Saturday, March 28, 2015

Rebecca C Kirkman

I was originally going to post this week about David Harris Foust, my husband's second great-grandfather. Then, after looking into him, I found his wife, Rebecca C. Kirkman, to be a much more fascinating individual.

Rebecca Kirkman was born 10 February 1845 to William Kirkman and Mary (last name unknown). At about 15 years old, on 10 November 1861, she had her first child, Martitia Lee Ward. Martitia's father is assumed to be Zeno Ward. Zeno may not have known Rebecca was even pregnant when he enlisted with his brother, Minus, in the 22nd North Carolina Infantry, a part of the Confederate States Army, on 18 June 1861.
Taken from Service Records
He originally enlisted for 12 months, but he ended up staying until October 1864.

Zeno had an eventful experience in the War. Less than six months after enlisting, he catches pneumonia and is hospitalized. He was shot in May 1863 to the point of needing surgery at the hospital in Richmond, Virginia. He was later wounded again and captured at Gettysburg. After Gettysburg and his time as a POW, it seems he was furloughed. But then, in May 1864, he was listed as being absent without leave.
Taken from Service Records
I almost got mad at Zeno at this point. His brother, Minus, seemed to be absent a lot from the War, but Zeno stuck around even with everything he had been through. As a soldier who had experienced so much, it seemed like now he was simply running away from the War. But, instead, I found he was doing something much more honorable.

On 8 May 1864, he married Rebecca back home in Randolph County, North Carolina.

Maybe Minus had found out about his child while he was absent from the War, and maybe somehow he got the word to Zeno. In any case, I find Zeno's actions very honorable. I like him very much!

In 1870, he is seen living down the road from his parents in Sandy Creek in Liberty, Randolph County, North Carolina with Rebecca, Martitia, and another child, Alfred T. (Alfred was born in 1865. I have a feeling he was a honeymoon baby.)
Clipping from 1870 census
Then, in 1872, Zeno died. I haven't found any information yet on the cause of death, but I find it sad that this man lived through so much and still died at 32 years old.

Rebecca seems to have not wasted any time though in finding another man to support her and her children. While I don't know who she married (if she married) after Zeno, she had two more children in the mid-1870's. They appear in the 1880 census carrying the last name Ward.
Clipping from 1880 census
Also listed in the household in 1880 is a man named D H Foust. This is the same David Harris Foust I initially wanted to feature. David and Rebecca married in 1880 apparently after the census was enumerated.
Clipping from 1880 census
According to the 1930 census, David may have been married once before Rebecca, but I have not found the name of that potential spouse.
Clipping from 1930 census showing David's age at first marriage being 16
In the 1900 and 1910 censuses, it has a column that lists the number of children each woman has had and how many of them are still living. Each of those censuses states she has had eight children. In 1900, six of them are still living, but only five of them are living in 1910.
Clipping from 1900 census
I know of seven children born to Rebecca before 1900, so I seem to be missing one. I also don't know when most of her children died. Here's what I know:

Children of Zeno and Rebecca:
  • Martitia Lee Ward, b. 1861, d. 1931
  • Alfred T Ward, b. 1865
  • Ella C Ward, b. 1869
Children of Unknown and Rebecca:
  • Mary J Ward, b. 1874
  • Martha C Ward, b. 1876
Children of David and Rebecca:
  • John W Foust, b. 1883
  • Maud Elsie Foust, b. 1886, d. 1973
Rebecca, David, and Zeno are all buried at Grays Chapel United Methodist Church Cemetery.
David H. and Rebecca C. Foust
Copyright Brittany Jenkins, 2011
  • 1870 Sandy Creek, Liberty, Randolph County, North Carolina U.S. Federal Census (accessed on Ancestry)
  • 1880 New Salem, Randolph County, North Carolina U.S. Federal Census (accessed on Ancestry)
  • 1900 East Franklinville, Randolph County, North Carolina U.S. Federal Census (accessed on Ancestry)
  • 1910 East Franklinville, Randolph County, North Carolina U.S. Federal Census (accessed on Ancestry)
  • 1930 Franklinville, Randolph County, North Carolina U.S. Federal Census (accessed on Ancestry)
  • Compiled Service Records of Confederate Soldiers Who Served in Organizations from the State of North Carolina (accessed on Fold3)
  • Tombstone, David H. and Rebecca C. Foust (photo taken Christmas 2011)
  • Tombstone, Zeno Ward (photo taken Christmas 2011)

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