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