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,