Sherlene\’s G-LOG

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

Mary Lankford (b. 1752, NC, d/o Benjamin and Henrietta Bowcock, m. Richard Todd), of Pittsylvania County, Virginia

Notes for Mary Lankford (d/o Benjamin and Henrietta, m. Richard Todd), compiled by Sherlene Hall Bartholomew (shb, hereafter), as of 6 Oct 2006:

1752–BIRTH IN NORTH CAROLINA: (See “GENEALOGY NOTES FOUND” tag, below, for information gleaned from notes about Mary Langford Todd’s genealogy, as found in an old Georgia attic and then posted on the ‘net. These notes include information that “Mary Lankford Todd was born in 1752, in North Carolina, and moved to Woodford County, near Versailles, Kentucky.” –shb 6 Oct 2006

MARY NAMED IN FATHER/S WILL: See notes of Mary’s father, Benjamin Lankford, for a transcription of his will, proved 17 Sep 1810, that names “daughter Mary Todd, widow of Richard Todd.” –shb 8 Apr 2006

FATHER BENJAMIN LANKFORD/MARRIED RICHARD TODD, JR./CHILDREN: Information about Mary Lankford was first entered from a family group record posted on “Stray Leaves, A James Family in America Since 1650,” found at http://www.ericjames.org/html/fam/fam29398.htm , accessed 6 Apr 2006, by shb. This site says Mary m. Richard Todd Jr. in 1780, in Pittsylvania County, Virginia.

1780, SEPTEMBER 19–MARRIAGE BOND FOR MARY LANKFORD AND RICHARD TODD SIGNED BY MARY’S FATHER, VIRGINIA ASSEMBLYMAN BENJAMIN LANKFORD: Date first obtained from research of Ida-Rose (Langford) Hall, as published in her book, Progenitors and Descendants of Fielding Langford, then confirmed as date of their marriage bond. (See scan of bond, as attached to Mary’s media file.) A photocopy of this bond was made by a friend of Terry Smith’s, while doing research in Pittsylvania County, Virginia, then Terry mailed it to shb. I have transcribed it (with helpful interpretation by Barry Wood, in the several places, where I could not read the script). I ended my transcripton on the same line as the original text (sometimes the right margin served as punctuation):

“Know all men by these Presents that we Rich Todd & Jos Akins
are held and firmly bound unto the Common Wealth in the Just Sum
of fifty pounds Current Mony to Which payment Well and truly to be made
We bind ourselves our heirs Executors and admsts firmly these presents Sealed
With our Seals and Dated this 19th Day of Sept. Anno Dom 1780

“Whereas their is a Marriage Suddenly intended by Gods permission between
the said Richd Todd and Mary Lankford

“Now the Condition of the above obligation is such that if their is no Lawfull
Cause to obstruct this s’d Marriage then the above Obligation to be void or else
to Remain in full force Power and Virtue

“Signed, Sealed and Delivered
In the Presence of
[Opposite above two lines are these signatures] Richd Todd
Jos. Akins

[Underneath this bond is a note that looks as though it was written on a separate piece of paper and attached–shb]:

“These are to Certify my Consent for you to Issue a Licence
for the Marriage of Richard Todd and Mary Lankford given
under my Hand & Seal this 18th [blurred–shb] day of Sept 1780
Test
George Allin [?–shb] Ben: Lankford [his signature and seal–shb]
Wm Allin” –shb 5 Oct 2006

Correspondence about this marriage bond from Barry D. Wood to shb, 5 Oct 2006: “To answer your question about the second bondsman, typically each of the bride and groom had a bondsman to stand bond for them, or the groom could do it for himself, if of age. The bride’s bondsman was usually her father, brother, brother in law, or an uncle.

“I think that it’s very interesting that Jos.[eph] Akins, of whom we (or at least I) know absolutely nothing, acted as bondsman instead of Benjamin Lankford. I have no clue as to what the relationship might have been — if any.

“They practically never had to PAY on the bond — which was a good thing, as the fifty pounds mentioned here would be enough to buy an entire farm at the time, though not a large or nicely improved one. They just had to stand ready to pay up if it were determined that the bride and groom were really half brother and half sister, or if the groom were already married to another wife; something like that.” –shb 6 Oct 2006

MARY LANKFORD’S HUSBAND RICHARD WAS VIRGINIA’S PAUL REVERE? WARS IN HALIFAX/PITTSYLVANIA COUNTY, VIRGINIA: See notes of Benjamin Lankford, Richard’s father-in-law (my Legacy ID No. 66896), for an “abbreviated” history by Maud Clement of wars that affected Pittsylvania County and Virginia, in general. I feel certain that Benjamin was related to my ancestor, Joseph Lankford (for one thing, Benjamin, Joseph, and Nicholas Lankford are involved in various suits over debt, same time and place–see Benjamin’s notes for this chronology). However, at this time we do not yet know how they connect. Benjamin was on the Committee of Safety and served in Virginia’s General Assembly. This history tells much about the times that certainly also affected the lives of our Virginia Lankfords. Clement’s history includes this paragraph:

“After laying Virginia waste, Cornwallis marched his force to Yorktown. Now came the order for one quarter of Pittsylvania’s militia to the ‘Siege of York.’ The Court of Claims gives the item: ‘To RICHARD TODD for Riding Express to give militia officers notice (and finding himself for four days) in consequence of his Excellency the Governor’s Order to order one quarter of the militia to the Siege of York.'” I do not know whether this Richard Todd is Mary Lankford’s husband or her father-in-law, with the same name. –shb 18 July 2006

