Sunday, February 27, 2011


Several books have been added to the sale list here     The sale ends 1 April 2011.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Tombstone Tuesday - Owen Boaz

Owen Boaz
1849 - 1944

Buried Caldwell Springs Cemetery, Crittenden County, Kentucky. Tombstone photographed 3 November 2010.

According to his death certificate, Owen Boaz was born 20 June 1849 Kentucky and died in Crittenden County 10 January 1944. He was a retired farmer and the son of George L. Boaz, who was also born in Kentucky.  The 1870 Crittenden County census shows Owen Boaz living in the household of George and Sallie Boaze. In 1880, Owen Boaz was living in the home of his brother, Albert Boaz.

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

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Civil War Loyalty Oath 1864

Smithland, Livingston County, Kentucky was under control of the Federal army throughout almost all of the Civil War. In late 1861 and early 1862, several rules were instituted that were meant to suppress support for the Confederacy. It was unwise to openly show support for the South in any way.  Even flying a Confederate flag could result in a heavy fine.

Teachers, ministers, jurors and public officials were required to take a loyalty oath. Below is the oath signed by C.W. Threlkeld, who was authorized to solemnize the rites of matrimony in 1864. This is from Livingston County Loose County Clerk's Papers 1863-1867, Box 16, filed October Term 1864.

I do solemnly swear that I will support the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of this State and be faithful and true to the Commonwealth of Kentucky and the Laws and government thereof so long as I continue a citizen thereof and I do further solemnly swear that I will not aid assist abet or comfort directly or indirectly the so called Confederate States or those now in Rebellion against the United States or the State of Kentucky so long as I continue a citizen of this state. So help me God.   [signed] C.W. Threlkeld
Subscribed and sworn to in open Court Oct 4th 1864.  Att: J.W. Cade, C.L.C.C. [Clerk of Livingston County Court]

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

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Tombstone Tuesday - J.W. and Nancy Pritchett

J.W. Pritchett
1860 - 1939
Nancy, His Wife
1865 - 1928

Buried Shady Grove Cemetery, Webster County, Kentucky. Tombstone photographed 11 September 2009.

According to his death certificate, James William Pritchett was born 6 February 1860 Kentucky and died 18 May 1939. The son of Thomas Pritchett and Jane Weldon, J.W. Pritchett was a retired farmer.

Nancy Pritchett, the daughter of Joseph Hicks and -- Williams, was born 17 February 1865 Webster County and died 22 February 1928. Her parents were both born in North Carolina.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Immigration Workshop

Willard Library of Evansville, Indiana will host a free workshop on Immigration on Saturday, 26 March 2011 from 9:30 to noon. The workshop will be held in Special Collections, second floor of the library, at 21 First Avenue, Evansville.   Ron Darrah will present two programs: "Our Golden Door: Introduction to Immigration" and "Populating Hoosierland."  The workshop is free, but reservations are suggested as space is limited. To make reservations, call (812) 425-4309 or email or register online

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Union County, Kentucky Constables 1855

In earlier years, constables had wide and varied duties, including executing warrants, summoning witnesses, collecting fees and acting in conjunction with the justices of the peace. To guarantee the faithful performance of his office, each constable and his sureties signed a  bond. Although their duties are diminished today, the office still exists in Kentucky. The following information is taken from Union County, Kentucky Constable Bonds 1853 - 1878 (pages 15-23) , Union County Clerk's Office, Morganfield, Kentucky. Thomas S. Chapman was county clerk in 1855.

Constable: John Dial.  Surety: George W. Nall.  5 March 1855.

Constable: C.B. January.  Sureties: D.A. Brooks, A.L. Churchill, William Buckham.  4 June 1855.

Constable: Robert Herrin. Sureties: Robert Spalding, George Raley.  4 June 1855.

Constable: James T. Hughes. Sureties: Nicholas W. Culver, Henry Payne.  4 June 1855.

Constable: Nicholas W. Culver.  Sureties: James T. Hughes, John W. Griggs, Thomas Markham.  4 June 1855.

Constable: Lewis Mills.  Sureties: T.B. Mills, Joseph A. Mills, Francis Buckman.  4 June 1855.

Constable: James W. Curry.  Sureties: Edward Curry, Benj. P. Wallace, James Curry, James C. Wallace.  4 June 1855.

Constable: Thomas D. Allsop.  Sureties: D.V.M. Sibley, James E. Benson.  4 June 1855.

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

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Tombstone Tuesday - Robert and Adaline Boyd

Robert Boyd
Nov. 20, 1848
Sept. 4, 1928

Adaline R. Boyd
Oct. 2, 1852
Jan.1, 1930

Buried Salem Cemetery, Salem, Livingston County, Kentucky. Tombstone photographed 19 January 2011.

Robert Boyd's death certificate shows that he was a merchant and was born in Livingston County. He died in a hospital in Paducah, Kentucky. The names of his parents are not listed.  Adaline R. Davis, daughter of Moses Davis and Mary G. Threlkeld, married Robert Boyd in Livingston County 28 August 1872.

Robert and Ada [Adaline] Boyd were living in Salem on the 1900 Livingston County census. Enumerated in their household were their children Blanton, Helen, Susan and Addie and Mary G. Foster, Adaline's mother.

