Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Tombstone Tuesday - J.M. Worten

J.M. Worten
Apr. 7, 1858
June 1, 1921

Buried Smithland Cemetery, Livingston County, Kentucky. Tombstone photographed 2 August 2013.

James M. Worten is found in the family of James and Francis M. Worten in Smithland on the 1870 Livingston County census. By 1920, James M. Worten was living in the city of Pawhuska in Osage County, Oklahoma.

Published 6 October 2015, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog, http://wkygenealogy.blogspot.com/

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Business Partnership - 1816

I haven't found very many original business agreements while researching in western Kentucky so the one below is a treasure. The parties to this agreement were prominent citizens of Caldwell County. This document can be found in loose papers marked Agreements in the county clerk's office.

"Articles of Partnership made and entered into this the 10 Feby 1819 Between Edward C. Bearden and Moses Clayton both of the County of Caldwell and state of Kentucky  Witnesseth that the said Bearden and Clayton have this day entered into partnership in the mercantile business under the firm of Bearden & Clayton, to continue two years (unless sooner disolved by Mutual Consent) the said Bearden & Clayton are equally interested in the goods Purchased of Peter R. Garrett as well as any purchases which may hereafter be made  Also equally bound for all debts which the Concern may Owe to be equally Interested in the profits  Also in all losses which may Occur, the advances made by both Parties are to be Equal the expences to be equally divided and Neither Party shall draw from the firm more than three hundred Dollars for their Own use for the true Performance of which the parties bind themselves in the penal sum of Five Thousand Dollars.  Witness Our hands and seals the day and date above written.   [signed] E.C. Bearden, Moris (X his mark) Clayton. Witness: William C. Haydon, Geo. P. Bowser."

 Published 1 October 2015, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog, http://wkygenealogy.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Lamb Family Reunion October 10, 2015

The Lamb Family Reunion will be held on Saturday, 10 October, 2015, in Princeton, Kentucky. The reunion will begin at 11 a.m. at the Dorr-Orange Cemetery just outside of Princeton where a dedication ceremony will be held and a new tombstone erected for William and Rebecca Lamb. This granite memorial marker noting William’s service in the War of 1812 was funded by Lamb family members in early 2015.

After the dedication ceremony, family will move to the Princeton Tourist Welcome Center at 201 E. Main St. in Princeton where lunch will be served.  The price for the meal is $25 per person.

Afternoon activities will include a talk by guest speaker William H. Mulligan, PhD. Dr. Mulligan is a history professor at Murray State University, with interests in early American social and industrial history, Irish immigrant history, and the Civil War. He will talk about what life was like for post-Revolutionary War Lamb ancestors, with a focus on the influence of the War of 1812.

Descendants of Thomas and Alice (Longshore) Lamb are welcome to join the group for an afternoon of visiting and fellowship, meeting new family members and sharing genealogical information. Lamb descendants are invited to bring old family photos, family histories, and any family heirlooms they wish to share. Family descendant charts, historical maps and documents will also be on display.

For more information or to RSVP, contact Matthew T. Patton, 7981 Magnolia Square, Atlanta, GA 30350, or by phone at 215-285-0920 or by email at matthewtpatton@yahoo.com.

Published 29 September 2015, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog, http://wkygenealogy.blogspot.com/

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Are We Becoming Lazy Researchers?

Twenty years ago most of us were aware that original documents were found in the courthouses and archives and we could find other, important information at libraries.

In 1996, the birth of the GenWeb project opened the door to online research, which drastically changed the way we search for our ancestors. This thing called Internet told us we could do research at home and in our jammies, no less! No longer did we have to get out in the cold or heat, drive across town or across the state to access those records. We didn't even have to search during certain hours of the day or week. Internet was available around the clock. How special is that!

Everyone wins, right? Not necessarily. We humans seem to spend an inordinate amount of time simplifying a task. In our rush to make things very basic, we have lost some of the most basic tenets of good research.
*    We have forgotten how to attach a source to each fact not of common knowledge

*   We have decided that anything found online is free to use without asking permission or attributing the material to its creator.

*   We seem to believe if someone else has it on their website it must be true. 

*   If we repeat what is possibly an error over and over, it will become a fact. 

We have lost sight of our goal to find the facts so we can understand where, when and how our ancestors lived. We can find these facts where the events happened as well as where they did not happen. In other words, we must do a "Reasonably Exhaustive Research."[1]

In making our research as simple as possible, we are neglecting the places that provide the best information - courthouses and libraries.  Courthouses don't depend on genealogists for their funding or patronage so their futures are probably secure. That's good news as you will need to go there to find that mid-1800s  marriage bond signed by your ancestor or the description of his property found in that old deed book. Be prepared for a personal visit because not all original courthouse documents are online and probably won't be in our lifetime.

Libraries are not faring as well. Some are cutting hours and staff because of decreased usage. Fewer genealogy books are being published today as everyone wants to search online, but library shelves are still full of great information ranging from county histories of the 1800s to biographies of long-dead people. You might also find microfilm rolls of local, unpublished records. My library has funeral home records  as well as county tax polls, neither of which is online.  Even if your library does not have a genealogy collection, there are treasures to be found. A general history of a particular era and area can provide information about the economic and social conditions during your ancestor's life. You can put him in the context of his place in history. 

