Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Croft Family Reunion June 24, 2017

J.N. Croft and Josephine Bebout Croft and their children ca 1929

Descendants of James N. and Josephine A. (Bebout) Croft are invited to a family reunion on Saturday, 24 June 2017, at the Salem Baptist Church in Salem, Kentucky. We will meet at noon for food and visiting until 4 p.m. Please bring a dish to share and old photos you would like to display. Please contact me at bjjerome@wowway.com with the number in  your family who plan to attend.

Published 20 June 2017, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog, http://wkygenealogy.blogspot.com/

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Martha Rebecca's Story

Every person - every family -  has a story. Some are happy and many are not. The Lewis family had more than their share of unhappiness. 

About 1853, William Lewis, wife Martha Rebecca Vaughn Lewis, and their children John, James, Richard, William and Rebecca Jane, left their home in Bedford County, Tennessee and traveled north to Kentucky to start a new life in Crittenden County.  Shortly thereafter  William Lewis purchased land on the waters of Claylick Creek.  

Life was hard in Crittenden County for the Lewis family.  Civil War began in 1861, and  the two oldest Lewis sons, John and James, enlisted in the 48th Illinois Infantry, a Union regiment.  John died at Shiloh in  April 1862. The loss of a son must have been unbearable, especially when bad luck does not stop and seems to follow the family.

William Lewis mortgaged his land in Crittenden County and, unable to redeem the land, he lost it. As a farmer, he no longer had a way to support the family. In 1863, Possibly out of frustration, William abandoned his wife, Martha Rebecca, and their children. This left his son, James, as the sole support of the family. And the family was larger, Herod, Mary E. and Sarah C. having been born after the family moved to Kentucky.

Then came another tragedy in March of 1864 when James Lewis  was shot while home on leave from the Army. As he was returning with companions to their company in Crittenden County,  a Southern sympathizer (some say  an ex-CSA soldier or bushwhacker) shot him. The shooter was quickly caught and turned over to the military authorities in Smithland, but nothing could be done to save the life of the young soldier. 

Martha Rebecca applied for and received a mother's pension based on her son's military service. [1] Martha never remarried and, according to several depositions given in her pension application, she had to depend on her children for support.  She died 14 March 1897 and was buried at Chapel Hill Cemetery, Crittenden County.

So what happened to William Lewis?  The family legend says he left Crittenden County with another woman. This appears to have been true.  The 1870 census shows William Lewis, age 51, living in Posey County, Indiana.[1] Also in  his household were Charlot B. Lewis, 29 born Tennessee; Charlie Lewis, 6 born Indiana; America  Lewis, 2 born  Indiana and an 11 year old daughter of Charlot by her 1854 marriage to John Summers Belt of Crittenden County. No marriage for William Lewis and Charlott (Green) Belt has been found and it is assumed they were living together as a family.

In Martha Rebecca Lewis' pension application, she stated William Lewis was said to have died in August 1872. No death record or newspaper obituary of his death was found in Posey County or in a neighboring county.  One researcher claimed William died in Illinois, but no record has been found there either. No further information on Charlott (Green) Belt has been located. Did she move away from Posey County? Did she remarry or change her name?  I don't know.

The Lewis family endured many tragedies and there are more involving their children we have not mentioned. Their daughter, Mary Elizabeth "Lennie" Lewis, was my great-great-grandmother and had more than her share, but we will save those for another day.

Too many questions on this family are unanswered. 





[1] Declaration for an Original Pension of a Mother, #299.777, Martha Lewis based on service of son, James Lewis, Private, Co. E, 48th Illinois Infantry, National Archives. 


[2] 1870 Posey County, Indiana Census, Black Township, p. 3, Ancestry.com, accessed 13 March 2014.

Published 15 June 2017, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog, http://wkygenealogy.blogspot.com/


Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Midnight Madness - Willard Library

Willard Library's Midnight Madness, five days and nights of research and workshops, is scheduled for June 19-23, 2017 at the library in Evansville, Indiana.  Presentations begin at 9:30 am and continue through 6:00 pm. A wide variety of programs is planned with J. Mark Lowe, CG, beginning the week with four programs: Just Talkin' or Oral History and Genealogy, Finding 20th Century Military Records, A Death in the Family and Whiskey, Brandy and Southern Migration. 

Others presenting during the week are Karin Marie Kirsch and Stephen Van Bibber (German/Latin records), Melinda King (Revolutionary War ); Brian Lankford (Researching neighbors); Nancy Voyles (Henderson Public Library); Lucy Hart (Willard's databases); Sue Berry (Rural  Family Life); Eddie Wildt (Publishing ); Pat Sides (History of W. Franklin Street); Dona Bone (Evansville During WWII)  and Harold Morgan (Evansville Transportation History and Lincoln Family).   

