Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!

This time last year I wrote my New Year's Resolutions. After reviewing them recently, I decided that they are good for another year as only a portion of them have been accomplished. Below is the modified list:

1. I promise to re-read all of my research notes and files with the expectation of finding new clues. The clues are there; I just need to find them. See Promise #2.

2. I promise to file all of my paper documents in the proper place. I failed miserably at this goal in 2008 and have spent too much valuable time searching for "lost" documents.

3. I promise not to take myself and my research so seriously that I can not enjoy the everyday pleasures of living. Life is full of joy and I intend to participate in this experience as much as possible

4. I promise to devote more time to the living than the dead as the dead aren't going anywhere and will be there long after the living have given up on me. This is a brand new goal for 2009 and one I fully expect to attain.

Goals I have reached in 2008:

1. I have not laughed once when someone told me they have traced their ancestry back to Adam and Eve. Ok, so I snickered behind my hand, but just one time.

2. I have responded to 126 queries with no acknowledgement from the query-makers. I dropped this goal from the 2009 list - it is too annoying.

3. I have cited all sources accurately and fully - I think. Well, maybe I should keep this on the list for 2009, just in case.

4. I have decided where my research papers, books and files will be placed after I am gone - like it or not, they're going to get the whole shebang - every scrap of paper, highlighted books, misfiled files - all of it and it's in writing so they have to accept it.

For all of you, I wish you the very best of luck, much success and tremendous joy in 2009. Don't forget to listen to the music of life and do a little dance for the pure pleasure of living!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Tombstone Tuesday - Bostick Child

Henry Ritter
Ema Ritter
Dema Ritter
Sweet Potatoe
Caroline Bostick
Daughter of
Bob & Suckey Catlen
Born at Social Circle
Died at Wetumka 1852

From 1997 to 1999, I published the Bostick OnLine Newsletter. In the November 1997 issue, I mentioned a 1935 North Carolina newspaper clipping showing the tombstone of a muchly-named child in Alabama. No one had any additional information on this child or the tombstone. Imagine my delight when I received an email and the above picture from Harvey N. Clapp of Selma, Alabama a few days ago. He stated that the tombstone had been on the property of his wife's family in the woods near the intersection of Jasmine Hill Road and Old Montgomery Highway in Wetumpka, Alabama, but unfortunately, the tombstone had been stolen sometime in the past 25 years. A Massachussetts newspaper had carried an article on the tombstone and stated it was for an African-American child.

Thanks to Mr. Clapp for sharing this tombstone picture. While this is not a tombstone in western Kentucky, it was just too good not to share. If anyone has additional information on the child or the tombstone, please let me know.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Executions in Western Kentucky

Legal executions have existed a long time in Kentucky with the preferred method for much of that time being hanging. In 1911, the first legal electrocution was introduced at the Kentucky State Penitentiary in Eddyville, Lyon County. The following article from the Crittenden Record-Press of 13 July 1911 gives the details:
“ Eddyville, Ky., July 8 - Calmly without the support of anyone, Jim Buckner, the 18 year old murderer of Policeman John Roby of Lebanon, Ky., walked into the death chamber at the branch penitentiary at sunrise this morning and sixteen minutes later his lifeless body was prepared for burial. The first execution of a condemned prisoner by electrocution in Kentucky was a pronounced success, in speed, painless and the absence of the horrible features attendant upon public hanging.”

The first white man hanged in Kentucky in a generation was William DeBoe, 21, of Paducah and formerly of Livingston County. He was accused of criminally assaulting a storekeeper’s wife. At that time, Kentucky law dictated that rape was punishable by hanging and electrocution was reserved for other capitol offenses.

DeBoe denied the attack on the woman, but admitted he had committed three robberies. The man was convicted and sentenced to death by hanging in Smithland, Kentucky. At dawn on Good Friday in April 1935, he was led to the scaffold in the Smithland jail yard. His accuser and her husband, at whom DeBoe directed a tirade of insults and accusations, were among the mass of spectators.

According to an article in in the 20 April 1935 issue of the Evansville Courier, DeBoe patted the sheriff on the back and asked if he was talking too much. The sheriff told him he was entitled to have his say. DeBoe continued talking for over 40 minutes - until words could no longer delay the inevitable. G. Phil Hanna, the hangman, promised DeBoe to see that he would “go easy.” DeBoe thanked him and then took his final steps toward his fate.

The black mask was put in place and the noose was adjusted. He was pronounced dead at 6:45 a.m.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Smithland Lodge No. 138 in 1858

Smithland Lodge, No. 138, at Smithland, Ky.
Received a Dispensation prior to August, 1844. Chartered August 1844, John P. Bryan being first Master. Reports 40 in 1858, but only 39 members listed. List courtesy of Marty Hodge.

1. Beverly, W.
2. Boyers, J.S.
3. Burgress, J.L
4. Cade, J.W.
5. Coleman, R.W.
6. Croker, Thos.
7. Davis S.N.
8. Egan, B.F.
9. Ellis, Jas.
10. Ferguson, R.G.
11. Fowler, Jas. H.
12. Given, H.F.
13. Gooch, J.C.
14. Guthrie, J.C.
15. Haynes, E.P.
16. Haydock, R.M.
17. Haydock, Theo
18. Hamelton, Jas
19. Hagey, G.W.
20. Harrison, Rob
21. Johnson, John M.
22. Jones, Jno. H.
23. Layman, J.M.
24. Lackey, Thos.
25. Lackey, Wm.
26. Leech, J.C
27. Leffler, John S.
28. Love, J.C.
29. Martin, Jno. A.
30. McCarter, John
31. McKee, Jno. W.
32. Noe, R.
33. Scyster, J.V.
34. Singleton, JW.
35. Thomas, Edwin
36. Thrift, J.W.
37. Wheeler, W.P.
38. Williamson, G.D.
39. Wooldridge, Ed

Washington Beverly (ca 1810 - February/March 1871) was the police judge of Smithland. He married Cassander McCawley and they had James M., Sarah A., Henry H., Rody Lake, Mary Ellen and Martha Washington.

B.F. Egan (Benjamin F. Egan, born ca 1827 in Kentucky) was a nephew of Benjamin and Sterling M. Barner of Smithland. He married Nettie Miller 15 May 1856 Davidson County, Tennessee and had Frank and Kittie/Kate Egan. He was the owner, along with Capt. Joshua V. Troop, of the Lexington, a sidewheel wooden hull packet.

Theo Haydock was the son of Joseph Haydock (1800-1835) and Maria Ferguson (1806-1834). He is listed as an heir of Joseph Haydock in Livingston County Court Order Book H, 9 June 1838. Theodore Haydock was enumerated on the 1860 McCracken County, Kentucky census in the household of R.M. and Elizabeth Haydock. The Haydock family came from Union County, New Jersey.

G.D. Williamson, having married Mina McCawley 15 August 1850, was the son-in-law of James McCawley, one of the earliest settlers of Smithland.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!

My wish for each of you during this magical season is that you have much Peace and Joy. Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Tombstone Tuesday - Ning Mitchusson

Ning Edward Mitchusson
1832 - 1908

Buried Fernwood Cemetery, Henderson, Kentucky.
Photo courtesy of Marty Hodge.

The following obituary is taken from the Henderson Daily Gleaner on Friday, 11 September 1908.

Ning E. Mitchusson, an old and well known citizen of this city, died at his home, corner of First and Ingram streets, last night at 10 o’clock, from the effects of a paralytic stroke received 15 months ago and from which he never recovered.

Starling’s History of Henderson County says in its sketch of Mr. Mitchusson, “He is one of those peculiarly good, big hearted men whom all respect, and who, in return, lets his light shine, that he is universally liked by all with whom he is acquainted.”

The subject of this sketch was born in Princeton, Ky., August 29, 1832, and was 76 years of age last August. He received his education at Cumberland College. He married Miss Maria Rudy in 1861 at her home in Lyon county. Mr. Mitchusson followed farming in Caldwell county after reaching his majority until 1862, when he moved to this city. He engaged in farming here and led a Christian life and was well thought of by all who knew him.

He was very fond of children and could be seen on the streets with several around him up to the time he was stricken with paralysis and was unable to go out upon the streets.

The deceased is survived by his widow and three daughters, Mrs. Ignatius Spalding, of Paducah; Mrs. J.D. Johnson, Hot Springs, Ark. and Miss Bessie Mitchusson, of this city.

The funeral arrangement will be made today.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Nichols School Census 1900 - Caldwell County, Kentucky

Of the western Kentucky counties in which I research, all have school census records dating back to the late 1890s. Lyon County is fortunate in that their school census records go back even earlier to 1885. These records are in the form of loose papers (Crittenden, Caldwell and Lyon counties) or bound volumes (Livingston County) and are located either in the county clerk’s office or in the school board office. The following record for Nichols School was located in the school board office, Princeton, Kentucky.

The following format is used: Name of parent or guardian, names of children between the ages of 6 and 20 (even married children), birthdates of children and address of the family.

J.W. Sell, parent/guardian of Porter M. Sell born 26 December 1890 and William E. Sell born 11 May 1892. Dulaney

R.H. Craig, parent/guardian of Mary E. Craig born 2 May 1861, John N. Craig born 1 August 1883, Ruth Craig born 28 April 1886, Annie E. Craig born 5 February 1891 and R. Frank Craig born 8 September 1893. Princeton.

J.S. Martin, parent/guardian of Fred Martin born 10 April 1886 and N. Nellie Martin born 5 February 1891. Princeton.

H.G. Cash, parent/guardian of Gladys Cash born 19 May 1893. Dulaney.

