Thursday, February 27, 2014

Winter of 1917 - 1918

Many areas of our country have experienced severe weather this winter with some people comparing it to the winter of 1917-1918 - the year the Ohio River froze over. That long-ago winter began with heavy snow in early December 1917 and ended well into February 1918. How do you think the two winters compare?

The Hopkinsville Kentuckian reported on the 13th of December 1917 that 13 inches of snow had fallen a few days previously. By 12 December it was stated there were drifts from 6-9 feet deep. Whole neighborhoods were cut off and the situation was becoming serious. Country residents were running out of coal and medicine and city residents were running low on food provided by the country. Not long afterwards, the weather moderated but, on 29 December, it was reported that temperatures had again dropped to below zero.

The Evansville (Indiana) Courier stated on 2 January 1918 the Ohio River was frozen over at Henderson, the second time that had occurred that winter.  The lead article on the front page of the Courier reported that another blizzard had paralyzed the city. Snow was driven by a stout nor'wester. Temperatures fell to -7 degrees and even the assistant in the weather bureau had frozen ears. The total snowfall for the winter had reached 38.6 inches.

Things were no better in Crittenden County, where the Crittenden Record-Press reported 14 inches of snow on the ground and more was in the forecast. The temperature was at 25 degrees, but was to drop to 12 degrees that night. Wind velocity was 44-60 miles per hour.

One of the most poignant accounts for the area can be found in Livingston County, Kentucky Court Order Book W, page 167, 169-170 and 173:

Friday, 11 January 1918:  ... the weather at this time is severely bad that one of the worst Blizzards known to this country is now raging, snow being from 10 to 40 inches deep, and still snowing ...

Thursday, 24 January 1918:  ... there has been several weeks of extreme cold and bad winter weather prevailing in this section and that there has been and is yet snow everywhere to the depth of 20 inches, that all rivers are frozen over and no transportation on same, the question of fuel has become alarming and indeed distressing to the citizens of Smithland.  It also appearing that Livingston County High School is this day entirely out of fuel and unless same is provided with fuel, it will be necessary to close said school. The Court hereby takes the authority to furnish the Livingston County High School with twenty five bushels of coal from the coal belonging to the Livingston County court house for which the Livingston County board of education ... agrees to replace said amount of coal within thirty days from this date. The court is of the opinion that for the purpose of economy, that all fuel now belonging to the county that is on hand at this date shall be used sparingly ... so if there arises a case of real need or distress among the poor citizens of the county, that fuel may be had to supply the needs especially in times of distress. It is therefore ordered that all fires in  the various offices in and about the court house be discontinued during this emergency except the one in the county court clerks office until further orders.

Monday, 4 February 1918:  The weather is not as severe as in January and a fresh supply of coal is provided for the citizens of Smithland and now can resume use of fires in the court house offices. Twenty five bushels of coal has been provided to the Livingston County High School and made it possible for school to be kept open.

There have been other winters of unnatural cold and large amounts of snow, but the winter of 1917-1918 is one for the record books.

Published 27 February 2014, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Closeout Book Sale

Several books are on closeout sale Here

Published 26 February 2014, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Tombstone Tuesday - Mrs. Matilda Brown

Memory of
Mrs. Matilda Brown
a native of Ireland
who died
May 22, 1842
Aged 30 years
Grateful friends have Erected
This stone to her memory
Buried Smithland Cemetery, Livingston County, Kentucky. Tombstone photographed 14 April 2011.
David W. Brown married Matilda Haley 6 April 1837. Matilda's guardian, John Shires, was bondsman.
Published 25 February 2014, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Caldwell County Administrators' Bonds 1871

If a person died owning property in Kentucky and did not leave a valid will, the county court would usually appoint an administrator to settle his or her estate. The following appointments of administrators have been abstracted from Caldwell County Administrator Bonds, Book 2 (1870-1878), pages 15 - 59 and can be found in the Caldwell County Clerk's Office, Princeton, Kentucky. Knowing when an administrator was appointed is a good way to determine the approximate date of death. 