If you are just starting on your genealogical journey, the class on Beginning Genealogy by Lyn Martin, Willard Library Special Collections Librarian on Tuesday evening will be of interest.
The week will be capped off by a patriotic concert by the Red Bank ReUnion Band on Friday evening.

All programs are free and open to the public. Reservations are suggested, but not required. Special Collections (second floor) will be open during and after all programs. The library is located at 21 First Avenue, Evansville, Indiana. For more information, Willard Library Calendar of Events

Published 13 June 2017, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog, http://wkygenealogy.blogspot.com/


Thursday, June 8, 2017

Timothy's Taylor's Will

Timothy Taylor left an interesting last will and testament in Crittenden County.  Instead of naming his children and their legacies, Timothy bypassed his children and left his estate to two grandchildren, both of whom were living with him in 1880.[1]

J.W. Taylor, son of Timothy and his wife, Evaline Crabtree Taylor, first wrote that he wanted his daughter, Mary H. Taylor, to have  all his interest in his father's estate as she had done more for his father than he had. J.W.'s wishes were dated 9 March 1882 from Walker County, Texas.  Timothy  responded by writing  that Mary H. Taylor would inherit her father's interest in Timothy's estate..  Both statements are appended to Timothy's will. [2]

The third part of Timothy Taylor's will is a bequest to Joseph C. Taylor for all of the interest that Timothy's son, James E. Taylor, would inherit in his estate. Joseph's siblings, Mary J. Hoyt, William H. Taylor, Charles W. Taylor and John H. Taylor, were excluded from inheriting anything.

Not named in Timothy's will were his other children Caroline Taylor Black Kimsey, Levi H. Taylor, Ruth Taylor Franklin, Ann E. Taylor Franklin LaRue, Elizabeth Taylor Lamb and Mary Dean Taylor Franklin.

Timothy Taylor's will was produced in open court 9 November 1891 and ordered to be continued because of the absence of the original subscribing witnesses to the will.  On that date, E.L. Nunn was appointed curator of Timothy's will. His job was to see that the estate was not wasted and that all debts and credits were satisfied  until an administrator could be appointed.  The will was finally settled and recorded 23 April 1892.

Timothy and Evelyn Taylor are buried at Green's Chapel Cemetery in the Bells Mines area of Crittenden County.


Timothy Taylor
Born
Nov. 5, 1806
Died
Oct. 27, 1891
Directly behind is the monument for James M. Lamb and Elizabeth (Taylor) Lamb

Evaline Taylor
Wife of Timothy Taylor
Born
Dec. 25, 1808
Died
Aug. 25, 1873
Joined the Methodist Episcopal Church 1824


[1] 1880 Crittenden County, Kentucky Federal Census, E.D. 59, p. 28, Bell's Mines Dist, Ancestry.com, accessed 13 April 2017, dwelling 247, family #248. Timothy Taylor, age 73, Joseph C. Taylor (grandson), age 18 and Mary H.  Taylor (Granddaughter), age 16.
[2] Will Book 1:250, dated 12 April 1886 and recorded 23 April 1892.
Published 8 June 2017, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog, http://wkygenealogy.blogspot.com/






Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Sebree Springs Resort

Several western Kentucky counties had resorts where people could relax, take the waters and enjoy nature. One such place was Sebree Springs in Webster County, Kentucky.  The following article, which makes the resort sound like paradise,  is found on page 4  in the 10 June 1886 issue of the Evansville Journal and is  available on microfilm at Willard Library, Evansville, Indiana.

Sebree, Ky, June 8, 1886.   Sebree is on the "Ellen N." Railroad, a convenient distance from Evansville, Henderson and Clarksville, and is a most popular watering place. Many visitors come every year. They gain health, friendships dear  through afterlife, and a fuller appreciation of Nature's world. Rural charms are found here in the midst of active civilization, thus doing away with the lonesomeness and somber thoughts that intrude into the long avenues of solitude.

Sebree has the advantage of being in Webster County, where wealth and hospitality walk hand-in-hand, and where a courteous reception always awaits visitors. A stranger looking out car windows  sees a quiet village hedged in by the shadowy outline of tree-tops that suggest a near limit to earthly space. But leaving the train one finds touches of ideal loveliness in the picturesque  scenery. On the moss-covered cliffs are vine-clad trees, and tiny water-fall gurgling over a rocky bed.

The regular summer season opens Friday, June 18th, with a grand ball at Sebree Springs Hotel. Excellent music, dancing and refreshments are among the attractions that make up the programs.  By leaving Evansville on the noon train passengers reach Sebree in amply time for the gaieties of the evening.

