My great-grandmother, Rhoda Harmon Lineberry, was one of eleven known children and the fifth daughter of Thomas Benjamin Harmon and Delilah Davis born about 1843 probably in Grayson County, Virginia, although her marriage record states she was born in Carroll County [her father was born and died in Grayson County so it would be a reasonable assumption they were living there at the time of her birth].
We don’t know very much about Rhoda. We don’t know her birth date, just three censuses that indicate she was born about 1842 or 1843. There is a marriage record indicating she married George Alex Lineberry on February 26, 1867 in Carroll County, Virginia at the age of 21, which would place her birth in 1846. Since she was listed as 6 on the 1850 census and had two younger siblings, the 1843 date is probably reasonable. The census records also indicate that, like many women, Rhoda could read but not write.
George and his family had an iron forge they operated on Crooked Creek as well as farmed the land on the hills that overlooked the creek. My daughter and I took a trip back to Carroll County in May 2013 and walked part of the family’s land; it was a misty, overcast day, but I was able to take a zoomed-in picture of Crooked Creek below their farm land. A death record indicates their first child, a daughter named Nancy, was born January 15, 1868 and died January 31, 1868, having lived sixteen days. By the 1870 census, George and Rhoda had a second child, son Leander Francis born in 1869. Four more children were born between 1870 and 1880: my grandfather, Jacob Wesley in 1871, Dillie Viola in 1873, Thomas Allen in 1875 and Piety Catherine in 1878. Another death record identifies an unnamed child was born and died September 8, 1872.
The next few years brought more children: Callie Dora in 1881, Linnie Ann in 1883, and George Alexander in 1885 – ten children in all. The majority of the 1890 census was destroyed by fire so there is no record listing Rhoda with these children.
My grandfather, Jacob, left home about 1894 and moved to Missouri joining other Lineberry and Harmon relatives who had moved there sometime after the Civil War. His letters back home to his brother, Leander, indicated he had left home because their home was not a very happy place and left no doubt the cause of the unhappiness was his father, George. He did, on the other hand, mention his mother in very positive terms. Kay wrote a story of Jacob’s obvious love for his mother and his grief upon learning of her death in her blog, Such a Good Mother.
Records indicate Rhoda had inherited some land from her father and upon her death on January 31, 1896 at the age of 53, that property was divided among her children. My grandfather was the only one of her children who did not remain on the land. Rhoda was buried on the family land in what is known as the Alex Lineberry Cemetery between her husband, George, and his second wife, Amanda Thompson Lineberry, and surrounded by several of their children and their spouses. _________________
This blog was prepared as a part of Amy Johnson Crow’s No Story Too Small 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge.