Thursday, March 29, 2012

1940 U.S. Federal Census

The 1940 U.S. Federal Census will be released 2 April 2012. On that date, NARA will provide free access to the images of the census for the first time. The census will not be indexed when it is released so it will save time if you know in what part of the county your folks lived. A coordinated effort among several genealogical organizations, including Family Search and, will have volunteers indexing as soon as the census is released.

Among the new questions on this census are the following:

  • Residence in 1935

  • Highest educational grade achieved

  • Detailed information on income and occupation

  • For the first time, the person giving the information for the census will be identified.

    I am very excited about the release of this census because my parents, as a young married couple, and my brother will be listed.

    Tuesday, March 27, 2012

    Tombstone Tuesday - Susan Ferguson

    C.J. & R. Sanders
    And Wife of
    H. Ferguson
    Feb. 5, 1834

    Buried Smithland Cemetery, Smithland, Kentucky. Tombstone photographed 2 September 2011.

    Hamlet Ferguson obtained a bond to marry Susan Sanders 12 September 1832 Livingston County, Kentucky. Susan lived less than two years after the marriage. Did she die in childbirth?

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

    Thursday, March 22, 2012

    Mandy Falls - Behind the Legends

    It is said that Mandy Falls in Livingston County is named for Mandy (Amanda) Flannery, who lived in the area near the falls. Legends about Mandy Flannery are many. Some say she was a Native American woman who ran away from her home in East Tennessee before the Civil War and made her way to Pope County, Illlnois, where she met and married a Mr. Flannery. It is also said she knew the wonders of the woods and often sat alone communicating with nature near her home.

    Were these legends true? Was there a real person named Mandy Flannery? A little searching resulted in some answers.

    There is a marriage record for Harve Flannery and Amanda J. Harper recorded 9 December 1886 in Pope County, Illinois. The record states Amanda was the daughter of Thomas Harper and Eady Macke, both born in Cocke County, Tennessee. With that one record we have learned that Mandy did come from East Tennessee as Cocke County is located in the Smokey Mountains. We also know the names of her parents, which should be helpful in locating them on census records prior to Mandy's marriage.

    The 1880 Cocke County, Tennessee census lists T.D.A. Harper, age 51, wife Hannor, age 44, and several children, including Amanda, age 15. This places her birth date as 1865, the year the Civil War ended. The 1870 Cocke County, Tennessee also lists the Harper family, but the wife of Thomas D. Harper, is shown as Docia, age 35. Two different wives or same wife, but called by different name? The 1850 and 1860 Cocke County census identify the wife of Thomas Harper as Theodocia. Did Thomas Harper have at least two wives?

    Let's go back to Harve Flannery and Amanda Harper. Where did this couple live after their marriage? They weren't in Pope County, but the 1900 census for Livingston County shows them in the Carrsville area with children Carry J., Luretta, Lollie, William S. and Thomas H. Amanda's birth date is given as March 1863.

    Harve and Mandy Flannery, with two more children, Herbert and Minta, appear on the 1910 and 1920 Livingston County. Nothing indicates she was Native American. In all census records, she is recorded as white.

    Harvey Flannery died 30 September 1927 in Livingston County. Mandy lived with son, Herbert, in 1930 and died on 12 March 1939. Both she and Harve are buried at Loves Chapel, Livingston County, according to their death certificates, but no tombstones mark their graves. On Mandy's death certificate, her parents are listed as Thomas and Doshia Harper and her birthdate is given as 6 March 1863.

    So, we learned that Mandy Harper Flannery was from East Tennessee and she did marry a Mr. Flannery in Pope County, Illinois. However, nothing was found to indicate she was Native American and she could not have run away from her home before the Civil War as she wasn't born until 1863. It makes one wonder how legends begin.

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

    Tuesday, March 20, 2012

    Tombstone Tuesday - Ellen M. Casey

    Ellen M. Casey
    July 23, 1842
    Sept. 20, 1913

    Buried Masonic Cemetery, Morganfield, Union County, Kentucky. Tombstone photographed 18 January 2012.

    According to her death certificate, Ellen M. Casey was born 15 July 1843 Union County and died 20 September 1913. She was single and the daughter of John Casey and Mary Lewis, both of whom were born in Virginia.