Published 6 June 2017, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog, http://wkygenealogy.blogspot.com/

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Walker Family Buried In Green's Chapel Cemetery




Gladys Walker 1908 - 1941 
H. Edgar Walker  1866 - 1940 
Fannie C. Walker  1867 - 1946

Buried in Green's Chapel Cemetery, Bells Mines Road, Crittenden County. Tombstone photographed 9 March 2017.

Hugh Edgar Walker was born 26 May 1866 in Crittenden County and died 31 December 1940.[1] His first wife was Wilmoth (last name unknown) and they were living in Stoddard County, Missouri in 1890.[2] On 9 February 1895, Hugh E. Walker married Miss Fannie C. Towery at the Methodist Church at Shady Grove, Caldwell County, Kentucky. [3]

Gladys Walker, daughter of Hugh Edgar and Fannie C. Walker, was born 11 November 1908 Kentucky and died at a hospital in Henderson, Kentucky 18 March 1941.[4] According to her obituary,[5] she attended Murray State Teachers College and, following completion, was a teacher for the next 14 years. She was a member of Bells Mines Cumberland Presbyterian Church.

Fannie C. Towery was the daughter of Ned Towery and Bettie Woods, both born in Kentucky. She was born 7 November 1868 and died 12 January 1946.[6]



[1] Kentucky Delayed Death Certificate #4135 for Hugh Edgar Walker, Ancestry.com, accessed 14 March 2016.
[2] Crittenden County Deed Book Y:350, 27 September 1890, heirs of Hugh M. Walker, including H.E. Walker of Stoddard County, Missouri, sold land in Crittenden County.
[3] Brenda Joyce Jerome. Crittenden County, Kentucky Marriages 1887-1899 Vol. III, (Evansville, IN: Evansville Bindery, 1998), 90.
[4] Kentucky Death Certificate #7259, Ancestry.com, accessed 14 March 2016.
[5] "Gladys Walker Rites Yesterday at Greens Chapel," Crittenden Press, 21 March 1941.
[6] Kentucky Death Certificate #572, Ancestry.com, accessed 14 March 2016.

Published 1 June 2017, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog, http://wkygenealogy.blogspot.com/

Monday, May 29, 2017

Memorial Day Memories



My mother, Lavern Croft Joyce, at the tombstone of her parents, Herman Reeves Croft (1896 - 1970) and Nettie C. Vaughn (1897 - 1958) shortly after her mother's burial in Salem Cemetery, Livingston County, Kentucky on Memorial Day 1959.

One of the greatest things we can do for our children is to teach them how they fit into this world – the place created just for them by their ancestors. When I was growing up, parents and children cleaned and decorated family graves together on Memorial Day. With every pulled weed or flower placed on a grave, a memory of each relative was invoked – a nickname, a special trait, the color of their hair and how they fit into the family. I learned about Great Aunt Eddie Vaughn Pittillo and how much I resemble her in appearance. I learned who made the concrete border for little Edith’s grave. I learned that the red hair running through the Joyce family comes from Great Grandmother Mary Ann Smith and that she smoked a pipe and used Star brand tobacco. I also learned that her father, Hugh Wolstenholme, "washed his hands in the clouds" when he crossed the mountains. Those stories should not be forgotten.

By noon we were ready for a break of sandwiches and ice cold drinks, welcome treats as it was sure to be hot and sunny on Memorial Day in southern Illinois and western Kentucky. And then it was back to work and we continued until the grass was trimmed, weeds were all pulled and each grave had a bouquet of flowers stuck in a Mason jar or coffee can. There was a sense of satisfaction when we packed up and headed for home.

I worry that when I am gone, my children will no longer visit the little country cemeteries and, oh, how I hope they don’t forget the stories of their ancestors.

This was originally published on  Rambling Thoughts ... Out of My Mind   http://brendasopinions.blogspot.com/2009/05/memorial-day-memories.html  22 May 2009.

Published 29 May 2017, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog, http://wkygenealogy.blogspot.com/

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Pleasant Grove General Baptist Church and Cemetery

Pleasant Grove General Baptist Church is located in Crittenden County, a few miles north of Salem.


Adjoining the church is the cemetery where many members of my family and other families are buried. These  families include the following: Croft, Corn, Bebout, Lynn, Jones, Millikan, Watson, Miller and Belt,



Published 25 May 2017, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,  http://wkygenealogy.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Tombstone Tuesday - Nathan C. Byrd


Nathan C. Byrd
Born
Jan. 14, 1807
Died Sept. 17, 1872
Mark the perfect man and behold
the upright for the end of that man is peace.

