Thursday, April 29, 2010

Livingston County, Kentucky Guardian Bonds 1870

A guardian was appointed for a variety of reasons to protect the property or rights of a person who was unable to act for himself. A previous blog outlined those reasons here

The following information has been abstracted from Guardian Bond Book C (1863-1878), Livingston County Clerk's Office, Smithland, Kentucky. The guardian bonds for 1870 begin on page 169.

Mrs. Sarah J. Barner was appointed guardian of Sterling M.B. Taylor 4 January 1870. No surety.

James Bozeman was appointed guardian of Alexander Younger 14 February 1870 with Joseph Bridges, surety.

David Adams was appointed guardian of A.G. Watts 4 April 1870 with Lewis Hunter, surety.

Emma C. Hayward was appointed guardian of Edgar A. Hayward 4 April 1870 with Isaac Shelby, security. Note dated April 3rd Dycusburg, Ky: "Mr. Cade. My daughter goes down to Smithland for the purpose of having herself appointed Guardian for her son, & receive the amount of money due him I authorize you to sign my name to her bond, as security, & oblige. [signed] Isaac Shelby." [J.W. Cade was attorney for Isaac Shelby.]

Lucus Watts was appointed guardian of Isaac Watts 4 April 1870 with Jno. Jay Watts, surety.

Lucien Miles was appointed guardian of Thomas Champion 4 April 1870 with J.W. Cade, surety.

Evaline Smullen was appointed guardian of Geo. C. Smullen & Harriet A. Smullen 6 June 1870 with G.G. Rappolee, surety.

John W. Bush was appointed guardian of Sallie Woods and Julia Woods 27 June 1870 with E.G. Leeper, surety.

Daniel Sexton was appointed guardian of Harriet A. Sexton and David Ella Sexton 4 July 1870 with Elijah Doom, surety.

J.C. Ainsworth was appointed guardian of Joanna F. Breedlove 4 July 1870 with J.W. Gresham and H.T. Gresham, sureties.

M.D. Braswell was appointed guardian of Mary E. Braswell and Elijah F. Braswell 3 October 1870 with G.A. Trail, surety.

John M. Dunlap was appointed guardian of Thuston Jeffords 5 December 1870. No surety.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday - James N. & Josie A. Croft


James N.
1874 - 1944

Josie A.
1877 - 1947

Buried Pleasant Grove Cemetery, Crittenden County, Kentucky. Tombstone photographed 14 August 2009. Pleasant Grove Church is in the background.

James Newton Croft, son of Jeremiah Croft and Sarah E. Cooper, married Josephine Adaline Bebout, daughter of Chester C. Bebout and Mary Elizabeth Lewis, 11 September 1895 Crittenden County. James N. and Josie were my great-grandparents.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Genealogical Societies

There are more genealogists than there are members of genealogical societies. Why do so many genealogists not join their local society? Is it because the societies are not meeting the researchers' needs? If so, how can a society and its members work together to meet the needs of more genealogists?

There are a number of reasons to join a genealogical society. There are an equal number of reasons not to join. Which is true of your local society?

  • A genealogical society, if it has a friendly, relaxed atmosphere, can be the ideal place to discuss findings and frustrations in the search for information. A discussion among members can result in suggestions for new avenues to try to break through those brick walls and to celebrate when gains are achieved.

  • The genealogical society can be a place to learn new technology to aid in research - where more knowledgeable persons assist others in learning. Without the acceptance of technological advances, the society may be considered out of date and backward.

  • The genealogical society can be a place where all members are free to express opinions and new ideas without fear of ridicule, reprimand or repercussion. "We have always done it this way and don't need to change" should not be the society's motto. A society that refuses to change to meet the needs of its members will not thrive and may not survive.

  • The society can be a place where all members are willing to serve in some capacity - as an officer, on a committee or to present a program - as all are working toward the good of the organization. The re-cycling of officers and committee members can lead to a re-cycling of the same old ideas and programs.

  • But what can you do for your local genealogical society?

  • You can promote your society at area seminars and workshops. Be willing to stand up and relate the advantages of membership in your society. Go out of your way to invite prospective members to attend a meeting and introduce them to other members. A society will not survive without new members bringing fresh ideas and new ways of doing things.

  • Be willing to serve in whatever capacity you can. If you are unable to commit to serving as an officer or committee member, offer to help with publicity, present a program at a meeting, help with a mailing or submit an article for the newsletter or quarterly.

