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Sunday, February 25, 2018

John Daniel Littrell (Grandpa John): New documents discovered.

ALC-1(3)While doing research into a Facebook query about the potential connection of an unidentified Littrell in the St. Louis area I came across some additional records pertaining to our grandpa John and some of his brothers and cousins. Amongst these papers were the World War I draft registration for Grandpa John, and a delayed birth certificate for Grandpa John dated 1947. While I still have to process much of these papers I thought I would expedite what I found for Grandpa John and share it (here) on the family website and the family Facebook group page.

The draft registration card: (left-click to enlarge, side two in footnotes below)
JDL~draftcard (1)Dated September 12th, 1918, John Daniel Littrell registered for the draft at age 33, giving his birthday as January 26th, 1884 and living in Loretta Tennessee (Lawrence County). From what I can make out he lived on Route 2. (see updated notation below*)
His description is giving as a white, native-born, self-employed farmer. His nearest relative is shown as Grandma Kizzie (Comer) Littrell. John signed the document.
On the reverse side of the card, John is described as medium height, medium build, blue eyes and dark colored hair. The registration card makes no references to draft status other than to state Grandpa John has not lost any limbs, eyes, or suffers from any physical disqualification. At 33 years of age and having a family it is probable that he was not under threat of conscription (the war ended 60 days after Grandpa John registered). We know from our own research and family knowledge that John never served in the military, even though he had seven sons and son-in-law's that did serve through World War II, Korea, and the Cold War.

During World War I there were three registrations. (Grandpa was too old for the first two.)

  • The first, on June 5, 1917, was for all men between the ages of 21 and 31.
  • The second, on June 5, 1918, registered those who attained age 21 after June 5, 1917. (A supplemental registration was held on August 24, 1918, for those becoming 21 years old after June 5, 1918. This was included in the second registration.)
  • The third registration was held on September 12, 1918, for men age 18 through 45.

  read more on the WWI draft

The delayed certificate of birth:
It is very probable that most of the families in Lawrence County Tennessee prior to the 1930s were never issued birth certificates because most births were occurring in the home and were being delivered by family doctors and unlicensed midwives. These births were usually entered into a journal maintained by the doctors and the midwives. In Grandpa John's family, it is said that his sister, Suzie Smith, was a midwife who delivered many of the family. I am unfamiliar with what the protocol was but it is more than likely that any record of births we're simply a catalog of these doctors and mid-wife entries and no actual birth certificate was ever issued. Whatever the case may be it is highly improbable the grandpa John ever had a birth certificate. (see updated notation below*)
Prior to discovering Grandpa John's delayed birth certificate, I was aware of one other instance where the family had to obtain a delayed birth certificate. My little brother Rick was born in France while dad, JD Littrell, was in the service, and in order to meet the requirements for taking a French born child* out of the country, France, it was necessary for Dad to produce a birth certificate proving that he (Dad) was a natural born American citizen.
Thus he contacted Grandpa John and Kizzie to try and get him one. As the story was told to me, part of the process was that John and Kizzie would have to provide proof that Dad was indeed born in America and this proof usually came in the form of affidavits from lifelong friends or family and producing the birth records of the time. The most common records outside of church records were the records of doctors and midwives and established family bibles. Having researched dad's delayed birth certificate there's clear reference in that document that the Family Bible was used to verify his birth along with affidavits provided by Grandpa and Grandma.

At the time I researched dads birth certificate I inquired with Aunt Onene (Littrell-Curtis) as to the family Bible that was used as proof of Dad's birth. The reason why I inquired about the Family Bible is that Dad at one time told me that it was lost in the flood of 1937, in Mississippi County Missouri. But the delayed birth certificate for dad was issued in the 1950s which raised doubts as to the existence of a family bible. (click here for more on the flood of 1937)
Aunt Onene produced for me a family bible and confirmed that it was not the original Bible which was lost in the flood. She said that Grandma tried to reconstruct the births, deaths, and marriages that had been in the original Bible. At the time a close examination proved that many of the dates entered by Grandma Kizzie from memory were incorrect. I do not presently know who actually has possession of this Bible.

When did Grandma try to recreate the family bible?

The need for Grandpa and Grandma to get Dad a certified birth certificate establishes that the family bible used was constructed sometime between the flood in 1937 and Rick's birth in early 1950. This newly discovered delayed birth certificate for Grandpa John now establishes that that Bible was reconstructed sometime between 1937 and the issue date of Grandpa John's delayed birth certificate in 1947.

Why did Grandpa need a delayed birth certificate?

