More Photographs & "Family History"

Contributed by: Lynn Lampkins-LeForbes


Individuals in the photographs displayed have not been fully identified.
They are shown because the photographs were taken in a Muncie photography studio.

Post Card
Home of Palmer Paul & Louise Mae Lampkins
Muncie, Indiana

Back of Post Card
Photo taken by Fred G Rowell
307 ½ E Main St
Muncie, Indiana

Possibly Jack Culpher

Unknown Girl

Bowden Studio Photograph, Muncie, Indiana
Unknown Woman

Same Studio - Possible Mother of Girl

Unknown Man

Bowden Studio Photograph, Muncie, Indiana
Unknown Woman

Same Studio - Possible Connection to Unknown Man

The two photographs below are thought to be connected to Mama Rae
Possibly Santa Monica, California

Harriett E Boyce

Goodlander Sisters Studio, Muncie, Indiana


"Tracing Our Lampkin Family"

beginning with “daddy Palmer”….

Tracing our family's heritage has been no easy accomplishment but after many months I've come up with what is thought to be our ancestors. With the help of a researcher/historian I met over the internet, I began the search on August 5, 2004. This researcher's family is originally from England and Ireland, but she finds pleasure in assisting others to discover their family's roots. With out her, finding the history of our family would have been almost impossible. Our family thanks you for opening the door to the past!

As you will discover in the following pages, our grandfather "“daddy Palmer" had quite an elusive background but there were definite answers found. Although, he was adopted at a young age, the records show that at least one if not both of his parents were deceased. In 1910, it is felt that he was adopted for family hardship reason and not his skin color as once believed. The census records from 1910 showed "daddy Palmer" living in Augusta City, Georgia with his mother, Sarah, who was a widow and one additional child. It indicates his mother was a widow. The records in the 1900's did not state the reason for death but, because of their sudden disappearance from the census records one can surmise that "daddy Palmer's" dad had died sometime between 1900 and 1910. Attempts to find the other child born to Sarah was unsuccessful.

However, Sarah Johnson-Lampkins did have two sisters, Mamie and Rachael Johnson, and a brother Freeman Johnson. Efforts to locate the brother were unsuccessful but the sister was located in Muncie. The question emerged, did "daddy Palmer" move to Muncie to follow his only close living relative? If so, why didn't she take him in?

He and his family throughout the 1800's and early 1900's were coded as "Mulatto" for race. Mulatto is a term of Spanish and/or Portuguese origin describing people of mixed European and African racial descent. The term originally referred to the children of one European and one African parent, but today refers to all people with a significant amount of both European and African ancestry. Many Americans of Hispanic and/or Latino origin identify themselves as mulatto as well. Today the term, however, is rarely used by non-Hispanic African Americans in the United States for the above mentioned reasons.

The origin of the Lampkin/s family is not very clear although it refers to Haiti on some of the records. Throughout the 1700's and most of the 1800's the name was spelled without the "s". After "daddy Palmer" adoption by a black family, the Aplings, he became a servant. This is possibly why his skin color was referenced as being too dark. In the early 1900's the "s" was added to the name Lampkins.

Further, what's amazing is how "daddy Palmer" referenced his race as Ethiopian on his draft card for WW I in 1917-18. He was deferred from fighting in the war because he had a wife, Louise Mae "mama Mae", and a child, "aunt Denny". He worked as a chauffeur and auto repairman for a very wealthy businessman, A. L. Kitselman, who owned a fence making company.

After the birth of their second child, "uncle Buddy", during the 1920's the family moved to Santa Monica, CA where "daddy Palmer" continued working as a chauffeur. He divorced Louise Mae Culpher-Lampkins and later remarried Ruth. When he retired he purchased a farm in Corona, CA from money borrowed from his son, "uncle Buddy". This is the place where he lived out the remainder of his life until he died from leukemia on March 7, 1963 in Riverside, CA.

You see, the one we thought most difficult to expose has actually been the easier.

“Mama Rae”…

Born on April 2, 1877 in Ohio she was one of six children of Clem (born September 16, 1842 ) and Elizer (born January 10, 1848) Reid. The records in the family Bible show that all of her siblings died at a young age leaving “mama Rae” as an only child. She married Jack Culpher but no records were found about him. Together they had one child "mama Mae".

Many stories emerged about "mama Rae". When the family relocated to Santa Monica, she also came along. Her love for singing led her to be part of the church choir in Santa Monica.

The story was told that she once worked for the Wright Brother's as a house keeper.

“Mama Mae”…

Louise Mae Culpher was born on August 31, 1897. The records are incomplete about Mama Mae's background. Her father was said to be Jack Culpher but no information was found about him. It is felt the picture of the soldier on this web site is Jack Culpher but no one knows for sure. After moving to California in the early 1920's Mama Mae lived in Santa Monica. She passed away from a lengthy bout with cancer on June 15, 1952.

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