T.L. Cash, parent/guardian of Helon Cash born 17 April 1883, Tommie Cash born 3 July 1886, Sudie Cash born 23 July 1889 and Katie Cash born 6 May 1893. Dulaney.

N.M. Sell, parent/guardian of Robert B. Sell born 15 May 1886 and Roy C. Sell born 27 April 1893. Princeton.

J.T. Beck, parent/guardian of Laura Beck born 24 May 1881, Herbert S. Beck born 7 October 1882, J. Walton Beck born 29 Aug 1884, L. Clinton Beck born 15 December 1886, Bessie Beck born 18 April 1889, William R. Beck born 31 January 1892 and James T. Beck born 7 February 1894. Princeton.

S.J. Rucker, parent/guardian of Clyda J. Rucker born 5 December 1889 . Princeton.

Jas. C. Wheatly, parent/guardian of Cora L. Wheatly born 22 December 1883. Princeton.

Eli Nichols, parent/guardian of Gertrude Nichols born 3 November 1882, Nannie Nichols born 5 October 1884, Birdie Nichols born 19 October 1888, Myrtle Nichols born 15 September 1893 and Leonard Hubbard born 27 May 1884. Princeton.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Bigham Lodge No. 256 - Marion, Kentucky

Bigham Lodge, No. 256, at Marion, Ky.
Received a Dispensation prior to August, 1853, Chartered August, 1853, John S. Gilliam being first Master. Reports 62 members in 1858

1858 Members
Asher, Wm. R.
Beals, J.C.
Bigham, C.C.
Blue, John W.
Bristo, J.C.
Bristo, Jno. S.
Bristo, M.
Carter, D.W.
Clement, J.N.
Clemons, J.R.
Clements, Wm. B.
Chisson, J.H.
Coleman, Alex
Crider, Wm.
Cruce, Ewell
Cruce, Presley
Dollins, W.W.
Duvall, Thos. M.
Flanagan, J.N.
Flanary, J.A.
Fowler, Jas. M.
Fowler, Jno. S.
Fowler, R.E.
Fritts, Henry
Gilliam, John S.
Gilbert, A.C.
Gilbert, James M.
Gilbert, John M.
Gilbert, M.G.
Gilbert, P.M.
Heath, B.M.G.
Heath, Rob.
Hodge, J.A.
Hodge, Singleton
Haggard, Wm.
Hughes, Jas. H.
Hughes, J.M.
Hughes, J.W.
Hughes, Matthew
Lamb, J.M.
Lamb, Jno. S.
Lemon, Eli M.
Loftin, J.G.
Lucas, J.C.
Lucas, Sidney K.
Mitchell, John
Moore, Jas.
McDowell, John
McConnell, Wm. B.
McMican, J.B.
Ragsdale, M.V.
Rochester, Wm. H.
Stewart, R.G.
Threlkeld, Willis M.
Titherington, R.M.
Travis, C.W.
Travis, Daniel
Travis, J.H.
Walker, J.H.
Williams, G.H.
Williams, R.R.
Wilson, Geo. P.

Courtesy of Marty Hodge of Crittenden County.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Letter to Santa

Dear Santa,

I have been awfully good this past year. I’ve shared my information, helped new genealogists get started on their research and kept my files up to date ... well, soft of, but two out of three isn’t so bad, is it? Won’t you reward my good behavior by granting my wishes? Just in case you can’t read my mind, here they are:

Please, can you let me know who fathered the children of Julina Caroline Vaughn, including my great-grandfather, David Vaughn? She left few clues and I have just about run out of places to search.

While you are at it, can you find out the identity of the father of the children of Rebecca, Julina’s mother? Both of these ladies have caused me much distress by keeping these names secret for so many years.

I know my ancestor, John E. Wilson, married a daughter of Hugh McVay as his first wife before 1807, but please, Santa, could you find out her given name and just whisper it in my ear? I promise to share with all the other McVay and Wilson researchers.

Some Rand family researchers say my William Rand died in the poor house in Stokes County, North Carolina because of “liquor, fast horses and women.” Please Santa, can you find out if this is true? It would be ever so nice to fill in that gap on my family group sheet and I promise not to think badly of him.

And finally, Santa, my ancestor, Thomas Joyce, and his brother, Alexander, first show up buying land in Lunenburg County, Virginia in 1748. Had they just arrived from Ireland or did they live somewhere else in America before settling in Lunenburg? There is a lot of controversy about this situation and all of their descendants would be thrilled to know the truth. Reveal this secret and I'll spread the word and list you as my source.

Santa, I know you're kind of busy right now and if I have asked too much, don't worry. I’ll be happy if you can grant just two or three of my wishes.

P.S. I will leave a plate of cookies and cup of milk for you by the tree.

With anticipation,


Dycusburg Masonic Lodge No. 232 in 1864

List of the Members of Dycusburg Lodge No. 232
J.M. Klapp
W.W. Stewart
J.A. Yandel
N.B. Hayward
S.H. Cassidy
T. Vosier
P. Grasham
J.H. Bishop
E. Donnly
W.B. Milican
W.T. Perkins
Geo. W. Travis
Wm. Redd
R.M. Johnson
J.T. Gordon
A.H. Morris
D.B. Cassidy
R.H. Brown
J.H. Clifton
Wm. H. Rushing
A.P. Crider
D.P. Campbell
R.S. Shelby
G.W. Hall
J.W. Bettis
A.M. Wray
J.B. Stephenson
Silas Davis

The above list is from a book of members dating from 1864 and goes through 1873. This page is provided by Matthew T. Patton at

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Tombstone Tuesday - John E. Wilson

John E. Wilson
Nov. 2, 1853
About 73 Years

Daut. of
John E. & Nancy
Mar. 18, 1843
Aug. 7, 1852

Buried at Crooked Creek Cemetery, Crittenden County, Kentucky. The last line of the inscription is now below ground. This tombstone has become badly stained by the elements in the past few years. Many tombstones display a hand with the finger pointing upward, signifying "Gone to Heaven." It is of interest that on this tombstone, the finger points sideways. Does that mean "Gone Thataway?"

John E. Wilson, my ancestor, was born in North Carolina and probably came to what is today Crittenden County with his first father in law, Hugh McVay, by 1816. Born to the first marriage with Miss McVay were Manerva, Claibourn, Martha/Patsy and Letty Keziah. Following the death of his wife, Wilson married Harriett Brooks, daughter of Dabney Brooks, 11 November 1816 Livingston County, Kentucky. Born to this union were Mary P., Eleanor Brooks, Harriet Cassander (my line), Franky and Sarah. Harriett Brooks Wilson died circa 1830 and John E. Wilson, in 1831, married Nancy Franks, daughter of John and Juda (Brown) Franks, who left Laurens County, South Carolina to settle first in Smith County, Tennessee and later in Livingston County ca 1830.

John E. Wilson and Nancy Franks had three children: Pernesia, Sarah (named for her sister who had died shortly before the second Sarah [above] was born) and Claibourn (named for his brother, Rev. Claibourn, who had died the year of the younger Claibourn's birth).

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Dycusburg Masonic Lodge No. 232 in 1858

The following has been contributed by Marty Hodge of Crittenden County, Kentucky.

Dycusburg Lodge, No. 232, at Dycusburg, Ky. Received a Dispensation prior to August, 1851; renewed August, 1851. Chartered August, 1852; Wm. Redd being first Master. Reports nineteen members in 1858.*

1858 Members
1. Bacon, Gilly M.
2. Bishop, James M.
3. Cassidy, Daniel B.
4. Cassidy, Howard
5. Cassidy, Samuel H.
6. Cobb, Thos. J.
7. Dunn, A.F.
8. Eades, Rev. Wm. R.
9. Gordon, John F.
10. Hall, Geo. W.
11. Johnson, Rich M.
12. Light, Rev. Sam
13. Marshall, Geo. M.
14. Moore, David D.
15. Munnion, Joseph
16. Paul, Rev. Tim S.
17. Randle, Henry P.
18. Redd, Wm. Jr.
19. Travis, Wilson

* Morris, Robert. The History of Freemasonry in Kentucky, in its relation to the symbolic degrees. To which are added, in the form of notes and brief historical abstracts, an American masonic bibliography. Louisville: 1858.

Henderson Area News 1896

Items from the local newspapers can help "flesh out" our stock of knowledge of our ancestors. Hoping to entice more readers, the editors made sure these old papers were full of names and events, not only of the county in which the newspapers were located, but also the surrounding area. The following items can be found under Local Items in the Henderson, Kentucky Twice-A-Week Gleaner of Monday, 13 October 1896.

At a regular meeting of the board of commissioners for the Western Kentucky asylum for the insane held Wednesday, Miss Lula Nell, a daughter of the late Senator Nell, who resigned his position and accepted the place as warden of the Frankfort penitentiary, and who died a few weeks since, was sworn in as matron of the institution, in the place of Miss Laura Cromwell, who recently resigned.

Enoch Potts was killed several days ago near Pinkneyville, Crittenden county, by a falling tree. He was cutting the tree down and was struck by it as it fell. His skull was crushed in a horrible manner.

Jacob Zimbro Jr. won the bicycle roadrace from this city to Robards. The premium was $20. The quarter mile race at Robards was won by Willie Wigal, premium $5.

Lynn Hodge and Chas. Shelby, the two last of the four negroes who murdered Cliff Pippin, in Livingston county, were given 15 years each in the penitentiary last Saturday. Hodge was tried and given 15 years, and Shelby, whose case had been continued, pled guilty and was given 15 years also.