SHIRON WORDSWORTH RESPONSE: Excerpt from e-note response to some of the above, by Shi Wordsworth, to shb, 17 July 2006: “You have the perfect reference for Richard’s accidental death. It’s in that letter [found in the Georgia attic, see below–shb] that the kind correspondent [speaking of Michelle Bartell–shb] is going to scan and send you. I’ve read that the Richard who was Virginia’s version of Paul Revere was, in fact, Mary Langford’s husband. I can’t remember right now whether or not there were references for that bit of information. I always kept Mary Langford Todd in the back of my mind, but didn’t concentrate on her since I wasn’t really sure whether or not there was a connection to Rockcastle Stephen. But I’ll be hunting for her with more intensity now that some knots are beginning to come untangled with regard to Virginia-Kentucky Langfords. If I find that particular reference, I’ll give you a holler.” –shb 19 July 2006

BOB LANGFORD RESPONSE: On being copied to some of the above correspondence, John Robert or “Bob” Langford, thought to be a descendant Stephen Lankford, original settler of Mt. Vernon (via his son Benjamin, who m. Nancy Peyton), responds, 18 July 2006: “Sherlene, I don’t have them in front of me, but I have seen several references to Richard Todd being “killed in the Indian wars.” According to the story, after Richard was killed, Mary went to live with her sister, Henrietta, wife of Judge Thomas Todd, Richard’s brother, who was living at Crab Orchard, Kentucky at the time. If that is correct, the Todd brothers were smitten by the beauty of those Langford sisters, huh?

“I believe this originated with Martha Green. I also saw it in some of Rose Cranston’s stuff.
Incidentally, I am showing that Richard Todd and Mary Langford married on 19 Sept 1780.
Col. Bob [He also goes by “The Colonel,” an alias Shi Wordsworth first assigned him–shb.]

1795–HUSBAND RICHARD TODD DIES/MARY TAKES THEIR FOUR CHILDREN TO LIVE WITH HER BROTHER-IN-LAW, JUDGE (LATER US SUPREME COURT JUSTICE) THOMAS TODD, IN KENTUCKY. My mother, Ida-Rose Langford Hall, wrote in her book, Projenitors and Descendants of Fielding Langford (1970, 2003), p. 61, that “Mary Todd was widowed by the Indian Wars and went to Kentucky to live with her husband’s brother who was a prominent judge in Kentucky.” However, I did not know this brother’s name until I got this helpful e-mail from Terry Smith, 8 Aug 2006. She writes: “I also highlighted one tidbit [she is talking about having combed through her Pittsylvania County, Virginia resources on hand–shb.] Richard Todd was the son of Richard Todd of King & Queen County and a brother of William Todd. He married Mary Lankford, a daughter of Benjamin Lankford of Pittsylvania. Richard Todd died in 1795, for in that year his estate was ordered and appraised. After the death of her husband, Mary Lankford Todd went to Kentucky and made her home with her brother-in-law, Justice Thomas Todd, taking with her her four children (Virginia Magazine, Vol. 25, 309.)”

——-Original Message——-
From: Sherlene H. Bartholomew
Date: 08/10/06 13:59:52
To: Undisclosed-Recipient:,
Subject: Judge Thomas Todd took in Mary (Lankford) Todd and 4 children

“Dear Langfords,

“Here’s a relative-by-marriage you’ll be interested to learn about.

“I learned from Terry Smith yesterday that after Richard Todd died, his widow, Mary (Lankford), daughter of Virginia General Assemblyman Benjamin Lankford, went to live with her husband’s brother, who lived in Kentucky, bringing along her four children by Richard Todd. (Benjamin, Mary’s father, is in the Caroline County, VA records, interacting, once in the same case, with our ancestor, Joseph Lankford, so we know they were related–possibly brothers?).

“My mother wrote in her book that Mary went to live with a prominent judge in Kentucky, but Terry was able, from her resources, to name him. THANKS, Terry! She writes, 8 Aug 2006:

“‘I also highlighted one tidbit [she is talking about having combed through her Pittsylvania County, Virginia resources on hand–shb.] Richard Todd was the son of Richard Todd of King & Queen County and a brother of William Todd [William, as a brother was new to me–shb]. He married Mary Lankford, a daughter of Benjamin Lankford of Pittsylvania. Richard Todd died in 1795 for in that year his estate was ordered and appraised. After the death of her husband, Mary Lankford Todd went to Kentucky and made her home with her brother-in-law, Justice Thomas Todd, taking with her her four children (Virginia Magazine, Vol. 25, 309.)” –shb 10 Aug 2006

“I checked the early censuses, after Mary left, but they have very little detail, so I could not decipher which Thomas Todd she went to live with. However, I had better luck with a google search for “Justice Thomas Todd.” I found a fabulous biography about the man who ultimately became United States Supreme Court Justice Associate Thomas Todd! Unfortunately, it did not mention his taking in Mary and her children. He certainly was an
admirable character–reading about his life was very interesting. Here’s one link to a short
bio and his portrait:

<http://www.supremecourthistory.org/02_history/subs_timeline/images_associates/012.html&gt;

“The site also includes a longer bio of him, so check the other links.

On 8/14/06, Shi Wordsworth responds, writing to another cousin, Bob Langford, who copied it to me, with his comments: “Click on the link below to see Mary Langford Todd’s brother-in-law. I had no idea he was made a Justice of the Supreme Court!

“Well, the law!

“Sherlene” –shb 15 Aug 2006 [Note: In a subsequent letter, Shi said she heard of another Madison connection, beyond the fact I passed on that Thomas Todd married Lucy (Payne), sister of Dolly Madison and the widow of Pres. George Washington’s nephew: Mary Lankford’s sister Anne (d/o Assemblyman Benjamin) married Ambrose Madison, a second cousin (according to my Legacy relationship calculator) of President James Madison–shb.]

