Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Short Marriage of Young Couple 1846

He was 22 and she was 15 - young by today's standards, but within marrying age in 1846. Because she was not legally old enough to marry (21 or older), her father personally gave his consent to the county clerk.

Marriage Bond and License[1]
Wm. H. Crawford and Polly Ann Green

Who were they? William H. Crawford and Polly Ann Green.  Unfortunately, their marriage would last less than three years. Polly Ann died in 1849, perhaps in childbirth or perhaps of a disease with no known cure at that time. Polly Ann  was buried in Piney Fork Cemetery, which tradition says was the site of the last Indian battle in western Kentucky. Her parents, George and Polly Green,  both outlived their daughter and are buried next to her.  Nearby is Piney Fork Cumberland Presbyterian Church, organized in 1812, the same year church members  "erected a log church on the knoll in what is now the cemetery."[2] Polly, indeed, rests in hallowed ground.

  Tombstone of Polly Ann Green Crawford  [3]

William H. Crawford was a widower less than two years and then married Sarah J. Dollins in Caldwell County 3 December 1850.[4] He and Sarah made their home in Livingston County and are buried in Hopewell Cemetery in that county.     

[1] Original marriage bond and license 1846, Crittenden County, Kentucky Clerk's Office, Marion, Kentucky.
[2] Piney Fork Church Historical Committee. The Second History of Piney Fork Cumberland Presbyterian Church, Crittenden Co., Kentucky 1812 - 1992, (n.p., 1992) 2.
[3] Tombstone of Polly Ann Green Crawford, Piney Fork Cemetery, Crittenden County, Kentucky; photographed 25 January 2017.
[4] Brenda Joyce Jerome. Caldwell County, Kentucky Marriages 1833 - 1853, (Evansville, IN: Evansville Bindery, 1997) 137.

Published 31 Jan 2017, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog, http://wkygenealogy.blogspot.com/

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Petition For Tax Relief 1875

When a man reached an advanced age and/or was in feeble heath, he might petition the county court to be relieved from the payment of poll taxes. Often the petition was granted, but not always. It appears petitions were granted or rejected on an individual basis rather than specific guidelines or rules.  The petition of James P. Joyce in 1875 was rejected. Below is his original petition, which was found in the loose county bundles in the Crittenden County Clerk's Office. This document should have been recorded in County Court Order Book 1874 - 1878, but it was not.

"To the Honorable Court of Crittenden County:  The  undersigned would respectfully Petition your Honorable boddy to be relieved from the payment of Poll Tax, for the reason of his advanced age; and the allmost help less condition of body, which he is in, from the effect of Parralysis  his age will be severnty one years next June &c  given under my hand this Jany 11th 1875 -   Jas. P. Joyce "

James P. Joyce was born 11 June 1804 and died 29 May 1876. He is buried in Shady Grove Cemetery, Crittenden County.

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

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Tombstone Tuesday - Rozella A. Gass

Rozella A. Gass
May 31, 1878
May 15, 1926

Buried Repton Cemetery, Crittenden County. Tombstone photographed 27 September 2010.

According to Kentucky Death Certificate #24802, Rozella Augusta Gass was the daughter of Martin Gahagen and Margarette Cain. Rozella was listed as divorced.

The 1910 Crittenden County census shows Rozella as the wife of Thomas M. Gass and mother of J. Ray and Annie M. Gass. Also living in their household was her mother, Margaret T. Gahagen, who was listed as a widow.

Published 24 January 2017, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog, http://wkygenealogy.blogspot.com/

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Statesman, Inventor and World Traveler

You may have never heard of Etienne Girard but he lived in Paducah a number of years. Born in Louisiana and of French descent, he was a close friend of Alexander Colinet, who lived in Old Smithland,  Livingston County, a few years until his death.  Girard was an accomplished man - a statesman as well as an inventor and he also traveled to Europe a number of times.

Etienne, who was also known as Stephen,  was one of the numerous French-descent families who settled in Paducah or in the surrounding counties, including Livingston.  I do not know what drew these families to the area, but several arrived before 1850 and more families came during the next decade. 

After Alexander Colinet's death on 13 August 1854, Etienne Girard was appointed administrator of Alexander's estate.  Just one month later, on 26 September 1854, Etienne married Alexander's daughter, Louise, at Madame Colinet's home in Livingston County.  The couple settled in Paducah and their household included Clotilde, widow of Alexander Colinet. 