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

    Thursday, March 15, 2012

    Caldwell County, Kentucky in 1854

    The New and Complete Gazetteer of the United States by Thomas Baldwin and J. Thomas, MD, published in 1854, gives a brief view of Caldwell County, Kentucky. Keep in mind that Caldwell County, at the time this was written, included the area that is now Lyon County.

    Caldwell, a county in the W. part of Kentucky, contains about 700 square miles. The Tennessee river bounds it on the S.W., the Tradewater creek on the N.E. and it is intersected by the Cumberland river. The surface is mostly level and the soil fertile. The staples are tobacco, corn, and pork.

    It contains 80 churches, 2 newspapers, 670 pupils attending public schools, and 180 attending academies or other schools.

    A large bed of coal has been found in the N. part, and iron ore is abundant on the banks of the rivers. The county contains a rolling mill and 3 large iron works, employing about 500 men.

    Named in honor of John Caldwell, former lieutenant-governor of the state. Organized in 1809. Capital, Princeton. Population, 18,048, of whom 9941 were free and 8107 were slaves.

    Eddyville, is a thriving post-village of Caldwell County, Kentucky, on the Cumberland river at the mouth of Eddy creek, about 15 miles W. from Princeton. It has 1 or 2 churches, 10 stores and 4 warehouses. Estimated population, 700.

    Princeton, capital of Caldwell county, about 230 miles W.S.W. from Frankfort. It is surrounded by a fertile region, and it has considerable trade. It is the seat of Cumberland College, founded in 1825, and contains 4 churches, an academy, and a bank. Two newspapers are published here. Population in 1853, about 1500.

    Tuesday, March 13, 2012

    Tombstone Tuesday - Mason Infants

    Sept. 19, 1893
    Aug. 18, 1894
    At Rest

    Jan. 21, 1896
    Feb. 22, 1896
    At Rest

    Both infants are buried in Smithland Cemetery, Livingston County, Kentucky. Tombstones were photographed 20 December 2010. Nothing else is known about these children.

    Thursday, March 8, 2012

    Hodge Separation Agreement 1854

    John A. Hodge and Mary Reese married 12 January 1842 Livingston County, Kentucky. Things did not go well for the couple, which resulted in the following very interesting document. It is recorded in Crittenden County Deed Book D, page 163.

    Articles of Agreement made and entered into this 21st day of April 1854 between John A. Hodge and Polly Hodge, both of the County of Crittenden ... Witnesseth that whereas we have tried in vain for a number of years to live together as man and wife should do in peace but being now thoroughly satisfied that such cannot be we hereby agree to separate and not attempt to live together as man and wife agreeing and binding ourselves to stay aloof the one from the other and never again recognizing each other as husband and wife and the sd. John hereby relinquishes all claim to every kind or species of property which came to Polly in through [sic] or by her father, Elisha Reese or from his estate he also relinquished all right or claim to all the household & kitchen furniture of every description. He also relinquishes all claim to all the cattle now in the meat house save 100 lbs & Polly agrees and binds herself never to become a charge on John A. Hodge in any way or to look to him for any portion of her support maintenance or raiment in any manner. In witness whereof they have hereunto set their hands and seals the day and date above written. [signed] John A. Hodge, Mary Hodge. Witness: R.G. Stewart, I.H. Clement, Henry R.D. Coleman.

    Tuesday, March 6, 2012

    Tombstone Tuesday - Mary E. Freeman

    Mary E.
    1862 - 1924

    Buried Fernwood Cemetery, Henderson, Kentucky. Tombstone photographed 31 December 2011.

    According to her death certificate, Mary E. Freeman was born in Henderson 28 October 1862 and died 18 June 1924. She was the daughter of Robert Freeman and Mary Mann. Her obituary in the Henderson Morning Gleaner on Thursday, 19 June 1924, states she had been a trained nurse for 33 years. She graduated from the old Henderson city hospital and took a post graduate course at the Louisville hospital.

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

    Saturday, March 3, 2012

    Find A Grave - Second Thoughts

    Find A Grave has long been a favorite genealogy site for online research. It was thrilling to type in the name of an ancestor and, with a click, the tombstone, complete with name and dates, appeared before your eyes. Many of us signed on to record tombstones in our community to help other genealogists. This was genealogy sharing at its best. Everybody won.

