Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year!

Wishing you peace, health and happiness in 2015!

Published 31 December 2014, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Monday, December 29, 2014

Monument Monday - Ella Adams

Ella Summers
Wife of
David Adams
Oct. 14, 1852
Aug. 12, 1912

Buried in Smithland Cemetery, Smithland, Kentucky. Tombstone photographed 3 August 2014.

Ella Summers first appeared on the 1860 Livingston County, Kentucky census in the household of her parents, Joseph and Evelyn Summers. Her Kentucky death certificate (#20461) identifies her parents as George [sic] Summers and Evelyn Haines, both born in Kentucky.

Ella first married Henry Marshall on 10 March 1869 and later became the second wife of  David Adams.

Published 29 December 2014, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Winter Book Sale

Several books are on sale through January 2015. For the list of books, go here: Winter Book Sale

Published 27 December 2014, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Friday, December 26, 2014


Trying to improve my writing and research skills while writing this blog is always a challenge. It isn't easy trying to determine the subject of the next blog.  Maybe taking a look at the posts with the highest number of hits will show why those posts were of interest. This list pertains only to the blog posts during 2014.

The five posts with the highest number of hits during 2014 were as follows:

Now, what do these posts have in common?  Not one thing. The last three all appeared in the month of September. Is that significant? I have no idea. The titles for #1 and #4 have catchy titles. Does that help? Maybe. The counties covered and the subject varies, but I have learned during the seven years of writing this blog that posts on the Civil War usually draw more hits. So, should I write about the Civil War during September and use a catchy title?

If you have any suggestions for topics or would like to submit a post, contact me through this blog.

Published 26 December 2014, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas!

Wishing you a Merry Christmas filled 
with the wonders of the season.

Published 25 December 2014, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Monday, December 22, 2014

Monument Monday - Linnie Nelson

Linnie Doyle
Wife of Everett
Nov. 5, 1885
Dec. 4, 1919
She was a kind and
affectionate wife, a fond
mother, and a friend to all

Buried Dyer Hill Cemetery, Livingston County, Kentucky. Tombstone photographed 15 October 2010.

Linna E. Doyle, daughter, was living in the household of James W. and Ella F. Doyle in Dyers Hill District of Livingston County, Kentucky on the 1900 census. 

Everette Lane Scyster Nelson, age two, died 13 October 1919 in Livingston County. He was the son of Everett Nelson and Linnie Doyle, according to his death certificate #28212 (1919).

Published 22 December 2014, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Livingston County Executors 1873

When a person wrote his will, he usually named an executor to perform certain tasks after the testator had died. The executor's duties were to collect debts and credits due the estate, make a just and true accounting of his actions and deliver all legacies specified in the will.   The executor signed a bond to show that he would faithfully perform his duties. The following information comes from Livingston County, Kentucky Executors Bonds 1853 - 1916, a bound volume in the county clerk's office in Smithland. The date listed below is the date the bond was signed.

Jesse L. Abell - executor of the estate of Washington Abell  1 January 1873

John E. Lemen - executor of the estate of Sarah A. Lemen   3 March 1873

Elizabeth Stonebreaker - executor of the estate of Henry Stonebreaker  7 April 1873

S.G. Moxley - executor of the estate of George G. Aydelott  12 June 1873

John N. Mills - executor of the estate of Charles Mills  10 November 1873

James W. Cade - executor of the estate of John B. Signiago  8 December 1873

Bond Appointing James W. Cade
Executor of the last Will and Testament
of John B. Signiago

Published 18 December 2014, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Tombstone Tuesday - Mable and Thomas Farley

1894 - 1923
1881 - 1940

Buried Repton Cemetery, Crittenden County, Kentucky. Tombstone photographed 6 June 2014.

According to Kentucky death certificate #1119, Mable Agnes Gibson Farley was born in Indiana in 1894 to Clint Gibson and an unknown mother and died 17 December 1924. Thomas Farley's death certificate #9053 shows that he was born 1 May 1879 Crittenden County and died 18 April 1940 Princeton, Caldwell County, Kentucky. His parents are given as Gatesfield D. Farley and Sarah Elizabeth Tabor, both born in Kentucky.

Published 16 December 2014, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog, 

Sunday, December 14, 2014


There is Joy in Livingston County, Kentucky.
It can be found near the junction of Highways 135 and 133.

Published 14 December 2014, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Checking the Stories

Grandma  told the best stories about her family - especially the one about her grandfather, who was born well before that awful war that pitted neighbor against neighbor  and brother against brother. Later it became known as the War of Northern Aggression in the South and the Civil War in the North.

She told how Grandpa Jones' family lived on a big plantation with numerous slaves and lost everything due to the War.  She made the events sound as if they happened yesterday, but were those stories true?

Grandma wouldn't lie to you, would she?   Nooo.  Grandma wouldn't stretch things a bit, would she?  Welll, maybe.   It all sounded like she knew what happened and believed it to be true,  but did she have the story right?  How do we find out the truth?

Searching for the truth behind family stories means we check every possible record to find out what really happened. Do our results agree with the family stories?

I love family stories. They are fun and they give personality to people long deceased, but they often get embellished when told, retold, and told again. Sometimes stories are  only partially true or maybe they are rooted in events that happened to someone else. When you hear these stories, write them down, along with the name of the narrator and the date, but put them in the category of Family Stories until you do your research. There is one more thing you need to do.  Write the real story, citing sources for all facts uncovered in your research, and be sure to share the information with others researching the same family.

Now, go on - record those stories and set out to determine if they are true!

