Except When You Can't!

You Hit a Brick Wall and Need To Take a Flying Leap

Over the Wall, Through the Wall, Around the Wall.

You dearly hope a hypothesis will catapult you over the wall or at least build a bridge to the middle of it so you can connect back to what you know. The question is the parentage of Annie (Lonesome) Lindsey who was born ca. 1867 in Caroline Co., Virginia, supposedly a child of Moses and Rachel Lonesome. Annie was the wife of Charles Lindsey and mother of John Lindsey.

Four African American families connected with the surname Lonesome hail from Caroline Co., Virginia. The odds are they are related, Moses Lonesome, Joseph Lonesome, Martha Lonesome, and Marie (Lonesome) Richarson. Their ages, surname, slaveowners' names and proximate geography all point in the direction of a close relationship. Martha may have been an in-law connected to an unknown male Lonesome, a potential relative. Research and a little luck may tell. Data combined from the 1870 and 1880 federal population census for Caroline Co., Virginia and the 1866 Caroline Co. Cohabitation Registers show four distinct family units. Compare and contrast that data for name and age anomalies. Then bring them forward, reading obituaries to see where a daughter Annie might fit.  With the 1890 census gone, the twenty year gap will have a serious effect on the cohesivieness of the family data.


Moses Lonesome

In 1866 Moses Lonesome age 50 appeared in the Caroline Co. Cohabitation Register with his wife Rachel (Taylor) Lonesome age 39 and their children; William Lonesome age 22, Judy Lonesome age 19, George Lonesome age 16, Cath. Lonesome [no age listed], Warner Lonesome age 9, Frank Lonesome age 7, Marie Lonesome age 5, Polonias Lonesome age 3, and Hally Lonesome age 1. See Blog entitled CAROLINE COUNTY (VA.) REGISTER OF COLORED PERSONS OF CAROLINE COUNTY, STATE OF VIRGINIA, COHABITING TOGETHER AS HUSBAND AND WIFE ON 27TH FEBRUARY 1866.

In 1870 Moses Lonesome age 50, Rachel age 40, George age 19, Catherine age 18, Lonius age 14, Hallie age 7, and Thomas age 4, were enumerated (dwelling 576, family 538, handwritten page 74) in Bowling Green, Caroline Co., Virginia, next to Hannah Motley. 

1870 Virginia Caroline Co Bowling Green federal census

Moses Lonesome was not enumerated in the 1880 Bowling Green, Caroline County federal populaton census, and had probably died during the previous decade. Just to make research hard, his wife is listed as Sarah Lonesum age 50 instead of Rachel. She was the head of a household with their son-in-law James Roy age 40, their daughter Juda (Lonesome) Roy age 30, five grandchildren,William Roy age 14, Rachel Roy age 10, Bettie Roy age 8, Josephine Roy age 5, Martha Roy age 2, along with Frank Lonesum age 22, Lonius Lonesum age 18, Thomas Lonesum age 10 and Hattie Lonesum age 16. Also in Caroline Co., Warner Lonesome age 25 worked in the sawmill as a servant of Charles Saunders and George Lonesome enumerated as Charles Lonesome age 30 with his wife Julia (Gray) Lonesome age 32, Lee Lonesome age 7 and Maria L. Lonesome age 2, near his in-laws, Peter Gray and Matilda (Garnet) Gray.

 188- Virginia Caroline Sparta federal census

Not one of these three "snapshots" of the family of Moses Lonesome has a daughter born ca. 1867 who could be Annie (Lonesome) Lindsey. If her name is wrong and her age if off by three or more years, Hallie or Hattie Lonesome might work.


Joseph Lonesome

Joseph Lonsome age 45, his wife Lucy (Banks) Lonsome age 30 and their children Jenny age 11, Edward age 9, Wash’n age 7, Nelson age 4, and Maria age 6 months were found in the 1866 Caroline Co., Cohabitation Register.

Joe Lonesome age 51, Lucy age 40, Edw'd age 14, Wash'n age 9, Nelson age 7, Maria L. age 4, and Polly age 2, were enumerated (printed page 236, handwritten page 53, dwelling 357, family 370), next to R. B. Richarson in Bowling Green, Caroline Co., Virginia in the 1870 federal population census.


Joseph Lonesome age 60, his wife Lucy age 39, their children, Nelson age 16, Maria age 14, Pollie age 11 and Jerry Washington age 6 a servant, all lived in the southern district of Bowling Green, Caroline Co., Virginia in 1880. 


Of that family of Joseph Lonesome, possibly Maria Lonesome and/or Pollie Lonesome could have been known as Annie. Both of them are near the right age to be Annie, within a year on either side. While this is not the information given by the family, it does appear possible. I doubt Pollie was the wife of Charles Lindsey and mother of John Lindsey, since John her son, was born in 1881 and she was born in 1868 or 1869. It's not impossible, but it is tight, as to the ages.


