Sunday, July 5, 2015

Celebrating the 4th of July in 1905

Can you see a difference in the 4th of July celebration of 110 years ago and that of today?

"No 4th of July in the memory of the oldest inhabitants was ever celebrated in Marion as universally as was done last Tuesday. Every business house in Marion was closed by common consent, and many of the business men and their families went to the Crittenden Springs for the day, and remained over to see the fireworks and to witness the ball.  The streets were deserted throughout the day and an air of quiet and rest was abroad in the city." [1]

[1] "Marion Holiday," Crittenden Press, 6 July 1905,, page 1, accessed 1 May 2015.

Published 5 July 2015, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Happy Independence Day!


Independence Day, also called the 4th of July, commemorates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. Today we mark the event with concerts, picnics and reunions, but as we celebrate, please take a moment to remember the reason we celebrate. Without the courage and audacity of our forefathers in rebelling against control by another nation, we might be saluting the Union Jack and bowing to a monarch. Thank God our ancestors were brave and fearless enough to take a stand for what they believed!

Published 4 July 2015, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Clipart courtesy of  webweaver at

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Tombstone Tuesday - P.M. Sisco

Nov. 15, 1832
Dec. 12, 1912

Buried Sisco Chapel Cemetery, Crittenden County, Kentucky. Tombstone photographed 20 May 2015.

According to Kentucky death certificate #30098, Press M. Sisco was born in Jackson County, Tennessee to Isac F. Sisco and Nancy Riley, both of whom were born in Tennessee. P.M. Sisco's death date is given as Dec. 11, 1912 on his death certificate. 

P.M. Sisco Sr. left a will in Crittenden County dated 26 April 1905 and produced in court 13 January 1913. His will is recorded in Will Book 1, page 418. Legatees named in the will were his wife, Marinda A. Sisco; son George M. Sisco; Allie Sisco; Dolsie Farmer; Jim Sisco; Carrie Sisco, Mina Sisco and Lemuel Sisco.

Published 30 June 2015, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Monday, June 29, 2015

A Double Seat for the Cavalry

You learn the darnedest things in genealogical research!  I knew that Henry F. Wolstenholme, son of Hugh Wolstenholme Sr. and brother to my ancestor, Hugh Wolstenholme Jr., was a tailor in Asheville, North Carolina during the Civil War, but a recent check on Fold3 revealed he made uniforms for Confederate soldiers of Capt. G.W. Hays' Cherokee Rangers in July 1861. The names of the soldiers are listed as well as the amounts charged for each item:  50 cents for "striping" pants and $2.55 or $3.05 for a shirt and pants. The cavalry soldiers' pants were fashioned with a double seat. I assume this was for the extra wear.

Now, I am off to see what other treasures I can find!

Published 29 June 2015, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Articles of Separation - 1847

After 11 years of marriage and several children, Nathan Gray and his wife, Lydia G. Gray, decided to separate.  Lydia agreed to leave "the bed and board of the said Nathan and he in full discharge and payment to her for all alimony, dower or other interest which she may have in and to his estate"[1] and Nathan promised to give her a gray mare with "Laydies" Saddle and bridle, blanket, a feather bed and furniture, spinning machine, a cow and a set of plates.  

Not only did Nathan and Lydia divide the household items, they also divided the children. Lydia was permitted to take Caroline, Elizabeth and Lucretia, the three daughters born of this marital union, and Nathan would take the [unnamed] sons born to him and Lydia. One has to wonder how one feather bed would be sufficient for Lydia and three young daughters.

 It was also agreed that Nathan and Lydia would have a divorce as soon as they wish or the law would permit.  Nathan signed his name to the separation agreement and Lydia signed by making her mark. The document was recorded the same day it was written - 2 September 1847.

And then ... something happened to change their minds. Less than two months later, the couple announced that a  "new order of things has taken place between them and Gray and wife having now thought better of it, they do mutually agree  ... to annul and make void the  ... articles of separation ..."[2]

"They do hereby pledge themselves to each other that they will henceforth faithfully and affectionately discharge their several duties as husband and wife and endeavor to live for the sake of themselves and their children in the affectionate and tender relation of husband and wife the remainder of their days."[3]

No clue is given in public records as to why the couple separated or reconciled, but they appear together with their children, including two born after the separation, on the 1850 Caldwell County census[4]. This isn't my family and I don't know many details, but Lydia was listed as married at her death on  28 November 1858.