Published 11 December 2014, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Tombstone Tuesday - Gilbert

Patrick C.
1858 - 1929
Hattie E. His Wife
1862 - 1933

Buried Pilot Knob Cemetery, Crittenden County, Kentucky. Tombstone photographed 9 April 2014.

According to his death certificate #25839, Patrick Cain Gilbert was born 30 April 1858 and died 24 September 1929. His parents were listed as Jno. M. Gilbert and Pernecie Brantley.  P.C. Cain married Mahala Fritts 8 January 1880 at the home of Rhoda Fritts in Crittenden County. It is curious that the wife of P.C. Cain is listed as Halie or Mahala on the marriage and census records as well as her death certificate, but is listed as Hattie on her tombstone.  Her death certificate shows her parents as Jack Fritts and Rhoda McCormack, both born in Tennessee. In 1920, P.C. and Mahala (Fritts) Cain were living on Fords Ferry Road, Crittenden County.

Published 9 December 2014, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Thursday, December 4, 2014

She Changed Her Name

Things do not always work out as planned and we might wish to return to a better time, sometimes making a name change. The following document illustrates this situation, which was found in a file marked "Petitions" in the Caldwell County, Kentucky Clerk's Office in Princeton, Kentucky.

"To the Honorable, the Judge of the Caldwell County Court -
The undersigned desires her name changed.  Her name was originally Mary G. Parker, being her maiden name. She first married Thomas J. Early[1], who is dead. Then she married one Hamlin H. Hicks[2], from whom she was divorced by a judgement [sic] of the Caldwell Circuit Court Ky. at its September term 1856.

"Her age is thirty five years, her place of birth is Caldwell County Ky. She desires her name changed to Mary G. Early.                                  Respectfully, Mary G. Hicks.

Sworn to before me by Mary G. Hicks this July 13th 1858.  J.C. Barnes, DC."

[Reverse:  Mary G. Hicks Petition to County Court to Change her name. July 13th 1858 filed in my office. June Term 1858 filed in open Court & approv.  J.C. Weller, Clk.]

[1] Caldwell County, Kentucky Marriage Book 2:16. Thomas J. Early and Miss Mary G. Parker married 15 October 1840 Caldwell County. Consent for bride by her mother, Katharine G. Smith. 
[2] Caldwell County, Kentucky Marriage Book 3:119.  Hamlin Hicks and Mrs. Mary Early married 29 November 1853.

Published 4 December 2014, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Tombstone Tuesday - James D. Farmer

James D. Farmer
1862 - 1921

Buried Smithland Cemetery, Livingston County, Kentucky. Tombstone photographed 13 August 2014.

According to Kentucky Death Certificate #10798 (1921), James D. Farmer was born 5 March 1862 Kentucky and died 15 May 1921 Livingston County. His parents are identified as Caleb Farmer and Mary E. Wild, both born in Tennessee. 

James D. Farmer married Martha Avery 18 December 1891 in Hardin County, Illinois. They appear together on the 1900 Caldwell County, Kentucky census and the 1910 and 1920 Livingston County census records.

Published 2 December 2014, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

Advertisement for Copher's Restaurant, Marion, Kentucky
Crittenden Press, 22 November 1900

How does this compare to your Thanksgiving menu?

Published 27 November 2014, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Tombstone Tuesday - John B. Martin

John B.
1844 - 1917

Buried Pilot Knob Cemetery, Crittenden County, Kentucky. Tombstone photographed 9 April 2014.

According to Kentucky death certificate #32553 (1917), John Bazel Martin was born 1846 in Arkansas and died 22 September 1917 Crittenden County, Kentucky. His parents were Nathan Martin, born Henderson County, Kentucky, and -- Stinson, born Evansville, Indiana. The 1860 Henderson County census shows John B. Martin, age 17,  living in the household of Nathan and Cynthia Martin in District No. 1 in Henderson.

J.B. Martin married Susan E. Deen 19 March 1884 Henderson County. They appear together on the 1910 Crittenden County census and Susan is shown living with her children on Kevil Street, Marion, Kentucky on the 1920 Crittenden County census.

Published 25 November 2014, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Choosing Jurors

Before taking office, every sheriff and deputy sheriff had to take an oath or affirmation that he would summon jurors in his county without favor or affection and would not tell anyone, with the exception of the court clerk, the names of the jurymen chosen by the three jury commissioners.

The laws of the Commonwealth determined who was qualified to serve as jurors. The Grand Jury consisted of white males over the age of 21 who were citizens and housekeepers of the county in which they was called to serve. The jury commissioners selected not less than 32 citizens who met the qualifications and from those 32 citizens, 16 were selected to serve as grand jurors

 "No civil officer, surveyor or a highway, owner of a grist mill, tavern-keeper, or vender of ardent spirits by license, shall be competent to serve as a grand juror." [1]

 Members of the grand jury were paid $1.00 per day for the first two days and fifty cents for each additional day they served. Failure to attend as a grand juror without reasonable cause resulted in a fine of not less than $10.

The following oath shall be administered to the grand jury: "You do swear that you will diligently inquire of and present all treasons, felonies, misdemeanors and breaches of the penal laws, which shall have been committed or done within the limits of jurisdiction of this county, of which you have knowledge or may receive information."[2]

Petit juries consisted of 12 persons who were free, white citizens, at least 21 years old, housekeeper and, also, sober, temperate, discreet and of good demeanor. Excluded from serving on a petit jury were civil officers, physicians, surgeons, attorneys  and ministers. A petit juror was paid $1.00 for each day of attendance in court. [3]

The following oath shall be administered to petit jurors: "You do swear that you will well and truly try the issue between ---, plaintiff, and ---, defendant, and a true verdict give, according to the evidence unless dismissed by the court or withdrawn by the parties."[4]

The following men were selected as a petit jury for November 1850, Hon. H.O. Brown, Judge. The list was located in a box labeled Livingston County Clerk's Office County Court Records, Box 1840-1938 (Various Loose County Records).

