Thursday, January 30, 2014

Caldwell County, Kentucky Guardians 1825

At the age of 14 years, a child was allowed to chose his own guardian. The county court appointed guardians for those under the age of 14. Guardian appointments are recorded in two places in Caldwell County, Kentucky in 1825. They can be found as loose, original documents and were also recorded in the county court order books. The following entries have been transcribed from the original documents in the county clerk's office of the Caldwell County courthouse in Princeton, Kentucky.

Blake Baker was appointed guardian for Frewry Baker, heir & infant of Blake Baker dec'd.  18 July 1825

Elizabeth Baker was appointed guardian for Blake Baker, infant & heir of Freeman Baker dec'd.  18 July 1825

Joseph R. Given was chosen guardian by Susan B. Wigginton, aged 19 years 8th July 1826; Amanda Jane Wigginton, aged 17 years November 1825; Sally Ann Wigginton, aged 16 years December 1825 and Seth B. Wigginton, aged 14 years 4th December 1825.  18 October 1825

Joseph R. Given was appointed by the County Court for James Slaughter Wigginton, aged 8 years the 24th December 1824 and Marion Wigginton, aged 6 years the 25th May 1825, heirs and infants of John Wigginton dec'd.   18 October 1825.

William McCarty was appointed guardian for Henry McCarty, one of the heirs & infants of John McCarty dec'd.  21 November 1825.

Roger Tandy was appointed guardian for Harriet Tandy, heir & infant of Roger Tandy Sr. dec'd.  22 November 1825.

Roger Tandy Jr. was appointed guardian for Elizabeth Tandy, Sarah Tandy, Amelia Tandy & Henry Tandy, heirs & infants of Roger Tandy Sr. dec'd. 22 November 1825.

Published 30 January 2014, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Tombstone Tuesday - Emma and James Massey

Emma Elizabeth
1872 - 1957
James Edgar
1859 - 1944
Buried Smithland Cemetery, Smithland, Kentucky. Tombstone photographed 18 February 2010.
According to Livingston County Marriage Bond Book 12, pages 256-257, J.E. Massey and Miss Emma E. Presnell married in February 1909. The information on the bond states he was age 50, second marriage, a farmer, born Weakley County, Tennessee and his parents were J.D. Massey and Mary E. Long, both born in Christian County, Kentucky. Emma E. Presnell was age 36, first marriage, born and lived Livingston County and her parents were W.B. Presnell and Melvina Robinson.
Death certificate #28949 (1957) shows that Emma Massey was born 2 December 1872 and died 26 November 1957. Death certificate #27774 (1944) shows that James E. Massey was born 11 February 1859 and died 23 December 1944.
Published 28 January 2014, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Friday, January 24, 2014

Funeral Friday - J.P. Green 1892

The above notice of the funeral of J.P. Green was sent out to inform friends, family and acquaintances of his death. Green (1816-1892) is buried in Cedar Hill Cemetery in Princeton, Caldwell County, Kentucky. Click on the Funeral Notice for an enlarged view.

J.P. Green and his family are enumerated on the 1870 and 1880 Trigg County, Kentucky census records. He is then found on the 1890 Caldwell County tax list in Princeton.

Published 24 January 2014, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Tombstone Tuesday - Lucy Ann Hunter

Memory of
Lucy Ann  Consort
of Thomas Hunter
Born Sept. 30, 1810  died
April 20th 1842
Buried Cedar Hill Cemetery, Princeton, Caldwell County, Kentucky. Tombstone photographed 12 December 2011.
Thomas Hunter married Miss Lucy Ann Rochester 23 February 1834 in Caldwell County. Giving permission for the marriage license to be issued was Nathaniel Rochester who was the bride's father.
Published 21 January 2014, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Sunday's Sign - Salem Historical Marker

Historical Marker
at Salem, Livingston County

Note the date of the skirmish at Salem is given as 8 August 1864, while the Adjutant General's Report  Here gives the date as 7 August 1864. Marker photographed 13 January 2014.

Published 19 January 2014, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Thursday, January 16, 2014

W.E. McCrosky 1801-1856

William McCrosky was a prominent and influential businessman in early Livingston County, Kentucky. He and John Bayliss were partners in a mercantile business and saddler shop in Salem. He never married, but named a daughter, Mary C. McCrosky, in his will [Livingston County Will Book B:167]. Also mentioned in his will were Sarah M. Corbitt, daughter of John Bayliss; sister Sarah Wilson; brother Joseph McCrosky and William Vaughn, son of Julina Vaughn and a half brother to my ancestor, David Vaughn. What relationship, if any, existed between William McCrosky and William Vaughn is unknown.

