Children of Dennis Lindsey (1794-1836) and Jane Brooks: Samuel Asbury Lindsey (1825/6 – 1865)

U.S. Army Register of Enlistments, January 1847 – June 1849, p. 154, NARA M233, RG 94

This enlistment record places Samuel’s birth in 1824. Samuel’s discharge papers from his Mexican-American War service yield a different year of birth, however. He was discharged on 28 January 1848 at National Bridge, Mexico, with the papers stating that he was being discharged due to chronic diarrhea. The discharge document notes that he had served as a private in Capt. Hugh L. Clay’s unit of the 13th Infantry, and was aged 22. It gives the same information as his enlistment record does about his appearance and where he was born. The discharge was signed by Major Edward Manigault.[2] This document points to 1826 as Samuel’s year of birth.

Soldiers’ ages in enlistment and discharge papers commonly depended on self-reporting, of course, before dates of birth were well-documented, and it was not uncommon for men joining the military to fudge their age for one reason or another — often, because they were too young to enlist, so that they reported themselves older than they actually were. This doesn’t seem to have been the case for Samuel, but several other documents suggest that he was either fuzzy about precisely when he was born, or wasn’t always accurate in reporting his age.

Samuel is enumerated with his first wife Mary Jane Hunter and their daughter Louvisa in Lawrence County, Alabama, on the 1850 federal census.[3] On that census, he gave his age as 25, suggesting that he was born in 1825.

In 1860, however, Samuel’s age is reported on the federal census as 39, indicating 1821 as his year of birth.[4] On this census, Samuel is enumerated in the household of J.J. (James Jackson) Bryan in Bossier Parish, Louisiana, with his occupation given as overseer for Bryan’s plantation. It’s likely that Bryan reported the ages of members of his household on this census, and if so, he might well have gotten his employee’s age wrong by a few years. As we’ll see in a moment, after Samuel’s wife Mary Jane Hunter died in Lawrence County, Alabama, in 1858, Samuel went out to Louisiana, where his siblings Mark, Margaret (with husband William Hunter), and Frances Rebecca (husband Samuel H. Kellogg) had all settled. He left his older daughter by Mary Jane, Louvisa, in the care of his sister Sarah and her husband James B. Speake in Lawrence County, and his son John Dennis and daughter Margaret Elizabeth in the care of Hunter relatives, and would marry a second time in Louisiana.

It seems unlikely Samuel was born in 1821, since, as I noted in a previous posting, a November 1836 listing of the minor heirs of Samuel’s father Dennis Lindsey, which appears to give these names in order of birth, shows Samuel following his brother Charles Washington Lindsey, whose name comes after that of Thomas Madison Lindsey. Thomas’s birthdate is given on his tombstone as 9 October 1821, and federal censuses from 1850 to 1880 consistently confirm that year of birth. It seems likely that Charles was born 1822-1825 and Samuel in 1825 or 1826.

Alabama Archives Card Index to the Commissions and Civil Appointments Register of Secretary of State, Ancestry database Alabama Civil Appointments, 1818-1939, citing Civil Register of County Officials, vol. 3: 1844-1867, p. 284
Morgan County, Alabama, Marriage Bk. A, p. 528

Not long after Samuel enlisted in the Army for service in the Mexican-American War and before his company was mustered out for duty, he was made a deputy constable in Lawrence County, Alabama, on 1 April 1847.[5] Shortly after this — and, again, before he was mustered for service — Samuel received license in Morgan County on 6 April to marry Louisa D. Bibb.[6] The record of the license led Alabama researcher Pauline Jones Gandrud to conclude that the couple actually married,[7] but the license shows no return for the marriage. It’s clear that it did not take place: as we’ll see in a moment, on 24 October 1847, Samuel wrote his sister Martha a letter from National Bridge, Mexico. In that letter, he states,[8]

You told me to not pester my mind about Miss Louisa; I acknowledge that I loved her once, or I thought I did, but I think of her but seldom, and when I do think of the way I did, I can’t help saying “What a dam fool I was.” Excuse me for using vain language. Though I read the Testament as much as any of you do.

