Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Lamb Family Reunion October 10, 2015

The Lamb Family Reunion will be held on Saturday, 10 October, 2015, in Princeton, Kentucky. The reunion will begin at 11 a.m. at the Dorr-Orange Cemetery just outside of Princeton where a dedication ceremony will be held and a new tombstone erected for William and Rebecca Lamb. This granite memorial marker noting William’s service in the War of 1812 was funded by Lamb family members in early 2015.

After the dedication ceremony, family will move to the Princeton Tourist Welcome Center at 201 E. Main St. in Princeton where lunch will be served.  The price for the meal is $25 per person.

Afternoon activities will include a talk by guest speaker William H. Mulligan, PhD. Dr. Mulligan is a history professor at Murray State University, with interests in early American social and industrial history, Irish immigrant history, and the Civil War. He will talk about what life was like for post-Revolutionary War Lamb ancestors, with a focus on the influence of the War of 1812.

Descendants of Thomas and Alice (Longshore) Lamb are welcome to join the group for an afternoon of visiting and fellowship, meeting new family members and sharing genealogical information. Lamb descendants are invited to bring old family photos, family histories, and any family heirlooms they wish to share. Family descendant charts, historical maps and documents will also be on display.

For more information or to RSVP, contact Matthew T. Patton, 7981 Magnolia Square, Atlanta, GA 30350, or by phone at 215-285-0920 or by email at matthewtpatton@yahoo.com.

Published 29 September 2015, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog, http://wkygenealogy.blogspot.com/

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Are We Becoming Lazy Researchers?

Twenty years ago most of us were aware that original documents were found in the courthouses and archives and we could find other, important information at libraries.

In 1996, the birth of the GenWeb project opened the door to online research, which drastically changed the way we search for our ancestors. This thing called Internet told us we could do research at home and in our jammies, no less! No longer did we have to get out in the cold or heat, drive across town or across the state to access those records. We didn't even have to search during certain hours of the day or week. Internet was available around the clock. How special is that!

Everyone wins, right? Not necessarily. We humans seem to spend an inordinate amount of time simplifying a task. In our rush to make things very basic, we have lost some of the most basic tenets of good research.
*    We have forgotten how to attach a source to each fact not of common knowledge

*   We have decided that anything found online is free to use without asking permission or attributing the material to its creator.

*   We seem to believe if someone else has it on their website it must be true. 

*   If we repeat what is possibly an error over and over, it will become a fact. 

We have lost sight of our goal to find the facts so we can understand where, when and how our ancestors lived. We can find these facts where the events happened as well as where they did not happen. In other words, we must do a "Reasonably Exhaustive Research."[1]

In making our research as simple as possible, we are neglecting the places that provide the best information - courthouses and libraries.  Courthouses don't depend on genealogists for their funding or patronage so their futures are probably secure. That's good news as you will need to go there to find that mid-1800s  marriage bond signed by your ancestor or the description of his property found in that old deed book. Be prepared for a personal visit because not all original courthouse documents are online and probably won't be in our lifetime.

Libraries are not faring as well. Some are cutting hours and staff because of decreased usage. Fewer genealogy books are being published today as everyone wants to search online, but library shelves are still full of great information ranging from county histories of the 1800s to biographies of long-dead people. You might also find microfilm rolls of local, unpublished records. My library has funeral home records  as well as county tax polls, neither of which is online.  Even if your library does not have a genealogy collection, there are treasures to be found. A general history of a particular era and area can provide information about the economic and social conditions during your ancestor's life. You can put him in the context of his place in history. 

Is there a book you would like to read, but it isn't available at your library? Ask your librarian if you can borrow it through interlibrary loan. The cost is minimal and the rewards can be great.

Searching online is fine ... as far as it goes, but to avoid becoming a lazy researcher,  don't forgot the sources of the greatest genealogical information. Visit your library and courthouse. 

 [1] Board for Certification of Genealogists, Genealogy Standards, 50th Anniversary Edition, (Washington, D.C.: Ancestry.com, 2014), 1.