Buried Fredonia Cemetery, Caldwell County, Kentucky. Tombstone photographed 12 October 2013.

On 11 January 1838, Nathan C. Byrd obtained a marriage license to marry Miss Sarah Jane Leeper, whose father, R.T. Leeper, gave written consent for the license to be issued.



Original Marriage License
Nathan C. Byrd - Sarah Jane Leeper
Caldwell County Clerk's Office
Princeton, Kentucky

Published 23 May 2017, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog, http://wkygenealogy.blogspot.com/

Friday, May 19, 2017

Epitaphs Can Provide Clues

Have you wondered about the origin of an epitaph on a tombstone? Did it have special meaning to the deceased or the family?  One of the easiest ways to check on the epitaph is to ask our friend, Google. That's what I did with the epitaph on the tombstone of Martha A. Perkins, who is buried in Leeper Cemetery in Livingston County.



 Martha A.
Wife of
J.D. Perkins
Born
Sept. 24, 1827
Died
Apr. 3, 1876
Aged
48 yrs. 6 mo's, 9 da's

"Hard is it from thee to part
Tho it rend my aching heart
Since an heir to glory's gone
Let the will of God be done."

The epitaph is taken from "Psalms and Hymns Adapted to Social, Private and Public Worship of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church."  Could this be a clue to Martha A.'s religious affiliation? Or was this epitaph ordered from a tombstone catalog with little thought given as to whether it was appropriate for the decedent? If charges were made for each letter, an epitaph of four lines would have been fairly costly and certainly more expensive than a simple epitaph like Gone Home or Farewell or Gone But Not Forgotten.

To be most helpful, transcribe every word on the tombstone.

Published 19 May 2017, Western Genealogy Blog, http://wkygenealogy.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Tombstone Tuesday - Mahlon B. Lowery



Mahlon B. Lowery
May 16, 1832
Feb. 15, 1908

Buried Fredonia Cemetery, Caldwell County, Kentucky. Tombstone photographed 12 October 2013.

Malin [sic] B. Lowery is enumerated in the household of John and Grace Lowery on the 1850 Caldwell County, Kentucky census.[1]  John Lowery and Grace Ordway married 22 September 1825.[2] They are buried at Old Fredonia Cemetery .

Mahlon B. Lowery married Miss Lucy C. Rorer 23 December 1869 in Caldwell County.[3] This marriage bond contains quite a bit of information. The groom was 35 years old, was born and currently lived in Caldwell County, was a farmer and this was his first marriage. His father was born in Virginia and his mother was born in New Hampshire.  Miss Rorer, the bride, was age 20, was born in Crittenden County, Kentucky and currently lived in Caldwell County and this was her first marriage. Her parents were born in Virginia. Richard Rorer, father of the bride, gave consent for the marriage license to be issued.







[1] 1850 Caldwell County, Kentucky census, Dist. 1, Family #426, database online, Ancestry.com, accessed 7 March 2017.
[2] Brenda Joyce Jerome. Caldwell County, Kentucky Marriages 1809-1832, (Evansville, IN: Evansville Bindery, 1996), 88.
[3] Brenda Joyce Jerome. Caldwell County, Kentucky Marriages 1866-1873, (Evansville, IN: Evansville Bindery, 2002), 61.

Published 16 May 2017, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,  http://wkygenealogy.blogspot.com/

Friday, May 12, 2017

Livingston County, Kentucky Tavern Keepers 1866 - 1868

In order to receive a license to keep a tavern in Kentucky, the prospective tavern keeper had to appear before the county court and promise to keep an orderly house, vow not to sell or give liquor to anyone who was intoxicated or was a minor. He also vowed not to permit gaming in his tavern house. The bond was recorded in a separate bond book as well as in the county court minutes in the county court order books.

The following information has been abstracted from Livingston County Tavern Keepers Bond Book 1853 - 1894, Livingston County Clerk's Office, Smithland, Kentucky. The county court order book and page number where the bond is also recorded is found at the end of the entry. For example, M:354 refers to county court order book M, page 354.

