Sunday, January 9, 2011

Lucy Matilda Thompson Gause ~ A Chronology

Intended to correct inaccurately reported biographical facts and point out facts needing further research or proof …
Lucy Matilda Thompson (aka Matilda Thompson) was born in Bladen County, North Carolina about December 1842. Confusion over the year of her birth stems from the fact that her mother, also named Lucy Matilda (maiden name unknown at time of this writing), was born in North Carolina in 1812. From this point on, I will refer to elder Lucy as “Sr.” and young Lucy as “Jr.” to avoid confusion.
It’s believed Lucy Sr. married Duncan Thompson with whom she had six children born in Bladen County, North Carolina:
John W. Thompson (b. abt. 1833)
Sarah Thompson (b. abt. 1835)
James W. Thompson (b. abt. 1838)
Lucy Matilda Thompson (b. abt. 1842) Jr.
Martha A. Thompson (b. abt. 1845)*
Barney Thompson (b. abt. 1851)*
1840 census?
When the 1850 U.S. Census was done for this family in Cape Fear Southwest Side, Bladen, North Carolina there was no male head of household listed: John (17), Sarah (15), James (12), Matilda Jr. (8) and Martha (5) are living with their mother. (*Where’s Duncan?) Two household up lived the Henry Gause family which included son Bryant B. Gause, young Lucy Matilda’s first husband.
When  the  1860 U.S. Census was done for Bladen, North Carolina Lucy Thompson Sr. had  L. M. (Lucy Matilda Jr. 18), Martha (16) and Barney (9/b. 1851) in her household,
As the story goes, Matilda Jr. married Bryant B. Gause just after the Civil War started. Most researchers have set their marriage year to Abt. 1861. From here on I’ve dropped Jr. from her name.
3 May 1861 / Bladen County, NC – Bryant B. Gause and his two brothers, Henry H. Gause and James W. Gause, enlisted in the Confederate Army, Company B, 18th North Carolina. Henry & James both survived the war.

It’s been reported by some researchers that Bryant was killed in Virginia at Frayser’s Farm during the Seven Days Battle on 30 Jun 1862. He’s also reported to have been wounded three times during the war.This information is appears to be incorrect.
Bryant was mortally wounded at Fredericksburg, VA on 13 Dec 1862 and died in Scottsville, VA on 12 Jan 1863.  Matilda presented a petition for “Claims of Deceased” as Bryant’s widow. On 7 February she made her mark upon a receipt of $116.33 at Richmond, VA as his widow. There is a marker for Bryant at Benevolence Cemetery. However, it’s believed the marker was put in place after 1911 and that Bryant Gause’s body may not actually be buried there.

Matilda’s assertion that she was wounded at First Manassas is false … the 18th North Carolina was not engaged in that battle. Her claims to having served alongside her husband cannot be supported by contemporary evidence. There is simply no documentary proof that she served in any of the capacities she claimed. IF, in fact, Lucy actually disguised herself as a man and fought in the Civil War, she was absolutely not the only woman to do so. ref:
21 Jan 1863 / NC – According to published reports, Mary Caroline Gauss, daughter of Bryant & Matilda Gauss, was born in 1864. This is 12 months after the reported death of her father … not possible unless the year of Bryant’s death is incorrect. For purposes of this report, her birth year has been changed to 1863.
1866 – Matilda suddenly left North Carolina and ended up in Georgia by way of Charleston, SC.  Abt. 1867 Matilda marries former Union soldier, Joseph Patrick Kenney (b. 1806), an Irishman who had fought in the Union Navy during the war. Date of birth on his tombstone 6 Apr 1806. However, contemporary records place his birth at 12 Oct 1837.

1870 U.S. Census done for Patrick (Kinnie) of Brown Marsh, Bladen, North Carolina may have been incorrectly attached by other researchers to this family. Looking at the actual census, one can plainly see that the entire family was born in Ireland:  Patrick Kinnie (38/ b. Ireland), Matilda (21/ b. Ireland), Mary (4/ b. Ireland) and Margaret (3/b. Ireland). (Find the correct 1870 census.)
The 1873 Columbus County, NC marriage register includes the marriage of Martha Thompson to Alfred Baizen. Duncan Thompson is listed as Martha's father.
In the 1880 U.S. Census, Patrick and Lucy Matilda (Kunes) and their family was living in the Western Prong area of Columbus.  Next door was  Matilda's mother (Lucy Thompson age 68), who lived next door to Matilda's brother, John W. Thompson and wife Nipsie.  Not far away is James W. (Gaus) and wife Dollie A., brother of Matilda’s first husband. Matilda and her children are listed as Mulattos (as were most non-tribal Indians in North Carolina at that time). In past censuses they are listed as white:
Patrick (60/White/b. Ireland) – Patrick should be abt. 74 years old.
Matilda (38/Mulatto/b. NC) – This would be her correct age based on 1842 birth year.
Mary (16/Mulatto/b. 1864 NC)
Martha (13/Mulatto/b. NC)
Katie Missouri Kenney (8/Mulatto/b. NC)
Victoria E.  Kenney (4/Mulatto/b. NC)
John P.  Kenney (9m/Mulatto/b. NC)
Where’s James (b. abt. 1868)? He’d be abt. 12 years old?
1890 U.S. Census for most of the country destroyed by fire. Lucy Matilda should be abt. 48 years old.
The 1900 U.S. Census shows Patrick and Matilda living in Blackshear, Pierce, GA with the following family members, all shown as white:
Patrick (96) – Patrick would be abt. 94 years old.
Matilda (72) – Matilda ages herself by +14. She should be abt. 58.
John P. (17)
Joseph V. (15)
Martha A. Sweat (34) with her daughter Maggie V. Sweat (2)
The 1910 U.S. Census shows Patrick and Matilda (Kenny) living in Militia District 748, Coffee, GA with the following family members, all shown as white:
Patrick (104) – This would be his correct age based on 1806 birth year.
Lucy Matilda (97) – Matilda ages herself by +29 years. She should be abt. 68.
Martha (43)
Joseph (26)
Mary (23)
Viola (11)
Joseph (7)
Hervie (2)
Joseph Patrick Kenney died 7 Sep 1913 in Savannah, Chatham, Georgia. The Savannah Morning News listed him as having lived to be 107 years of age and his wife as 98 … which we now know was exaggerated. Lucy Matilda Thompson Gause Kenney died 22 Jun 1925at the age of 83, not 112 as reported in various stories about her. She is buried at the Meeks Cemetery in Nicholls, GA.
Created 8 May 2016

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