Monday, June 6, 2016

The Wives of James Franklin Jollett: Lucy Ann Shiflett

As part of my “Genealogy Do-Over” efforts AND to force myself to get crackin’ on my James Franklin Jollett book, Jollett Reunion, I will be researching and writing brief biographies of James Franklin, his wives, and his children. 

Lucy Ann Shiflett was born in 1843, the fourth child of eleven born to Burton and Nancy Elizabeth Frazier Shiflett of Greene County, Virginia. Their farm was situated in Bacon Hollow which is outlined by Flattop, Wyatt, Hightop, Greene, Brokenback, and Snow Mountains. The Roach River runs its full length. 

Twelve hundred feet above Bacon Hollow is the Overlook on the Skyline Drive which did not exist when Lucy Ann was alive.

Unlike her parents, Lucy Ann learned to read and write. Little else is known of her childhood except that she grew up on a farm. Her father Burton owned 126 acres, 45 of which was improved and 81 unimproved. On the Agricultural Schedule (non-population census) of 1850, the farm was valued at $500 and farm tools at $40. The Shifletts owned 2 horses, 2 milk cows and 5 other cattle, 3 sheep, and 19 swine, the total of which was valued at $180. At the time of the census, Burton had produced 3 bushels of wheat, 75 bushels of Indian corn, 100 bushels of oats, 75 pounds of tobacco, 18 pounds of wool, 1 bushel of peas or beans, 12 bushels of potatoes, 4 bushels of buckwheat, and 200 pounds of butter. Compared to his neighbors, Burton was on par with the Joneses, or in this case, the Morrises, Fraziers, Haneys, and Colliers.

If the Shifletts lived like most families did at that time, Lucy Ann likely helped with the farm in some way. She probably also helped her mother take care of the younger children. The baby of the family, George, was enumerated in 1870 as “helpless” and “dumb,” so certainly he needed extra attention from everyone in the family.

Depending on the census record, Lucy Ann was either 16 or 19 when she married James Franklin Jollett on November 12, 1859. They lived next door to her parents. James Franklin’s occupation in 1860 was “Laborer,” so it is likely he worked on his in-laws’ farm.

James Franklin Jollett
possibly his wedding portrait
Lucy Ann and James Franklin were still newlyweds in September 1860 when Lucy Ann’s father was stabbed to death by his brother-in-law, Lucy Ann’s uncle Leland Frazier. What led to this awful event can only be speculated. Leland was charged with murder, but the jury found him guilty of Voluntary Manslaughter and sentenced him to four years in jail. This suggests that Leland did not plan to kill his sister’s husband, but he did so purposely in the heat of the moment.

When her father was killed, Lucy Ann was 8 months pregnant. Just weeks after Burton was laid to rest, Lucy Ann gave birth to her first child, a boy, whom she and James Franklin named Burton Lewis, Burton for her father, and Lewis for James Franklin’s father Fielding Lewis.

Lucy Ann and James Franklin had at least 8 more children. The last known child was born in January 1883. Lucy Ann died in January 1884, supposedly from “childbed fever.” However, the facts do not add up: a full year seems too long for “childbed” to be the cause of death. Perhaps there was another infant unaccounted for and who died as well, or “childbed fever” was not the cause of death.

Throughout her life, Lucy Ann and James Franklin lived near her mother, her brothers and sisters, even her grandmother. Where she is buried is not known, but surely she was buried near her home, if not in Bacon Hollow, then most certainly somewhere in Greene County.

