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From the grave marker of James M. Littleford, there is inscribed "Child of James" which strongly suggests that the child died at birth.
James and Joanna married in January 18,1883. Joanna died in 1888 at the age of 23. Could it be that she died in childbirth? Also, the 1900 census only shows James and his widowed mother living in the same home, which could possibly mean that there were no living children of James and Joanna, or that some family member took the child(ren) in to raise after Joanna's death.
James, Joanna, and at least one child are buried at Congressional Cemetery in Washington, D.C. James died of pulmonary tuberculosis.
Wish I could have helped more
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Dear Mr. Follin,
Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!
We searched the National Archives Catalog and located the Population Schedules for the 1880 Census and the Population Schedules for the 1900 Census in the Records of the Bureau of the Census (Record Group 29) but unfortunately, digital images for the District of Columbia have not been added to the Catalog yet.
Therefore, we searched the 1880 and 1900 Census on Ancestry and located James M. Littleford in the District of Columbia in 1900 as a widower and in the 1880 Census. We also searched the 1890 Veteran Schedules on Ancestry but did not locate James. We located Joanna Sears Littleford in the 1880 Census in Maryland and her 1888 death record on Find A Grave. We also located the 1883 District of Columbia marriage record for James and Joanna and the birth of a male child Littleford. To view these records on Ancestry, there may be a fee. Or you may view these records online at one NARA's facilities for free via ALIC. For the nearest NARA location, please consult our web page at https://www.archives.gov/locations/. Also, some of the images from Ancestry are available for free on Family Search at https://www.familysearch.org/en/.
We hope this information is helpful. Best of luck with your family research!