Monday, December 30, 2013

Monument Monday - Uncle Billy Welden

William Welden
June 12, 1809
May 30, 1893
A precious one from us has gone
A voice loved is stilled
A place is vacant in our home
Which never can be filled
Buried Green Cemetery near Pinckneyville, Livingston County, Kentucky. Tombstone photographed and submitted by Marty Hodge of Marion, Kentucky.
An article about Pinckneyville in the 19 August 1879 issue of the Crittenden Press states the following: "It has a population of 50, the oldest of whom is old uncle Billy Weldon." "Uncle Billy"  operated a store in Pinckneyville in the mid to late 1800s.
His obituary can be found in the 9 June 1893 issue of the Press. "It is our painful duty to chronicle the death of Mr. Wm. Weldon of Pinckneyville, which occurred at his home last Friday. Wm. Weldon was one of the few surviving early settlers of this section of Kentucky, and like most of them, he was a man of strong character and he placed his imprint upon the present generation. He was born in South Carolina in 1809 and in the thirties, probably 1832, he came to Kentucky, settling on a farm four miles south of Marion. Here he hewed a farm and went to work. For many years he lived there; many sons and daughters were born unto him, and today among our best citizens are found many of his descendants."
Buried beside "Uncle Billy" is his wife, Sally, who was born 1824 and died 1906.

Published 30 December 2013, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog 

Friday, December 27, 2013

Idiots and Lunatics

Many of us have come across records of someone being declared an idiot or lunatic and perhaps placed in an asylum. What do the terms mean and how do they differ?

The words "idiot" and "lunatic" are often used to denote the same medical condition, but the meanings are not the same.  According to Compendium of the Common Law in Force in Kentucky by Charles Humphreys, 1822, pages 125-126, "Idiots are persons of unsound minds from their birth. Lunatics are those who become insane by some infirmity after birth."

It goes on to say that "A man is not an idiot if he has any glimmering of reasons, so that he can tell his parents his age ... But one born deaf, dumb and blind is considered in the same state as an idiot.

"A lunatic is one who has his reason impaired by some infirmity and ... only occasionally in that condition, having lucid intervals, sometimes depending on the change of the moon. However, the word lunatic includes all person who become incapable, by any impairment of mind, of conducting their own affairs."

Published 27 December 2013, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas from the Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog!
Published 25 December 2013, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Steamboat Christmas Dinner Menu 1890

Lavish meals were served on steamboats in by-gone days and if you doubt it, just take a look at the menu for Christmas dinner on the steamer W.F. Nisbet in 1890. This menu appeared in the Evansville Press on Sunday, 26 April 1936. Personally I think the Baked Opossum could have been left off the menu.

Baked Red Snapper     Potatoes Croquette
Leg of Beef   Brown Gravy   Joint of Veal
Currant Jelly   Lamb   French Peas   Young Shoat
Applesauce   Baked Opossum   Sweet Potatoes
Poultry and Game
Young Turkey   Oyster Dressing   Cranberry Sauce
Wild Goose   German Dumplings
Fried Chicken   Maryland Style Quail on Toast
Delmonico Potatoes   Okra   New Asparagus
Baked Mashed Sweet Potatoes   Green Corn
Puree of Spinach in Cream
Fricassee of Sweet Breads   Baked Macaroni Cheese
Chicken   Lobster   Potato
New Onions   American Cheese   Green Olives
Steamed Apple Pudding   Frozen Sauce   Mince Pie
Cranberry Pie   Lemon Pie
English Cream    Charlotte Russe  Italian Cream
Macedonia Fruit   Wine Jelly   Pine Apple Cheese
Brandy Jelly SoufflĂ©  Peaches   Floating Island   Ice Cream
Assorted Cakes
Pound Cake  Lady Cake  Fruit Cake  Chocolate Lady Fingers  Jelly Cake
Jelly Roll  Sponge Drops   Coconut Macaroons   Egg Kisses   Brandy Snaps
Ice Cream Cake  Jenny Lind
Fruits, Etc.
Bananas   Oranges   Pine Apple  Mixed Nuts  Assorted Candy
Coffees, Teas, Etc.
Mocha and Java   Melson Chocolate   Green Teas   Sweet and Buttermilk
Indiana Lemonade   Tennessee Corn Dodgers
Published 24 December 2013, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Monday, December 23, 2013