In fact, Louisa D. Bibb went on to marry John F. Freeman in Morgan County on 23 February 1852 — as Louisa D. Bibb, an indicator that she had not married Samuel A. Lindsey. Louisa is buried in McKendree Methodist cemetery at Falkville in Morgan County, with her tombstone indicating she was born 3 October 1830 and died 8 December 1906. She is buried there with her second husband Reuben J. Morris.

Mexican-American War Service

Samuel enlisted on 6 March 1847, applied for a license to marry Louisa Bibb on 6 April, and was then mustered out to Louisiana, Texas, and finally, Mexico, on 30 June 1847 — never having married Louisa.

Alabama Archives, Mexican War Service, 1846–1847, a collection microfilmed by the Family History Library in Salt Lake City and available digitally online

Samuel A. Lindsey’s service in the Mexican-American War is noted in a number of sources other than those I’ve already cited. The index to Alabama soldiers who served in this war maintained by Alabama Archives has a card indicating that Samuel enlisted at Huntsville on 6 May [sic] 1847 and was mustered on 30 June 1847.  The card states that it’s citing a muster list of his company in the National Archives.[9] On 11 June 1847, the Huntsville paper Southern Advocate also published a list of men in Captain Hugh Lawson Clay’s company who were serving in the Mexican War.[10] This list includes Samuel A. Lindsey. 

As I’ve noted above, after arriving in Mexico, Samuel wrote two letters on 24 October 1847 from National Bridge in Veracruz, where his unit was stationed. One of these letters was sent to his cousin Elizabeth Brooks, the other to his sister Martha Ann Lindsey. Both were living in Lawrence County, Alabama. I discussed these letters extensively in my previous posting on Samuel’s brother Charles Washington Lindsey, who died in Mexico as a soldier, and about whose death Samuel provides details in his letter to Martha. Samuel notes in his letter to Elizabeth that he had had letters from her and Martha which arrived on the same day. The letter to Martha states that she had written Samuel on 13 September. Both letters are transcribed in Henry C. Lindsey’s book Mark Lindsey Heritage.[11]

Elizabeth Brooks has not been easy for me to identify. I had thought for some time that this Elizabeth was the daughter of Godfrey Isbell Brooks and wife Jane White, Godfrey being a first cousin of Samuel’s mother Jane Brooks Lindsey. But after Godfrey I. Brooks died in Lawrence County in 1826, his widow Jane moved with her children to Missouri.[12] Since the Elizabeth Brooks to whom Samuel is writing is in Lawrence County in 1847, she is clearly not Godfrey’s daughter.

I’m now persuaded that the Elizabeth Brooks to whom Samuel sent his 1847 letter was the daughter of Godfrey I. Brooks’s brother Thomas R. Brooks and wife Cassandra Hunter. Godfrey Isbell and Thomas R. Brooks were were sons of James Brooks (1772-1835) and Nancy Isbell. James Brooks was a brother of Samuel A. Lindsey’s grandfather Thomas Brooks (1775-1838).

Thomas R. Brooks’s daughter Margaret Elizabeth Brooks was close in age to Samuel: she was born in Lawrence County in 1827, and was not yet married when Samuel sent his letter in October 1847. On 11 November 1847, she’d marry George Washington McNutt in Lawrence County.[13] (Samuel’s letter makes a point of saying, “I don’t want all you girls to marry before I get home.”) The 1850 federal census in Lawrence County gives Margaret Elizabeth’s name as Elizabeth, and confirms that 1827 was her year of birth. Soon after returning home from the war, Samuel would marry Elizabeth’s first cousin Mary Jane Hunter in October 1848.

Samuel A. Lindsey letter to Elizabeth Brooks, 24 October 1847, transcribed in Henry C. Lindsey, Mark Lindsey Heritage (Brownwood, Texas, 1985, p. 116

As the previous posting indicates, Samuel’s letter to his cousin notes his unhappiness at the rations issued to soldiers in his unit: he says that he had eaten nothing but crackers and bacon for five months, and had seen no cornbread, so that he was afraid when he returned home, he’d be invited to relatives’ tables and eat so much that he would not leave any food “for manners.”

