When Jacob moved from the area where he was born and raised the factors behind the decision must have been very compelling because he never moved back and lived in several different states throughout his life and stayed the longest in Oklahoma. He was born in Carroll County, Virginia in May 18711 as were his parents and several generations before him. According to the letters he wrote to his siblings over the years, he left primarily for opportunities to better his life and the future of any children he might have. He made that decision at the age of 21 when he left his home on April 2, 1893.2
Reading his letters it is clear that even years later Jacob still had emotional pain with being so far away from home. Below are a few examples with excerpts from his letters.3
July 12, 1896 from Marceline, Missouri
“You know while I was at home that Papa was always mad and acted as though he would rather that I was in some other country and tryed to do as he wanted me to and think I can make a living any where that I try to stay If I live I expect to get married some time and if I die soon I hope I will be in peace with the heavenly Father and will have money enough to put me away. Try to live this way your self Leander and wish Papa would try and do better you and Thomas and the rest of the children feels near to me though you may be far away and still be near. I dont like to hear of any of your being mistreated I hope Papa will try and be as a man If he only knew my thoughts and would listen to me he surely would be better.”
February 15, 1898 from Omaha, Nebraska
“I wish you could tell me something about all the Children. I would be so glad to see them all but I am strayed off so far I cant tell whether I will see you all any more or not but I do want to hear from you all occasionally. Tell Alex and Linia to write to me and I will send them something that will please them. How large are they now. Please tell me.”
Sunday, April 3, 1898 from Omaha, Nebraska
“he may say it would be foolishness but I say not because life is too short for a person to live and die and not get out of the State. Look at Poor Mother. She lived and died in the same place almost. It is too bad. The one that loved us is gone. We can never have another one that would treat us so well. Tomorrow it will be five years since I left Va and the last time that I can ever see Poor Mother on this earth, but I did not think when I left home that I would never see her any more. I did not realize what it was be away from her but I do now more than ever. Leander I tell you, since I left home I hae seen all kinds of women but I have never seen a mother.”
January 21, 1900 from Carterville, Missouri
“has all my girls married do you ever hear of my Cora girl and how is she getting along and you say that Bill Lineberry’s wife is dead Such must be but if we can only be prepared how sweet it is to die and if we are not prepard oh! What a darkness that we may see before us. Leander I do desire to be a Christian and expect to be, but I am too neglictfull of my self that is the only hope we have of eternal like and we will live till we die Sure and I don’t think it costs anything to be a Christian and gives us a much better life and gives us a better class of people to associate with I have often thought of our Papa how he would curse and it all be for nothing and for the six years I have been away from home I have worked with hundreds of men and never used one cuss word and I find by my kindness that I may do more good amongst people or cattle; that with rough words the man who tryes to curse and force may never get anywhere”
October 16, 1904 from Altus, Oklahoma
“Yours of afew days past was gladly rec’d as it had been months since I had heard from you I could not think what had become of you and I expected to hear from Alex or expected him to come out but I have not heard anything from him and you did not say anything about him of course I suppose he has concluded not to come. I should be glad to have him come or any of you that would like to be where you can have better health and make money, but if you are satisfied where you are, that is quite a consideration but I am sure I could never be satisfied there again since I have been away from home and know of better places.”
Jacob is my great, great grandfather.
- Virginia. Bureau of Vital Statistics. “Register of Births 1853-1896” digital image FamilySearch (www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/777933 : accessed 16 Nov 2019); Lineberry, 05 May 1871; citing, page 87, line 48; microfilm 2,046,922.
- Lineberry, J. W. (Omaha, Nebraska) to “Dear Brother” [Leander Lineberry], letter date April 3, 1898; privately held by Kay Bauman, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, 1998. [Recipient identified by the post-stamped envelope.]
- Lineberry, J. W. to “Dear Brother” [Leander Lineberry], letters dated 1895 – 1914; privately held by Kay Bauman, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, 1998. [Recipient identified by the post-stamped envelope.]
Links to my other blogposts about Jacob and his letters:
Amy Johnson Crow offers weekly prompts to get us thinking about an ancestor and to share something about that person. She calls it 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks.
Week 5: What ancestor migrated a long distance in his or her lifetime? Maybe you found an ancestor far from where you expected? How about a discovery in a distant library or archive?Each of my posts using one of her prompts will have the tag of “52Ancestors” and I’ll share them on the thread she’s started for that week in her Generations Cafe Facebook Group.