JUDGE/JUSTICE THOMAS TODD PRESIDES AT HARPES TRIAL? After sending Shi Wordsworth news from Terry Smith that the prominent relative Mary went to live with, after her husband Richard Todd’s death was Judge Thomas Todd and sent her material I had found on him, Shi responded, 15 Aug 2006: “I knew that Thomas Todd had given Mary Langford a home after his brother’s death [so why didn’t she know that I didn’t know and read my mind, so tell me about it?–shb.] I’m also suspicious that this same Thomas Todd was the state’s prosecuting attorney in the trial of the Harpes for murdering Thomas Langford [I had noticed his name in that context and wondered about that, myself–‘would seem to be a conflict of interest, unless they were not related, after all–shb]. Thanks for the links!” –shb 15 Aug 2006

A MUTUALLY BENEFICIAL ARRANGEMENT? Since Thomas Todd’s wife, Elizabeth (Harris) died in 1801, about six years after the widowed Mary joined their household, perhaps Elizabeth was not well, and the arrangement was beneficial for both. Elizabeth had been married some seven years (since 1788) and had five children before she died. In 1795, when Richard Todd died, he left Mary with four children under about age fifteen, as they were married in 1780. For propriety’s sake, did Mary move out shortly after Elizabeth died? When she left, where did she go? –shb 10 Aug 2006

ONLY STAYED “A WHILE” WITH JUDGE THOMAS TODD. “Todd Families of America” RootsWeb site, accessed 10 Aug 2006, by shb, lists among Todds in various Kentucky counties these that include information about Mary Lankford Todd and, also, her son Benjamin Lankford Todd [full caps mine–shb]:

“Franklin County –

“Thomas Todd (TF 31) (1765-1824?), Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court settled in Franklin County. He was son of William Todd of King and Queen County. His brother William settled in Woodford County; the widow of his brother Richard (who died in VA in 1795) came to Kentucky and lived for a while with Judge Todd.

“Richard Todd (1768-1858) married in Franklin in 1802 and later moved to Owen County.

“Hopkins County –

“Between 1807 and 1810, a widow Sarah Todd with several children and a Jonathan Todd with a wife and two sons settled in Hopkins County. Sarah is assumed to be the mother of Damara b 1796 NC md John Lockridge 1822, Thomas b 1797 NC, Sarah b 1800 MO, John b 1805 MO, Reuben b 1808 KY. Jonathan went to White Co, ILL by 1830; Reuben married in White Co in 1830 and then returned to Hopkins Co. prior to 1840.

“By 1820, several other Todds arrived there – BENJAMIN L. TODD 1785-1848 from the King and Queen Co ,VA family [this is Benjamin Lankford Todd, son of Richard and Mary (Lankford) Todd–shb], Joshua Todd from the Rowan Co, NC->Madison Co, KY family, and Thomas.

“Madison County

“Descendants of Joseph Todd (TF 17) d 1699 Philadelphia came to Rowan County, North Carolina and then moved on to Madison KY about 1797.

“Pulaski County

“William & Elizabeth Todd (TF 55) settled in the Pulaski area. Their children were Richard Todd b.ca.1789, Robert Todd b. 1790-1796, William Todd who married Polly Taylor ca. 1818, Anderson Todd Sr. who married Sarah McKenzie ca. 1818, Thomas Todd who married Mary Van Hook ca. 1822, Andrew Todd who died at age of 75 in 1876 (listing parents Wm.&Eliz.), and Henry Todd who married Jane Adams in 1828. Some historians assert a connection to Washington Co, VA.”

“Also Joseph & Charity Henninger Todd were in the county ca 1830’s. Their children Joseph Green Todd, Henry Harrison Todd, Matilda Todd, Cartwright T. Todd, and Mary Polly Todd.” –shb 10 Aug 2006

GENEALOGY NOTES FOUND IN GEORGIA ATTIC. As posted by Michelle Bartell at http://boards.ancestry.com/mbexec?htx=message&r=rw&p=surnames.todd&m=2277, accessed 18 July 2006, by shb (as referred by “Mary F.” who saw my posting about Benjamin Lankford (who was in the General Assembly, of Pittsylvania County, Virginia) on my “G-log” Langford blog: “This letter was found in an old house in Atlanta, GA by my aunt [since identified by Michelle as ‘Martha Coe [1934-1998’]. I am not related in any way to these families and have no further information. I will gladly send a scan of the below letter that I have transcribed to anyone that wants it [I did write Michelle, asking for the scan, which she graciously accomplished, discovering a back-side, in the process–shb]. I transcribe both sides of the original, myself, as follows [information Michelle added that I did not see or deduce from the transcribed copy is in brackets like this–shb]. I end each line where it ended on the original notes:

Michelle’s transcription includes this introduction: “Genealogy of Todd Family- as told by Aunt Agnes Todd on her visit to her nephew (Maurice Hanner) and family in Atlanta, GA – Aug. 20th 1928. Also her cousin Elizabeth Todd of Athens, GA.”

“Mary Lankford Todd (Gr. Gr. mother)
born 1752 in N.C. moved to Woodford Co. near Versailles, Ky. [last three words inserted above words “moved to . . .”–shb]

“‘had 3 boys – Benj Lankford
being the oldest – Thomas next
then William –

“While on their way, they stopped at
a tavern and her husband was shot
and killed or accidentally Killed [inserted words after Killed: “By the Harpes”]
and was buried near there.

“My Gr. Grand-father Benj Lankford Todd)
came on [sic–shb] Hopkins Co. In M[adison] – ville

“He had a number of slaves –
He was the father of 8 children
then died about 1840.

“The children are all gone except
Aunt Sarah Todd Slaton who is now 96 [next side]

“Our Gr. Gr-mother was Eliz”- Green
who married Benj L -who died
1852 – was 100 yrs. old. We are the only descendants
of Benj L – Todd
Benj L. Todds cousin Chas S. Todd
(Inspector Gen. and Aide De Camp to Gen.
Harrison during the Revolutionary War
and Rep. of U.S.A. in So. America
and Minister to Russia” –shb 19 July 2006

NOTES FOUND IN ATTIC OF A RELATIVE OF MY BROTHER-IN-LAW BARRY D. WOOD! Letter from Michelle Bartell to shb, 19 July 2006: “Dear Sherlene,

“Please find the attached 3 scans. One looks to be the rough notes and the other the transcribed version. I posted the transcribed version. I just turned the untranscribed letter over and see there was more information on the back. Also on the untranscribed version it does say “shot and killed or accidentally killed by by the H…? I just can’t read the writing [I explained to her that this was the ‘Harpes Brothers’–shb.]