The letter, which is brief, then goes on to discuss various family members. Samuel asks Elizabeth to tell Jane and Gus, in particular, that he’s concerned about visiting them and eating too much at their table. I have not been able to identify this couple. Samuel also asks Elizabeth to tell his sister Mary Jane that he’ll come to her house to eat, and that he loves Mary Jane as well as any of his sisters, including Frances, Margaret, and Diner (i.e., Dinah). Frances (born 1831) and Margaret (born 1834) were Samuel’s two sisters whose births followed the birth of Martha (born 1829).

But there was no Dinah among the daughters of Dennis Lindsey and Jane Brooks. Dennis and Jane’s last child was a son Dennis James Lindsey (born 1836). I wonder if Samuel’s letter might have been mistranscribed and if the Diner that appears in the transcribed letter is Dennis, Samuel’s youngest brother, and if Samuel is sending greetings through his cousin Elizabeth to all of his younger siblings.

Samuel’s letter also goes on to tell Elizabeth, “Give my love to Cousin Thomas Brooks, Grandfather and Mother, and Aunt Den, and all the girls and boys.”

Cousin Thomas Brooks is Elizabeth’s father Thomas R. Brooks. Both of Samuel’s Lindsey’s paternal grandparents, Mark Lindsey and Mary Jane Dinsmore, were living when he wrote this letter, so the greetings to “Grandfather and Mother” might have been to both grandparents, or to Mark Lindsey and Samuel’s mother Jane Brooks Lindsey. Aunt Den was Samuel’s aunt Deniah Cornelius Brooks, wife of Charles Madison Brooks.

It’s worth noting here that Samuel’s sister Mary Jane, whom he mentions in his letter to Elizabeth Brooks as a sister he loves, was married to Elizabeth’s brother James Irwin Brooks. The couple had married in Lawrence County on 25 February 1840.

As previously noted, on the same day as he wrote his cousin Elizabeth, Samuel A. Lindsey wrote his sister Martha Ann Lindsey in Oakville, Lawrence County, Alabama. My previous posting about Samuel’s brother Charles Washington Lindsey, who died in the Mexican-American War, provides digital images of Henry C. Lindsey’s transcription of this letter, and discusses it in detail. I will not rehash here what that posting says about the letter. Please click on the link I’ve just provided to read that commentary.

As the previous posting states, in this letter, Samuel provides details — such as he knew them — about the death of his and Martha’s brother Charles Washington Lindsey, details Martha had requested in her 13 September letter to Samuel. Samuel also discusses the death of Billy McCluskey, whose mother in Lawrence County had asked for this information. Though I have not found military records for either Charles W. Lindsey or Billy/William McCluskey, it’s clear that both were in service for the war, and both died in Mexico.

As the previous posting also notes, Samuel lists for Martha the places through which his troop had marched. He states that his unit was awaiting other American troops that would join them at National Bridge, and they’d then march to Mexico City along a road “as fine as the streets of Orleans.”

As indicated above, Samuel also tells Martha in this letter that, though he had once loved “Miss Louisa,” he no longer did so and considered himself a “dam [sic] fool” for having done so. In an opening section of the letter I did not discuss in the previous posting, Samuel also sends greetings via Martha to Rash Lynch, Elizabeth Brooks, Barney Torrence, and Brother Mark. Samuel’s letter states that he was sending his love to five people, but Henry C. Lindsey’s transcript of the letter has ellipses where the fourth name should have been. I do not know whether this was a name that could not be read, or if it was omitted for some other reason.

Rash Lynch was Darius Lynch (1809-1898), who would appraise the estate of Samuel’s grandmother Mary Jane Dinsmore Lindsey in March 1853 along with Samuel’s brother-in-law James B. Speake and John Kitchens. Barney/Barnabas Torrence (1827-1890) was a son of Adam Torrence and Grizel/Grizelle Caroline Matthews, whose sister Margaret Jane Torrence had married Samuel’s brother Thomas Madison Lindsey on 10 December 1843 in Lawrence County. Barney Torrence and wife Elizabeth Hurley Torrence would follow Thomas Madison Lindsey when he moved to McLennan County, Texas.

