Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!

Published 26 November 2015, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Tombstone Tuesday - J.C. and Mary R. Presnell

James C. and Mary R. Presnell Tombstone
Smithland Cemetery
Smithland, Kentucky

According to Kentucky death certificate #13848, James C. Presnell was born 12 July 1849 South Carolina and died 11 June 1925. His parents are listed as Gilbert Presnell and Nancy Ann Waddlington. James C. Presnell appears on the 1860 Livingston County, Kentucky census with his parents, but the birth places are given as North Carolina instead of South Carolina.

Virginia death certificate #1791 shows that Mary R. Presnell died 28 January 1948 in Henrico County, Virginia at the age of 91 years. She was born in Smithland and was the daughter of John D. Perkins.

According to Livingston County Marriage Book 1876-1829, J.C. Presnell and Miss Mary R. Perkins obtained a bond to marry on 19 March 1879. He was age 28 and a farmer born in North Carolina. His father's birth place is given as Tennessee and his mother's as North Carolina. Mary R. Perkins was age 21 and was born in Livingston County as were her parents.

Published 24 November 2015, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Livingston County, Kentucky Petit Jurors 1848

S.M. Barner, Wm. Robertson and F. Crawford, Jury Commissioners, selected a list of local resident voters as Petit Jurors for the next term (May 1848)  of the Circuit Court.  The following names were selected 15 November 1847. [1]

[1] Livingston County Court Papers, Box 1, (1840-1938), Livingston County Clerk's Office, Smithland, Kentucky.

Published 19 November 2015, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Tombstone Tuesday - Georgie L. and Zula L. Ramage

Georgie L.
Apr. 6, 1913
Mar. 14, 1943

Zula L.
Oct 14, 1910

Gone But Not Forgotten

Buried Alsobrook Cemetery, Livingston County, Kentucky. Tombstone photographed 30 July 2015. 

According to Kentucky death certificate #7643, Georgie Leon Ramage was the son of Aaron Elva Ramage and Minnie Hardin, both of whom were born in Kentucky. At the time of his death, Georgie L. Ramage was married to Zula L. Ramage. 

Zula is enumerated in the household of George and Minnie Evans on the 1910 Livingston County census.  The 1930 Livingston County census (Driskill District) shows Zula, age 20, as the wife of Owen McDonald. They had one daughter, Thelma, age 4 months. The 1940 Livingston County census shows Georgie and Zula living with his parents, Aron and Minnie Ramage. Zula's death date is unknown.

Published 17 November 2015, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Frank S. Loyd Looking Toward 100 Years

He hoped to live to be 100 years old, but he missed the milestone by slightly more than a month. Frank S. Loyd, born in 1839, passed away at the age of 99 years, 10 months and 20 days on 30 November 1938 in Fredonia, Caldwell County, Kentucky.[1]

Loyd was born to Isaac and Polly Loyd  in the part of Livingston County that later became Crittenden  County.  He later moved just over the county line to Fredonia. Loyd outlived three wives, sisters Sarah Bell and Cornelia Ann Hillyard, and Kittie Mayes. Kittie Mayes  is buried with Loyd at Fredonia Cemetery. The other two wives are buried at Livingston Cemetery in Fredonia.

In an interview with an Evansville newspaper,[2] Loyd told of enlisting in the army during the Civil War and being told he was physically unfit to withstand the rigors of the war. His pleas for reconsideration were accepted and he began his career in Co. K, 20th KY Infantry (USA). He seemed pleased that he had proved the physician wrong.  In the article, Loyd says he helped build the fort at Smithland. He also tells of organizing and training a company of men by teaching tactics learned from a military book.  He only suffered one wound and that was when a shell exploded and nicked him in the head.