“My aunt’s name was Martha Coe (1934-1998), she would be honored to be credited as she was my family’s genealogist and historian. When she died I got her papers. Her start has help me pull alot together.

“The house she found it in belonged to Kenneth Hufford Hanner before she bought it. His father is the Maurice Hanner mentioned in the letter. Looking at the paper and information I think it dates from the late 1920s or early 1930s.

“Feel free to pass it along, but if anyone wants a bigger scan, a photo copy or a disk of it just let me know and I will make it to size.

“Best regards,

“Michelle Bartell” –shb 2 Aug 2006

E-letter from Barry D. Wood to shb, 19 July 2006: “This is quite a surprise — to see the prior owner of that house bearing the Hufford name (my mother’s maiden name). I haven’t tracked the Huffords who stayed in Kentucky past the 1880 census, and am not aware of any in Georgia at all. Thus I’m not aware of Mr. Hanner exactly, but I can’t imagine anyone having Hufford as a middle name who would not have gotten it as a family name.

“Just to reiterate, of the four Hufford brothers who settled in Kentucky (Daniel, John, George and Jacob), at least one and probably two were killed by robbers; a couple of decades later than the Langford murder(s).

“So I’m wondering whether part of the reason Mr. Hanner saved this memo was that he had multiple Kentucky murder victims in his family tree. Do you think that the Agnes Todd who provided this information was the same Agnes Todd who appears on the 1880 census as the wife of J. Langford Todd?

“The URL of the search result where I found the household in Hopkins County, on familysearch.org, is as follows:

“<http://www.familysearch.org/Eng/Search/frameset_search.asp&gt;

“However, that might not work for someone else, so I might have to suggest that you just try looking for an Agnes Todd. There weren’t that many, and only one born in Kentucky, except for a six year old girl who would have been only 54 in 1928 and therefore maybe not the eldest family historian in the clan.

“In short, it would seem that the person who provided this information was technically an
‘aunt in law’ of the Langford/Todd descendants.

“The fact that her husband chose to use his middle name — Langford — as his principal given name reflects the honor that the Todds associated with their Langford ancestry, some 100 years after their ancestor Benjamin Langford was the sheriff of Pittsylvania County.

“Barry Wood” [To which Michelle Bartell responds]:

“Dear Barry and Sherlene,

“Here is how the Hanners, Hufford, Langford and Short papers were all together in Georgia house that my aunt bought.

“This is from a book by Effie Short on the Moulton Short family 1799 to 1916.

“Kenneth Hufford Hanner
Kenneth’s Father Maurice Hanner – connected to Langford & Todd Families
Kenneth’s mother Hattie May Hufford
Hattie’s father Simon Hufford of Sandusky, OH
Hattie’s Mother Elizabeth Short
(I have this last couple’s marriage certificate as well)

“I am glad to be able to have help.

“Sounds like the Harpes Bros. were pretty awful! Send me your notes, Sherlene, I would enjoy the read. [I did–shb.]

“Regards, Michelle” –shb 2 Aug 2006

PHOTO OF MARTHA COE. I wrote to Michelle Bartell, telling her I may wish to use the story about her aunt’s finding those notes in the attic of her home in a column, with this e-response, 2 Aug 2006:

“Dear Sherlene,

” . . . . If you want to write a story for your column, I will be glad to give any information and help I can.

“I don’t have a picure of the house, but here is the address 269 Josephine St., Atlanta, GA 30307. Martha moved to Atlanta from California to work in a local paper (she was a journalist and photographer). She bought and restored the house over a period of about 5 years. (1978-1983). Martha then moved back to California and worked at her hometown paper the Willow’s Journal until her death.

“When Martha died, she left me everything. She never married and had no children. She had the papers I found in her genealogy file. These things came with me when I moved from California to [protected information now in her blind file–shb].

“I am attaching a picture of Martha Mae Coe. It is my favorite picture of her. Just a side note the necklace in the picture is a Victoria penny with jet beads (now mine and which I wear often). I don’t have any great pictures of the 2 of us, so just use this one if you like.

“I will answer any questions you want and give you full authorization to publish this information.

“Regards,

“Michelle K. Bartell” [Note: I have attached Martha Coe’s photo to Mary Lankford Todd’s media file.] –shb 2 Aug 2006

SHI WORDSWORTH RESPONSE: After I forwarded to Shi Wordsworth Michelle Bartell’s typed transcription of the first page of these notes, as posted at ancestry.com, I got this response from Shi, 17 July 2006:

“Hi!

“This is exciting even if it doesn’t clear up the murder of Thomas Langford on the Wilderness Road. This is an account of how Mary Langford Todd’s husband, Richard, met his death.

“But what is really exciting to me personally is that I found Grandpa Robert (son of Benjamin, son of Stephen1) in Woodford County in the 1810 census. I always wondered why he was in Woodford County, but…if his aunt, Mary Langford Todd, was living there, perhaps that’s where and how he met his wife, Frances Head.

“And…this is also more circumstantial evidence that Rockcastle Stephen [our term, referring to Stephen 1, first settler of Mt. Vernon, Rockcastle, Kentucky–shb] is, indeed, the son of Pitt Ben [Virginia Assemblyman, Benjamin Lankford, of Pittsylvania County, Virginia, and father of Mary, who married Richard Todd–shb] and the brother of Mary Langford Todd.

“Yes, please send the scanned copy of the letter when you get it!

“And if all of the above is true, then Rockcastle Stephen is the nephew of [my ancestor–shb]Joseph Langford. We’ve finally made a connection or at least an assumption that’s got some fairly credible legs to walk with. If all of this is true, we are finally, officially, cousins. For crying out loud! It’s about time!

