Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Elizabeth (Lewis) Babb - Obituary

© Kathy Duncan, 2018

Women's obituaries prior to the twentieth century are rare as hen's teeth, and this is one I never expected to find in a google search.

Elizabeth (Lewis) Babb's children brought a lawsuit against their step-father John Fitzpatrick over their father's estate because he had sold a piece of land that they regarded as their inheritance. That land had originally been owned by their maternal grandfather, John Lewis, who died in McNairy County, Tennessee in 1842.

Both Elizabeth and their father Green B. Babb were deceased when their children brought the suit in 1871.

Elizabeth (Lewis) Babb's obituary, in a publication of the Disciples of Christ, indicates that she died 28 November 1852:

"On the 28th of November last, Sister Betsy Babb, wife of Bro. Green B. Babb, of Hamburg, Tenn., and the daughter of Bro. John Lewis. Amiable in her life, and faithful in all the duties of a mother, wife and christian, she died as she lived, in the hope of a glorious immortality. She left to the care of an affectionate husband and father seven children, and for their example, a bright example of industry, fidelity and piety."
[Source: The Millennial Harbinger; Fourth Series; vol. 3, no. 5; May 1853]

Hamburg is in Hardin County, Tennessee. I do not know how long they had lived there.

Life for Elizabeth and Green B. Babb was probably not as rosy as this obituary implies. By 1853, Green B. Babb was in McNairy County, Tennessee and was in trouble with the Church of Christ:

Met Saturday before the 4th Lord's Day in August 1853
The case of charges against Brother G.B. Babb by B.T. Babb was taken up. Charge 1st for forcibly throwing the latter off of his horse and personal abuse. Acknowledged by G.B. Babb. Charge 2nd of accusing B.T. Babb of stealing by withholding a twenty dollar bill in change of money. Charge 3rd for abusing B.T. Babb's wife by using disrespectful language toward her. After examination had on the first two cases above it was ascertained that Brother Green B. Babb was guilty. The Elders ordered that he should make satisfaction by acknowledgment of his of his faults and personally promise to do so no more--which things he did. The third charge was not sustained by my evidence. Done by order of the Church.
T.R. Beck, Church Clerk
[Source: "Church Book of Clear Creek, McNairy County, Tennessee." Family Findings, vol. 4, no. 2. April, 1972. Copied by Mrs. Vivian Perkins Harrison]

On 23 Feb 1872, Ann M. Sharp of McNairy County, Tennessee testified in the lawsuit that Elizabeth Babb's heir brought. Of Green B. Babb she stated that--

"G.W. [sic] Babb bid off certain portions of the land and soon afterward I heard Elizabeth Babb that on account of difficulties between herself and her husband she had been abused and--but now she had a home of her own and wouldn't leave no more. The land that G.W. Babb bought was paid for out of Elizabeth Babb's share of inheritance. That Babb was in embarrassing circumstances on account of recklessness and had little property."
[Source: F A Bryant vs. John Fitzpatrick, #241-1871, McNairy County, Tenn Chancery Court, transcribed by Nancy Wardlow Kennedy]

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