[1] The Revised Statutes of Kentucky Approved and Adopted by the General Assembly, 1851 and 1852, and in force from July 1, 1852, (Cincinnati: Robert Clarke & Co.) 1867, Chapter 55 Article I, Section I:75.
[2]  The Revised Statutes of Kentucky, 1851 and 1852, Chapter 55, Article I, Section VI:76.
[3]  The Revised Statutes of Kentucky, 1851 and 1852,  Chapter 55, Article III, Section II:77.
[4]  The Revised Statutes of Kentucky, 1851 and 1852, Chapter 55, Article III, Section XIII:78.

Published 20 November 2014, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Tombstone Tuesday - J.H. and Mary F. Curnel

J.H. Curnel
Apr. 4, 1840
Apr. 10, 1912
Mary F.
His Wife
Apr. 2, 1840
Mar. 2, 1932

Buried Deer Creek Cemetery, Crittenden County, Kentucky. Tombstone photographed 7 November 2014.

According to Kentucky death certificate #9500 (1912), J.H. Curnel was born 2 April 1838 and died 10 April 1912. His parents are listed as James Curnel and Francis Hawkun, both born in Tennessee.

Mary F. Curnel was the daughter of my 3rd great-grandparents, Logan Croft and Mary Ann Lucas. Her death certificate #5474 (1932) gives her birth date as 2 April 1841 and her death date as 3 March 1932.

J.H. and Mary F. Curnel last appear together on the 1910 Crittenden County census.  At that time they were living on Irma Road.

Published 18 November 2014, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Ferry Licenses

Kentucky is blessed with many streams and rivers and where you have streams and rivers, there must be a way to cross them. From the earliest days of the Commonwealth, the need for ferries was recognized and, in order to make the ferries operate efficiently, there had to be regulations.

Laws of Kentucky of 1799 [1] outlines the rules for a successful ferry system.

The county courts were empowered to establish ferries across the rivers or creeks within their boundaries. In order to establish the ferry, the land owners on both sides of the watercourse must have a month's notice that the application was to be made for the ferry.

The rates of the ferries were fixed by the courts at the time the ferry was established. The rates covered the following: every coach, waggon, chariot and the driver, every two- and four-wheeled chaise, carriage, phaeton and driver, every hogshead of tobacco and all livestock.

If the county court thought it beneficial that a tavern be kept at the ferry, they could license the ferry keeper to keep a tavern without a fee for the license. The ferry keeper had to post bond with security, but did not have to pay a fee for the license.

All ferries were to furnish the necessary boats and ferry-men within six months after the establishment of the ferry. If they did not, the ferry was discontinued.

The following has been abstracted from loose bundles marked "Ferry Bonds" in the Caldwell County Clerk's Office, Princeton, Kentucky. Ferry licenses are recorded in the county court order books also.

Bond:  17 May 1841. A ferry hath been established from the lands of Milton Dudley in Caldwell County on the Tennessee River to the opposite shore at the place where Morse's old ferry was. If M. Dudley shall at all times keep good & sufficient boats for the transportation of passengers and carriages and other personal property across the river at that place, giving immediate passage ... when required, this obligation to be void. [signed] A.H. Dudley & David W. McGoodwin, his securities.

[1]  Laws of Kentucky. (Lexington, KY: Printed by John Bradford) 1799, Chapter XC, pp 245-247.

Published 13 November 2014, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Too Young to Serve But Old Enough to Die

He wasn't old enough to enlist, but he did. Morgan Smith was 15, or, at most, 16 years old when he enrolled in the 48th Kentucky Infantry (USA)  at Fords Ferry, Kentucky on 10 August 1863. During the Civil War men between the ages of 18 and 20 were supposed to have parental permission to enlist, but there is no record of a parent giving permission. Morgan's parents, Morgan and Sarah (Holder) Smith, were living in separate households in Eddyville, Lyon County, Kentucky in 1860 and disappeared thereafter so maybe there was no one to give permission.

The 48th Kentucky  was organized at Princeton, Kentucky 26 October 1863 and Morgan was present, but just one month later, on 24 November 1863, he was dead of disease.[1] He never left Princeton and he never saw action.

Morgan was just one of many young men who promised to serve faithfully against all enemies during that terrible war and lost his life before he could fulfill that promise.  Reddick Smith, his older brother, was my great-grandfather and also served in the Civil War, enlisting first in the 131st Illinois Infantry and later in the 6th Illinois Cavalry.

 Published 11 November 2014, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

[1] Morgan Smith, Co. D, 48 Regt. Kentucky Infantry Company Muster Roll, National Archives, Washington, D.C.  

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Memories of Uncle Bob Heath - Part III

This is the conclusion of the memories of Uncle Bob Heath (born 1815) of Crittenden County, Kentucky, as published in the 21 May 1908 issue of the Crittenden Record-Press.

"Revs. Jiles and Flynn preached at the Old Camp Creek Church when he was a boy. He remembers Dr. Cutler of Mattoon and Stewart of Old Salem. These men led the medical profession in their day and esteemed because of their education and knowledge. These doctors believed in the old fashioned practice of bleeding for most ailments.

"Uncle Bob has distinct recollection of the notorious James Ford. He remembers buying goods from Ford while he had a store at Ford's ferry. In person Ford is described as a very large man with a red face.

