WNC History Timeline

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www.childers-shepherd.org, 30 Nov 2008
                              The Joseph Franklin Mystery

There is a tradition among the family of Thomas Clingman Childers, Jr., to the effect that
his wife Bertha was the daughter of Joseph Franklin and Louisa Jane Reece.

The official documentary evidence for the marriage is as follows:

* Bertha's death certificate and tombstone give her birthname as Franklin;
* Delayed birth certificates for some of her children say the mother's birthname was
 Franklin (while those of other children say it was Lambert).    

However, to date, we have found no other official record of a marriage between Louisa
Jane Reece and any Joseph Franklin, while there are official records of her marriages to
Andrew Jackson Lambert and J. Samuel Edwards. (Click the link above for details of

There are census records of three different Joseph Franklins of reasonable
ages in Haywood County, NC, where the Reeces resided (Pigeon Township), as

1. Joseph H. Franklin, born abt 1854. In 1900 and 1910, he resided in Waynesville, and
he was married to Martha R. Edwards abt 1870. Occupation was farmer.

2. Joseph Franklin, born abt 1858, resided in Fines Creek township of Haywood County
in 1870. Occupation was farm laborer.

3. Joseph Franklin, born abt 1858, resided in Pigeon Township of Haywood County in
1870 and in 1900, and he was married to Vashtie [?] about 1879. Occupation was day

An obstacle to resolving this mystery is our failure to find, thus far, census information for
Louisa Jane Reece (by any surname) in 1880.

If anyone can offer clues, please click the link below for contact information.