Lanham dedicates genealogy book to father
MADISON – “Perseverance” is the main personality trait that sustained Clifford W. Lanham in authoring and publishing his first book, “Our Lanham History and Related Families.”
“The book is a genealogy history of ‘my’ Lanham line, starting with Roger Lanham of England about 1560 to the present day. The ‘Lanham’ name came to the colonies in 1668 … here in the United States some 334 years,” Lanham said.
The book has a separate chapter on the Lanham wives: Sappington, Estes, Chandlers, Scotts, Sisk, Ashley, Roberts, Colbath, and Jones families. “My research of the Sisk family led me to Benny Sisk of Huntsville. Benny and I were both born in Altus, Okla. but many years apart,” Lanham said.
“My lineage in the colonies is John Lanham in 1661,” Lanham said and listed eight other ancestors leading up to his own birth in 1939. “We do show data concerning Jonathan, Josias and Roger Lanham of England that date back to about 1560.”
Lanham continued his father’s first genealogy work from the early 1970s in a short Lanham manuscript of about 80 pages. In the late 1980s, “I started assisting my father in his research and got the ‘bug,’ or better yet the ‘genealogy bug’ bit me,” Clifford Lanham said.
“My father laid the foundation for present and future Lanhams” to better understand the family’s history. “My book is dedicated to my father, O.S. Lanham,” he said.
Like many immigrants, Lanham’s forefathers were agrarian survivors until about 1870. “My ninth-generation grandfather came off the land and took up a new vocation — blacksmith. Like many Americans, more of the Lanhams came off the land and found new, exciting vocations,” he said.
O.S. Lanham, Clifford’s father, is a good example. “He learned to fly airplanes. He had his tours of flying in World War II and logged more than 13,000 hours of no-accident flying,” Clifford said.
Combining his efforts and his father’s, the genealogical research required more than 10,000 miles. Twenty years ago, O.S. Lanham used census reports, county clerk records, cemeteries, family interviews and reading many books.
“Today, the Internet has so much data it can be overwhelming to research. It’s always fun to do research on the ground where one’s ancestries worked and raised their families,” Clifford said.
Lanham recommends taking research notes on all travels. “One never knows when you find that little nugget of critical information,” he said.
Lanham served 26 years in the U.S. Army with two combat tours in Vietnam, owned a commercial printing company for 10 years and taught in Virginia Beach Public School System for 15 years.
He and his wife Cindy relocated from Virginia Beach, Va. to Madison in 2003. “We retired from teaching in 2003. Cindy was born and raised in Roanoke, Ala. I was born and raised in Altus, Okla.,” he said.
His book is available on Amazon.com. For more information, call 256-325-3775 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.