Friday, February 12, 2016

Friday's Fact

Abraham Lincoln visited Morganfield, Union County, Kentucky in 1840. He was in Shawneetown, Gallatin County, Illinois for a debate on the 5th of December and decided to pay a visit to Kentucky before returning to Shawneetown.[1]

[1] Ralph V. Gary. Following in Lincoln's Footsteps: A Complete Annotated Reference to Hundreds of Historical Sites Visited by Abraham Lincoln, (Basic Books, 2002).

Published 12 February 2016, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Webster County, KY Estate Administrators 1860

When a person died owning property, but left no will, an administrator was usually appointed by the county court to settle the decedent's estate.  After executing bond to show he would faithfully and fairly settle the estate, he was responsible for collecting debts due to and from the estate and to make a fair distribution of the remainder. The date of the administrator appointment is often used as an approximate death date.

The creation of Webster County took effect 1 Jul 1860 and the first session of county court was held in Sep 1860. The following appointments of administrators were made during the first session of court and are recorded in Webster County Court Order Book 1860-1866. The page number in the Order Book is found at the end of the entry.

R.K. Thornberry was appointed administrator of the estate of James Coley 26 Sep 1860. [p. 25]

G.W. Cook was appointed administrator of the estate of Jno. H. Davis  26 Sep 1860.  [p. 25]

Joel McLendon was appointed administrator of the estate of George Brand  12 Oct 1860.  [p. 33]

Samuel Shirley was appointed administrator of the estate of Wm. McClendon  19 Oct 1860.  [p. 39]

James L. Melton was appointed administrator of the estate of Saml. N. Grayson  7 Nov 1860.  [p. 43]

Wm. R. Baker was appointed administrator of the estate of  Absia Smith 7 Nov 1860.  [p. 43]

John Graham was appointed administrator of Abnedgo Llewellyn's estate 12 Nov 1860.  [p. 44]   "A writing purporting to be the last Will and Testament of Abnedgo Llewellyn was produced and proven by the oaths of D. Head, G.W. Wynn and L.M. Rice, subscribing witnesses." 8 Mar 1861.  [p. 92]

Joel Blackwell was appointed administrator of the esate of Buckner Ash 20 Nov 1860. [p. 49]

Jno. Brown was appointed administrator of Harvey Barnett 12 Dec 1860.  [p. 56]

Eura Grayson was appointed administrator of William Grayson's estate 14 Dec 1860.  [p. 58]

 Published 9 February 2016, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Friday, February 5, 2016

Friday's Fact

Jim Bowie, who is often associated with the Bowie knife and who was killed at the Alamo in 1836, spent part of the fourth year of his life with his family in Livingston County, Kentucky. Rezin Bowie, Jim's father, can be found on the 1800 Livingston County tax list and was appointed appraiser of the estate of John Clark deceased that same year.[1]

The Bowie family came to Livingston County from Logan County, Kentucky, where Jim was born. After staying in Livingston County a short time, the family moved on to District of New Madrid (Missouri) and  about 1802 moved on to Louisiana.  You can read more about Jim Bowie  Here

[1] Livingston County Court Order Book A, no pagination, 25 Mar 1800.

Published 5 February 2016, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Tombstone Tuesday - Fannie Clark

Fannie Clark
Apr. 14, 1916
Aged 80 Yrs.

Buried Smithland Cemetery. Tombstone photographed 8 October 2014.

According to her Kentucky death certificate #11172, Fannie Clark was born in April 1835 and died April 13, 1916. She was listed as single and her parents were unknown.  

The 1900 Livingston County shows Fannie Clark, as a cook residing in the household of her sister-in-law, Emily Clark, a hotel proprietor. Fannie is listed as born in Alabama, as were her parents. By 1910, Fannie  age 75, was a lodger in the home of Byrnes Clark, a 44-year-old widower born in Kentucky. On that census, Fannie's birth place was given as Kentucky and both parents were shown as born in Kentucky.

It is unknown when Fannie Clark came to Livingston County, but her brother, James M. Clark, was in Smithland by 4 February 1855, when he married Emily Lucas. He gave his birth place as Lauderdale County, Alabama. He appears on the 1870 and 1880 Livingston County census records, but Fannie does not.

Published 2 February 2015, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

William and Sidney K. Conner

What in the world possessed William and Sidney Conner to leave their home in Greenup County, Kentucky and move to Livingston County? In Greenup County William was a prominent lawyer and a member of the House of Representatives and Senate for a number of years. It is said Conner was well educated and had a brilliant mind.[1] What drew him to Livingston County?

William and Sidney Conner and children, Mary, William, Amanda, Thomas, Samuel, Lydda and Rebecca, are enumerated on the 1850 Greenup County census. William is listed as an attorney  born in Pennsylvania and the rest of his family was born in Kentucky.[2] By early 1852, William and Sidney had left Greenup County and settled in Livingston County. The 1852 Livingston tax list shows he had 10 slaves, two horses, nine cattle and four children between the ages of 5 and 16. It must have been quite an ordeal moving the family and property from one end of Kentucky to the other.