Dr. G.W. Campbell, of Dixon, passed through the city enroute to St. Vincent, where his daughter is attending school.

Cicero Slaughter is having a first class canopy top wagon made at Delger's buggy factory to carry Slaughter Bros. musical show to the South this winter.

Richard Patterson and Mrs. Sarah Oldham were married yesterday at the residence of Mrs. Polly Rapler. The ceremony was performed by Esq. J.H. Connaway, of Hebbardsville.

Today invitations will be issued to the marriage of Miss Bettie Eakins and Mr. George D. Givens, a rising young lawyer of this city. The prospective bride is the daughter of Mr. J.Wm. Eakins. The wedding will take place on the afternoon of Tues., October 20th.

Col. A.S. Winstead has received from his daughter a rabbit's foot, the rabbit having been killed in a graveyard on Friday at midnight on the 13th day of the month, by a bow-legged, one-eyed man. The foot now hangs from the fob-chain of the Col.'s watch and makes his future one of safety.

Barney McDermont, 65, died yesterday at the residence of Mr. Conns on First street, his ailment being malarial fever. He was a typical representative of the "Ould Sod" and a faithful friend. He came here direct from Ireland about 1856. Interment in St. Louis cemetery.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Rambling Thoughts

In case you are interested in wasting even more time online, you might want to check out my new blog, Rambling Thoughts ... Out of My Mind

All thoughts and opinions are entirely my own and do not represent those of others. I take full responsibility for each word of nonsense.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Western Kentucky Post Offices 1865

The following list of western Kentucky post offices was found in the 1865 Evansville, Indiana City Directory. Do you know how many survive?

Caldwell County
Pollard’s Tan Yard

Crittenden County
Bell’s Mines
Camp Creek
Crittenden Springs
Ford’s Ferry
Shady Grove

Livingston County
Ross’s Ferry

Lyon County

Union County
Gum Grove
Hearen’s Store

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Funeral Customs

Funeral customs vary from place to place, depending on the era, culture and area. I have always been fascinated by the practices in other states.

One of my earliest funeral memories was being a flower girl at the funeral of a great aunt in southern Illinois. The flower girls were often nieces or great nieces and carried flowers from the church to the burying ground nearby. Dressed in my best dress and mary jane shoes, that vase of flowers was clutched tightly to my chest. That must have been sometime in the early 1950s.

Years later while living in Michigan, I mentioned that memory to friends and they had never heard of having flower girls at funerals. I know it was common in western Kentucky as well as southern Illinois, but that custom must not have spread to other parts of the country.

Another custom that has fallen out of favor is having the viewing of the decedent in the home. When my grandmother died in the late 1950s, her casket was placed in a corner of the dining room. A family member sat next to the casket day and night and visitors came and went at will, with the remains not being moved to the funeral home until shortly before the funeral service. The smell of carnations was so strong in that room of my grandfather’s house and it made such an impression on me that, for years later, I could not be in that room without catching the scent of the funeral flowers.

Another thing that has changed in western Kentucky is the use of music at funeral home services. When my father died in 1975, a lady from his church sang his favorite hymns. I can remember her voice just soaring through that room - a truly beautiful version of "How Great Thou Art." Today, recorded music is often used and it doesn't have the same personal touch that a live person provides.

Customs and times change. Were funeral things done differently in your area? Would you share them with us?

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Tombstone Tuesday - Presley A. Reese

Memory of
Presley A. Reese
who was born Nov.
24th 1816
departed this life
July 27, 1841

Alas my friends
Dry up your tears
I must be here
Till christ appears

Presley A. Reese was the son of Elisha Reese, who died testate in 1848. Elisha and Presley A. Reese are buried in the Reese family plot at Union Baptist Church Cemetery, Crittenden County, Kentucky. Presley A. Reese married Susannah M. Mansfield, daughter of the Rev. James W. Mansfield, 8 June of 1841 in Caldwell County, Kentucky and was married slightly more than a month when he died. Tombstone photographed 17 November 2008.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

In Memory

The blog is dedicated to the memory of my parents, one of whom died on the 6th of December and the other was buried on that day. Both are buried in Salem Cemetery, Livingston County, Kentucky.

John Morgan Joyce
13 January 1913 - 6 December 1975

Lavern Croft Joyce
7 July 1919 - 4 December 2006

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Deed of Release of Services

Another way to emancipate an underage child is through a Release of Services as seen in Livingston County, Kentucky Deed Book EE, page 246, 21 January 1837:

"Know all men by these presents that I, David Brown Father of William Washington Brown and Jos. Newton Brown the first aged Eighteen on April next, 9th day, the second aged sixteen on 9th August next, both of my sd. sons now living with me, Do by these present and from this date henceforth, permit sd. boys to trade for themselves, own, contract and sell any property they may obtain and possess from this time henceforth, and I do hereby disclaim any right or authority I have or might have to control & govern sd. boys, or any right I may have to their service. They are free from me to act as their own men, to work for themselves without any hindrance or interference on my part. I am prompted to this as an act of justice to my sd. sons, I am unable to give them any thing for their services and likely will not be better able when they are Twenty one years old. [signed] David Brown.

"The foregoing Deed of Release from David Brown to his sons Wm. Washington Brown and Jos. Newton Brown was this day produced in my office by David Brown and acknowledged to be his act and deed. Recorded 21 January 1837." [signed] Jas. L. Dallam.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Emancipation or Manumission?

Copyright by Brenda Joyce Jerome, CG
May not be copied without written consent

Two words that are often used interchangeably are “manumission” and “emancipation.” Both define the act of freeing a person from the control of another, but there is a slight difference in the word meanings.

According to Black’s Law Dictionary, Sixth Edition, manumission is “the act of liberating a slave from bondage and giving him freedom.” Emancipation is “the act by which one who was unfree, or under the power and control of another, is rendered free, or set at liberty and made his own master.”

By these definitions, it appears that a slave is manumitted, or emancipated, by his master-owner while a father might emancipate, but not manumit, a minor child and allow him to act for himself.

An example of an emancipation can be found in a file marked “Notes” in the Caldwell County Clerk’s office, Princeton, Kentucky. On 15 June 1830, John Ross wrote the following statement: “Know all men by these presents that I John Ross have this day have given my two youngest sons Samuel H. Ross and Bartholomew Ross a free clerence from under my hands, for to act as if they were men of age, by the law of the state, for to make trade and trafic for themselves and be responsible to every person who may trade with them.”

The manumission of a slave woman named Lilly, the property of Samuel Givens of Union County, Kentucky, is recorded in Gallatin County, Illinois Deed Book A, page 71 and is dated 21 March 1820. Givens stated that “having had in my possession a negro woman Lilly do for divers good causes & considerations ... and in consideration of the sum of $300 to me in hand paid by said Lilly hereby liberate, manumit and set free from bondage and service as a slave, the said negro woman Lilly ..."

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Tombstone Tuesday - Ezekiel C. Green

E.C. Green
in Pendleton
District S C
Aug 22 1795
April 6, 1851

Buried in Smithland Cemetery, Smithland, Livingston County, Kentucky.

Ezekiel was an early resident of Smithland and also owned an island in the Ohio River immediately below the junction with the Cumberland River.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Longshore Lamb Revolutionary War Marker

The descendants of Longshore Lamb, a Revolutionary War soldier who settled in Caldwell County near Claxton before 1810, are raising funds to erect a marker in his memory at the Lamb Cemetery. Longshore and his wife, Sarah Lee, had the following children: Mary (Polly) Lamb-Crow; William Lamb; Elizabeth Lamb-Reaves-Vaughn; Levi Lamb; Margaret (Peggy) Lamb-Farmer; Jensey Jane Lamb-Clayton; John Lamb, Sr.; Moses Lamb and Martin Lamb. Unfortunately, Longshore's exact burial location is unknown, but a memorial marker will be erected.

If you are a Lamb descendant and would like to make a donation toward this monument, please send a check or money order to: Matthew T. Patton, 509 Onward Ave., Phoenixville, PA 19460-5932. For more information, e-mail

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Vaughn Family of Livingston County, Kentucky

Above is a photo of David Vaughn, his children and his mother. David is holding my grandmother, Nettie C., who was born in 1897. The older woman in the long black dress is Julina "Lina" Vaughn, David's mother.

Everyone has at least one brick wall in their research. I have several, but one of the families that has been most difficult to research is my Vaughn line of Livingston County, Kentucky.

I have solid documentation back to my great-grandfather, David Vaughn and to David’s mother, Julina Caroline Vaughn (July 1827 - after 1900). From Julina backwards, the picture gets murky. It appears that Julina, aka Lina, had four sons, William (ca 1844-before May 1859), David (1846-1924), W. Richard (1854-1930) and Jackson (1859-after 1910) and one daughter, Eliza J., a twin to William. The murkiness partially stems from Lina’s inability or refusal to acquire a husband. Researching unmarried mothers and their ancestors presents a challenge.

In his will, William McCrosky of Salem left to Lina’s “oldest son William 10 shares of capital stock in the Southern Bank of Kentucky, being $1000 in my own name on the books of the bank, certificate dated 17 October 1853.” Whether there was a blood relationship between McCrosky and William Vaughn remains a mystery, but it is hard to believe that he would single out this child if there was no connection. If McCrosky was the father of William Vaughn, he had to have been the father of William’s twin, Eliza J. [aka Jennie]. Why did he not leave any property to her?

I haven’t a clue about the father or fathers of the other children. A number of years ago, an older relative said she thought David Vaughn’s father was named Howard. She also said Mr. Howard went away to war, possibly the Civil War, and when he came home, Lina had made different living arrangements. Search for a Mr. Howard did not reveal any likely candidates and the Civil War was just a bit too late to fit what I have documented.

Another brick wall within this brick wall family has to do with Rebecca Vaughn, who most likely was Lina’s mother. Almost every researcher of this Vaughn family has stated that Rebecca’s maiden name is unknown and she was a widow when she married John Jacob Burner the 21st of April 1834 in Livingston County. Maybe, but I think not. I believe the marriage to Burner was her first - no matter how many children she had before that marriage. Perhaps she started the tradition of children before marriage in this family.

Rebecca was born between 1810 and 1812, either in Kentucky or Tennessee, depending on which of the two 1850 Livingston County census listings you favor. In one census, she is listed as head of household and in the other she is a member of the household of Henry and Elizabeth Vaughn, likely her son and daughter in law. I believe she had several children, including Julina Caroline, born 1827 and died after 1900; William Henry, born circa 1829, married Eliza Jane Hull 8 January 1850 and died before 15 June 1853; George W., born circa 1838, married (1) Susanna Morgan 1857 and (2) Amanda Martin Porter 1867, moved to Dunklin County, Missouri; and Jerome, born circa 1841 and died during the Civil War in 1864.

So, if Rebecca Vaughn married Mr. Burner in 1834, what happened to him? He is not on the 1840 Livingston County census, but Rebecca appears and is listed as Rebecca Barner. There is an older man, between the ages of 70 and 80, in her household, but seems much too old to have been Mr. Burner. My hunch is that older man was Rebecca's father. On the 1850 census, Rebecca is once again Rebecca Vaughn.

Quite by accident, I found that John J. Burner filed for divorce from Rebecca “Faughn” in 1843 in Caldwell County. He stated he lived with her from the time of their marriage [1834] until about five years ago, at which time Rebecca “voluntarily abandoned ... and positively refuses to live with him any more” and he prays for a divorce. Andrew Brown gave a deposition, in which he stated that he saw Rebecca when she was “moving and heard her say she had left Jake ... and would never live with him again.” Brown also stated he saw her “suckle a child which she claimed as her child that must have been born more than a year after she left her husband.”

The divorce was granted, Rebecca became Rebecca Vaughn again and John Jacob Burner disappeared. Often in early Kentucky, a woman was summoned to the county court to name the father of an illegitimate child so the child would not become a charge on the county. In other cases, the family of the husbandless mother would take on the responsibility of the support of the child and there might not be a record in the county court minutes. Possibly this was the case with Rebecca and Lina Vaughn as no bastardy bond or summons to court for either of them has been found.

Now, the next brick wall. Who was the father of Rebecca? There are two candidates: Daniel Vaughn and Hector Vaughn. According to the 1810 and 1830 Livingston County census records, Hector was born between 1770 and 1780. Daniel was born between 1780 and 1790. At this point, it is impossible to determine if Daniel was a younger brother or a son of Hector. He may not have been either, but they lived in the same general area and I feel there was a close relationship. Also, I feel it is likely that Sarah Vaughn, who married George Fisher in 1828 and who was enumerated a few households away from Rebecca and family on the 1850 census, was a close relative, maybe a sister, to Rebecca. For the most part, the Vaughns and Fishers are buried at Ditney (New Union) Cemetery near Lola, Kentucky.

I still have much to do, but, bit by bit, I am adding pieces to this puzzle. Anyone had any luck with seances?

Published 30 November 2008, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Friday, November 28, 2008

Kentucky State Penitentiary


Front view of the Kentucky State Penitentiary, Eddyville, Kentucky prior to 1931.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Daughter of the American Revolution

The following obituary appeared in the Kentucky Morning Herald, 29 November 1904.

Smithland, Ky., Nov. 28 - Mrs. Susan Stringer Bennett, the last Daughter of American Revolution in Kentucky, and one of the few in the country, died at her home, five miles from here, yesterday. She was ninety-four years old last April, and until a very few years ago, when she sustained severe injuries from a fall, was in splendid health and very active. Mrs. Bennett's father, Leonard Stringer, was born in Georgia in 1760, and entered the Revolutionary army, and drove a provision wagon until old enough to enter regular service. A grant of land of 287 acres in Washington County, Ga., was given him for his services by Edward Telfar, Captain, Governor and Commander-in-chief of Georgia.

Mrs. Bennett claimed her father was intimately acquainted with George Washington, and that she had often seen him riding with Andrew Jackson. She remembered well when her half-brother and stepbrother returned from the War of 1812. The bed in which she spent the last few months of her life is over a century old, and the old log cabin in which she resided had been her home since she entered it as a bride over seventy years ago. Mrs. Bennett was the grandmother of Zed A. Bennett, County Superintendent of Schools of Livingston County.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Our Thanksgiving Day dinner menus have not changed a great deal since this one, which appeared in the 24 November 1921 issue of the Henderson Gleaner.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Tombstone Tuesday - H.F. Given Family Tomb

View of Smithland Cemetery from the top of the hill with the Ohio River in the background.

H.F. Given Family Tomb, Smithland Cemetery, Smithland, Livingston County, Kentucky. All photographs were taken in early November 2008. Click on each picture for an enlarged view.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Blooming Rose School

The above photograph is supposed to be of students at Blooming Rose School in Crittenden County and was given to my mother not long before her death. No date is given, but it is believed that my grandmother, Nettie C. Vaughn (1897 - 1958), was about 14 or 15 years old at the time. It struck me how much my mother looked like her mother and how much I resemble both of them. Note how it seems as if each person is lost in his own thoughts, including the two little faces looking out the window. A moment in time captured forever.

The persons are identified thusly:
Back Row: Claud Belt, Harry Johnson, Kenny Clark, unknown
Front Row: unknown, unknown, Nettie (Vaughn) Croft [my grandmother], Hollis Franklin, teacher who later became President of Farmers Bank, Florence (Clark) Suits, Eva (Croft) Belt.

Published 23 Nov 2008, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Obituary of M.R. Waller 1908

Most western Kentucky counties had a weekly county newspaper and usually printed everything of interest to its readers, including births, deaths and marriages. For those counties with no extant newspapers, you might find you need to read newspapers of neighboring counties. The following obituary can be found in the 6 November 1908 issue of the Henderson Daily Gleaner, which routinely covered happenings in Union County. This is good as Union County's newspapers are non-existent prior to 1924.

Morganfield, Ky., Nov. 3 - After an illness of several weeks Mr. M.R. Waller died at his home in this city about 2 o’clock Sunday morning. By his death an old landmark and one of our most prominent citizens was removed from our midst.

For several months Mr. Waller had gradually grown weaker from the infirmities of old age, and for several weeks the family had known the end was near. Everything possible was done for him during his last illness; every attention that loving hands could bestow was shown him.

The funeral occurred yesterday morning at 10 o’clock, the services being conducted by Rev. Thomas, pastor of the Methodist church, at the family residence.

The interment took place at the Masonic cemetery, and the large number that gathered at the grave manifested popularity of the deceased and the high esteem in which he was held.

The pall bearers were Messr. Robt. Mason, Jap Waller, Parker Offutt, J.K. Waller and Nace Waller.

The deceased was a native of Union county and a member of one of the oldest, largest and wealthiest families in the county. The Waller family has been identified with the progress of our county since its earliest history and no member of that family has been more prominent than the subject of this sketch. He was a son of Aaron Waller and grandson of John Waller, a native of Wales, who settled in Union county in 1805.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Livingston County Strays 1811

Found livestock and other items, including boats, were taken before the local justice of the peace and appraised. If no one claimed the item after a period of time, the found items could become the property of the “finder.” The following entries have been abstracted from Livingston County Stray Book A 1799 - 1852, which can be found in the Livingston County Clerk’s Office, Smithland, Kentucky. Strays found in 1810 were published in this blog on 18 October 2008.

Taken up by Thomas N. Shelby near Centreville on 18 January 1811, one stray bull appraised by Moses Shelby at $4.50 before H. McDaniel, J.P.

Taken up 19 January 1811 by Jacob Forman, living on the Ohio River, one bay mare appraised by John Bowling & Hugh Blythe before Wm. Rice, J.P.

This day [date not given] appearing before Robert Kirk, one of the Justices of the peace for Livingston County, was Arthur Love, John Mitchel & William Love and saith that they have valued one horse taken up by Andrew Love, a brown colt appraised to $30.

Also the above appraisers hath appraised one heifer taken up by Andrew Love and appraised to $3.50 before Robt. Kirk, J.P.

Taken up 14 January 1811 by John Reed, living on Deer Creek, one bay mare with a colt appraised to $35 by Jno. Hardin & John Craig before Jos. Reed, J.P.

Taken up by John Reed 14 January 1811, Deer Creek, a bay mare with a colt appraised to $25 by Jno. Hardin and Jno. Craig.

Taken up by Richd. Fulkerson [no date], one boar appraised to 75 cents by Frederick Fulkerson & Dempsy Coffield before Jos. Reed, J.P.

Taken up 10 Feburary 1811 by Robert Leeper near Centreville, a stray horse appraised to 25 cents before Hiram McDaniel, J.P.

Taken up by James Golliher 26 January 1811, a mare appraised to $18 before Jos. Reed, J.P.

Taken up 11 March 1811 by George Tremble at or near the Rock in Cave ferry on the Ohio River Kentucky shore, one perogue supposed to be near 61 feet long, no marks or brands except a split in the bow, loaded with staves, the perogue supposed to be worth $8 as appraised by Moses Graham, Joseph Tremble and Andrew N. Hawthorne before Robt. Kirk, J.P.

Taken up 21 April 1811 by Edward Lacey Senr., one grey horse appraised to $15 by Charles Campbell & Wm. Love before Robt. Kirk, J.P.

Taken up by James Quinton on the piney fork of Tradewater 27 May 1811, a mare appraised to $18 by Wm. Stephenson & Francis Liddle before S. Fowler, J.P.

Taken up 23 March 1811 by Samuel Nunn near Tradewater, one cow and a young calf appraised to $7.50 by Ezekiel Preston & Ira Nunn before Jos. Miller, J.P.

Taken up by James Hewy [no date], living on the waters of Byo Creek, a mare appraised to $45; also a bay mare, a natural trotter, appraised to $30 by George Robertson and James Fauster before Wm. Rice, J.P.

Taken up 25 November 1811 by Wm. Pippin on Deer Creek, two hogs examined by Thomas Champion and James Hodge and valued to $5 before Jos. Reed, J.P.

Taken up 30 November 1811 by Isaac Gaskins on Crooked Creek, a bay mare appraised to $30 by Robt. S. Caldwell and Reuben Jackson before S. Fowler, J.P.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Crittenden County Hospital

The old Crittenden County Hospital still stands on N. Walker Street in Marion, but is in disrepair. The photograph is possibly from the mid-1950s. Courtesy of Marty Hodge of Marion.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Tombstone Tuesday - John A. Hodge

John A.
Mar. 4, 1813
Dec. 5, 1898

Think of man as
you pass by
As you are now so
also once was I
As I am now so you
must be
Prepare for death
and follow me

Union Church Cemetery, Crittenden County, Kentucky

John A. Hodge was the son of William Hodge and Nancy Josephine Dancy, according to descendant, Lucinda Wilcoxen. John A. married (1) Mary Reece and (2) Isabelle E. Long Sisco Massey. The unique tombstones in the background are for the Reece family. Click on the photograph to enlarge it. Tombstone photographed 17 November 2008.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Importation of Slaves 1853

In 1798, a act was passed which dealt with the importation of slaves into Kentucky. In 1833, this act was ammended to exclude the importation of slaves into Kentucky unless their owners intended to settle in the state. If they met this criteria, the slaveowners were required to take an oath as shown in the following document, which can be found in Livingston County, Kentucky Deed Book 2, page 68. Similar documents may be found in separate books, titled "Importation of Slaves," in other western Kentucky counties.

" ... Thomas J. Barrett states that on the 3rd day of December 1852 he purchased by his agent in the city of New Orleans, Louisiana the following Female slave Lucinda aged Twenty years and Louisa aged three years said slaves were imported or received in this state about the 10th or 12th of December 1852. I do swear that I have not purchased or received and imported into the state of Kentucky the slaves named in this list this day made out by me and filed with the clerk of Livingston County for my own private use, that they were not purchased for sale or speculation or to be treated as merchandise, that I do not believe any of them has been imported into the United States since the first day of January 1808 or that any of them has been convicted of felony in any other state or territory. Given under my hand this the 8th Day of January 1853." T.J. Barrett.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Why Do You Do Genealogy?

When you are really frustrated at not finding the information you want to know, do you wonder why you even do genealogy? I do, but only for a short time. Genealogy has been such a big part of my life for so long that it is hard to imagine life without it.

But why do I do genealogy? It isn’t in hopes of finding a connection to a famous person - I gave up that hope six months after I started researching. From the very beginning of time, or so it seems, my ancestors were hard working farmers whose lives centered around providing the basics for their families. None achieved greatness in terms of money, land or personal fame, but most were blessed with courage and perseverance. I’ll take those traits over money any day.

That still doesn’t tell you why I do genealogy. I can’t answer in one word, but I can give you three reasons why genealogy is so important to me.

  • The need to know my place in the world - the place where I belong, where I can call home and where my history is known. I think we all have that need and it is what drives us to find the answers in genealogy.

  • The need to organize - the need to fit each ancestor and his family into their own proper place and time. There is a sense of accomplishment when gaps are replaced with facts. This is why I still use the old fashioned family group sheets. I can see at a glance the information I have and the information I still need. When the group sheet is complete, it is time to go on to the next one.

  • Genealogy is just plain fun! There is a thrill each time a piece of information is found and connects to another bit I already have. I have met some wonderful people in this journey to find my ancestors and I would not trade the experiences I’ve had for any amount of money.

  • Why do you do genealogy? I bet you can’t answer in one word either.

    Wednesday, November 12, 2008

    Livingston County, Kentucky Lunacy Record 1875

    The following lunacy record was found in Livingston County Loose County Clerk's papers, Box 19 - July term 1875, Livingston County Clerk's Office, Smithland, Kentucky.

    State of Kentucky, Livingston County} To the Town Marshal of Smithland, Sheriff or Jailor of Livingston County: Whereas Charles S. Lyon has been brought before me on a charge of Lunacy you will summon Twelve discreet house Keepers to attend at the Court House instanter for the purpose of inquiring into the condition of the mind of sd. Lyon and you will make due return of this writ. Given under my hand this 1st day of July 1875. J.K. Huey, Judge L. County.

    The Commonwealth of Kentucky, Livingston County Court Special Term July 1st 1875. Hon. J.K. Huey, County Judge Presiding. Commonwealth of Kentucky, Plaintiff Against Charles S. Lyon, Defendant} Charge of Lunacy. The Defendant Charles S. Lyon being in open Court, and N.H. Bigham Esq. County Attorney being present - ordered that John W. Bush Esq., a practising attorney of this Court be and he is hereby appointed to represent the Defendant.

    And therefore the following Jurors, viz, J.W. Drewry, T.C. Leech, J.T. Cochran, J.V. Scyster, E. Brandstetter, A.J. Ramage, A.D. Dougherty, J.M. Clark, J.H. Dean, E.G. Clark, James Stroud and R.A. Clopton, appeared and were duly sworn as the law directs, and after hearing the evidence and examining the accused, returned the following verdict, Viz: "We the Jury find that Charles S. Lyon, the person whom we have in Charge is of unsound mind, that he is a Lunatic, that he has lost his mind since his birth, that he has not been destitute of mind from infancy, but lost his mind about the 13th day of May 1875, that the probable causes from the evidence, was Spiritualism, Religion and Love. He was born in Livingston County Kentucky and has been a resident of sd. county up to sd. date, that he was not brought here to become a charge upon the Commonwealth and that he has Real Estate and personalty amounting to about six Hundred Dollars as follows - 2 Houses and Lots in Smithland worth $500, Set Blacksmith Tools $15, Set Chest Tools $15, Wardrobe $10, Trunk $5, Bedstead & Mattress $7 and about Two Hundred and Fifty seven worth other articles, One sealed Package in safe of C.B. Davis - contents unknown - Both his parents are dead and he is not capable of performing Labor to support himself."

    And therefore it is adjudged by the Court that Charles S. Lyon is a Lunatic and E.G. Leeper is hereby appointed a Committee to sd. Lunatic, and E.G. Leeper appeared in Court, and he together with C.B. Davis his surety executed bond and acknowledged covenant to and with the Commonwealth and approved by the Court. Sd. Committee is further directed to immediately convey sd. Lunatic to the second Lunatic Asylum at Hopkinsville Ky without waiting to send to the Keeper thereof. It is further ordered that sd. committee be allowed a guard to assist him in conveying sd. Lunatic to the aslum.

    Tuesday, November 11, 2008

    Tombstone Tuesday - Benjamin Barner

    Benjamin Barner was born in 1790 and died in 1865 Livingston County. He is buried in Smithland Cemetery near his nieces, Pattie and Mary Barner, daughters of his brother, Sterling M. Barner. Benjamin and Sterling M. Barner were early commission merchants in Smithland. Their home, also called the Massey House, still stands on East Charlotte Street, but is in disrepair (see blog of 21 August 2008). This photograph is from July 2008.

    Saturday, November 8, 2008

    My Favorite Veterans

    In honor of Veterans' Day, I am posting a picture of my favorite veterans - my nephews, Jeff and Mark Joyce, and their father, my brother, Col. John P. Joyce (1938 - 2001). The photo was taken at Mark's army commissioning ceremony (Second Lieutenant, U.S. Army Reserves) in California in 1985. I am very proud of each of them.

    Thursday, November 6, 2008

    Edwin Hodge

    Edwin Hodge, at present general manager of the Imperial Tobacco Company’s business in Kentucky, is probably one of the best known tobacconists in the state. He has been closely identified with the industry for practically half a century, and his influence has been steadily directed along constructive lines for this benefit and welfare of all engaged in any branch of the tobacco business.

    Mr. Hodge, whose home for many years has been at Henderson, was born at Marion in Crittenden County, Kentucky, July 2, 1854. He is descended from Henry Hodge, who was one of three brothers to come from England in Colonial days and settle in North Carolina. His son, Robert Hodge, was born in North Carolina, and came to Kentucky at the beginning of the nineteenth century. Edwin Hodge, grandfather of the Henderson tobacco man, represented the third generation of the family in America. He was born in Livingston County, Kentucky, in 1805, spent his life was a farmer, and died in 1837. He married Nancy S. Hughes in 1828, and after his death she became the wife of Dr. J.S. Gillium. Her father, Joseph Hughes, was a native of North Carolina and an early settler in Livingston County, Kentucky, and was the son of a Revolutionary soldier. Joseph Hughes served at one time as a member of the Kentucky Legislature.