“Brother Mark” is Samuel’s older brother Mark Jefferson Lindsey (1820-1878), who would move his family to Louisiana not long after Samuel returned from the war. And Elizabeth Brooks is, of course, the cousin to whom Samuel wrote on the same day he wrote Martha.

Samuel’s letter also includes a paragraph that he tells Martha he has written for “fun,” to fill out the large sheet of paper on which he’s writing. He states:

You must look over a portion of my letter, for the sheet of paper is so big that I don’t think I can fill it out unless I put in some fun. You say, if you see proper to do so, to any girl that is smart and can work , and will come to Texas with me, that as soon as I come back that I will take her in my arms back to Texas and make a fortune for her.

Return to Lawrence County and Marriage to Mary Jane Hunter

Samuel did not make it back to Texas. After he was discharged at National Bridge, Mexico, on 28 January 1848, he returned home to Lawrence County to marry Mary Jane Hunter, daughter of John T. Hunter and Louvisa Bentley, on 12 October 1848.[14] In November 1851, Samuel’s younger sister Margaret Tranquilla Lindsey would marry Mary Jane’s brother J. William Hunter. As I have previously noted, the Hunter family had long been closely connected to the Brooks family of Samuel’s and Margaret’s mother Jane, and became closely connected to the Lindsey family after both families settled in Lawrence County.

Samuel’s first wife Mary Jane Hunter was born about 1832-3 in Lawrence County, and died in 1858 in the same county.[15] Samuel and Mary Jane had three children, daughters Louvisa Jane (born 1850) and Margaret Elizabeth (born 1858), and a son John Dennis (born 1853). As stated above, following Mary Jane’s death when Samuel went to Louisiana and married a second time, Samuel’s older sister Sarah and husband James B. Speake raised Louvisa, while John Dennis and Elizabeth were raised by Hunter relatives, with the Speakes also on occasion sharing the upbringing of John Dennis.[16] Instead of returning to Texas following his service in the Mexican-American War, he went to northwest Louisiana to join his siblings who had moved there prior to 1860. Following Samuel’s death, his second wife would take his children by her to Texas.

Alabama Archives Card Index to the Commissions and Civil Appointments Register of Secretary of State, Ancestry database Alabama Civil Appointments, 1818-1939, citing Civil Register of County Officials, vol. 3: 1844-1867, p. 285

Samuel’s election as a justice of the peace in Lawrence County on 4 March 1850 indicates that he had established himself in the county following his return from war and marriage to Mary Jane Hunter. He was commissioned in this office on 22 April.[17]

Samuel and his family are enumerated on the 1850 federal census in Lawrence County in the county’s 8th district, in which his mother Jane was also living in 1850.[18] The census shows Samuel as 25, a farmer with $400 real worth. Wife Mary J., is 17, and daughter Louvisa, whose name is given as Lavisa J., is 3 months old. Also living with the family is Mary Jane’s brother William Hunter, 21, a farmer, who would marry Samuel’s sister Margaret the following year. All household members are born in Alabama. Samuel is also on the 1850 agricultural census in Lawrence County’s district 8 with 40 acres of improved land and 40 unimproved acres.[19]

Local newspaper notices show Samuel running for the position of tax collector in Lawrence County in May 1857, and being elected to that position in August. By March 1858, he appears in local notices as a tax collector acting in sale of land forfeited due to failure to pay taxes. The last such notice I spot in the Moulton papers is in August 1858, after which Samuel disappears from Lawrence County records, since he had gone out to Louisiana by this time.[20] The impetus for this move was apparently the death of his wife Mary Jane in 1858, the year in which their daughter Margaret Elizabeth was born. Could Mary Jane have died in childbirth?

The Move to Louisiana and Samuel’s Final Years

By 1860, Samuel had moved to Louisiana, leaving his children behind in Lawrence County. As I have noted above, Samuel is enumerated on the 1860 federal census in Bossier Parish, Louisiana, where his brother Mark J. Lindsey also appears in 1860.[21] This census lists him as an overseer for planter J.J. Bryan — James Jackson Bryan — who is listed on the 1860 federal slave schedule in Bossier Parish owning 79 enslaved people.

