Filed under: Genealogy.
Two more trips to the Tennessee State Library and Archives and I have found a little more information on Silas James Langford. Although I cannot find a record of his marriage in either Smith Co. TN or the Early Middle TN Marriages book by Sistler, a Lankford Family Bible record states S.J. Lankford and N.S. Lankford were married 16 Oct 1859. I had always wondered if N.S., who is Susan in the census records of 1860, 1870, and 1880, was also a Lankford, but the entry before S.J. and N.S. in the Lankford Bible reads Henry Lankford and Margarett Lankford (Silas James’ parents) and I know that Margarett’s maiden name was Gregory. I did find later in my research, however, that Susan’s maiden name may have been McKinnis. As always, more questions and directions to pursue.
Silas James was not present in the 1870 TN census, but wife Susan was with son Marion age 12 and daughter Martha age 6. In the 1870 Smith Co. TN census Susan Lankford was living near her father in law Henry Lankford and three other Lankford households in dist 2, so I believe this is the same Susan that was living with James Lankford in the 1860 Smith Co. TN census dist 2.
I made a thorough search of Smith Co. TN probate records for Silas James Lankford, but, so far, nothing turned up. However, there were surviving tax lists for 1860, 1866, 1867, and 1868 for Smith Co., TN. In 1860 S.J. Lanckford is present in dist 2 with Henry and Sidney Lanckford. The next surviving tax list is 1866. S.J. is not present in dist 2, although both Henry and Sidney were present, along with a Jessey Lankford.
With that in mind, and the birth of daughter Martha in Jan 1865, it looks like Silas died ca 1865-1866. Though all of my questions about Silas James and his family are not answered, there is enough information and “proof” to apply for membership in the Civil War Families of Tennessee. And, with the “new” lead on Silas’ wife, Susan McKinnis, there is another line to explore and research!