Abbreviations used:  Adm - Administrator      Dec'd - Deceased

David Hopper and A.D. Nichols were appointed Adm of the estate of John Hopper 2 Jan 1871. Sallie Hopper waived her right to administer on the estate of her dec'd husband, John Hopper.

Mrs. Caroline McGowan was appointed Adm with will annexed of the estate of Miss Julia A. Simpson 3 Feb 1871.

M.W. Terry was appointed Adm of the estate of D.P. Terry 13 Feb 1871. Nancy Terry waived her right to administer upon the estate of her late husband, D.P. Terry.

Mrs. A.M. Childers was appointed Adm of the estate of William Childers 18 July 1871.

John R. Grace was appointed Adm of the estate of Philip Guier 31 July 1871.

Jeff C. Asher was appointed Adm of the estate of George Asher (person of color) 21 Aug 1871. Note from Nancy Calvert: "son George Asher departed this life a few days ago leaving no wife nor children nor will and having some property.  I would therefore waive my right to administer."

T.W. Pickering was appointed Adm of the estate of L.B. Overby 1 Sep 1817.  E.J. Overby waives her right to administer on the estate of her dec'd husband.

James M. Harper appointed Adm of the estate of Frank Hedgepath 6 Sep 1871.

J.H. Leech appointed Adm of the estate of Wm. F. Quisenberry 18 Sep 1871.  Lucy A. Quisenberry waived her right to administer on the estate of her dec'd husband.

J.R. Martin appointed Adm of the estate of Martha J. Crow 18 Sep 1871. 

Marth [sic] appointed Adm of the estate of D.B. Ladd 7 Oct 1871.

John R. Nichols was appointed Adm of the estate of Freeman Nichols 23 Oct 1871.

William R. Nichols was appointed Adm of the estate of Wright Nichols Sr. 23 Oct 1871.

Jas. H. Leech was appointed Adm of the estate of Acchilles Reynols 30 Oct 1871.

N.W. Egbert was appointed Adm of the estate of Margaret Egbert 4 Nov 1871.

Jas. H. Leech was appointed Adm of the estate of John P. Henderson 6 Nov 1871.

John W. Jackson was appointed Adm of the estate of Agnes A. Jackson 15 Nov 1871.

John Lowery was appointed Adm with will annexed of the estate of H.C. Lowery 25 Nov 1871.

Wm. H. White was appointed Adm of Atha Sizemore's estate 9 Dec 1871.

Jas. H. Leech was appointed Adm  debones non with will annexed of Wm. Hobbs' estate 18 Dec 1871.

Jas. H. Leech was appointed Adm of W.L. Hobby's estate 18 Dec 1871.

Published 20 February 2014, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Tombstone Tuesday - Eliza and George Williams

Wife of
G.L. Williams
Sep. 3, 1802
Dec. 29, 1863
Beneath this stone her ashes rest ...
Buried Mt. Zion Cemetery, Crittenden County, Kentucky. Tombstone photographed 24 October 2012. 
R.R. Williams and I.C. Lucus were appointed administrators of the estate of Eliza Williams on 2 February 1864. Tombstones for Eliza and her husband, George Williams, were ordered from J. & H. Karins of Henderson, Kentucky on 8 September 1865. Both tombstone orders are filed with the estate settlement file of Eliza in the Crittenden County Clerk's Office, Marion, Kentucky. George Williams is buried in the Burton Ford Family Cemetery on Pickering Hill Road, according to The Crittenden County Cemeteries  Northwestern Section, Vol. III by the Crittenden County Genealogical Society, 2005. 
Tombstone Orders for George and Eliza Williams
(Click on each for an enlarged view)



Published 18 February 2014, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Guerrillas in Crittenden County, Kentucky 1864

The summer of 1864 was a busy one in Western Kentucky with skirmishes along the Ohio River as well as in many of the towns in the area. While Crittenden County could not claim an actual battle, there was guerrilla activity. The following article comes from the Evansville, Indiana Daily Journal of Thursday, 21 July 1864 and was reprinted from the Louisville Democrat.

