by Travis Hardin
Macon Lane. Born about 1872. Died 1 Apr 1947.
This narrative starts with William Macon
Lane -- the father of Lovia Lane who married Ausie White -- and
works backward. Perhaps
it was the hope of a land patent that attracted Macon Lane from
Piedmont in Calhoun County, Alabama, to Hokes Bluff, about 20 miles
to the west. There William
Macon Lane met and married Jo Ella Johnson, the 12th of 13 children, in
was 18 and she was 17.
Jo Ella was the daughter of Thomas Marion
Johnson. She had grown up in the Hokes Bluff area
with an older sister presiding
over the household after her mother, Susannah Jane Griffith,
died in February 1878. In
1880 when Jo Ella was age 7 the family lived in beat 9 of Township12
7, or Hokes Bluff. A stepmother, Saphronia Mitchell, arrived in June
There is no existing 1890 census to record
Macon and Jo Ella Lane lived at that time, but by 1900 the couple lived
in the Hokes
Bluff precinct beside the Walter Alford family and had three children:
Mamie J., Minnie F., and William -- age 8, 7, and 2 respectively. Macon
patented forty acres at Mayes Crossroads, south of the Coosa River
across from Coats Bend on 28 March 1906. That was to be his home into
the 1930's, and it is where my grandmother Lovie Lane White, born in
1902, grew up. Land
Macon and Jo Ella Lane raised eight
children. Jo Ella died in
1925 when her youngest, Dee, was but five. After Dee was married in
1940, Macon lived with them, perhaps as a dependant. I have a photo of
a visit to Theoria
White's house south of Gadsden on
Lee Dairy Farm, Rainbow Drive, in 1943 by Macon, Dee, and May.
Macon, in his overalls, and with his daughters posed behind
him, was photographed holding infant Jerry Hardin by his granddaughter
Theoria. I scarcely remember it. I was two. Macon died 1 April
certificate of Jo Ella Lane.
certificate of Macon Lane.
Minnie Lane, born 1891, married Cleveland Alford and spent
most of her life at Alford's Bend near Hokes Bluff, Alabama. This photo
was relocated after the web pages were done, so it is put here in a
temporary place. "Aunt Minnie" to my mother.
Siblings and Parents of William Macon Lane
1999, before looking on the Internet for other Lane researchers, I
wrote down the names my mother had given me as the brothers
sisters of William Macon Lane: Fannie Lane, married a Crocker
?; Dovie "Gilly" Lane; Sarah Nancy "Nan"
Lane, married Will Bennet; Tom Lane; Quince "Quinn" Lane;
Lane; Minnie Lee Lane (who I looked up in the social security death
index and found: born 18 Aug 1879, died 27 Jun 1968. Age at d:
She married a Davis, it was believed. The last listed was Nannie Lee
Lane who I recorded, perhaps from the social security death index, as
possibly married to a Flanegan, born 24 March 1890, died 12 Aug 1959,
age at death 69. This information should yield to information from
censuses and othere records of the time.
was told by my mother the story about an uncle of Lovia
Lane, Tom Lane, having killed a Doctor
Morris in Piedmont and then leaving the country. A second passed-down
story had Lovia Lane's brother Uncle Bill Lane marrying a
in Texas, then, deciding he wanted to act in Hollywood, went
there, where he was killed by the son of a second wife or partner.
it was asserted that
Macon Lane said he was an illigitimate son of a Cherokee Indian woman
named Sarah. The claim was that the father was not married to the
Cherokee woman Sarah.
Other family tales came from other family: As I
talked to a few second cousins in 1999 and occasionally over the
next 13 years, descendants of Lovia Lane's brothers and
found they were enamored of the idea or the claim that Macon Lane practiced
I have yet to find anything about Indians, Cherokee or otherwise.
