dau. of Charles Warren and _____?)

“I have Walker’s children as:

“Fielding (m. Sarah Bethurem, ch. James Harvey, John Fountain, Fielding, Larkin, Mary Margaret, Matilda, Frances or “Frankie” Cynthia (m. Joel church 25 May 1825 in Pulaski Co., KY–all ch. born there or in Indiana)
Francis (m. James Bethurem, both b. in Pulaski Co. KY, d. in Indiana)
Mary/Polly (m. Elias Cooprider on 13 Oct 1832 in Clay County, Indiana)
Walker (m. and divorced Roxanne Thomas)
Harvey (m. Delilah Cooprider, 4 ch. before Harvey d. in Civil War. A possible connection to my father’s Hall line is that his dau. Mary/Polly Langford m. Joseph Lane FRANCIS)
Melinda (m. Henry Cooprider 20 Dec 1837, in Harrison, Clay, Ind).
Sarah (m. Jesse Lee Church–only have one son for them, Harvey Pleasant
Larkin (m. Abagail Van Meter)

“Walker Langford/Lankford’s parents were:

“Joseph Lankford, b. abt 1745 [now amended to abt. 1731–shb], in VA or NC, of Lincoln County, KY, d. 1785 (m. Mary ______ (immigrant), who d. aft 17 Aug 1787, of , Lincoln, KY and NC. [Note: Joseph Lankford’s approximate birth has been since amended, per this correspondence of 24 Jan 2006 from Shiron Langford, who was copied in to this: “The one thing that I can see immediately that seems wrong to me is Joseph Langfor’s birth year. As Barry Wood has pointed out, Joseph Langford received a certificate in Caroline County, VA, in 1752, for returning a runaway slave. Were he born in 1745, he would have been a seven-year-old child at the time the slave was returned. Capturing and returning a slave at age seven seems a bit too precocious, even for a Langford. Barry Wood argues for a birth year of 1731, and I think his argument is sound”–shb.

[ABOUT JOSEPH’S WIFE MARY: I also insert here more from Shiron’s letter of 24 Jan 2006: ” . . . This past weekend, I was in touch with a gentleman researching original tax records and land grants in what was once Lincoln County, KY. This gentleman assured me there is evidence that Mary Langford, Joseph’s wife, died about 1797 or 98. In 1798, John Farris was appointed the legal guardian of Sally Langford, who was a child of Joseph and Mary Langford. John Farris was married to Jenny Langford, another daughter of Joseph and Mary. The logical conclusion to be drawn from that guardianship is that Jenny and John assumed responsibility for the minor child of Jenny’s parents, at her mother’s death. I haven’t found any indication that Joseph was ever in North Carolina, although he did own property in Pittsylvania County, VA that was situated adjacent to the North Carolina state line.” –shb 30 Jan 2006]

“Joseph Lankford’s children are outlined, in this letter’s attachment (as sent to me this Sunday, by Shiron Wordsworth, with this note: “Here’s the family of Joseph Langford. I got this from Martha Langford Green. So far I haven’t found anything to contradict this list and much that supports it”). THANK YOU, Shiron and Martha!

“I only list this information to provide a framework [the rest was research suggestions, instructions]

“Sherlene H. Bartholomew”

BARRY WOOD RESEARCH: In response to a letter from Allen Leigh (descendant of Isaac Fielding Langford, son of James Harvey, Sr.), forwarded by my cousin David Langford (son of Uncle Ernest Fount Langford), in which Allen told us about his new Langford website. We referred him to my brother David Richard Hall’s site [learning, subsequently, that both their databases were based on information from Ida-Rose L. Hall]. Encouraging the two Davids tol merge enterprises, my brother-in-law Barry D. Wood, wrote this, updating Allen (and all of us) with his knowledge of the Langford Quest, e-mail received by shb on Labor Day, September 1, 2003:

“Allen —

“Thanks for the note about your website. I understand that you’re just getting started with it. We look forward to greater things.

“I assume you have my mother in law’s book, which provides a very good basis from which to work on the earlier generations. She has Fielding connected with his father Walker Langford, of course, and Walker tied in with his father Joseph Langford in Kentucky. What threw my mother in law off the track was the family story that Joseph’s son Joseph was born in North Carolina (suggesting that Joseph was living in Carolina at the time). This story could be precisely accurate, but there is no surviving first hand account by Joseph himself saying anything of the sort, or any contemporaneous document to my knowledge that places Joseph in NC. We’re dealing with family memories put down on paper a century later.

“I found some postings on about the Lankfords in Virginia to add to what I had found in records of Caroline County and other places. I’d like to share these with you, if you want, for the website. Unfortunately, I can’t supply you with the whole set at this instant.

“When I was at the Family History Library last winter, I copied a lot of entries from printed abstracts of the Caroline County records, but the state of my filing is such that I can’t put my fingers on them right now. I have this bad attitude that I’m so far behind on my own lines that I’ll let my bride — the senior Langford descendant -in this household – maintain the files on her families. Thus, I tend to simply leave the Langford papers in a pile for her to deal with. Probably she could retrieve this material in moment for me, but right now she’s out getting Roland set up with his school supplies.

“Anyway, these various shreds of evidence led to the tentative conclusion that Joseph was likely a brother of James, Stephen and Benjamin Langford / Lankford, and that all four had come from Caroline County to Pittsylvania County, Virginia. It’s suggested that other Langfords who lived in the Pittsyvlania County area at various times were additional brothers.

“When the Virginia State Library put its land patents online, I looked in the database and was surprised to find that Joseph had a patent for a tract in Pittsylvania County. Other researchers had looked only at the county deed records and mistakenly thought (from those) that Joseph didn’t own any land there. I’m not sure why the county deed books contain no record of the disposition of the property. Often people didn’t record deeds because they wanted to save the fee imposed for recordation. Possibly one could figure out what happened by going to the locus in quo and figuring out who owns it now … and working backward from that in the chain of title to ascertain who bought it from Joseph when he left for Kentucky.

“An extreme example of this is a deed recorded in 1872 in Bucks County, Pa. that my 5th great grandfather William Hatcher had executed in 1726 or 1727. It recited the chain of ownership of the land back to William Penn — in which chain were William’s father Joseph Thatcher (that’s not a typo; William DID change his name to drop the initial letter of the name he was born with) and Joseph’s father Richard Thatcher.

“Getting back to the Lankfords, there’s no doubt but that Joseph lived in Pittsylvania County (in addtition to owning the land there) because he signed an oath of allegiance to the American cause there — which list of signers is also available online. I copied it and pasted it into my attached potpourri of Pittsylvania County stuff.

“(Cuidado — many have WRONGLY assumed that this loyalty oath was to King George III and that Joseph was a Tory. NOT SO! Just the opposite. A person could join the DAR based on this oath, in my opinion.)

“Anyway, the legal description of the property shows that it was ADJACENT to the North Carolina line. So I think the family story just got a little garbled. In reality, Walker was likely born “next to” North Carolina rather than “in” North Carolina. I have not found any record of Joseph owning any land in NC. Nevertheless, it’s possible that he was hanging out with some other relative in NC when Walker was born, and later moved to the land he patented.

“Note that the patent was normally issued AFTER a warrant was granted and the land surveyed. Often this process took a number of years, so you most usually find that the pioneer in question was living on the land or at least working to clear it for around three to five years before the patent issued. Sometimes I have found cases where the patent was issued decades after the original settlement.

“With this email please find a WordPerfect attachment, which represents some items I was folding last winter into a catch-all of documents relating to the Langfords’ sojourn in SW Virginia. This includes the list of signers o the loyalty oath mentioned above, and a worksheet sort of family group outline prepared by Martha Green. The one note of caution I would sound with respect to the worksheet is on the proposition that Joseph Langford was born about 1745.

“In my view, he was born no later than 1731. In the book “Colonial Caroline,” which is at BYU and many other libraries, you’ll find on page 336 a note that in the order book for the fall term of court in 1752 it’s recorded that Joseph Lankford was granted a certificate for capture of a runaway slave named Manager [Manger?] owned by Joseph Corbin of Essex County. The court didn’t grant such certificates to seven year old boys, even if at that tender age they were so astute as to capture a runaway slave on their own. The asset represented by the certificate would have been granted to a legal guardian of an under age minor. Catching a runaway was challenging work for a young man in the prime of his physical strength. (There’s no point here in digressing into how my Quaker ancestors would have disapproved of such activity.)

“Also, on page 491 of Colonial Caroline, you’ll find the entry noting that in 1764 Joseph was appointed guardian for Joseph, Nicholas and Richard Bridges, children of Morgan Bridges. The suggestion here would be that Morgan had died leaving three “orphan” children, whose nearest male relative may have been Joseph Lankford, possibly their mother’s brother. (Note that Mr. Bridges & his wife gave two of the three boys names that appear in the Lankford family at that time.) Joseph may have been young when he was named guardian of these children, but it would be legally impossible for the court to vest that authority in a 19 year old. Joseph simply HAS to have been older than that (unless there was another, older Joseph Lankford who vanished upon assuming the role of guardian).

“Numerous records of Caroline County were burned, I think in the Civil War, but the order books survived. These form the basis for the publication “Colonial Caroline.” However, you often find somewhat more detail in the actual order book entries than in the book ‘Colonial Caroline.’ That’s why I’m vexed that I can’t locate the pages I copied from the published verbatim transcriptions of the order books.

“Anyway, when they do show up, I’ll let you know.

“Do not assume that the Wilson and Walker entries I have highlighted on the attachment are related at all. There’s a good chance that Joseph Langford’s wife or mother was a Walker because of the use of that surname as the given name of Joseph’s son who was your ancestor. But to my knowledge no one has found any proof of such a relationship, much less that the Walker family from whom Walker Langford derived his name were the same as those who were in Pittsylvania County at the time of Joseph Langford’s sojourn there. [I have since learned from Shi Wordsworth that there was a famous Virginian named “Walker,” after whom Joseph might have named a son–shb.]
“There’s even less of a chance that the Wilsons of Pittsylvania County are tied in with your ancestor Henry Wilson, founder of Wilson’s Station, Ky. But I highlighted their names on the attached paper just in case.

. . . . “Barry Wood” –shb 1 Sep 2003

LANGFORD CHARACTERISTICS: In my mother Ida-Rose Langford Hall’s book, “Progenitors and Descendants of Fielding Langford” (being posted on-line by our Langford webmaster, Allen Leigh), she lists a number of distinctly Langford characteristics that have been fortified with her years of finding and working with other Langfords, doing family genealogy. I’m not sure multi-tasking was one she named, though she certainly tuned in to the gregarious, talkative part, per this note to shb, 12 Feb 2006, from Shiron Wordsworth (who is descended from Rockcastle Kentucky Langfords, though we have not yet proved a connection):”You are very welcome! [She sent me some Langford slave schedules–shb.] The only thing better than filing dead Langfords on a Sunday afternoon is spending time with living ones. A California Langford cousin I didn’t even know existed until a year ago was in San Antonio today. I got to have lunch with him and his wife. Langfords don’t need to actually know one another before they meet. They have always known one another, somehow. From the first hug and hello, the conversation was non-stop. There were times when all three of us were talking at once, and what’s so amazing is that we all heard, understood, and answered one another without pausing for a single breath. Langford genes are fantastic at multi-tasking! The world should clone all Langfords!