Monument Monday - Louis and Amanda Cain

Louis B. Cain
July 18, 1850
July 5, 1921
Amanda P. His Wife
Feb. 9, 1854
Jan. 14, 1936
Buried Green's Chapel Cemetery, Crittenden County, Kentucky. Tombstone photographed 16 February 2013.
L.B. Cain and Miss Amanda Newcom married in Crittenden County 18 May 1871.
According to death certificate #4384 (1921), Louis B. Cain, a retired farmer, was the son of William Cain and Peggy Crowell, both of whom were born in Georgia.  The death certificate of Amanda Cain (#674 in 1936), shows she was the daughter of James Newcom and Eliza Moore, both born in Crittenden County.
Published 23 December 2013, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Short Life of Henry W. Taylor

Tucked away under a bush in Smithland Cemetery is a tombstone which has been sinking into the ground since the death of the man who is buried here. The words are few and only hint at his life story.

Henry W.
Born in
Pittsburg Pa
Nov. 1, 1830
[The death date is below ground level]
H.W. Taylor appears on the 1860 Livingston County census in Smithland. In his household are his wife, Pauline Renaud Taylor, whom he married 8 June 1854 in Livingston County. Taylor is listed as an engineer and likely worked on a steamboat.  Also in the household on the census were A.L.J. Renaud, age 21, and Liddia Renaud, age 13, both born in France. Their marriage record shows H.W. Taylor was born in Pennsylvania. Pauline was age 24 and born in France.
From the symbol on his tombstone, we know that Taylor was a member of the Masonic lodge, but was that in Smithland or was it in Pennsylvania? He is not listed with Smithland Lodge No. 138 as a member in 1867.
While there is little information on the life of Henry W. Taylor in Livingston County records, a few items turned up in newspapers. The first item appeared in the Cairo, Illinois newspaper in 1866. It stated that H.W. Taylor, a steamboat engineer, married a French lady, a resident of Kentucky. They made their home in Smithland. Before the war (Civil War), Taylor worked on a steamboat. When the war began, Taylor entered the service of the federal government and continued until the war ended. Then came the news that Mrs. Taylor had inherited a fortune from her uncle in France.
The other newspaper article appeared in the 7 November 1869 issue of the Cincinnati Daily Enquirer in the column of news of steamboats and the river. It mentions that George W. Hagey  and Mr. Henry Taylor died within 24 hours of each other and the remains of both were being conveyed to Smithland for burial. So, we know Henry W. Taylor died in November 1869 in Cairo, Illinois.
H.W. Taylor's widow, Pauline, appears on the 1870 census in Alexander County, Illinois. In her household were Alex. N. Taylor, age 8 and born Kentucky, and Henry and James Taylor, twins age 7 months and born Illinois.
Under Court News in the 20 November 1875 issue of the Cairo Bulletin, the following notice appeared: "In the matter of the guardianship of Alexander W. Taylor, minor heir of Henry W. Taylor, deceased, Pauline Taylor guardian ordered to report her acts and doings in the premises in her next report."  So ... was only Alexander a child of Henry W. Taylor or had the twin boys, Henry and James, died between 1870 and 1875?
In 1873, Pauline married Thomas Coon and they moved to Fulton County, Kentucky.  Alex N. Taylor, oldest child of Henry W. and Pauline (Renaud) Taylor, became a printer and lived in Evansville, Indiana and died in Henderson, Kentucky 30 September 1946. He is buried in Fernwood Cemetery next to his wife, Ella.
Published 19 December 2013, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Tombstone Tuesday - R.T. and Rosie E. Stegall

