Category: ancestry

Finally! Confirmation by way of Bigamy!

Who knew I’d get so excited to find out that my ggg-grandfather Levi Lightcap’s brother Isaac was a bigamist? But boy, am I glad! And I’m not referring to the moral ramifications of his deception. I’m talking about the genealogical gold mine that I received after requesting Isaac’s Civil War pension file from the National Archives.  After both of Isaac’s widows applied for his pension, a paperwork bonanza ensued.  A special investigator starts sorting out the mess, and who wins?  ME!  (Definitely not the wives, and that’s a story I’ll address another time.)

As I’ve stated before, my mom and I have been researching the Lightcap family for YEARS. It’s been absolute torture trying to figure out the children of John and Mary Lightcap, parents of my ggg-grandfather Levi Lightcap. All the research has used indirect evidence. Let me tell you, indirect evidence is frustrating.

I created this chart (off-line) of all the people I believed siblings of Levi but couldn’t prove most of them. With no direct evidence, only circumstantial, the last thing I could do was publish my speculations.

So I was absolutely delighted when reading through Isaac’s papers to find a letter which confirmed years of research.  A nephew of Isaac’s wrote a letter to government investigators listing the names of all John and Mary Lightcap’s children, including birth dates – information taken directly from a family bible.  Eureka!

I’ve updated the children of John and Mary Lightcap. Isaac Lightcap is now my favorite ancestor of all time!!!!