All My Ancestors

14 March 2008

Women’s History Month–43rd Carnival of Genealogy

Filed under: Landrum Family, South Carolina, Tennessee by allmyanc

Here are our marching orders for the 43rd version of the Carnival of Genealogy:

Write a tribute to a woman on your family tree, a friend, a neighbor, or a historical female figure who has done something to impact your life. Or instead of writing, consider sharing a photo biography of one woman’s life. Or create a scrapbook page dedicated to a woman you’d like to honor. For extra credit, sum up her life in a six-word biography (thanks to Lisa Alzo for the suggestion!).

There have been a lot of strong, admirable women in my family. I wish I’d been able to interact in person with many of them–I’ve written about some of them already– in another Carnival of Genealogy entry about which 4 ancestors I’d like to have dinner with, an early posting that included my paternal grandmother, multiple entries about my maternal grandmother, her sisters, the tragedy and legacy of my great-grandmother‘s suicide, my great-aunt Margie and her sisters, her sister-in-law, my great-aunt Eva, and, of course, “the girls,” my great aunts Edna and Lorene. These women were resourceful and hard-working. I’m fortunate to have known most of them.

There are also some women in my family I’ve come to know through family stories and my own research. I’ve written about some of those as well. There are lots of candidates in my family deserving of a tribute–a 3rd great-grandmother who lost 4 sons in a Civil War she probably didn’t believe in, and who then reared the children of one of those sons; another 3rd great-grandmother who lost her parents as a young child, lost 4 sons as infants and who endured a husband’s wonder-lust and physical ailments, one of my great-grandmothers who saw to it that her own daughters went to college at a time when educating women wasn’t all that common.

The ancestor I will focus on for this entry is sort of a repeat–I’ve written about her before.  I know her only through what I found in writing about her and through a story relayed to me by her great-granddaughter, my great-aunt Margie. This is a partial reprint from an earlier post, one I wrote for Mother’s Day last year, but honoring Delilah Jackson Landrum seem appropriate for this exercise. She has become one of my guiding lights–

Delilah Jackson (1780-1870) was my 4th great-grandmother. She was married to Merriman Landrum (1784-1826) and outlived him by several years.  What I wouldn’t give for a photo!

I get the impression that Delilah was from a locally prominent family from Union County, South Carolina. She was born in 1780–her father was Ralph Jackson, Jr. and her mother was Delilah Murphy. Ralph Jr’s mother was Amy Williams. Amy is a patriot, in the sense that if I were so inclined, I could use her as my ancestor to join the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) since she is on record as having furnished forage to some of the Revolutionary soldiers’ horses. Delilah inherits, among other things, a “dutch fan” at her father’s death about 1817. I’ve spent some time trying to determine exactly what this item was, and I think it must have been a hand-held fan used by ladies in that day that came from Holland. Simple enough, but probably highly prized in those steamy South Carolina times.  And she must have inherited at least some of her grandmother Amy’s strength as well.

Much of the information I have about Delilah comes from a book about her son. Her oldest son was John Gill Landrum (1810-1882), a Baptist minister of some note in South Carolina. He seems to have been a fairly conservative fellow, but I did like the fact that when he married a Methodist woman, he had no issues with her attending her own congregation while he tended his.

The book is entitled The Life and Times of Rev. John G. Landrum, written by H. G. Griffith in 1885. It was reprinted in 1992 by Brent Holcomb, to whom I am most grateful for making this book more readily available. The book was the result of an article Mr. Griffith was asked to write for the Baptist Courier, a South Carolina Baptist publication, about Rev. Landrum. Despite his birth in Tennessee, John Gill Landrum evidently made his claim to fame in South Carolina. After the death of his father, Merriman, he was sent back to South Carolina for schooling and as with many students who go off to study, he made his life where he was educated.

Not all of the family information in The Life and Times is correct–but the general outline is there. The author evidently went to great length to contact Landrum descendants–there is a quote from my 3rd great grandmother, his older sister, Elizabeth Landrum Cooper who was living in Texas at the time. Elizabeth says of her mother Delilah:

She was as good a woman as ever lived; well beloved by all that knew her. She was an exception–was kind and good to everybody.

Just after their marriage in 1805 in South Carolina, Delilah and Merriman moved to middle Tennessee. Delilah and her husband evidently worked for and lived in the house of Newton Cannon who was then the Surveyor-General of the state. He was later the governor of the state. As the surveyor, he was often gone from his home. The Landrums ran his household for him–the story indicates that Cannon sometimes teased Delilah that she “had not patched his clothes as she should have done, while the clothes exhibited many conspicuous specimens of her handiwork.” She must have had a sense of humor. This, and the fact that Cannon continued to visit in Merriman and Delilah’s home in subsequent years, tells me she must have been a warm, loving, welcoming person. When Merriman died in 1826, Cannon, governor-to-be, paid Delilah and their nine children “a special visit of sympathy and condolence.”

