Thursday, January 31, 2008

Clues in Love-Wilson Deed

Listed below are the clues I found in the Love-Wilson deed.

1. Andrew Love has died.

2. The heirs of Andrew Love are listed, including the wife of one heir, indicating the other two heirs may not be married. All parties live in Crittenden County.

3. Nellie Love, who was married to Andrew Love, died after her husband's death.

4. Andrew Love left a will.

5. During his lifetime, Andrew Love made some contracts which resulted in some claims valued at over $700 against his estate by R.W. Wilson.

6. Andrew Love's homestead was on Deer Creek and was adjoining the property of E.B. Moore, the place where Alex Coleman lived and died, the Tom Moore place and the land owned by __ Bruce, formerly owned by Dick Flanary.

7. The land was being sold by the heirs to satisfy the claims of R.W. Wilson.

Can you think of any more clues?

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Genealogy Seminar

The Fredonia Valley Heritage Society of Fredonia, Caldwell County, Kentucky will host its first annual genealogy seminar on Saturday , 16 Feb 2008, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Family Life Center of Fredonia First Baptist Church. Pam Faughn will speak on Beginning Genealogy.

The cost is $5, which includes a sack lunch. To make reservations, send your check to the Fredonia Valley Heritage Society, PO Box 256, Fredonia, Kentucky 42411.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Research Clues Found in Deeds

In the 24 October 2007 issue of this blog, we talked about "Using Deeds in Genealogical Research." Below are examples of the treasures to be found in deed books.

From Caldwell County, Kentucky Deed Book P, page 454 we find the following: On the 8th of November 1851, a division of property was made between Melinda Snelling, widow of William Snelling deceased; Wm. G. Groom and his wife Martha Ann, whose maiden name was Snelling; James S. Snelling; R.P. Snelling; Eliza J. Snelling; A.C.L. Shropshire and his wife Editha, whose maiden name was Snelling; Mary Maria Snelling and R.P. Snelling, guardian for William W. Snelling, Virginia Catharine Snelling and Altha Drusilla Snelling, infant orphans of William Snelling deceased, and all being heirs at law of said William Snelling deceased, of the first part, and James B. Groom, one of the administrators of William Snelling deceased, of the other part. The parties of the first part were about to remove from Caldwell County, Kentucky, their present place of residence, and take with them the Negroes of the decedent to another state. The names of the Negroes were Jarrott, a man about 50 years of age; Luna, a woman about 40 or 45 years of age; Julia Ann, about 25 or 30 years old; Charles Henry, about age 12; John, about age 6; Sarah, about age 6 or 7 years old; Eugenia, about 2 years old, of the value of $1500 per the appraisement filed and recorded.

There are all sorts of clues in this deed:
1. William Snelling died prior to 8 November 1851.
2. James B. Groom was one of the administrators of William Snelling’s estate.
3. William Snelling left a widow, Melinda Snelling.
4. The names of heirs of William Snelling deceased are listed.
5. At least some of William Snelling’s heirs were married and their names are given.
6. The heirs currently live in Caldwell County.
7. Names of the heirs who were under age 21 and the name of their guardian.
8. Some of the people were preparing to move out of Kentucky.
9. William Snelling owned slaves, whose names, ages and value are listed.
10. The chances are the people moving were going to a state which allowed slaves or if going to a free state, they may have been planning to free the slaves.

The next document also was created as the result of a death and contains many clues.

The following is found in Crittenden County, Kentucky Deed Book R, pages 499-500: Indenture made April 14th 1883 between T.A. Love and his wife Alma Love; J.W. Love and C.W. Love, children & heirs at law of Andrew Love Dec’d, of the first part and R.W. Wilson of the second part, all of Crittenden County. T.A. Love, J.W. Love and C.W. Love, together with Mrs. Nellie Love, now deceased & who was the widow of the said Andrew Love dec’d, were made legatees in the last Will & Testament of Andrew Love dec’d and in so doing required them to pay all claims against the estate of Andrew Love. R.W. Wilson, being the owner & holder of claims arising out of contracts made by Andrew Love during his lifetime, amounting to $720.58, in order to pay said amount & the notes and accounts etc. being delivered to the party of the first part by the second party, the party of the first part hereby sells and conveys unto the second party his heirs and assigns all that parcel of land lying & being in Crittenden County on the waters of Deer Creek and known as the old Homestead of Andrew Love, containing 250 acres, being bounded on the South by the lands of E.B. Moore, on the West by the old place where Alex Coleman lived & died, on the North by the old place known as the Tom Moore place, on the South [sic] by the Dick Flanary (now Bruce) place.

How many clues do you find in this deed? What are they? I'll post the clues I see within a couple of days.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Qualities of a Good Genealogist

Someone recently asked me to name the qualities of a good genealogist. I thought it would be easy to list a bunch of qualifications, but decided it would be wise to think about my answer. After all, this is a serious question.

Genealogists come in all shapes and sizes. Some are old, others are not; some have been researching for years while others can be classified as novice researchers. What are the qualities every one of us needs to become a good genealogist? Ability to be an analytical thinker? Access to needed records? A good record keeper? You probably do need each of these qualities, but I think there are others that are important too.

Here are some of the qualities I think you need to become a good genealogist:

1. You have to be nosy. You must learn as much as possible about your family and everyone with whom they had contact. Don’t be afraid to ask "Why?" Why did a couple move West when the rest of the family stayed in Kentucky? Why did the youngest son join the Union Army while his older brother joined the Confederate Army?

2. You need to be skeptical and persistent. Don’t believe everything relatives tell you about your family. If a relative tells you Queen Elizabeth of England is a second cousin or that Great-Great-Grandpa Jones came to Kentucky with Daniel Boone and it is recorded in the family Bible (location unknown), ask other relatives. Keep asking questions and ask them of as many people as possible. If nothing else, you will become acquainted or re-acquainted with your relatives. Then go check the records to prove or disprove what they told you.

3. You have to be oblivious to dust. This is necessary when using the old record books in the courthouse and archives. If you are allergic to dust, get one of those masks used by folks who have colds or, if not available, tie a scarf around your mouth and nose. Those records are waiting!

4. You have to have a sense of humor. Humor will get you past the shock of finding out Greatgrandma had two children "on the other side of the blanket" or Great Uncle Silas had a run-in with the sheriff. Every family has their secrets and you need not let those secrets stop you in your quest for information on your family. Think of it as a mission!

Now, having these qualities won’t guarantee that you can complete your lineage back to Adam and Eve, but I will guarantee that you will have fun while searching.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Crittenden County, Kentucky County Officials 1917

Newspapers are a wonderful source of genealogical information. If your ancestor married, moved away, returned to visit the hometown, died, was buried, robbed a bank, received a pension, had a barn or house destroyed by fire, left a lady at the altar or served as a public official, he is sure to have been mentioned in the local newspaper. For the purposes of this blog, only sketches of some Crittenden County public officals are presented. These sketches appeared in the 10 January and 18 January 1917 issues of the Crittenden Press, which was published weekly at Marion, Kentucky. Copies of the Crittenden County newspapers beginning in 1878 are on microfilm at the Crittenden County Public Library in Marion. Not all years have complete issues.