“Hurray!!!

“Rowdy Shi

“PS. We have estimated a birth year for Pitt Ben’s Stephen as about 1745. That fits perfectly with having a sister born in 1752. It also explains a bit why there is a North Carolina connection for Rockcastle Stephen. This gets better and better!” –shb 19 July 2006

MORE CONNECTING: E-letter from Sh Wordsworth to shb, 21 July 2006 ” . . . .Here’s what I think is true. I think the murdered Thomas was Pitt Ben’s son. I think that he was also the sibling of Rockcastle Stephen and Mary Langford Todd. I think that the Thomas your mother [Ida-Rose Langford Hall] lists as Benjamin’s son [in her book, Progenitors and Descendants of Fielding Langford–shb], the one who married in 1806, is Pitt Ben’s grandchild and not his son.

“It’s been a five year road searching for these ancestors. So often my opinion would change along the way. But lots of threads are coming together to make me almost certain that what I wrote, in short, above is the actual truth.

“I’ll try to make sense of this tomorrow. Till then I’m still

“Your Rowdy Cuz” –shb 22 July 2006 [To which my brother-in-law, Barry D. Wood, wrote, 22 July]:

“Right… I agree with Shi. (But I’m still in shock to find that Kenneth Hufford Hanner really is MY cousin, as well as related to you on the Langford side! His grandfather Simon Hufford was desc. from Jacob Hufford, one of the 17 children of Christian Hufford/Hoffert/Hoffarth, immigrant from Schwaigern, Kraichgau, Baden-Wuerttemburg in 1729, whose oldest son Christian Jr.’s son Peter’s son John was my mother’s grandfather.) [I wrote him back to the effect that the ghosts are working overtime, making this search fun for us–this sounds so improbable that if I read it in a book, I’d think the author was trying to hard to make the plot interesting–shb.] –shb 22 Jul 2006

MURDERED THOMAS QUITE PROBABLY MARY’S BROTHER: E-letter from Shi Wordswroth to shb, 19 July 2006: “Hi! What a treasure that letter is! I’m ever so grateful to have it. In my opinion it definately ties Mary Langford Todd to the murdered Thomas.

“Here’s what I glean from it. See if this makes sense. First of all this is a recollection written in 1928, or 130 years after Thomas Langford was murdered on the Wilderness Road. I think we have a case of an elderly individual mixing two family stories many long years after the fact. Or we may have a person jotting down notes on family history as the story is recounted intending to go back and flesh out the whole tale, yet never getting around to it. Here’s why I think this is the case.

“First of all we have this letter, and we have the historical record from the depositions taken at the time of the murder. Those depositions say that Thomas Langford was traveling with David Irby from Pittsylvania County, Virginia. At some point in their Kentucky journey, the two traveling companions separated, with Thomas Langford headed toward some destination other than Lexington or Frankfort. He made it to somewhere near Crab Orchard where he met the Harpes and was killed by them the following day. David Irby testifies that he alone was the traveling companion of Thomas Langford. That’s his sworn testimony in Lincoln County records. Irby even mentions that Thomas kept a pocket book where he recorded the expenses the two incurred. And it is David Irby and John Farris who get the court order to exhume Thomas for identification purposes. David Irby says that he was traveling alone with the man named Thomas Langford. The courts of Lincoln County proved to the Commonwealth’s satisfaction that his solitary traveling companion was TL. For sure documented court records state that Thomas Langford was murdered by the Harpes.

“No accounting of the Harpes’ murder victims ever lists Richard Todd as one of those poor souls. If Thomas had been traveling with his sister, and she miraculously escaped the Harpes, she could have identified the body. It wouldn’t have taken ‘raising’ Thomas in order for non family members to make an identification. I don’t think the man mentioned in this letter was the Mary Langford Todd’s husband, but her brother. I think that’s the connection that gets confused in this recollection after the fact. Obviously the family remembered the connection between the man murdered by the Harpes and Mary Langford Todd. But court records show that Thomas was alone with the Harpes at the time of his murder. If Mary Todd Langford and her children had been traveling in that group, the Harpes would have murdered the whole family. They thought nothing of killing children, and they never left witnesses except for one instance when they left an adult witness for dead. In that instance they were mistaken about that man’s demise. But their intent was to kill all who could lay blame at their door.

“I think the great thing about this letter is that it ties Mary Langford Todd to the real murder victim, the one documented in court records as Thomas Langford. There is a definite recollection of a relationship between Mary Langford Todd and a man killed by the Harpes. And if that’s the case, it ties Thomas Langford to Pitt Ben. I think this is great evidence that murdered Thomas was a member of Pitt Ben’s immediate family.

“I need to look at the old roads through Kentucky at the time. Thomas was much closer to Stephen Langford’s home, than he was to Mary Langford Todd’s residence, at the time of his death. My guess is that if he were headed first to see his sister, he would have continued traveling further with David Irby before parting company with him and agreeing to meet him later at Frankfort. Thomas probably fully intended to visit with his sister during his Kentucky journey. But I think the road he was traveling indicates that he was headed more toward Stephen’s new acquisition of land, the one he had recently obtained by purchasing the Barbour grant. But I need to look at the roads which were few and far between at that time before I say that as fact. Does this make sense?

“In all family tales you have to weigh the story in light of what is actual historically documented fact. And especially if the family recollection is 130 years after those facts.I think this letter is wonderful for proving a connection between Mary Langford Todd and murdered Thomas. For that reason alone, it’s an incredible find. Sherlene, you are the ace detective! Keep it up!!! Rowdy is proud to be your cuz!!!! [Shi and others in the family are doing much of the thinking here–I just followed up on a referral by “Mary F.” to the posting so graciously provided by Michelle Bartell. I am thrilled to be part of such a fun team of family researchers, including Bob Langford and Barry Wood, who make “The Search” not only interesting and productive, but fun. We will gladly add input from anyone else out there who picks this up on my Langford G-log–shb.] –shb

TODD/MADISON CONNECTIONS: E-note from John Robert or “Bob” Langford to Shi Wordsworth, copied to shb, 14 Aug 2006: “Could old Chief Justice Todd have been Mary Todd Lincoln’s father or grandfather?

