Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Tearing-My-Hair-Out Tuesday: More Information on My Brick Wall

Just kidding, this is actually Madness Monday, only late.

I previously posted information on my biggest brick wall, Susan Elizabeth “Lizzie” Smith Bonner Brinlee, here. This brick wall fits quite well into the Madness Monday theme, however, so I’d like to add some information to that. (The information that I do have on her is so tantalizing and the information that I am missing is so aggravating, that it really does almost drive me to distraction.) This also fits the criteria for Blogging Prompt #12, "Use your blog to break down a brick wall" (late, of course).

Here is some basic information on the Hiram Carroll Brinlee Jr.-Susan Elizabeth Smith family group:

Hiram Carroll “Dink” Brinlee Jr.
b. Sep 1844, Red River County, Texas
d. 20 Jan 1920, Collin County, Texas
& Susan Elizabeth “Lizzie” Smith
b. 4 Apr 1868, Tennessee
d. 29 Jul 1958
m. 3 Dec 1891, White Bead Hill, Chickasaw Nation, OK
|--Lawrence Carroll Brinlee
|----b. 29 Jan 1893, String Town, Atoka, OK
|----d. 9 Apr 1953, Bonham, Fannin, TX
|----& Sallie Frances Norman
|----b. 5 Sep 1892, Talladega Co., AL
|----d. 8 Dec 1984, Ivanhoe, Fannin County, Texas
|-----m. 6 May 1911, Greenville, Hunt Co., TX
|--Cordelia Lee “Cordie” Brinlee
|----b. 8 Jun 1895, Oklahoma
|----d. 23 May 1961, McKinney, Collin Co., Texas
|----& Kingsley Levington Clinton
|----b. 18 Feb 1894, Putnam Co., Tennessee
|----d. 2 Nov 1955, Anna, Collin, Texas
|----m. 1911
|--Austin Franklin Brinlee
|----b. 6 Apr 1904, Farmersville, Collin County, Texas
|----d. 17 Nov 1976, Allen, Collin County, Texas
|----& Mary Katherine Clinton
|----b. 3 Aug 1912, Fannin County, Texas
|----d. 25 Aug 1993, Allen, Collin County, Texas
|----m. 24 Jul 1928, Fannin County, Texas
|--Cecil Odell Brinlee
|----b. 23 Sep 1908, Collin County, Texas
|----d. 30 Oct 1994, Quitman, Wood, Texas
|----& Amy Lorene Kent
|---- b. 12 Dec 1913, Arkansas
|----d. 11 Apr 2000, McKinney, Collin Co., Texas

I have used the above information, the censuses, Lizzie’s Confederate Widow’s Pension application, and her death certificate to put together a sketchy timeline of where Lizzie was at various times in her life:

?1868 to 1889: Tennessee. This is pure speculation. However, since Lizzie and Hiram got married in Oklahoma and appear to have met there, I am guessing that Lizzie and her first husband, Mr. Bonner, might have come to Oklahoma in the big land rush in 1889. Because she stated on the 1930 that she first married at the age of 17, I am putting the year of that marriage at around 1885-86 and probably in Tennessee.

1889 to some time between 1900, when Hiram appears on the US Federal Census for Britton Township, Oklahoma County, Oklahoma Territory (my guess is that Lizzie and the children were with him, but not reported to the census-taker) and 1904, when Austin is reported to have been born in Farmersville, Collin County, Texas: Oklahoma. The year of the move was most likely 1902, as reported by Lizzie on her Confederate Widow’s Pension Application. On Lizzie and Hiram’s marriage license, which is dated 1 December 1891, Lizzie’s residence is listed as White Bead Hill, Chickasaw Nation, and Hiram’s residence is listed as Davis, Chickasaw Nation. Their certificate of marriage was certified by R. H. Grimstead, Minister of the Gospel, and dated 3 December 1891. My grandfather Lawrence Brinlee was reported to have been born in String Town, Atoka, Oklahoma on 29 January 1893; on his World War I Draft Registration card, he lists the location as Paul’s Valley, Oklahoma. My information on Cordelia’s place of birth does not include a specific location in Oklahoma.

6 April 1904: Austin born in Farmersville, Collin County, Texas

23 September 1908: Cecil Odell born in Collin County, Texas

4 May 1910: Hiram and Lizzie appear on the US Federal Census for Justice Precinct 2, Hunt County, Texas.

30 January 1920: Hiram and Lizzie appear on the US Federal Census for Farris, Atoka Co., Oklahoma. Hiram had died on 20 January, but the census-taker must have been following the instructions, which indicated that “individuals alive on 1 January but deceased when the enumerator arrived were to be counted.”

27 July 1925: Lizzie files her Confederate Widow’s Pension application from Collin County, Texas

10 Sep 1929: Lizzie writes a letter requesting assistance with her Pension application; the location is given as Leonard, Texas (Leonard is in Fannin County).

21 April 1930: Lizzie appears on the US Federal Census living with her son Austin in Fannin County, Texas.

29 July 1958: Lizzie dies in Plano, Collin County, Texas. She apparently had lived for some years with her youngest son, Cecil Odell, who signed the application for her mortuary warrant and her death certificate. Her death certificate indicates her stay in Plano as “several years.”

Much of this is guesswork and there are sure to be inaccuracies here; however, these would be the locations in Oklahoma and Texas where I would want to check local resources (courthouse records, newspaper archives, etc.). I have often wondered whether or not Lizzie had any siblings, and if she did, whether she was ever in contact with them. There are so many things I wonder about Lizzie.


  1. I found the following information at www.findagrave.com. Do a search for last name Brinlee state Texas. She is buried at Restland Memorial Park in Dallas, TX.

    Birth: Apr. 4, 1860
    Tennessee, USA
    Death: Jul. 29, 1958
    Collin County
    Texas, USA

    Mrs. Susan E Brinlee, 98, died at 5:00 o'clock Tuesday afternoon in Plano after a month's illness. Funeral services will be held in the Plano Baptist Church at 2 p.m. Thursday, Rev. Rev. Arthur J Fineout, officiating, with burial in Restland Memorial Park, Dallas. Turrentine-Jackson Funeral Directors are in charge of arrangements. Grandsons are pallbearers.
    She was born April 4, 1860, in Tennessee, but had lived in Collin County most of her life. She formerly lived near Anna, and was a member of the Methodist Church.
    Surviving are a daughter, Mrs. K.L. Clinton of Anna; two sons, C.O. Brinlee of Plano, and A.F. Brinlee of Lubbock. Her husband, H.C. Brinlee and a son, preceded her in death. She has 26 grandchildren and a number of great-grandchildren, there being five generations of her family, prior to her passing.
    Wednesday, July 30, 1958, pg.8
    McKinney Daily Courier - Gazette, McKinney, Collin County, Texas

  2. Tatum, Thank you for taking an interest in my "brick wall." I believe the year for her death given here (1860) may have been provided by a family member and, for the reasons stated in this article and in my "brick wall" article, may be erroneous, but I am not ruling it out, either. I should also have included in my "action plan" as outlined here a visit to look at the records of the funeral home that handled her burial (Turrentine-Jackson). Thanks for stopping by my blog.