 W.E. McCrosky
 born in Scott County, Ky.
 Sept. 22, 1801
 October 23, 1856

I was thrilled to find the name of William Smith and H. Staub on the H.F. Given Tomb in Smithland Cemetery. That monument was probably constructed in the 1860s so imagine my excitement to find that William Smith also constructed the tombstone of William McCrosky, who died in 1856 and is buried in Mills Pioneer Cemetery. This makes two tombstones constructed by the same local stone carver prior to the Civil War.

Notice it states Wm. Smith - Smithland, Ky. Since William Smith moved to Port Gibson, Mississippi before 1860, the McCrosky tombstone definitely predates the H.F. Given Tomb.

The following artwork on the McCrosky tombstone is unusual. The handshake signifies a welcome into heaven and the star may symbolize the achievement of the highest level (heaven).

The symbol of McCrosky's Masonic membership is barely visible in the following:

The following is a testament to his character:

He was benevolent
Charitable and
an honest man

The McCrosky tombstone is impressive and fitting for one who was a prominent businessman of Salem. He and John Bayliss were in business together when Salem was the Livingston County seat and even after 1842, when most of the businessmen moved to the new county seat in Smithland.

All photographs by Jerry Bebout.
Published 16 January 2014, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Tombstone Tuesday - Jake and Ruth Carroll

Jake M.
Jan. 14, 1842
Oct. 9, 1930
Nov. 2, 1881
Oct. 1, 1941
Buried Smithland Cemetery, Smithland, Kentucky. Tombstone photographed 14 April 2011.
Jake M. Carroll and Miss Ruth Weaver were married in Smithland 13 May 1905. The marriage bond gives the following information: Jake M. Carroll, age 57, third marriage, born and lives in Livingston County, father G.W. Carroll born Tennessee and mother Sarah May born Livingston County.   Miss Ruth Weaver, age 25, first marriage, born and lives Livingston County, father Jack Weaver and mother unknown. [Livingston County Marriage Bond Book B11 (1903-1907), pages 228-229]
The 1910 Livingston County census shows Jake and Ruth Carroll living on the Smithland Salem Road.  Living with them were their children Ludetta,  Bertha M., and Ora M.
Published 14 January 2014, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Battle of Salem, Kentucky

Almost the only things about the battle of Salem in Livingston County, Kentucky  that historians agree on are that it occurred 7 August 1864 and the 48th Kentucky Mounted Infantry (Union) was involved. The number of soldiers killed and wounded on both sides varies according to who is telling the story.   Thus far, it seems to me the Adjutant-General's Report for Kentucky gives a good account of who was involved and an account of the events from the Federal view.

The 48th Kentucky was composed of men from the following Kentucky counties: Breckinridge, Grayson, Muhlenberg, Christian, Trigg, Lyon, Livingston, Caldwell, Crittenden and Union.  The purpose of this regiment was to help prevent raids in Kentucky and to clear the state of guerrillas. Basically, these were hometown boys protecting the homes of their families and friends from the rebels.

The Adjutant-General's Report gives the following account:

"On the 7th of August, 1864, Capt. Hiett, with thirty-five men detailed from Companies B and C, were attacked at Salem, Ky., by three hundred Confederates and guerrillas. Capt. Hiett, with thirteen men, in the open street, with one volley from their guns and the bayonet, resisted the first charge of the enemy, after which he secured quarters in an old courthouse, and fought the enemy for six hours, compelling them to retreat, leaving eight killed. Loss of Capt. Hiett, two killed and three, with himself, wounded. The enemy carried off most of their dead and all of their wounded. Major Chennoworth was their commanding officer."

The Adjutant General's Report lists Wiley P. Fowler of Company B and Littleton Perry of Company C of the 48th Kentucky Mounted Infantry as Killed in Action on the day of the battle. This report also lists David S. Green of Company B as Killed in Action, but gives his death date as 12 August 1864. Shortly after the death of David S. Green, his widow, Clarinda, applied for a widow's pension and in that application [#73614] it states Green was "Killed on the Battlefield" at Salem on the 11 August 1864. Perhaps he died on the 11th August of wounds suffered on the 7th August.

Wiley P. Fowler, a native of Crittenden County, is buried in the John Wheeler Cemetery in that county.  According to the WPA's Registration of Veterans' Graves, Littleton Perry was buried in Perry Cemetery, Caldwell County, Kentucky. David S. Green is buried in Dollar Cemetery in Caldwell County, according to Find A Grave.

An article in the Evansville [Indiana] Journal on Thursday, 11 August 1864 tells about the battle, also from the Federal point of view.

"Fight at Salem, Ky. - We are informed  by a gentleman just from Kentucky that on Sunday last, Col. Sypert (rebel) with 140 men attacked Col. Jim Wilson, of the 48th Ky. (Federal) at Salem, Crittenden [sic] county, Ky., and was handsomely repulsed.

