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LBJ’s Family Tree – Selected Members

14 Nov

Lyndon Baines Johnson was born on August 27, 1908 to Samuel Ealy (Jr.) and Rebekah Baines Johnson in Stonewall County, Texas.  Not intended to be a complete listing all of his ancestors, the following represents a number of them and is based on information mainly from newspaper accounts and traditional genealogical sources.

Samuel Ealy and Rebekah were married August 20, 1907.  Lyndon was the oldest of their five children and was followed by Rebekah Luruth (1910), Josefa Hermine (1912), Sam Houston (1914) and Lucia Huffman (1916).  Lyndon lived with his brothers and sisters until after 1930 in San Marcos, Hayes County.

Samuel Ealy Johnson, Jr. was born in Buda, Hayes County, Texas in 1877.  His mother and father were Eliza Jane Bunton and Samuel Ealy Johnson, Sr.  At the time of his birth, the family lived on a farm near Buda.  The Ealy name, common to Samuel and his father, appears to be a variation on the last name of Samuel Ealy Johnson, senior’s grandmother, Ann Eley.

Samuel_Ealy_Johnson,_Jr._-_Life_Magazine

(Samuel Ealy Johnson, Jr. – Image credit: Life Magazine)

Lyndon B. Johnson bore a strong resemblance to his father.  Samuel Ealy Johnson has been described as industrious and driven to achieve more than to be a farmer, though farming was a noble calling and was how many American families made their living in his day.  As a youth, his family had moved out of Buda to a place on the Pedernales River.  Sam was educated in local schools.  When he was still a youth, the barber in Johnson City retired.  Sam bought his barber chair and in his spare time, he cut hair.  Sam had aspirations of becoming a lawyer, but was not able to finance that much of an education.  Samuel Ealy’s occupation was listed as inspector for the Texas Railroad Commission.  He was said to be well liked.  He was also involved in politics and went on to serve five terms in the Texas legislature, succeeding to the seat of his father in law, Joseph Wilson Baines.  Samuel died in 1937 of hypertensive heart disease and is buried in the Johnson Family Cemetery, a private cemetery on what is now the LBJ Ranch.  Rebekah Baines Johnson survived Sam until 1858 when she also passed away, in Austin.  She is buried in the Johnson Family Cemetery on the ranch, as well.

ladybird-lbj-rebekah

(Lady Bird, LBJ and Rebekah Johnson – Image credit: findagrave.com)

Rebekah Baines Johnson had been born in McKinney, Collin County, Texas in 1881.  In all the Federal census reports prior to 1940 when she and Samuel Ealy were married, she was listed as a homemaker and the couple was living in San Marcos.  In 1940, her residence was with Lyndon and Lady Bird (Claudia) Johnson outside Blanco, Texas, presumably on some portion of what is now the LBJ Ranch.

Sister Rebekah Luruth Johnson married Oscar Price (Bob) Bobbitt from Mineola, Texas, whom she had met in Washington while they were both working for the Library of Congress.  They married in 1941.  After serving in the U. S. Army in World War II, Bob went on to manage Lady Bird’s radio and television interests as they grew.  Both Rebekah and Bob are now deceased and are buried in the Johnson Family Cemetery.

Sister Josefa Hermine Johnson married James Dee (Buster) Moss in 1954.  Buster Moss had been a minister in the Church of Christ.  Not much is publicly known about them, other than James’ first wife and daughter had tragically died in an auto accident in 1934.  His second marriage apparently ended in divorce.  He and Josefa were married about seven years before she passed away in her sleep from a cerebral hemorrhage in 1961.  Josefa had previously been married twice and had a son from one of the marriages.  She is buried in the Johnson Family Cemetery.

Lyndon’s brother Sam Houston Johnson worked closely with LBJ for many years.  He succeeded Lyndon as an aide to Congressman Richard Kleberg, worked for the National Youth Administration, Federal Land Bank, the War Production Board, an advisor to Lyndon and at least two positions in private business.  Sam Houston Johnson had earned a law degree from Cumberland School of Law but to the best of our knowledge did not practice law with a law firm.  Sam was twice married.  He passed away in 1978 and is buried in the Johnson Family Cemetery.

Sister Lucia Huffman Johnson was married to Birge Davis Alexander, a native of Minnesota, in 1933.  Birge had earned a degree in civil engineering from University of Texas in 1939.  During his career, he primarily worked for the Federal Aviation Administration.  He died in 2004, Lucia died in 1997 and both are buried in the Johnson Family Cemetery.

The name Baines, common to Lyndon and others, was a family name and the maiden name of Rebekah, Lyndon’s mother.  Her father and Lyndon’s grandfather was Joseph Wilson Baines and her mother was Ruth Ament Huffmann Baines.  Joseph Wilson Baines (1846-1906) had come to Texas from his birthplace in Louisiana.  He was described as a lawyer, publisher and former Texas Secretary of State. He also had served one term in the Texas legislature.  Joseph Wilson Baines had received his education at Baylor University in Independence, Texas before the university moved to Waco.  After graduating from Baylor, Joseph moved to McKinney where studied law under James Webb Throckmorton. While residing in Collin County, he published several newspapers, as well.  At the time of his death at age 60, the family was living near Fredericksburg, Gillespie County, and he was buried in Der Stadt Friedhof, along with his wife Ruth.  The name Der Stadt Friedhof is German and means the city cemetery.

The father of Joseph Wilson Baines and Lyndon’s great grandfather was George Washington Baines, a minister, teacher and former President of Baylor University at Independence.  Baines was well known in Baptist circles.  Baines had been born in North Carolina in 1809 and made his way to Texas around 1850, after living in several other southern states.  At Independence, he was a teacher and pastor.  He and his wife had also served as house parents for the on-campus boarding house/dormitory for Baylor female students.  Baines served as pastor of the Independence Baptist Church and also was an editor of the denominational periodical, The Texas Baptist.  He also served on the board of trustees of Baylor and accepted the position of President of Baylor prior to the Civil War.  Baines personally knew Sam Houston and is known to have counselled Houston when Houston was deciding to become a Christian.  The two remained friends until Houston died in 1861.  Baines eventually moved to Salado in Bell County when he died from complications of malaria in 1882.   He is buried in the Old Salado Graveyard.

Many of the individuals named above are buried in the Johnson Family Cemetery, on the grounds of the LBJ Ranch, a National Historic Site. The Johnson Family Cemetery is privately owned by the Johnson family.  The website for the cemetery states, “Please respect their requests and do not enter the cemetery.”  It is quite scenic under a grove of oak trees and easy to view from the roadway.

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Posted by on November 14, 2019 in biography

 

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