John Alexander Moore
County Attorney

John Alexander Moore is the 4th son of Judge James Anderson Moore and Mrs. Moore and is in his 46th year. He was born and reared in this county and has lived in the county and the city of Marion all his life except a short interim when he was in business in an adjoining county. He has practiced law since he attained manhood, and was County Attorney four years ago, having been succeeded by his predecessor, Trice A. Bennett. Mr. Moore’s wife was Miss Willie Haynes, 2nd daughter of the late Wm. Duke Haynes, and a grand daughter of Nathan R. Black, an eminent jurist in his day. They have six children, four sons, Wm. Owen, the oldest son, now being with the U.S. army in the Engineer’s Headquarters at Camp Shelby, Hattiesburg, Miss. The three younger sons are Harry, Alfred and James Edward. Misses Evalyn and Dorothy are the daughters.
Mr. Moore and his interesting family are Methodists and may always be found at their posts in all church and Sunday School work. Mr. Moore belongs to a large and prominent family, having four brothers; the oldest A.C. Moore, is one of the State’s most successful attorneys; D.B. Moore, a popular salesman in Stone’s store; R.E. Moore, the hardware merchant, banker and councilman, of Madisonville; and Charles A. Moore, for many years in the Government service at Owensboro, is the youngest. His sisters are Mrs. Cook, wife of Levi Cook, jeweler and councilman of this city, and Ms. Bacon, wife of Merriweather E. Bacon, a gifted writer and newspaperman of Hopkinsville.

James L.F. Paris
Superintendent of Schools

Our new County Superintendent of schools, James Louis Franklin Paris, was born Oct. 23, 1877 on the farm where he now lives and has lived all his life. He is the son of the late Lewis H. Paris and is a grandson of the Rev. Paul L.H. Walker. His parents are both dead.

Mr. Paris’ wife was Miss Cora James, daughter of Dr. H.A. James and they have an interesting family of five children, Jamie, 15 years old, Ruth 13, Gladys 10, Christine and Evalyn 3. They will move to Marion next fall in order to give the children the advantages of the Marion Graded and High School.

Supt. Paris belongs to a large family, having 3 brothers and 3 sisters. His brothers are Rev. Hosea Paris, Paul I. Paris and Charles Paris, the latter of Woodville, Miss. The three sisters are Mrs. Ellen Conger, Mrs. Carrie Hill and Miss Linnie Paris. Mr. Paris is a member of the 2nd Baptist Church of this city and is superintendent of the Sunday School at that church.

Herschel O. Franklin

Herschel O. Franklin of North Crittenden has announced his candidacy for the office of Assessor of Crittenden County. Mr. Franklin is well known in most parts of the county and is a young man of pleasing personality and high ideals. He is a perfect gentleman in every sense of the word and has a wide circle of friends. Mr. Franklin has been teaching for some time and has always taken an active part in Church and Sunday School. He is thoroughly qualified to fill the office to which he aspires and solicits the support of the voters of the county at the Republican Primary election Saturday, August. 4.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Declarations of Marriage 1867 - 1873 - Lyon County, Kentucky

Beginning in 1866, African American couples could register their marriages in the county clerk’s office by listing their names, the number of years they had lived together as man and wife and by paying a fee to have the marriage registered. It is unlikely that all marriages were recorded due to the cost. The following are abstracted from Lyon County Declarations of Marriages 1866-1873. Declarations of Marriages for 1866 appeared in Vol. VII, No. 3 of the Western Kentucky Journal.

Ross Brannon and Eveline Brannon (no date) lived together 2 months.

Stephen Quirey and Martha Flood marriage registered 24 Mar 1867. Lived together 17 years.

William Stamp and E. Stamp marriage registered 27 Mar 1867. Lived together 23 years.

Robert Tinsley and Celia Ann Tinsley marriage registered 29 May 1867. Lived together 16 years.

Wm. F. Glover and Harriet A. Glover marriage registered 30 Jun 1867. Lived together 1 year.

Anderson Smith and Elizabeth Smith marriage registered 8 Aug 1867. Lived together 19 years.

Henry Garrett and Sina Garrett marriage registered 24 Nov 1867. Lived together 4 years.

John Robertson and Josephine Robertson marriage registered 24 Mar 1868. Lived together 3 years.

Henry Halleck and Mary Halleck marriage registered 30 Mar 1868. Lived together 8 years.

Isaac Thompson and Caroline Thompson marriage registered 23 Jul 1869. Lived together 30 years.

