Thursday, November 14, 2019

Childress Cemetery - Caldwell County, Kentucky

Childress Cemetery is located between Otter Pond and Cobb in Caldwell County, Kentucky. This cemetery was recorded by the late Glenn Martin of Princeton, Kentucky on 14 October 1975 and was given to me by Mr. Martin in the mid-1990s.

Sarah J. wife of C.H. Thompson
Born March 8, 1849
Died Dec. 7, 1893

Nancy I.  wife of B.F. Ethridge 
Born March 26, 1847
Died Dec. 25, 1875 
Age 27 years  8 mos.

William Childress
Born July 13, 1827
Died April 27, 1871

William Childress, Sr. 
Born Oct. 11, 1785
Died Nov. 8, 1865

Nancy Childress wife of
William Childress, Sr.
Born April 14, 1792
Died Dec. 8, 1864

Martha E. Daughter of
R.C. & M. Childress
Born Feb. 20, 1861
Died Feb. 17, 1864

Floyd, son of
B. & M.J. Davis
Born Feb. 17, 1889
Died Feb. 27, 1889

Necie Pearl, daughter
of B. & M.J. Davis
Born Aug. 12, 1897
Died Sept. 7, 1899 
[on same stone as Floyd Davis]

Mary Hattie Davis
Born July 13, 1895
Died Dec. 27, 1901

Clint Davis
Born Dec. 21, 1899
Died Nov. 1, 1902

Thomas E. Childress, Father
Born Sept. 15, 1857
Died Jan. 28, 1900

Published 14 Nov 2019, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Livingston County, Kentucky Guardian Appointments 1869

A guardian was appointed when a person was unable to act for himself or was a minor (under the age of 21 years). The parents may or may not have been living. At the age of 14, a minor could choose his own guardian with the court's approval. If under the age of 14, the county court appointed the guardian.  In 1869 the appointment of a guardian was recorded in the county court order books (minutes) as well as in a separate guardian bond book. The following information has been abstracted from Livingston County, Kentucky Guardian Bond Book C (1863-1878) and County Court Order Book M. The notation in brackets refers to the county court order book and the page number. For example, M:539 refers to county court order book M, page 539.

E.S. Sills and J.B. Sills, over the age of 14 and infant heirs of J.J. Sills dec'd, chose A.J. Donakey as their guardian. Sureties: J.W. Donakey, W.P. Peek, W.T. Champion. 4 Jan 1869. [M:539]

A.J. Donakey was appointed guardian to Martha Sills, infant heir of J.J. Sills. Sureties: W.T. Champion, W.P. Peek, J.W. Donakey.  4 Jan 1869.[M:539]

W.P. Smullen was appointed guardian to Joanna Martin, Lewis Martin and Mary Martin, infant heirs of Wm. Martin dec'd. Sureties: G.G. Rappolee, K.B. Johnson.   4 Jan 1869. [M:541]

John C. Harris, Andrew J. Harris, Louisa J. Harris and Mary E. Harris, each over age 14 and the infant heirs of R.B. Harris dec'd, chose W.T. Champion as their guardian. Surety: J.W. Cade.   6 Jan 1869.  [M:544]

W.T. Champion was appointed guardian to Martha E. Cobb, under the age of 14. Surety: J.W. Cade.  6 Jan 1869. [M:544]

Kate Davis, infant orphan of T.M. Davis dec'd, selected Chas. B. Davis as her guardian, she being over age 14. Surety: Emily Davis.  16 Jan 1869.  [M:545]

Chas. B. Davis was appointed guardian to Frank Davis, under age 14 and the infant orphan of T.M. Davis. Surety: Emily Davis.  16 Jan 1869.  [M:545]

Martha W. Johnson, infant orphan of Levi Johnson dec'd, being over age 14, selected H.C. Byard as her guardian. Surety: S. Littlefield. 1 Mar 1869.  [M:555]

John W. Bell, infant heir of Levi Bell dec'd, chose David L. Bryant as his guardian. Surety: W.M. Threlkeld. 5 Apr 1869.  [M:558]

Geo. G. Rappolee was chosen guardian by Eliza, Emaline and Ben Egan Dunlap, all over age 14 and infant heirs of R.A. Dunlap. Rappolee was appointed guardian to Susan E., Andrew J. and Mary Dunlap, infant heirs of R.A. Dunlap, dec'd.  Surety: J.L. Hibbs.  5 Apr 1869.  [M:560]