[1] Caldwell County, Kentucky Deed Book N:251, 2 September 1847.
[2] Caldwell County, Kentucky Deed Book N:279, 16 October 1847.
[3] Ibid.
[4] 1850 Census, Caldwell County, Kentucky, 2nd District, p. 368A, image 314,, accessed 11 May 2015.

Published 25 June 2015, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Tombstone Tuesday - George S. Lefler

George S. Lefler
Born March 19th 1824
Died March 19th 1846

Buried Smithland Cemetery, Livingston County, Kentucky. Tombstone photographed 15 April 2013.

George S. Lefler/Leffler is not listed in any Livingston County, Kentucky record, but a tombstone bears silent witness to his burial in Smithland Cemetery. The only other person of that surname in Smithland in the early 1840s was John S. Leffler, who appears on the 1840 census and is on the Livingston County tax lists[1] beginning in 1842. In addition, George S. Lefler is buried in the Doyle family plot in Smithland Cemetery. John S. Leffler's wife was Martha Ann Doyle, who was buried there in 1874.

I have no proof, but I suspect George S. Lefler was closely related to John S. Leffler.

[1] John S. Leffler is shown on the 1842-1847 Livingston County tax lists with town lots in Smithland. His household contains one white male over the age of 21.

Published 23 June 2015, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,
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Thursday, June 18, 2015

Livingston County, KY Estate Administrators 1900

Administrators of estates were usually appointed in county court shortly after a person's death. Therefore, you get an approximate death date by the date of the administrator appointment. The appointment will be recorded in the county court minutes and sometimes in a separate administrator's bond book. The administrator was required to post bond with at least one person as surety for the faithful performance of his duties as administrator. A female administrator is called an administratrix. The following information comes from Livingston County, Kentucky Administrator's Bond Book C (1886-1905).The page number in the Bond Book is at the end of the entry.

W.H. Adams was appointed administrator of the estate of Cathrin McDaniel 1 Jan 1900. [p. 237]

G.W. Duly was appointed administrator of the estate of Thos. W. Sevills 6 Jan 1900. [p. 239]

George C. Martin was appointed administrator of J.L. Martin's estate 20 Mar 1900. [p. 241]

L.T. Worten was appointed administrator with will annexed of Mrs. Frances Worten's estate 2 Apr 1900. [p. 243]

L.T. Worten was appointed administrator of Sid M. Worten's estate 2 Apr 1900. [p. 245]

H.J. Ringstaff was appointed administrator of the estate of Calvin Driskill 24 Apr 1900. [p. 247]

Mrs. Elsie E. Haley was appointed adminisratrix of John R. Haley's estate 26 Apr 1900. [p. 249]

William B. Foster was appointed administrator of John Z. Beck's estate 2 May 1900. [p. 251]

A.J. Dunlap was appointed administrator of A.J. Ramage's estate 14 Jul 1900 in place of W.C. Ramage, Adm., dec'd. [p. 253]

Aaron L. Charles was appointed administrator of Reuben C. Decker's estate 3 May 1900. [p. 255]

Mrs. Sallie Jennings was appointed administratrix of Mrs. Emma Brandt's estate 9 May 1900. [p. 257]

Robt. M. Threlkeld was appointed administrator of W.C. Ramage's estate 4 Jun 1900. [p. 259]

Isaac A. Butler was appointed administrator of Mrs. E.F. Butler's estate 24 Jul 1900. [p. 261]

K.C. Adams was appointed administrator of Mrs. Sophronia Adams' estate 6 Sep 1900. [p. 263]

C.C. Kindall was appointed administrator of Joel F. Binkley's estate 3 Mar 1900. [sic] [p. 273]

James A. Trimble was appointed administrator of James R. Trimble's estate 19 Dec 1900. [p. 275]

 Administrator's Bond for Trimble Estate

Published 18 June 2015, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,