  • Volunteer to help beginning genealogists in the society. If they become frustrated, encourage them to try again to reach their goal. Offer suggestions of other ways to look at their genealogical problems.

  • Membership in genealogical societies in many areas is down. Unless the societies are willing to show that they are willing to grow and expand, membership will continue to decrease.

    Copyright on text and photographs
    by Brenda Joyce Jerome, CG
    Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog

    Thursday, April 22, 2010

    Midnight Madness

    It's that time of year again - Midnight Madness at Willard Library, 21 First Avenue, Evansville, Indiana. Mark your calendar for June 14th through June 18th, when the genealogy department will be open from 9 am until midnight. In addition to using the microfilmed and published records, there are classes for everyone. Below is just a sampling of those free classes:

  • Beginning Genealogy

  • How to Become a Certified Genealogist

  • Vital Records and Courthouse Research

  • German-American Church Records

  • Researching the History of Your House

  • Online Sources for Cemetery and Death Records

  • Online Genealogical Research (Free Sources)

  • Finding German Origins

  • Newspaper Research

  • Willard Library is located just off the Lloyd Expressway near downtown and is easily accessible from western Kentucky. Come early and stay late. For more information, visit Midnight Madness Schedule and be sure to register early.

    Copyright on text and photographs
    by Brenda Joyce Jerome, CG
    Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog

    Tuesday, April 20, 2010

    Tombstone Tuesday - Mary Whyte Fowler

    Mary Whyte
    Daughter of
    W.P. & E.A. Fowler
    born Jan. 12, 1828
    died May 20 [illegible]

    Annals of the Fowler Family by Mrs. James Joyce Arthur (Glenn Dora Fowler Arthur), 1901, lists Mary's death date as April 20, 1833 and states she was the daughter of Wiley Paul Fowler and Esther Araminta (Given) Fowler. This tombstone is in Mills Pioneer Cemetery, near Salem, Livingston County, Kentucky. Tombstone photographed 20 March 2010. Click on the photograph for an enlarged view.

    Published 20 Apr 2010, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

    Sunday, April 18, 2010

    Preparing to Visit Cemeteries

    With the advent of good weather, genealogists begin planning trips to courthouses and cemeteries. It is more enjoyable being out and about when the weather is warm and you don't need the burden of a coat. Makes sense, doesn't it? Yes, if you are visiting courthouses, but maybe not if visiting cemeteries.

    If a snake or chigger is within a mile of where I am, they find me. That's why I advise to save the visits to rural, overgrown cemeteries for cold weather months. But, if you are determined to visit a cemetery, overgrown of not, use common sense and go prepared.

    If you have never visited this cemetery, check your directions. Are they exact? So many older cemetery books have directions such as "3 miles past John Smith's farm in a grove of trees in the field." This is ok, providing John Smith still lives there and the grove of trees hasn't been cut. Check out the directions. Often county maps will have cemeteries marked.

    Is the cemetery on private property? If so, you need to get permission to cross the property. You don't want to meet an angry property owner holding a shotgun. Get permission and avoid a potential problem.

    Never go alone. Take a friend with you. If one of you rolls down a steep hill, twists and ankle or gets stung by a horde of angry bees, the other person can call for help.

    Take a cell phone. No longer a luxury, a cell phone is a necessity and make sure the battery is charged.

    Take a tool bag. Take just what you need, but watch the weight. That bag is going to get heavier the farther you walk. Include the following items:

  • clipboard with paper & pens/pencils

  • spray bottle of water

  • old, soft toothbrush

  • camera

  • Use nothing with chemicals on the tombstones so leave the Formula 409 at home. Brushes with stiff or wire bristles can also damage tombstones, but an old, soft toothbrush can be used to very gently brush away debris from lettering. A spritz of plain water will often enable inscriptions to be read. If in doubt about what to use on a tombstone, don't use it.

    Try photographing the tombstone from several angles to get the best view. Sometimes holding a sheet of aluminum foil to the side of the tombstone to capture the sun will enable the inscription to be more legible.

    Above all, have fun and stay safe.

    Thursday, April 15, 2010

    The Earth and the Sea Shall Give Up Their Dead

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

    Tombstones come with a variety of themes, shapes and inscriptions. The following two monuments are unusual, one for its shape and the other for the story it tells.