“Glad you enjoyed the information and the picture! Shi” –shb 13 Feb 2006

EARLY CONDITIONS: I asked Shiron Wordsworth if she knew what kinds of fruit were on early Rockcastle County trees (for a column I was writing), and she asked her friend, “The Colonel” (doesn’t want her to give out his name), since he would know more about it. His response, 15 Feb 2006: “They may have been able to find some kind of wild fruit but I don’t know what it would be. I’m sure the Indians didn’t have any fruit trees. There would have been a lot of wild berries, like blackberries and blueberries. And there was a native tree in that area called Sarvis (don’t know how to spell it) that grew delicious berries. Grandpa showed me one on our land. (Wonder if it’s still there) They may have planted apple seeds but that would have taken years to bear fruit. There may have been wild peaches but that would not be a good area for growing peaches.” –shb 16 Feb 2006

1723–A JOSEPH LANKFORD IN SOMERSET COUNTY MARYLAND: As posted on, accessed 221 Mar 2005 by shb:

“Tax List of Somerset County [no Lankfords in this paragraph–shb] – 1723 Tithables Belonging to Pocomoke Hundred (Number of slaves/total number of taxables)(Incomplete list-only persons pertinent to Riggin genealogy)
Elizab’th Townsend, Jams. Townsend, negro 1/2 David Shockley/1 Even Laws negro 1 Francis Otwell, Chas. Otwell Jno Bivens negro 1 Ben]a. Houston, Joseph Davis negro 1/3 Bivens Morris/1 Joseph Ward/1 Rand’ll Smullens, Thos Vallens/2 Ambrose Rigen, Ambrose Rigen, Wm Boneam/3 Mr. Wm Whittington, negros 5/5 Arthur Warwick/1 Robt Harris, negros 2/3 Teague Riggin, negro 1/2 Caleb Harris/2 Nath’ll Davis, Lazarus Davis/2 Richard Knight, Joseph Rigen, Mr. Southey Whittington, negros 4/5 Jno Harris, Thos Truet/? We Donohow/1 Edward Dickeson, Cornelius Dickeson, Edmund Dickeson, negros 2/5 Jno Townsend, senr, Wrixham Townsend, Littleton Townsend, negro 1/4 Chas. Townsend, Chas. Townsend, Jno. Townsend/3 Jno Townsend Junr/1 Dan’ll Townsend, negro 1/2 Thos: Dukes/1 Jno Broughton, Philip Parker/2 Thos Evans, Nath’ll Evans/2 Som.set(?) Dickeson, Jno White, 1/? Peter Dickeson, Peter Dickeson, Abram: Dickeson, Teague Dickeson,negro 1/5 Sam’ll Rigen, negro 1/2 Teague Mathews/1 Elizabeth Rigen, Th: Rigen, negro 2/3 Jno Rigen, . . /3 (entry obliterated) ~ …Jun/1 (John Rigen) Jno Mathews, Sam’ll Mathews, Jams. Dickeson/1 Tho: Adams, Tho: Adams, Philip Adams, … Brittingham, John Brittingham/1 [Next paragraph–shb]:

1723–ON SOMERSET COUNTY, MARYLAND TAX LIST? “[LANKFORDS CAPITALIZED BY SHB]: A List of the taxables of Anomesex Hundred Taken – July 1723 (Incomplete list-only persons pertinent to Riggin genealogy:)

John Oton(Oden), negro Dick/2 Thomas Madox, Alexander Madox, Thomas Madox/3 John Conor/1 Philip Conor/1 Thomas Word (Ward), James Word, Stephen Word/3 John Starling/i Hopkin Word, negro Jerry, negro Samuel Word, She. .y(?), negro/2 Jonathan Cotingim, Thomas Linsey/2 David Adams/1 Edmon Beachom/1 Will Lisher (Lister?)/I Jeffery Long, William Long, John Layton, Cato, negro/4 Cornelos Word, Cornelos Word Junr/2 (Ward) Thomas Sumurs, Jonathen Sumurs/2 Jeramiah Heris /1 John Eavens /1 Stephen Horsey, William Revull(?), negro Coy(?), negro Horsy/4 Thomas Prior/I Sarah Davis wido, John Davis, Thomas Davis, negro Sambo, negro Harsy, Negro cox(?), negro Jany/6 Thomas Stockwell, John Waler/2 Marget Somurs wido, Isac Somurs(?), Thomas Sumurs/2 John Sumers(?), Jonathan Williams, Lopes negro/3 Robert Dise/1 James Ward/1 JOSEPH LANKFORD, WILLIAM LANKFORD, John Bosmon/3 Daniel Long, Solomon Long/8 Isaac Horsey, Isaac Borsmon John Riging, negro Darkus/4 Nathaniel Horsey, John Mott, Cate negro, negro Ned/4 Charls. Cotingim, negro Robin/2 Randolph Long, Samuel Mashell/2 James Davis/1 John Rigen/1 Michael Holland Junr, Constable.” –shb 21 Mar 2005

A JOSEPH LANKFORD IN MARYLAND OR DELAWARE? It was not quite clear to me on this site where the land listings were, as listed at, accessed 21 Mar 2005 by shb, but it appears that it was Sussex County, Delaware, a large part of which got annexed to Maryland:

“The maps in the back are great. The boundaries of each tract are shown so you can see exactly where each person lived. Here’s an example of a listing for a tract [full caps of Lankford names mine–shb] :


“Patented on 10 March 1677 by Thomas COTTINGHAM for 200 acres in Brinkleys, southwest, Election district 3, map #14.

“16 Oct. 1708 Charles COTTINGHAM and Ann COTTINGHAM sold 14 acres to Jonathan COTTINGHAM

“19 March 1718 Charles COTTINGHAM and wife Ann COTTINGHAM sold 75 acres to Jonathan COTTINGHAM.

“Rent Rolls 1666-1723 Charles COTTINGHAM son of Thomas COTTINGHAM, 200 acres

“1 Nov. 1723 Jonathan COTTINGHAM and Margaret COTTINGHAM of Sussex Co. Del. sold to JOSEPH LANKFORD 89 acres

“4 Sept. 1742 Charles COTTINGHAM gave to son Thomas COTTINGHAM balance

“19 March 1746 Thomas COTTINGHAM, Jr. and wife Mary COTTINGHAM sold 9 acres to JOSEPH LANKFORD (part called TROUBLESOME)

“1783 tax – David COTTINGHAM 35 acres

1728-1729–BIRTH: From note by Barry D. Wood to Allen Leigh, 16 Jan 2006, copied to shb: “Allen–In my opinion, Joseph Langford’s birth HAS to be well before 1745, probably closer to 1735, if not earlier. He wouldn’t show up, acting for himself as an adult in the Caroline County (Virginia) order books around 1760, if he were still a minor.” –shb 27 Feb 2006 [Note to shb, from Shiron Wordsworth, 24 Mar 2006: “I thought I sent you this a while back, but maybe I didn’t. I think it defines Joseph’s age even better and pushes his birth date back to at least 1728 [Shi is speaking of Joseph Lankford, our earliest known Kentucky Langford ancestor–shb.] This information comes from a posting at It was posted by “a sharp” (ID*****7504). I don’t know who ‘sharp’ is, but I think this is sharp thinking for sure.

“Without giving all the details, sharp quotes from The Caroline County Order Book 1746-1754. The court date of this proceeding is Thursday, 11 July 1751. In a petition brought by William Johnston, executor of Samuel Coleman, Benjamin and Joseph Langford were ordered to pay a debt owed Coleman with interest, the interest to begin the 12th day of March 1749 until the debt was paid. Sharp says that this document does not prove any relationship between Benjamin and Joseph, but it does prove that they were of age by 12 March 1749, when they entered into a contract with Mr. Coleman. Had they not been of age by that date, the contract could not have been enforced in court. So…this means that both men had to have been born on or before 12 March 1728/29. They could certainly have been born before that date but definitely not after that date.” [See notes of John D. Lankford (m. Elizabeth Rock), ID 61910, and William A. Lankford, ID 66691–doing farm labor for the William D. Coleman family and living next door to Elizabeth’s widower father, James Rock–shb.] Are these Langfords/Colemans connected to those in this court case Shiron Wordsworth details, above? Granted, it’s over a century later, but “birds fly together” and all that–shb.] –shb 24 Mar 2006

ABT 1745 [AMMENDED, SINCE, TO 1728-1729–SHB]–BIRTH IN SOUTH CAROLINA? From e-letter by my brother-in-law, Barry Wood, to Sherrie Pierce, new cousin, who contacted us, via our Fielding Langford site:

“The little Langford/Lankford research that I have done has focused on the family’s early history, in this state. The Virginia State Library has put the records of the state land office online. (These were among the few papers housed in Richmond that were not torched at the close of the Rebellion.) They show that Joseph Langford obtained a grant of a tract in Pittsylvania County (near or perhaps in Danville) that was smack up against the N. Carolina state line. I think that this is the origin of the story that Walker Langford was born in North Carolina … However, they had kin over onto the North Carolina side of the line, and I suppose that it’s possible that Joseph & family were there at the time of Walker’s birth.

“A James Langford, who may have been a brother of Joseph–or possibly even his father, had a grant of land on the South Fork of the Mayo River in 1748. At the time, this would have been part of Lunenburg or Mecklenberg County, but if you look at a map you’ll see that the Mayo River is only in what’s now Patrick County or the southwestern corner of Henry County (formed from western Pittsylvania County in 1777). A few years later, a James Lankford (probably the same person) is buying land on the north side of Dan River, in North Carolina. I suspect this property was in what’s now Stokes County, but until I can find where ‘Mackey’s Creek’ was I won’t be able to say for sure.

“At some point during the war or just after [See Shiron Wordsworth letter, below, setting the year they left for Kentucky as 1778–shb], they headed off for Kentucky. If you have perhaps read about the exploits of Col. Tarlton and other parts of the British Army in Carolina, you might keep open the possibility that the Lankfords went over the mountains before the end of the war to get out of the way of the marauding army of the King. My 5th great grandfather William Sale, of Wilkes County, NC (slightly southwest of where the Lankfords lived) was not so lucky. A member of the Wilkes militia, he was captured by the Brits and consigned to a prison ship in Charleston harbor, at age 61. The experience seems to have broken his health, as he died a few years later. Of course, Joseph didn’t find health & long life on the Kentucky frontier, as you know from my mother in law’s book [speaking of Mom Ida-Rose Langford Hall’s book, “Progenitors and Descendants of Fielding Langford”–shb.]

“Prior to the move to Pittsylvania, Joseph and his brothers lived in Caroline County, Virginia, site now of Camp A. P. Hill. Research there is hampered by the loss of the will and deed books. Only the order books have survived. Thus, it’s a rather speculative undertaking to flesh out the pedigree back from Joseph. At least one distant cousin (Martha Langford Green) believes that Joseph was a son of Nicholas Langford, though she has not shared documentation to support this.

“Side note to Sherlene — have you given any thought to encouraging those who still have the Langford surname to participate in the DNA study? This is mentioned at, e.g., <>
ml; also posts 1433 and 1436 on the lankford forum at <;. I think it would be interesting to know if you match up with the descendants of James, Benjamin and Nicholas
Langford/Lankford. [We did, with help of my cousin, Julie Langford Peterson, get my uncle, Ernest Fount Langford to provide a sample for the “Sorensen project”–shb.]

“Barry” –shb 12 Dec 2005

PARENTS OF ALBERMARLE, VIRGINIA? Note forwarded to shb, 14 Aug 2004, by cousin David E. Langford: “Please look at the link below [link not included–I wrote for it 14 Aug–shb]. I think you will find that Fielding is the son of Walker Langford, who is the son of Joseph Langford, who is the son of either Newton, George, or Wilchester [sic–shb] Langford of Albermarle VA. My direct ancestor was major West Langford. We have the heritage traced back to 1700.

“Feel free to email me. My name is Jim Hendershot. My mother’s maiden name was [protected] whose father was [protected]. –shb 14 Aug 2004

MORE ABOUT ALBERMARLE, VIRGINIA LANGFORDS: Letter from Jim Hendershot, forwarded to shb by cousin David E. Langford, later on 14 Aug 2004:

“David, I don’t have the name Walker listed in my documentation but we only traced my mother’s side of the lineage.

“My theory is that we have traced the lineage to Major Langford, and traditional family history says he was killed at Concord NH in the first battle of the American Revolution.

“Major, had three sons, Sheffield, who was killed in the war, Carlton, who was also killed in the war and Anderson who survived.

“I would say we were all related to Major and Anderson. Anderson had four sons, Major West, Newton, George, and Wilchester. We know that our lineage goes back to Major West who was born around 1750. He was the oldest of the eight children.

“The Langford family is enumerated in the 1790 census in Albermarle County Virginia.

“According to your documentation I saw on your website, you show your family moving from Albermarle County and moving to Kentucky. Seeing that you estimate that Joseph was born around 1750 that would put him in the same time frame as Major West Langford.

“My Great Aunt Rita died two weeks ago Sunday at age 96, but she recorded two cassette tapes in 1998 on the family history. She did mention that some of the Langfords had moved west and became Mormon, but she did not exactly know when or which relatives they were.


“I have included the link to the document I am quoting from.

“I hope this helps. I did not have a hand in the making of this document but it does follow the family history as it has been passed down.

“I will be in touch shortly with a great cousin of mine who has been researching this for many years. His mother was my great aunt who just passed away. I will keep in touch with any new information I come up with.