"Uncle Bob says he has heard many legends and tales of the old river band of outlaws ... their rendezvous at Cave-in-Rock; of headless men and bleaching bones, and all the horrors of river piracy.

"Uncle Bob thinks that the Civil War is too recent to be of much interest. He says that a lot of Federal gunboats were always busy flying up and down the Ohio river, many loud noises, reports of guns, and human voices being almost continuously heard.

"Uncle Bob feels that the ninety three years he has lived is a rare privilege for which he is thankful to God. The progress of the world during that time has been a wonder of wonders ... still finds much in this world to enjoy and be happy about, but he is patiently awaiting the flight of his spirit to the future world."

According to his obituary, which appeared in the 9 March 1911 issue of the Crittenden Press, Uncle Bob Heath died at his home in Weston 5 March at the age of 97 years. He is buried at Mt. Zion Cemetery.

Published 8 November 2014, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Memories of Uncle Bob Heath - Part II

Uncle Bob tells us two stories of Crittenden County boys. The first is about Davy Lamb "who was taken by the Black Hawk Indians in the early days. Lamb's parents lived between Weston and Tradewater. Davy Lamb was held captive by the Indians for seven years. When he was liberated he returned to his parents. He was noted all of his life as a great hunter and woodsman."

The other boy was Silas S. Walker, who ran away from home at the age of 14 years and went down the river to New Orleans. "There he found friends among the American soldiers who were preparing to go to the Mexican war. Somehow he eluded the scrutiny of the officers and accompanied the army that was sent against Mexico. At the battle of Resaca Dela Palma, so the story goes, young Walker grabbed a gun from a dying soldier and helped charge the Mexicans. The poor little fellow was barefooted, the ground was rough,  but the boy acted with bravery and determination ... It is not known how long Walker stayed in Mexico, but he finally came back to Crittenden County.

"Uncle Bob has vivid recollections of the wild excitement about the gold discovery in California in 1848. The Baker brothers, John Flanary, Bill Barnes, Phineas Newcomb and Jonathan Postlethwaite were among the gold seekers from this vicinity. Postlethwaite never returned. He is though to have met death in the great desert.

"Uncle Bob says the first steam boat he ever saw was the old 'Caldonia.' He saw it land at Weston. This was way back in the thirties. He says that at this time the Ohio River was a great highway for emigration. Emigrants came down chiefly in boats of their own manufacture."

Part III of Memories of Uncle Bob Heath will appear here in a couple of days.

Published 6 November 2014, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Big Bang of the 1840 Election Campaign

Uncle Bob Heath shared his memories of the 1840 political campaign in the  21 May 1908 issue of the Crittenden Record-Press. He described it like this:

"The first man Uncle Bob ever voted for was Martin Van Buren in 1836. He plainly remembers the 'hard cider' campaign of 1840. In that year he attended a great political rally at Morganfield, Union County. He says it was one of the jolliest times of his life, a log cabin with coon skins nailed on its walls was rolled around on wheels, while hard cider was dispensed generously. At the conclusion of the great affair, the one single cannon of the town of Morganfield was brought and heavily loaded. A negro slave was commanded to light the fuse - sad to relate, the good old cannon was so heavily loaded that it burst into pieces."

Let's back up and tell you a little about Uncle Bob. In the above article, he was described as the "patriarch of the O'possum Ridge vicinity, who celebrated his birthday a few days earlier. He was born May 15, 1815, just a few months after the Battle of New Orleans and while James Madison was President of the United States. Henry Clay and Daniel Webster were young men and Daniel Boone was still living. The city of Chicago was not half as large as the present town of Marion.

"Uncle Bob's father, Rylan Heath, was a native of North Carolina. After the year 1800 young Rylan made a trip down south. While in Georgia he became acquainted with a young lady named Anna Gilbert with whom he soon fell in love and married. In 1809, Rylan immigrated to Kentucky and settled about three miles of the present side of Marion [Crittenden County]. A few years later he removed to what is now the Mt. Zion vicinity. His nearest neighbors, Tom Wilson and Thomas Hughes, were two or three miles away."

Watch for Uncle Bob Heath's Memories, Part II on Thursday.

Published 4 November 2014, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Preston Grace, Builder of Livingston County Courthouse

Even though his fame stems from building the original Livingston County courthouse which opened in 1845, Preston Grace was not a native of that county. He was born in 1799 in South Carolina and moved to Caldwell County, Kentucky with his family. There he married Jane Kilgore 27 Mar 1819.

It is possible he may have fathered at least one child before his marriage.  On the 29th of July 1819, Mary Freeman charged Grace with being the father of her male child, who was born "24th of April last at the house of Daniel Warmsdorf" in Livingston County.[1] Grace was ordered to appear in court; his attorney appeared for him and Grace was acquitted.  Nevertheless, Milton Bluford Grace and James Madison Grace were both born ca 1818/1819 and at least one of them had a close family connection to Preston Grace. Milton B. Grace  was listed as an heir of Preston Grace when Preston's Smithland town lots were being distributed in 1858.[2] Milton B. Grace married Orilla/Ursilla Cook, daughter of John Cook of Livingston County.

Preston Grace appeared in Smithland on the 1849 tax list and then appeared on the 1850 Livingston County census.  By 1853, he was a trustee of the First Baptist Church of Smithland when he and other trustees purchased lot #24 upon which the church was subsequently built.

Preston Grace died 27 April 1855 and is buried, along with at least two of his children, in Smithland Cemetery. It is unknown, however, if Grace was still living in Smithland or if he, like Milton B. Grace, had moved to Paducah. The 169-year-old Grace tombstone is impressive and sits beside the road, about half way up the hill.