“That name Mary sure could be a clue. We may have a link to honest Abe here. Did Thomas marry his brother’s widow? I thought he was already married to Mary’s sister.

“We need to get to the bottom of this.

——-Original Message——-
From: Sherlene H. Bartholomew
Subject: Re: Mary Lankford Todd and US Supreme Ct. Justice Thomas Todd

“Hi, again,

“I wondered, too, Bob, about whether these Todds connect to Mary Todd Lincoln. I should think Pres. Lincoln’s lines would have been outlined clearly, by now, so that we could trace that (one more fun search for the pile).

“I also wondered if Judge Thomas Todd married his brother’s widow, Mary (Lankford), but his bio says he married Lucy (Payne), a sister of Dolly Madison and widow of a nephew of George Washington.

“It’s my guess that for propriety’s sake, Mary moved out shortly after Thomas’ first wife died in 1801 (since Mary’s husband Richard died in 1795, she would have, in that case, only been in Thomas Todd’s household for about six years, perhaps helping him with an ailing wife and their children, so that it was a two-way benefit?

“I would like to know where she went after that–to Georgia, perhaps, since those notes about her genealogy were found in an attic there? Did she marry again?

“I saw some references that may have related to Mary’s husband, Richard Todd (or to his father by the same name) that I, of course, can’t find now. At any rate, my impression is that one of the Richards was very heroic, referred to in at least one history as ‘Virginia’s Paul Revere.’ Mary’s husband died in battle (as I recall, in one of the “Indian Wars”).

“I did find another reference indicating that Mary only lived with Thomas Todd temporarily. I’m leaving in part of the info. about Todds in various counties:

MURDERED THOMAS QUITE PROBABLY MARY’S BROTHER: E-letter from Shi Wordsworth to shb, 19 July 2006: “Hi! What a treasure that letter is! I’m ever so grateful to have it. In my opinion it definately ties Mary Langford Todd to the murdered Thomas.

“Here’s what I glean from it. See if this makes sense. First of all this is a recollection written in 1928, or 130 years after Thomas Langford was murdered on the Wilderness Road. I think we have a case of an elderly individual mixing two family stories many long years after the fact. Or we may have a person jotting down notes on family history as the story is recounted intending to go back and flesh out the whole tale, yet never getting around to it. Here’s why I think this is the case.

“First of all we have this letter, and we have the historical record from the depositions taken at the time of the murder. Those depositions say that Thomas Langford was traveling with David Irby from Pittsylvania County, Virginia. At some point in their Kentucky journey, the two traveling companions separated, with Thomas Langford headed toward some destination other than Lexington or Frankfort. He made it to somewhere near Crab Orchard where he met the Harpes and was killed by them the following day. David Irby testifies that he alone was the traveling companion of Thomas Langford. That’s his sworn testimony in Lincoln County records. Irby even mentions that Thomas kept a pocket book where he recorded the expenses the two incurred. And it is David Irby and John Farris who get the court order to exhume Thomas for identification purposes. David Irby says that he was traveling alone with the man named Thomas Langford. The courts of Lincoln County proved to the Commonwealth’s satisfaction that his solitary traveling companion was TL. For sure documented court records state that Thomas Langford was murdered by the Harpes.

“No accounting of the Harpes’ murder victims ever lists Richard Todd as one of those poor souls. If Thomas had been traveling with his sister, and she miraculously escaped the Harpes, she could have identified the body. It wouldn’t have taken ‘raising’ Thomas in order for non family members to make an identification. I don’t think the man mentioned in this letter was the Mary Langford Todd’s husband, but her brother. I think that’s the connection that gets confused in this recollection after the fact. Obviously the family remembered the connection between the man murdered by the Harpes and Mary Langford Todd. But court records show that Thomas was alone with the Harpes at the time of his murder. If Mary Todd Langford and her children had been traveling in that group, the Harpes would have murdered the whole family. They thought nothing of killing children, and they never left witnesses except for one instance when they left an adult witness for dead. In that instance they were mistaken about that man’s demise. But their intent was to kill all who could lay blame at their door.

“I think the great thing about this letter is that it ties Mary Langford Todd to the real murder victim, the one documented in court records as Thomas Langford. There is a definite recollection of a relationship between Mary Langford Todd and a man killed by the Harpes. And if that’s the case, it ties Thomas Langford to Pitt Ben. I think this is great evidence that murdered Thomas was a member of Pitt Ben’s immediate family.

“I need to look at the old roads through Kentucky at the time. Thomas was much closer to Stephen Langford’s home, than he was to Mary Langford Todd’s residence, at the time of his death. My guess is that if he were headed first to see his sister, he would have continued traveling further with David Irby before parting company with him and agreeing to meet him later at Frankfort. Thomas probably fully intended to visit with his sister during his Kentucky journey. But I think the road he was traveling indicates that he was headed more toward Stephen’s new acquisition of land, the one he had recently obtained by purchasing the Barbour grant. But I need to look at the roads which were few and far between at that time before I say that as fact. Does this make sense?

“In all family tales you have to weigh the story in light of what is actual historically documented fact. And especially if the family recollection is 130 years after those facts.I think this letter is wonderful for proving a connection between Mary Langford Todd and murdered Thomas. For that reason alone, it’s an incredible find. Sherlene, you are the ace detective! Keep it up!!! Rowdy is proud to be your cuz!!!!”