My favorite story from this book is that of Delilah after the death of her husband and while she was still living in Tennessee. Her youngest daughter Mary wanted her mother to go to a neighborhood revival meeting. This was not the church they usually attended, but she agreed to go with her daughter. This description took me right back to my own youth in way too many revivals

“The preacher soon rose to fever heat, and his audience indicated their sympathy by shouts and groans, and many other noisy demonstrations. When the excitement had reached its climax, the preacher, in the tones of a trumpet, demanded that all who wanted to go to heaven should rise from their seats and clap their hands. The whole congregation, with the single exception of Mrs. Landrum, rose and gave the required response. The quick eye of the preacher noted the defalcation, and he immediately added: “And all who want to go to hell, will please keep their seats.” Mrs. Landrum still calmly kept her seat to the grat horror of the zealous worshipers, and especially to that of the little daughter Mary. The latter, on reaching home, came to her mother with a heavy heart, and, in childish simplicity, said: “Mother, do you want to go to hell?” “No, my child,” replied Mrs. Landrum; “but that preacher is not my captain. God knows the hearts of all his people, and it is not necessary to make unnatural and unbecoming demonstrations in order to merely gratify the curiosity of others.”

I don’t know if this passage would have eased my way as I navigated through the religious minefield that comprised my own youth, adolescence and young adulthood.  I do know that it mightily soothed me when I found it a few years ago. Part of me wanted to proclaim, “See, it’s genetic!” when I recalled how I couldn’t bring myself to pray aloud when called upon in church to do so, or to stand and give a “testimony,” to resent having to “shut my eyes and bow my head” and to raise my hand when the evangelist was taking some sort of heaven-bound poll. I didn’t have Delilah’s strength, but I like to think some of it has come my way as I’ve worked out my own spiritual path. And I’ve thought about her often as I’ve also worked out my role as the wife of a minister–I’m so glad to have found her and her story.

Some forty years after the death of her husband Merriman in Tennessee, Delilah died and is buried in Texas in an unmarked grave. She probably rests beside that youngest daughter Mary and Mary’s husband Thomas Ballenger in New Prospect churchyard in Rusk County, Texas. She is only one of my great-grandmothers who need a tombstone–another of my projects.

A 6 word bio? Based on what her children and grandchildren had to say and my own conclusions from research: wise, secure, loving, resilient, honorable, revered. best casino bonuscasino craps free gambling online,online casino craps,casino crapsonline casino download,free casino game no download,casino downloadvideo poker slot machinefree online black jack gameonline casino gambling blackjack,casino blackjack game online,online casino blackjackcraps free online play,play craps free,play crapsblack jack onlinevideo poker strategywin video pokerfree online slots game,play free online slots gamehow to win at roulettecasino bonus codeplay free casino game onlinecraps rulesamerican roulettefree online backgammon,online backgammon,online backgammon gameonline casino wageringjackpot casino,casino jackpot online,jackpot city online casinofree slots game,free internet slots game,free wheel of fortune slots gamebaccarat casino online,baccarat casino game,casino baccaratplay black jack online freeonline card game casino,casino card game,card casino free game onlinefree on line casinojeux de casino en ligne,jeux casino internet,jeux casinocasino bonus whorejeux kenoplay blackjack onlinejeu keno gratuitestableau black jackcasinos video pokerroulette de casinojeux casino virtuelonline black jack gamejeux casino enfantles jeux de casinocomment gagner au casino,gagner au casino,astuces pour gagner au casinocoupon gratuites casino 770casino machine a souswww jeu casinocasinos en ligne gratuitesslots en lignesuper casinojeu slots gratisgéant casinobonus des casinos en lignejeux casino machine a souscasino blackjack gratuitesvideo poker machinesjeu baccarat gratuites


4 Responses to “Women’s History Month–43rd Carnival of Genealogy”

  1. This was an absolutely brilliant post. So interesting and well written.

    Like you, I was fortunate to find a book that contained some information about one of my ancestors. Information other than the statistical. Meat and bones information. Knowing something is so gratifying.

    I loved this section: “that preacher is not my captain. God knows the hearts of all his people, and it is not necessary to make unnatural and unbecoming demonstrations in order to merely gratify the curiosity of others.” If only some of today’s more prominent people had her strength.


  2. You asked me if I’d visited the grave of Betsey Dearborn Taylor at Fairlawn Cemetery in Oklahoma City. I did not, but my cousin who lives in Edmond went and took some pictures for me. He was delighted to discover he had a great-great grandmother buried “in his own backyard.” I keep hoping that I will have an opportunity to stop by and visit there myself, but since I live on the opposite end of the state of Tennessee, I don’t get to Oklahoma as often as I did when I lived in a Memphis suburb or while growing up in Mississippi.

    I loved the story you shared about the revival meeting. I’ve read often about some of those early revivals (such as the one in Cane Ridge, Kentucky). I honestly don’t think that I would have gotten caught up in all the emotional stuff that went on at those either. I applaud your Delilah for sticking to her decision to stay seated even though I’m sure it brought a lot of uncomfortable stares. I wonder how many of those who stood really had a change of heart–the thing that really mattered to God?

  3. Thanks for your comments on my COG photos!
    It has taken years to have this collection. My
    German photos just came to me recently after
    being in my grandmothers attic in Germany for
    100 years. I am a very lucky gal!
    For me jewelry,research and history just go well
    together. Hope you stop by again!

  4. It sounds like Delilah was a strong, independent woman. Thanks for sharing her with us.

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