    The only son of Edwin and Nancy Hodge was the late Dr. Joseph A. Hodge, who was born February 2, 1829, in that portion of Livingston County subsequently Crittenden County. He grew up in the home of his stepfather, Doctor Gillium, whose example and influence were the chief factors in directing him to the study of medicine. After completing his common school education he began the study of medicine under Doctor Gillium at Marion, and in 1850, at the age of twenty-one, graduated from Louisville University.

    From 1850 for thirteen years he practiced in Crittenden County, and on April 28, 1863, moved to Henderson, where for many years he was one of the leading physicians and surgeons of Western Kentucky. He was honored with the office of president of the Kentucky State Medical Society in 1875. He was also a member of the oldest medical organization in the state, the McDowell Medical Society, and was a member of the Henderson County and American Medical associations, and for a number of years was on the Board of Examiners of the Third Judicial District in Kentucky. He was reared a whig in politics but after the war voted as a democrat, and was a member of the Presbyterian Church. This highly honored physician and surgeon and citizen of Henderson died August 30, 1908, when nearly eighty years of age.

    On December 4, 1851, Doctor Hodge married Susan A. Linthicum, who died May 1, 1891. Her father was Doctor Rufus Linthicum. She became the mother of nine children: Rufus L., Edwin, Mary L., Eliza A., Emma, Antonia M., William A., Susan and Nellie H. Rufus and Susan died in fancy, while the others reached maturity and all but one married. Edwin Hodge was nine years of age when his parents moved to Henderson. He grew up in that city, attended private and public schools, and at the age of eighteen became a bookkeeper for a Henderson tobacco firm. In 1877 he began his independent career as a tobacconist, and exporter. He was in business under his own name until 1891, and for four years following was associated with Arthur B. Jarvis under the firm name of Hodge & Jarvis. Then from 1895 until 1902 he was again in business and in 1903 became general manager of the western business of the Imperial Tobacco Company of Great Britain and Ireland. This great corporation was organized in 1902, with a capital stock of $75,000,000. Mr. Hodge has the general management of the company’s business in Kentucky, with headquarters at Henderson. For many years he has kept in close touch with thousands of tobacco growers and dealers, and has always maintained the highest reputation for fairness and justness in all his dealings. His business interests have required a great deal of travel, and for many years he was a regular visitor to England in the interest of his business.

    Mr. Hodge became one of the original directors of the Ohio Valley Bank & Trust Company of Henderson. He has been active as a member and official of the Presbyterian Church, and is one of the liberal and public spirited citizens of Henderson. In 1883 Mr. Hodge married Miss Frances Alexander Ditto, of Meade County, Kentucky, daughter of Thomas H. Ditto. They have two sons, Thomas Ditto Hodge and Edwin Hodge Jr.

    Source: Connelley, William Elsey, and E.M. Coulter. History of Kentucky. Volume IV. Chicago and New York: The American Historical Society, 1922

    Tuesday, November 4, 2008

    Tombstone Tuesday - Adaline Gill

    Wife of
    Francis Gill
    Aug. 25, 1818
    Sept. 15, 1894

    Buried at Crooked Creek Cemetery, about 1 1/2 miles from Marion, Crittenden County, Kentucky. Tombstone photographed 1991.

    Monday, November 3, 2008

    McCracken County, Kentucky Helpful Sites

    There are two websites you might want to add to your list of genealogy favorites. Both are for McCracken County, Kentucky information, but, we all know that it was not unusual for people from Livingston, Caldwell, Lyon and even Crittenden Counties to move to Paducah or go there to marry.

    Oak Grove Cemetery
    Scroll down to Cemetery Burial Records.

    McCracken County Marriage Index
    Click on Records Search.

    Saturday, November 1, 2008

    Crittenden County Lunacy Record 1862

    Deb Atchley has been running Lyon County, Kentucky lunacy records on her blog, Genealogy, Middle Age & Life . These records provide some great information and are worthy of inclusion in our research plans at the courthouse. Lyon County’s lunacy records begin in the late 1880s while those in Crittenden County were not recorded in a separate book until 1906. Prior to that year, a citizen of Crittenden County thought to be a mentally unsound appeared before a jury of twelve people given the task of determining the state of the person’s mind. Those records are found in the county court records. Be sure to note the possible causes of David Bourland's illness. It does make one wonder what criteria was used to determine the illness.

    The following record was found among the loose county court papers in Crittenden County clerk’s office, Marion, Kentucky.

    The Commonwealth of Kentucky}
    To the Sheriff or any Constable of Crittenden County Whereas it has been suggested to the Judge of our Crittenden County Court by the attorney for said county that David Bourland of said county is of unsound mind and having petitioned said court for an inquisition as to the condition of the mind Estate &c of David Bourland you are hereby commanded to Summon a Jury of Twelve fit and proper persons to appear in our Court instanter[?] on the first day of our present Term to inquire into the State of the Mind of David Bourland and whether he hath any Estate and if any the nature and Extent thereof and such other Matters and things as may then and there be given them in charge concerning the condition of the person and Estate of David Bourland .... Witness Berry S. Young Clerk of our said Court this 20th day of Nov 1862.

    Commonwealth of Kentucky County of Crittenden}
    We G.W. Elder, M.G. Gilbert, Isaac L. Wheeler, B.B. Crow, John Gilbert, Henry Howerton, J.W. Hill, L.C. Travis, C.S. Cain, H. Davis, H.C. Gilbert, E.M. Lemon, jurors empanneled before J.C. Elder judge of the Crittenden County Court on the 20th day of November 1862 at Marion to inquire into the facts as to whether David Bourland is a lunatic or idiot find and return the following verdict: “We find the said David Bourland is a lunatic and has been a lunactic for Five Months and previous to that time he had been of entirely sound mind from infancy. No other cause than the financial and political troubles of the Country has been developed by the evidence. He was born and raised in Hopkins County, Kentucky, has resided in Crittenden County for the last Fifteen or Seventeen years. Said Bourland owns Real Estate in Crittenden of the value of about Four Thousand Dollars and personal estate about or nearly equal to his liabilities. Bourlands Mother is supposed to be living and in very moderate circumstances. She lives in Illinois. David Bourland is capable of very little or no labor at this time. Bourland is about Forty Three years old, is married and has several Children, is farming, has been a saddler & has lately been merchandizing.”

    Friday, October 31, 2008

    Crittenden County Petition 1854

    Any document that identifies where a person lived, whether it is state, town or precinct, is a valuable document. The following petition identifes a number of men and the precinct where they lived. The document was found among loose county court papers, Crittenden County clerk's office, Marion, Kentucky.

    We the Undersigned Voters of Crittenden County Would Respectfully Represent to the Hon. County Court of said County tht whereas we live remote from the place of Voting in our respective precincts and Much More Convenient to the County site We therefore ask that your Honor would so chang us as to enable us to vote at the town of Marion and we will ever pray &c May 4th 1854.

    Daniel Bealmear
    Wm. P. Bealmear
    Wm. Millikan
    Solloman Millikan
    L.W. Burklow
    George W. Millikan
    Pleasant Miller
    Belous Boaze
    David Owen
    all of Dycusburg

    Josiah Davidson
    Wade Hughes
    Joseph Duncan
    all of Hurricane

    Matthew Hanks
    J.J.C. Boyd
    L.C. Travis
    Smith P. Hamby
    James Camper
    Wm. P. Alexander
    Sandford M. Turley
    ____ Nichols
    Abram Jordan
    all of Piney

    Tuesday, October 28, 2008

    Tombstone Tuesday - Jeremiah Wilson

    There are two tombstones for Jeremiah Wilson, who died 7 June 1850 and is buried in the Wilson Family Cemetery, off Bells Mines Church Road in northern Crittenden County. The tombstone on the left is handcarved and has no dates. The tombstone on the right was professionally carved. This photo was taken 27 November 1989.

    Jeremiah Wilson was born 1 December 1802 probably in Tennessee and came to what was then Livingston County at an early date.

    Jeremiah Wilson married Dolly H. (surname possibly Taylor), who was born 11 September 1808, died 21 January 1892 and who is also buried in the Wilson Family Cemetery. They had the following children: Ruth Malvina, Nancy N., George P., Joseph E., William J., America Elizabeth and Margaret A.

    Jeremiah owned land on the Tradewater River, Ohio River and on Camp Creek. In 1849, he gave one acre for a "baring ground and to build a church to be used for all denominations of Christians that believe in fundamental doctrine of Religion ..." Bells Mines Cumberland Presbyterian Church was built on this land.

    Published 28 Oct 2008, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog

    Saturday, October 25, 2008

    Slave Pass - 1814

    Copyright by Brenda Joyce Jerome, CG
    May not be copied without written consent

    When traveling away from his master's property, a slave had to be prepared to show a "pass" from his owner. The following pass was found among Caldwell County, Kentucky Affidavits 1810 - 1872, Caldwell County Clerk's Office, Princeton, Kentucky.

    "The bearer my Negro woman Sally is here by permitted to pass Unmolested, & to hire herself to anyone she may please & Receive the benefit of her own wages untill otherwise directed by me. Given under my hand this 22d March 1814. Joshua Vail"

    Thursday, October 23, 2008

    George T. Garrett C.S.A. Pension Application

    The following application for C.S.A. service was read at the Kentucky Dept for Libraries and Archives, Frankfort, Kentucky.

    George T. Garrett Pension #389

    George T. Garrett, now living in Mexico, Crittenden County, Kentucky, served in the 30th Tennessee Volunteers, Company E. He was born 11 March 1845 Sumner County, Tennessee and enlisted in the Fall of 1861. He was discharged at Port Hudson, Louisiana in 1863.

