John Lytle was born 26 Jan 1820, probably in Burke County, North Carolina, to George Lytle and Ann Clark. The purpose of this post is to document the research done to date and to note any future research that should be pursued. Research thus far has focused on compiled sources and census records from 1850 to his death, as well as death records for some of his children, which provide evidence of their connection to John and his wife, Lizzie.
John’s Name and Residence
John is referred to as “John (B. or Littleton) Lytle on the Ray Lytle website (an extensive compilation of information on North Carolina Lytles). I have seen no evidence of any middle name or initial on original documents and furthermore a transcript of John’s father’s will, also on the Ray Lytle website, shows a son named “Littleton,” as well as this John.1 Therefore, I’m not using any middle name or initial for this John Lytle at this time, distinguishing him instead with his birth and death dates. Furthermore, it should be noted that McDowell County was created out of Burke County in 1842; so while John’s birthplace is estimated as Burke County, I have no reason to think that his family ever lived anywhere other that Crooked Creek township. John is buried in the same cemetery as his parents and grandparents, all of whom lived in the same section of McDowell County (see Crooked Creek in the lower left corner of McDowell County in the map below).
1850 Census – McDowell County, North Carolina
John and Lizzie’s marriage date is implied by this record. Their oldest child was five, meaning they had likely been married six or seven years, or in about 1843. Regarding the name of their eldest son: sometimes he is referred to as Millington, as he is here, and sometimes as Milton. I believe that Lizzie’s father was Millington Lytle (not proven yet), so it’s possible that Millington was really the son’s birth name or that the enumerator simply recorded it incorrectly, knowing who the child’s grandfather was. I have him listed as Milton in RootsMagic, because that’s the name on his death certificate; I’m taking that to mean that he went by Milton in his adult years, regardless of what name he was given at birth. John’s brother, George Mills Lytle, appeared two households down on this same census page. 2
1860 Census – McDowell County, North Carolina
While John’s and Lizzie’s ages are off somewhat compared to 1850 (he is 42 compared to 28 and she is 40 compared to 25 in 1850), their two oldest children are Milton (see comments above in 1850), age 14, and George, age 10. I have no doubt this is the same family. 3
1870 Census – McDowell County, North Carolina
This census enumeration is interesting on several counts.
- John and Lizzie had a couple of adult sons still living at home, and their second son lived next door.
- This is the first census after the civil war and we see a Mulatto domestic servant, with the surname Lytle, enumerated, as well as a Black farm laborer. I’ve had at least one African-American autosomal DNA match who has Lytle ancestors; I fully expect the connection to be slaves of Captain Thomas Lytle or his descendants (John and Lizzie are both grandchildren of Captain Thomas – they are first cousins).
- A niece, Mary Gregg, is also enumerated and she appears in their household again in 1880 as Polly Gragg. I don’t know yet if she the daughter of John’s sister or Lizzie’s sister. 4
1880 Census – McDowell County, North Carolina
1880 is the last extant enumeration for John before his death. The household includes three grown children, as well as the aforementioned niece, Polly. John and Lizzie’s eldest son, Milton (Millington), appeared next door. This census page also enumerated several Burgins (who frequently intermarried with the Lytles), as well as Jane Caroline (Dysart) Burgin, daughter of Margaret (Hemphill) Dysart Hemphill (my 3rd great-grandmother). 5
Buried at Bethel-Cherry Springs Cemetery
John died 18 Jun 1892 and is buried at Bethel-Cherry Springs Cemetery in McDowell County.6 I visited this cemetery in August 2011, when I photographed his headstone, along with many other Lytle and related family headstones.
Children of John and Elizabeth Lytle
They had seven children; all appeared in their households during various census enumerations, but only three were still at home in 1880 to have their relationship to the head of household stated. I’ve located death certificates for two of the boys, which name their parents.
Milton P. Lytle (1845-1921) – appeared with parents in 1850, 1860, and 1870 and parents’ names stated on death certificate.
George L. Lytle (c1850-?) – appeared with parents in 1850 and 1860.
Leander Perkins Lytle (1851-1926) – named as John Lytle’s son in 1880 and parents’ names stated on death certificate.
Mary A. Lytle (c1853-?) – appeared with parents in 1860 and 1870.
John Smart Lytle (c1855-1941) – appeared with parents in 1860 and 1870.
Thomas A. Lytle (c1860-?) – named as John Lytle’s son in 1880.
Martha (Mattie) Lytle (c.1863-?) – named as John Lytle’s daughter in 1880 and as Elizabeth Lytle’s daughter in 1900.
- Locate John on the 1840, 1830, and possibly 1820 censuses.
- Locate John’s father’s will – it may be available on FamilySearch
- C. Ray Lytle, Descendants of Captain Thomas Lytle (http://www.familyorigins.com/users/l/y/t/C-Ray-Lytle-Charlotte/FAMO1-0001/index.htm : accessed 29 August 2011), Second Generation – George Lytle. ↩
- 1850 U. S. Census, McDowell County, North Carolina, population schedule, p. 56 (penned), p. 282 (stamped), dwelling 387, family 387, John Lytle household; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 15 January 2012); citing NARA microfilm publication M432, roll 636. ↩
- 1860 U. S. Census, McDowell County, North Carolina, population schedule, p. 54 (penned), dwelling 358, family 358, John Lytle household; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 25 December 2011); citing NARA microfilm publication M653, roll 904. ↩
- 1870 U. S. Census, McDowell County, North Carolina, population schedule, Crooked Creek, pp. 3-4 (penned), dwelling 21, family 21, John Lytle household; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 24 December 2011); citing NARA microfilm publication M593, roll 1147. ↩
- 1880 U. S. Census, McDowell County, North Carolina, population schedule, Crooked Creek Township, enumeration district (ED) 138, p. 12 (penned), dwelling 115, family 117, John Lytle household; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestrycom : accessed 23 December 2011); citing FHL microfilm 1,254,970. ↩
- Bethel UMC-Old Cherry Springs Cemetery (Old Fort, North Carolina; Latitude: 35.575094, Longitude: -82.187608), John Lytle; photographed by Tonia Kendrick, 19 August 2011. ↩