    One of the most distinctive tombstones in Cedar Hill Cemetery in Princeton, Caldwell County, Kentucky is that of James R. Hewlett. It is said the tombstone is in Hewlett's likeness. The following is inscribed on his tombstone:

    James R. Hewlett
    Dec. 14, 1833
    Mar. 22, 1896
    At Rest

    [on left side]

    According to his obituary in the Hopkinsville Kentuckian (reprinted from the Caldwell News) of 27 March 1896, Col. J.R. Hewlett, one of Princeton's leading citizens and a prominent lawyer, departed this life at his home on Monday, 23 March [sic], aged 62 years, 3 months and 11 days. He was born in Hopkins County, Kentucky, attended the college in Princeton, where he also taught and was County Superintendent of Schools. He served for a while as Commonwealth Attorney.

    James R. Hewlett married Susan Leavell in December 1874 in Christian County, Kentucky. According to Mrs. Hewlett's obituary in the Hopkinsville Kentuckian of Saturday, 9 December 1905, she was the oldest of four daughters of the late L.L. Leavell. After she married James R. Hewett, the couple lived in Princeton. After his death, she remained in Princeton for a time and her brother, St. Clair Leavell, lived with her. Later she moved back to Hopkinsville, where she died 8 December 1905.

    Melvina Hewlett was the unmarried sister of James R. Hewlett. Her death certificate identifies her parents as Allison Hewlett and Sarah Thompson. She was born 7 August 1837 and died 20 August 1911.

    Another interesting tombstone is the following in the cemetery of old Biggin Church in Berkeley County, South Carolina. The very moving inscription appears to be taken from The Order of Burial of the Dead from the 1789 U.S. Book of Common Prayer.

    Lizzie Porcher
    Daughter of
    John S. and Catharine G. White
    Drowned in the Surf
    on Sullivans Island the
    17th of August 1861
    Aged 11 years and 7 months
    "The Earth and the Sea shall
    give up their dead."

    Tuesday, April 13, 2010

    Tombstone Tuesday - A.J. and Sue Bebout

    A.J. Bebout
    1844 - 1924

    Sue His Wife
    1853 - 1895

    Buried Deer Creek Cemetery, Crittenden County, Kentucky. Note the Masonic symbol. Tombstone photographed early 1990s.

    Abraham J. Bebout, son of John and Sarah Bebout, was born 8 March 1844 Kentucky and died 3 April 1924. He married Sue Shoemaker 4 December 1873 in Livingston County, Kentucky. Abraham and Sue appear on the 1880 Livingston County census with their children Lewis, Anna L. and John and Abraham's brother, Christopher C. Bebout.

    Sunday, April 11, 2010

    Tavern Keeper's Bond 1882

    One of the most popular places in the neighborhood was the local tavern or inn. It was the place to gather, hear the gossip and share a glass of liquor with friends. In early days, taverns were often located in the homes of the tavern keepers, but, as communities sprang up, taverns and inns or hotels were more often in stand-alone buildings.

    There was some regulation of taverns in Kentucky and who could operate them. In order to sell liquor, it was necessary to obtain a license through the county court and pay a fee. On the 11th of November 1882, W.F. Read presented a written notice to the county court of his intention to keep a hotel and serve liquor in the community of Friendship in Caldwell County.

    On the 25th of November of that year, Read posted bond with T.H. Read, his surety, and agreed that he "shall continually find and provide ... good, wholesome, cleanly lodging and diet for travelers, and stabling and provender, or pasturage, for horses or mules, during the period the license remains in force; and that he will not suffer any gaming in his house, or on his premises, and will not suffer any person to tipple or drink more than is necessary in his house, or on his premises; or at any time suffer any scandalous or disorderly behavior in his house, or on his premises."

    This bond can be found in Tavern Keeper's Bond Book 1852-1880, page 82. Tavern Keeper bonds were renewable yearly. Click on each photo for an enlarged view.

    Thursday, April 8, 2010

    In the News ...

    Newspapers are a great source for filling in gaps in genealogical research. Everything that might possibly be of interest was reported in the local newspapers, even if the parties resided across the river or in another county. The following items concern residents of Union County, Kentucky, but appeared in the Gallatin Democrat, published in Shawneetown, Illinois.

    8 July 1898
    Al Cole accompanied by his wife and sister, Miss Lary, attended the funeral of his grandmother, Mrs. Robert Hales of Uniontown, Ky. Wednesday of last week.

    Marriage Licenses
    Geo. Nolls, 22, Dekoven, Ky.
    Martha Miller, 22, Dekoven, Ky.