    He was imprisoned at Camp Butler, near Springfield, Illinois and was released by exchange at Vicksburg, Mississippi in 1863. He took the oath of allegiance in 1863 in Gallatin, Tennessee after being discharged because of disability. He applied for a pension 13 May 1912. He has lived in Kentucky 22 years.

    The application includes a copy of his death certificate, which shows the following information: He was born in Virginia 11 March 1845, died 18 September 1925 and was buried at Mexico, Kentucky. His father was James B. Garrett and his mother was Caroline King, born Virginia. The informant on the death certificate was J.S. Lynch of Repton, Kentucky.

    Included in the pension file are depositions of George T. Garrett, A. Bucklew, J.C. McKain and Thos. E. Ellis. Garrett stated he had no income except from day labor. He has lived in Crittenden County 27-28 years and has a wife and one son, age 15 years. J.C. Rochester of Marion witnessed this deposition and stated he has known Garrett about 20 years. A. Bucklew of Marion stated "Mr. Garrett has been living in sight of my house 5-6 years ... and have known him about 6 years." J.C. McKain and Thos. S. Ellis of Sumner County, Tennessee stated Garrett was a comrad and served with them in the Confederate army.

    Monday, October 20, 2008

    Livingston County, Kentucky Courthouse

    Livingston County, Kentucky Courthouse 20 October 2008. Built in mid-1840s.

    Saturday, October 18, 2008

    Livingston County, Kentucky Strays 1810

    Found livestock or other items, including boats, were appraised before the local justice of the peace. If no one claimed the item within a specified amount of time, the item became the property of the "finder." The following entries have been abstracted from Livingston County Stray Book A (1799 - 1852), Livingston County Clerk's Office, Smithland, Kentucky.

    12 January 1810: West Harris on Hurricane waters posts before Robert Kirk, Justice of the peace, a grey mare and sorrel colt valued by Wm. T. Power, Zach. Duncan & John Brown.

    22 January 1810: John S. Young, living on Hurricane Creek, posts before Robert Kirk, J.P., a dark brown filly appraised by Anthony Graves, James Tremble & Nathaniel Dial, housekeepers, to $35.

    27 January 1810: Hugh Carethers, living on Deer Creek, posts a brown mare appraised to $20 by John Given, Robert Scott & James Tremble, housekeepers.

    [no date]: Taken up by William Little, living on Deer Creek, one sorrel horse appraised to $10 by Robt. Coffield & Peter Larue before Jos. Reed, J.P.

    19 February 1810: Taken up by James Price, living on Pigeon Roost Creek, waters of Trade water, a dunn bull appraised to $3 by William Clark. Joseph Miller, J.P.

    24 January 1810: Taken up by Wm. Hughes on Crooked Creek, a red cow & calf appraised to $10 by Leroy Buford & David Jarrard. S. Fowler, J.P.

    24 January 1810: Taken up by Leroy Buford on Crooked Creek, a brown steer appraised to $10 by Wm. Hughes.

    12 February 1810: Taken up by Wm. G. Pickens on Clay Lick Creek, a brown bay colt appraised to $28 by James Cozby & Alexr. M'Cleskey. S. Fowler, J.P.

    19 February 1810: Taken up by Wm. Pickens on Crooked Creek, a barrow appraised to $2.50 by Wm. Dickey.

    [no date]: Taken up by Wm. Pickens on Crooked Creek, a mixed coloured bull appraised to $2.50 by Israel Pickens.

    3 March 1810: Taken up by John Harrington Senr., one bull appraised to $6 by Howell Harrington & Drewry Harrington. Robt. Kirk, J.P.

    19 March 1810: Taken up by William Boggs on Cumberland River about 5 miles from Smithland, a bay horse appraised to $25. William Rice, J.P.

    3 March 1810: Taken up by Alexander M'Cleskey on Crooked Creek, 4 sows appraised to $2 each and 17 shoats appraised to 50 cents each by Andrew Stevenson.

    21 April 1810: Taken up on William Woods living on the waters of Trade water, a bay horse appraised to $50 by James Kirkwood & John Hall. Joseph Miller, J.P.

    31 March 1810: Taken up by Jonah Hibbs near the Ohio about 5 miles from the mouth of Cumberland River, a dark brindle steer appraised to $5. William Rice, J.P.

    20 April 1810: Taken up by Wm. Thompson on Deer Creek, a pale dun horse appraised to $18 by Richd. Peal & Jno. Tolly.

    25 May 1810: Taken up by Robert Duff living on dry fork of Livingston Creek, one sorrel yearling colt appraised to $5 by John Hardin & Jas. Dunn.

    21 August 1810: Taken up by John Starnes near the mouth of Crooked Creek on the Ohio River, a flat bottom boat which was a drift and which is made of poplar and ash wood 25 feet 6 inches long, 12 feet 6 inches wide and a bow 5 feet 6 inches high without any cover, appraised by Charles Coleman.

    26 August 1810: Taken up by Joseph Scott living near Smithland, one sorrel horse appraised to $41.25. Joshua Scott, J.P.

    19 November 1810: Taken up by James Noell, a black mare appraised to $25 by Van Lofton & Stephen Perkins.

    2 November 1810: Taken up by Moses Shelby on Livingston Creek near Centreville, one red cow appraised to $6 by R.S. Caldwell & Wm. Shelby. H. M'Daniel, J.P.

    12 November 1810: Taken up by Jacob Adams living on Sandy Creek, onw brown horse appraised to $12.50 by Thomas Terry & Hugh Blythe.

    Friday, October 17, 2008

    Main Street, Princeton, Kentucky

    Undated photo postcard of Main Street, Princeton, Caldwell County, Kentucky. Note the buggies and wagons and horses.

    Wednesday, October 15, 2008

    A View of Crowell Cemetery

    This is an old, undated photograph of a portion of Crowell Cemetery, located on Nunn Switch Road in Crittenden County, Kentucky. The tombstone in the front of the photo reads:
    Melvin Son of
    I.R. & D.T. Tosh
    Oct. 17, 1917
    Oct. 2, 1923

    Directly behind the Tosh tombstone is one that reads:
    Wife of A.L. Orr
    Born Sept. 17, 1887
    Died Mar. 14, 1917

    Both tombstones have pictures of the deceased.

    Tuesday, October 14, 2008

    Crittenden County, Kentucky Wills 1842-1924

    The new book, Crittenden County, Kentucky Will Book 1 (1842-1924) has been delivered and I am in the process of mailing them. This book is still available and if you would like a copy, please send your payment to Brenda Joyce Jerome, PO Box 325, Newburgh, Indiana 47629-0325. The soft cover book contains not only a transcription of all recorded wills for the stated time period, but also five rejected or unrecorded wills. The book has 234 pages plus a 20-page, full-name index. The price of $31 includes mailing. Indiana residents must add $2.10 for state sales tax.

    Monday, October 13, 2008

    Caldwell County, Kentucky Petiton 1811

    The above undated note was found in a box of loose papers marked Miscellaneous Documents - Notes. This is likely the petition presented by Robert Rankin at the 4 March 1811 session of county court with a request that he be exempt from the payment of county levy. Mention of this petition can be found in County Court Order Book A, page 145. The note reads as follows:
    “to the honorable the Court of Caldwell greton your humbler pettioner prayeth for Releaf from a poll tax as I am now in my Sixty and Sevent year of my Eage and verry onfite for leabor and I have gone throu the Revolusionary Warr and lost all my property in the Same and was Left the Scond Shirt to my back when I got hom to my famelay therefor your humble puttionar hopeth that your honors Will grant this my puttion and yor puttionar Shall ever pray” [signed] Robert Rankin.

    Sunday, October 12, 2008

    Livingston County, Kentucky Courthouse

    Livingston County, Kentucky Courthouse
    Top picture undated. Bottom picture about 1909.
    Built in mid-1840s. Still in use today.

    Saturday, October 11, 2008

    Lyon County, Kentucky Courthouse

    Undated photograph of old Lyon County, Kentucky Courthouse at Eddyville, Kentucky

    Friday, October 10, 2008

    Lyon County, Kentucky Guardian Bonds 1859

    Guardian appointments were recorded not only in county court minutes, but also in guardian bond books. Both of these records are usually found in the county clerk’s offices with the exception of one county. Because of very limited space in the Lyon County courthouse, many of the older records, including bond books and county court minutes, have been transferred to the Kentucky Dept for Libraries and Archives. The following records have been abstracted from Lyon County Guardian List Book, microfilm roll #7003714, which is available from KDLA in Frankfort, Kentucky.

    Stephen B. Tisdale was appointed guardian of W.H. Tisdale and Martin C. Tisdale 4 February 1859.

    F.M. Glenn was appointed guardian of Nancy J. Glenn and Jas. T. Glenn 4 February 1859. Settlement was filed 18 March 1861.

    Robeson Cobb was appointed guardian of John H. Heath, Edwin Heath, Chas. F. Heath and Isabella M. Heath 19 March 1859. Settlement was filed 27 May 1861.

    J.W. Clark was appointed guardian of A. Warren Clark 27 June 1859.

    Giles L. Cobb was appointed guardian of Elizabeth Walker 24 October 1859. He reported 3 March 1861 that nothing had come to his hands.

    R.N. Cobb was appointed guardian of Geraldine Stone, Josephine Stone, Ellen Stone, Nancy Stone and Lavenia Stone 7 December 1859. He reported February 1861 that no estate had come to his hands.

    Thomas Gregory was appointed guardian of James T. Gregory 26 December 1859.

