More About Lucy Tuberville (Phipps) Cross

The last post dealt with Lucy Tuberville Phipps who married John Madison Cross. Lucy was a daughter of Martha G. Phipps. The children of Martha appear to have gone by her maiden name after her marriage to Lazarus Vann dissolved. Martha’s father was Benjamin Phipps of Brunswick County, Virginia.

As noted in the last post, daughter Lucy (Phipps) Cross’s husband John Madison Cross held land in Virginia while living in Madison County, Alabama. Lucy was born about 1834-1835 according to the 1850 and 1860 censuses. As a result, she is presumably the 5-10-year-old female who appears in the 1840 census with her parents Lazarus Vann and, presumably, his wife Martha Phipps.


From the 1840 census, “South Half of Madison County,” Alabama:

Lazarus Vann:

  • Free white males:
    • 1 10-15
    • 2 15-20
    • 1 50-60 [presumably Lazarus Vann, born about 1780-1790]
  • Free white females:
    • 1 5-10 [presumably daughter Lucy who later went by Phipps, born about 1830-1835]
    • 2 20-30
    • 1 40-50 [presumably Martha (Phipps) Vann, born about 1790-1800]
  • Male slaves:
    • 3 under 10
    • 1 10-24
    • 1 24-36
  • Female slaves:
    • 1 under 10
    • 1 24-36


By the time of the 1850 census, Martha (Phipps) Vann was no longer living with Lazarus Vann. She appears in the 1850 census as “Marthy,” with her maiden surname. Her children are also shown using her maiden surname.

From the 1850 census, District 35, Madison County, Alabama, 2 November 1850:

  • #122/122: [household of Andrew I. or J.?] Vann.
  • #123/123: [intervening household]
  • #124/124:
    • Marthy G Phips, 55 [born about 1795], female, real estate $1,700, born Virginia
    • Robert S Phips, 30 [born about 1820], male, farmer, Virginia
    • Lucy T [no surname, presumably Phips], 16 [born about 1834], female, Virginia, attended school


In 1853, daughter Lucy Phipps married John Madison Cross in Madison County, Alabama.

From Madison County, Alabama Marriage Record Book 4-B, p. 23:

To any Judge of said State, any Justice of the Peace of said County, or other person legally authorized:
THESE are to authorize you, or either of you, to solemnize the rights of matrimony between John M. Cross – and Lucy T. Phipps – of said County, agreeably to the statue in such case made and provided. Given at the Office of the Judge of Probate of said County, this 20th – day of December – 1853.
[signed:] F. [G.? or L.?] Hammond – JUDGE P. C.

Solemnized on the 20th – day of December – 1853.
[signed:] B. C. Chapman.


From the 1860 census, South Eastern Division, Madison County, Alabama, with post office at New Hope, 19 June 1860, p. 60, #410/408:

  • John Cross, 26 [born about 1834], male, farmer, real estate $3,000, personal estate $12,000, born Alabama
  • Lucy Cross, 25 [born about 1835], female, domestic, Alabama
  • Chas. Cross, 5 [born about 1855], male, Alabama
  • Walter Cross, 3 [born about 1857], male, Alabama
  • Martha Cross, 1 [born about 1859], female, Alabama
  • Jno. Mathewson, 25 [born about 1835], male, laborer, Alabama


From Freedmen’s Bureau office records, Huntsville, Alabama, roll 15, 1865-1868, p. 225, contract apparently dated 1866, since that date appears on the preceding page:

668. Mrs. L. T. Cross with Robt Gardner, Colord [sic; colored]
Madison County Ala March 31st 1866
Contract for the year 1866.

Mrs. Lucy T. Cross is bound in the Sum of $300 – to comply with this contract & is to furnish to Robert Gardner, Freedman, Fifty acres of Land more or less to be cultivated in corn and cotton (also truck patches free of charge) –

I also agree to pay the Said Robert Seventy-five Cents per hundred for splitting rails for me: and the Said Gardner binds himself to cultivate the said land properly, & to give to the Said Mrs. L. T. Cross, one third (1/3) of the crop raised by him on her plantation. He is, also bound to pay to the Said Mrs. Cross Seventy-five dollars for one Mule to be paid out of the proceeds of his share of the crop, when gathered. Signed in duplicate

Lucy T Cross
Robert X Gardner, colord [sic; colored]

R B Norrell, clk [i.e. Clerk]


From Freedmen’s Bureau office records, Huntsville, Alabama, roll 15, 1865-1868, p. 79, contract apparently dated 1867, since that date appears on the preceding page:

This Contract between Lucy T Cross and Robert Gardener, (Cold) [presumably for Colored], is that Lucy T Cross agrees to furnish some forty or fifty acres of open Land and furnish stock & every thing to make a crop except clothing & boarding the hands and Said Robert Gardner agrees to furnish him self & family and Martha & family to make the Crop to do all the work except Splitting new Railes, and the said Lucy T Cross agrees to give them (B) [presumably for Black], the Crop of Wheat & 1/2 the Crop of Corn and Cotton made by the Said Robert Gardner & Martha & families and they agree to work by the direction of John M Cross for which they forfeit their part of the Crop if they fail to work otherwise and they also make a truck patch of Irish & Sweet potatoes for a patch for themselves

Lucy T Cross
Robert his X mark Gardner

Approved Jno [B? or R?] [Callis?]
[?] Col US[V?] & [?]

Witness [signed:]
[T? or L?] [M.? or U.?] Green


From the 1870 census, Ward 1, Huntsville, Madison County, Alabama, 22 June 1870, p. 30, #176/235:

  • John M Cross, 38 [born about 1832], male, white, bookkeeper, born Alabama
  • Lucy D [T in other sources] Cross, 35 [born about 1835], female, white, keeping house, Virginia
  • Chas. C Cross, 14 [born about 1856], male, white, Alabama, attended school
  • Walter A Cross, 13 [born about 1857], male, white, Alabama, attended school
  • Andew [sic; Andrew] [S? or L?] Cross, 7 [born about 1863], male, white, Alabama, attended school
  • Mattie Cross, 11 [born about 1859], female, white, Alabama, attended school
  • Wm. H Cross, 7/12 [age 7 months], male, white, Alabama, born January


John is listed as John Madison Cross (with his middle name given as such), employed as a register for the federal land office in Huntsville, Alabama on 30 September 1873, in General Land Office registers listed in Register of Officers and Agents, Civil, Military, and Naval…, Washington: Government Printing Office, 1873, p. 307.

The year 1873 is also when Lucy is said to have died. A Find A Grave page claims that she is buried in Maple Hill Cemetery in Huntsville, but without any tombstone photo or reference to a written record, such as a sexton’s record, to verify this.


Because the 1888 biography of John M. Cross (below) states that he married 3 times, the following seems likely relevant.

From The Southern Immigrant, Cullman, Alabama, 23 May 1878, p. 3:

Deaths. . . .

In Huntsville, May 2, Mrs. Sue A. Cross, wife of John M. Cross.


John is referred to as John M. Cross, register of the federal land office at Huntsville, Alabama, in the Alabama Supreme Court case known as Bernstein v. Humes (75 Ala. 241).


A biography of John M. Cross, husband of Lucy Phipps, appeared in 1888. Note that the biography states that he had married 3 times.

From Northern Alabama: Historical and Biographical, Birmingham: Smith & De Land, 1888, p. 280:

JOHN M. CROSS, a prominent Real Estate Operator, is a native of Huntsville, where he was born in 1833 and has resided all of his life.

He is a son of Andrew Cross, a native of Virginia, who was of English stock, and one of the first settlers in Hunsville.

Our subject was in early life a clerk, and from 1859 until 1867 followed planting. He was opposed to the war, and at the first election after the war he was elected Tax Assessor by the Republicans.

In 1872 he was appointed Register of the United States Land Office at Huntsville, and held that position twelve years. Since that period Mr. Cross has devoted his attention to real estate transactions, and is now a mmber of that well-know [sic; well-known] firm of Lane, Cross & Gill.

Mr. Cross was a candidate for the office of Probate Judge on the Republican ticket in1886, and has always affiliated himself with that party. He was accumulated some property, and is an esteemed citizen.

Mr. Cross has been thrice married and has nine children living.


John died in 1900 and is buried in Maple Hill Cemetery in Huntsville. A poor quality photo of the tombstone appears in Find A Grave, but is difficult to read. The tombstone does clearly refer to him as John Madison Cross, and shows him as buried with one of his 3 wives. She is identified on the stone as Laura Scott Cross.


One thought on “More About Lucy Tuberville (Phipps) Cross

  1. Thank you so much for sharing those Freedman’s Bureau Records. This is a new source for me, and I’m very much looking forward to exploring those further. Apparently there is a cemetery record for Lucy T. Cross in Maple Hill cemetery, now in Madison county showing that she died in November of 1873. I’ve only seen this on and index.
    I feel confident that Lazarus Vann was not Lucy’s father. Lucy Tuberville Phipps appears to have been born no later than 1835, her sister Emily was born around 1819, and her brother Robert was born around 1820. Martha married John Richie Inman in 1837, then Lazarus Vann in 1839. Both of these marriages happened after Martha’s children were born.

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