    15 July 1898
    Marriage Licenses
    Jas. T. Williams, 22, Tilden, Ky.
    Callie Gibson, 19, Tilden, Ky.

    9 September 1898
    Dave S. Stevens, a prominent farmer of Union County, Ky., aged about 75 years, committed suicide Aug. 29th, by hanging himself with a plow line at his home at Mt. Olive, near Henshaw. Family troubles, it is said, caused him to commit the deed. He had been despondent for some time but it was not thought that he entertained any such ideas as that carried out by his suicide.

    14 October 1898
    Marriage Licenses
    R.M. Cullen, 29, Gum Springs, Ky.
    Ollie R. Cullen, 20, Gum Springs, Ky.

    Guy Cary, 25, Henshaw, Ky.
    Ida McMurray, 16, Henshaw, Ky.

    Amos Kuykendall, 36, Sturgis, Ky.
    Nettie Steel, 32, Sturgis, Ky.

    Copyright on text and photographs
    by Brenda Joyce Jerome, CG
    Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog

    Tuesday, April 6, 2010

    Tombstone Tuesday - Harrett Hodge

    In Memory of Mother
    Harrett Hodge
    May 9, 1865
    Feb 6, 1942

    Buried Smithland Cemetery, Smithland, Kentucky. Tombstone photographed March 2010.

    According to her death certificate, Harrett Hodge was a black female born in Birdsville, Livingston County, Kentucky. Her parents were Samuel Hodge, born in Birdsville, and Hulda Duley, born in Livingston County. Harrett is listed as the widow of Tom George.

    Saturday, April 3, 2010

    Ancestor Approved Award

    I am honored to be the recipient of the "Ancestor Approved Award" from Lori Shoemaker Hellmund of Genealogy and Me. I am supposed to list 10 things that I have learned about any of my ancestors that have surprised, humbled or enlightened me and to pass this award along to 10 other genealogy bloggers. As I blog about lots of ancestors - not just my own - I am including others' ancestors mentioned in this blog.

    Surprised by

  • The siblings of my great-grandmother, Mary Ann Wolstenholme, who did not drown in the Great Galveston Hurricane of 1900 and, in fact, lived to old age in West Tennessee.

  • The magnificent tombstones from the first half of the 19th century that still survive in the old cemeteries in western Kentucky. These tombstones represent a variety of materials, artwork and engraving styles, often providing clues to information on the deceased.

  • Smithland, Kentucky, which seemed to have had an inordinate number of murders during the 1830s and 1840s and several of them involved physicians.

  • Humbled by

  • The courage and fortitude of every female who became a widow at a young age and supported a houseful of children and instructed them in such a manner that they became solid, productive citizens.

  • The business acumen of women like Florence Littlefield, Sarah Drew and Sarah Jane Barner, who, as single women, became moneylenders, bought and sold land, achieving financial independence during the era when women were heavily dependent upon men.

  • The public service to citizens of Caldwell, Livingston and Henderson counties provided by members of the Dallam family. They truly understood the meaning of being public servants.

  • The many readers who have taken the time to express their appreciation for the content of this blog. It is very humbling and truly heartwarming.

  • Enlightened by

  • The many steamboat captains and clerks who settled in Smithland, Kentucky and later migrated to my area of southern Indiana. Among these river men were Capt. Joshua V. Throop and Capt. Napoleon B. Hayward.

  • The 1840 Livingston County federal census, which identifies 98 persons of color - many more than I would have thought.

  • The extent of interest in genealogy, which has grown rapidly the past few years and in diverse fields - from forensic genealogy to digitizing records to blogging. There is a place for everyone!

  • Copyright on text and photographs
    by Brenda Joyce Jerome, CG
    Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog

    Friday, April 2, 2010

    Rediscovering America's First Frontier

    Join genealogists and family historians as they gather for the 2010 Federation of Genealogical Societies Conference, co-sponsored with the East Tennessee Historical Society and the Kentucky Historical Society at the Knoxville Convention Center in Knoxville, Tennessee 18-21 August 2010.

    This conference offers many lectures and events of special interest to Kentucky researchers. Among the list of lectures are the following: The Manuscript Collections at the Kentucky Historical Society, Overview of the Land Patenting Process in Kentucky by Kandie Adkinson of the Kentucky Land Office, Comings and Goings: Kentucky's Immigration and Emigration History, Union Draft Records from Kentucky and Tennessee and Trail of Tears: Cherokee Migrations from North Carolina, Tennessee and Georgia. There are sure to be a number of lectures and events to please everyone.

    It is wise to make hotel reservations now. Conference hotels usually fill up quickly. For more information on the conference, check FGS