    N. Langston was appointed guardian of D.M. Guess and Joel W. Guess 26 December 1859.

    Sarah Hollingsworth was appointed guardian of Chas. R. Guess 26 December 1859. She reported 4 April 1861 that no estate has come to her hands.

    Wednesday, October 8, 2008

    A Later View of the Crittenden County, Kentucky Courthouse

    Another view of the Crittenden County Courthouse.

    Crittenden County, Kentucky Courthouse

    Undated postcard of the Crittenden County, Kentucky Courthouse. The County Clerk's Office is located on the left side of the photo, behind a tree.

    Tuesday, October 7, 2008

    Subscription School Pledges 1852

    In order to obtain an education for their children, parents of students were obliged to pledge payment to either the school trustees or the teacher. The following list of subscribers was found in a county court case in which the trustees of School District 31 in Crittenden County, Kentucky sued John Yates for non-payment of his pledge.

    We the undersigned promise to pay to the Trustees of School District No. 31 Crittenden Co Ky. the amount set to our names for the support of a common school in sd. District for the term of Five months (twenty weeks) the school to commence in September next. August 1852.

    J.L. Maxwell $5.00
    Andrew Love paid
    Jordan Hoover $5.00
    B.B. Terry 8.00
    Jesse Lucus paid
    J.M.[?] Smart 3.00
    John R. Jones 4.00
    John Yatz 10.00
    James Davis 2.00 [marked out]
    S.A. Farmer paid 5.00
    Richard Elson 5.00 [marked out]
    Alexr. Coleman 5.00
    S.G. Stevens 5.00
    R.A. Love 6.00
    O.B. Migget 2.00
    Arthur Love 5.00
    Berry Ellison 6.00
    A. Franklin 5.00
    William Love paid 5.00
    George Clarke 3.00
    Jordan Doubty 1.00
    Jesse Champion paid 2.00
    P. Kidd paid 4.00

    Monday, October 6, 2008

    Find the Clues in this Deed

    Here is another great deed that provides family information. It can be found in Deed Book 7, page 183 - 184, Crittenden County Clerk’s Office, Marion, Kentucky. Don’t you wish this type of information could be found for all of our ancestors!

    “Whereas A.B. Rankin of Crittenden County Departed this life intestate on the 23rd day of April 1898 and was at the time of his Death the owner to several Hundred acres of land and other personal property including notes &c. Now, in consideration of the sum of $800 to me in hand paid, one Jersey Cow, by W.B. Rankin and J.L. Rankin, T.A. Rankin, S.C. Holdman and R.L. Rankin, children of said A.B. Rankin Deceased, I hereby sell convey unto said parties, all of my Homestead & Dower right in and to all of the entire Estate of said A.B. Rankin Deceased, including all the lands Houses, lots & all of the personal property of every Kind & description, that said A.B. Rankin owned or claimed to be the owner of at the time of his death, including money, notes, choses in action, whether in Crittenden Co Ky or elsewhere; also all my right of Dower in and to any Estate that he may be entitled to from any other source, whatever since his death, and I hereby surrender peaceable possession of all of said property to said parties ... but I am not in any manner whatever to be responsible for any debt or demand of any kind that may be in existence against the estate of said A.B. Rankin dec’d ...” [signed] Nancy Rankin. Deed of conveyance from Nancy Rankin, widow of A.B. Rankin Dec’d, to W.B., J.L., T.A. & R.L. Rankin & Sally C. Holdman, was on 14th day of November 1898 produced and acknowledged by Nancy Rankin to be her act and deed. Recorded 18 November 1898.

    Sunday, October 5, 2008

    Census Tips

    Census records are one of the first sources we use as beginning genealogists, but most of us read them just to find a particular name, age and place of birth. If this is what you are doing, you are not getting full benefit of these valuable records.

    We all know that the 1790 - 1840 census records contain only the names of heads of household and the age categories of those in the household. We also know that Revolutionary War pensioners are listed by name and age on the 1840 census. But, have you looked on the right side of the 1840 census form to see if there were free persons of color in the household you are researching? Did you look even farther on right side of the form to see if there were people engaged in the following professions: Mining, Agriculture, Manufacturing and Trades, Navigation of Oceans, Navigation of Canals, Lakes & Rivers, Learned Professions & Engineers. Affirmative marks in these categories can lead you to additional records to search.

    Be sure to read any notes written by the enumerator at the end of a district or in the margins. Some enumerators didn’t follow directions and listed more than the required information. On the 1850 Caldwell County, Kentucky census, J.H. Rackerby, enumerator in District 1, did us a favor when he listed the county in addition to the required state of birth. James W. Weller, District 2 enumerator, started to list the counties of birth, but stopped after the first family in his district.

    Shady Grove District of the 1880 Crittenden County census was never microfilmed and, as a result, we do not have a complete list of the residents in that district. The few perope we can definitely count as residents in Shady Grove District are those who died between 1 June 1879 and 31 May 1880 and are listed on the 1880 Crittenden County Mortality Schedule. Unless that part of the census is found and microfilmed, we will probably never know the names of the residents of Shady Grove District in 1880.

    The 1880 census is the first census that listed the relationship between household members and the head of household. It is easy to assume that younger people in the household were the children of the adult head of household, but this is not always true. The younger person might be an apprentice or a relative other than a child of the head of household.

    Each census form is a little different from the pervious form. Reading every part of the census can open new avenues in your research.

    Thursday, October 2, 2008

    Smithland Newspaper Editor Shot 1844

    Copyright by Brenda Joyce Jerome, CG
    May not copy without written consent

    James K. Polk of Tennessee, a Democrat, and his running mate, George M. Dallas were engaged in a close battle for President and Vice President of the United States in 1844. Running against Polk and Dallas were Henry Clay and his running mate, Theodore Frelinghuysen, Whigs. The big issue was the annexation of Texas and a claim to the whole of Oregon. The Democrats favored it - the Whigs did not. These issues were hotly debated, even in small towns of western Kentucky. Those who opposed the annexation of Texas feared Kentuckians would all migrate to the new state.
    Leonard Gibbon and his wife, Sarah, and daughter left their home in Louisville, where Gibbon had been editor of the Louisville Dime, and settled in Smithland, Kentucky, where he planned to publish the Smithland Bee, a Whig newspaper. They arrived in Smithland by July of 1844 - right in the middle of the presidential campaign - and settled in to start a new life, with Gibbon signing several promissory notes and mortgaging the printing press and equipment in order to acquire money to print the Bee.
    Said to have been a mild, peaceable, quiet and inoffensive man, Gibbon, nevertheless, voiced - perhaps recklessly - his opinions of the presidential candidate favored by the Democrats. His comments offended at least one reader - Dr. Samuel C. Snyder, another recent arrival in Smithland. Not long after the article appeared in the Bee, Dr. Snyder happened to meet Gibbon walking down the street, holding the hand of his little daughter. A fight took place, pistols were discharged and Leonard Gibbon fell dead in the street.
    The widow, Sarah Gibbon, was faced with no way to support herself and a young child to rear. Her only resource was the printing press and equipment. Sarah took another mortgage on the press and equipment and continued to operate the newspaper herself.
    In the meantime, Samuel Snyder had been arrested, placed in jail and was indicted for the murder of Leonard Gibbon. There was a change of venue to Crittenden County, where the evidence was heard on the 29-30 of April and 1 May 1845 by a jury composed of the following men: Mickelberry Bristow, Jeremiah Lucas, Alfred Moore, William Ditterline, Thomas H. Wallace, William Clement, Lewis Saxton, Conrod Crayne, Robert Hale, John W. Jenkings, James Fowler and William Molsber. On the 2nd day of May, after all the evidence had been heard, Snyder was led to the bar in custody of the jailor to await his sentence. Finally, it was announced. “We the jury find the prisoner Not Guilty!” Samuel C. Snyder was acquitted and left the court as a free man.
    Sarah Gibbon struggled on, trying to run the newspaper and care for her child. The last record of her in Livingston County was when she took out a mortgage in August in 1847. She also appeared on the 1847 Livingston County tax list with 1 town lot worth $50 and one child between the ages of 5 and 16. According to Through the Canebrake, a book on the Gibbon family and which fictionalizes the story of the murder in Smithland, Laura, the young child of Leonard Gibbon, was motherless when her father died and she went to live with relatives in Iowa.
    Samuel C. Snyder owned property in Smithland also, does not appear on the Livingston County tax lists after 1846.
    Even though Sarah B. Gibbon was still mortgaging the printing press and equipment as late as August 1847, a new editor had moved to Smithland. In September 1845, William Scott Haynes conveyed unto John W. Ross and Ezekiel Green all his right and title in the printing press, stands, types and all other fixtures belonging to the office of the Smithland Bee, his interest being an undivided interest in 3/4 of press, types, stands & fixtures belonging to said office. It was understood that Haynes had plans to print a newspaper called the Jackson Republican. I have three issues of the Jackson Republican from 1846 and was interested to see there was very little local news, but a fair amount of national news and quite a few advertisements for local businesses.
    A couple of things have been noticed while researching and writing these articles on the early residents and events of Smithland. There were a lot of doctors for a small town and there were a lot of murders. In at least two cases, the murders involved doctors.

    Livingston County Clerk's Papers, Box 12 (1845-1847), County Clerk's Office, Smithland, Kentucky.
    Livingston County Deed Book HH, pp 27, 335, 380, 456-458, 465.
    Livingston County Circuit Court Order Book A, pp 159, 165, 167, 175.
    Livingston County Tax Lists 1844 - 1847
    "An Editor Killed," Boston Daily Atlas reprinted from the Louisville Courier, 21 September 1844,