“Jim Hendershot” –shb 14 Aug 2004

LINCOLN COUNTY: According to a map on the front cover of Lincoln Co. Kentucky Wills and Estates 1781-1807, by Charles M. Franklin, in 1780 Lincoln County covered nearly half the south and west portions of the entire state. It shows a very tiny (darkened) Lincoln County, as it stood, by contrast, in 1807. Counties surrounding the shrunk county are shown as Casey, Pulaski, Rockcastle, Laurel, Madison, Carraro, and Mercer. –shb 15 Oct 2004

ONLY ONE JOSEPH LANGFORD IN LINCOLN (PULASKI), KENTUCKY: From note by Barry D. Wood to Allen Leigh, 16 Jan 2006, copied to shb: ” . . . There was only one Joseph Langford in Lincoln County (that part now Pulaski County) Kentucky, in its early settlement. Following Joseph’s death in 1785, first his widow Mary appeared on the local tax lists (1787). Then men who must be Joseph’s sons appeared, as they came of age (or as it became more difficult to convince the tax man that they were still minors). First, there’s Benjamin in 1788, then Stephen in 1789, and Walker in 1790. I think it’s very likely that Larkin Langford (who married Rachel Tucker in 1796, in Lincoln County) was another son of Joseph, but at a minimum, one has to include Joseph Langford, Jr. (the only son named in his father’s will). As to daughters, one would certainly list the three for whom Mary (______) Langford granted her consent to their marriages:

“Jenny (md Johnson Ferris 13 Aug 1787), Ann (md Elisha Ferris 25 June 1794) and Sarah (md Cornelius Gatliff 25 Feb 1800). It’s probable that Mary (=Polly) Langford, who married James Gatliff in Gerrard County in March 1802, is a fourth daughter, but as she was of age at the time of her marrige, no parental consent was required.” –shb 27 Feb 2006

SIMILAR CHILDREN’S NAMES/WERE WEST, JOSEPH, AND BENJAMIN LANGFORD BROTHERS? “The Descendants and Progenitors of Fielding Langford,” compiled and edited by Ida-Rose Langford Hall (1970, 2003): “Notice the similarity in the names of Benjamin’s children (Benjamin and Stephen) to the names in the marriage and tax lists in Kentucky. Were they the same individuals? I thought so until I found the marriages of the children of Benjamin Langford in Pittsylvania County, Virginia. The children of Joseph Langford (his supposed brother, that is) were getting married about the same time as the children of Benjamin Lankford in Pittsylvania. I wonder if it is possible that West Langford, Joseph Langford, and Benjamin Langford were brothers. Incidentally, Benjamin Langford, who married Nancy Peyton, in Lincoln County, Kentucky, named one of his sons ‘Stephen.'” –shb 8 Apr 2006

ABT 1765–MARRIAGE TO MARY? I had Joseph’s marriage to Mary as “Abt. 1787”, but note that it is given as “1765,” as posted on, accessed 9 Oct 2004 by shb. At least one account says the marriage took place in Scotland, but I have seen no documentation to confirm that. –shb
MARRIED IN CAROLINE COUNTY? Excerpt from e-letter of Barry D. Wood to Allen Leigh, copied to shb 6 Mar 2004: “All indications are that Joseph was already married when he moved to Pittsylvania County. Thus, the likelihood is that he found his wife, whatever her maiden name, in or near Caroline County. Maybe I’ll post a blurb on Genforum asking if anyone knows about Walkers there. Barry” –shb 6 Mar 2004

CHILDREN: In her Fielding Langford book, my mother, Ida-Rose Langford Hall, lists these children for Joseph and Mary: Walker, b. 1769, m. Mary Warren (with a question mark that Walker is their son); Ann (under 18 in 1794) m. Elisha Ferrin 25 Jun 1794; Sarah (Sally), under age 18 in 1800, m. Cornelius Gatliff on 25 Feb 1800; Joseph, a minor in 1785; and Jenny (minor in 1785, m. Johnson Ferris 13 Aug 1787). Mom also left a note that Mary Langford signed consent at their marriages (since they were minors) for daughters Ann, Sally, and Jenny. –shb 10 Oct 2004

1771–BRINGS PETITION AGAINST JAMES GEORGE AND OTHERS AT SAME TIME A BENJAMIN LANKFORD IS INVOLVED IN TRANSACTIONS INVOLVING BENJAMIN LANKFORD AND SEVERAL FARRISES: As posted by Marty Grant, on a site about “John George and Frances ____ of Caroline, Pittsylvania, and Halifax County, Virginia and Greene County, Georgia,” is this series of entries (see notes of Benjamin Lankford, ID 66896, for other entries involving Benjamin and the Farrises–this is the only entry I found involving Joseph–shb):

“On the same date (28 Jul 1770) James George and BENJAMIN LANKFORD were jointly sued for debt by Joseph Dejernat. (Pittsylvania Co, VA Court Minutes Book 1 page 218).

“Also on the same date (28 Jul 1770), James and BENJAMIN were sued by Charles Rice for debt. Also sued by THOMAS FARRIS for debt, and also by JAMES FARRIS (each in a separate case). (Pittsylvania Co, VA Court Minutes Book 1 page 218).

“On the same date (28 Jun 1771) JOSEPH LANKFORD also brought a petition against James George, as did Robert Weakly and Elisha Dyer and Isaac Clement, each in separate cases. (Pittsylvania Co, VA Court Minutes Book 1 page 302).

“On 4 Dec 1775 John George of Carolina Co, VA (James’ father) sold James George 200 acres on the South side of the North Fork of Allen’s Creek in Pittsylvania Co, VA, for 60 pounds. The land was bounded by Luke Smith, John Pemberton, Peter Bowman, and William Bowman Jr. Witnesses were BENJAMIN LANKFORD, Jonadab George (James’ cousin) and Nathaniel Pope. There is a possibility that this deed was not from James’ father John, but from his brother John George instead, if he had moved back to Caroline Co, VA. (Pittsylvania Co, VA Deed Book 4 page 179).” –shb 6 Apr 2006

1777–WILLIAM EAST LAND BORDERS THAT OF JOSEPH LANKFORD–IS SOLD TO WILLIAM WYATT: Chronology for life of John Esom Farris (brother of Johnson, who married Jenny Lankford, daughter of Joseph and Mary _____), posted at , accessed 8 Apr 2006, by shb: “16 Oct 1777 Halifax Co. VA, DB 10, p. 329: William East of Henry County, to William Wyatt of the County of Prince William, for 100 pounds, one certain tract of land in Halifax on the branches of Brush Cr. joining the lines of Dudley Glass, John Farris, Joseph Lankford and James Farris, about 118 acres bounded by Jno. Farris. Signed: William (A his mark) East. Wit: Joshua Stone, Robert Weakly, John (x his mark) Welch. Rec. 16 Oct 1777.” –shb 8 Apr 2006

WERE THE LANKFORDS TORIES? See paper, “The First Civil War,” mailed to me (arrived 27 May 2005) by my Uncle Ernest Fount Langford. I saw him on May 5 at the wedding of his daughter, my cousin, Diane Langford (now Grubbs), and he started telling me how he found a Joseph Lankford and a Stephen Lankford on a list of Tories, and he would mail me the information. I have retyped it under the heading “TORIES?” near the end of these PAF notes, below. –shb 27 May 2005

1777–SIGNED “OATH OF ALLEGIANCE”: “Joseph Lankford” is named on “Lankford’s List,” in Pittsylvahia County Oaths of Allegiance, as posted at , accessed 7 Apr 2006, by shb. Also named for signing, on a separate list, is “Benjamin Lankford” (relationship to Joseph now unknown–see Benjamin’s notes, for this list). Those who refused to sign were so noted in separate (very short) lists, and I saw no Lankfords on these:

“Oaths of Allegiance – 1777 Pittsylvania County, VA,” copy done by Cynthia Hubbard Headen (Magazine of VA Genealogy, v.23, #1 (Feb.1985), transcribed by Marian Dodson Chiarito. These lists were taken from a typewritten copy found in the Clerk’s Office, Pittsylvania County, at Chatham, Virginia. The two following affidavits found attached to the copy are self- explanatory [these are certifications of clerks in 1930 and 1939 who attest that these lists are accurate to the best of their “knowledge and belief”–shb]. Besides documenting that Joseph signed the “Oath,” this list is an interesting compilation of neighbors, friends, and probable relatives of those who signed. Benjamin Lankford (connection to Joseph not yet established) also signed the “Oath” on a separate list (see his notes):

“Lankford’s List
John Ballinger
John Barrett, Jr.
John Bay, Jr.
William Betterton
John Brewer
James Buckley
John Buckley
Francis Chumley
John Cleaver
Stephen Collins
Soloman Cross
John Dickerson
William Doss
Abraham Downey
Peter Downey
Elisha Dyer
Charles Farris, Jr.
James Farris, Jr. [brother of Johnson, who m. Jenny, d/o Joseph and Mary ____ Lankford–shb]
Joseph Farris, Jr.
Joseph Farris, Sen.
Thomas Farris, Sen.

[These Farrises are probably connected to the Johnson or “John” Faris who married Jenny or “Jean” Lankford, daughter of my ancestor Joseph (who signed, below) and his wife Mary–shb.]

Robert Ferguson
James George
John George
John George

[Both Benjamin and Joseph Lankford (relationship not now known) were involved in many transactions involving the George family, in Pittsylvania County (see Benjamin’s notes for detail–Benjamin also signed the “Oath of Allegiance” on a separate list)–shb.]

Collins Hampton
Thomas Hampton
John Harness
James Harris, Sen.
William Harskins
James Henderson, Sen.
Thomas Henderson
Benjamin Hedrick
John Keezee
Geo. Landsdown
Joseph Lankford [I think this is my ancestor, Joseph, who married Mary _____.]
Franc. Luck
James Maybee
Henry Mitchell
Joseph Moody
Daniel Morgan
George Morgan
Francis Short
Joel Short
William Sizzer
John Stone
Joshua Stone
Rich. Todd [Richard Todd Jr. m. Mary, dau. of Benjamin Lankford, in 1780, in Pittsylvania County, Virginia–shb.]
Willm. Todd
Meshack Turner
Shadrick Turner
Abner Vance
Matthew Vance
Thos. Vaughan, Jr.
Thos. Vaughan, Sr.
Willm. Vaughan
John Whelock
R. Williams
L.C. Wilkin
John Wyatt” –shb 7 Apr 2006
1778–HEADS FOR KENTUCKY? Letter of 1 Feb 2006 from Shiron Wordsworth, who is corresponding with a researcher of Rockcastle County court records (who for now prefers to remain anonymous, so she calls him “The Colonel”). He, in turn, calls her “Rowdy,” for reasons that escape us both:

“Well, girlfriend, the Colonel didn’t get a single shot of the entire length of the gun [talking about a rifle possessed by the Colonel that was gunsmithed by Stephen Langford2, son of Benjamin (m. Nancy Peyton), son of the original Stephen1, who settled Rockcastle County (and his 1st wife, name unknown). I had begged for photos, and Shi got permission and forwarded them today, as attached to Stephen 2’s media file–shb.] But you will have some idea about it anyway. Here’s the latest commentary he sent on our ancestors. I just received it not five minutes ago. This is in response to his musings over why Joseph failed to produce heirs in 1778, and to my insistence that every fact needs a paper trail.

“‘Mary had a young’un every year from 1776 to 1781, except for 1778. I say she was so busy packing for the trip and tending to them other rug rats that she didn’t have time for old Joseph in 1778.

“‘As to old Joseph, he was so busy packing for the trip, herding livestock, mending broken wagon wheels and protecting his scalp in the wilderness, that he couldn’t concentrate on his Mary.

“‘Yep, there’s my paper trail; they headed for Ky in 1778.

“Langfords are more fun that shaved ice in Hawaii.

“Have to send these pics one at a time. I have to peddle too hard to send two at a time.

“Rowdy” [See media file of Stephen’s son Benjamin for more photos she sent today (of the Colonel’s rooster, named Rambo that lives in a doghouse with a night light–REALLY!]

1780–JOSEPH LANKFORD IS “OF HALIFAX” COUNTY, VIRGINIA: “15 Dec 1780 Halifax Co. VA, DB 12, p. 121: he & Isaac Grant were boundaries in deed of Joseph Lankford of Halifax to William Williams of Henry Co. Joshua Stone wit. Rec. 21 Jun. 1781.

1781–BENJAMIN LANKFORD IS OF PITTSYLVANIA COUNTY, VIRGINIA: 1 Jan 1781 Halifax Co. VA, DB 12, p. 114: Wit. deed of Benjamin Lankford of Pittsylvania Co. VA to Thomas Kersey of Halifax. Rec. 21 Jun 1781.