Published 24 September 2015, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,  http://wkygenealogy.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Livingston County, Kentucky Cemeteries 1977 - 2013

The Livingston County Historical and Genealogical Society has announced the publication of  Livingston County, Kentucky Cemeteries, 1977 - 2013. The new book is a companion and supplement to Livingston County, Kentucky Cemeteries, 1738 - 1976. It contains listings of burials since 1976 plus additions and corrections to Volume One and information from miscellaneous death records, obituaries and other records not easily available to researchers.

Volume Two is divided into the following sections:
1.  Active Cemeteries - East of the Cumberland River
2.  Active Cemeteries - West of the Cumberland River
3.  Inactive Cemeteries - East of the Cumberland River
4.  Inactive Cemeteries - West of the Cumberland River
5.  Loose Paper Vital Statistics and Miscellaneous Death Records

The book is available in soft cover and contains over 300 pages. Orders may be sent to the Society at P.O. Box 138, Smithland, Kentucky 42081. The cost is $28.30 per book. Kentucky residents must add $1.70 state sales tax. Shipping and handling is an additional $6.00 per book. The book may also be picked up in person at the the Log Cabin in Smithland.

Published 23 September 2015, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog, http://wkygenealogy.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Tombstone Tuesday - William O. Jones

Husband of 
Ann E. Jones
Born Aug. 26, 1837
Died Aug. 13, 1927
How desolate our home
bereft of thee

Buried Landrum Cemetery, Livingston County, Kentucky. Tombstone photographed 4 September 2013.

According to his death certificate #23566 (1927), William O. Jones was the son of Thomas Jones and Rachel Walker. He was born in Livingston County.

The 1900 Livingston County census shows William O. Jones and his wife Anna living in Driskill Dist. and had been married six years.[1]

[1] William O. Jones household, 1900 U.S. census, Driskill Mag. District, enumeration district [ED] 54, sheet 23, dwelling 423, family 430; National Archives micropublication T623, roll 539.

Published 22 September 2015, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog, http://wkygenealogy.blogspot.com/

Thursday, September 17, 2015

William N. St. John - Steamboatman

The first appearance of William N. St. John by name is on the 1850 Livingston County census record when he was living in a household headed by Nancy St. John. William was 19 years old, an engineer and was born in Illinois. Nancy was 60 years old and born in Virginia. Was she his mother - very possibly. Both of them may have been part of the family of an older William St. John, who is found on the 1840 Livingston County census.  Ann Jane St. John, who married G.W. Burton[1], and P.M. St. John, who married Lavenia Wilson[2], were likely siblings of William N. St. John. There should have been more siblings.

William N. St. John married Serena Smith, daughter of Samuel Smith, 16 December 1856[3] at New Liberty, Pope County, Illinois. They were living in Livingston County in 1860 with their 2-year-old daughter, Laura. William N. continued to work on the river and was listed as a steam boat engineer.

By 1870, the St. John  family had moved to Evansville, which was the center of riverboat traffic in the area.  William was now listed as a river boat pilot. They did not stay long in Evansville, but returned to Livingston County before 1880.

William and Serena St. John had a number of children, including the following who appeared on the 1880 census:  Laura, Jennett, William N., Joel, Alice B., Cora, Daisy, Lilly, Violet and Charles.

A small article in the River News of an Evansville newspaper recorded the death of William St. John. It stated the following:  "The remains of Capt. Wm. St. John, who died at Paducah on Sunday, were taken to Smithland for burial. Capt. St. John was at one time a well known Cumberland river steamboatman. He resided in this city some years ago, and has many friends here who will be pained to learn of his death."[4]

William N. St. John's monument marks his burial spot in Smithland Cemetery. His wife, Serena, is buried in Maplelawn Cemetery in Paducah.

Wm. N. St. John
Nov. 23, 1884
51 yr's., 9 mo's.
Buried Smithland Cemetery
Smithland, Kentucky

[1] Joyce McCandless Woodyard. Livingston County, Kentucky Marriage Records Including Marriages of Freedmen, Vol. II, (Evansville, IN:Evansville Bindery) 1994, p 19-20.
[2] Kentucky Death Certificate #16598 (1923) of Mattie B. Hill identifies her parents as Martin [sic] St. John and Louvenia Wilson.
[3] Judy Foreman Lee & Carolyn Cromeenes Foss. Pope County, Illinois Marriage Books A-E 1813-1877 Vol. 1, (Evansville, IN:Evansville Bindery) 1990, p. 57
[4] "River News," Evansville Daily Courier, Tues., 29 November 1884, p. 3.

