November 17, 2009

Catherine Lawman Sandidge

Catherine Lawman Sandidge was the daughter of Samuel Lawman, born c1792 either in PA or VA.  Samuel often wavered between these two states in various census records.  Catherine was in the household with Samuel on Oct. 21, 1850 and again on July 12 1860 in Amherst Co.

We know that Catherine married Anderson Sandidge c1855.  She was named in the "Annual Report of the Department of Interior" 1926 as the wife of "Anderson Sandidge, first lieutenant, Tinsley's Company, Virginia Militia," and in the "Annual Report of the Commissioner of Pensions to the Secretary of the Interior" in 1924.

Another source, "Catalogue of the Officers and Alumni of The Washington and Lee University, Lexington, Virginia, 1749-1888 named Anderson Sandidge of Amherst County as "Captain, War of 1812; Farmer, Teacher, died 1859."

Catherine was identified In subsequent Amherst county census records; namely for Mildred and Daniel Rufus Coffey on Aug. 22, 1870 and widower Daniel on Jun. 24, 1880, and with Virginia on May 16, 1910 and again on Jan. 20, 1920, as mother and/or mother-in-law.

Mildred, born c1850 and Virginia, born Nov. 11, 1851 named John and Catherine Scott as their parents when they married brothers Daniel Rufus and William Henry Coffey in Amherst Co., VA on Apr. 6, 1868.

It has been reported in some well researched genealogies that both girls were illegitimate daughters of Catherine Lawman.  Other researchers have questioned whether or not the Catherine named in the marriage record was Catherine Lawman.

Both girls were in the household with Samuel Lawman in 1860 Amherst Co. along with Catherine, then Catherine Sandidge and her 2-year old son, Aman Sandidge.  As stated above, they each were married before the 1870 census was enumerated.

Census records prove that a John Scott was in Amherst county and was, in fact, a near neighbor of the Lawman family.  In 1850 he resided at dwelling/family 476 while the Samuel Lawman family was in the same district at family 510.  John was not married.

In 1860 Scott was dwelling 110/family 108, which seems to be a bit more distant from the Lawman family which was at dwelling 319/family 316.  It's difficult to judge distances when enumeration district maps are not readily available.  John was still unmarried.

The 1870 census enumeration found John living alone at dwelling 571/family 559 at Amherst Court House while Catherine, a widow, was residing with her daughter Mildred Coffey, wife of Daniel Rufus.

A marriage record for Catherine to John Scott has never been found.  We know that John had been married, but prior to 1850.  In census records from 1850 thru 1870 there was not a wife in his household. 

The girls were young, 18 and 16 respectively when they married, but it is obvious that either they, or someone who was confident of their parentage reported that John Scott was their father.

The conclusion then has to be that the girls, Mildred and Virginia, were the illegitimate daughters of Catherine Lawman Sandidge, both born prior to her marriage to Anderson Sandidge and were fathered by John Scott. 

Comments and other evidence gratefully accepted.  Contact me at the above e-mail address.

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