1787–JOSEPH’S WIDOW MARY GIVES CONSENT FOR DAUGHTER JEAN [OR “JENNY”] TO MARRY JOHNSON FARRIS: On 17 Aug 1787, two years after Joseph died, a Jean Lankford married Johnson Faris. Mary Lankford is listed as the mother/parent. I have a “Jenny” daughter for Joseph and Mary and think this Jean may be that same child, but seek additional verification. –shb 10 Oct 2004


1788–NO SON BENJAMIN, BUT A NEPHEW BORN: From e-letter to shb by Barry Wood, 30 Jan 2006: “It seems likely to me [based on information forwarded 29 Jan 2006, from Shiron Wordsworth, by her research contact, about an 1811 lawsuit against Stephen Langford–shb] that the Stephen born in 1788 was the son of the Benjamin Langford who first appears on the Lincoln County tax lists that year . . . i.e., the same person as the Benjamin Langford who had married (by bond, 2 Feb. 1787) Nancy Peyton, the previous year. We have thought that this Benjamin was perhaps Joseph’s son, but based on the pleasings, this must be wrong. Instead, he’s evidently a nephew.” –shb 30 Jan 2006

BORN/DIED YOUNG: [This account has been questioned as “garbled” by Langford family researchers, so beware about believing ANY of this until it is verified–shb.] Biography of James F. Lankford, from History of Clay County, Indiana, Vol. II, by William Travis, published in 1909, forwarded to shb by cousin Julie (Langford) Peterson, 2 Mar 2004: “On the paternal side he [speaking of James F. Lankford–shb] comes of sturdy Scotch ancestry [more likely English–shb], his great-grandfather [this would be Joseph–shb] having emigrated with his wife from Scotland to this country, settling in North Carolina, where Walker Lankford, the next in line of descent was born. Left an orphan at an early age [but not as an infant–see letter of Barry D. Wood, son Walker’s notes–shb], Walker Langford was bound out to a wood worker . . . .”(see son Walker’s notes for continuation, or notes of James F. Lankford for full text–shb). –shb 2 Mar 2004

IS JOSEPH STEPHEN LANGFORD’S BROTHER? [Referring to the Stephen1, the original settler in Rockcastle County, Kentucky]: From e-letter of response by Shiron Wordsworth to shb, 3 Feb 2006: It’s logical to assume a relationship between Joseph and Stephen, but we can’t even guess correctly until more work is done. Another possibility is that Stephen might have been Virginia Benjamin’s son and thus, Joseph’s nephew. But we have to rule out the presence of Benjamin’s Stephen in Virginia after 1782 to even move ahead with this possibility. I haven’t found any source that says that Joseph had a brother named Stephen, but I’ve come across several that say that Benjamin had a son named Stephen. There’s this to consider, too. If Joseph is older than what common lore says, Stephen might be Joseph’s son by a first marriage. That too is wild speculation. But I think that all those Virginia birth years for the Langfords need to be rethought. I think those Langfords were around longer than we suspected. Certainly now it’s beyond doubt that Rockcastle’s Stephen was born, at the very least, 22 years before what genealogies say.

“FREEBORN” BLACK NAMED “JOSEPH LANGFORD” AND WIFE SUSAN SERVE BAPTIST MISSION TO LIBERIA–FORMER MASTER A RELATIVE TO OUR ANCESTOR, JOSEPH LANGFORD? (See Chapter VII, “A Narrative of the Negro,” that mentions the Langfords in Liberia, chapter copied over, per authorization granted (for educational purposes), at the end of these notes. –shb 24 Mar 2006
NAMING PATTERNS IN THE SOUTH: Pattern, as forwarded to shb, 10 Jan 2006, by Kathryn Lones Pyles:

“Does anyone have any thoughts on naming children after paternal parents or maternal grandparents (English descent)?

“For example my great grandfather and great grandmother were James Elwood Foster and Jane Black, married in 1871, Willistown, Chester Co., Pa. They had 6 children: Benjamin, James, Wilhelmina, Mazie, Annie and Josephine.

“I do not know the names of the parents of James or Jane. As a practice, could any of these children be named after the grandparents. A possible lead to my brick walls?

“Also, the middle name of John is Elwood. Could Elwood be a connection to the past?


“Jim Foster” [response from unnamed person to above questions–I have placed in brackets the corresponding names in the family of Joseph and Mary Lankford, as compiled by Shiron Wordsworth, who says the birth order of thirteen children she has for Joseph Lankford is “in part” based on research by Martha Langford Green. Here is the applicable part of what Shi writes, 21 Jan 2006, after I forwarded the naming pattern, below:

“Hi Sherlene!

“I have Joseph’s children listed in the following birth order based, in part, on Martha Langford Green’s research.

“1. Benjamin [since discounted–see Shiron’s letter of 29 Jan 2006, below–shb]
2. Stephen [also discounted as son of Joseph–see Shiron’s letter of 29 Jan, below]
3. Walker [now, if following naming pattern, Walker would be named for paternal gfather]
4. Jenny [definitely confirmed as Joseph’s dau. in Shiron’s letter of 29 Jan–would be named after her paternal grandmother]
5. Levinah
6. Larkin
7. Thomas
8. Ivy (Ivey)
9. Ann
10. “Polly” Mary
11. Sally
12. Joseph
13. Sarah

“Oddly enough, Joseph didn’t seem to follow the Virginia folkways with regard to naming patterns nearly as closely as did the descendants of his two sons, Benjamin and Stephen. Generally a firstborn son was named for the paternal grandfather, and a second son after the father himself or the maternal grandfather. A firstborn daughter was named for the paternal grandmother. Beginning with Stephen’s son Liberty, you can follow this pattern with maddening regularity all the way down to 1912, when my grandmother was born and named after her maternal grandmother, Mary Ann Dameron Langford. She also had a cousin, the daughter of James Stephen “Tip” Langford who was named Mary Ann after the same grandmother!

“I’m in contact with a descendant of Joseph’s son, Benjamin Langford [who Shiron writes has since proved Benjamin is not Joseph’s son–shb], and the pattern of Benjamin’s descendants follows right along with their neighboring cousins in Rockcastle. Benjamin deviated from the pattern and apparently named his firstborn son after his brother, the Rockcastle Stephen.” [Now since disproved–maybe the naming pattern will come to fit, yet. Now, going back to the naming pattern Kathy Pyles forwarded–I’ve erased my projected names, in brackets, as some has already been disproved–shb]:

“* The first son was named after the father’s father. [ ]
* The second son was named after the mother’s father. [ ]
* The third son was named after the father. [ ]
* The fourth son was named after the father’s eldest brother. [ ]
* The first daughter was named after the mother’s mother. [ ]
* The second daughter was named after the father’s mother. [ ]
* The third daughter was named after the mother. [ ]
* The fourth daughter was named after the mother’s eldest sister, always [ ]
* The fifth daughter was named after the mother’s oldest sister or the father’s oldest sister [ ]

“* 2nd wife’s oldest daughter named after the first wife, using her full name.
* Children after those were usually named after a favorite relative with some possible exceptions: If a child died in infancy, a later child might be given that name.

“* When a newly ordained minister baptized his first child: If a boy, he would be named for the minister; If a girl, she would receive his surname as her middle name;

“* If a child were fostered, usually because of being orphaned, he may be named for the foster parent.

“It was also common to use the mother’s maiden name as a child’s middle name. In the South this was almost ‘gospel.’

“I hope it helps.

“Dee” –shb 11 Jan 2006

LOCAL LANKFORD/LANGFORD RELATIONSHIPS: From e-letter by Barry D. Wood to Sherrie Pierce, 10 Dec 2005, as copied to shb:

“Fielding, as you may know, was the son of Walker Langford/Lankford of Lincoln County, Kentucky and Clay County, Indiana. Walker was the son of the Joseph Langford who died in Lincoln County in 1785 or thereabouts, and who had owned land in Pittsylvania County, Virginia before the war. You have seen the posts of those who believe that Joseph was the son of Nicholas Langford, and I have no reason to doubt this theory. However, I have no clue as to whether Euclid Langford (b. 1757) was a brother of Joseph. If he was, Euclid was certainly much younger than Joseph, whose birth I estimate at around 1740 at the latest.

“Given that James Langford was buying land in what’s now Patrick County, Virginia (somewhat to the west of Joseph’s property) in the 1740’s, I suspect that James might have been the oldest of the family (assuming that he, too, was a son of Nicholas). If James was born, say, around 1720, then Nicholas could scarcely have been born much after 1700. Accordingly, I strongly doubt that the Nicholas Langford who was surety on the debt of Euclid Langford [see my ID 65645–shb] in that 1787 suit in Caroline County was the same person as the father of James, Joseph and Benjamin Langford (assuming that these three were in fact brothers).

“Supposedly another of this set of brothers was Nicholas Langford Jr. Do you know of any reason why Nicholas Jr. might not have been Euclid’s father? This would seem like the most reasonable construction of the available shreds of information on Euclid.

“I noticed that in a couple of places posters on the Lankford Genforum have specified Euclid’s birthplace as Sussex County, Virginia. Do you happen to know whether any contemporaneous documentation supports that notion? I wondered whether application for a pension based on his service in the Rev. War might have specified the soldier’s birthplace. The application of my 4th great granduncle John Bagby, coincidentally born the same year, gives his birthplace as Hanover County. We would have no knowledge of his Hanover roots otherwise, as Hanover is an almost thoroughly “burned” county. Sussex, if I recall correctly from my Gilliam work, has a surviving Anglican parish register, but I don’t remember seeing any Langford entries in it.” –shb 12 Dec 2005

“1783 tax – EZEKIEL LANKFORD 86 acres [See RIN 61510–shb.]

“9 Jan. 1784 EZEKIEL LANKFORD sold to Samuel Bedsworth 9 acres

“21 July 1784 Samuel Bedsworth and wife Mary Bedsworth sold to William Bedsworth 9 acres

“15 March, 1784 EZEKIEL LANKFORD , wife CATHERINE LANKFORD sold to Robert Hall and wife Elizabeth Hall 9 acres with LANKFORDS CONTENT & TROUBLESOME 95 acres

“15 March, 1785 William Bedsworth sold to Robert Hall part

“17 June 1790 William Bedsworth sold to Benjamin Conner 1 acre TROUBLESOME out of VULCANS VINEYARD with LANKFORDS CONTENT.

“13 Sept. 1801 Samuel COTTINGHAM, son of David COTTINGHAM sold to William Williams BOSTON, VULCANS VINEYARD, TURKEY PINE . . . .” –shb 21 Mar 2005

1775–LANKFORD/RIGGINS MARRIAGE: Above site that listed Joseph and William Lankford on 1723 tax rolls also lists this marriage: “John RIGGIN and Charity LANKFORD m. 23 Feb 1775 Coventry Parish, Somerset County, Maryland.” –shb 21 Mar 2005

ABT. 1745–BIRTH/DEATH: Approximate birth year and death year, as posted on Allen W. Leigh’s website,

FATHER OF WALKER/CHILDREN: E-letter to shb from cousin David E. Langford, 14 Oct 2003: “Martha Langford Green has been very generous in copying much of her research concerning the early Langfords for me. I had expressed interest in her conclusion that Joseph Lankford/Langford was the father of Walker. In her Internet entry she says that “Joseph’s tax records, and marriage records, in Lincoln Co., Ky, indicate his children as follows: Benjamin, Stephen, Walker, Larkin, Jenny, Ann, and Sally. His will named his youngest children, Joseph and Sarah.” Martha Langford Green is found at <;
in a Lankford Family Genealogy Forum. She posted an opinion at
She states;”After much research and thought, I have come to this conclusion for the family of Joseph and Mary Lankford/Langford. She continues by listing 13 children.” –shb 14 Oct 2003

GREEN/WOOD CORRESPONDENCE: Correspondence between Martha Langford Green and Barry D. Wood, as posted on GenForum, accessed 21 Mar 2005 by shb:

“Top of Form 1 Re: Joseph Lankford/Langford, and wife Mary of VA 1750’s.
Posted by: Barry Wood </cgi-genforum/email.cgi?958892816> (ID *****2816) Date: January 20, 2003 at 16:27:29
In Reply to: Re: Joseph Lankford/Langford, and wife Mary of VA 1750’s. <1267.html> by Martha Langford Green of 1483
Bottom of Form 1

“My mistake. Of course, I meant Walker’s birthplace, as understood in light of Joseph’s residence at the time, and not Joseph’s birthplace. I have no reason to doubt that Joseph was born in Caroline County, or at least that he makes his first appearance in a contemporaneous document there.

“There was a huge migration into North Carolina from frontier Virginia during the French & Indian War, when Indian attacks occurred in Virginia almost to the Dan. The period of flight seems roughly contemporaneous with the relocation of the Langford brothers from Caroline County south.