Feb. 24, 1839
Aug. 7, 1926
Rosie E.
Feb. 28, 1864
Mar. 2, 1942
Buried in Ferguson Cemetery, off Hwy 70 (Tiline Road), Livingston County, Kentucky. Tombstone photographed 3 December 2013.
Death certificate #20937 (1926) of Theodore Stegall states he was born in Kentucky. His father was unknown and his mother was Eliza Cook.
Death certificate #7233 (1942) of Rosa Ellen Stegall states she was born in Kentucky and was the daughter of -- Jarrett and -- Perkins, both of whom were born in Lyon County, Kentucky.
R.T. Stegall and Rosa E. Jarrett married 1 May 1882 Lyon County, Kentucky.
Published 17 December 2013, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Webster County News 1907

Even though there are no extant copies of Webster County, Kentucky newspapers from early in the 20th century, news of that county can be found in the newspaper of the adjoining county of Henderson. The following items appeared in the Henderson Daily Gleaner on Tuesday, 8 January 1907 and were reprinted from the Providence Enterprise.

Mr. Chas. A. Childs, of Lisman, and Miss Jimmie Lisman, formerly of this city, went to Madisonville Wednesday morning where they were quietly married at the Presbyterian parsonage by Rev. P.D. Tucker.

Mr. Arthur Johnson, of this city, and Miss Emma Easley were united in marriage on Christmas day at the residence of the bride's father, Mr. E.U. Easley, of the country, Esq. Headley Browning tying the knot. They are very worthy young people.

Louis Grantley, a young married man living near Clay, died last Sunday evening of consumption. The deceased leaves a widow and one child. Burial took place at White Oak church.

Ernest Dame Dunning, a well respected young man of the Corinth country, died on Christmas eve after five weeks of stomach trouble. The deceased was about twenty years old.

Mrs. Minerva Rutherford, widow of the late W.S. Rutherford, died at Nebo last Saturday morning. It will be remembered that her husband died suddenly while sitting at her bedside about four weeks ago. Mrs. Rutherford was a highly esteemed lady.

Mrs. Charles Miller died at her home in this city last Saturday night after a long illness of consumption.

The infant son of Mr. and Mrs. R.L. Jackson, of Dixon, died on December 27.

Published 14 December 2013, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Free Negroes - Livingston County, Kentucky 1852

It is not easy researching persons of color prior to the Civil War so I was delighted to find names of Free Negroes listed after the 1852 Livingston County , Kentucky Tax List on microfilm.  The first list of names is for those under age. All were listed as Mulattoes except for Elijah Howard, Mary Demery and Harriet Gordin. Amanda Marks is listed as age 22  and Harriett Gordin as 28.  If those ages are correct, they certainly were not minors.

Mary Jane Mitchell, age 3; Nancy Jane Dover, 5; Minta Howard, 11; Fedrick Howard, 15; Elijah Howard, 12; Amanda Marks, 22; Jane Hervey, 12; Lydia Henry, 7; Mary A. Bowls, 13; John J. Bowls, 9; Minerva Bowls, 8; George R. Bowls, 4; William E. Bowls, 6; Henry R. Bowls, 4; Thos. F. Bowls, 2; Lewis Harris, 16; Mary Demery, 10; Harriet Gordin, 28.

Of the following list, M  after the names signifies Mulatto and N signifies Negro.

Fitts William, N, age 45; Austin [no last name], N, 56; Hannah Davis, N, 65; Jacob Forbush, M, 48; Bazzel Jenkins, M, 18; Bazzel Jenkins, M, 39; James Jefferson, M, 25; Henry Ann [Ann Henry?], N, 55; Jane Botts, M, 65; William Bowls, N, 27; Lucinda Bowls, M, 28; Mary Betz, N, 30; Minta Jenkins, N, 39; John Dickenson, M, 34; Betty Densary M, 30; Lydia Howard, M, 47; Edmund McCawley, M; Henry Jenkins, M, 21; John Jenkins, N, 23; Levi Gordon, N, 52; Willis [no other name], N, 81; Blewford Moreland, M, 41; Mary Leech, M, 24; Barhaba Willis, M, 38; Emily Moreland, M, 26; Bob Smith, N, 68.

