Once again DNA answered an age old question lost throughout the decades.
Let's start with the records first.
The June 1900 census for Cope, Union Township, Orangeburg County, South Carolina had my 3x great-grandmother, Idella Livingston b. 1830 in the household of her grandson Samuel Livingston b. 1870. At this time Sam was married for 5 years to his wife Frances Brown-Livingston b. 1877. They had three children Verna (Vernell) b. 1896, Annie b. 1897 and little 3 month old Jasper b. 1900. I mentioned how Sam's eldest daughters married into the Wilkinson family in an earlier blog post. As you can see in the picture below circled in red, Sam and Frances had 3 children who were all alive in 1900. Unfortunately, all 3 of Idella's children were dead.
During this time period it was rare to find someone with so few children. Idella must have been heartbroken to bury her husband and all of her children. At this time, I still don't know how any of the children died. Official death records are scarce for the time period between 1880 and 1900. I can only assume the worst: by accident, incident or disease. Within those two decades I was able to uncover the names of my 3x great-grandparents and two of their children. So here is the question:
WHO WAS THE THIRD CHILD?
No records of my family were found in 1870. I can only guess that the census taker skipped their part of town. YOU HAD ONE JOB TO DO!!!!
In April 1880 Willow Township, Orangeburg, SC my 3x great-grandfather, Boston Livingston b. 1810, died by accident in a gravel pit.
In June 1880 Liberty Township, Orangeburg, SC my 2x great-grandfather Jace Livingston b. 1856 lived with his wife Dorcas Hawkins-Livingston b. 1854 and the first six of their nine children. It is when I researched the children where it all started to make sense.
Their children were:
- Grant Livingston b. 1870 was named after his uncle Grant Livingston b. 1859. I made an earlier blog entry about when this Grant and his brother Sam attended Claflin University. Grant later married Janie.
- Samuel Livingston b. 1872 would be the one who had his grandmother Idella live with him in 1900.
- Harriet Livingston b. 1874.
- Adaline Livingston b. 1876 was the twin sister of Emeline. Adaline was named after her aunt Adaline Jones-Hawkins, wife of Dorcas' brother Jacob Hawkins. Adaline married into the Curry family.
- Emeline Livingston b. 1876 was the twin sister of Adaline.
- Doctor Livingston b. 1879 was named after his father's cousin, Doctor Jennings b. 1855. Jennings was Idella's maiden name.
- William A. Livingston Sr. b. 1890 was my great-grandfather. He married Maud Easterling b. 1893 and had 5 children including my grandfather William A. Livingston Jr. b. 1916. My actual grandfather was never married to my grandmother. They had two kids together including my mother.
- Idella Livingston II b. 1893 was named after her grandmother. She married into the Williams family.
- George Livingston b. 1895 was my step-grandfather. He actually married my grandmother Izora Gibson b. 1914. They had two kids together. I told that whole story in an earlier blog.
There might have been more children born in the 1800s but I haven't identified all of them yet. Jace probably died between 1895 and 1900 since George was the last child born. I do not know where he was buried. Dorcas died in 1913 and was buried at Mt. Zion cemetery in Cope, SC.
The reason I never found Jace's brother Grant Livingston in any earlier censuses was that he was employed as a longshoreman which kept him out at sea for an extended period of time. He did manage to return and live in Charleston, SC before he died in mid-1900. His sudden death might have been at sea. He was married to Lula Aiken b. 1880 for 4 years and had 3 kids. Only two children Willie b. 1897 and Viola b. 1899 survived past childbirth.
Several weeks ago I was checking my updates in AncestryDNA and came across a gentleman who was a 4th to 6th cousin. I reviewed his tree and discovered something new. His great-grandparents were January Hart b. 1850 and Louvenia Livingston b. 1852.
January Hart was the son of Abraham and Annie Hart. January and Louvenia were married around 1872 in Orangeburg, SC. The couple had at least 6 children together. Louvenia died between 1895 and 1900. The 1900 Elizabeth, Orangeburg, SC census listed January Hart as widowed. He died there of dropsy (pulmonary edema) on May 1, 1915.
Their children were:
- Peter Hart b. 1872 was married to Charlotte Dickson b. 1862 with children Sam Hart b. 1896, Pearlie Hart b. 1897, Lou J. Hart b. 1898, Arebel Hart b. 1898 and Lilly Hart in 1900.
- Ella Hart b. 1877.
- Pinkie Hart b. 1883.
- Gilbert Hart b. 1886.
- Ollie Hart b. 1889. She married David Johnson b. 1886 in 1907. My DNA cousin descends from them. She died on July 30, 1959 in Winston-Salem, NC. Her death certificate listed her parents as January Hart and Louvania Livingston.
- Dennis Hart b. July 4, 1890. He married Roxie Northey b. 1906 and they relocated to Jacksonville, Florida. He died in 1985. His birth certificate below named his parents as January Hart and Louvania Livingston.
Of course I had to verify if this was the correct Louvenia Livingston. There were two other Louvenia's that would fit the time frame. In 1880 Orangeburg, March and Mary Livingston had a 1 year old Lavinia Livingston. This couldn't be the right person if her first child was born in 1872. The only other Luvenia Livingston b. 1846 from Orangeburg was white.
So therefore Luvenia Livingston-Hart and Jace Livingston were brother and sister. She was the first born, Jace was the middle child and Grant was the baby. All of Boston and Idella's children were back together again. DNA solves yet another mystery.