1767–IN PITTSYLVANIA COUNTY? “Elaine Rowland’s post (#491 on this Genforum) suggests that Joseph was the first sheriff of Pittsylvania County, which would put him there as of the county’s formation in 1767. In the manuscript county history I found online, however, it was stated that Benjamin was Pittsylvania County’s original Sheriff. Assuming that Elaine is correct, it would seem that this is Joseph’s first appearance in that area — at least the first I know about. However, I could not find him on the 1767 tax list.

“All this is to say that I’m open to the concept that Joseph could have been in North Carolina at the time Walker was born, but I’d feel more comfortable with the assertion that Walker was born there if someone could come up with a single North Carolina document in which Joseph’s name appears.

“I do agree with you about Joseph being Walker’s father. I am aware of at least one researcher who has been dubious about that identification, reasoning as follows: (a) Walker was born in North Carolina, (b) Joseph Langford was never in North Carolina (or at least has never been shown to have been there); therefore (c) Walker was the son of some other Langford. [Note: See paper, below, that shows a list of Tories who fought 1778-1782, in old Tryon County (Rutherford, NC Tories on this particular list, according to a footnote). It includes Joseph and Stephen Langford–on seeing the two names together, Barry Wood wrote shb that he thinks this is strong indication that these are our two Lankfords (father Joseph, son Stephen), and that they were in North Carolina–shb.]

“It didn’t make a lot of sense to me, either, until I saw the boundaries of Joseph’s land patent in Pittsylvania and realized that Joseph could have stood on his own land in Virgina and spit into North Carolina (not that he would have been inclined to do so).” –shb 21 Mar 2005

“Top of Form 2 Re: Joseph Lankford/Langford, and wife Mary of VA 1750’s.
Posted by: Martha Langford Green </cgi-genforum/email.cgi?757421231> (ID *****1231) Date: January 20, 2003 at 15:17:20

“In Reply to: Re: Joseph Lankford/Langford, and wife Mary of VA 1750’s. <1266.html> by Barry Wood of 1483
Bottom of Form 2

“Dear Barry, I thought your message was pertaining to Walker—his notation(s) refer to him being born in NC. I have never seen anything pertain to Walker’s father, Joseph, as being born in NC. Joseph was born at Caroline Co., VA. And his father, Nicholas, resided at Rappahannock Co., VA. His father, Thomas, was born at King and Queen Co, VA. And his father was Edward, the immigrant, who arrived to VA as a head-right. Regards, Martha.” –shb 21 Mar 2005

1773–LAND BORDERS THAT OF WILLIAM EAST, AS SOLD TO JOHN FARRIS, IN HALIFAX COUNTY, VIRGINIA: Chronology of life of John Esom Farris (brother of Johnson, who married Jenny Lankford, daughter of Joseph and Mary), posted at , accessed 8 Apr 2006, by shb: “14 Sep 1773 Halifax Co. VA, DB 9, p. 128: William East and Sarah, his wife, of Antrim Parish & Halifax To John Farris of Halifax, for 40 pounds, a certain tract of land of 100 acres in Halifax on the south branches of Brush Cr., including the plantation where said East formerly lived. The tract is bounded by the lines of Dudley East, William East, Jos. Lankford, and John Farris. Signed: William (M his mark) East. Wit: John (+ his mark) Weltch, Isiam Farris (Fariss), James Faris. Rec. 16 Sep. 1773.” –shb 8 Apr 2006

A JOSEPH LANKFORD IN GEORGIA: As posted at, accessed 21 Mar 2005 by shb:

“Georgia Veterans – Bios of Men and Women that served during “War Time” . . . .

“Rev. War

b. 1767, Mecklenburg County, Virginia
d. August 22 – November 06, 1831, Richmond Co, GA

“The following is from ‘Revolutionary War Bounty Land Grants Awarded by State Governments’ by Lloyd DeWitt Bockstruck.

“Hatcher, Henry. GA. Refugee. 17 May 1784.——–

“Henry Hatcher

“Rev. War Warrant, 287 1/2 acres Washington Co. Ga. on Altamaha River, bordered on North by Joseph Lankford Land, on East by Altamaha River, bordered on South by Thomas Ayers Land and vacant land on West

“Surveyed by virtue of a warrant from under the hand of the honorable John Habersham, esq. President of the Executive Council, dated May 17,1784, Executed Octo. 18,1784 by (looks like) Solomon Pendleton, Dla F. Tennile, surv.

“Submitted by William W. Hatcher Sr. <> 9-2002” –shb 21 Mar 2005

1778-1782–JOSEPH AND (SON?) STEPHEN WERE AMONG TORIES WHO FOUGHT AND HAD THEIR PROPERTY CONFISCATED (See research paper about this, and the Tory list, found and forwarded to shb, 26 May 2005, by Uncle Ernest Fount Langford.) As noted by Barry D. Wood (see his letter, below the paper about Tories), the fact that both Joseph and Stephen Langford were on this Tory list makes it likely these are our people and that Joseph and son Stephen lived in southwestern North Carolina during these years of Tory activity. –shb 27 May 2005

1779, OCTOBER 16–“SIGNS” PETITION: As forwarded to shb, May, 2006, by brother-in-law Barry D. Wood, who generously applies his research expertise, from time to time, to his wife’s Langford lines:

“You may be interested in the petition found at:


“Joseph Lankford appears here (page 2) in the middle column, two thirds of the way toward the bottom of the page. I can’t assure anyone that this is Joseph’s actual signature, because many of the names seem to have been written in the same hand. In other words, some people actually signed the petition, and others just let the person who was gathering support for the petition inscribe their names on it.

“If the above link– which may be a temporary address — doesn’t work, go to <; … Choose the option toward the bottom of the box on the left called “Browse Collection by Place.” Then click on letter “c” for Caroline County, and select the petition for October 16, 1779.

“The text of the petition itself is rather faint and difficult to decipher. Apparently it involved a protest to the proposed division of Drysdale Parish.

“I’m related to Thomas, Anthony, Richard and Robert Sale, whose names appear elsewhere on this petition.

“That Joseph signed onto this petition back in the ‘old settlement’ of Caroline County after he had acquired land in the relatively unsettled area near Danville, Va. shows that he didn’t spend all of his time immediately preceding the move to Kentucky down in the new settlement on the N. Carolina border, but rather hung out quite a bit back in Caroline County (south of Fredericksburg). This reminds me of how my grandparents homesteaded out in the sandhills of Nebraska circa 1914-1918, but also spent time during those years back home in western Iowa.

“To recap, this is (I believe) Joseph Lankford/Langford, the original Kentucky settler of the clan. He was the father of Walker Langford, the father of Fielding Langford.

“Barry” –shb 17 May 2006

1783, SEPTEMBER 1–JOSEPH BACK IN LINCOLN COUNTY, KENTUCKY–MAKES WILL: Kentucky Wills and Estates 1781-1807, by Charles M. Franklin, p. 22: “Will Book A, p. 106 – Recorded 20 July 1785 – LANKFORD, Joseph – Dated 1 Sept., 1783: Wife – Not named; Son – Joseph Lankfor; Dau. (youngest) Sarah Lankford; Other children – Not named; Exec. Wife, James Brown; Wit. James Curry, Daniel Brown, Edward Taylor.” –shb 15 Oc5 2004

DOCUMENTATION NEEDED/EDUCATED GUESSES: E-correspondence from Barry D. Wood, copied to shb, 12 Oct 2003: “I think Sherlene has pretty much already answered this — but just to clarify, when Shiron is saying that Joseph Langford “mentioned” his children in his 1783 will, she didn’t mean that they were mentioned by name… just that the will makes clear that he had more children than the two youngest (Joseph and Sarah) who are named in the will.

“Mom [referring to his mother-in-law, Ida-Rose Langford Hall–shb] provided a transcription of the will in her book, at page 59.

“Basically it appears that Joseph was concerned about the support & education of his minor children. There was, he must have felt, no need to make specific bequests to the ones who were already more or less grown up.

“The probable family of Joseph and Mary (Warren) Langford is established through the tax lists and marriage records. This works simply because there were no other Langfords in the Crab Orchard area at that time old enough to have sons coming of age to be taxed, and daughters attaining marriageable age, unless Thomas who was murdered had children that stayed in Kentucky to be raised by his Langford kin. [Response by Allen Leigh, Langford site webmaster]:

“Thanks, Barry, for explaining that. Being new to Langford research, I get to ask dumb questions that have already been answered. So, here I go again. There was a second Joseph Langford in Lincoln County who died about a year after the one discussed by Ida-Rose. His will was probated in Lincoln County 13 months later. I’ve posted extracts from the two wills in the Langford Research Notes. Unfortunately, didn’t give full wills, and the extract doesn’t give any personal information about the second Joseph.


“The Langford GEDCOM that I put into the site has no notes for Joseph Langford. Since Ida-Rose felt (in 1970) that it was questionable that the Joseph Langford she discussed was our progenitor, I need some good notes to document having him in our pedigree. Ida-Rose discussed the tax lists that you mentioned above, and she still felt that including that Joseph and Mary was questionable. So, I’m wondering what documentation do we have that removes the question that Ida-Rose had. Because of the second Joseph Langford, who died just a year later than the first Joseph, I think the documentation would have to show why the second Joseph could not be our ancestor.

“As I mentioned above, I’m probably off on a tangent, and I will appreciate any information that anyone in the family can provide. It’s important that everything posted in the site be documented in notes, and if information is posted that is questionable, the notes must say why it is questionable. If we don’t do this, then the web site becomes of no more use than a lot of the genealogical data that is floating around the Internet, just a collection of folk lore and hearsay. Ida-Rose was very careful about putting good documentation in her book, and I think having her book online will be a great asset to Langford genealogists.

“Allen” –shb 12 Oct 2003

BTW, you’ll notice in the cc that I added my sister Norma. She has done most of the research that I have in my other sites, and she is interested in Langford research.” –shb 12 Oct 2003

RESPONSE FROM BARRY WOOD: E-letter to us Hall/Langfords from Barry D. Wood, 12 Oct 2003:

“The second document you found on is the inventory (“appraisement”) of Joseph Langford’s estate. It is not a will. It does not relate to a different Joseph Langford. It’s the same Joseph, the same estate and the same proceeding, just a later document created in the course of the execution of the will.

“Mom was hesitant to confirm Joseph as Walker’s father mainly because of the doubts sown by the garbled account in the Clay County History. (Walker orphaned as a ‘young’ child, father from Scotland to North Carolina, etc.) However, in 30 years of subsequent looking neither she nor I have ever found anything to support the story told there in terms of Walker’s parentage. So I think that the confidence level on the Walker to Joseph link is very high.

“The next generation back is much more iffy. As is frequently the case in colonial Virginia research, we’re left with only the residue of what was not destroyed in the Civil War & other catastrophes. For Caroline County, the Langfords’ home base, only the order books survived the war. You can learn that someone had a will, but the contents of the wills are a mystery.

“Pittsylvania, being southwest of the line of Union advance, fared better than Caroline, but there’s no will there of any father of Joseph, and indeed all indications are that the father of Joseph, James, Benjamin and Stephen (and maybe Thomas and John) had passed on before Joseph showed up in Pittsylvania.

“This is why there’s less than total agreement as to the identity of the father of these men… Martha L. Green is convinced that it was Nicholas, but I haven’t quite locked that concept down yet. Maybe I’ll come to agree with her.

“Worst of all is King & Queen, where some Langfords may have lived before their sojourn in Caroline. A rebel sniper killed beloved Union Col Ulrich Dahlgren there, with the result that Dahlgren’s men went nuts and burnt the entire town to the ground, including the courthouse and all its contents, except for one home (whose owner’s slave managed to convince the Yankees that it was his house). K&Q’s colonial parish register, also like so many others, is also lost to history. Thus, the antebellum family histories of that jurisdiction, where my Bagby family lived before they went to Hanover County (also the victim of near-total record loss), are seldom better than echos in a black hole.

“My point is that one has to make the best conclusion possible based on the evidence available and leave it at that. With Walker coming of age & first being taxed in Lincoln County in 1790, one has to ask — if he was not Joseph’s son, whose son was he? There simply are no other Langford men of the generation that could have fathered Walker setting foot in Lincoln County until Thomas came and got himself killed. (And for that matter, I don’t know whether Thomas was of Walker’s generation or identical to the Thomas of Joseph’s generation who was earlier in Surry/Stokes County, NC. The accounts of his murder give no hint of his age, from what I have seen.). . .
“In order to provide somewhat wider circulation to my answer to your sensible question, I am copying this to her siblings, nieces & nephews. (We need a generic word for nieces & nephews. How about “nieblings”? Was that what the “Ring der Niebelungen is all about”?)