Grace Family Tombstone

Mary Sophronia 
Daughter of 
P. & Jane Grace
Sept. 30, 1825
Aged 2 yrs  3 mo.
and 3 days

 Preston Grace
July 3, 1799
April 27, 1855

Buried next to the Grace tombstone is the monument for Edward D. Grace, who was born Sept. 19, 1823 and died Jan. 21, 1845.

[1] Deposition of Mary Freeman, Bastardy Bonds, Caldwell County, Kentucky Clerk's Office, accessed  August 2011.
[2] Commissioner to M.B. Grace, heir of Preston Grace, McCracken County, Kentucky Deed Book K:559-560, 5 April 1858.

Published 30 October 2014, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

John Lamb 1829 - 1894

Tombstone of John Lamb (1829-1894)
Mapleview Cemetery
Marion, Kentucky

In 1891 it was reported in the local newspaper that John Lamb was interested in selling a tract of land west of Marion for a new cemetery. There was some opposition to the location as it was felt it was too close to town. However, in 1893, the tract owned by John Lamb was chosen for the new cemetery, which was named Mapleview. This cemetery is in use today.

One of the earliest burials is that of John Lamb, the former owner of the Mapleview Cemetery property. His obituary in the 13 September 1894 issue of the Crittenden Press chronicled the life of this prominent citizen of Crittenden County. 

He passed away 7 September 1894 after several months illness of consumption. Services were conducted by Rev. J.F. Price. John Lamb was born in the Bells Mines neighborhood 18 June 1829. His father was David Lamb, who was born in North Carolina in 1801. In 1807, the family came west, crossing the Ohio at the falls, then a settlement was made in Indiana. In 1820, David Lamb settled in Crittenden County and here reared a family and lived to a ripe old age. The mother of John Lamb was Mary Ann (Price) Lamb, sister of the late John Price, father of Rev. James F. Price. In 1855, John Lamb married Miss Almeda A. Phillips, who survived him. Four children were born to this couple, one of whom died in early childhood. They were Rev. J. Reed Lamb of California, P., A.U. Lamb of Marion and Mrs. Mollie Travis, of Princeton. One of Mr. Lamb's three brothers outlived him - Thomas N. Lamb of Savannah, Tenn. About 30 years ago Mr. Lamb united with the Cumberland Presbyterian Church at Meadow Creek.

Published 28 October 2014, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Thursday, October 23, 2014

McKinney Family to Honor Ancestors

Descendants of early Crittenden County settlers Vincent and Nancy (Newton) McKinney will dedicate a memorial tombstone in their honor at 11 a.m., Saturday, October 25. All descendants and friends of the family are invited to the Asbridge Cemetery for the event. The McKinneys moved to Kentucky from Jefferson County, Tennessee raising a family of several children whose descendants still live in the area. Their children were: William A., John M., Mary E., Mariah J., James Harrison, Prudence V., Calvin F., Joseph Newton, Sarah Ann, Lorena E.A., Thomas Jefferson, and Martha C. McKinney.
Vincent, born in 1808, died February 1868. Nancy lived from about 1816 and died after June 1880. Now more than 145 years later, the family collaborated to erect a tombstone in their memory. A farmer by occupation, Vincent McKinney along with his family left Tennessee around 1850 and migrated to Crittenden County. On January 4, 1853, for the sum of $100, he purchased a parcel of about 400 acres, part of which bordered Claylick Creek. They apparently lived there the rest of their lives, and are likely buried at this homestead. Several children and grandchildren of the couple are buried at Asbridge Cemetery. For this reason and its proximity to the McKinney farm, the family chose this cemetery for the memorial marker.

For more details about the dedication, contact Matthew T. Patton at (215) 285-0920 or

Published 23 October 2014, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Tombstone Tuesday - Cora Sullivan

Cora A.
Dau of
H.L. & M.S. Sullivan
Feb. 7, 1877
Dec. 7, 1897
Cora, We miss you

Buried Greens Chapel Cemetery, Crittenden County, Kentucky. Tombstone photographed 6 February 2013.

The following appeared in the 16 December 1897 issue of the Crittenden Press: "Miss Cora, daughter of H.L. Sullivan of Bells Mines, died at her home Tues. of last week of typhoid fever."

Her obituary appeared in the newspaper on 23 December 1897: "Miss Cora Sullivan was born Feb. 7, 1877 and died Dec. 7, 1897. She was the devoted daughter of H.L. Sullivan of near Weston. She leaves two sisters, both of whom are older. Her remains were laid to rest in Greens Chapel cemetery."

Published 21 October 2014, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Thursday, October 16, 2014

He Married the Girl Who Brought the Eggs

A romance may not be uncommon, but if it appears in the newspaper, it takes on special significance. That is true of the courtship and marriage of a young couple from Weston, Crittenden County, Kentucky. The merchant and his prospective bride traveled to Evansville, Indiana, where the events surrounding their marriage appeared in the 17 February 1910 issue of the Evansville Courier.

"A romance that began when Miss Hattie Hughes, the daughter of a prominent farmer of Weston, Ky. went to the country grocery store and bartered the eggs and produce of the farm for groceries, had its culmination yesterday evening when Clarence W. Grady, the lad behind the counter, and Miss Hughes were married at the parsonage of Rev. Charles A. Miller, pastor of the German M.E. church at Fourth and Vine streets [Evansville].

"Since the first time the girl visited the store, things went well with Grady and he became the proprietor. Yesterday the couple arrived here and after securing the license hastened to the parsonage where the ceremony was performed. They left last night for their home at Weston, Ky., where during the rush the girl will now act as clerk and help in making the exchanges of groceries for farm products."