William and Sidney did not live long enough to establish deep roots in Livingston County.  Sidney passed away on the 14th of March 1852 and William died just a few months later.[3] On 2 January 1854, their son, George D. Conner, was appointed administrator of William's estate[4] and settled the estate four years later.[5]

Several children of William and Sidney Conner married in Livingston County. George Daniel, probably the oldest son, married Sarah J. Welch 21 Nov 1853.[6] By 1860, George D. had moved with relatives of his wife to Sacramento County, California.  He died in Fresno, California 22 Oct 1891.[7]

Amanda B. Conner, daughter of William and Sidney,  was born 17 Aug 1835 and died 10 May 1895 McCracken County, Kentucky. [8]She is buried in Oak Grove Cemetery, Paducah.

Lydia Conner was born ca 1844 and died 18 Jan 1866; buried Smithland Cemetery. She married David L. Sanders 15 Feb 1865 in Smithland.[9]

Other children were Mary Elizabeth, born ca 1831, married Henry Clay Bruce, who was in the steamboat business and represented Lewis and Mason Counties, Kentucky in the state senate in 1882 and 1884.[10] William H. Conner, another child of William and Sidney Conner, was born 26 Feb 1834 in Greenup County, moved to California in 1852 and then to Missouri in 1867.[11] He was in the dry good business in Plattsburg, Missouri.

Mrs. Sidney K. Conner
Dec. 20, 1809
Mar. 14, 1852

Major Wm. Conner
Dec. 19, 1796
[remainder under ground in 2015]
Smithland Cemetery, Smithland, Kentucky

Sidney and William Conner lived in Livingston County long enough to leave a few records, but we don't know why they lived there.

[1] E. Polk Johnson, A History of Kentucky and Kentuckians, Vol. III, (Chicago-New York: The Lewis Publishing Company, 1912.), 1317-1318, digital image. Google Books, accessed 8 October 2015.
[2] 1850 U.S. census, Greenup County, Kentucky,  population schedule, Dist. 1, p. 437 (penned), p. 219 (stamped), dwelling 12, family 12, William Conner:  digital images. ( accessed 8 October 2015); From National Archives microfilm publication M432, roll 202.
[3] Tombstone recordings September 2008 and 30 September 2015 by Brenda Joyce Jerome.
[4] County Court Order Book L:174, 2 January 1854.
[5] County Court Order Book L:429, 1 February 1858.
[6] Joyce McCandless Woodyard. Livingston County, Kentucky Marriage Records Including Marriages of Freedmen Vol. II (August 1839-December 1871), Evansville, IN: Evansville Bindery), 1994: 78.
[7] "California, Death & Burial Records 1873-1987." Database., 2015.
[8]" Oak Grove Cemetery," database, ( accessed 8 Oct 2015).
[9] Woodyard. Livingston County, Kentucky Marriage Records: 147.
[10] Johnson. A History of Kentucky and Kentuckians, Vol. III:1317.
[11] National Historical Company. The History of Clinton County, Missouri, 1881: 42. 

Published 27 January 2016, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Friday, January 22, 2016

Friday's Fact

Did you know that the downtown Smithland sidewalks were brick for many years? It's true, according to an article in an area newspaper.[1]

"The town council has let the contract and work is well under way for building concrete sidewalks throughout the entire town. Court and Front streets are the first to be laid and after that the others, as fast as the work can be done. The old brick walks, some of which have been in use over fifty years, are full of holes and have long since become an eyesore to our more enterprising citizens."

I didn't know that!

[1] "Affairs at Smithland," Crittenden Press, 31 May 1908, p. 1.

Published 22 January 2016, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Tombstone Tuesday - Etna Nelson

Oct. 13, 1870
June 8, 1942

Buried Alsobrook Cemetery, Livingston County, Kentucky. Tombstone photographed 30 July 2015. Etna Nelson died in Creal Springs, Williamson County, Illinois. [1]

Etna Nelson was the daughter of John Ramage and Jane Gray.[2]  She appears as a 9 year old in the household of John and Elizabeth Ramage in Dyers Hill Precinct of Livingston County. [3]  

Miss Etna Ramage married Mr. C.C. Nelson 11 October 1873 at her home in Livingston County. [4]

[1] Illinois, Deaths & Stillbirths Index 1916 - 1947, < accessed 28 September 2015.
[2] Ibid.
[3] John Ramage household, 1880 Dyers Hill, Livingston, Kentucky; Roll: 429; Family History Film: 1254429; Page: 359A; Enumeration District: 083; Image: 0162,, accessed 28 September 2015.
[4] Original 1873 marriage license and certificate, Livingston County, Kentucky Clerk's Office, Smithland, Kentucky.

Published 19 January 2016, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,