Thomas Lon and Caroline Lon marriage registered 10 Sep 1870. Lived together 20 years.

Lewis Jackson and Georgeann Jackson marriage registered 12 Nov 1870. Lived together 11 years.

Al Evins and Sophiah Evins marriage registered 12 Nov 1870. Lived together 12 years.

Cato Blue and Peggy Blue marriage registered 4 Feb 1871. Lived together 20 years.

Presley Goughney and Matilda Goughney marriage registered 19 Nov 1871. Lived together 4 years.

William Hicks and Lucinda Hicks marriage registered 31 May 1873. Lived together 14 years.

Mike Edmunds and Patsy Edmunds marriage registered 31 May 1873. Lived together 14 years.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Caldwell County Circuit Court Case (Divorce) 1834

The Glenn Martin Genealogy Library, located in a separate building just in front of George Coon Public Library on Main Street in Princeton, Caldwell County, Kentucky, is becoming "The Place" to research your western Kentucky families. Winter hours for Martin Genealogy Library are 10-2 Monday - Friday and 10-1 Saturday. Before traveling to visit the Martin Library, you might want to call 270-365-2884 for the current hours as they do change periodically.

The library has a wide selection of published works as well as vertical files on local families and the Sam Stegar collection of research material, but the jewels of the collection are the Caldwell County circuit court order books and case files. Caldwell County is only one of a handful of Kentucky counties that has retained these valuable records. Circuit court files include a variety of cases including felonies, will contests, debts, and divorces petitions. An index by year and by complainant is available at the library.

From 1802 - 1849, the county circuit courts accepted divorce petitions and those they approved were sent on to the state legislature, where the divorce was granted or not granted. Beginning in 1850, the circuit courts were empowered to grant divorces without the state legislature being involved. I have found in my personal research, however, that some divorce petitions are mentioned only in the county circuit court files with the case below being one of those.

The following is an abstract of one of the divorces filed in Caldwell County in 1834:
Hooper vs Hooper} Your orator Ennis Hooper would respectfully state that a good many years ago he married his present wife Elizabeth and lived with her until they had several children, all of whom now live with your orator; that about five years ago she became disatisfied with your orator and refused to live with him. He cannot account for her dissatisfaction, for he declares his treatment to her was kind and he regretted what he could not prevent - a discontent on her part. Perhaps it was owing to some unaccountable caprice; be this as it may, the matter at last reached its climax and she determined to leave your orator with all the children, several of whom are small, and go to her kin in Alabama. This was a little over a year ago that she left the country entirely, though for several years previous she had abandoned his bed and board. She is now with her relations in Alabama and he has no idea she ever intends to return and live with him. He therefore prays she may be made a defendant to this bill and required to answer the several allegations ... and on a final hearing he prays the Court to divorce him from Elizabeth Hooper. [signed] Ennis Hooper.

Elizabeth Hooper responded that everything Ennis said was true, she plans to remain in Alabama and is willing that Ennis be divorced from her and he may keep the children.

Thomas Kivel gave a disposition 22 Mar 1834: It was his understanding that Elizabeth left the county and was going to Alabama to live with her brothers. He also said he had "lived a neighbour" to Ennis for near 20 years and Ennis always made a kind husband and provided for his family.

In another disposition, James H. Bigham stated that Elizabeth told him that she does not intend to live with Ennis again.

Francis Hooper, of lawful age, identified the parties to this suit as his parents.

The divorce was granted and to Ennis was restored all the rights of a single man.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

New Book Ready to Mail

The new book, Caldwell County, Kentucky Marriages 1874-1884, has been delivered. These books are being packaged and I have begun mailing them to all who pre-ordered. In order to keep costs as low as possible, the books are being mailed via media rate, which can take a week or so to reach areas like California, Texas and even Chicago.