Leonora Elizabeth Bickley (front right) and sisters Mary Hoilloway Pair (front left), Eudocia Caroline Splawn (back left) and Martha Ellen McCarley; photo uploaded by Bevan Lindsey to his tree “Dennis Lindsey 1700 Descendants” at Ancestry

The following year on 18 July 1861, Samuel A. Lindsey married Leonora Elizabeth Bickley, daughter of William Cary Bickley and Elizabeth Jane Moffett, in Claiborne Parish, Louisiana.[22] Two children were born to the couple — Mary Jane (born 1861) and Samuel Asbury Jr. (born 1863(. The 1860 federal census shows Samuel’s sisters Margaret and Frances Rebecca living in Claiborne Parish with husbands William Hunter and Samuel H. Kellogg. The dates of birth of Samuel’s two children by Leonora are recorded in Frances Rebecca’s bible, with the bible giving the name of Samuel’s son by Leonora as Samuel Cary Lindsey, though all other sources give the name as Samuel Asbury Lindsey Jr., and this is the name he used throughout his life.[23]

Compiled Service Records of Confederate Soldiers Who Served in Organizations from the State of Louisiana, NARA M320, RG 109

Then along came the Civil War, and Samuel went soldiering yet again: on 16 March 1863 at Athens in Claiborne Parish, he enlisted as a private in Company C of the 19th Louisiana Confederate Infantry, the Claiborne Volunteers. His service papers show him on the company’s roll from 1 May to 31 August 1864, with a stint in the hospital in Montgomery, Alabama, after he was wounded on 15 July 1864. He continued on the company’s roll from 1 September 1864 to 28 February 1865, and was killed at the battle of Spanish Fort near Mobile on 4 April 1865, five days before Lee’s surrender.

Following Samuel’s death, his widow Leonora remarried on 18 August 1866 in Claiborne Parish to Luther B. Robinson, son of Hudson Allen Robinson and Mary Dyer.[24] In a typescript account of his family’s history compiled by Samuel’s son Samuel Asbury Jr., Samuel Jr. states that Luther Robinson was his father’s comrade in arms during the Civil War, and brought his father’s belongings back to his widow following the war, then marrying her and moving with her and Samuel’s children to Texas, where the family settled at Tyler in Smith County.[25]

At some point prior to 10 May 1874, Luther had died, since Leonora married a third time on that date in Tyler, Texas, to Benjamin Franklin Robinson.[26] According to Morris S. Burton, formerly president of the Smith County, Texas, Historical Society, the two Robinson men were not related to each other.[27]

In my next posting, I will provide information about Samuel Asbury Lindsey’s children by wives Mary Jane Hunter and Leonora Elizabeth Bickley.

[1] U.S. Army Register of Enlistments, January 1847 – June 1849, p. 154, NARA M233, RG 94.

[2] A photocopy of the discharge document is in Henry C. Lindsey, The Mark Lindsey Heritage (Brownwood, Texas; 1982), p. 115.

[3] 1850 federal census Lawrence County, Alabama, district 8, p. 367 (dwelling and fam. 33; 23 October).

[4] 1860 federal census, Bossier Parish, Louisiana, Bossier Point post office, p. 717 (dwelling and family 203; 31 July).

[5] See Alabama Archives Card Index to the Commissions and Civil Appointments Register of Secretary of State, Ancestry database Alabama Civil Appointments, 1818-1939, citing Civil Register of County Officials, vol. 3: 1844-1867, p. 284.

[6] Morgan County, Alabama, Marriage Bk. A, p. 528. In his Early Settlers of Alabama (New Orleans, 1899), James Edmond Saunders discusses the family of Judge Benajah Smith Bibb and Sophia Lucy Ann Gilmer, who moved from Georgia to Morgan County, Alabama, in 1827 (pp. 441-2). Saunders notes that Benajah S. Bibb was born in 1796 and represented Morgan County in the state legislature in 1829, moving after that to Montgomery County. Benajah S. Bibb had a daughter Louisa S. Bibb, who appears not to be the Louisa Bibb that Samuel A. Lindsey had intended to marry.