The marriage of Clarence W. Grady and Miss Hattie Hughes is recorded in Vanderburgh County, Indiana Marriage Vol. 40, page 159. Grady was born 5 December 1885 Weston. He was the son of Robert N. Grady, who was born in Virginia, and Margaret Eberle, deceased.  Hattie Hughes was born 30 January 1889 Crittenden County. She was the daughter of George Hughes and Alice Williams, both of whom lived in Weston. Mattie Robinson deposed that she had personal knowledge of the facts above.

Published 16 October 2014, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Tombstone Tuesday - Mattie and Charles McMican

Mattie J.
Wife of
Chas. McMican
Born Aug. 2, 1873
Died Aug. 12, 1895
Farewell Darling we
will ever cherish thy memory

Feb. 10, 1872
Apr. 16, 1907

Buried McMican Cemetery, Crittenden County, Kentucky. Tombstones photographed 6 February 2013.

Charles McMican married Miss Mattie J. Gass 8 March 1894 in Crittenden County. A wedding announcement in the local newspaper, the Crittenden Press, on 8 March 1894 identified her father as R.B. Gass.  On 28 December 1897, Charles McMican married Viola Claghorn.

Published 14 October 2014, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Petition for Tax List Exemption 1869

All free males 21 years of age and older were required to be listed on the yearly tax rolls in Kentucky. Owning land was not necessary to be listed.

The age at which a person could be exempt varied from state to state. In Kentucky exemption was determined on an individual basis and was granted by the county court because of infirmity and often combined with old age. A person might petition the court for his own exemption or a group of neighbors and friends might petition for him.

The following petition was made on behalf of T.J. Hackney of the Bells Mines area of Crittenden County, Kentucky in 1869. The 1860 Crittenden County census shows Hackney as age 60. By 1870, he was living in Caseyville, Union County, Kentucky.  This document was located in loose county court bundles in the Crittenden County Clerk's Office.

"Bells Mines Ky Aug. 26: 1869
To the honorable County Court of Crittenden County & state of Kentucky  we the undersigned Citizens of Bells Mines district state that we are well acquainted with T.J. Hackney & know that he is not able to earn his living, & he hereby petitions to the Court to be released from payind [sic] pole tax.  [signed] J.A. Sarlls, W.J. Wilson, Wm. J. Miller, Ewell Travis, J.M. Bennett, H.J.[?] Bennett, John Brantly, F.J. Imboden, W.C.M. Travis, J.E. Guess, R.M. Adamson, J.T. Black, JP."

Published 9 October 2014, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Tombstone Tuesday - Rachal and Richard Howerton

Rachal R.
1855 - 1934

Richard L.
1849 - 1925

Buried Repton Cemetery, Crittenden County, Kentucky. Tombstone photographed 6 June 2014.

Rachal/Rachel Howerton was born 12 March 1856 Crittenden County and died 19 January 1934, according to her Kentucky death certificate #5846. Her birth record shows her birth as 12 March 1855 and her parents as John G. Nation and Rachel Shoemaker.

Richard Howerton's Kentucky death certificate #3219 shows he died 13 January 1925 at the age of 75 years. His parents are listed as Henry Howerton and Catherine Postlethweight.

Published 7 October 2014, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Monday, October 6, 2014

7th Birthday!

The first post on this blog appeared October 6, 2007. So, here we are seven years and 1095 posts later and the end is not in sight. I hope you have enjoyed reading the blog as much as I have enjoyed writing it. It has been a wonderful journey.

If you have suggestions for future posts, let me know.

Thanks for accompanying me on this journey.

Image by:

Published 6 October 2014, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Some Useful Websites

All of us have websites we visit over and over. I want to share some of my favorites and hope they will be helpful to you.

Ordering Kentucky Vital Records  Tells what years are available, the cost and where to order.

1914 County Maps for several western Kentucky Counties. Shown are little towns that may not appear on current maps.

Kentucky Historical Society Collections Catalog  Find out what is available in the holdings of the Kentucky Historical Society.

Kentucky Digital Library  Contains newspapers, oral histories, maps, books and more

Bouvier's Law Dictionary (1856 Edition)  Learn the legal meaning of terms used in documents.

Index & Guide to Holdings of Tennessee State Library & Archives  Absolutely must-see website if you have ancestors who came through Tennessee.

Stokes County, North Carolina Deeds  The real thing! If you have ancestors from Stokes County, as I do, you will visit over and over. I wish other counties would digitize their deeds.

Published 2 October 2014, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Tombstone Tuesday - Elmer & Louella Bebout

Nov. 24, 1886
Apr. 15, 1977

Jan. 17, 1884
July 23, 1954

Buried Pleasant Grove Cemetery, Crittenden County, Kentucky. Tombstone photographed 13 January 2014.

According to her obituary in the Crittenden Press, Lou Ella Garnett was the only daughter of Benjamin R. and Martha Ann Garnett. She married Elmer Bebout 27 November 1907. They had 10 children.

Elmer Bebout was the son of Chester C. Bebout and Mary E. Lewis.

Elmer and Lou Ella Bebout were my great uncle and aunt.

Published 30 September 2014, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Crittenden County Estate Administrators 1881

The following terms were commonly used in settling estates in Kentucky. Being familiar with these terms might provide clues for further research.