There are a very few extra books available. If you are interested in this book, it would be wise to order quickly as there are no plans to reprint this book.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Hopkins County, Kentucky Apprentices 1846-1848

Children whose parents were unable to provide the necessities for them were sometimes apprenticed or "bound out" to someone in the community to learn a trade. Many of these children were orphaned, but others had parents who, desiring a better life for their child, chose to apprentice them to learn a trade. An apprenticeship was formalized by an agreement between the county clerk, who acted on behalf of the child, and the master to whom the child was apprenticed. These agreements or indentures, were recorded in the county court minutes and, depending on the time period, in separate Indenture of Apprenticeship books. Males were usually apprenticed until the age of 21 and females until they were age 18. During the term of apprenticeship, the child could not marry, must obey the master’s rules and keep his secrets. In exchange, the master was to provide decent food, lodging and clothing. At the expiration of the apprenticeship, the master was also to provide a new suit of clothing and sometimes a horse and/or a sum of money. The following entries have been abstracted from County Court Order Book 8 (1846-1848), County Clerk’s Office (Room 22), Madisonville, Kentucky.

10 Aug 1846, p. 18: An indenture of an apprentice Samuel Woodson Clerk of this Court with Elizabeth Killough exhibited into court and ordered recorded.

14 Sep 1846, p. 28: The clerk of this Court to bind the orphan Nancy C.E. Allen to John Hancock to learn spinning, knitting etc & the clerk also to bind out orphan James M. Allen to John Allen to learn the business of a cabinet maker.

12 Oct 1846, p. 35: It appearing that Rose a free woman of color hath three children, namely Nathan, Rinda and Arminda, who are poor and not likely to be brought up in honest courses ... a summons awarded Rose to shew cause why her children may not be bound as apprentices.

12 Oct 1846, p. 35: Susan Piland to appear at next term of court to shew cause why her sons Benjamin F. Piland and Isaac Piland may not be bound apprentices.

8 Feb 1847, p. 78: The clerk of this court to bind the children of Rose, a free woman of color, to John P. Cook. The children are Nathan, Rinda and Arminda; Nathan to be learnt the trade of a blacksmith and Rinda and Arminda to be taught spinning and knitting.

12 Apr 1847, p. 89: The clerk of this court to bind out Andrew H.G. Hankins to Tolbert Hibbs, farmer, until Andrew is 21 years old to learn the trade of farming.

11 May 1847, p. 116: Ordered that a summons issue against Mahala Williams widow to shew cause why her children Polly Williams Thomas Williams Charles Williams James B. Williams & Daniel Williams may not be bound out according to law.

11 Oct; 1847, p. 146: Thomas J. Williams who is 9 years old the 24th Decr next, orphan of Benjamin Williams dec’d, bound to Jonathan Foxwell, Farmer. The clerk is also to bind out Charles Washington Williams, orphan of sd. Benjamin Williams, to George Waetzel. Charles is age 7 years 4 Feb next.

1 May 1848, p. 218: The clerk to bind William T. Brinkley, orphan of William Brinkley dec’d, to James Fowler, farmer, until William T. is age 21, which will be about the 1st of May 1863. The clerk to bind Jane Brinkley, orphan of William Brinkley dec’d, to James Fowler until Jane is 16 years old, which will be about 1 May 1856, to learn spinning and knitting.

4 Dec 1848, p. 285: A summons ordered issued against William W. Wells to appear at the next term of this court to shew cause why his children, James M., William A.J., Margaret F.A., Rachel L. and Francis M. Wells may not be bound according to law, the court being informed by the Petition of sundry citizens that sd. Wells is idle, dissolute and without any visible means of procuring a livelihood and is incapable of bringin up his children in honest courses.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Deaths Found in County Court Claims

The earliest death records in Kentucky date from 1852, following the passage of the Sutton Law, which required tax assessors in each county to keep a list of all births, deaths and marriages. One copy of this list was sent to Frankfort and another copy was to remain in the county.