Joseph Bridges was granted a license to keep a tavern at his tavern house in Carrsville. 7 May 1866. [M:353]

Phillip Grassham was granted a license to keep at tavern at the brick Tavern in Salem. 7 May 1866. [M:354]

W.W. Phillips and G.W. Crane were granted a license to keep at tavern at the Elliot House in Smithland.  J.T. Crane took the oath required by Law to act as clerk in the Elliot House Hotel. 4 Sep 1866.  [M:373]

J.L. Berry received a license to keep a tavern at Salem. 7 Jan 1867. [M:402]  On motion of J.L. Berry, keeper of a tavern house in Salem, ordered that --- Murphy be permitted to qualify as his clerk. 7 Jan 1867. [M:403]

Thomas Nelson granted a license to keep at tavern at his house in Birdsville. 7 Jan 1867. [M:403]

Joseph Bridges granted a license to keep a tavern at his tavern house in Carrsville. 6 May 1867. [M:420]

Phillip Grassham granted a license to keep tavern at his house in Salem. 6 May 1867. [M:422]

David L. Sanders and J.C. Hodge were granted a license to keep a tavern at the Waverly House in Smithland. 14 Oct 1867.  [M:454]

U.G. Berry was granted a license to keep a tavern at the Bridges House in Carrsville. 4 Nov 1867. [M:456]

John L. Leffler was granted a license to keep a tavern at the Waverly House in Smithland. 6 Jan 1868. [M:476]

Thomas Nelson was granted a license to keep a tavern at his tavern house in Birdsville. 6 Jan 1868. [M:477]

Phillip Grassham was granted a license to keep a tavern at his tavern house in Salem. 4 May 1868. [M:490]



Published 12 May 2017, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog, http://wkygenealogy.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Tombstone Tuesday - Dr. James G. and Ora Glass




Glass
Dedicated Doctor
Husband
James G.
1882 - 1962

Wife
Ora K.
Dec. 11, 1971

Buried Fernwood Cemetery, Henderson, Kentucky. Tombstone photographed 2 April 2017.

Dr. James Garfield Glass was born in Hopkinsville, Kentucky on 12 November 1882[1] to Edward W. Glass and Sallie MacReynolds .[2]  Dr. Glass graduated from Clark Embalming School in Cincinnati and Meharry Medical College (Walden University) in Nashville, Tennessee in 1908. He was in the undertaking business with his father before practicing medicine, first in Hopkinsville and then moved his  practice to Henderson in 1908.[3]

Ora  Kennedy Glass was born to the Rev. P.H. Kennedy and Virginia Dabney in Henderson about 1895. Her mother was the "first  graduate of a Negro school in Henderson and the first licensed Negro teacher in Henderson."[4]

Dr. Glass and Ora Kennedy were married 6 November 1913. They had two children.[5]




[1] Kentucky Death Certificate #62-20261, accessed 29 March 2017 through Ancestry.com,  gives the birth year for Dr. Glass as 1885.
[2] Ibid.
[3] Frank Lincoln Mather. Who's Who of the Colored Race, Vol. 1  1915,  (Chicago: n.p., 1915), 116.
[4] "70-Year Resident Dies in Henderson," Evansville Press, 6 April 1950.
[5] Who's Who of the Colored Race, p. 116.

Published 9 May 2017, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog, http://wkygenealogy.blogspot.com/

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Crittenden County Population Statistics


The following article  appeared in the  Evansville Journal of 28 July 1920.

"Marion, Ky. showed an increase in population of 91 inhabitants, according to figures issued by the census bureau.

"In 1910 Marion showed 1,627. In 1920 the figures reached a total of 1,718. Crittenden County, Ky. recorded a loss in population in the 1920 census over ten years ago. The total in 1920 is 13,125. In 1910 it was 13,296. Dycusburg's population in 1920 is 162 in comparison with 176 in 1910. Tolu's population is 225. In 1910 it was 180."

For a more up-to-date view, the following population figures were provided by Wikipedia:
Population of Marion in 2010:  3,039
Population of Dycusburg in 2010:  26
Population of Tolu in 2010:  88

Population of Crittenden County in 2013:  9,255

Now, relate these figures to the lives of your Crittenden County ancestors and ask yourself the following questions:

1.  What was the reason for the population increase of Marion?  

2.  How was life in town different from life in the country? 

3.  What drew them to town?  Educational opportunities?  Better medical care? 

4.  The entire county population decreased from 1910. Where did the people go and why?

5.  Are there any stories in your family about  relatives or friends who moved away? 

6.  Did the decrease in population affect your family and how?

Sometimes a look at the population statistics helps us understand what was happenings in our ancestors' lives.

Published 4 May 2017, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog, http://wkygenealogy.blogspot.com/





Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Tombstone Tuesday - Rev. John and Sarah Bebout

John Bebout and Sarah Ann Shoemaker were married 4 February 1841 in Caldwell County, Kentucky. [1] They were later enumerated on the 1850 Caldwell County census with their three oldest children, Mary, Abraham J. and John A. Bebout. [2]

By 1860, John and Sarah had moved to Crittenden County, Kentucky. Their children are listed as Mary, Abraham J., John A., Enoch B., James B. and Columbus Bebout.[3]

Sarah A. Bebout died in 1869 and John died in 1883.  Both are buried in Deer Creek Cemetery in Crittenden County.