JDL~DBC (1)The delayed birth certificate for dad was needed in order to establish his and Rick's citizenship so that Rick could leave France, but why did Grandpa need a delayed birth certificate?
My best guess, and a very practical explanation, would be that based on the date Grandpa John obtained his new birth certificate, which was November 1947, and his age on that date would have been 63 years old, my conclusion is that he was obtaining is proof for the purposes of gaining access to his Social Security benefits. (see updated notation below*)

JDL~DBC (2)In the case of Dad's birth certificate, Grandpa and Grandma completed affidavits attesting to his being born in the US and lifelong citizen. On Grandpa John's delayed birth certificate the required affidavits from two lifelong friends or relatives were provided by Lew Ayres, a distant cousin and neighbor of John and Kizzie, and H. A. White. I have always been aware of the Ayers family associations to our family in the Fairview Community (Bluewater area of Loretta), and while the name H. A. White sounds familiar I cannot at this time place it.
At the time that Lew Ayres sign his affidavit he was age 73 and at the time that H. A. White signed his affidavit, he was 85 years of age. Both men state that they are neighbors of John & Kizzie.

*Rick's birth certificate is a French birth certificate.


Tennessee Delayed Birth Records, 1869—1909. Nashville, Tennessee: State Library and Archives:  Birth certificates were not required by law in Tennessee until 1908. However, the state began to issue delayed birth certificates starting in 1935 after birth certificates were required to register for the newly created Social Security program. Delayed birth certificates provided documentation for those born before the state law took effect or who didn’t have a birth certificate for some other reason. Delayed birth certificates were issued only to people who applied for them; they were not given automatically. People applying for a delayed birth certificate were required to supply supporting documents that proved their birth information.

JDL~draftcard (3)Lawrence County Registration Card, Registrar's Report P.M.G.O. Form No. 1 (Red) Lawrenceburg, Lawrence County, Tennessee. Provost Marshal General (Office of)
Rural Free Delivery (RFD) is a service which began in the United States in the late 19th century, to deliver mail directly to rural farm families. Prior to RFD, individuals living in more remote homesteads had to pick up mail themselves at sometimes distant post offices or pay private carriers for delivery. RFD became a political football, with politicians promising it to voters and using it themselves to reach voters. The proposal to offer free rural delivery was not universally embraced. Private carriers and local shopkeepers feared a loss of business. The United States Post Office Department began experiments with Rural Free Delivery as early as 1890. However, it was not until 1893, when Georgia Congressman Thomas E. Watson pushed through legislation, that the practice was mandated. However, universal implementation was slow; RFD was not adopted generally in the United States Post Office until 1902. The rural delivery service uses a network of rural routes traveled by carriers to deliver and pick up mail to and from roadside mailboxes.


Saturday, February 3, 2018

Jesse Luttrell/Littrell connection tentativly established:

See previous article: Possible new family connection in the St. Louis area

Yes, you are related and that relationship goes back a long way. As yet I can't estimate the exact 'X cousin, X removed' situation.

I still don't have my software up and running so what I have so far is limited, which means that the exact tie-in has to be verified.

Your friends Fagan is probably the son of Charles Fagan Littrell. Some dates (birth, marriage, deaths, wife's name) for her Fagan would go a long way to solidify this possible connection.

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To summarize:
Jesse Littrell m. Sarah Jane Walker, one of his sons was Joseph Andrew Littrell, and one of his sons was John Steven Littrell who had sons Charles Fagan L. and John David L. (and 6 other children). The connection with us goes back 200 years to two brothers, our Rodham and her Jessie. Who coming from Farquire County Virginia, migrated as young men, along with a group of siblings, uncles, and cousins, to the Southwestern end of the state near the Cumberland Gap. Around 1800 they would migrate to South Central Kentucky and remain there for several years leaving family is they eventually migrated to South Central Tennessee around Lincoln and Franklin counties. From there they would settle in the area along the Tennessee-Alabama border in the counties of Lauderdale County Alabama and Lawrence County Tennessee.

In doing this research at the library I have discovered several documents pertaining to this line that a previously didn't have. As a result, I'm going to create a page for the family line of Jesse Littrel in anticipation of connecting her to that family line on the Littrell Family News website, www.littrellfamily.net, not the Facebook group page (that page is strictly for descendants of John & Kizzie). I will start posting information there as soon. These new documents or draft registration cards for her ancestors, Census records, Social Security, service records, and marriage documents. Once I set up the family page for her family line I'll send you a link to share with her. I realize there's a possibility she might not be computer literate and if that turns out to be a problem I can send her hard copies of what I have by mail. My first choice though is to create a page that not just provides her with information but other family members so she can direct them there.

Out of curiosity is your friend's name Whitney?

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