In 1859, Etienne Girard applied for a U.S. passport to travel to foreign countries. He was to be accompanied by his wife and two children.[1] Whether or not the Girard family traveled abroad at that time is unclear as they appear on the 1860 McCracken County, Kentucky census with Etienne Girard  (listed as Stephen) and his occupation was a tobacco speculator. His wife, Louisa, was age 27 and born in France. Her mother, Clotilde Colinet, was  47 years old and  born in Belgium, was also in the household.  There are three children in the family with the oldest being Hortense, age 5 born Belgium; Clotilde, age 4 born Kentucky and Louisa, age 2 born Kentucky.    If Hortense was a daughter of Etienne and Louise (Colinet) Girard, the family was living in Belgium about 1855 and was back in Kentucky the next year when daughter Clotilde was born in August 1856.

Etienne Girard appears on a passenger list from LeHavre, France and Southampton, England and arrived in New  York City on the ship Aragon 3 September 1861. The Girard family remains on the McCracken County census in 1870, then disappears after that until the 1900 census when they are enumerated on the Jefferson County, Kentucky census as living at 1022 Second Street in Louisville.

One might think this would be the last we heard of Etienne Girard and his family, but it was not. He became the Belgian Consul in Louisville. As Consul, Etienne was the official representative of the government of Belgium in Kentucky and his duties consisted of assisting and protecting Belgian citizens and  facilitating trade and friendship between the people of the United States and Belgium.[2]

Known children of Etienne and Louise Girard were as follows :
1.   Clotilde [same as Hortense?]  - born 1856 McCracken County; died unmarried of consumption 23 November 1890 Louisville. Her funeral  was at the Cathedral and burial at St. John's Cemetery, Louisville.[3]

2.  Louisa - born ca 1858 Kentucky. Listed on 1860 McCracken County census only.

3.  Etiennette - born ca 1868 Europe; married 1889 Sir Alexander Drake Kleinwort of England.[4]

4.  Etienne William - born 8 July 1870 Kentucky. Listed as an artist on his passport application to travel to Europe in 1889.[5]

5.  Charlotte - born 1874 Belgium; died 12 August 1901 Louisville and buried St. John's Cemetery.

In addition to being Belgian Consul, Etienne Girard was the inventor of a cigarette or cigar holder in 1897.[6] The holder consisted of a loop placed on the index finger with a short arm that extended upward and  held the cigarette or cigar. There is no indication how successful this invention was.

Most of the Girard family apparently lived in Europe after 1900. In the obituary of Charlotte Girard, it states that most of her relatives, including her mother, were in Europe.[7] No record of the Girard family returning to Louisville has been found.

While only Louisa (Colinet) Girard lived in Livingston County, the rest of the family did live in Paducah and several of the children were born in that city. A number of former Livingston County residents have been touched by prominence or fame, but this is one of the most interesting families I have encountered.

[1] U.S. Passport Applications, 1795-1925, Ancestry.com, accessed 27 August 2016..
[2] Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consul_(representative), accessed 28 December 2016.
[3] Find A Grave, Clotilde Gerard, Memorial #52314497. Also "Girard," The Courier-Journal, 24 November 1890, p. 2.
[4] Burke, Sir Bernard and Ashworth P. Burke. A Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, 79th Edition, 1914, p. 1139, Google Books, accessed 8 Sep 2016.
[5] U.S. Passport Applications, 1795-1925, Ancestry.com, accessed 27 August 2016.
[6] The Canadian Patent Office Record and Register of Copyrights and Trade Marks, Vol. 25, page 1167, 1898, Google Books, accessed 15 November 2016.
[7] "Miss Charlotte Girard Dead," Louisville Courier-Journal, Wednesday, 14 August 1901, page 8.

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

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Tombstone Tuesday - John L. Young

To the Memory of
John L. Young Esq.
who was born March 23, 1797
and departed this life Aug. 30, 1836
Aged 39 years  5 months and 7 days

Buried Cedar Hill Cemetery, Princeton, Kentucky. Tombstone photographed 6 June 2016. Note the tombstone is a box tomb.

William B. Young was granted Letters of Administration upon the estate of John L. Young deceased  on Monday, 17 October 1836.  Thomas Prince, William Wadlington and Joseph W. Fowler were security on the bond William B. Young signed to guarantee faithful performance of his duties as administrator. F.W. Urey, Howard Cassidy, John Pack and John J. Satterfield, or any three of them, were appointed to appraise the decedent's estate.[1]

Among the items  sold from the estate of John L. Young were books, including a "History of England" and "U. States Constitution" and "6 Vol. Encyclopedia."  Several slaves were among the inventory:  Negro man Ned, Negro girl Marthy, Negro woman Vilot, child named Sally, boy named  James.[2]

[1] Caldwell County Court Order Book E-1, p. 467.
[2] Caldwell County Inventory and Sale Book 1831-1837, p. 513.

