Lucinda Ann Hinch is an ancestor who has been a challenge to research. Other than on census records, I have found very little information that sheds light on her life. She is listed on three United States Federal censes, two of which record her birthplace as Missouri and one records Tennessee. Since I do have a Howard County, Missouri marriage record for her parents, Michael Hinch and Polly Grant, I feel fairly safe in stating that Lucinda was born in Missouri. It is likely she was born in that same county. Her tombstone gives her birth date as January 17, 1820. While living in Missouri, Michael and Polly Hinch had another child, John Wesley, born April 19, 1822.
Jacob and Lucinda Hinch were certainly pioneer folk. Like many other brave souls of their day, they struck out to unknown territories, perhaps looking for “greener pastures.” Howard County, Missouri was definitely a place that offered rich land. According to the Missouri GenWeb site, “Its fertile soil promised, with little labor, the most abundant harvest. Its forests were filled with every variety of game, and its streams with all kinds of fish.” Living in this unsettled country also brought innumerable dangers, primarily from the Indians who lived in great numbers around them. Living here definitely was a risky existence for the Hinch family.
By 1825 the Hinch family was living in Georgia, first Pike County (1825) and then in Randolph County (1830). Lucinda’s father, Michael, was chosen and commissioned by the State as Sheriff of Randolph County, 1830-1831, and later, Sheriff of Stewart County. We know from census records that two more children were born in Georgia, Elizabeth C. in 1825 and Mary Jane in 1828.
Though I have not yet found a marriage record for Jacob Woodward and Lucinda Ann Hinch, I think they may have met and married in Georgia sometime between 1830 and 1835. By 1836, they are living in Tuskegee, Alabama, where their first two children were born, Mary Jane (1836) and Bernice (1838).
THE WOODWARD FAMILY MOVES TO THE REPUBLIC OF TEXAS
In December 1839, Jacob Woodward, Lucinda and their two daughters arrived in the Republic of Texas, possibly settling first in Washington County and then moving on to Lavaca County. As one of his many descendants and a native Texan, I am proud to say Jacob is counted among those first citizens of the Republic of Texas and is listed in the book Texas First Families Lineages, Volume 2 published by the Texas State Genealogical Society.
Like other pioneers the Woodward family must have been drawn to this primitive country seeking land and opportunity. However, they could not have arrived at a more turbulent time since these early Texans were engaged in war with Mexico. According to the Handbook of Texas Online, this area was a center of revolutionary activity. In addition, Indian raids, particularly by the Comanche and Tonkawa, continued until the late 1830’s. Jacob and his family were among the courageous, determined folk dealing with unbelievable conditions.
Moving and getting settled in a new territory was undoubtedly rift with challenges, but more so since the country was involved in war. Some battles were waged against the Mexicans and others against hostile Indians. Jacob Woodward served in the Republic of Texas citizen’s army which meant Lucinda was left to care for the household, farm, and the children.
Not long after their arrival in the Republic of Texas, Lucinda gave birth to their third child, Georgia Ann. There is some indication she was born in Washington County on April 5, 1840. Jacob and Lucinda’s family continued to grow. Thomas was born on December 26, 1841 and John Southern was born in January 13. 1844, both in Colorado County (became Lavaca April 6, 1846).
The first time we find Lucinda on a United States Federal Census is in 1850. She is listed with her husband and eight children. Yes, twins, Lucian LeCamp and Virginia C., arrived on April 5, 1850. On the 1860 census we find that Jacob and Lucinda had three more children. Clarence Grant was born in March 13, 1852; Keron “Kettie” was born on January 7, 1855; and Henry was born in January 19, 1857. The Woodward family was large by any standard! They had ten children, and from my viewpoint, they were all born under arduous circumstances, particularly the firstborn children. Lucinda did what she had to do to endure and build a good life; I view her as a woman of incredible strength. .
Being first citizens of the Republic of Texas, Jacob and Lucinda certainly were a part of the settling and building of the country in and around Lavaca County. Even the Texas Revolution did not bridle their efforts to build a life of their own. Jacob was both a farmer and cattleman, and it is likely Lucinda did her share of hard work both inside the house and outside on the farm. Her daily activities would have included growing and cooking the food; sewing the family’s clothes; tending sick children; and helping with the farm animals. And this would probably be considered a short list of her activities! Like other women of that day, she led a life of hard work and little leisure. At the same time, the children would have been expected to work along side of their parents. Land and census records give us some indication that Jacob Woodward must have provided fairly well for his family. Hopefully Lucinda benefited from his success.
Information on the 1870 United States Federal Census indicates that the Woodward household was beginning to change shape with only the four youngest children listed. It is interesting to note, however, that a seven year old grandson was living with them – Richard Breeden. He was the son of their daughter Bernice and her husband, Richard Thomas Breeden.
After a life that must have been filled with privations and hardship, Lucinda Hinch Woodward died on January 23, 1877. As a very young woman she traveled with her husband to an unsettled part of the country during a time of war and unrest, set up a household, and gave birth to ten children. Hopefully, in her later years she was able to find some comfort in her existence. Though we have no written accounts of Lucinda’s personal experience, I have tried to gain a better understanding by reading true stories about women in Texas during the mid to late 1800’s. It is unbelievable to read about the obstacles they faced and the inexhaustible physical resources required to survive on a day to day basis. Lucinda was buried in the Hallettsville Graveyard in Lavaca County, Texas. Her old broken tombstone stands by that of her husband, Jacob Woodward.
Ancestry.com. 1850 United States Federal Census [database online]. Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2005.
Ancestry.com. 1860 United States Federal Census [database online]. Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2004.
Ancestry.com. 1870 United States Federal Census [database online]. Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2003.
Howard County Missouri, “The Mother of Counties,” http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~mohoward/history.html
Kuhlman, Jim, W., The History of the Nance Hereford Ranch, 1996.
Texas State Historical Association, Handbook of Texas Online, http://tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hcl05,
Written by Lucy Ann Nance Croft, 2011