[7] Pauline Jones Gandrud, Alabama Records, vol. 105: Morgan County, p. 49.

[8] On the letters Samuel wrote on 24 October 1847 from National Bridge, Mexico, to his sister Martha and cousin Elizabeth Brooks, see this previous posting, noting that they are transcribed in Mark Lindsey Heritage, pp. 116-8.

[9] Alabama Archives, Mexican War Service, 1846–1847, a collection microfilmed by the Family History Library in Salt Lake City and available digitally online.

[10] On Hugh Lawson Clay, see this previous posting

[11] See supra, n. 8. 

[12] George A. O’Reilly, The History of the E. James Brooks Family of Lawrence County, Alabama (priv. publ., Huntsville, Alabama, 2019), pp. 37-41.

[13] Ibid., p. 111. 

[14] Lawrence County, Alabama, Marriage Bk. D, p. 21.

[15] This date of death is stated in a typescript “Family of Lindsey,” written by Samuel’s son Samuel Asbury Jr., which his descendants shared with Henry C. Lindsey as he compiled Mark Lindsey Heritage.

[16] At Lawrence County December court 1873, John D. Lindsey and Margaret E. Brown filed for a final settlement of their guardianship by John W. Hunter: see Moulton Advertiser (12 December 1873), p. 2, col. 3. The typescript written by Samuel Asbury Jr. cited supra, n. 15, also states that Sarah Speake raised Louvisa and Hunter relatives raised her younger siblings.

[17] Alabama Archives Card Index to the Commissions and Civil Appointments Register of Secretary of State, Ancestry database Alabama Civil Appointments, 1818-1939, citing Civil Register of County Officials, vol. 3: 1844-1867, p. 285.

[18] See supra, n. 3.

[19] See Myra Borden, “Agricultural Schedules, 1840-1910,” Old Lawrence Reminiscences 11,3 [September 1997], p. p. 80.

[20] See “Candidates,” Moulton Democrat (8 May 1857), p. 2, col. 4; “Candidates,” Moulton Democrat (31 July 1857), p. 3, col. 1, announcing the election on 1 Monday in August; “Tax Sale,” Moulton Democrat (26 March 1858), p. 3, col. 3; and “Tax Sale,” Moulton Democrat (20 August 1858), p. 4, col. 2.

[21] See supra, n. 4. 

[22] See Frances Moffett Lawrence, “Moffett Family History,” Claiborne Parish Trails 1 (1986), pp. 78-9. I do not have a specific citation for this marriage from Claiborne Parish marriage books. It is indexed in “Louisiana Parish Marriages, 1837-1957,” a FamilySearch database compiling marriage data from parish courthouses, which incorrectly transcribes Samuel’s name as L.A. Lindsey.

[23] On this bible, see R. James Kellogg, “The Kellogg Family in Louisiana,” which states that Frances Rebecca brought the bible from Alabama to Louisiana, and after her death, it passed to her daughter-in-law (and niece) Louvisa Frances Hunter, daughter of William Hunter and Margaret Tranquilla Lindsey, who married Samuel H. Kellogg Jr., son of Samuel Kellogg and Frances Rebecca Lindsey. From Louvisa, the bible then passed to her son Basil Hiram Kellogg and from him to his youngest brother John Ewan Kellogg and wife Barbara Morgan.

[24] See, “Louisiana Parish Marriages, 1837-1957,” a FamilySearch database compiling marriage data from parish courthouses; the marriage record gives the couple’s names as L.B. Robinson and L. Lindsey.

[25] On this source, see supra, n. 15.

[26] Smith County, Texas, Marriage Bk. G, p. 366.

[27] This information is in a letter Morris Burton sent me from Tyler on 16 January 1985. Mr. Burton told me in the same letter that he was writing a history of the former Gulf States Telephone Company (later United Telephone Company of Texas), which was founded by Samuel A. Lindsey’s son Judge Samuel A. Lindsey Jr.

2 thoughts on “Children of Dennis Lindsey (1794-1836) and Jane Brooks: Samuel Asbury Lindsey (1825/6 – 1865)

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