“Barry” –shb 12 Oct 2003

LAND IN PITTSYLVANIA COUNTY, VIRGINIA: See “LAND NOTES” caption in son Walker’s notes. –shb 9 Jan 2002

LEFT A WILL! E-letter to cousin Shiron Wordsworth (descended from Joseph’s son Stephen, we think), from Allen Leigh, copied to shb, 11 Oct 2003: “Hi Shiron,

“Putting your information on the web site is a blessing to both of us, because you’ve brought in a whole new dimension to our Langford lines. Until you came along, we didn’t have any information about the Langfords who remained in Kentucky, and now you’ve opened the door to a whole dynasty of Langfords.

“I don’t know for certain if we can ever “prove” beyond a shadow of a doubt that we are related, but I’m going to choose to believe it because I want to! [Back to Allen]:

“This brings up a question I wanted to ask. In one of your emails you spoke of Joseph Langford’s will and said it contained the names of his children. Here is your statement.

“Joseph Langford’s will was written in Lincoln County, KY, Sept. 1, 1783 and probated July 20, 1785. His children are mentioned in the will [Back to Allen]:

“Is that will online electronically? Do you happen to have a photo copy of it? If the will contains the names of Stephen and Walker as children, it would be the evidence we need to prove our connection to each other. Once we can prove the connection, then I can add your genealogy into my PAF Langford file and “officially” merge the two branches together into one family, as far as the web site is concerned. In the meantime, I’ve created a new section of the web site called Mt Vernon Langfords, and I have your pedigree and notes in there. I’ll be putting your stories there, too. Here is the link to it (let me know I have anything wrong, such as the order of James Langford’s children that are listed, as well as additional children or dates)


“And sometime this week I’ll try to send you the story of James Langford, the KKK, and switches >left in warning on his front porch. James didn’t take well to that gift. Not at all!

“Yes, please send me that and other stories that you have. I like your stories. I like your ancestors, my cousins! [Amen from Sherlene.]

“Allen” –shb 11 Oct 2003

ADVENTURES/DISASTERS AWAIT JOSEPH’S SONS/RELATIVE LANGFORDS: E-letter received from cousin David E. Langford (son of cousin Ernest Fount Langford) by shb, 13 Oct 2003: “Langford and Harp Brothers

Stephen Langford, from Virginia, who was on his way to visit kinfolks at Crab Orchard and to possibly make this his home. <;
Frontier Justice

His name was John Langford. He was traveling from Virginia to pay a visit to a friend in Crab Orchard, Ky
Crime Magazine

…a young Virginian named Langford, a man foolish enough to travel the wilderness alone and show off his silver coin in too many inns.
Jon’s Southern Illinois History Page

…had no respect for a kind soul, as was evidence by their murder of Stephen Langford
Mississippi Local History Network

Tom Langford paid the bill for them from gold coins he carried in his purse.
Gateway to the West

John Farris Sr. learned that they (John and Stephen) once had been neighbors in Virginia
Donald Chesnut in a letter to Longhunters at

…a kind young man named John Langford, who was traveling from Virginia to pay a visit to a friend in Crab Orchard, Kentucky.
Serial killers biography: the Harps Brothers: America’s first

Sites with additional information about Langford and Harp Brother stories

Johnson Farris married Jenny Langford 12 Aug 1787 in Lincoln Co, Kentucky
Denton/Ramsey Family

Descendants of Henry Faris” –shb 13 Oct 2003

WERE OUR EARLY LANKFORDS TORIES? My Uncle Ernie F. Langford mailed a photocopy of a paper received 27 May 2005 (no source given, beyond the title). Before I start typing it into these notes, here is what I found on a genealogy site on the Internet, trying to find out for myself exactly where “Old Tryon County” was:

“Tryon County, NC: 1768-1779 – Tryon County, named after William Tryon, governor of North Carolina from 1765 to 1771, was formed in 1768 from the western portion of Mecklenburg.
Many present day counties in both North and South Carolina were completely or partially included within the borders of Tryon County from 1768 to 1772. These counties were Burke, McDowell, Polk, Rutherford, Cleveland, Lincoln, and Gaston Counties from North Carolina and were Spartanburg, Cherokee, York, Lancaster, Greenville, Laurens, Union, Newberry, and Chester Counties from South Carolina. The approximate boundaries of Tryon County, NC for 1768 can be found at, <;.

“Tryon County was abolished in 1779, and Lincoln County and Rutherford County were created from older Tryon County. Gaston County was formed from the southern portion of Lincoln County in 1846.
Did your family come from Tryon County? Our North Carolina Collection focuses on local history and genealogy. To help you get started, here’s a list of Tryon County resources.” Now, here’s the paper. I am typing it exactly as it reads, with no editing–shb:

“THE FIRST CIVIL WAR – Part Three: “Guilty, by God,” by Harold W. Rollins [Note: See Barry D. Wood response to reading this, after this–shb]:

“The question of the numbers and identities of the Whigs and Tories in the Revolution is seldom satisfactorily answered, the primary obstacle being that the professed sentiments of the populace changed as the fortunes of the war changed. Wherever the British Army encamped, the populace was rampantly Tory. Whenever the rebels held sway, almost all were Whigs. Vanishingly few chose to proclaim and fight for their convictions in the face of overwhIn elming force or the imminent threat of persecution and death. Rather, they did what they had to do in a hard and cruel time.

“In old Tryon County, the pattern was little different. At the beginning of the war, all were nominally Loyalists and subjects of the King. Within a few years, the numbers of Whigs grew to encompass the populace as the citizens changed their allegiance in response to ever-increasing compulsion. [1]

“With the British invasion of 1780, the political climate abruptly changed. Allegiance to the State became treason to the Crown, punishable by death. Faced with an occupying army, former Whits now took the “Tories choice” and flocked to the King’s standard.

“Within a year, the royal armies had vanished and outward loyalty to the Crown vanished with them. Men now became future Americans, pledged to the cause of their emergent nation.

“Thus, the question of who were the Tories and who were the Whigs in old Tryon County can be simply answered. At one time or another, some men were both.

“Although realistic, such a convenient classification was as little satisfactory to the participants then as it is to their descendants today. It provided no one to hate, none to plunder and no way to expurge their own guilt. As a result, they rationalized a simple concept: althought most men technically might be guilty of treason, some were more guilty than others. These ‘high traitors’ must be punished. [2]

“Early in 1782, after the British army had moved safely away, Captains of each Rutherford militia district were required to originate two lists – one of taxpayers not accused of high trason and one of men charged with bearing arms for the King. In the summer, an extra-legal ‘Grand Jury of the Inquisition’, led by William Porter, was convened to try those accused of high treason. ‘Near two hundred’ were summoned to a field at Col Walker’s plantation to answer charges. Those found guilty were deemed to have forfeited their rights and citizenship, including the right to wn property. [3] Their land and possessions were given into the hands of local Commissioners of Confiscated Property for sale at public auction. In succeeding months, many others were called, charged and their lands adjudged forfeited.

“The local courts were also busy with the affairs of ‘high traitors.’ The records are a panorama of Tory trials and tribulations: . . . John Morris’ slave is in Tennessee . . . Thomas Robinson’s are in Virginia . . . Anthony Dickey has Joseph Suttle’s negro Chloe. He has stolen the man of Thomas Walker and sold him into Tennessee . . . Constable Edward Callahan is charged with an affray with Mary Goodbread . . . John McGauchey charged with assault on the widow Franklyn . . . Ann Mills, Mary Potter, Ann Battle, Mary Proctor, Mary Russell, Jean Henry, Mary Biggerstaff (and many others) are appointed co-administrators of their deceased husbands’ estates with the Commissioners of Confiscated Property . . . Nancy Taylor is empowered to recover a stolen horse wherever found . . . Ann Edgerton may keep the property of her husband who is now in State service . . . Celia Taylor and Bethne George may have the confiscated property of their late husbands who died in State service . . . Joshua Taylor may recover his property from whoever has it . . . costs of the late expedition against the Cherokees are to be paid from Tory property . . . Micajah Proctor is again acquitted of treason and Joshua Taylor is recharged . . . William Liveley’s property is confiscated and he is charged with profane swearing . . . William Price may recover his horse . . . Mercy Bedford proves attendance of 104 days in sundry courts . . . James Wilson is to deliver unto Elizabeth Young every part and parcel of her late husband’s estate which he has in his possession . . . the widow is ordered to deliver up her children to be bound out as apprentices . . . Ann Fisher is an object of charity.

“Throughout the period, citizens were called before the court on charges of treason. [4] Some were acquitted, but the majority were convicted and their property seized. Many accepted a new ‘Tories choice’ – eighteen months with the Continental Line or loss of their estates. [5]

“Even a verdict of ‘not guilty’ was scant protection for the innocent. Many found themselves indicted time and again on the same charges. Others were exonerated but found it essentially impossible to recover their plundered property.

“As in all wars, the burden fell hardest on wives, widows, and children. Their husbands gone and homes plundered, many faced destitution. Children were taken from their mothers and placed in the service of prominent Whigs. Although widows and wives were entitled to part of their husband’s confiscated estates, they infrequently found that much of their share were court orders entitling them to recover their property if they could find it. Some even found themselves facing illegal suits by members of the courthouse gang who were attempting to seize their widow’s share.

“While many self-styled Whigs doubtless profited from bargain sales of confiscated property, that was not their largest source of gain. As early as 1778, various persons, including some later indicted for treason, began filing entries and receiving grants on the lands of deceased or exiled Tories. Although illegal, the practice continued until after the war and was largely responsible for repeated confrontations between the court and the land entry taker. The practices were so widespread that any grant of good bottom land or improved acreage between 1778 and 1788 probably should be viewed as an illegal entry or the bargain purchase of confiscated property.

“There remained another method widely itilized by the ‘courthouse gang’ to enrich themselves at the expense of both their unfortunate neighbors and their impoverished government. By law proceeds from the sale of confiscated property reverted to the State. Local Whigs, however, filed large numbers of civil actions called ‘Petitions for Trespass for Damages’ against the Tories and were thus able to seize the property or its proceeds for their own enrichment. In a typical example, William Gilbert sued ‘James Chitwood and others’ for alleged damages in October 1782. The case was tried in January 1783 at which time thirty one persons ‘and others’ were charged and damages of L1206 were awarded. As late as 1786, several of the accused, including John Goodbread, the Joseph Underwood estate, Thomas Townsend, William Mills, John and Thomas Camp, and Richard Ledbetter, still contested the action, although their lands and slaves had long been sold by the sheriff. [6]

“In 1783, at the urging of the Attorney General, the Morgan District Court issued a stay of confiscation proceedings by the local courts. The Commissioners of Confiscated Property, termed ‘profligate scoundrels’, were removed and their functions assumed by district commissioners under supervision of the district court. Although many civil suits were still contested and sales of Tory property continued intermittently as late as 1788, for most of the people the war finally was over.

“the problem of identifying Whigs, turncoats, and Tories in old Rutherfor County is greatly amplified by the presence of the tax list of 1782. This document is a methodical compilation of citizens not then accused of high treason. It contains the names of something less than seventy true Whigs who fought for their State through all adversity; thirty-three ‘high traitors’ who were not yet charged, had been found innocent or were in the service of the State; several Tory widows who had received property; numbers of landless young men newly of age, and several hundred others, mostly turncoat Tories and Whigs not accused of treason. [7]

“Identification of the ‘high traitors’ of old Rutherford County is more difficult to establish. Through the years, efforts have been made to destroy the Tory records. Many have been defaced or removed. The proceedings of the Inquisition and the records of both the local and district Commissioners of Confiscated Property are missing, as are the Minute books of the district court. The losses, however, are not complete. Most of the records are redundant and much of the contents of the missing documents can be reconstructed from other sources. From these sources, a partial list of those accused as Tories can be compiled. [8]

“A Partial List of Persons from old Rutherford County, Who Served, or were Accused of having Served, in Loyalist Units, 1778-1782, as Compiled by Harold W. Rollins: [Note: I have capitalized a few of these names, as sounding familiar to Langford or Hall family history, though don’t ask me how–shb.]