Geo. C. Rappolee was appointed guardian to Leonara Hammons, infant heir of Geo. Hammons dec'd.  5 Apr 1869.  [M:561]

James W. Kayse was appointed guardian to his son, William J. Kayse, who is under the age of 14. Surety: Phillip Grassham. 5 Apr 1869.  [M:561] 

Aleander[sic] Hodge was selected by Mary C. Weller & Sarah P. Weller as their guardian. Surety: Octavius Hodge. 6 Sep 1869.  [M:597]

With the written consent of the mother of the children, O.G. Evertson was appointed guardian to Thurston W. Evertson, John R. Evertson and Lizzie Evertson, infant children of H.W. Evertson dec'd. Surety: Jos. Bridges.  6 Dec 1869.  [M:617]

 Published 7 Nov 2019, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Bastardy Case and Name Change

On the 18th day of September 1827 Eliza Bruff made oath before a Justice of the Peace in Livingston County, Kentucky, that she had been delivered of a female bastard child on September 14th,  1826 at the home of Hazle Leorns. [1]  She charged that Allen Hodge, labourer of the same county, had gotten her with child.[2]

In discharge of the warrant and, with William Pippin as his security, Hodge made arrangements for the support and maintenance of the child. Hodge agreed to pay notes of $25 yearly in 1829, 1830 and 1831 and also paid in hand to Eliza $29 and a note for $25 in 1828. The money was to be paid upon the condition that Eliza would agreed that the prosecution for bastardy would be dropped and would do everything within her power to have same dismissed. If she did so and the child lived, Hodge would pay the sums of money. If this did not happen, the notes would be void.  Each party agreed to keep the agreement.

The details of this agreement are not mentioned when it was recorded in the county court minutes. It stated only "by written agreement of the parties filed here in Open Court, same is ordered to be dismissed." [3]

Allen Hodge died before 8 November 1836 when Joseph Watts was appointed guardian to Julia Allen  Hodge, "heir of Allen Hodge, dec'd."[4]  

Eliza Bruff, who had charged  Hodge with fathering her child, was deceased by 6 Dec 1841 when "Cassander Bruff, heir and infant  of Eliza Bruff dec'd, being over 14 years of age appeared in Open Court and made choice of Jeremiah Crammer as for [sic] her guardian. " [5]  If Cassander was over age 14, she was born before 1827. Remember Eliza's child by Allen Hodge was born in September 1826.

Cassander/Cassandra  took the Hodge name as when she married Jeremiah Crammer just three days after Jeremiah was appointed her guardian, she gave her name as Cassandra Hodge.[6] No further record of Jeremiah and Cassander/Cassandra Crammer has been found, but the Hodge name continues in Livingston County today.

Jeremiah Crammer chosen guardian of Cassander Bruff
6 December 1841

Return of Marriage of Jeremiah Crammer and Cassandra Hodge
9 December 1841

Click on above documents for an enlarged view

[1] This surname is all but illegible. It could be Corn.
[2] Livingston County Clerk's Loose Papers (1827), Livingston County Clerk's Office, Smithland, Kentucky. Warrant served on Allen Hodge 19 Sep 1827.
[3] Livingston County Order Book G, p. 276,  1 Oct 1827.
[4] Livingston County Order Book I, p. 35, 8 Nov 1836.
[5] Livingston County Order Book I, p. 360,  6 Dec 1841.
[6] Kentucky, County Marriage Records, 1783-1965, Jeremiah Crammer married Cassandra Hodge 9 Dec 1841 Livingston County, Kentucky.

Published 31 Oct 2019, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Thursday, October 24, 2019

J.E. and Nancy Wilson of Smithland, Kentucky

J.E. Wilson
Born Octr 22
Died March 18th
Unveil thy bosom faithful lamp
Take this new treasure to thy trust
And Give these sacred relics room
To slumber in the silent dust

Consort of
J.E. Wilson
Born Jany 1st
Died April 16th
We laid beneath the grave's cold sod
Thy frame so lately ached with pain
But soon the joyful trump of God
Shall call it back to life again

Buried Smithland Cemetery, Livingston County, Kentucky. Tombstones photographed 30 August 2018.

The above J.E. [John E.] Wilson has often been confused with my ancestor, also named John E. Wilson, who lived on Crooked Creek in what is now Crittenden County. Until 1842, when Crittenden County was created from Livingston County, both men lived in Livingston County and both were married to women named Nancy. However, there are many differences between them. My ancestor lived in the part of Livingston County that is now Crittenden County and died 1853 in Crittenden County. The other John E. Wilson lived in Smithland and is buried in Smithland Cemetery.