Administrators of estate were usually appointed in county court shortly after a person's death. The appointment will be recorded in the county court minutes and sometimes in a separate administrator's bond book. The administrator was required to post bond with at least one person as surety for the faithful performance of his duties as administrator. If a person left a valid will, he usually named an executor, whose duties were the same as those of an administrator - to see that debts owed were paid, debts due the decedent collected and the remainder dispersed to the heirs. The appointment of an executor will also be recorded in the county court minutes when the will was presented in court shortly.

A curator was appointed as temporary guardian or conservator by the court to care for the property or person of an incompetent, spendthrift or a minor. A curator might also be appointed as conservator of an estate if a will had been contested. If a will was contested, be sure to check circuit court records.

An administrator de bonis non was appointed by county court to administer on the effects of a decedent which had not been included in a former administration.

The following records have been abstracted from Crittenden County, Kentucky Administrator's Bond Book 1876-1884.

W.J. LaRue appointed administrator of the estate of John M. Lear.  10 January 1881

Stephen Riley appointed administrator of the estate of W.H. Kemper.  12 January 1881

J.L. Boon and H.S. Hill appointed to administer on the estate of Arch Allen.  14 February 1881

Mrs. L.P. Duvall appointed administrator of the estate of J.M. Duvall.  7 March 1881

J.G. Barnes appointed administrator of B.W. Barnes' estate.  4 April 1881

R.N. Walker appointed administrator of estate of R.A. Gettings.  11 April 1881

J.L. Riley appointed administrator of Wm. Belt's estate.  25 April 1881

A.H. Cardin appointed administrator of P.M. Cardin's estate.  11 May 1881

Chesley Nunn appointed administrator of Wm. Straker's estate.  20 May 1881

M.A. Hardesty appointed administrator of W.T. Hardesty's estate.  21 May 1881

Aaron Towery appointed administrator de bonis non of John Mitchell's estate.  13 June 1881

J.A. Gray appointed administrator of Shemi Watson's estate.  8 August 1881

J.R. Finley appointed administrator of R.J. French's estate.  31 August 1881

J.P. Pierce appointed administrator of Mrs. Julia A. Koon's estate.  31 August 1881

G.L. Boaz appointed administrator of the estate of Susan Boaz.  12 September 1881

W.T. Pickens appointed administrator of J.B. Pickens' estate.  26 September 1881

S.H. Watson appointed administrator of Saml. M. Watson's estate.  28 October 1881

J.P. Pierce appointed administrator of N.R. Black's estate.  14 November 1881

J.P. Pierce appointed curator of Joseph Anderson's estate.  14 November 1881

R.S. Thurmond appointed administrator of W.R. Thurmond's estate.  5 December 1881

Alex Woody appointed administrator de bonis non of Joseph Kemp's estate.  12 December 1881

E.C. Flanary appointed administrator of Saml. E. Bracey's estate.  21 December 1881

Published 25 September 2014, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Monday, September 22, 2014

Cemeteries Here and There

I spent some time this summer doing what I love to do - visiting cemeteries.  Each cemetery was different, but my favorite was the one where my elusive Wolstenholme relatives are buried.

The first cemetery we visited outside the area where I normally research was the Nashville City Cemetery, but you already know about that visit. The same day we drove to Franklin, Tennessee to see Carnton Plantation, the home of Carrie McGavock, about whom  The Widow of the South was written. This book told of the Battle of Franklin during the Civil War and Carrie's work in seeing that the many who died there were identified and buried properly.  I had a more personal reason to want to visit there. Carrie's husband, John McGavock, had an ancestor who married into my Bostick family and it was fun to think that this distant branch of my family may have visited Carnton Plantation.

A short walk from the house are two cemeteries - the McGavock Family Cemetery and the Confederate Cemetery, the burial place of so many men who lost their lives during the battle in 1864.

Confederate Cemetery
On grounds of Carnton Plantation

On this same trip, we also visited Charleston, South Carolina and enjoyed touring the Circular Congregational Churchyard, located on Meeting Street in downtown Charleston. It is the city's oldest cemetery and contains about 150 tombstones from before the American Revolution.

Circular Congregational Churchyard
Charleston, South Carolina

Mrs. Desire Peronneau, 1740

As much as I loved visiting the above cemeteries, I was thrilled to visit Oakwood Cemetery in Milan, Gibson County, Tennessee earlier this month. I have been researching my Wolstenholme family for some time and have found them to be very elusive. You may remember them from my blog  Here and Here   Early one very hot and humid morning we headed south. After a largely unsuccessful visit to the courthouse in Trenton, we drove a few miles to the cemetery in Milan.  There is no cemetery office or map or anything to identify where people are buried. Find A Grave lists the plot where this family is buried, but there was no way to reference that plot at the cemetery. Nevertheless, we walked until we found it. My family really does exist!

Wolstenholme Family Plot
Oakwood Cemetery, Milan, Tennessee

Henry F. Wolstenholme
My Great-Great-Uncle

Elizabeth "Bettie" Wolstenholme
Sister of Henry F. Wolstenholme
My Great-Great-Aunt

All in all, it has been a successful summer and, if the weather holds, more cemetery visits are possible.

Published 22 September 2014, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Thursday, September 18, 2014

A Pistol and a Fiddle

He died as a young man, leaving only a few items to show that he had lived, even briefly.  A document found among loose court bundles in the Crittenden County Clerk's Office, tells us he left a pistol and a fiddle and little else. Who was this man who had so few belongings?

There are a few records on John W. Daughtry. We know he married Clementine A. Clark 18 June 1878 in Crittenden County. At that time he was age 22 and gave his birth place as Robertson County, Tennessee and said his parents were also born in Tennessee. Clementine was 17 and a native of Crittenden County. They began their family and are found with daughter, Cora A., age 1, on the 1880 census. That's all we know until he died. And that is where the inventory of his belongings comes in.