Published 17 September 2015, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,  http://wkygenealogy.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Do Your Christmas Shopping Early!

Looking for a Christmas gift for someone with Caldwell County, KY ancestors?  See the list of genealogy books on sale here:

Published 16 September 2015, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog, http://wkygenealogy.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Tombstone Tuesday - J.H. and Emma Perkins

Buried Smithland Cemetery. 
Tombstone photographed 8 November 2014.

J.H. Perkins married Emma Cooper 26 March 1876 in Livingston County. [1] Emma Cooper was likely the daughter of Thomas Cooper and Lean Biby, who married 30 January 1842 Livingston County. [2]

John H. Perkins was a dealer in groceries. He and Emma had seven children, but only two (Harry D. and Gordon) were living, according to the 1900 Livingston County census.

[1] Livingston County Marriage Bond Book 1:525-526.
[2] Livingston County Marriage Register:29.

Published 15 Sep 2015, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog, http://wkygenealogy.blogspot.com/

Tombstone Tuesday - Simpson Family

Velda M.
1889 - 1977

Sarah A.
1851 - 1920

Thomas B.
1848 - 1916

Buried Smithland Cemetery, Livingston County, Kentucky. Tombstone photographed 21 May 2014.

According to Kentucky death certificate #18770, T.B. Simpson was born 1 July 1848 in Crittenden County. He was the son of Vinson Simpson, born Missouri, and Sarah Hill, born Crittenden County. T.B. Simpson died 7 July 1916 in Paducah. 

Sarah A. Simpson, daughter of Rev. Wm. McChesney and Sallie Nash, was born 14 March 1851 in Shady Grove, Kentucky and died 28 Feb 1920 in Paducah, per Kentucky death certificate #5502.

T.B. Simpson and Miss S.A. McChesney married 18 October 1871 in Caldwell County, Kentucky.

Velda Simpson is enumerated as a daughter living with Thomas and Sarah Simpson on the 1900 Livingston County census in Smithland and on the 1910 Marshall County, Kentucky census.

Published 15 September 2015, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog, http://wkygenealogy.blogspot.com/

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Obtaining a Tavern License in Early Kentucky

Opening a tavern or tippling house in the early 1800s was not as easy as stocking the merchandise and hanging out a sign. Laws were in force and failure to abide by those laws could result in a penalty and having the liquor seized.[1]

Every person who wished to keep a tavern first had to petition the county court where the tavern was to be located and obtain a license for one year. To obtain the license, the prospective tavern keeper, along with his security or bondsman, signed a bond promising to not allow gaming in his tavern, "suffer any person to tipple or drink more than is necessary," or permit scandalous behavior in his tavern.  The tavern keeper had to pay a fee to the court as well as a tax imposed by law. Early taverns were often located in the front room of a tavern keeper's own home. 

A person who had previously obtained a license to keep a ferry was often not required to obtain a license if he later desired to open a tavern at his ferry.

The rates and prices for liquor, lodging, diet, stableage and pasturage were fixed at least twice a year  by the justices of the county court. These rates were to be posted in each tavern. Any person who opened a tavern without a license was fined by the court and, if it happened a second time, the offender could be charged a double penalty and have his liquor seized.

Below is the handwritten tavern license signed by James McCawley and Ayres Stewart, his security,  in 1812 Livingston County, Kentucky. [2]

Tavern License - James McCawley 1812
At his house in Smithland

[1] "Taverns and Tipling Houses," Digest of the Statute Laws of Kentucky, Vol. II, Title 171 (Frankfort, KY: Albert G. Hodges), 1834: 1497-1504.
[2]  Loose County Court Clerk's Papers, 1812, Livingston County Clerk's Office.

Published 10 September 2015, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,  http://wkygenealogy.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Tombstone Tuesday - Musa Green Woodward

Musa Green
Apr. 8, 1860
June 6, 1933

Buried Smithland Cemetery, Smithland, Kentucky. Tombstone photographed 1 October 2014.