Is there a book you would like to read, but it isn't available at your library? Ask your librarian if you can borrow it through interlibrary loan. The cost is minimal and the rewards can be great.

Searching online is fine ... as far as it goes, but to avoid becoming a lazy researcher,  don't forgot the sources of the greatest genealogical information. Visit your library and courthouse. 

 [1] Board for Certification of Genealogists, Genealogy Standards, 50th Anniversary Edition, (Washington, D.C.: Ancestry.com, 2014), 1.

Published 24 September 2015, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,  http://wkygenealogy.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Livingston County, Kentucky Cemeteries 1977 - 2013

The Livingston County Historical and Genealogical Society has announced the publication of  Livingston County, Kentucky Cemeteries, 1977 - 2013. The new book is a companion and supplement to Livingston County, Kentucky Cemeteries, 1738 - 1976. It contains listings of burials since 1976 plus additions and corrections to Volume One and information from miscellaneous death records, obituaries and other records not easily available to researchers.

Volume Two is divided into the following sections:
1.  Active Cemeteries - East of the Cumberland River
2.  Active Cemeteries - West of the Cumberland River
3.  Inactive Cemeteries - East of the Cumberland River
4.  Inactive Cemeteries - West of the Cumberland River
5.  Loose Paper Vital Statistics and Miscellaneous Death Records

The book is available in soft cover and contains over 300 pages. Orders may be sent to the Society at P.O. Box 138, Smithland, Kentucky 42081. The cost is $28.30 per book. Kentucky residents must add $1.70 state sales tax. Shipping and handling is an additional $6.00 per book. The book may also be picked up in person at the the Log Cabin in Smithland.

Published 23 September 2015, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog, http://wkygenealogy.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Tombstone Tuesday - William O. Jones

Husband of 
Ann E. Jones
Born Aug. 26, 1837
Died Aug. 13, 1927
How desolate our home
bereft of thee

Buried Landrum Cemetery, Livingston County, Kentucky. Tombstone photographed 4 September 2013.

According to his death certificate #23566 (1927), William O. Jones was the son of Thomas Jones and Rachel Walker. He was born in Livingston County.

The 1900 Livingston County census shows William O. Jones and his wife Anna living in Driskill Dist. and had been married six years.[1]

[1] William O. Jones household, 1900 U.S. census, Driskill Mag. District, enumeration district [ED] 54, sheet 23, dwelling 423, family 430; National Archives micropublication T623, roll 539.

Published 22 September 2015, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog, http://wkygenealogy.blogspot.com/

Thursday, September 17, 2015

William N. St. John - Steamboatman

The first appearance of William N. St. John by name is on the 1850 Livingston County census record when he was living in a household headed by Nancy St. John. William was 19 years old, an engineer and was born in Illinois. Nancy was 60 years old and born in Virginia. Was she his mother - very possibly. Both of them may have been part of the family of an older William St. John, who is found on the 1840 Livingston County census.  Ann Jane St. John, who married G.W. Burton[1], and P.M. St. John, who married Lavenia Wilson[2], were likely siblings of William N. St. John. There should have been more siblings.

William N. St. John married Serena Smith, daughter of Samuel Smith, 16 December 1856[3] at New Liberty, Pope County, Illinois. They were living in Livingston County in 1860 with their 2-year-old daughter, Laura. William N. continued to work on the river and was listed as a steam boat engineer.

By 1870, the St. John  family had moved to Evansville, which was the center of riverboat traffic in the area.  William was now listed as a river boat pilot. They did not stay long in Evansville, but returned to Livingston County before 1880.

William and Serena St. John had a number of children, including the following who appeared on the 1880 census:  Laura, Jennett, William N., Joel, Alice B., Cora, Daisy, Lilly, Violet and Charles.

A small article in the River News of an Evansville newspaper recorded the death of William St. John. It stated the following:  "The remains of Capt. Wm. St. John, who died at Paducah on Sunday, were taken to Smithland for burial. Capt. St. John was at one time a well known Cumberland river steamboatman. He resided in this city some years ago, and has many friends here who will be pained to learn of his death."[4]

William N. St. John's monument marks his burial spot in Smithland Cemetery. His wife, Serena, is buried in Maplelawn Cemetery in Paducah.

Wm. N. St. John
Nov. 23, 1884
51 yr's., 9 mo's.
Buried Smithland Cemetery
Smithland, Kentucky

[1] Joyce McCandless Woodyard. Livingston County, Kentucky Marriage Records Including Marriages of Freedmen, Vol. II, (Evansville, IN:Evansville Bindery) 1994, p 19-20.
[2] Kentucky Death Certificate #16598 (1923) of Mattie B. Hill identifies her parents as Martin [sic] St. John and Louvenia Wilson.
[3] Judy Foreman Lee & Carolyn Cromeenes Foss. Pope County, Illinois Marriage Books A-E 1813-1877 Vol. 1, (Evansville, IN:Evansville Bindery) 1990, p. 57
[4] "River News," Evansville Daily Courier, Tues., 29 November 1884, p. 3.

Published 17 September 2015, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,  http://wkygenealogy.blogspot.com/