1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Adoption in 1870s in Missouri, USA

Discussion in 'Adoption Pre 1915' started by Rebecca Nielsen, Dec 4, 2017.

  1. Rebecca Nielsen

    Rebecca Nielsen New Member

    Offline
    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    21
    Location:
    South Jordan, Utah, USA
    The biggest brick wall in my own family history is my great-grandfather, John Crumpton.

    He was born, as far as I can determine, around late 1870 or 1871 in Kentucky. At least, so his census answers usually said (though his age wandered quite a bit). There is no birth record that I can find, and I do not know the specific identity of his parents.

    The first and only childhood record I have of him is the 1880 US Census for Cainsville, Harrison County, Missouri, where a 9 year old John Crumpton is listed as “adopted” and living with Albert and Fannie Hickman, an older couple whose grown children had married and moved out. I don’t know if his residence there was long term or not; thanks to the loss of the 1890 US Census, my next record of him is in 1900, at age 29, living as a boarder with a family named Purdy in Saline County, Missouri.

    This is where it gets complicated. John Crumpton had a younger brother (as shown by DNA, probably a half-brother) named Jesse Thomas Crumpton, who was listed in the 1880 census as a “boarder” with that same Purdy family in Saline County, Missouri. His census answers always indicated he was born in Missouri, rather than Kentucky. I have no idea how two children of the same mother ended up separated by over a hundred miles, a full six hundred miles or more away from at least one of their birthplaces.

    I believe that John Crumpton came to Saline County to find Jesse, but there’s little to no evidence of any interaction between them in later years; John Crumpton’s wife never even knew he had a brother, and refused to believe Jesse in later years when he claimed to be. (Jesse had, by then, changed his name to that of his adoptive family, Purdy, which made the connection harder to credit.)

    Until the last couple of years, that’s all I knew about John Crumpton’s origins and youth. Thanks to a couple of DNA tests, however, we’ve gotten a bit more.

    I match, at about the level of third or fourth cousins, with a number of people who are known to be descended from the family of William Crumpton, Jr. (1805-1860) of Barren County, KY. I also match with some who are descended from the family of Jesse Emerson (1808-?), also of Barren County, KY. So I’m pretty sure that John Crumpton’s parents were children of those two men. Unfortunately, William Crumpton had eleven children still living in 1870, and Jesse Emerson had nine. Some can be eliminated because they were female, married, and having children with their husbands during and after the time in question, or were too young (Jesse Emerson’s youngest four children were between 6 and 13 in 1870). All the other males are possibilities, as it’s quite possible that the births of John and Jesse were not, shall we say, within the bonds of matrimony?

    And before someone goes researching, there was one known marriage between a Crumpton son (Marion) and an Emerson daughter (Lucy), and they did have a pair of sons in 1872 named John and Jessie. But both of those men are recorded in every census, had marriages and children and death certificates in Kentucky or Indiana, so they are not the same people as my great grandfather and his brother, who lived and died in Missouri. I have DNA matches with several descendants of that Crumpton/Emerson marriage, and I’m quite strongly related to many of them due to the double relationship (John Crumpton having been either a three-quarter sibling or a double-first-cousin to Marion and Lucy’s children).

    I have not yet had the funds to go to either Kentucky or Missouri and research this in person, nor to pay someone there to do so. So I’m stuck with this gap in my tree, where I know who my great-grandfather’s grandparents were, but not his parents.
     
  2. GrannyBarb

    GrannyBarb Custodian of the Family Accounts

    Offline
    Messages:
    924
    Likes Received:
    3,901
    Location:
    Lower Alabama, USA
    Hi, Rebecca. Do you have any marriage, military or death records for John and/or Jesse that might give us any clues? Also, have you researched the Hickman's and Purdy's for connections to the Crumpton's?

    Giving this a serious think.
     
    Ma-dotcom and Sis like this.
  3. Archie's Mum

    Archie's Mum Always digging up clues

    Offline
    Messages:
    5,434
    Likes Received:
    18,633
    Location:
    Sydney, nsw, Australia
    I had a look at the Crumpton information you referred to. A tree done in 2000.
    What interests me is that William (Kentucky) 1805 Orange County, Crumpton's son John D married Mary Kinslow. HIs son Samuel Harrison Crumpton first married Barbary Kinslow then he married Phoebe Kinslow. Barbary and Samuel only have one child listed, Samuel Jnr 1864 and no children with Phoebe, that I can see. I wonder if this could be a link. Another son or grandson, Jonathon was born in Barren County so I do believe these people are related to your John. If I could I would try to investigate the possibility of any more children from Barbary and Phoebe. Perhaps either may have died in childbirth leaving Samuel to struggle then give up his children.
     