[Shi and others in the family are doing much of the thinking here–I just followed up on a referral by “Mary F.” on this G-log, telling me about the posting so graciously provided by Michelle Bartell. So thanks to Mary F. and to all researchers on our family team, whose correspondence about Mary Lankford and her family is included here.–shb]

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October 6, 2006 - Posted by | Genealogy, Virginia Langfords

7 Comments »

  1. Yes the Todds of VA are connected to Mary Todd, Lincolns wife. one of the sons who died it his daughter. or granddaughter. Also John Faris and his wife ran a “Room and Board” house. the night before Thomas Langford was murdered he stayed there, as did the Harpes (according to all the aritcle I read) The Intresting fact is that Mrs. Farris is a born Langford,
    can not remmber the family conection, but it is there…
    My understanding is that Young Thomas Langford was on his way to visit his sister mary langford Todd, when this all happened.. “Libary of Virgina” has some article on it.

    Comment by Rose C | December 29, 2006 | Reply

  2. I’m totally new here – and coming into this conversation totally from left field. But thought I might be able to add a little more information and intrique to the Atlanta connections with the Todds.

    Josephine Street in Atlanta (where the letter was found in the attice) is in a neighborhood built around the turn of the twentieth century and is just a mile or two at most from the homestead of Richard and Martha Todd who came to settle on their Georgia Land Lottery purchase around 1823 (property records substantiated). The Todd’s land is labled as “Mrs. Todd” on several civil war maps of Atlanta made during the war. And portions of ‘Old Todd Road’ which is also on many civil war maps still exist today within the neighborhood.

    They were buried on the homestead and remain there still – (although the site is now someone’s backyard).

    I’ve personally seen the grave – it’s marked:

    Martha Todd 1802-1896 and Richard Todd 1792-1850. The monument couldn’t be that old however. We know from the city of Atlanta archives that the gravesite was donated by their decendants to the city of Atlanta as a ‘public park’ in the 1930’s when they sold off the surrounding land for development. And if I were betting I would bet that the monument is from around the same date.

    Their decendants are said to have lived on the last small parcel remaining from the site until the mid 1960’s when they sold the last piece of land as well as the family mansion which was built around the turn of the century. (Many people in the neighborhood remember the house.) And an ugly set of 1960s era apartments sit on the site today. (obviously the detail of this needs substantiation.)

    Richard Todd’s Sister (Sarah Todd Ivy 1782-1886) was married to Hardy Ivy – reportedly from the Abbeville or Chester NC, area moved to a nearby Land Lottery Parcel in 1833.)

    Given the family names all of these Todds seem to have they must somehow be linked with the Todd’s that all of you are discussing. Although I must confess I don’t see a direct link/connection from here.

    Greg

    Comment by gpbatlanta | July 31, 2007 | Reply

  3. I strongly believe I decend from this Todd line. I think one of my ancestors, Elmina “Emily” Todd (Gross) was a daughter of Jonathan Todd. In 1840 census records Emily and John Gross were living next door to Jonathan Gross (son of Richard), who at the time had a few children in their twenties and was between 50 and 60 years old. Do you know if Jonathan had a daughter named Elmina or Emily? If so, this is great news and I’ll be able to use this information to build my family tree! Great info!

    Comment by Katie | January 16, 2008 | Reply

  4. Hi I am totally New here, Just looked up my fathers name on google, And this site came up. and all I can say is WOW.. My Father is Thomas Lankford, and His father is Harold Thomas Lankford, But I cant seem to find out anything more. Does anyone know where I can look up My decendents? Thanks so much!

    Comment by carmelankford | January 25, 2008 | Reply

  5. Hello – Great information – very interesting!

    I’m a descendant of Richard Todd and Mary Lankford Todd via their daughter Mildred (Milly) who married 1. John Green and after he died circa 1809 married 2. John Louderback (in 1818). Mildred’s daughter by John Green was Martha Green Lauderback, who married William H.H. Hodson in Owen County, Kentucky in 1838 (my G-G-G grandparents).

    Sources:
    1. FORKS OF ELKHORN CHURCH with Genealogies of Early Members, Reprinted with Numerous Additions and Corrections –
    Ermina Jett Darnell (1946), 2000, paper, index, illus., map, xxv+322 pp [5320CC]. Situated near the conjunction of Franklin, Woodford, and Scott counties, Kentucky, the Elkhorn Church was a magnet for persons of the Baptist faith
    who had suffered under the established church in Virginia. Several hundred families are traced here by means of entries in the old minute book, family Bibles, wills, land records, tax lists, census records, and in a variety of other sources.

    2. http://archiver.rootsweb.ancestry.com/th/read/TODD/2003-12/1070813168 (see below)

