Sunday, July 20, 2008

Rootbound in the Hills #191:
21 May 1991

by Rocky Macy

Just what is the connection between Albert EINSTEIN and the LINDBERGH kidnapping? And why is it of interest to Rootbound? For those of you with enquiring minds, please read on...

Christine RIEHMAN (P.O. Box 5792, Canyon Lake, CA 92380) is piecing together the genealogy and exploits of her grandfather, Wilford Joe LANKFORD, and his brothers, Claud, Arthur, and Caton (or CLARENCE) LANKFORD. She describes these men as being felons in Missouri and Illinois throughout the 1920s and into the 1940s. Though she didn't provide specifics, Christine says that she has news clippings of a "dastardly deed" that those fellows participated in in Quincy, IL, in 1919.

Caton LANKFORD, according to our correspondent, was a popular prisoner in the Illinois prison system. Family tradition has it that he: 1. was a genius or near-genius; 2. knew many foreign languages and taught languages to diplomats to prepare them for foreign service; 3. was small of build, short of stature, and very, very mean; 4. was visited by Albert EINSTEIN while in prison; and, 5. was released from prison to a minister in the 1950s, and occupied his later years by rewriting children's Bible stories.

And, as if Caton was not interesting enough in his own right, Christine added this tidbit: her grandfather, Wilford Joe LANKFORD, may have been involved in the LINDBERGH kidnapping! The Widow HAUPTMANN, it seems, has a San Francisco attorney working to prove her late husband's innocence, and some evidence exists to implicate Wilford. Christine RIEHMAN would, quite obviously, love to hear from any of our readers who have a knowledge of her felonious forebears!

Loyas DREHR (P.O. Box 62, Milano, TX 76556) is the grandson of David H. DEAN who was born 18 Mar 1841 in Benton County, AR, to David W. and Matilda DEAN. David H. DEAN married Nancy E. JONES (born 18 Dec 1852, TN), and they were the parents of Marthy Ellen (born 1884, AR) and Sarrah Lola (1886, AR). David H. DEAN's brothers were William C., Ransom, Ziljaha, James, and George. Did any of these DEANs leave trails across the Ozarks?

Katherine BROWN (Rt. 3, box 206, Neosho, MO 64850) is searching for material on her GATEWOOD kin. Of particular interest to Katherine are the following GATEWOOD siblings: J.M. (born 1861, Monroe County, MO), Charlie C. (6 Sep 1863, Monroe County, MO), Etta (1864; married 1. Levie LOFTON and 2. Charlie FRANCHER), M.R. "Ryle" (1866), Andy R. (23 Feb 1868; married Sarah Ann ISAAC in Vinita, OK; was a preacher residing in Bixby, OK, in 1910), Ada (1870), Lee (10 Aug 1871; died at Bokosho, OK), and John Calhoon (31 July 1876, married Sarah Olive AKERS in 1894, Newton County, MO; died 2 Dec 1910, Clarendon, TX).

Katherine BROWN (above) has an interesting photo of these GATEWOOD children along with their father and mother and grandmother. She would be very willing to share and exchange information with others who are researching this family.

The 1991 Conference in the States of the National Genealogical Society will be held 29 May through 1 June at the Oregon Center in Portland, OR. For further information on this important event, please write to the National Genealogical Society at 4527 17th Street, North, Arlington, VA 22207-2399. (Rootbound won't make it to this year's convention, but one of these years we'll get the urge to splurge - and go!)

Would you like to learn more about the fine art of genealogy from experts? Brigham Young University offers several home study courses designed to make skilled ancestor hunters out of almost anyone. To learn more about BYU's certificate or degree programs in genealogy, write to: Brigham Young University, Department of Independent Study, 206 Harman Building, Provo, UT 84602. Be certain to ask for the most recent catalogue. And don't forget to tell the good folks at BYU that you heard about their program through Rootbound!

Until next week...happy hunting!

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