Joseph’s birth details are still very muddy with a lot of conflicting evidence. His birthplace is listed on his son Charley’s death certificate as Arkansas, an 1850 census shows Missouri, and son William Joseph’s death certificate shows Illinois. As for birth dates, his own death certificate shows the year 1840 and “Don’t know” in just about everything else, including birth date and place. Then there are various records, census’, and documents that show his birth anywhere between 1837 and 1844. His Civil War draft registration puts him at age 20 in 1863.
If the Joseph Birchet on an 1850 census in Cape Girardeau, Missouri is correct, his father;’s name was Benjamin (born in North Carolina), his mother’s name was Elizabeth (born in Tennessee) and he would have had four older siblings (Eliza Jane, George Susan and Sally) and two younger (Elizabeth and Pernecia ‘Niecie’).
His Civil War draft record shows that he resided in Liberty, Bollinger, Missouri and was married in 1863, however, it is unclear if this was his wife Lucinda Caroline Irvin (born about 1849) or another woman, as no marriage record for he and Lucinda has been located.
He also served briefly in the Civil War where he enrolled in what was then Dallas, MO. into Capt. J.R. Cochran’s Bollinger County V.M.M on 17 MAR 1865 until 8 JUL 1865 serving 102 days.
His first child, William Joseph was born in 1869 and he went on to have a total of nine children with Lucinda (William, George, Mary, James [my great-grandfather], Niecie, Martha, Eliza, Lorence (Emma), and Thomas).
In the 1900 census he shows up as “widowed” so sometime between the birth of son Thomas in 1893 and 1900, Lucinda passed away.
In March 1904 he had a daughter (Bessie) born to Francis Jane Nelson, whom he married in September 1904 and went on to have another son, Charley Lee (who only lived to two years of age and died of Tuberculosis).
He lived his entire life in South East Missouri in Bollinger, Stoddard and Dunklin counties. His occupation was a farmer and according to census records, he was illiterate.