Category Archives: Lawhead

Finding a Jewel

Rea, George - Early History of Greene County, p. 82

George Rea, a well known and highly respected Irish citizen, took up his abode in the country with the intention of remaining with us. He had not been here long until he found a Jewel more dear to his heart than anything he had left in Old Ireland, or anything else he had found in America. But alas! in later years he lost his Jewel, and for many years he has “trodden the wine press alone.”

Jack Baber, Early History of Greene, Indiana: as taken from the official records, and compiled from authentic recollection, by pioneer settlers… (Worthington, Indiana: N.B. Milleson, 1875), 32; digital image, Internet Archive (https://archive.org : accessed 4 Decmeber 2013).

Friday’s Faces of the Past – Family Funeral?

The three above pictures appear to have been taken on the same day. The two single portraits were clearly taken at the same location. The group photo shows Gladys and the older woman wearing the same clothing as their individual pictures. Everyone appears to be wearing black or dark colors. Hence my assumption that the photograph was taken around the time of a family funeral. I date the picture circa1925. Gladys was born in 1905 so she would have been 15 in 1920 and 20 in 1925. Gladys’ haircut is straighter and less wavy than it was later in the decade. Her skirt length is short which moves the date further from 1920.   The older woman is wearing a dress styled from the late teens. It was quite common for older people at that time to wear clothes that were more “old fashioned.” Even today the trend continues.

McCammon, Lydia & Jesse with Minerva Metcalf

Minerva (seated) likely 1916

Many years ago I sent a copy of the picture of the older woman to my father’s cousin. She identified the woman as Minerva, Emma’s twin sister. Since the cousin knew Minerva, I generally take her word for it. However, I still say “the older woman,” because I am not 100% sure that she was Minerva (Lawhead) Metcalf.  I have only seen two pictures of Minerva and they are of a somewhat younger woman. The earlier photograph was taken about 1908 and Minerva was plumper and would have been about 36 when the picture was taken. The second photograph was taken about 7-10 years later between 1915-1919. Again the picture shows Minerva with a fuller figure.  Minerva would have been in her early to mid 40s at this point.

Which brings us back to the pictures at the beginning of the post. Do you think that the older woman is Minerva? She seems to have aged too much to be in her 50s. But times were different then. For someone who did hard manual farm labor, they could have aged more harshly. I know she is related to the Foster/Lawhead family. She bears a striking resemblance to Jim Foster (Gladys’ brother). When my grandmother was near her end and Alzheimer’s had robbed her memory, she thought the picture was of her brother Jim. So what do you think?

©2013 copyright owned and written by Deborah Sweeney
Post originally found at: https://genealogylady.net/2013/11/29/fridays-faces-…family-funeral/

Happy Birthday Gladys!

Foster, Gladys - 1920s (#1)

Today is the 108th anniversary of Gladys’  birth. She was born in Terre Haute, Indiana, the youngest child of James E. Foster and Emma H. (Laughead) Foster. She was an amazing women who lived through extraordinary times. Happy birthday Gladys!

Photograph from the private collection of Deborah Sweeney

©2013 copyright owned and written by Deborah Sweeney
Post originally found at: https://genealogylady.net/2013/11/01/happy-birthday-gladys-2/

Protected: Minerva (Lawhead) Riggs Metcalfe (1872-1944) (Gladys)

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Protected: J.A.M.A.

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Surname Saturday – Lawhead or is it Laughead?

Open Court sound spelling cards

Open Court sound spelling cards

My great grandmother’s maiden name was Lawhead or most likely Laughead. Lawhead is one way to phonetically spell  the name and it is how I see the name spelled most often, especially in written records like censuses. If you know anything about teaching children to read, as I do, the Open Court reading program (which we use in my school district) has a card for the /aw/ sound.  It’s called the Hawk card and it gives two spellings for /aw/: aw and au. There have been a few occasions where I have seen the name spelled Laughead which leads me to believe that Laughead is the proper spelling of the name. I can also easily picture semi-literate people spelling Laughead as the more phonetic Lawhead. Some instances of the name being spelled Laughead are on my grandmother’s birth certificate and my Great Uncle Jim’s middle name.

A quick search on the internet has provided virtually no meanings or crests for the name Lawhead/Laughead. It is actually quite funny when landing on the meaningofnames.com website, they have posted “the meaning of Laughead has not been submitted”. So what’s a girl to do? I have deduced that Laughead is probably related to the Irish Loughead or the Scottish Lochhead and left it at that for present.

Marriage record of Joseph Laughead & Cassandria Harden, 1838, Belmont County, Ohio

Marriage record of Joseph Laughead & Cassandria Harden, 1838, Belmont County, Ohio

I lose the trail of this family pretty early in the 1800s. The last Laughead I have is Joseph, my grandmother Gladys’s great grandfather. According to census records, he was born about 1817 in Pennsylvania. In 1838, he makes his first appearance in written records on his marriage certificate in Belmont County, Ohio. Coincidently, the surname is spelled Laughead. There are several other Laugheads and Lawheads living in this region of Ohio at that time as well. I seem to keep circling around them trying to figure out how they all fit together.

1850 Census Seneca, Belmont County, Ohio for the family of Joseph Lawhead

1850 Census Seneca, Belmont County, Ohio for the family of Joseph Lawhead

On the 1850 census, Joseph, Cassandria and their 5 children lived in Seneca, Guernsey County, Ohio. Enumerated with the household is an older woman named Basheba Lawhead. She was aged 60 years and was also born in Pennsylvania. Because of her age, I have always gone under the assumption that Basheba was possibly Joseph’s mother. I have yet to find any evidence of this, either way.

Joseph and his family moved further west and settled in Greene County, Indiana for a time. Along the way, another family of Lawheads always seemed to be around. This family had a son Elijah G. Laughead who was about the same age as my James Henry Lawhead. In 1860, both young men worked as farm hands for the family of William McNabb. Elijah eventually married Mr. McNabb’s neice, Mariah. And many years later, one of Elijah’s daughters married James Henry’s oldest son. I have always felt that there is a familial relationship between Elijah and James beyond being in-laws, perhaps they were first cousins. And just to let you know, Elijah’s name was spelled Laughead on his gravestone.

Joseph & Cassandria, photograph provided by a long lost cousin, circa 1860s

Joseph & Cassandria, photograph provided by a long lost cousin, circa 1860-70s

©2012 copyright owned by Deborah Sweeney
Post originally found: https://genealogylady.net/2012/12/29/surname-saturday-lawhead-or-is-it-laughead/

Protected: Emily Hogue (Lawhead) Foster

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