 Sarah A.
Wife of
Rev. John
Bebout
Apr. 7
1823
Feb. 1
1869


 Rev. John
Bebout
June 17
1816
June 12
1883

Tombstones were photographed 10 June 2010.




[1] Brenda Joyce Jerome. Caldwell County, Kentucky Marriages 1833-1853, (Evansville, IN: Evansville Bindery, 1997), 56.
[2] 1850 Caldwell County, Kentucky Census, Dist. 1, p. 295, Ancestry.com, accessed 30 March 2017.
[3] 1860 Crittenden County, Kentucky Census, West Half of County, Post Office Carrsville, p. 56, Ancestry.com, accessed 30 March 2017.

Published 2 May 2017, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,  http://wkygenealogy.blogspot.com/                           

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Mystery of the Ashmore Family

I have a little mystery for you.  It begins with a broken tombstone for Margaret Ashmore in Smithland Cemetery in Livingston County.  There is no birth date and where the death date should be, the stone is broken. Previous recordings, however,  give the death date as 11 June 1849.[1]

Margaret
Infant
daughter of
Rob. & Rachel
Ashmore

If this death date is correct, one would think her parents, or at least her mother, was in Smithland on that date.  

Maybe. But no Ashmore is found on the Livingston County Tax Lists for 1849  or 1850  or 1851  or 1852. So, where were Robert and Rachel Ashmore, the parents of little Margaret?

R. [Rachel?] Ashmore, age 25, and G.A. Ashmore, age 1, are found on the 1850 Mercer County, New Jersey census living in the town of Princeton in a household  headed by William Williamson, age 24.  By the way, Robert Asmore [sic] married Rachel Williamson 6 January 1844 in Somerset County, New Jersey. [2] So, if Rachel was living with some of her relatives in 1850, where was Robert and who was G.A. Ashmore, age 1?

It appears that Robert Ashmore enlisted in the Army on 20 July 1849.[3] He was described as age 28 with grey eyes, brown hair, stood 5 feet 9 inches tall, was born in Hunterdon County, New Jersey and was a millwright.  On the 16th of May 1851, he deserted. That is the last record found on Robert Ashmore.

On the 1860 Hunterdon County, New Jersey census, Rachel Ashmore, age 37, and George Ann Ashmore, age 11, were living in the household of Jacob and Anna Williamson in the town of Lambertville. So, it appears that Rachel had a daughter, George Ann, who was born about 1849 in Missouri. Was she a twin to Margaret?  Was Margaret also born in Missouri and, if so, why was she buried in Smithland, Kentucky?

Rachel and George Ann didn't stay in New Jersey. By 1869 they are living in - where else - Smithland, Kentucky. On the 16th of September of 1869, Miss Georgiana Ashmore married Charles S. Delay.
Original Marriage License and Certificate 1869
Livingston County Clerk's Office
Smithland, Kentucky


The newlyweds and the mother in law, Rachel, moved to Cairo, Illinois, where they are found on the 1870 census. Rachel died 1 August 1872 at the age of 49 years. Services were held at the M.E. Church in Cairo and her remains were taken to Smithland, Kentucky for interment.[4]  My hunch is she is buried without a tombstone beside little Margaret.

Charles Delay and wife Georgia (Ashmore) moved to Scott County, Missouri, where they can be found on the 1880 census in the town of Sylvania with their children, Georgie, Harry, Daisy and Charlie. Georgia Ashmore Delay died at Parker's Station, Missouri on the evening of 21 March 1881. Her remains were taken to Beech Grove Cemetery in Cairo, Illinois for burial.

There ends the saga of the Ashmore family. What was their original connection to Smithland, Kentucky?  What drew them back to Smithland time after time?

Every person has a story to tell. I just wish some of them would speak a little louder.




[1] "The Old Cemetery at Smithland, Kentucky," The Register of the Kentucky State Historical Society, Vol. 41 (1943)
by Mrs. Verna Presnell McChesney and Livingston County, Kentucky Cemeteries 1738-1976 by Livingston County, Kentucky Homemaker Clubs, 1977 have the same death date for Margaret Ashmore.
[2] U.S., Dutch Reformed Church Records in Selected States, 1639-1989, Ancestry.com, accessed 6 February 2017.
[3] U.S. Army, Register of Enlistments, 1798-1914, Ancestry.com, accessed 16 February 2017.
[4] "Died," The Cairo Bulletin, Friday, 2 August 1872, p. 4

Published 26 April 2017, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog, http://wkygenealogy.blogspot.com/

Friday, April 21, 2017

Research Tip - Read the Instructions!

