For many years, I searched for the mother of Lucy Stringfellow, born Christmas 1856 in Cheatham County, Tennessee. From census records, I knew her father was Hiram Stringfellow. The problem was that Hiram’s wife, Lucy Brummett, had likely died before my Lucy was even born. She was the mother to his ten older children. Many family trees list Lucy Brummett as Lucy Stringfellow’s mother anyways, even though this isn’t true.
Thanks to released death records, I was able to find the name of Lucy’s mother: Rhoda Lee. Rhoda was Hiram’s second wife, and either died in childbirth or in the few years after the birth of Lucy. On the 1860 census, Hiram was living with two of his daughters, Martha Ann and Lucy, and with no wife. On the 1870 census, Hiram (61) and Lucy (13) are listed as the only two living in the household.
Rhoda’s parents were Stephen Lee and Elizabeth Gordon Mayfield. Rhoda was on the 1850 census with her parents in Davidson County, Tennessee.
It’s a nice sentiment that Lucy was named after Hiram’s first wife. She named one of her daughters, Rhoda Harper Hedgepath, after her mother.
I wish I knew what happened to Rhoda and what her story was. She was about thirty years younger than Hiram, even younger than a few of his children. No doubt Hiram remarried for help around the house and with his younger children, which was the norm at the time. After Rhoda died, he did not remarry and I assume he raised Lucy and his other children on his own. It’s hard to tell when all you have are census records. Stories are forgotten. I hate that. It’s so important to preserve your family history.
If you have any more information on the Stringfellow family of Hiram, Lucy Brummett, and Rhoda Lee, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.