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."

    Published 12 Nov 2008, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

    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.”