Property of  Negroes
Gordon, Levi  100 A. Town Creek, 300
Gordon, Levi  100 A. Cumberland R.
Moreland, Blewford  68 A. Ohio River
Davis, Hannah  85 A. Plumborchard Ck.
Furbush, Jacob
Furbush, Jacob
Jenkins, Bazzell
Dickenson, John

John Jameson, Blind, living on the waters of Deer Creek near Salem.
James Burgess, Deaf, Sandy Creek, Salem P.O.
Charles Bearden, Ohio River, Salem, P.O.

31 May 1852  Jas. L. Dallam

Published 5 December 2013, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Tombstone Tuesday - Alexandra Brasher

born Aug. the 8
died  Nov the 14
Buried Old Fredonia Cemetery, Caldwell County, Kentucky. Tombstone photographed 15 March 2013.
Was this Alexander Brasher, possibly a son of Thomas Brasher who appears on the 1830 Caldwell County census?
Published 10 December 2013, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Power of Attorney

A power of attorney is an instrument in writing whereby a person appoints another as his agent and confers authority to perform certain specified acts or kinds of acts in his behalf. [Black's Law Dictionary, Sixth Edition, 1990]  That is what William Griffith did when he appointed Joseph McConnell to receive his part of  Reuben Cook's estate in Caldwell County, Kentucky in 1835. Living far away from Caldwell County very likely would have prevented Griffith from acting in his own behalf.

Powers of attorney are sometimes recorded in deed books or in county court order books or they may be found among loose county court papers and never recorded. The following document was filed in Caldwell County Powers of Attorney 1833-1840 in the county clerk's office in Princeton.

"Know all men by these presents that I William Griffith of Louissiania parrish of East Felisania have nominated Constituted and appointed and do by presents nominate Constitute and appoint Joseph Mcconell  McConnell my true and lawfull agent and attorney in fact for me and in my name to draw receive and Convey agreeable to my order my part of legacy a comeing from Reuben Cooks estate and whatever my Lawfull attorney Shall do for me in the premises Shall be as binding on myself and my heirs as if done by me in my own proper person.

"In witness whereof I the said Griffith have hereunto set my hand and Seal this the 23 day of September 1835.  [signed] William Griffith.  Witness - Wilson L. Pollard, John H. Campbell, Jeptha Griffith.

"State of Kentucky  Caldwell County    I Nathan S. Dallam clerk of the County Court for the aforesaid County, do certify that the foregoing Letter of attorney from William Griffith unto Joseph McConnell was this day produced to me in my office & proven by the Several oaths of Jeptha Griffith & Wilson L. Pollard two subscribing witnesses thereto to be the act & deed of sd. William Griffith for the purpose therein contained, and that I have truly recorded the same & this certificate in my sd. office, Given under my hand this 15 day of October 1835. [signed] N.S. Dallam, CCC"

Published 12 December 2013, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Tombstone Tuesday - Thomas H. Hughes

Thos. H. Hughes
Feb. 8, 1843
Oct. 12, 1874
I hoped in thy word.
Psalms 119:147
Buried Hill Cemetery, Caldwell County, Kentucky. Tombstone photographed 10 October 2013.
Thomas Hughs [sic] is found in the household of Thos. and Jane S. Hughs on the 1850 Caldwell County census. He is also mentioned as a son in the will of Jane Hughs (Caldwell County Will Book B, page 250), which was written 28 January 1868 and recorded 16 March 1868.
Thomas H. Hughes married Mary R. Byrd 4 November 1868 in Caldwell County.
Published 3 December 2013, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,