J.E. Wilson, who is buried in Smithland Cemetery, shows up in Livingston County by 18 March 1830 when he married Nancy Hagey, daughter of John and Catherine Hagey.[1]

John E. Wilson obtained a license to keep a tavern at his house in Smithland for one year in July 1831[2] and, in 1836, he was granted a license for a tavern on Lot #7 at the corner of Mill and Front Streets, along the river front in Smithland.[3] There is no indication that Wilson's taverns were in the same location.

Wilson was also active in the community and was a Smithland town trustee in 1841 when a parcel of land was conveyed by Benjamin and Sterling M. Barner to the Smithland town trustees.[4]
John E. Wilson wrote his last will and testament 23 March 1850.[5] In  his will, he left one-third of his estate to his wife, Nancy, and, at Nancy's death, it was to go to his daughter, Ann Elizabeth Wilson. John E.'s brother, Henley, was appointed executor of the estate.

Note the date of death and compare it with the death date on his tombstone. Obviously, one of these dates is incorrect, but which one?  A check of the yearly tax lists shows that Wilson appears on the 1848 and 1849 tax lists, but, in 1850, Henley Wilson, Executor of J.E. Wilson dec'd, is listed with one town lot worth $5000.[6]  So, it is obvious John E. Wilson died 1849-1850 and that is as close as we may get to his actual death date.  It is of interest, too, that Nancy Wilson's death date is given as just one month after her husband's. Did they die of the same disease?

There are some unanswered questions about this couple. More research is definitely needed.

[1] Joyce M. Woodyard. Livingston County, Kentucky Marriage Records, Vol. 1 (Oct 1799-July 1839), (n.p., 1992), 105. John and Catherine Hagey signed a consent note permitting their daughter, Nancy, to marry John E. Wilson.
[2] Livingston County, Kentucky Court Order Book H, p. 41, 4 July 1831.
[3] Ibid, p. 325, 4 April 1836.
[4] Livingston County, Kentucky Deed Book GG, p. 61, 19 May 1841, recorded 20 May 1841.  Benjamin and Sterling M. Barner  to William Gordon, Gideon A. Haydock, John E. Wilson, John C. McGraw and William Smith, town trustees..
[5] Livingston County, Kentucky Will Book B, p. 127, dated 23 March 1850 and recorded 1 April 1850.
[6] 1848, 1849, 1850 Livingston County, Kentucky Tax Lists. On the 1850 list Henley Wilson, Exec. of J.E. Wilson dec'd, was shown with 1 town lot worth $5000, the same as was listed for John E. Wilson in 1848 and 1849.

Published 24 Oct 2019, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Smithland Cemetery Tour Book Available Now

Walking/Driving Tour Book of Smithland Cemetery is available now for a $5.00 donation or $6.00 if mailed. A number of  tombstones in this historic cemetery are featured with photographs. The book is available at the Log Cabin research center in Smithland or at Smithland City Hall. It can be ordered, also, by mail from the Livingston County Historical and Genealogical Society at PO Box 138, Smithland, Kentucky 42081. For more information on this book, contact the Society at 270-928-4656 week days between the hours of 1-4 p.m. or  Katherine Boswell at 270-928-4495.

Published 20 Oct 2019, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Road From James Ford's Ferry 1829

When residents wanted to open a new road or change an existing road, an application was made to the county court. Three or more men were appointed to view the road and report the advantages and disadvantages to the court.  If approved, the court would issue summons to the land owners to give testimony regarding why or why not the road should be approved. If approved, the court would order the road work to be done.   These road orders are usually recorded in the county court order books and some counties also have these transactions recorded in separate road order books.  The road orders are a good way to learn the names of neighbors. Yes, the James Ford mentioned below is the same man who operated Ford's Ferry Ohio in what was then Livingston County, but would now be in Crittenden County. John E. Wilson lived on the waters of Crooked Creek and was my 4th great grandfather.