"The Federal force was about equal to that of the rebels. The rebels acknowledge a loss of three killed and six wounded. Among the former was Capt. McGoodwin.

"The rebels claims that they killed 12 of Wilson's men and wounded a goodly number but as Wilson fought under cover while the rebels were exposed, and from the additional fact that Sypert  retreated to Morganfield, it is natural to suppose that the rebel loss was far greater and our loss far less than reported by the rebels.

"Later - From a gentleman who arrived from Smithland yesterday we learn Jim Wilson was not in the fight at Salem. The Federals were commanded by Capt. Wyatt [sic] and another captain whose name we do not remember and consisted of only 40 men, the balance of the command being out on duty scouting.

"The rebels, 120 strong, approached the place about daylight and captured the pickets, and then sent in a demand to the little garrison of Federals, who had entrenched themselves in the Court-house, to surrender, saying that they had 200 men, and that 300 more would reach there in an hour.

"The answer returned was that they would have to fight for the town, when the battle opened at about 7 o'clock and continued until 11, the rebels losing nine men outright and two left wounded so badly as not to be able to be moved, and from 30 to 40 others more or less wounded, including Col. Sypert, who had his right elbow broken. Capt Bush, commanding at Smithland, having learned of the contemplated attack, mounted 200 men and sent them to the relief of the little band of heroes. They arrived in sight of the town at 11 o'clock, and being  seen as they crossed a hill two miles distant, the rebels incontinently fled.

"The Federals had their horses picketed under range of their guns, and the rebels, being unable to steal them, got into houses and shot some 30 of the horses.

"The Federal loss was three killed and four or five wounded."

Another newspaper account in the 17 August 1864 issue of the Louisville Daily Journal  stated the guerilla [sic] forces numbered 300 and repulsed by 30 Federal soldiers. "The Union loss was several slightly wounded, one mortally, three killed and four taken prisoners ... The guerrilla loss was eight killed, and from ten to fifteen badly wounded. Quite a number were taken prisoner."

Hugh W. Hiett was only in his mid-20s when he became Captain of the 48th Kentucky Volunteer Mounted Infantry. He was wounded at Salem and just a few months later he was captured at Eddyville. Hiett and eight other officers were exchanged for the safe return of Col. H.B. Lyon's wife, who was taken during the shelling of Eddyville. After the war, Hiett lived in Crittenden County before moving to Illinois.
Col. Leonidas A. Sypert was a lawyer in Hopkinsville, Kentucky before the war. He was with the 3rd Kentucky Partisan Rangers (CSA). There is a sketch of Col. Sypert in The Partisan Rangers of the Confederate States Army, edited by William J. Davis, 1904.

There is a tradition that several soldiers who died during the battle at Salem were buried at the Butler-Pippin Cemetery just outside town. This cemetery was inventoried in January 2013. If Civil War soldiers are buried there, their graves are not marked.
Published 9 January 2014, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Tombstone Tuesday - Fielding L. Turner

Fielding L. Turner
1856 - 1911
Buried Fernwood Cemetery, Henderson, Kentucky. Tombstone photographed 22 December 2013.
According to Fielding Turner's obituary, which appeared in the Henderson Daily Gleaner on 25 July 1911, he died in St. Louis at the home of his daughter, Mrs. L.W. Childers. The funeral was conducted at the home of his mother, Mrs. Lucinda Turner, on South Green Street. Also surviving were children Miss Sophia Turner of Henderson and H.F. Turner of Wickliffe, Kentucky and sisters Mrs. W.W. Shelby of Henderson and Mrs. Josie Allen of Chicago. His father was the late H.F. Turner.
 Fielding Turner attended the Kentucky Military Institute and a law school. He practiced law with his father until he moved to Wickliffe, Ballard County, Kentucky 25 years ago before his death.
Published 7 January 2014, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Friday, January 3, 2014

Capt. R.Y. Northern of Smithland

Another of my on-going projects centered in Smithland, Kentucky is the collection of information on men connected to the steamboat trade. A great deal of my information comes from newspapers in towns along the Ohio River, sometimes from the columns  that tell of the arrival and departure times of the steamboats. Nestled in other places in these newspapers are little nuggets of info that almost seem to be fillers - until you read them and learn they contain valuable information.  The following article appeared at the bottom of the page in the 8 June 1905 issue of the Crittenden (County) Press. I didn't know much about R.Y. Northern except that he married Davidella Patterson 17 August 1855 in Smithland and both are buried in Love's Chapel Cemetery, Livingston County.  R.Y. died in 1911 and Davidella died in 1901. Below is the article that prompted me to search for more information. 

