Marcella Elizabeth Flournoy was the daughter of Thomas Jefferson Flournoy and Elizabeth C. Montgomery, born in Wythe County, Virginia, June 20, 1823. She was the third and last child, the two boys were LaFayette Montgomery Flournoy, born 1820, and David Flournoy, born 1822. The family moved to Kentucky after Marcella’s birth, and her mother Elizabeth died August 26, 1826, in Caldwell County, Kentucky. Two years later Thomas Jefferson Flournoy married Maria Ann Dallam – September 28, 1828. Nine children were born from this second marriage.
1848 was a bad year for this family. Daughter Rosalie D. Flournoy died June 23, 1848, aged 5 months and 20 days. Maria A. Flournoy, daughter and twin to Thomas Jefferson Flournoy, Jr., died August 14, 1848, aged 5 years and 7 days. Wife and mother, Maria Ann Flournoy, died December 8, 1848, aged 38 years, 4 months and 4 days. In 1852 two sons were lost, David Flournoy died November 22, 1852, and Samuel Smith Flournoy died December 4, 1852.
In the 1850 census of Caldwell County, Kentucky, we find Thomas Jefferson Flournoy, age 50, a merchant, $5000, born in Virginia. The following children are living with him – David, 28; Marcella, 27; Silas, 12; Charles, 10; Thomas J., 8; and John J., 5. Oldest son, LaFayette Montgomery Flournoy, 30, was living in Paducah, McCreary County, in a hotel run by Owen Grymes. He was already a successful lawyer, having personal estate of $19,500.
By 1860 we find the Flournoy family living in Clinton County, Iowa. In the census for that year and county, two more daughters are living with the family – Letitia, 24 and Sarah, 23. Perhaps they were living with grandparents or an aunt in 1850?
In 1870, still in Clinton County, Iowa, Thomas Jefferson and daughter Marcella are living in the home of his daughter, Letitia Flournoy, who married James VanDeventer. He was a lawyer, from New York. Their family consisted of four sons – Cyrus, 14; James, 7; Thomas, 5; and Horace, 3. In 1880 Thomas Jefferson, 80, and Marcella, 50, have grandchildren Mana L., 11F; Marcella, 9; and William, 4; and son-in-law William Ragan, 40. William Ragan married daughter Sarah Jane Flournoy, who died March 23, 1870.
The aging Thomas Jefferson Flournoy realized the time was drawing close and wrote his will in May of 1881. Thomas died about 18 months later, October 23, 1882. His body was brought back to Princeton, Caldwell County, Kentucky, for burial, beside his wife Maria. Daughter Marcella had lived with and taken care of her father all her life. She went to live with sister Letitia, and brother-in-law James VanDeventer.
The family moved to Knoxville, Tennessee, before 1900. Marcella Flournoy died there on the 16th day of February 1900, at 12:15 p.m., aged 76 years, 7 months and 26 days. The Courier Journal of Louisville, Kentucky, on Wednesday, February 21, 1900, from the Princeton paper, said, ‘Miss Marcella Elizabeth Flournoy, aged seventy-six years, who died of pneumonia, was brought here from Knoxville, Tennessee, yesterday for interment.’ She is buried in the family plot with her father, stepmother and brother.