Poor kids in the end Joe was living with a step father and stepmother!!
It looiks like Joe's parents were both b TN - On the 1880 census they just used the step-father's b place for all the kids (IL). When he was older Joe foudn out his father was b TN- wonder if this coudl be the family of my line's Wm as they used the names James and Joseph - two brothers of my line's Wm' b 1833 in TN??
Have you found an 1850 census on James L ( b c 1850) and Clementine (his mother)?? or try Wm just for the heck of it in 1850. Let me know- my James M Allen was b c 1830 in TN - his next oldest brother was Wm. A Celeste Holly firstname.lastname@example.org