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,