    But things changed. No tombstone? That's all right. We will just list him where we think he was buried. As long as you have the name and approximate dates, that will work. So what if the tombstone only gives the years of birth and death? We will just add the months and days and everyone will be happy. Who cares if the name on the tombstone is A.B. Brown. We know he was was really Albert Bray Brown so that is how we will list his name. Sigh

    The practice of linking to other family members is especially distressing. No proof is required and apparently there is no way to opt out. This is not the way I do genealogy.

    As a novice genealogist many years ago, I was taught to record only what I can see. It was not permissible to add anything. What has happened to integrity in genealogy? Have standards changed so drastically? I don't think so, but I do believe in order to "help" others and make genealogy easier for everyone, we tend to "dumb down" the research process. This is a poor substitute for sound, documented research.

    I am disappointed in Find A Grave. It started out as such a great idea, but got lost along the way. I am re-thinking my position on submitting records to Find A Grave. The value of this site has been diluted, in my opinion.

    Thursday, March 1, 2012

    Letter to the Children 1905

    Aaron Waller Mason

    It isn't often that a parent writes a letter to his children outlining his wishes on the handling of his estate. The following very poignant letter was written by Aaron Waller Mason, who was born 28 August 1852 in Morganfield, Union County, Kentucky, to his children several months before his death. Many thanks are due the family of Aaron Waller Mason and especially Patricia Gallagher Campbell for sharing the letter and photo.

    November 20th, 1905

    To my four Children

    I am leaving you an inheritance and hope each one of you will handle it judiciously and be able to add to instead of diminish. It will help to hold your station and be fine in sickness and old age whatever it is I can say it has all been gotten by honest effort; never have I lied, misrepsented, or in any way, used deception to make sales or a trade and I hope and believe you will all have the same idea of trade and life. I had fully intended makeing Gordon one of my executors but he being under age could not. I made the settlement of my estate five years on account of my youngest children having a home, but if in a little while it is broken up then you can

    [pg.2] go to the court and get permission to sell the Home. The home question has bothered me more than all the other property and now I am no nearer a solution than at first. It will be quite expensive to run as it now is with so few there and I have thought maybe Mr. Newman and Camilla might take it free of rent and let the children pay only their part of the expense and then I have thought they might run it and the children board with them. They are all problems with me and I can only say as time passes it may adjust these things. They are two far in the future for me to decide. I don’t think any of the children would care to own the home it is too expensive with what is back of it. I mean

    [pg.3] you would not have enough to own it and make a living out of the rest. . I think it will be wise to use any Insureance to pay A.Waller and Co, that is if they will pay the dividend to you yearly. I think Chapmans understands this. My other estate I think in good shape and not be hard to handle, but if you should need counsel I would suggest you counsel with Jim Waller for I know he is my friend as well as yours and will do all he can to assist you. If I had gone out of the family for an executor he would have been named. I feel sure he would be a great benefit to you in selling the home place. I know Chapman is from home [Submitter's note: Chapman was not living in Morganfield at the time of this letter. He was living in Henderson and I think this is what he is referring to here.] and may feel that it will be hard for him to attend to these

    [pg.4] things and if you should give it up Jim or the Peoples bank and Trust Co. would be good people to handle it, except I would not want the reality sacrificed in order to get it in money. These are suggestions that I don’t suppose will amount to anything. Now Gordon will soon be grown and will probably save money and will probably be in the country. I feel he will be able to take care of himself; but now to Lide and Lucian you know they will need your care and sympathy and I feel you will both help care and look after them. Little sister will be all broken up but-she must-stand brave and lean on you boys and Camilla. I hope and believe Camilla will be the same aunt to them she has been so faithfully and so long. I am sure

    [pg.5] her reward awaits her. Now in conclusion I want to say I don’t want you all to grieve after me, it will do no good at all and why worry, just take hold and get all the sweet out of life you can and after a while I hope to meet you all in a place prepared for them who are faithful to the end.

    Your Papa

    My aim has [faint; hard to read]

    Aaron Waller Mason died 8 June 1906 in Morganfield. He married Lucy Allen Chapman 3 May 1877 and they had the following issue: Houston Chapman Mason (1879-1952), Allen Gordon Mason (1885-1955), Mary Lide E. Mason (1889-1921) and Lucian Carr Mason (1892-1918).