    Data below found in Hennings “Virginia Statutes of Law” Vol V,
    VII, VIII, pp 50,57,395,396,483, 631, 632.
    13. Geoffrey TODD of Denton Co, Durham b 22 Feb 1637 md Margaret ?
    12. Thomas TODD bap. 12 Sep 1619 d 1676, lived at “Toddsbury” Ware Parish, Gloucester Co, VA & Arundel Co, MD. Burgess for Baltimore Co 1674-75 md 1618 Anna GORSUCH d/o Rev. John GORSUCH & ANN LOVELACE
    11. Capt. Thomas TODD b 1660 d Jan 1734/5 lived “Toddsbury”. J.P. for Gloucester Co 1698-1700, md Elizabeth BERNARD. d/o Sir William & Lucy (HIGGINSON), s/o Francis BERNARD (See BERNARD file) (Also see in line from Montague Gen. #11)
    10. William TODD, b 1709 d 1736/45 md c1709 Martha VICARIES. Lived in K & Qn Co VA (Philip & Richard w/o male heirs, sis. Eliz. md George SEATON)
    9. Richard TODD, b VA d 1766. Lived in K. & Qn Co, md Elizabeth RICHARDS who d 1766.
    8. William TODD b 1750 K & Q Co VA (eldest son) d 1815 Woodford Co, KY, md (2nd) 7 Feb 1774 Pittsylvania Co, VA Jane SHELTON b abt 1767 (Judge Thomas TODD of KY was youngest son md 1) Eliz. HARRIS, 2) Lucy PAYNE grdt of WINSTON Family)
    7. George W. TODD b 15 May 1783 VA d 20 Jul 1831 Frankfort, KY md 31 Aug 1806 Mary Ellis MONTAGUE b 8 Dec 1788 d 20 Jul 1829 Frankfort, KY (Had dtr Martha A. TODD b 1810 md 16 Nov 1824 Franklin Co, Dr. Joseph Gill ROBERTS b 1788, had Johns Todd, Joseph Weisiger & dtr Ann Mary ROBERTS b 1829 md Richard KNOTT b c1820, PA (founder of Castner KNOTT stores)
    (See MONTAGUE file)
    6. Agnes Haley TODD b 20 Feb 1813 d 20 Jan 1894 md 3 Nov 1829 Frankfort, KY John Dunn McCLURE b 1 Jun 1803 in Ireland d 3 Dec 1856 in Owenton, KY s/o Lawrence McCLURE, b 19 Aug 1783 Ireland, d 4 Apr 1851, md 6 Jul 1802, Elizabeth DUNN b 24 Feb 1783 Ireland, d Oct 1848 Chillicothe, OH
    9. Richard TODD, b VA d 1766. Lived in K. & Qn Co, md Elizabeth RICHARDS who d 1766
    Ch of Richard TODD:
    1. William TODD 1750 K&Q Co VA (eldest son) d 1815 Woodford Co KY md 1) 1770 Halifax Co, Phoebe Ferguson/Ramel? 2) 1774 Jane SHELTON b c1767 d/o Crispen, Pitts. Co VA came to Woodford Co Ky with family Ch: a. George TODD b c1788 s/o William TODD b c1763 & Jane SHELTON b c1763 md 31 Aug 1806 Frankfort KY, Mary Ellis MONTAGUE b 8 Dec 1788, ancestors of McCLURE, LEWIS, & HODGES families of Frankfort, b Letitia TODD md 1810 William F. HASLETT, lived in Anderson Co KY ancestors of EGBERTS & SAFFELLS of Frankfort.
    2. Mildred TODD md Thomas TUNSTALL
    3. Richard TODD d 1795 his family came to KY made home w/Justice Thomas TODD md 1780 Pitts. Co VA Mary LANKFORD d/o Benjamin., Ch; a. Thomas to Jefferson Co, b. Benjamin L. md 1813 Eliza. GREEN, c. Mildred TODD md 1) John GREEN, 2) 1818 John LOUDERBACK d. Richard TODD
    4. Justice Thomas TODD 1765-1826 came to Danville, KY. 1783 w/ fam. of relative Judge Harry INNES, to Frankfort by 1803 md 1) Elizabeth HARRIS,
    ch:
    a. Harry TODD
    b. Col. Charles S. TODD md 1816 Letitia SHELBY d/o Gov. Isaac SHELBY went to Shelby Co,
    c. John Harris TODD md 1817 Maria Knox INNES d/o Judge Harry & Ann Harris Shiell INNES,
    d. Elizabeth TODD md 1811 John H. HANNA,
    e. Ann Maria TODD md 1817 Edmund STARLING;
    f. Justice Thomas TODD md 2) 1812 Mrs. Lucy Payne WASHINGTON w/o George Steptoe WASHINGTON (grdau of WINSTON)
    ch:
    g. James Madison TODD md 1847 Allisonia RENNICK
    h. Dolly Madison TODD md 1839 Charles QUIN, Jefferson Co, VA,
    i. William Jonhston TODD may have d yng, or md a SWAIN
    j. Milicent TODD d age of eighteen

    George TODD b Va 15 May 1783 VA d 20 Jul 1831 Frankfort, KY s/o Wm. s/o Richard md 31 Aug 1806 Mary Ellis MONTAGUE b 8 Dec 1788 d 20 Jul 1829
    Children:
    1. Martha Ann TODD b Ky 27 Oct 1807 d 29 May 1882 md 16 Nov 1824 Franklin Co,KY Joseph Gill ROBERTS b c 1888 VA, 1850 Franklin CoKy #21 (dtr 1-1. Mary Ann ROBERTS b 29 Oct 1827 d Louisville, KY. md 29 Oct 1844 Richard KNOTT b 1820 PA founder of Castner Knott stores)
    2. Elizabeth Smith TODD b Ky 26 May 1809 d 26 Feb 1887
    3. William Montague TODD b 30 Mar 1811 d 24 Oct 1865 Frankfort, KY
    4. Agnes Haley TODD b 20 Feb 1813 d 20 Jan 1894 m 3 Nov 1829 John D. McCLURE
    5. George Washington TOOD b 29 Aug 1815 d 9 Jun 1824 n.md
    6. Thomas JeffersonTODD b 10 Nov 1817 d 20 Apr 1853
    7. Mary Jane TODD b 8 May 1820 d Aug 1900 Frankfort, KY
    8. Lewis Franklin TODD b 15 Jan 1823 d 1 Nov 1844
    9. Albert Gallatin TODD b 11 Jan 1824 d 1 Mar 1827
    10. John Montague TODD b 27 Mar 1828 d Louisville, KY
    _________________________________________________

    Perhaps this will prove useful to someone.

    SBH

    Comment by Dr. Stephen Brian Hodson | September 19, 2008 | Reply

    • Stephen, Do you have any interest in locating the descendants of Richard Todd , the brother of Benjamin Lankford Todd? I think I have found him in Washington Co MO where he died about 1835.

      Comment by Richard McMurtry | June 9, 2014 | Reply

  6. To Greg and all-

    I’m in the process of collecting photographs for a book on Virginia-Highland (to be published by Arcadia publishing). I would like to find old photos of the Todd’s from Virginia-Highland. Richard and Martha. I have seen their grave and there are many records of them. Does anyone know descendants of these Todd’s that might have old family photos?

    Thanks – Lola

    Comment by Lola | October 1, 2010 | Reply


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