Guerrillas in Western Kentucky - Murders and Robbery
The few residents remaining in Western Kentucky are now made to feel the full weight of rebel oppression. The country is completely under rebel rule, who hesitate not a moment to take whatever pleases their fancy. Opposite Cairo absolute distress prevails among the inhabitants, the guerrillas having stripped them of everything portable. It is useless to attempt to farm, as the scoundrels will be sure to destroy the crop.

In Crittenden county, opposite Elizabethtown, Illinois, ranges a large band of guerrillas under Broadfoot and Hub. Edmondson, generally about 30 in number, but over 200 have been seen with the party at one time. They sometimes claim to be recruits for Morgan, at other times for Forrest, and are composed of citizens, many of whom have been conscripted and have taken to pushwhacking [sic] in order to keep out of the federal army. On the 9th Broadfoot and Edmondson, with 12 comrades, rode up to the store of Mr. R.M. Bourland, Crittenden county, and robbed him of all his goods. Bourland then undertook to raise a company of Home Guards in the neighborhood, but, with a young man named Jenkins, was taken prisoner by the guerrillas. The party stopped within one mile of Perry [Piney?] Creek for dinner, where they paroled Jenkins. Bourland insisted that they should parole him also, but Broadfoot told him it would be done after dinner. True to their promise, after dinner they took him down to the creek and paroled him by shooting him and throwing his body into the creek, where it was found on Sunday. Bourland was a young man of much promise and greatly respected by all who knew him.

Published 13 February 2014, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Tombstone Tuesday - D.A. and Addie Dunn

David Andrew
July 1, 1848
June 24, 1931
Addie Haynes
May 27, 1860
Jan. 18, 1905
Buried Smithland Cemetery, Livingston County, Kentucky. Tombstone photographed 12 August 2011.
According to Kentucky death certificate #15262, David Andrew Dunn was born in Lyon County, Kentucky. His parents were Madison Dunn and Lucinda Bigham, both born Kentucky. 
The 1880 Livingston County census has Addie Haynes enumerated in the household of her parents, Emilius P. and Lizzie Haynes. The 1900 Livingston County census shows D.A. and Addie Haynes  Dunn had been married 17 years and had nine children.
D.A. Dunn married Miss Laura Champion 4 November 1906 in Smithland.
Published 11 February 2014, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Friday, February 7, 2014

Websites Worth Checking

It isn't easy keeping track of new websites so, in case you have missed the following, you might want to check them out.

Kentucky Cemetery Laws

South of Green River Series of Land Patents in Kentucky

Illinois State Archives Databases, including Marriage Index 1763-1900, Illinois Black Hawk War Veterans, Regimental & Union Histories from the Adjutant General's Report (Civil War) and Death Index (Pre-1916 and 1916-1950)

Kentucky Confederate Pension Records (Civil War)
Scanned images are retrievable by pensioner/veteran's name, home county, application number, military unit and date.

Published 7 February 2014, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Runaway Slave Notice 1819

The following notice appeared in the Indiana Centinel on 19 June 1819. Livingston County, Kentucky Deed Book B, page 463 shows John Puckett buying town lots in Salem on 24 December 1813. By 1814, Puckett was a Salem town trustee.

Published 6 February 2014, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Tombstone Tuesday - Rachel Ann Walker

Rachel Ann
Wife of
Moses Walker
July 20, 1840
July 20, 1897
Buried Mt. Zion Cemetery, Crittenden County, Kentucky. Tombstone photographed 24 October 2012.
Moses Walker married Miss R.A. Crabtree 10 March 1870 Crittenden County.
The 22 July 1897 issue of the Crittenden Press contains the following news item:  "A few days ago Mrs. Moses Walker who lives near Rosebud church, was thrown from her horse and received such injuries in the fall that death may ensue. Her leg was broken at the ankle, and at first it was thought that this was the only severe injury, and that she would recover; but later she has grown worse, and Tuesday it was thought that she could not recover." 
Then, an article announcing her death appeared in the 29 July 1897 issue of the newspaper: "Mrs. Moses Walker was thrown from her horse some 10 days ago and broke her leg. She died from the effects of the fall the next Tuesday and was buried at Mt. Zion."
Published 4 February 2014, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,