Levi Nicholas Titsworth was the first child of Christopher Greenup and Mary Louise Peyton Titsworth. He was born October 4, 1830 in sparsely settled Tipton County, Tennessee. I say this because at that time the population of this western county was only 5317 people. Both parents were born in Kentucky and must have been among those brave pioneers seeking new horizons.
When the 1840 United States Federal Census was taken Christopher and Mary had moved to Spring River, Lawrence, Arkansas. It records the head of the household, C.G. Titsworth, one free white male under five; one free white male five through nine; one free white male between twenty and twenty-nine; one free white female under five; and one free white female twenty through twenty-nine. This differs from my records of a family with three sons, Levi (1830), Thomas Peyton (1835), John Harrison (1837) and one daughter, Sarah (1839).
The Titsworth family remained in Arkansas at least five more years before making their way to northeast Texas. I do not know their reasons for the move but in 1850 they were living in Titus County, Texas. The census record lists C.J. Titsworth (39), Louisa Titsworth (37), Levi Titsworth (19), Peyton Titsworth (15), John Titsworth (13), Sarah (11), Lemuel Titsworth (9) and Minerva Titsworth (4). C.G. Titsworth’s occupation was recorded as “Christian Clergyman.”
LEVI MARRIES JULIA CLEMENTINE DANIELS
Levi met and courted a young woman named Julia Clementine Daniels, the daughter of Robert and Wincey Travis Daniels. They married February 6, 1852, in Cass County located in the piney woods of northeastern Texas. Very soon thereafter they moved and settled in Bonham, Fannin County, Texas, for the remainder of their lives.
Levi and Julia wasted no time starting what would become a very large family. Their first child, Tennessee Parilee Titsworth, was born in 1852; Wincy Louisa was born in 1855, and Joseph came along in 1857. When the 1860 United States Federal Census was taken, their family had grown by yet one more son – Clave Titsworth.
We know that as the Titsworth family settled into life in Bonham it was the eve of the Civil War and, like other citizens, Texans must have been deeply concerned about the sectional controversies dividing the northern and southern states. Secessionist leaders in Texas “issued an address to the people calling for the election of delegates to a state Secession Convention.” Against the wishes of Governor Sam Houston, the legislature approved the convention. It was held January 28, 1861 wherein the delegates adopted an ordinance of secession and that was then approved by voters of the state on February 23, 1861. The Convention reconvened and declared Texas out of the Union thus joining forces with the southern Confederacy.
Like other men in Fannin County, Levi Titsworth was enlisted as a private in the Texas army. It is recorded he was in the 11th Light Artillery Battery. By the end of 1861, 25,000 Texans were in the Confederate army. Needless to say, like other families, the lives of Levi, Julia and their children were greatly disrupted before, during and following the Civil War. The war affected everything from farming to manufacturing, deeply altering the lives of ordinary Texans. When men were away from home serving in the military, greater responsibilities and burdens were placed on women and children to assume care for the home and livelihood of the family. This certainly would have been the case for Julia and her young children.
As mentioned early in this narrative, Levi and Julia had a very large family. With each census more children have been added to the fold. By 1870 they had two more sons, Clement Rogers (1866) and Charles Carlton (1868). However, there is a sad note. Their son Levi died in 1864 at the age of two. On the 1870 census Levi’s occupation was no longer given as “farmer” but rather “chair maker.” It is certainly likely he may have performed both roles to provide for his large family.
Evidently Julia was pregnant when the 1870 census was taken because on November 20 of that year another son, Griffith, was born. It is amazing to me but Julia’s childbearing was not complete. Harvey Dane Titsworth was born August 28, 1872. I have not seen her death certificate but it is possible her health failed after that time. At only fifty years of age, Julia Clementine Daniels Titsworth died March 5, 1873. She was buried in the Whiterock Cemetery in Fannin County.
Being widowed with a large family and several very young children, it is not surprising that Levi married again very soon after Julia’s death. His second wife’s name was Minerva Jane Bashem Austin. Like Levi, she was also widowed and had one young daughter, Lilly.
This family continued to grow! When the 1880 United States Federal Census was taken Levi and Minerva had two more daughters – Tiney or Tina (1874) and Julia Marion (1875). Sadly Minerva died several years later leaving Levi widowed again.
We have a record indicating that Levi married for a third time to Sallie Howard on September 19, 1886. I have no information about her.
Levi Nicholas Titsworth died June 8, 1893, and was buried in the Whiterock Cemetery along with his first wife, Julia.
It is primarily through census records that I have reviewed Levi and Julia’s lives. Unfortunately we have no diaries, family records or lore to add more “color” to their biographies. Perhaps someday I will have the good fortune to communicate with some other descendants and be able to add to the picture. It seems to me they had a hard life providing for their large family during times of war and duress. Lacking riches, it is my hope their children and friends brought them some joy and pleasure balancing the good and not-so-good times.
Ancestry.com. 1840 United States Federal Census [database online]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010.
Ancestry.com. 1850 United States Federal Census [database online]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2009.
Ancestry.com. 1860 United States Federal Census [database online]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2009.
Ancestry.com. 1870 United States Federal Census [database online]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2009.
Ancestry.com and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 1880 United States Federal Census [database online]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010.
Ancestry.com. Web: Texas, Find A Grave Index, 1761-2010 [database online]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2012.
Cass County, marriage certificate, vol. 1, p. 111. Cass County Clerk’s Office, Linden, Texas.
Historical Data Systems, comp. U.S. Civil War Soldier Records and Profiles, 1861-1865 [database online]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2009.
Texas State Historical Association, www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/art
Written by Lucy Ann Nance Croft, July 2014
Levi N. Titsworth Pedigree Chart (click link) Levi N. Titsworth Pedigree Chart Scan0001