The Right Longs

A few days ago, I wondered if I’d been pursuing the wrong set of parents and siblings for my great-grandfather, James William Long. The catalyst for this musing was information on my great-grandfather’s death certificate which I had just received. Now I have concluded that I was following the “wrong Longs.” In a upcoming post, I describe how I reached that conclusion using the Genealogical Standard of Proof. Now I introduce the “right Longs,” as they appeared in the 1870 census of Shawnee, Johnson County, Kansas:

LONG, RICHARD……………..37……..M……..B………Farmer………….Kentucky

LONG, PALINAY………………30………F………B……………………………Virginia

LONG, JOSEPH…………………16………M……..B……….Farmer……….Missouri

LONG, JOHN………………………7………M………B………Farmer………..Missouri

LONG, JAMES…………………..4………..M………B……………………………Missouri

LONG, ROZETTA…………….2………….F……….B……………………………Missouri

LONG, ELIZA J……………4/12………..F………..B……………………………Kansas


This census entry raises several interesting issues, not the least of which is the description of seven year-old John as a farmer!

First, notice that all of the children, except young Eliza, were born in Missouri. [CAVEAT: The 1870 census did not show relationships. Thus, not every group of children living with adults constitutes a parents-children family unit. It is, however, an odds-on likelihood, and can be corroborated by other evidence such as other census records that do show relationships, probate records, family bibles, letters, etc. In this case, the 1870 census is the only record where this “family” is found altogether. For reasons explained in an upcoming post, I have made the assumption that this is a family unit]. This suggests that the family moved to Kansas sometime after Rozetta was born in 1868. [In a previous post, I identified her as “Regetha.” In an upcoming post, I explain the discrepancy].

Second, there is a nine year “gap” between the birth of Joseph and the birth of John. This is unusual because nineteenth century families typically had children more frequently than that. The “gap” could be explained several ways. The family could have had more children in the “gap,” but these children did not survive. Or Joseph could be the son of Richard from a prior relationship and not the son of Pauline. Notice that Pauline is seven years younger than Richard and would have been 14 year old when Joseph was born. Or indeed it could be the other way around–that Joseph is Pauline’s son from an earlier relatioshp. Another explanation is that Jospeh is not the son of either Richard or Pauline, but some otehr relation living with them. And finally, iy’s just possible that Richard and Pauline stiopped having chiledren for nine years.

The most interesting issue is just why this family was in Kansas in the first place. They didn’t (apparently) come there during the Civil War or to escape slavery. They came after the war and after Emancipation. And James went back to Missouri.

Now it must be said that Shawnee, Kansas, is just across the river from Kansas City, Missouri. And the Rev. James William Long was the pastor of the Sunnyside Baptist Church, of which it was claimed the pulpit was in Missouri and the congregation was in Kansas. Today, some of his descendants live near State Line Road. So may be it is that they were never very much in Kansas!

Here’s what else we know about the “right” Longs:

Missouri State Archives
Pre-1910 Death Records


Long, Pauline
14 Mar 1886

Long, John 19 Feb 1886

Long, Eliza Jane 26 Aug 1885

OFF

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Craig


May 2007
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