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

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Occupation of Smithland During the Civil War


Currently, I am working with a group to  gather information  for  an  application to have the  old Livingston County Court House  and clerks' office buildings placed on the National Register of Historic Places.  Before the application can be completed, a great deal of research  must be done. The research includes information on the erection of the buildings, alterations made to the buildings  and events that occurred there through the years.

Livingston County's court house is among the oldest, if not the oldest, still in use in western Kentucky. Built in 1845, it has weathered storms, floods, wars and unrest.  It has witnessed the heydays of  steamboats, the occupation by Federal troops during the Civil War and  the public hanging of a man on the courthouse lawn. This stately old building has greeted many famous persons - from Andrew Jackson to President James K. Polk and Clara Barton.

The research is fun and has resulted in some new information. Smithland,  Livingston County's seat of justice,  is located strategically at the confluence of two navigable rivers - the Ohio and Cumberland, both of which were important for the movement of troops and goods during the Civil War.  Naval gunboats were a common sight to Smithland residents throughout the war.

As early as September 1861, Federal troops moved into Smithland and occupied the town.  Fort Star, which was located near Smithland Cemetery, was manned by Federal soldiers, including Co. G of the 48th Kentucky Volunteers, whose post commander was local resident, Capt. J.W. Bush. In a town full of Confederate sympathizers, the Federal troops were tolerated, but were not popular with local residents. Although no large battle occurred in Smithland, there was activity.

The New Orleans Times-Picayune of 2 October 1861 briefly mentioned the occupation. " ...  Lincoln troops took possession of Smithland on the 25th ult. They commenced their depredations by destroying a fine orchard in the suburbs, cutting down the trees, and planting instead a large number of heavy guns."

In 1927 Edmonia Patterson Daniel, a Smithland native, wrote about her memories of the occupation of the town. She told of "raids in the town and country on chicken coops, nests, barns and stables ... The river front, far up the Ohio and Cumberland, was dotted with the ominous black painted gunboats, transports, tugs, yawls and row boats."

An article appeared in the Evansville Daily Journal on Saturday, the 21st of January 1865. Under a headline of "Outrage at Smithland," the following is recorded:  "While the Fannie Gilbert [steamboat] was lying at Smithland, four soldiers straggled off into the town and finally entered the house of a man named Isaacs and beat him inhumanly, cutting a dangerous gash in his head ... Three men were subsequently arrested for mutiny ... They were turned over to Capt. Tombler, commandant of the Post here [Evansville] , for discipline and to be forwarded to their regiments for trial and punishment. Their names are Jeremiah Haley, Co. B, 45th Ill., Uriah Henderson, Co. H, 20th Ill. and Taswell Douglas, Co. G, 43rd Ohio."

Stationed at Fort Star [also called Fort Smith] for a while was the 134th Indiana. Jabez Cox,  a soldier in this unit, recorded his impressions of Smithland in his diary, which was published in Indiana Magazine of History, Vol. XXVII, No. 1, March 1932.

"The mouth of the Cumberland is not very broad but deep, and the water of a deep clear bluish color and when the water of the two rivers intermix each preserves its color and looks like grease in muddy water. The scenery is beautiful here in Smithland and the fort mounting one grove is on a high hill right back from the town and manned by Co. G 48th Ky Vols and a Co. of the 34th [New Jersey] are quartered in the town. There have been some gurrillas near here within a short time and about five miles distant over the Tenessee river there are plenty. They have four picket posts one on each roade  The village has been a very prosperous little place but the war has brought a great change over the place  Some remains exist of fine brick buildings that belong to rebels and were destroyed by the soldiers. "

While the town and fort were under the control of the Union army, it appears that the business of the county continued in usual fashion with deeds being recorded, wills being proven and couples being married.  The first indication of the occupation of the court house is found in the circuit court minutes of Monday, the 13th of February 1865, when the following statement was recorded: "The Court House being occupied by the United States troops so that Court cannot be holden therein  It is ordered that the Court be adjourned till thursday morning next at ten Oclock at such place as may be provided by the County Judge for the purpose of holding the Court." The entry is signed by W.P. Fowler, Judge.

Two days later Judge Fowler wrote the following:  "Court met pursuant to adjournment at the House in Smithland Known as the Wilson House provided by the County Judge for the use of the Court, the Court House being still occupied by the Military."

By March 1865, the court was meeting in the Clerk's Office, a separate building on the court house lawn. The court house was still occupied by military forces through early June 1865, even though the war technically ended in April 1865. No reason for the occupation of the courthouse has been found so far, but  at least six western Kentucky court houses had been torched by early 1865. Could it be the Federal troops took possession of the court house in order to save it from destruction by the guerrillas? 

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Tombstone Tuesday - Nannie V. Lamb

Nannie V.
1874 - 1945

Buried Pythian Ridge Cemetery, Sturgis, Union County, Kentucky. Tombstone photographed 25 August 2010.

Nannie Vine Lamb was born 18 Mar 1875 Crittenden County and died 30 December 1945 Union County, according to her death certificate. Her parents were Samuel Lamb and Ellen Truitt, both born in Crittenden County. The 1880 Crittenden County census shows Nannie, age 5, listed in the household of Samuel B. and Ellen Lamb, who were living in the Bells Mines community near the Crittenden-Union County line.

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