My latest family sleuthing has been centered on Silas James Lankford/Langford and his wife Nancy Susan McKinnis Lankford/Langford and Silas James’ father, Henry Lankford.
In my last entry I was pondering whether Silas James was still married to my great-great-great grandmother when he married for the second and third time in Dickson County, Tennessee, in 1879 and 1881.
After searching the county court, circuit court and chancery court records of Smith Co. TN, from about 1865 through 1887 when Susan McKinnis Lankford died, I found NO record of a divorce between Susan and Silas James Lankford. So, it appears that yes, Silas James married again without divorce while his first wife was still living.
I also decided to see if I could learn more about Silas James by researching Smith Co. TN probate records for Henry Lankford, Silas James’ father. Henry died in 1891.
After searching the Smith Co. TN Chancery Court Records Index (loose records collection), I found two entries for both Henry and “S” Lankford and Henry and James Lankford.
In folder 2909 of the loose Chancery Records of Smith Co. TN I found a suit in 1896 involving O.S. Lankford et al vs James Lankford et al. This suit was full of gems…. stating that all the Lankfords named were of Smith County, TN “except James Lankford who resides in Dickson County, TN”…and including naming “their father” Henry Lankford and said father…died intestate in Smith Co. TN on the 1st day of Sept. 1891.
Another page had Dickson Co. written at the top and was a subpoena for James Lankford to be summoned and to answer in chancery court in Smith Co. TN .
My last gem of the day was found in Smith Co. , TN Deed Books 6-11 1883-1899 by Partlow, 1996. On page 167 James Lankford and wife E.T. of Dickson Co. TN sold to L.O. Lankford their interest in land of their father, Henry Lankford, 23 Oct 1896.
Although I have not been able to find too many records in Dickson Co. that name James Lankford, it’s been thrilling to find the Smith Co. TN records that place James and wife in Dickson Co. TN.
I love a mystery-especially when the possible answer is just waiting in the records for me to “dig it out”!