Veteran Steamboatman
Capt. R.Y. Northern, of Smithland, Ky., is here this week visiting Mr. Paul J. Northern, who is his great-great nephew, says the Sturgis correspondent to the Morganfield Sun. Capt. Northern is a veteran river man, having been a boat captain for over forty years, running from Nashville to New Orleans. He owned and commanded the E. Howard, built at Louisville many years ago. This boat ran during the terrible yellow fever scourge when as many as 400 a day were dying at New Orleans. The captain is 85 years old, but is very entertaining, taking great pleasure in telling of his many and varied experiences during this fearful epidemic. 
He will go from here to visit his sister, Mrs. Yeager, and nephew, T.Y. Northern, of Providence, Ky.  Capt. Northern called on us ... and we found him a very pleasant gentleman, a good conversationalist, with an exceptionally bright memory of the old happy steamboat days.
Capt. Northern knew all the great river men of his day who commanded such magnificent steamers as the Robt. E. Lee, the Belle Lee, the Natchez, Vicksburg, Old Hickory, Emma C. Elliott, John Clilgore and many others. Capt. Northern was commander of the Howard when she collided with the large side-wheel steamer, Swallow, just 40 miles this side of New Orleans. The bow of the Howard plunged through the Swallow's fore deck to her boilers, sinking her instantly with a loss of several lives. The blame of this fearful collision was laid to the Swallow.

The above article was the catalyst for more newspaper research - and it paid off.

Crittenden Press 31 October 1901
Mrs. R.Y. Northern died at her home, "Woodlawn," in Livingston county Wednesday evening, Oct. 23d. The funeral took place at Loves Chapel. Mrs. Northern was the wife of Capt. Northern, one of the wealthiest and most prominent men in Livingston County. She was a Miss Patterson.

Crittenden Press 5 January 1905
Mr. Chas. Leffler of Sanford, Fla. and Mrs. Ida Northern Flanary of this place were married Saturday at the parsonage of the M.E. church of this place. Mr. Leffler is an old Smithland man, was born and raised here but has made his home in Florida for many years. His bride is the daughter of Capt. R.Y. Northern and was the widow of the late E.C. Flanary of Marion, Ky.

Crittenden Press  18 May 1905
Capt. R.Y. Northern moved his household goods to his farm near the Berry ferry last week and will reside there with his son, Mr. Ernest Northern, most of the time.

Paducah Sun 4 December 1905
Capt. Northern of Smithland was in the city yesterday en route to Florida to visit his daughter, Mrs. Charles Leffler, of Tampa. Capt. Northern enjoys the distinction of having brought to Paducah the first locomotive ever seen here. It was about '54 and he brought it from New Orleans on his steamboat.

Crittenden Record-Press 5 October 1916
A telegram was received conveying the news of the death of Mrs. Chas. H. Lefler of Sanford, Fla. at the home of Mrs. H.A. Hodge, her sister whom she was visiting in Dallas, Texas at the time of her death. Her remains will arrive here Thursday and will be buried at the new cemetery after the funeral at the Presbyterian church. Mrs. Lefler was the widow of the late Eb. C. Flanary and was Miss Ida Northern, daughter of Capt. Northern of Livingston county before her first marriage. Her only child, Walker Flanary, killed himself accidentally while hunting at Smithland about 10 years ago.

I am still searching for an obituary for Capt. Northern, who died 31 May 1911 and is buried at Love's Chapel Cemetery.

Published 3 January 2014, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Promises for 2014

I've tried calling them New Year's Resolutions and I've tried calling them New Year's Goals. Neither term was a guarantee for success. So, this time I will call them New Year's Promises. Surely this will work! So, here goes.

1.  I Promise to cite sources for all facts not of common knowledge. Yea! That feels right. I can do this!

2.  I Promise to not laugh out loud when someone tells me they have researched their family back to Adam and Eve.  I may snicker and I may snort, but I won't laugh out loud!

3.  I Promise to search out new sources for my research. That doesn't mean I will give up looking for a Bible that lists names and dates for three generations of my family. Oh, no, but I will expand my search to records that might only list one or two generations as long as those records also contain photos of each person. Yep, that will do it!

4.  I Promise to weigh unknown material and see if it makes sense. If it doesn't, it will go into the Source Unknown file. If I could put the giver of the material into the Source Unknown file too, I would.

5.  I Promise - again and again to have fun with my genealogy. I'll laugh when a brick wall rears its ugly head. I'll giggle when I can't find that obituary I need. I'll clap my hands when my "cousin" tells me all of her material is true because she found it online.  Well, that is a little extreme, but I do promise to remember that genealogy, in most cases, is not a matter of life and death. It is what I do, but it will not undo me.

Ok, I am ready for 2014. Bring it on!

Published 1 January 2014, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,