Monday, July 25, 2005

Rev. James William Long, 1866--c. 1940

James William Long was born [according to the 1900 Federal census] in October, 1866, in Kansas City, Missouri. His father was James "Old Man" Long [according to the 1870 Federal census and family tradition]. According to the 1870 census, his father was married to a woman named Nancy; however, family tradition holds that James' mother's name was Paulina. Jackson County, Missouri, records show that Paulina Long died in Kansas City on 14 March 1886 at the age of 48. It's possible that "Nancy" and "Paulina" were the same person; then again, maybe not.

James William Long's siblings were Charlie, Fred, Hannah, and Rebecca; he was the middle child between his two older brothers and his two younger sisters. The family lived in the city. "Old Man" Long was described in the 1870 census as a "laborer."

On 30 May 1888, James William Long married Mary Elizabeth Liza Jane Johnson. He was 21; she was 17, and, according to family tradition, half Indian. Her illiterate father, Ezekiel Johnson, gave his consent by making an "X" on the consent form. They lived at 2711 Wyoming Street in Kansas City, Missouri. Although the 1900 and 1910 Federal censuses record his occupation as "porter," his primary vocation was that of Baptist preacher. He occupied the pulpit at Sunrise Baptist Church, which at the time, straddled the Kansas-Missouri state line. "I believe the pulpit was in Missouri and the congregation was in Kansas," his granddaughter, Lillian G. Manson, told me. [Today, Sunrise Baptist Church is located at 3301 Cypress Avenue in Kansas City, Missouri].

James and Mary Elizabeth Long were the parents of 14 children. A boy born in February, 1907, lived only three days and was never named. On the other hand, their seventh child, Christina Alta Long [Neal] died on 14 September 2000 at the age of 102. Her younger sister, Rosetta Bell Long, who learned to play the piano at age 65, lived to be 94. Annie Corrine Florida Long [Gines] lived to 84. William Henry Long died at 101.

No one alive today seems to recall exactly when James William Long died, except that it was about 1940.


Anonymous said...

Historians usually agree that the X on census records and other documents do not necessarily mean that person could not read or write. Unfortunately, the X was actually an approved signature in days prior to 1900, especially in small counties. Most likely a preacher studied his Bible and had some knowledge of reading and writing regardless of his background.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, I read too fast and made the error of assuming Ezekial Johnson was the reverend and thus I mentioned that a preacher might possibly be able to read the Bible. So in posting the comment leave off the part about "If he was a preacher he most likely read the Bible."Thanks. I just hope it will be helpful to others researching genealogy who make the assumption erroneously.