Family Histories

Family Histories for the Rose and Kirkpatrick Families

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks - Liddia Kirkpatrick and Andrew Levi Foxworth

Liddia Kirkpatrick, born January 7, 1875 in Titus, Texas, was the daughter of John Silas Kirkpatrick, a Civil War veteran who moved his family from Georgia to Texas after the war.  On October 10, 1889, when she was just 14 years old, she married Andrew "Levi" Foxworth, age 44 (a year older than her father), also a war veteran.  Levi was born in Alabama in 1844 and served with the 57th Alabama Infantry, Co. D, enlisting in Ozark, Alabama.  He was wounded in the head at the Battle of Peachtree Creek in Atlanta in July of 1864, but presumably not seriously; he remained in the army until the end of the war the following year.  Liddie and Levi would have nine children together, the youngest born in 1914 when her father was 69.

Of course, the first question that I had was why on earth a young girl of 14 would marry a man older than her father.  The scenario reminded me of the book The World's Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All (by Alan Garganus), where a teenage girl marries a middle-aged Civil War veteran.  I looked to find any previous marriage for Levi, thinking he may have been a widowed father who needed someone to help him look after his children, but didn't find one.  He appears to have returned to Alabama after the war and resumed farming as a single man in Dale County.  How did they meet - Liddie grew up in northeast Texas, but did have one uncle living in Alabama - was she possibly visiting when they met?  I don't have the impression that any of the Kirkpatricks necessarily had money to use to go visit relatives.  Perhaps Levi was in Texas at that time.  I thought he may have been a friend of her father or uncle from the war, however, they served in different state's armies, so that doesn't seem likely.  Maybe a distant relative, but I found no such connection.  I haven't found a record of their marriage (the date comes from pension records), so I don't know if it occurred in Texas or Alabama.  This is one of those cases where an 1890 census would be so very helpful to piece together the story.  The next record is in 1899, when Levi applies for a pension in Dale, Alabama.  By now, he is the father of five young children, but claims he is unable to work due to "age, infirmity, paralysis, etc.", has no property and no income. 

By 1900, the Foxworth family is back in Texas, living near Liddie's parents. Levi is farming - more questions - if he couldn't farm in Alabama for the reasons listed in his pension application, how did he manage in Texas?  Possibly the older children were able to help or his wife's family, or maybe he wasn't as debilitated as he claimed.  At any rate, by 1910 they are back in Alabama, working a general farm in Geneva County, now with two more children.  The 1920 census has them living in Holmes, Florida, on the Alabama/Florida state line, with Levi farming - and two more children.  Eldest daughter Emma, now 29 and a widow, is living with them.  The constant relocating makes me think Levi didn't have a lot of success at farming, they seem to have moved almost every ten years.

I haven't found the family in the 1930 census, but Levi applies for a pension again in Camp County, Texas in October 1932 (this record indicates his previous claim was rejected).  He also states he has been a resident of Texas for 57 years, although this is clearly not the case.  I did search for other men with the same name, but unless other men with his name also had the same number of children with the same names and a wife named Liddie, it seems clear that the family moved around quite a bit in the previous years and didn't remain in Texas.  One of the witnesses who gives an affidavit on his behalf says that he knows Levi has lived in Texas for more than three years, which seems more likely.  This time his pension was granted.

In 1940, Levi (now age 95) and Liddie are living with their daughter Alma and her husband Becton Brown, in Gilmer, Texas.  Levi dies there in June of 1944, age 99.   The following month Liddie applied to continue receiving his pension, however, her claim was denied.  In order for widows to receive their husband's benefits, they had to have been born by January 1, 1875. Liddie was born one week after that date, and therefore, she was ineligible to receive the pension.

Liddia's letter requesting a pension

Liddie did receive $100 to help pay for Levi's burial, but presumably had to live the rest of her life being supported by her children.  Liddie died on October 9, 1950.  She and Levi are buried together at Enon Cemetery in Upshur County, Texas.
Dear Parents, Tho we miss you much, we know you rest with God

Liddie and Levi's story is one of many that I have been able to gather details on by reading the Confederate pension applications.  I am fortunate that Alabama and Texas have done a great job at making these records available in their entirety online; this isn't the case with every state.  It's so important to actually read through these records if you can.   I have found more details and information that have helped me put together the stories of some of my ancestors just with these records. 

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