Martha Lonesome

The third and final Lonesome family located in the 1870 federal population census for Port Royal, Caroline Co., Virginia (reverse of printed page 264, handwritten page 110, dwelling 748, family 777), with Andrew I. Gravatt was Martha Lonesome age 31 and her presumed children, Maria age 10, Willie age 6, Lucy A. age 3 and Benjamin age 1. This is five dwellings from Isaac Richerson, Maria (Lonesome) Richerson's widower, and his three daughters, Frances, Margaret and Sarah Richerson.


In 1880 Martha Lonesome age 44, "separated from her husband," her children Benjamin Lonesome age 10, Martha G. Lonesome age 5 and a servant Martha Baylor are next door to her daughter, Maria Lonesome age 24 and her two children, John age 2 and Lillie age 8/12 born October. Her two older children, Lucy A. Lonesome age 15 is a servant with Robert E. Jones and William Lonesome age 18 is a servant of Alfred Gouldman, were enumerated in Port Royal, Caroline Co., Virginia.

1880 Va Caroline Martha Lonesome

That leaves Lucy A. Lonesome, daughter of Martha, as a possible Annie born ca. 1867 in Virginia. A marriage record in Boston, of all places, has Lucy Lonesome born 1872 in Caroline Co., Virginia daughter of Jno. Lonesome and Martha (Richardson) Lonesome married to Harry Coster. Another marriage record in the District of Columbia has Lucy Lonesome married to John R. Quivers in 1901 in D.C.


Isaac Richarson

Caroline Co. has an extant register, Caroline County (Va.) Register of Children of Colored Persons whose Parents had ceased to cohabit which the Father recognizes to be his, 1866 Feb. 27, contained Marie Lonesome's children with Isaac Richardson; Frances, Margaret and Sarah. 


Even though the children of Isaac Richarson are not named Lonesome, they are likely cousins of some kind and and they or their descendants may have lived with or near descendants of Moses, Martha and Joseph Lonesome.


Some scenarios:

  • William Lonesome, son of Moses Lonesome and Rachel (Taylor) Lonesome, may have had a daughter ca. 1867 who was raised partially by his parents, just not enumerated with them.
  • One of the two possible daughters of Joseph Lonesome and Lucy (Banks) Lonesome, Maria or Pollie, might be the putative Annie (Lonesome) Lindsey.
  • Martha Lonesome's daughter Lucy might be Lucy Annie and therefore be the wife of Charles Lindsey.
  • An unknown Lonesome may have had a daughter Annie who became Annie Lonesome Lindsey.


Thomas H. Lonesome, son of Moses, was born either in April 1867 in Virginia or 14 April 1869 in Virginia. He died 26 October 1944 in Youngstown, Mahoning Co., Ohio. The informant for his death certificate Rosalie Kennedy, 441 N. 21st NE, Washington, D. C. Her connection needs to be established and an obituary found for Thomas. Both wives of Thomas predeceased him. Estate proceedings in Mahoning Co. need to be investigated to determine his heirs or devisees.



Edward Lonesome born 17 May 1863 in Virginia, died 6 March 1913 in Philadelphia, Philadelphia Co., Pennsylvania, a son of Joseph Lonesome and Lucy Banks. Carrie Lonesome of 1338 So. Mole St., Phila was the informant. An obituary needs to be found and reviewed for surviving siblings.


 Nelson Joseph Lonesome, son of Joseph Lonesome, died 19 December 1922, buried Holy Cross Cemetery, Yeadon, Pennsylvania. A death certificate is needed for him and more importantly an obituary listing his survivors.

Benjamin Lonesome born in 1869 in Virginia, son of Martha Lonesome, lived in the District of Columbia during the 1940 census. He died age 96 in Washington, D. C. in either 1965 or 1966. His great grandson supplied this undated obituary clipping that doesn't mention any siblings. A death certificate from the District of Columbia could be obtained in 2015 or 2016. 


Next research moves:

  • Read the 1860 federal population census for the county to be certain there were no free blacks named Lonesome.
  • Review obituaries of children of Moses (Thomas Lonesome), Joseph (Nelson and Edward Lonesome) and Martha (Lucy Lonesome) to research with which family Annie might be connected.
  • Review death certificate of Annie (Lonesome) Lindsey and those of her children to see if another alternate given name appears.
  • Review obituary of Annie (Lonesome) Lindsey for mention of siblings.
  • Search the 1870 Caroline Co. census for any three year old black or mulatto children who could be Annie.
  • Search King and Queen Co. for the same.


Ida Sherwood Bettis is my paternal grand mother. Aunt Clara is my great aunt. I can remember every nooks and crany of that house and yard...

Eric Bettis Eric Bettis 25. July, 2017 |

I would be happy to forward your name, connection, and email if you wish.

Barbara K. Henritze Barbara K. Henritze 06. November, 2016 |

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