On Monday, the 2nd day of November 1829, James Ford made a motion to the Livingston County Court  that George Witherspoon, Joseph Mercer, Dempsey Jerrald, John E. Wilson and Henry Shouse, or any three of them,  be appointed to lay out and mark a way for a road  from James Ford's ferry on the Ohio River to intersect the road leading from Centreville.[1]

Ten days later, George Witherspoon, John E. Wilson and Joseph Mercer made their report on the prospective road.
                "We the undersigned after being duly sworn, commenced to view & mark out a way for a road from Jas. Fords Ferry opposite the rock & cave, on the Ohio river, which was marked as follows: viz, At or near Barker's old landing, with the old way through a military survey of land, belonging to Mr. Singleton, living in Virginia, thence through the land belonging to the heirs of Joseph Morris of the state of Mississippi, thence through John Wider's Mr. Owen's, & then intersecting the Salem road, & keeping sd. road until it passes the house of Joseph Mercer, & through land belonging to Mary Mercer, thence through the land belonging to George Witherspoon, & by  Witherspoon's house, thence through Boling Thompson's, Jas. Hillhouse's, James Thompson's of Virginia, David Elder's, John E. Wilson's & by Wilson's house, David Mcleskey's, Richard Cruce's and Robt. Woodsides, and intersecting with the road leading from Centreville to Ford's old  Ferry, where Barker's old road did formerly.  The conveniences are these:  A nearer, and we think a better way for a road from Centreville to the Salt Works, than any other.  It is, for the most part, a dry ridge way, and yet tolerably well supplied with spring & stock water.  Another is that Crooked Creek where it crosses, is fordable, when it is not where the road from Centreville to Ford's old Ferry crosses it.  Another, that there is a Waggon makers Shop on this way.  Under existing circumstances, we do not think there is any inconvenience arising from the opening of this road, either to the public or individuals.  [signed] George Witherspoon, Jno. E. Wilson, Joseph Mercer."[2]

[1] Livingston County, Kentucky Court Order Book G, p. 393.
[2] Livingston County, Kentucky Clerk's Court Misc. Papers 1829-1830-1831,  County Clerk's Office, Smithland, Kentucky.

Published 17 Oct 2019, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Caldwell County Couples Eloped to Clarksville

Through the years, various towns  became popular  for "runaway" couples to go to marry. These places were usually out of state, where the marriage laws might be different from those in Kentucky. In pre-1900, some couples from Caldwell County, Kentucky went to Clarksville, Montgomery County, Tennessee to "tie the knot." The following marriage notices were abstracted from various area newspapers.

Married - At the Southern Hotel on Wed. morning, 9th inst., by Rev. A.D. Sears, Mr. J.C. Pace and Miss S.C. Ballard, all of Caldwell County, Ky.   Also at the Southern Hotel on Wed., morning, the 9th inst., by Rev. A.D. Sears, Mr. J.L. Ballard and Miss J.L. Blakley, both of Caldwell County. [Clarksville Weekly Chronicle, Sat., 12 Oct 1878, p. 3]

Squire Caldwell was called to the Northington House this morning to marry an eloping couple from near Blue Spring Church, in Caldwell County, Kentucky. The Squire performed the ceremony with all the dignity of a Reverend, and made James l. Merrick and Miss Emma Merrick man and wife, they being attended by Miss Julia Sanders and C.L. Armstrong.  [Clarksville Leaf-Chronicle, Wed., 12 Dec 1888, p. 4]

W.J. East and Miss Bettie Towery, of Caldwell County, Ky were united in marriage at the Northington Hotel by Esq. Z. Smith. This was a runaway couple, who selected this place to have their vows consummated. [The Nashville Tennessean, Sat., 10 Oct 1891, p. 4]

Mr. Fred Heppel Jr. and Miss Birch Cummins, of Caldwell County, Ky, were married in the parlor of the Arlington Hotel this morning, Z. Smith, Esq. officiating. The party was accompanied by the young lady's brother. [Clarksville Leaf-Chronicle Weekly, Fri., 12 Feb 1892, p. 5]

J.R. Chandler and Miss M.A. Farmer, accompanied by two young friends, eloped  from their homes in Caldwell County, Ky to this city [Clarksville] on horseback. They were married in one of the corridors of the courthouse today by Squire Z. Smith. They will return by the overland route and when they reach their destination will have ridden about 100 miles horseback in order to outwit their parents, as they were both under age required by the laws of Kentucky to marry. [Cincinnati Enquirer, Sun., 31 May 1896, p. 25]

Albert Pugh and Miss Maud Johnson eloped from Caldwell County, Ky and were married in this city [Clarksville] this morning at 7:30 o'clock. They drove in a hack overland all night to outwit their parents. [Nashville Tennessean, Thur., 8 Oct 1896, p. 3]

Published 10 Oct 2019, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,