Do you know when the 1880 census year begins and ends?   Who is included in that census? Not sure?  You will find the answers at the top of the 1880 census form.  What you find there may give you clues for further research.

Here is what  is written on the 1880 census:

Note A. - The Census Year begins June 1, 1879, and ends May 31, 1880.[1]

Note B. - All  persons will be included in the Enumeration who were living on the 1st day of June, 1880.  Children BORN since June 1, 1880, will be OMITTED. Members of Families who have DIED Since June 1, 1880, will be INCLUDED. [2]

Note C. - Questions No. 13, 14, 22 and 23 are not to be asked in respect to persons under 10 years of age. [3]

Reading the instructions or hints is always a good thing.




[1] The same dates apply to the Non-Population Schedules (Agriculture, Manufacturing, Mortality and Social Statistic Schedules).
[2] Capitalization of words appears on the census form.
[3]  Question No. 13 asks the person's occupation. Question No. 14 asks the number of months employed. Question No. 22 asks if the person cannot read. Question No. 23 asks if the person cannot write.

Published 21 April 2017, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog, http://wkygenealogy.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

African-American Marriages in 1866

Although African American slaves may have lived together as husband and wife before the Civil War, their marriage was not legally recognized in Kentucky.  With the end of the war and the passing of a statute on the 14th of February, 1866, ... "all negroes and mulattoes may intermarry with each other in the same manner and under the same regulations that are provided by law for white persons. Provided. that the clerk of the county court shall keep separate records of the same. In additional to the persons now authorized by law to solemnize marriage, marriages between negroes and mulattoes may be solemnized by any minister in good standing of any recognized church of colored persons."[1]

All they had to do was appear before the county clerk, declare they have been  living together as man and wife and plan to continue to do so. They were required to pay a fee of 50 cents and the clerk would record the marriage. They could receive a certificate of their marriage if they paid an additional fee of 25 cents.

Marriage between a white person and a Negro or mulatto was not lawful. Those who violated this law would be guilty of a felony and could be confined to the state penitentiary for a period of not less than five years.

Long-time African-American marriages are recorded  in registers called "Declarations of Marriage of Negroes and Mulattoes."  These registers are not available in every western Kentucky county. Crittenden and Caldwell Counties have them, but not  Livingston or Henderson Counties. Also, new marriages between African-Americans, beginning in 1866, are available in separate registers in some counties.   Livingston, Crittenden and Caldwell Counties have them . The earliest African-American marriages in Henderson County Clerk's Office  begin in 1874. There are a few earlier marriages from 1869 at the Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives in Frankfort.


Declaration of Marriage of  Reuben Wheeler and Matilda Wheeler, Crittenden County
Declaration of Marriage of Negroes and Mulattoes,  4 July 1866, p. 1
(click on document for a larger view)





[1] Acts of the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, (Frankfort, KY: George D. Prentice, State Printer, 1866) Chapter 556, p. 37, Approved 14 February 1866, Google Books, accessed 12 April 2017.

Published 18 April 2017, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog, http://wkygenealogy.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Chapel Hill Presbyterian Church

Chapel Hill Presbyterian Church was organized at Bethany Presbyterian Church on Crooked Creek in 1803 in what was then Livingston County. When Crittenden County was created in 1842, the church was located in the new county.  In 1845, Marion became the Crittenden County seat and the congregation moved to the site of Old Marion Cemetery, where a  brick building was built. A group of 67 members seceded in 1881 and, in 1883, the church was organized and named Chapel Hill. The church was dedicated 20 July 1884. In 1955, the church celebrated its 150th anniversary.[1]

The church doors closed in July 1967 and the church's cemetery committee voted to have the building torn down in 1996 as it was no longer safe.[2]

Buried in Chapel Hill Cemetery are several of my relatives, including my great-great-great-grandmother, Martha Rebecca (Vaughn) Lewis.   Watch for a post on the Lewis family coming up. Martha Rebecca has a story to tell.


Chapel Hill Church


Photographed 25 March 2015




[1] "Chapel Hill Presbyterians Mark 150 Anniversary," Crittenden Press, 19 August 1955.
[2] "Memories Lost - Chapel Hill Church Set for Spring Demolition," Crittenden Press, 15 February 1996.

