Lacklands in the House

A PNW transplant like me

The Virginian Lacklands go back in the United States, before the Revolutionary War. One of them, James Lackland (1756-1816), served as second lieutenant in that war. Best estimates peg the arrival of Scots-Irish Lacklands (John Locklan) around 1730.

Some two hundred years later, one of those Virginia Lacklands, Thomas Willis Lackland (1864-1944), made his home in Washington State, far from his birthplace. Thomas arrived in Washington State around the turn of the 20th century, appearing in 1903 and 1910 census records, in Everett.

Thomas was single and childless, living in boarding houses, and working as a self-professed saw mill engineer. Census shows he resided in several Western Washington logging towns (including Everett, Cloquato, Chehalis, and Centralia). He retired around 1835, lived to be 79 years old, and died in 1944 on March 17. Records show he is buried in Greenwood Cemetery.

The cemetery is run by volunteers after decades of neglect. Record of Thomas’s burial plat have been lost. Cemetery documents and an obituary state that this cemetery is where his remains were laid to rest.

After scouring the Greenwood Cemetery for hours looking for his headstone—in blazing heat, and, more recently, in a gentle but persistent rain—I finally found this headstone which, although badly eroded, shows key letters in the right positions. As is the style of many older, simple headstones in this cemetery, no dates are included in the paver-sized headstone.

I continue to research archives to determine if this headstone is, in fact, verifiably that of my ancestor, Thomas Willis Lackland.


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