Adams, Benjamin
, William
, William Jr.
Alley, Shadrack
Angel, John
Ashworth, John
Autrey, Absalem
Bailey, John
, David
Baker, Samuel
, Thomas
Battles, John
, William
Biggerstaff, Aaron
, Benjamin
, Samuel
Blackburn, James
, Samuel
Brackett, Benjamin
Brock, Elias
Burton, Richard
Camp, James
, John
, John Jr.
, Grandshaw
, Thomas
Capshaw, Essex
, James
, William
Cartright, Joseph
Childers, John
Chitwood, Daniel
, James
, James Jr.
, Joseph
, Joshua
, Shadrack
, Richard
Clark, Joseph
Clements, Abraham
, Gabriel
Collins, Robert
Cook, James
, John
Cooper, Isaac
Coulter, Alexander
Cox, George
, Joel
Davis, Allen
, Brock
, Elijah
, George
, George Jr.
, John
, Robert
, Thomas
Dycus, Edward
, John
Dillis, Peter
, Thomas
Dunning, William
Edgerton, Scrupe
Edmonstones, John
Ellis, William
Felts, John
Fleming, Abraham
, Richard
Gage, Aaron
, Jeremiah
Goforth, John
GOINS, Jesse
, William
Goodbread, John
, Phillip
, Thomas
Gore, Thomas
Green, Abenego
, Abraham
, James
, Shadrack
, William
Hailey, David
HALL, William
Hannah William Jr.
Hardin, Benjamin
, Lewis
, Simeon
Hawkins, Joshua
, Philemon
Hendrix, John
, Sam
Henry, William
Henson, William
, William Jr.
Hermon, William
Herrod, Thomas
Hinton, Isaac
Hudson, Isaac
Hunt, Madison
Hyder, Benjamin
Jolly, Neal
, William
Jones, John
Justice, John
, John Jr.
Kelly, James
King, Barnabas
, John
Lacefield, Joseph
LANGFORD, Joseph [Uncle Ernie thinks this could be our ancestor Joseph, b. abt. 1745, of Lincoln County, Kentucky, d. 1785, of North Carolina.] His son Joseph, brother of our ancestor Walker Lankford, was b. bef 1767 (Joseph Sr. and Mary m. abt. 1765–son Joseph had one older sibling, so he could not have been older than about 12 in 1778, and our Walker, his brother, would have been about nine years old that year.)–shb.]
LANGFORD, Stephen [This may have been a brother of Joseph Sr., as we think it is his son Stephen, who was born about 1768, so would have been about age ten in 1778 and the brother of our ancestor Walker (this must yet be documented, however). Stephen the son, b. abt. 1768, is an ancestor of Shiron Wordsworth, who shared so many exciting Langford tales and photos with us–shb.]
Langley, Lewis
, Joseph
Lanham, Abel
, William
Lawrence, Joseph
Ledbetter, Richard
Lemar, James
Lesley, James
Lively, Gilliam
, William
Maden, Daniel
Magness, John
Malone, Benjamin
McAdams, John
McCooper, Alexander
McDaniel, James
, Jeremiah
, Joseph
McEntire, James
McKinney, John
McLean, John
, Robert
Metcalfe, Isaac
Miller, Thomas
Mills, Ambrose
, Thomas
, William
MOORE, Aaron
, Benjamin
, Joseph
, John
, Robert
, Samuel
, William
Morgan, Elias
, John
, William
Morris, John
MULLINS, Charles [Stephen Langford (b. abt. 1768, thought to be the brother of our ancestor, Walker Langford, both thought to be sons of Joseph and Mary Langford) m. 22 Jul 1807, Lois MULLINS, parents unknown–shb.]
Nettles, William
, William Jr.
Norman, James
, Fornegreen
, Thomas
Osborne, Arthur
, Michael
Owens, John
Ownby, Arthur
Patterson, James
Poor, Andrew
POWELL, Mark [our ancestor Rebecca Powell, b. 1765, dau. Joseph and Christian, m. abt 1765, George W. Yoakum–this is our Gorsuch (royal) line–married into the Lankfords/Langford, so not surprising that they were royalists, if disenfranchised–have no idea, though, if same Powells–shb]
Proctor, Micajah
, Nathan
Price, Frederick
, Lewis
, John
, William
Quinn, Peter
Rayburn, Benjamin
Reavis, George
, Isham
Reynolds, George
, John
, Thomas
Robbins, William
Roberts, Morris
Rogers, John
Rollins, James
, John
Roper, Charles
Rucker, Gideon
Rusell, George
, John
Rutherford, Thomas
Shelton, Stephen
Shepherd, James
Shipman, Daniel
Sides, John
Stone, James
Stanford, John
Suttle, Joseph
Swafford, Thomas
Taylor, Arthur
, Caleb
, Joshua
, Roibert
THOMAS, John [Walker Jr., son Walker and Mary/Polly Warren Lankford, m. abt 1835 Roxanne Thomas–shb]
Thomason, George
, John
, William
Townsend, Thomas
Tubbs, John
, George
Underwood, Joseph
Upton, James
Walbert, Christopher
Webb, John

, Jeremiah
, William
Welch, Nicholas
, Thomas
, William
Whiteside, Thomas
Whitty, Moses
Williams, Giles
Willis, William

Wilson, Montford

WOOD, William
Young, Samuel
, Thomas

“In the final analysis, the question of the identities of the Tories and Whigs of old Tryon County in the first Civil War has no answer. Rather, it resolves itself into a different question – when were the people Tories and when were they Whigs?

“Surely the number of true Whigs who served their State even in the days of the 1780 occupation numbered no more than about 5% of the population. For the most part, they were faithful because they had no option. The number of true Tories also was vanishingly small, for they, too, had no choice. The majority did what they had to do and became both Tory and Whig in order to protect their lives and families int he days of the First Civil War.


1. Even such noted Tory leaders as Col. David Fanning and Col. Ambrose Mills pledged allegiance at one time or another. Probably the only Tories who never pledged to defend the State were those who died early in the war. Likewise, probably most of the Whigs of the area did not take the Kings protection in 1780 [sic–shb] were among the refugees, a small group of notorious Whigs who could not safely venture among the Tories.

2. The subsequent analysis is confined to the northwest quadrant of old Tryon County (Rutherford) because the records there are more complete. Results of similar analysis in other parts of the area would probably differ little.

3. According to later testimony, these first ‘near two hundred’ men were members of Col. Mills Loyalist Regiment.

4. When ‘all Tories’ were summoned, many appeared who had not been charged. They were released, ‘nothing appearing against them’, but indelibly left their names on the records as self-confessed Tories.

5. Including John Goodbread, William Robbins, Scrupe Edgerton, William Mills, John Magness, William Green, David George and Arthur Talor. In all, the names of twenty-nine persons apparently from old Ruther [Uncle Ernie stopped photocopying here, so I do not have the rest of the footnotes–shb.] –shb 27 Mar 2005

BARRY’S RESPONSE: E-letter to shb, 28 May 2005: “If this list had included only a John Langford or a James Lankford, that would not necessarily be conclusive. However, to find both Joseph and Stephen on the same list represents a strong indication that the Joseph listed in the Tryon record really is the father of Walker Langford. Whatever presence they had in old Tryon County was not long, because Joseph is on a list of oaths of allegiance (this time to the colonial cause) in Pittsylvania County, Va. (either in or very near Danville) in 1777.

“Joseph was in Lincoln County, Kentucky by 1783, when he wrote his will. The Tryon County Tory accusation list suggests that Joseph and his brother Stephen spent at least part of the intervening time in southwestern North Carolina.

“See Langford Genforum post #160 for further ties between Stephen Lankford’s brother in law Richard Singleton and Rutherford County (successor county to Tryon). Note that Richard, like Joseph, moved to Lincoln County, Kentucky. The only place where I question the information in post 160 is the statement that Richard Singleton was born in “1759/1759.” Maybe she meant to write “1739 – 1759.” I doubt that a person who served as a Major in the Rev.War would have likely been only 16 years old when the fighting started, and 22 when it stopped, unless we’re talking about someone trained in the “art” of war like the Marquis de Lafayette.

“Barry” –shb 27 May 2005

A JOSEPH LANGFORD AND WIFE SENT TO LIBERIA, DIED THERE: As posted at, accessed 24 Mar 2006, by shb:

“A Narrative of the Negro: Electronic Edition. Leila Amos Pendleton, b. 1860

“Funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities supported the electronic publication of this title.

“Text scanned (OCR) by Sarah Reuning

Images scanned by Sarah Reuning
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First edition, 1999
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Academic Affairs Library, UNC-CH
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill,

“© This work is the property of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. It may be used freely by individuals for research, teaching and personal use as long as this statement of availability is included in the text.
Call number 326 P398n (Wilson Annex, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)\


“BY MRS. LEILA AMOS PENDLETON – Formerly a Teacher in the Public Schools of Washington, D. C.; founder (in 1898) of the Alpha Charity Club of Anacostia, and for thirteen years its president; founder and president of the Social Purity Club of Washington; Vice-President for the District of Columbia of the Northeastern Federation of Women’s Clubs; Secretary of the National Association of Assemblies of the Order of the Golden Circle, Auxiliary to the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, S. J., U. S. A. WASHINGTON, D. C.:
Page verso

“Copyrighted By MRS. LEILA AMOS PENDLETON 1912, Page 44


“ONE of the first persons in America to publicly denounce the slave trade and to act upon his convictions was the Rev. Samuel Hopkins, of Newport, R. I. He had owned and sold a slave, but afterward became convinced of the sinfulness of his conduct and devoted himself to arousing the consciences [Illustration – LIBERIAN SOLDIERS AND CITIZENS] of his neighbors. He formed a plan to educate freedmen and send them as missionaries to their native land, and he appropriated to that purpose the money received from the sale of his slave; he borrowed money to free a slave whom he thought especially intelligent and brought about the emancipation of three others. In August, 1773, he published an address to the public in which he outlined his plans and begged for assistance; he mentioned two devout African members of the Congregational Church in Newport, by name John Quamine and Bristol Yamma, who were willing and anxious to carry as best they (Page 45) could, civilization and Christianity to their brethren in Africa.

“Quamine, who was the son of a wealthy native of Annamboe, had been sent by his father to England to be educated, but the person to whom he had been entrusted, had treacherously sold him into slavery. Besides the two named, Salmur Nubia, another young African, was desirous of furthering Dr. Hopkins’ plan. But little money was donated and when the Revolutionary War broke out, it put an end to the project. Many years after, two of Dr. Hopkins’ proteges joined the Liberian colony–one of them was Salmur Nubia, the other Deacon Newport Gardner.

“In 1787, Dr. Thornton, of Washington, D. C., published “an address to the free people of color in Rhode Island and Massachusetts,” inviting them to accompany him to the west coast of Africa, there to plant a colony, but the plan fell through for lack of funds.

“The first public meeting ever held in this country to consider the subject of African Colonization was called by Dr. Robert Finley, and was held in the Presbyterian Church in Princeton, N. J. After maturing his plans, Dr. Finley went to Washington in December, 1816, during the session of Congress and succeeded in having many of the prominent men present in the city attend a meeting to consider his project. Hon. Henry Clay was present and was called to the chair. After the society was organized many other prominent Americans became actively interested in its work. Among them were Judge Bushrod Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Monroe, John Marshall, John Randolph, J. H. B. Latrobe, and Francis Scott Key.

“About thirty-five years after the first colony of freedmen went from England to Sierra Leone, the American Colonization Society sent a company of freedmen from this country to Africa. About the same time, Congress authorized the President to provide a place in Africa for the slaves who might be recaptured at sea. The government chartered a vessel to carry its agents and agreed to take also the agent of the Colonization (Page 46) Society and such free Negroes as that organization should recommend. Eighty-nine persons were finally selected and the vessel sailed from New York February 6, 1821, arriving in Sierra Leone March 9.

“The government agents in charge were Rev. Samuel Bacon and John P. Bankson, while Dr. Samuel Crozer was the agent of the colonization society. The emigrants made a temporary settlement at Sherbo, but before land could be purchased for a permanent home the agents and many of the colonists died. Just before his death Dr. Crozer solemnly entrusted the colony and all its posessions to the care of the Rev. Daniel Coker, a colored Methodist preacher. Though new to such responsibility, the latter managed affairs with great ability and received the praise of Dr. Ayres, the next agent.

“After looking over the situation Dr. Ayres decided to buy land on Mesurado Bay, and in December, 1821, made an agreement with the six native kings or headmen who owned the ground, receiving a deed to the same and giving in exchange muskets, beads, gunpowder, rum, knives, forks, spoons, hats coats, looking-glasses, handkerchiefs, canes, umbrellas, soap, etc. The contracting parties pledged themselves to live in peace forever. The first colony arrived at Mesurado on January 7, 1882, and found much work awaiting them; land was to be cleared, shelter made for the provisions, houses built for themselves and many other things to be done which life in a new country required.