Published 12 Apr 2017, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog, http://wkygenealogy.blogspot.com/

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Crittenden County, Kentucky Guardians 1865

The intention of the law regarding guardians was to protect the rights of children who were orphans or not old enough to care for their own business. If an underage child inherited property, a guardian was often appointed to protect his interests. A guardian might also be appointed to represent the child in a law suit (guardian ad litem). At the age of 14 years, a child was allowed to choose his own guardian, but with the county court’s approval. If under age 14, the county court had the responsibility of appointing the guardian for the child. The following entries have been abstracted from County Court Order Book 3 (1861-1868), Crittenden County Clerk’s Office, Marion, Kentucky. The letter and numbers at the end of the entries refers to the County Court Order Book and page number.For example, 3/199 refers to Order Book 3, page 199.


P.C. Barnett was appointed guardian for Wm. T. Threlkeld, John Duncan Threlkeld, Richard Gordon Threlkeld, Lucy Ellen Threlkeld, infants and heirs of W.N. Threlkeld dec'd, the first named being over the age of 14.  9 Jan 1865. [3/199]

Robt. A. Dowell was appointed guardian for Cynthia Garrison and James Garrison, infants of J.S. Garrison dec'd, being over the age of 14. 9 Jan 1865. [3/200]

P.M. Sisco was appointed guardian for Mary Chadwick, infant.  13 Feb 1865.  [3/205]

H.W. Stewart was appointed guardian for Nancy M. Stone, a minor.  13 Feb 1865  [3/205]

J.B. Franks was appointed guardian for Wm. Kimsey, Ellen Kimsey, Jesse Kimsey, infant and heirs of D.W. Kimsey dec'd.  3 Mar 1865.  [3/211]

John McConnel appointed guardian for Sarah McDowell, John McDowell and Daniel McDowell, infants of Daniel McDowell dec'd.  13 Mar 1865.  [3/213]

S.S. Matthews was appointed guardian for Rebecca Julia Matthews, infant heir of Z.C. Matthews dec'd.  13 Mar 1865.  [3/213]

J.A. Yandell was appointed guardian for J.N. Matthews, infant heir of Z.C. Matthews.  13 Mar 1865.  [3/214]

W.J. Cain, who is over the age of 14, made choice of Allen Walker as his guardian. 16 Mar 1865.  [3/215]

John C. Akers and F.B. Akers, infants of Claborn Akers dec'd, made choice of Mrs. Pernecia A. Davis as their guardian.  16 Mar 1865.  [3/215]

Joseph A. Deboe was appointed guardian for Philip H. Deboe, Alexander A. Deboe, Dicy J. Deboe and Sarah A. Deboe, the first three being over the age of 14.  25 Mar 1865.  [3/216]

John A. Carter filed evidence of his appointment as guardian for Elisabeth Tally in the county court of Pope County, Illinois.  10 Apr 1865.  [3/218]

George B. Bush was appointed guardian for James Bussell, infant heir of Silas Bussell dec'd, who made the appointment in his last Will and Testament.[1] 18 Apr 1865. [3/224]

Elizabeth Carmical was appointed guardian for Margaret Elizabeth Watson, infant and heir of Aaron Watson dec'd.  15 Jun 1865.  [3/238]

S. Hodge was appointed guardian ad litem for Wm. H. Pulley and R.N. Pully, infant defendants in a case of M.J. Pulley against M.J. Pulley Heirs & Creditors, defendants. 11 Sep 1865.  [3/250]

R.F. Haynes was appointed guardian ad litem for Juliett E. Marvel, John R. Marvel and Leonidas Marvel, infant defendants in a case of John McKinley against S. Marvel &c. 11 Sep 1865.  [3/251]

W.K. Brown was appointed guardian for Prissa Jane Brown, Sandford Duncan Brown, Joseph M. Brown, Margaret M. Brown, John C. Brown and Daniel J. Brown, infant heirs of sd. W.K. Brown.  11 Sep 1865.  [3/252]

Gillis Susan McElroy, being over age 14, made choice of John Crown as her guardian. 19 Oct 1865.  [3/265]

Elizabeth McMican chosen as guardian for James C.B. McMican, who is over age 14 and the infant heir of J.J. McMican dec'd.  22 Nov 1865.  [3/266]

W.J. Myers appointed guardian for Marietta Winders and Susan Adaline Winders, infants and  heirs of Richard Winders dec'd.  22 Nov 1865.  [3/266]

William Clark was appointed guardian for Nancy J. Tosh and Lauretta Tosh, infant heirs of Samuel Tosh dec'd.  11 Dec 1865.  [3/270]

Martin Hall was appointed guardian for Louisa Jane Rushing and Ellen J. Rushing, infant heirs of T.B. Rushing dec'd.  11 Dec 1865.  [3/273]









[1] Will of Silas Bussell, Crittenden County, Kentucky Will Book 1, p. 94, dated 8 Aug 1863 and recorded 1 October 1863.

Published 6 April 2017, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog, http://wkygenealogy.blogspot.com/