Thursday, October 27, 2011

Historic Richard Olive Home

One of the historic jewels of Smithland, Kentucky is the home known locally as the Olive, Davis or Rudd home. Located on the north side of Court Street directly opposite the new County Office Building, it was built about 1841. The earliest known owner was Richard Olive, a local merchant. This beautiful home has been on the National Register of Historic Places since 1982. The house is privately owned and not open to the public.

Richard Olive married Evalina Rutter and they had at least six known children: Evelina, Marion, Margaret, Jesse, Richard and Leonora.

Richard Olive passed away in 1847 and his wife, Evelina, died in 1857. Both are buried in Smithland Cemetery, as are their children Jesse, and Leonora.

Richard Olive
Jan. 5, 1847
43 years

Wife of
Richard Olive
Oct. 21, 1808
Feb. 21, 1857

The photograph of the home is from 2011 and the tombstones were photographed 20 December 2010.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Tombstone Tuesday - Walter & Hattie Clements

Walter L. Clements
Jan. 1, 1857
Jan. 11, 1900

Hattie P. Clements
1857 - 1931

Buried at St. Ann's Catholic Church Cemetery, Morganfield, Union County, Kentucky. Tombstone photographed 13 February 2009.

The death certificate of Hattie Clements shows she was born 13 November 1856 and died 31 October 1931 in Union County. Her parents were listed as Geo. N. Proctor and Mary Buckman.

The 1880 Union County census shows Walter L. and Hattie Clements and their infant son, Eugene, were living in the household of his parents, Walter and Martha Clements in Morganfield Precinct.

Copyright on text and photos
by Brenda Joyce Jerome, CG

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Same Name; Different Man

Many people are familiar with the Rev. Peter Cartwright, the renowned early Methodist minister, who lived in western Kentucky and whose father, also named Peter Cartwright, died in Caldwell County in 1809. The Rev. Cartwright left Kentucky and settled in Sangamon County, Illinois, where he died in 1872. His life is well documented in Autobiography, Fifty Years a Presiding Elder.

There was another Peter Cartwright, who was probably not related to the above mentioned Peter Cartwright. The "other" man of that name was born 1790-1800 and died in 1847 in Livingston County, Kentucky. He first appeared in Livingston County on the 1838 tax list and bought land there later that same year.

The "other" Peter Cartwright bought several parcels of land, totaling 500 acres, on Jenkins branch of the Tennessee River. In February 1847, the Livingston County Court granted him a ferry license "from his lands across the Tennessee river opposite the lands of Rawleigh Jenkins to & from his lands just below the mouth of the pond drain that empties into sd. river." Thomas Jones was security on the bond for the ferry license.

This Peter Cartwright died in late 1847 and Charles G. Halstead and Enoch P. Ross were granted Letters of Administration on the Cartwright estate. Cartwright's wife apparently died prior to 1840 as an adult female is not listed on the 1840 Livingston County census. His living children are named in his estate file. They are as follows: Sophia, who married Walton H. Jones; Elizabeth, who married C.R. Love; Rehaba, who married A.K. Gray; Mahala, who married Thomas H. Machen and was deceased before June 1850, and Presley H. Cartwright. Sophia and Elizabeth, being above the age of 14 years, chose Demarcus L. Leeper as their guardian. Enoch P. Ross was appointed guardian of Presley H. Cartwright, who was under the age of 14 years.

The Cartwright children seem to have left Livingston County after the death of their father. Sophia and Rehaba both appear with their husbands on the 1850 Weakley County, Tennessee census and Elizabeth married C.R. Love in Weakley County in January 1850. After that their whereabouts are unknown.

While both men were named Peter Cartwright and both lived in western Kentucky, they were not the same man and probably were not related.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Tombstone Tuesday - Thomas Dobson

Sept. 28, 1904
Apr. 13, 1959
Rest in Peace

Buried in Smithland Cemetery, Livingston County, Kentucky. Tombstone photographed 3 January 2011.

Thomas Dobson's death certificate shows he was a laborer in the I.C. R.R. shops. He was African American, married and had lived in Paducah for 40 years. His parent were listed as Thomas Dobson and Inez Holland.