Compliance with this new law was uneven and varied greatly from county to county. The law was repealed during the Civil War, but another law requiring the registration of births and deaths was passed in the 1870’s. Compliance, again, was irregular. It wasn’t until 1911 that statewide registration of all births and deaths was required, although some of the larger cities (Lexington, Louisville, Covington and Newport) do have earlier records.

Finding a person’s death date prior to 1911 can be a difficult task. There are the obvious places to check, such as cemetery records and tombstones, mortality schedules, church records and family Bibles, but there is another place that might be helpful, especially if the decedent was indigent.

Each county court would designate one session as the time to receive claims for payment for services provided by individuals to a county resident. Among the services claimed were the provision of food, clothing, lodging and, in some cases, burial expenses for indigent persons. Many times the indigent person was named and often the date of death was given. Examples of these claims are shown below as presented by J.H. Parker, coroner, and found in the Livingston County Loose County Court Papers, Box 11 (1840-1844), Livingston County Clerk’s Office, Smithland, KY:

"1841 Oct 5th Holdin Inquest on the view of Nancy Vaughns Infant $6.00"

"1842 February 1st Holding Inquest on the Body of John
Nelson who died in Jail $6.00"

"Arthur Loves act. for feading Wm Younger & family all sick
and in distress in the year 1841 The number of the famley is
8 I could state that all the itemes and the prices but I think
it unnesery fur a tungue that will lye a pen will Speake
the same. I brought them to my plantation about five
months - My charge is 17-50. Arthur Love. 1842."

There are other places to look for death information and we will discuss those in a later article.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Livingston County Bastardy Case 1812

Research long enough and you are bound to run into an illegitimate child in your family. There may or may not have been stigma attached to such a birth, depending on the time period and the location. In some cases, the child was simply born before the parents’ union was blessed by a minister or justice of the peace. In other cases, a marriage was never intended.

To avoid becoming a charge on the county and if the mother’s family couldn’t or wouldn’t provide the necessities for the child, the man named as father by the mother was summoned to court to answer the charge against him. If the court decided the man was, indeed, the child’s father, he was ordered to pay the mother a certain amount for a particular length of time.

One such case is that of James Hodge of Livingston County. The following is transcribed from the loose county clerk’s papers of 1812:
"Common Wealth of Kentucky Livingston County To any Sworn officer of sd. County Greeting Whereas Polly Craft daughter of Jacob Craft of the County aforesaid and her Corporeal declare before me that on the twenty third day of January 1812 She was delivered of a Bastard male child in the house of her Father Jacob Craft begotten on her Body by James Hodge Deputy Sherrif [sic] under Robert Kirk for sd. County and it is sd. Child may may [sic] become Chargable to the County they are therefore in the name of the Commonwealth to Comanand to take the body of sd. Jame_ Hodge & Bring him Before me or some other Justice of the peace for sd. County to enter into Bond in the sum of ten pounds each to appear before the County Court of Livingston at the Courthouse in Salem on the third Monday in April to answer the Above Charge and to be further dealt with as the Law may direct given under my hand this 25th day of February 1812." [signed] Jos. Reed, JP

On the 10th of March 1812, James Hodge with Enoch Prince and John Mott, his securities, posted bond in the sum of 50 pounds to guarantee that Hodge would appear in court to answer the charges.

According to Livingston County Court Order Book D, page 126, on Tuesday, the 21st of April 1812, Hodge did appear and the county court ordered him to pay Polly Craft $20 annually for five years, commencing from the 23rd of January 1812 for the maintenance of the child, providing the child lived that long.

Whether or not James Hodge paid for the support of his son is unknown. Jacob Craft, father of Polly, was enumerated on the 1810 Livingston County census, but does not appear on the 1820 census and there is no marriage record for Polly/Mary Craft in Livingston County. The child of Polly Craft was born less than a month before James Hodge married Mary Campbell in Livingston County. One has to wonder if this marriage played a part in the Craft family leaving the county.