I can't say the Indian connections are false. I just suggest that
sometimes family lore is true, sometimes it's false, and sometimes it's
mixed. Enough family has talked about Indian ancestors and ways and it
could be based on truth. Or on making a virtue out of necessity. To
explain, the Indians were feared, hated, and expelled from northeast
Alabama in the 1830s. Those who remained were so few they were seen as
exotic, even as they married into white majority families.
was the state of my knowledge in February 2013,
before I began to locate a few Lane trees on Ancestry.com and Rootsweb
Worldconnect containing the names of Lane siblings I had
previously been told about. One of those trees by "germanoca", found at
appearing to be the prototype of several others, had a good
supporting documents, and significantly, some photos of Minnie
born about 1881 who married Joe Davis. They lived in
Lee Lane and her sister Nannie Lane were fathered by Michael Murther
Kiernan, it was claimed by germanoca. Kiernan was a Piedmont grocer, an
born in 1830, who in 1880 already had a wife and a large family.
No verification was published. It is implied that the mother
the Lanes, named as Louisa Wells, had illigitimate
before or during her knowledge of Lane. I can't find him in records,
but the father of John Quincy Lane and the younger Lanes was
named John Quincy or John W. Lane. The parents' names with
variations show on the death certificates of Frank Roland Lane and
Dovie Lane at familysearch.org. The fatherhood
of earlier children, including Macon Lane born around 1870, is an open
question as I write this.
Reply from ewelch3024 about Louisa Wells
via ancestry.com on March 7, 2013 about her tree "Henry W. Woolf, Jr."
similar to "germanoca":
Travis: Most of the children's death
certificates do not list their parents. However, Frank Roland Lane's
certificate shows his parents as John Q. Lane and Louisa Wells, and
Dovie Lane's death certificate shows her parents to be J. W. Lane and
Lou Wells. This information is from familysearch.org; I have not looked
at the actual death certificates and do not know who the informants
were. To complicate matters, James Collie's death certificate has Sam
Lane as his father.
On the 1900 census, Louisa Lane reports having had 11 children, 10
living. I have never been able to find this family in the 1870 or 1880
census records. On the various obituaries for the children, they lists
each other as siblings, but I really am not sure if they all have the
I have Michael Kiernan in the family tree, but I do not have any
information regarding him as the father of some of the Lane children.
Overview of the Louisa Lane Family
As with researcher Elizabeth Welch, I have
not located the Louisa Lane family before 1900. But
at the census enumeration on 19 June 1900 Louisa Lane
was in Piedmont, precinct 9 of Calhoun County, Alabama. She was a
widowed head of the family and lived with six children: Minnie, Nannie,
Fannie, Thomas, Frank, and Dovie, age 18 to age 1. The census- taker
recorded Louisa was born January 1860 in Alabama; both her
mother and father were born in Georgia (other answers say Alabama);
and that she had been
the mother of eleven children, 10 of them now living. Besides the six
children living with her, the others were John Quincey, James Collie,
Emma (married a Bennett and lived in Anniston), Macon, and, according
to Germanoca, Thelma. I guess Thelma is the one who died
before 1900. Since William Macon Lane was born no
later than 1872, then either he was the firstborn of a
twelve-year-old mother or the mother was older than she stated in 1900.
Since Emma Lane, among others, is show as born 1871 or
before, it is reasonable to believe Louisa was at
least somewhat older than she claimed in 1900.
Sometime before the census of 1910 (germanoca says 1910) the mother of
the Lanes, Louisa, died. John Quincey Lane had married about 1898 and
presently moved to Birmingham, where he took a job as a locomotive
engineer for Birmingham Southern Railroad Company. When his mother
died, John Quincy Lane took in his existing unmarried brother and
sisters at his home in
Birmingham, five children from Nannie age 23 to Dovie age 11.There is
documentation of the family in Birmingham from World War I draft
registration cards to obituaries. See the master GED file for further
details. A number of Lanes lived and died at Fairfield in Jefferson
County. The older children and a few of those raised in Birmingham
after 1910 made homes in Piedmont, Calhoun County, Alabama.
It is believed and hoped that the rest of the Lanes not described
under "Trouble with the Law" lived happy
and ordinary lives. From my point of view, my grandmother Lovia Lane
White was the sweetest
Here is an undated, handwritten poem by Lovia Lane
White that was kept by my mother -- a bit melancholy -- called What Will Tomorrow