"Whereas John W. Daughtry departed this life at W. Mc Clark's house on the 25 day of Decr. 1885 leaving surviving him one only child who is now living with said Clark.  He also left the following property with Jerry Daughtry's, where he had been living = 1 Bed, bedstead & necessary cover thereto, His wearing apparel, 1 saddle & 1 Pistol, & fiddle - and Whereas Lewis J. Daughtry, Brother of said Decedent has assumed the payments of all the funeral Expenses of said Decedent and in order renumerate him for same or at least in part, It is agreed by & between the said Clark & said L.J. Daughtry, the said L.J. Daughtry shall take said property to indemnify him for said funeral Expenses. He can either sell it or Keep it, and the other property left by said Decedent shall be held by said Clark for the use & benefit of the child of said Decedent, which consists of Bed bedding, wearing apparel, Trunk &c - said Clark, being the Grand Father of said child & having it in charge to raise, same being placed under his care by said Decedent several years prior to his Death. This Feby 13th 1886.  [signed] L.J. Daughtry, W.Mc. Clark. Attest: D. Woods."

Inventory of Belongings 
of John W. Daughtry

Published 18 September 2014, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Tombstone Tuesday - J.O. and Louise Rutter

Louise Abell
Wife of 
J.O. Rutter
Jan. 27, 1886
Mar. 16, 1913

J.O. Rutter
Feb. 28, 1876
Jan. 11, 1949

Buried Smithland Cemetery, Livingston County, Kentucky. Tombstones photographed 2012.

J.O. Rutter and Miss Louise E. Abell married in Smithland 18 October 1906. He was age 30, a banker. He lived in Marshall County, Kentucky, but was born in Livingston County. His parents were J.H. Rutter and Belle Olive. The bride was age 20, born and lived Livingston County. Her parents were J.L. Abell and E. Laura Fort. Her father gave consent for the license to be issued. (Livingston County Marriage Book 1903-1907, pages 406-407)

The obituary of James Hodge Rutter, father of J.O. Rutter, in the 10 July 1913 issue of the Crittenden Record-Press states that he was born in Livingston County 10 March 1852 and married Miss Belle Olive. For 20 years he was engaged in the tobacco and mercantile business. Burial was in Oak Grove Cemetery.

Published 16 September 2014, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Tree Roots 2014

J. Mark Lowe, C.G. will be featured speaker at the Tree Roots program on Saturday, 27 September 2014, at Willard Library, 21 First Avenue, Evansville, Indiana. All classes are free and open to the public, but it is suggested that reservations be made with Willard Library

Lowe will lead the following classes:
9:00 a.m  Making Early Census Records Talk to You

10:30 a.m.  Finding Uncle John by Talking to the Neighbors

1:00 p.m.  Road Crews & Jury Selection: Finding an Ancestor Without a Census

2:30 p.m.  Is it Really On-Line? Finding & Using Original Sources at Home or in the Library

This is an opportunity to hear a great, nationally-known genealogist in the beautiful Willard Library.

Lunch will not be provided but there are several nearby restaurants or you may bring a sack lunch.

Published 14 September 2014, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Follow-Up on 1866 Livingston County Apprenticeships

The following response to the recent post on Indentures of Apprenticeship - Livingston County, Kentucky 1866 has been provided by Janet Hawkins ( Information about the Coker family appears in her master's thesis, Slavery, Emancipation, and Afterward.  A Chronicle of the African Americans of Crittenden and Livingston Counties, Kentucky, to 1939, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA, 2004.

Ties between white slave-owners and former slaves often endured generations after Emancipation, especially in cases involving mixed-race children.   A Livingston County, Kentucky Court Order Book M  (see 28 August 2014 post) entry illustrates the complexity of race relations in post-Civil War Kentucky: 

Adeline, a free Mulatto, bound as an apprentice to Ann E. Coker until 6 March 1874, when Adeline will be 18 years old, to learn the art & mystery of a spinster. [Bk M:132, 4 June 1866]

Adeline Coker (7 March 1854 - 2 October 1944) was the daughter of Daniel Coker, a Caucasian slave-owner and the husband of the Ann E. Coker mentioned above, and Manda Coker, an enslaved black woman.  The 1860 U.S. Population Census, Slave Schedule, for Livingston County lists Daniel Coker as the owner of a 22-year-old black female, a 6-year-old mulatto female, and a 2-year-old black  male.

Adeline Coker married Edward Crawford at Mrs. Coker's house on 26 December 1879, five years after her apprenticeship had ended.(2) 

According to Addie Bell Crawford(3), Adeline Coker’s granddaughter, Daniel Coker made provisions for Adeline to receive a portion of his Salem property after he died.  Addie Bell inherited this land from her father, James Crawford, in 1961(4), and lived on this land her entire life.

Addie Bell also stated that Adeline’s white half-brother, Charlie Coker, occasionally paid social visits to his half-sister and her family.

Whether Manda Coker remained in contact with Daniel or Ann Coker after Emancipation is currently unknown.  Prior to 1870, she married a black Civil War veteran named Jordan Caldwell and resided in Smithland, Livingston County, in 1880.(5)

(1) Death Certificate, Adeline Crawford, Livingston Co., KY. 
(2) Livingston County, KY Marriage Bonds:  Negroes and Mulattoes, Microfilm #997708.
(3) Personal Interview with Addie Bell Crawford, 2002.
(4) Livingston County, KY Will Book D, Microfilm #997691, 581.
(5) U.S. Population Census, 1870 and 1880.

Published 11 September 2014, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,