A Patron came in yesterday looking for their great-grandmother.
Lydia Landram shows up in the 1850 Census as Lidia Landram, living in Washington Township, Owen County, Indiana. She is eleven years old and living in the household of George Duigan (sic), 51, and Elicia Duigan (sic), 48. George was born in Ireland and Elicia was born in England. Lydia is the only other person living in the household. She was born in Indiana.
Lydia A. Landrum married John Spice in Owen County on February 25, 1855 when she was about sixteen years old. Her groom was twenty-two years of age.
John Spice was born in Ohio but he hadn’t been found in the Census before 1860 when he and Lydia are located in Johnson County, Missouri in the Township of Holden along with two children, John W., four, and Mary, seven months and we learn Lydia’s middle name was Ann. John W. had been born in Indiana while Mary’s birthplace is listed as Missouri.
By 1870, Lydia and John have moved to Washington Township in Crawford, County, Kansas where John is a Farmer and a carpenter worth six hundred dollars. Lydia is keeping house and children Charles M., 8, and Oliver P., 6, had been added to John W., 13, and Mary A., 10. Lydia and John must have returned to Indiana not too long after the 1860 Census as both the youngest children had been born there.
In 1875 the family was still in Crawford County, Kansas but in 1880 Lydia and John were back in Greene County, Indiana and Frederick, 7, and Eddie, 4, had been added to the family which still consisted of Charles, 17, and Oliver P. M., 16. Also living in the house was a servant girl, Ellen May, an eighteen-year-old who had been born in Ohio. Frederick had also been born in Ohio while Eddie had been born in Indiana. Here, for the first time, Lydia claims to have been born in Ohio, but Censuses are like that with birth years and birth places not always consistent from decade to decade but there may be something to an Ohio connection.
Lydia Spice died June 16, 1898 at the age of sixty. John died March 3, 1911. They are buried in the Castle Hill Cemetery, Fairplay Township, Greene County, Indiana, under a double headstone.
The 1850 Census was the first Federal Census where each member of a household was enumerated by name. In the 1840 Census, taken about two years after Lydia was born, there was a Landrem and a Landram family listed. The Landram family, headed by Edward Landram, aged between forty and fifty years old listed a female between the ages of 0 and 5 years which is consistent with Lydia. Edward Landram is not found in the 1850 Census where Lydia is living with an unrelated couple. It is entirely possibly that Lydia is the child enumerated in the household of Edward Landram who may have died and left Lydia to be fostered out but we cannot prove this connection at this point.
Lydia and John’s children all seemed to have married in Greene County. A Mary Alice Spice married Frederick Tibbitt On January 4, 1877, explaining her absence in the 1880 Census and Charles Spice married Sarah E. Keller on January 13, 1887. There are four John Spices recorded in the Greene County Marriage Index and two are specifically given as John Ws., one who married Sarah B. Andrews on October 1, 1876 and one who married a Margaret J. Bartley on October 15, 1882 but whether either or both of these John Ws is the same John W. who was the son of Lydia and John Spice is uncertain at this time. Even the parentage of the Charles and Mary Alice listed in the Marriage Index is speculative at this point without further confirmation from Greene County.
Perhaps one of the descendants of one of her children could shed some light onto the mystery of Lydia Ann Landram’s origins but for now her story stands as an example of how we can leave a trial of our existence but the essence of who we are evaporates quickly.