Loyd was sent from Smithland to Louisville and then to Shiloh and Lookout Mountain and was with Sherman on his march to the sea.  He experienced several major Civil War engagements and says the fighting wasn't over when he got out of the military. "There were bands of guerrillas coming through Fredonia all the time," he said. "A man had to turn out with a rifle to protect his own home and family."[3]

At the time this article was written, Loyd was looking forward to a reunion of Civil War soldiers in Pennsylvania in 1938.

[1] Kentucky death certificate #26433 (1938), Frank S. Loyd.
[2] "Escapes Death Sentence for 76 Years," The Evansville Press, Sunday, 3 January 1937, Section D, page 1.
[3] Ibid.

Published 12 November 2015, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Monday, November 9, 2015

Research Tips - Marriages

Can't find the marriage you need in the western Kentucky county where your ancestor lived? Try looking in Evansville, Vanderburgh County, Indiana records. Many young couples went to Evansville, were married and returned home before their parents knew they had left town. The following news article tells about one couple who did just this.

"Mr. Joe Thompson and Miss Herma Boliver came to this city from Dixon, Ky., this morning to be married. They were accompanied by Frank Tow and Miss Tina Trice, who stood up with the couple at the nuptials which were solemnized in the office of Justice Francke on Sycamore Street, at 11 o'clock. The bride and groom returned home this afternoon." [1]

If your ancestors married between 1920 and 1979, you can use the Online Index to look for a record.

[1] "Happy Young Couple," Evansville Journal, Wed., 2 October 1901, p. 1.

Published 9 November 2015, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Peddler's License

It your ancestor was a merchant in early Kentucky, he  may have begun his career as a peddler. To be a peddler, you had to have a license. The record generated by the peddler's license can be helpful in your research.

This is what the law said:
 Any person wishing to peddle goods, wares or merchandise within the boundaries of the Commonwealth of Kentucky was required to obtain a license from the county clerk. Before the license was granted, the peddler had to prove by two credible witnesses that he had been a bona fide resident of the county for at least two years and was of good moral character. In addition, a description of the applicant was given and all were entered in a court record. [1]

This is an example of the court record:
"On motion of Mangold Lowensteen and it appearing to the Court upon evidence of two credible witnesses that he has for at least two years past been a bona fide resident citizen of this county and a man of good moral character and being of the following description Viz about 5 feet 5 inches high  fair complexion  one upper front tooth out and nearly bald headed and 26 years of age. Ordered that the clerk of this court issue a license authorizing and permitting said Lowensteen to peddle three months ..."[2]

Any record naming a person in a particular place and at a particular time is a good record and if it gives a physical description of the person it is a wonderful record.

[1] Sec. I. "Revenue and Taxation," in The Revised Statutes of Kentucky (Cincinnati: Robert Clarke & Co., 1860), 283-284; digital images, Google Books ( accessed 26 Oct 2015).
[2] Livingston County, Kentucky  Court Order Book L:525, 1 October 1859.

Published 5 November 2015, Western Kentucky Genealogy.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Tombstone Tuesday - Isaac and Eliza Harvey

Feb. 4, 1857
July 7, 1930

His Wife
June 17, 1864
Mar. 10, 1930
At Rest

Buried in Ferguson Cemetery, Livingston County, Kentucky. Tombstone photographed 4 December 2013.

Isaac W. Harvey's Kentucky death certificate #17751 shows he was a retired farmer born in Tennessee. His parents were Hugh Harvey and Sarah Couch, both born in North Carolina.

Lisa Lucinda Harvey was born in Livingston County, according to her Kentucky death certificate #7317. Her parents are listed as Littleton Chappell, born Tennessee, and Cena Rhodes, born Virginia. At the time of her death, Eliza/Lisa was the wife of I.W. Harvey.

Isaac and Eliza Harvey appear in N. Smithland Precinct on the 1920 Livingston County census with their son, Hugh L. Harvey, and grandsons, Marvin E. and Isaac C. Harvey.  Isaac W. Harvey, age 73, was living alone in Smithland on the 1930 census.

Published 3 November 2015, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,