Lucy Charlotte Peake




Lucy Charlotte Peake

Lucy Charlotte Peake was born in 1851 in Kingston, Jamaica, and died between 1880 and 1883, probably in Galveston, Texas.  She married A. W. Richardson on 18 Mar 1873 in Algiers, Orleans Parish, Louisiana.

Lucy Charlotte is something of a mystery.  Through census records and ship passenger lists, we know she was with her father as he moved from Jamaica to London, back to Jamaica, to British Honduras and then to New Orleans.  On the 1870 census of New Orleans she is shown living with her father and working as a domestic servant.  We also know that she married her husband, A.W. Richardson, on 18 March 1873 at the Mount Olivet Episcopal Church in Algiers, Louisiana (pictured at right).  Algiers is across the Mississippi River from the French Quarter and is now a suburb of New Orleans.  According to Lucy’s brother, William, the Richardson’s also owned a house and lot in Algiers.

But something happened to Lucy.  Stories from various cousins say that there was either a boating accident or that she was in a buggy that was hit by a train.  Whichever it was, it is probable that she sustained some sort of serious head injury.  Whatever the injury was, it was serious enough for her father, Joseph, to take custody of Lucy’s daughter, Lucy Emma, and take her with him to Mississippi sometime between 1874 and 1876.  On the 1880 census of New Orleans, Lucy Charlotte is enumerated as living in the New Orleans Insane Asylum with a diagnosis of epilepsy.  This diagnosis seems to support the theory of a head injury. 

In 1880, there was still a great deal of misunderstanding about epilepsy, particularly the hereditary type.  Hereditary or congenital epilepsy in a woman usually manifests itself in puberty and a girl that began having seizures was usually locked away by her family.  She was rarely allowed to marry or have children.  Yet we know that Lucy was very much a part of the world.  At 19 she was employed, at 22 she was married and at 23 she became a mother.  However, a severe head injury can also produce symptoms similar to epilepsy. 

After 1880, we aren’t sure just what happened to Lucy or her husband.  William states in one of his letters to Lucy’s daughter, Lucy Emma Richardson Beckenbach, “Your mother was 32 when she died.  She died in Galveston, Texas.  I have not heard from your father since.”  What was Lucy doing in Galveston?  If she was in Galveston when she was 32, which would have been 1884, then she must have been released from the insane asylum.  Was she cured?  If she was cured, why didn’t she go to Mississippi to claim her daughter?  And what happened to her husband?  William says, “I have not heard from your father since.”  So, it would seem that her husband was also alive and in Galveston in 1884.  Why did he never try to contact his daughter?  And what happened to him after Lucy died?  Those are all questions that, hopefully, will someday be answered.


Nicholaus von Beckenbach (1705 - ca 1750)

Johann Christian Beckenbach (1739 - ca 1790)

Johann George Beckenbach (1772 - 1834)

Johann Jacob Beckenbach (1797 - ca 1850)

Peter Beckenbach (1836 - 1878)

Charlie Geiger Beckenbach (1869 - 1932)

Edwin Ford Beckenbach (1906 - 1982)


John Simons (1715 - 1780)

Shadrach Simons (1758 - 1801)

John Joseph Simons (1793 - ca 1858)

Henry James Simons (1818 - ca 1870)

John James Simons (1842 - 1969)

James Elmo Simons (1870 - 1935)

Madelene Shelby Simons (1913 - 1985)


Heinrich Dufe (ca 1760 - ca 1810)

Peter Joseph Dufe (1784 - 1846)

Peter Duffy (1815 - 1883)

Peter J Duffy (1851 - 1924)

Annie Elizabeth Duffy (1877 - 1935)


William Peake (ca 1800 - ca 1832)

Joseph Peake (1826 - 1876)

Lucy Charlotte Peake (1851 - 1883)


James Bradley (1720 - 1788)

Francis Bradley (1743 - 1780)

James Alexander Bradley (1768 - 1839)

Margaret Weir Bradley (1813 - ca 1880)


Shelby Phillip (ca 1650 - 1731)

Evan Shelby (ca 1690 - 1751)

Moses Shelby (1728 - 1776)

Evan Shelby (1748 - 1825)

Moses Shelby (1784 - 1826)

James Madison Shelby (1814 - 1889)

Jane Eliza Shelby (1846 - 1902)


Michael Vogg (ca 1800 - ca 1845)

John Frederick Vogg (1824 - 1901)

Margaret Vogg (1856 - 1878)


Alexander Coachman (ca 1640 - 1671)

Tilney Coachman (ca 1660 - 1716)

John Coachman (1700 - 1750)

James Coachman (1732 - 1789)

Joseph Coachman (1761 - 1814)

Mary Lynch Coachman (1792 - ca 1857)


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