Anna Lines Crawford


Anna, known to her grandchildren as Nano, was born in Iowa in 1874.  Her mother was Mattie A. Wright - her maiden name.  It has been a mystery as to who Anna’s father was - “Mr. Lines” as my grandmother said.

I have always been a bit confused as to how she and her mother adopted the name Crawford.  Over 25 years ago I found in a card file in the Huntington Beach Library in southern California a card on one James Crawford.  The card was transcriptions from the 1888 California census and the 1900 Federal census.  It was part of an extract catalog.  The card had notes listing Mattie and James marrying in 1882 in Visalia, California.  It also noted he married Cora Adams in 1888, so the marriage to Mattie was short lived.  One item to note is Mattie is shown as being shown with her maiden name, not Lines.

P0002 - Anna Crawford - crop

I also found on an old family scrap book a brief newspaper clipping:  “CRAWFORD - In Visalia, September 29, 1890, Harry A., son of Mrs. Mattie A. Crawford, aged about 6 years.”  That means James and Mattie had a child in 1883.  The fact that he is not mentioned in the obituary supports that Mattie was again single.

Anna sometimes went by the name Anita.  I have seen this in several places after she married Tom Piper.  This is important as in recent years I searched the 1880 Iowa Federal census.  In this census for Fairbank, Iowa is Robert Wright as head of household along with his wife and four children.  There is also Martha Wright aged 28 listed as his sister, and Annettie Lines aged 6 listed as his niece.  The ages match, and the places of birth match for Mattie and Anna.

I pause to note that Mattie - or Martha - is listed by her maiden name Wright while her daughter has the name Lines.  This indicates no marriage - kind of unusual for that era.

Fairbank strattles Buchanan and Fayette counties.  The 1880 census listed the family as being in Buchanan county.  I decided to scrub the Iowa census for a likely father candidate.  I found one prospective:  Leonard H. Lines.  Leonard was residing in Washington township, Buchanan County, Iowa. The communities are on opposite ends of Buchanan county, Fairbank to the north, and Washington township to the southeast.

Leonard lived with his parents, Samuel and Marah.  They were in their 70’s.  Samuel was a Connecticut yankee that settled first in Cassanovia in upstate New York, southeast of Syracuse.  Having lived in upstate myself for 14 years, I know that a lot of the upstate people originally came from Connecticut in the early 1800s.

Leonard was born in New York state in about 1848.  By trade he was a barber and did that most of his life.  He married eventually in the 1890s and never moved from Iowa.  He survived well into the early 20th century with several children.

I have this habit of hypothesizing families and going to prove or disprove the hypothesis.  My hypothesis is Leonard H. Lines is the father of Anna Lines Crawford.

Just recently I was going through the LDS site and searched on the IGI - International Genealogical Index.  This can be notoriously inaccurate, but sometimes it can be a guide to look for original source information.  There it was:  Leon Lines & Matilda Wright, parents of Anita Lines.  This record also has the right birthday for Anna, but off by one year.  The record lists her as marrying Tom Piper. 

This record is a submittal by someone to the Mormon church.  It was done between 1955 and 1970 roughly.  So somebody 35-50 years ago came to the same conclusion as I had.  I now have to figure out getting that submittal and see what other information was listed so I can go to original sources for proof.  I used to know how to do that but it has been at least 15 years since I have done it.

So this is the newest mystery I am working on.  If this is all accurate it explains a lot about the family relationships from the 1890s to the 1930s.  More on that another time.

© Ken Piper 2016