    Ma-dotcom, GrannyBarb and Sis like this.
  4. GrannyBarb

    GrannyBarb Custodian of the Family Accounts

    Offline
    Messages:
    924
    Likes Received:
    3,901
    Location:
    Lower Alabama, USA
    Haven't found anything useful so far. Just what is already stated. Bedtime for Granny. :)
     
  5. Archie's Mum

    Archie's Mum Always digging up clues

    Offline
    Messages:
    5,434
    Likes Received:
    18,633
    Location:
    Sydney, nsw, Australia
    As you are related to both Emersons and Crumptons then I think I would be casting aspersions on Lucinda :sceptical:......Jesse's daughter.
    Seems strange that both these boys disappeared. I wonder if Lucinda was somewhat attached to someone other than hubby. A brother maybe.
    Any unexplained gaps in hers and Marion's children?
     
  6. Rebecca Nielsen

    Rebecca Nielsen New Member

    Offline
    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    21
    Location:
    South Jordan, Utah, USA
    I do have the marriage records for both men. Jesse Thomas Crumpton married Rebecca Skinner on Dec. 24, 1894, and had two sons (Jess James and Ernest Lemuel Crumpton). They separated some time before 1900 (Rebecca and her sons are back living with her parents in the census; she remarried later). Then, on Dec. 5, 1900, Jesse Crumpton (now using the name Jesse Thomas "Tom" Purdy) married a widow named Margaret Frances Lemen (nee McKittrick).

    Tom and Margaret Purdy had four children between 1901 and 1914.

    John Crumpton married Minnie May Yates (nee Lemen), on Dec. 21, 1905. Minnie was previously married and divorced, with two young sons from her previous marriage. She was also Margaret McKittrick's first cousin...and the sister of her first husband. (Oh, what a tangled tree we weave...).

    John and Minnie only had one child together, my grandmother, Wenonah Crumpton, born August 17, 1915.

    Tom Purdy died on July 23, 1958. I do have his death certificate; the Purdys who raised him are listed as his parents. John Crumpton was run over by a C&A train (he worked for the railroad) on June 9, 1935. His parents are listed as "Unknown" on his death certificate.
     
    GrannyBarb likes this.
  7. Rebecca Nielsen

    Rebecca Nielsen New Member

    Offline
    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    21
    Location:
    South Jordan, Utah, USA
    Since the two boys were born a year apart, and had different fathers, I don't think Lucy is a likely suspect. John Crumpton's half brother Jesse was born in April of 1872, and so were Marion and Lucy's twin sons Jessie and John W. Crumpton. So I don't think Lucy was involved.

    Marion Crumpton, on the other hand, is a very good suspect. In the 1870 census, Marion and his wife and their two year old first son, George Columbus Crumpton, are living in the home of a farmer, with Marion listed as a farm laborer. There is another young woman named Ellen also listed in the home, as a servant. The census recorder simply put a dash for her surname, under the Crumptons, as if her last name were also Crumpton, but I don't think it was; there were no Ellen Crumptons in the family that I know of. But there was an Emily E. Emerson, of the right age, listed in the previous census. So if the young servant, Ellen, was actually Emily E. Emerson, then that would be a great opportunity for Marion and Emily to have an out of wedlock child who would be both a Crumpton and an Emerson. Or even an opportunity for one of Marion's brothers to visit and be the father.

    Too bad I can't prove it yet.
     
    GrannyBarb likes this.
  8. Rebecca Nielsen

    Rebecca Nielsen New Member

    Offline
    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    21
    Location:
    South Jordan, Utah, USA
    John D. Crumpton was still listed as married to Mary in the 1870 census, with their one daughter in the home with them. She did die sometime after that, since he remarried in 1884 to Malinda Alice Green, and had two (possibly three) more children.

    My tree actually has three children for Samuel Crumpton and Barbara Kinslow (James, Samuel Jr., and Barbara Allen, who was born the same year her mother died). Then I show ten children with Phoebe Kinslow.