Family of Burton Shiflett and Nancy E. Frazier
Burton Shiflett (1814 Orange Co, VA – 6 Sep 1860 Greene Co, VA) and Nancy Elizabeth Frazier (14 Feb 1811 Albemarle Co, VA – 22 Jan 1895 Rockingham Co, VA) married 1 Dec 1834 Albemarle Co, VA
  1. Ola Shiflett (1835 Orange Co, VA - )
  2. Jacob Haskell Shiflett (1836 Orange Co, VA – before 8 Oct 1871) and Lucretia Jollett (18 Sep 1838 Rockingham Co, VA – 31 Dec 1911 Rockingham Co, VA ) married 5 Aug 1858 Page Co, VA
  3. John Conway Shiflett (2 Jun 1840 Greene Co, VA – 9 Feb 1917 Albemarle Co, VA) and married 1) Lucretia Shiflett (1846 Greene Co, VA – Before Jul 1880 Greene Co, VA) 7 Dec 1863 Greene Co, VA ; Common-law wife 2) Nancy J. Shiflett (May 1848 - ); married 3) Mary D. Shiflett (2 Dec 1849 Greene Co, VA – 8 Jan 1925 Albemarle Co, VA) married 28 Jul 1880 Greene Co, VA
  4. Lucy Ann Shiflett (1843 Greene Co, VA – Jan 1884 Greene Co, VA ) and James Franklin Jollett (17 Nov 1836 Rockingham Co, VA – 3 Jun 1930 Augusta Co, VA) married 12 Nov 1859 Greene Co, VA
  5. Francis M. Shiflett (1844 Greene Co, VA - )
  6. Jeremiah Shiflett (1847 Greene Co, VA  - )
  7. Nancy Frances Shiflett (10 Jan 1849 Greene Co, VA – 2 Mar 1926 Washington D. C.) and William Gordon Morris Jr. (1851 Greene Co, VA – 1891 Greene Co, VA) married 20 Sep 1872 Greene Co, VA
  8. Susan Clementine Shiflett (22 Jun 1851 Greene Co, VA – 29 Dec 1928 Greene Co, VA) married George Austin Morris (26 Apr 1849 Greene Co, VA – 14 Nov 1934 Greene Co, VA) married 12 Dec 1870 Greene Co, VA
  9. Victoria Shiflett (Mar 1854 Greene Co, VA – 13 Mar 1926 Greene Co, VA) and Ambrose Vernon (14 Mar 1854 Madison co, VA – 29 Aug 1936 Greene Co, VA ) married 26 Dec 1875 Greene Co, VA
  10. George W. Shiflett (20 Apr 1856 Greene Co, VA - )
  11. Unnamed baby boy (1857 – 10 Mar 1857 Greene Co, VA)

Family of Lucy A. Shiflett and James Franklin Jollett 
Lucy Ann Shiflett (1843 Greene Co, VA – Jan 1884 Greene Co, VA ) and James Franklin Jollett (17 Nov 1836 Rockingham Co, VA – 3 Jun 1930 Augusta Co, VA) married 12 Nov 1859 Greene Co, VA
  1. Burton Lewis Jollett (2 Oct 1860 Greene Co, VA – 4 May 1934 Greene Co, VA)
  2. Emma Franklin Jollett (1 Feb 1863 Greene Co, VA – 10 Apr 1945 Page Co, VA)
  3. Laura Etta Jollett (30 May 1865 Greene Co, VA – 30 Jul 1947 Page Co, VA)
  4. Leanna Alice Jollett (14 Mar 1867 Greene Co, VA – 20 Sep 1936 Albemarle Co, VA)
  5. Mary Frances Jollett (10 Jan 1870 Greene Co, VA – 22 Feb 1950 Harrisonburg, VA)
  6. Sarah Catherine Jollett (11 May 1872 Greene Co, VA – 7 Jul 1944 Washington D.C.)
  7. Victoria Elizabeth Jollett (19 Mar 1878 Greene Co, VA – 2 May 1944 Washington D.C.)
  8. William Isaac Jollett (Jan 1880 Greene Co, VA – Jul 1903 Newport News, VA)
  9. Ulysses Finks Jollett (26 Jan 1883 Greene Co, VA – 30 Jan 1931 Baltimore, MD)

NEXT WEEK: Eliza Jane Coleman

© 2016, Wendy Mathias.  All rights reserved.


  1. I'm going to follow this, I love family stories.
    Poor Lucy. She could have had a miscarriage or a stillborn - or even an ectopic pregnancy. I know someone who had one recently and even in this day and age she almost died.

    1. That's true. You surely don't hear too often about people dying in childbirth these days, but I'm sure there are scary reasons for it.

  2. So many sad events in one family! I wish there was a newspaper article about James Franklin's stabbing because that really makes me curious. So sad for Lucy Ann to have died with so many children left at home needing their mother. Was her cause of death on a death certificate or where was it listed?

    1. Actually, it was Lucy's father Burton who was stabbed. It's so difficult keeping up with our own family, let alone try to remember someone else's!

      And of course, you've caught me in my stupid days of research - there is no death certificate that I'm aware of. So the cause of death was something I read on microfilm or was told by my grandfather's cousin. Can I remember? NO! Let me add that to an Evernote.

  3. That agricultural schedule is so interesting, I wonder if there was ever anything like that in Quebec. I'd love to get such a look at the farm in our family.

  4. It's great you're planning to write a book, Wendy, do you have a target completion date?

  5. Is it possible that one of the dates was incorrect? That she gave birth and died in the same year?