Published 18 Oct 2011,  Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Thursday, October 13, 2011

History or Genealogy?

I've been accused of being more interested in history than genealogy. Is it true? Maybe, but how do you separate one from the other? How do you research a person without taking into consideration the economic situation of the area and his political and religious beliefs? Do you discount everything but names and dates of births, marriages and deaths?

How can you understand how your ancestor lived if you don't know what events he witnessed or which events played a part in the decisions he made? Do you just forget that he served in the Civil War and suffered from his wounds the rest of his life? Do you forget that he was a minister and helped establish a new church?

On the other hand, how can you understand history if you don't research the people who participated in the events? Do you study the Civil War as a series of conflicts without looking at the men who fought the battles?

Where does one stop and the other begin? In my mind, history and genealogy support each other and must be studied and researched together to get a more complete picture of our ancestors. What do you think?

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Tombstone Tuesday - James Milton and Ann E. Dudley

Jas. Milton Dudley
Ann Eliza Harpending
His Wife

Buried Cedar Hill Cemetery, Princeton, Caldwell County, Kentucky. Tombstone photographed 7 October 2011. Note the Masonic symbol at the top of the tombstone.

Milton Dudley obtained a bond to marry Miss Ann Eliza Harpending on 12 February 1835 in Caldwell County. Security on the bond was Asberry Harpending.

The 1850 Caldwell County census shows Milton Dudley, age 44, tobacco factor, born in Kentucky; Ann Eliza Dudley, age 31, born Kentucky and children Mary H., age 13; Paulina, age 10; Gideon C., age 4 and Alexr., age 1.

Copyright on text and photographs
by Brenda Joyce Jerome, CG

Monday, October 10, 2011

On the Move!

The Livingston County Clerk's Office at the old courthouse in Smithland is getting ready to move into their new housing in the County Office Building next door. The move will begin Monday, 17 October 2011. As a result of the move, the office will be closed next week. The new office will provide much more space for the records and conducting business.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Research Tip - New Illinois Birth Certificate Rules

New Illinois birth certificate rules go into effect 15 November 2011. Adults born after 1 January 1946 who were surrendered or adopted will be able to request their original Illinois birth certificate. They will be able to see a non-certified certificate, which usually contains the names of the birth parents, ages and places of birth.

For those who wish their information to remain confidential, the Illinois Department of Public Health is providing a Birth Parent Preference Form. Birth parents who do want their information released need to fill out a form before the new rule goes into effect.

For more information, go here:

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Happy Anniversary!

Four years ago on 6 October 2007, the Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog was born. Since then there have been 720 posts with subjects ranging from book reviews to Tombstone Tuesday photos to research tips.

I hope this blog has been of interest to you. If you have suggestions about what should be covered or not covered, please leave a comment.

Thanks for joining me on this journey. I hope you have enjoyed it as much as I.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Tombstone Tuesday - Elijah R. and Martha E. Hatcher

Elijah R. Hatcher
1856 - 1925
Martha E.
His Wife
1861 - 1934

Buried Fernwood Cemetery, Henderson, Kentucky. Tombstone photographed 2 July 2011.

According to his death certificate, Elijah R. Hatcher was born 6 April 1856 Ohio County, Kentucky and died in Henderson 27 September 1925. His parents were George J. Hatcher and Elizabeth Bennett. Elijah R. Hatcher was a police desk sergeant.

Martha E. Hatcher was born 9 April 1857 Padiham, England and died 3 June 1934, according to her death certificate. Her parents were Jas. Austin, born England, and Bridget Keeling, born Ireland.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Saturday Morning At Willard

I will be presenting two programs on Saturday, 15 October 2011, at Willard Library, 21 First Avenue, Evansville, Indiana. Both programs are free, but Reservations are suggested. These classes are aimed at beginning and intermediate genealogists, but all are welcome.

The schedule is as follows:
9:00 a.m. Registration
9:30 a.m Courthouse Records: The Expanded Version
10:30 a.m. Break
11:00 a.m. Vital Statistics: Alternative Sources

Come join us.