    Jonathan Crumpton is one of the younger brothers of John D. and Samuel Sr. He is actually one of my best candidates for my ancestor; he married Martha Pace in December, 1871, after the mostly likely time for my great-grandfather's conception, and the DNA match between my mother and Jonathan's grandson is 294 cM. (If Jonathan wasn't the father, that would make them 2nd cousins once removed, with a typical range of 30-215 cM. If Jonathan WAS the father, it would make them half first cousins once removed, with a typical range of 75-360 cM. Only problem is, this isn't the only match we have that is atypically strong; there are similar match aberrations with descendants of other brothers, and even with descendants of one sister who we know can't be the ancestor. Jonathan's grandson is simply the closest match in terms of generations; most other matches are great, 2nd great, or even 3rd great grandchildren of William Crumpton's children.)
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2017 at 3:51 PM
  9. Rebecca Nielsen

    Rebecca Nielsen New Member

    Offline
    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    21
    Location:
    South Jordan, Utah, USA
    The previous generations of Crumptons and Emersons were from North Carolina and Virginia. The Purdy family originated in Pennsylvania and Ohio, so I don't think there was any family connection to them. The Hickmans lived in Missouri from the 1830s on, but were originally from Kentucky, and Fannie Hickman's maiden name was Davis, the same as William Crumpton, Jr.'s mother's maiden name. So there is a possible DISTANT connection there.

    My only clue about how the two boys ended up with those two separate families is that Jesse Thomas Crumpton's death certificate stated his birthplace as Harrison County, MO, where the Hickman's lived. The Purdys married in Iowa in 1864, and moved to Missouri sometime before about 1873, so they may have passed through Harrison County (which is right on the Iowa/Missouri border) either on the initial move or on a journey back to visit. Rebecca Purdy (nee Fredregill), and her parents living next door to her, still had family back in Iowa.
     
    GrannyBarb likes this.
  10. GrannyBarb

    GrannyBarb Custodian of the Family Accounts

    Offline
    Messages:
    924
    Likes Received:
    3,901
    Location:
    Lower Alabama, USA
    It's hard to connect the dots, even with DNA. I've been looking for early deaths of potential parents, where a young child might have been sent to a mother's relative. I think Sue (Archie's Mum) may have the more likely scenario or as you outline in #7 of this thread. Hmmm. My late father-in-law was from north KY. He complained about how isolated his childhood community was... and vertical. Not unusual for close relations to intermarry back in the olden days.
     
  11. Rebecca Nielsen

    Rebecca Nielsen New Member

    Offline
    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    21
    Location:
    South Jordan, Utah, USA
    Given that John and Jesse Thomas Crumpton had different fathers (Jesse's descendants only have DNA matches with Emerson descendants, and not with anyone who only descended from a Crumpton), my personal interpretation of the facts at hand was that their mother was a single woman, having a child out of wedlock with a Crumpton as father, and then either traveling to Missouri and getting pregnant again there, or getting pregnant again with a different man in Kentucky, and traveling to Missouri while pregnant. Since both boys ended up with the Crumpton surname, I doubt she married the second man. I tend to think of her as presenting herself as a "widow" in her new location, to avoid the stigma of having children out of wedlock. Then, at some point, she either died or was no longer able to care for them and they were taken in my the Hickmans and Purdys. The two boys either lived together for the first few years of their lives, since they knew of each other, or the two adoptive families told them about each other.

    There were two Emerson daughters who are prime candidates for the mother of John and Jesse. One was Emily E. Emerson, who is listed with her family in 1860, may be the mystery servant living with Marion Crumpton's employer in 1870, and hasn't been found in 1880. The other was her oldest sister Martha Emerson. In 1870, she was living in a home with two single women, with a 4 year old girl named Ellen Emerson, possibly a daughter. They are both missing from the 1880 Kentucky census (that could be due to death, relocation, marriage, or whatever). A woman with one illegitimate child might more easily be suspected of having more, wouldn't you say?
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2017 at 8:40 PM
    GrannyBarb likes this.
  12. GrannyBarb

    GrannyBarb Custodian of the Family Accounts

    Offline
    Messages:
    924
    Likes Received:
    3,901
    Location:
    Lower Alabama, USA
    I might have found Ellen in 1880 with one of the single women, Lucy Lagrand, now listed as Ellen Lagrand in Simpson County, KY. Also in the household is a young single woman boarder with an infant. Lucy might have taken in Martha's daughter. This would support your theory that she was a serial unwed mom.
     
  13. Rebecca Nielsen

    Rebecca Nielsen New Member

    Offline
    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    21
    Location:
    South Jordan, Utah, USA
    Thanks to your tip, I found her, too. Now if I could just find a descendant of hers to DNA test ;)

    Unless I find one or the other of the two Emerson women in a record that makes them either more or less likely to have been the mother of John and Jesse, I'm probably going to have to live with the uncertainty. Unfortunately, Barren County, KY doesn't seem to have records of anything from about 1861 until 1878.
     
    GrannyBarb likes this.

Share This Page