“Though the natives had promised friendship it was not long before they began to show signs of hostility. Slave traders in the neighborhood aroused ill feeling by telling the tribes that if the colony was allowed to flourish, it would break up the selling of slaves and would mean the loss of the rum and tobacco which the natives had been taught to prize. Several raids were made upon the colonists and they who were already fighting disease and great bodily discomfort were called upon to take arms and fight for life itself. The situation called forth the best that was in them and among the freedmen who distinguished (Page 47)
themselves in the early days, along more than one line were Lot Cary and wife, Elijah Johnston, Collin Teague and wife, Joseph Blake, Richard Sampson and Joseph Langford and wife. Later came Joseph Shepherd, a school teacher, and J. B. Russwurm, who founded and edited the Liberia Herald and afterward became Governor of New Maryland. Colored lieutenant governors were Lot Cary, Rev. C. M. Waring, Anthony D. Williams, J. J. Roberts. Other notable characters of colonial Liberia were George M. Erskine, a Presbyterian minister; Jacob W. Prout, of Baltimore; Mr. and Mrs. Tittler, missionaries; Archie Moore and Closter Simpson, of Mississippi; Dr. Robert McDowell, of Edinburgh, Scotland, colonial physician; and Charles H. Webb, his assistant.

[Note: See for list of emigrants to Liberia on “Brig Nautlius,” who arrived in Sierra Leone on March 8, 1821, including “freeborn” persons, Joseph Langford, age 75, of Virginia, a cooper, who died in 1821 of “fever”; and his wife, Susan Langford, age 58, of Virginia, who died in 1827 of “Decline.” This site says they were sent by the American Colonization Society and its Auxiliaries–shb.] At is an account of Lot Cary, their leader, which tells much that they also must have observed and endured–shb.] –shb 24 Mar 2006

“In 1836 Mr. James Brown was elected President of the Town Council of Monrovia, an office equal to that of mayor. Mr. Brown took the greatest interest in agriculture and made a number of very interesting and successful experiments. He published several circulars looking to the promotion of good farming in the colony and he also instituted an agricultural conversation club, a fair and a museum. He lent every assistance to the White Plains Manual Labor School, established during his presidency by Missionary Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church. The school was located at Millsburg, a beautiful and fertile spot, and was under the care of Rev. B. R. Wilson.

“No one can read the early history of Liberia without deeply appreciating the spirit of Christian love and devotion which moved the white agents and missionaries most of whom gave their lives to the cause; among them were Bacon, Andrus Sessions, Helton, Ashmunandall, Levi Scott and others.

“The spirit which animated Bacon seems to have been in all the rest. Said he, “As regards myself, I counted the cost of engaging in the service before I left America. I came to these shores to die and anything better than death is better than I expect.”

“After the colony had been established, many slave owners (Page 48) in the United States freed their slaves and sent them to Liberia. Hundreds were recaptured from slave vessels, and several companies of free Negroes joined the colony. The colonization society had branches in many states and was untiring in its effort to support the colony. The Colonization Society of Maryland was independent of the National Colonization Society because it was found that thereby it would receive more support from the state legislature. The colony at Cape Palmas was founded and controlled by the Maryland Colonization Society, but finally became part of the Liberian Republic.

“The natives showed themselves willing to be taught. Writing of them in 1827 Lot Cary said: “The heathen in our vicinity are very anxious for the means of light. They will buy it, beg it, and sooner than miss it, they will steal it. In renewing our school establishment up to Cape Mount, I had upwards of forty natives carry out baggage, and though they had every opportunity to commit depredations nothing was lost except fifteen spelling books.”

“When it was plainly to be seen that Liberia as a colony could not defend itself steps were taken to form it into an independent government, and on July 26, 1847, the colony became the Free and Independent Republic of Liberia. Article I, Section 1 of the constitution reads as follows: All men are born equally free and independent, and have certain natural inherent and inalienable rights, among which are the rights of enjoying and defending life and liberty, of acquiring, possessing and protecting property, and of pursuing and obtaining safety and happiness.

“The republic was first recognized by Great Britain, next by France and then by the other powers. The chief officials are the President, Vice President, a Senate and House of Representatives, a Cabinet and a Supreme Court. The President must be thirty-five years of age and own real estate; electors must be of Negro blood and be owners of land; natives may vote but usually do not except in larger towns.

“Governor Joseph Jenkins Roberts became the first President (Page 49) of the Liberian Republic and served from 1848 to 1856. Succeeding Presidents were Hon. Stephen A. Benson, 1856-64; Daniel Warner, 1864-68; James S. Payne, 1848-70; Edward J. Roye, 1870-72; James Jenkins Roberts, 1872-76; James Spriggs Payne, 1876-78; Anthony W. Gardner, 1878-84; Hiliary R. W. Johnson, 1884-1891; Joseph J. Cheeseman, 1892-98; William D. Coleman, 1898-1900; Garretson W. Gibson, 1900-04; Arthur Barclay, 1904-12.

“On January 1, 1912, Hon. Daniel Edward Howard was inaugurated President of the republic. ‘It was the first inauguration ever attended by native chiefs.’

“Liberia is about the size of the State of New York, and the total population is between fifteen and twenty-one hundred thousand, about twelve thousand of whom are Americo-Liberians. The principal tribes represented are the Mandingo, the Kisi, the Gola, the Kru and allies. The coast region is divided into three counties–Basa, Sino, and Maryland.

“There is a government college, Methodist college and a Protestant Episcopal high school; Dr. Blyden was at one time president of Liberia College. Dr. Alexander Crummell once had charge of the Episcopal mission in that country.

“Francis Burns was the first colored missionary bishop of the Methodist Episcopal Church to West Africa, serving from 1858 to 1863. In 1834 he went to Liberia and did splendid work as evangelist and teacher. Upon his election to the bishopric, he came to this country to be ordained and returned to Africa. In a few years his health failed and in 1863 he died. John Wright Roberts was ordained a few years afterward and succeeded Bishop Burns. ‘Roberts vigorously carried forward the work so wisely begun by his predecessor, and it is said that at the time of his death, in 1875, the Methodist Episcopal Church in Africa numbered more than two hundred thousand souls.’ ‘The Right Reverend S. D. Ferguson, the present Protestant Episcopal Bishop of Liberia, is a native of South Carolina. Bishop Ferguson has spent almost his entire life in Africa. Although now advanced in age, he is (Page 50) extremely active and has a firm grip on his work. He has trained up a fine body of native clergymen.’

“In Liberia there is an organized militia, a volunteer force and a police force. Every male citizen from sixteen years old to fifty, capable of bearing arms, is liable to serve. The national flag bears a single star and stripes.

“The hinterland is undeveloped so that the resources of the country are not exactly known, but gold, diamonds, copper, lead, zinc have been found. There are no railways and oxcarts are the vehicles commonly used; a motor road has recently been constructed, about twenty miles in length. Seven lines of steamers regularly visit Monrovia–British, German, French, Spanish.

“The following colored Americans have served as United States Ministers to Liberia: Hon. J. Milton Turner, John H. Smith, Henry Highland Garnet, O. W. L. Smith, Ernest Lyon, W. D. Crum. Hon. James Robert Spurgeon, a graduate of Yale, was at one time secretary of legation. He was commended for excellent service. In 1902, Hon. George W. Ellis, of Kansas University, succeeded Mr. Spurgeon. Mr. Ellis served eight and one half years, and as he is an authority upon questions of economics and sociology, he was able to render important service to the Liberian government.

“Of Liberia, Mr. Ellis says: ‘Liberia offers to the United States an opening to the most extensive, the most desirable and the best paying commerce of all the world. Agricultural possibilities of the republic are tremendous, on account of the fertility of the soil. Liberia also affords access to a hundred million Sudanese natives, the highest type of the Negro race, and cultured in many arts.’ ‘The Sudanese of northern Africa have a civilization dating back for centuries, and similar in its origin to that which made Morocco the metropolis of Negro culture years ago.’

“Besides the multitude of valuable articles to be found in Liberia proper and the Hinterland, ‘not least are the hides of many animals–of the leopard, the beautiful spotted bushcat, )Page 51) of many varieties of deer, of the monkey, the alligator and the boa-constrictor. All these beasts inhabit the interior. The elephant is to be found within two or three days’ walk of Cape Mount. Domestic cattle are also numerous on the Mandingan plains and among some of the coast tribes. These cattle are descended from ancient stock, introduced into Africa centuries ago from Egypt and the Mediterranean.’

“The government of Liberia has not had a smooth path, for, envious of the great natural wealth which the country contains, some of the European powers have artfully tried to undermine the republic. In 1910 a commission, appointed by President of U. S., visited Liberia to look into the condition of the country, as the Liberians had urgently requested America to come to their aid. The commission consisted of Messrs. Roland P. Folkner, George Sale and Emmett J. Scott: the latter has been for many years, secretary to Dr. Booker T. Washington. The commission reported favorably and the United States has established a sort of financial protectorate over the country and has placed American officials in charge of Liberian customs.

“Writing of Liberia in 1832 a visitor says: ‘All my expectations in regard to the health, harmony, order, contentment, industry and general prosperity of the settlers were more than realized. I saw no intemperance nor did I hear a profane word. I know of no place where the Sabbath appears to be more respected than in Monrovia; no man, not even a native, could be hired ‘for love or money’ to work on the Sabbath day. Most of the settlers appear to be rapidly acquiring property and I have no doubt that they are doing better for themselves and their children than they could do in any other part of the world.’

“Previous to the settlement of Liberia the mouths of the rivers St. Paul, Mesurado and St. John were the greatest marts for slaves on the windward coast. Thousands came down those streams each year and were sold away. Now those rivers are used by the husbandmen to bring their produce to Monrovia, Grand Bassa and Etina, and the native paddles (Page 52)
his canoe in safety under the protection of the colonies founded by the Colonization Society.”

“A visitor to Liberia in 1910 writes: ‘The people of Monrovia look, act and dress very like the better class of Negroes of Atlanta or Louisville. All the Americo-Liberians (and many civilized natives) are neatly but not flashily clothed, and most of the aborigines put on an extra cloth when they come to town. I doubt if there be anywhere in the United States a Negro community of the size of Monrovia where there is so little boisterousness or profanity. Swearing is a lost art and I saw but one case of drunkenness during my first month in Monrovia.’

“‘The Liberian Sabbath suggests the quiet of a New England city–a quiet that is broken only by the sound of church organs and congregational singing. The churches are well attended and the services are conducted with due regard to dignity and reverence.’ So you see that for at least eighty years the Liberians have conducted themselves with the same dignity and have had no need to be ashamed of their country.

“A writer describes the inaugural ceremonies of President Howard, held January 1, 1912, as very imposing. ‘It was the first inauguration ever attended by native chiefs, headmen and retainers, and their presence was significant. They talked nothing but peace and prosperity, and promised to do all in their power to make the new administration a highly successful one. Nearly two thousand natives from the interior listened to President Howard advocate that they be given equal rights, and when on the second day President Howard and Vice President Harmon donned attire similar to that worn by the native chiefs, the incident occasioned much good feeling.’

“Following is the official family of the new administration: President, Daniel Edward Howard; Vice President, Samuel George Harmon; Secretary of State, C. D. B. King; Secretary of Treasury, Thomas W. Haynes; Secretary of War and Navy, Wilmot E. Dennis; Postmaster General, Col. Isaac Moort; Secretary of Interior, J. J. Morris; Attorney General, Samuel (Page 53) A. Ross; Secretary of Education, B. W. Payne; Executive Secretary to the President, Walter F. Walker.

“Still another writer sums up a recent article on Liberia as follows: The Republic needs men, not so much missionaries in the ordinary sense of the word. Like the Negroes of the United States, she appears to have no lack of preachers. She needs men who will support themselves by their toil, and who, as citizens, will strive for the national good. Especially does she need men of mechanical ability to grapple with her industrial tasks. I think if I were a Negro, Liberia would appeal to me strongly upon this ground. I think I would count it a privilege to cast in my lot with the Negro Republic, to toil with her for high national ideals, for the assimilation and civilization of my brothers of the jungle, and to prove to the world what the black man can do.” –shb 24 Mar 2006

DIED IN LIBERIA: I did a google search, trying to learn more about these Joseph Langfords. I at first thought they were whites who went there to prepare the way for freed slaves. Then I found , a site that lists those “sent by the American Colonization Society and its Auxiliaries. They arrived by “Brig Nautilus” in Sierra Leone on March 8, 1821. Among those listed are: Joseph Langford, “freeborn,” age 75, of Virginia, a Cooper who died in 1821 of “fever”; and [his wife, I gather–only other Langford and listed right under him–shb] Susan Langford, “freeborn,” age 58, of Virginia, died in 1827 of “Decline.” –shb 24 Mar 2006

SAILED TO “LAND OF THEIR FOREFATHERS”: At is published additional journal writings and information.

* * *


May 17, 2006 - Posted by | Genealogy, Kentucky Langfords


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