According to the Illinois Deaths and Stillbirth Index 1916-1947 on Ancestry.com, Musa Dota Woodward was born in Smithland and died in Chicago, Illinois. Her spouse was Robert Woodward.  Her parents are listed as Samuel A. Bolin, born Smithland, and -- Bucham, born Bowling Green. Part of this information is incorrect. Musa was living in the household of Samuel A. Green and his wife, Emma H., as evidenced by the 1870 Livingston County, Kentucky census. They were likely her parents and are also buried in Smithland Cemetery.

Published 8 September 2015, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog, http://wkygenealogy.blogspot.com/

Thursday, September 3, 2015

New Information From a Divorce File

Last week we discussed how to obtain a Kentucky divorce record from the Archives. I did just that recently and was pleased with the results.  Sometime ago I purchased the Crittenden County Circuit Court Index on microfilm[1] and used that to locate a file I thought might be of interest - John Bebout vs Ellen Bebout.

There have been a number of John Bebouts through the years, but who was Ellen Bebout? Which John Bebout had a connection to an Ellen?  I suspected this was a divorce case, but wasn't sure until I read the file. It was full of information.

According to the plaintiff (John Bebout), he married Ellen Adams in Hardin County, Illinois in July 1869. The couple lived together until June 1872. During that time he treated the defendant (Ellen Bebout) "kindly and did all he could to make her a kind & loving husband and provided her with a good home and all that was necessary to make her comfortable." [2] In June 1872, Ellen left the plaintiff and moved to Madison County, Missouri.  The couple had been living in Illinois, but after Ellen left for Missouri, John moved back to Crittenden County.

Several people gave depositions for the plaintiff at the home of John and Martha E. Tolley in Pope County, Illinois in July 1874, including Absalom Vanbaber; J.A. Bebout, John Bebout's 27-year-old son; Samuel Humphreys and John and Martha E. Tolley.

So what did I learn from this file?  I determined this John Bebout was the Reverend John Bebout,  brother of my ancestor, Peter Bebout. John  first married Sarah Shoemaker in Caldwell County, Kentucky in 1841. Sarah died 1 February 1869, according to her tombstone in Deer Creek Cemetery in Crittenden County. When she died, she left young children in need of a mother's care.  Just five months later John married Ellen Adams in Hardin County.

Those of us who had ancestors living in Crittenden and Livingston Counties know that many of those ancestors  married, lived or died in Hardin County and Pope County. There was a lot of movement back and forth across the Ohio River between Kentucky and Illinois. The problem with researching Hardin County is there were two courthouse fires, the last being in 1884, so often the records we  need no longer exist. In the Bebout divorce file is there is a copy of  the 1869 marriage license, something I would not expect to find. Although the copy dates several years after the actual marriage, it is well before the courthouse fire.  If this copy did not exist we would have no idea John Bebout ever married Ellen Adams.  But we know about the record now and it helps fill in some blanks.

Ellen Adams Bebout did go to Madison County, Missouri and is found living there with her married daughter, Frances Adams Wiseman, and family on the 1880 census. Ellen is listed as a widow, which was probably preferable to being listed as divorced.

John didn't file for the divorce from Ellen until July 1874 and it was granted 17 December 1874. Three days later he married Mrs. Mary Barger in Crittenden County. John died in 1883 and is buried beside his first wife, Sarah.

[1] John Bebout vs Ellen Bebout,  Case File #202, Crittenden County Circuit Court General Cross Index to Case Files 1842-1977, Roll No. 7018899, Kentucky Dept. for Libraries and Archives.
[2] Ibid

Published 3 September 2015, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog, http://wkygenealogy.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Tombstone Tuesday - William B.S. Henkle

William B.S. Henkle
Son of
R.F. & E.A. Henkle
Brother of
Mrs. M.A. Stout
Born in Champaign Co., O
March 12, 1841
Sept. 15, 1920

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

According to Kentucky death certificate #24147, William Banson Sampson Henkle was the son of Rezin Fletcher Henkle, born West Virginia, and Emma Sampson, born Cincinnati, Ohio. His birth year is given as 1840 on the death certificate.

William B.S. Henkle first appears on Crittenden County census records in 1920 and a notice of his death appeared in the Crittenden Press 17 September 1920. The article stated "Uncle Benton" had been living with his nephew, B.B. Stout. 

Published 1 September 2015, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog, http://wkygenealogy.blogspot.com/