Published 17 Jan 2017, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog, http://wkygenealogy.blogspot.com/

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Civilian Conservation Corps

My dad used to tell me that when he graduated from high school, there were no jobs because of the Great Depression so he continued to attend school. He would always comment that he was the only person he knew who had had five  years of high school Latin.

After that extra year, there were still no jobs so he enrolled in the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), one of President Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal programs.  Originally intended for unmarried, unemployed men between the ages of 18 and 25, the requirements were later expanded. The CCC operated from 1933 - 1942. At that time, my father was just days shy of being 20 years old, had never been employed and I am sure had never been away from home.

The CCC was responsible for many projects including building roads, national and state parks, 

Just a few weeks ago I learned that records for enrollees in the CCC could be obtained from the National Archives in St. Louis.  Until then, I had no idea these records existed. It didn't take long for me to send in the Request for Information

Within two weeks I received  the reply that my dad had a file and I could receive it after paying $25.  Although there were only five pages, there was new information. I discovered he enrolled on January 1, 1934 and was assigned to Camp Hicks in Herod, Illinois.  His pay was $30 a month with $25 being sent to his widowed mother, Beatrice Joyce. Camp Hicks  was established in December 1933 and was new when he enrolled.  

The file also contained the results of a physical exam. He was 71 1/2 inches tall, weighed 155 pounds and his eyesight and hearing were good. He was considered in good health.

Food, clothing and lodging were provided for all enrollees, but the living conditions at Camp Hicks were primitive.  Kay Rippelmeyer, the author of The Civilian Conservation Corps in Southern Illinois 1933-1942, states the following: "Sanitary conditions at Camp Hicks were poor even four months after men had moved into the camp. There was scarcely enough water for bathing, and drinking water had to be hauled in ... In addition, the men's shoes were in need of repair, and many had none to fit..." [1] Not the best of circumstances for these young men, especially while working outside.

CCC camps were located in many small towns of every state, including western Kentucky. A list of camps can be found on the Civilian Conservation Corps Legacy website. The CCC was one of the government's most popular programs and was a life saver for many families during the Depression.

Among the small towns with CCC camps were Sebree (Camp Spring Dale), Morganfield (Camp Morgan), Cadiz (Camp Trigg), Princeton, Dixon (Camp Hall), Henderson (Camp Cromwell), Marion, Dawson Springs (Camp Alexander) and Madisonville.

The record files may seem a little pricey at $25 for five pages or less or $70 for six pages or more, but you won't know if they are worth the price until you order them. 

[1]  Kay Rippelmeyer. The Civilian Conservation Corps in Southern Illinois 1933-1942, (Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 2015)175.  

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

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Tombstone Tuesday - Asa and Martha M. Belt

Martha      Asa

Buried Sisco Chapel Cemetery, Crittenden County, Kentucky. Tombstone photographed 20 May 2015. Note this tombstone appears to be fairly new and may not date from the time of death of either Asa or Martha M. Belt.

Asa Belt was born 11 October 1830 Tennessee and died 13 December 1914 Crittenden County.[1] The names of his parents were unknown. The informant given on the death certificate was Mark Belt of Marion, Ky.

Martha M. Belt died before official death certificates were required in Kentucky. According to her obituary printed in the Crittenden Press 22 November 1909, she died 16 November 1909.

Asa Belt and Martha M. Howland married 20 March 1865 Crittenden County.[2]  This was a second marriage for both of them. Asa was first married to Lydia A. Sisco 21 August 1860[3] in Crittenden County and Martha  Rushing married J.F. Howland 23 September 1859 in Crittenden County.[4]

Published 10 January 2017, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog, http://wkygenealogy.blogspot.com/

[1] Kentucky Death Certificate #32106 (1914), Ancestry.com, accessed 23 Oct 2016.
[2]  Brenda Joyce Jerome. Crittenden County, Kentucky Marriage Records Vol. 1 1842-1865, (Evansville, IN: Evansville Bindery, 1990), 109.
[3] Ibid, 85.
[4] Ibid, 78.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Signs of Sturgis, Kentucky

Signs of Sturgis, Union County, Kentucky

Located on U.S. 60, where it takes a jog before heading toward Morganfield.

Located at the junction of US 365 (Bells Mines Road) and U.S. 60

Published 7 January 2017, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog, http://wkygenealogy.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Tombstone Tuesday - Howel Smith

Son of
W. & E. Smith
March 9, 1838
[no death date visible]

Buried Smithland Cemetery, Smithland, Kentucky. Tombstone photographed 6  February 2013.

Howel Smith was a son of William and Ellen (Scyster) Smith, who married 7 May 1835 in Smithland.  If the death date for Howel is on his tombstone, it most likely dates from prior to 1850 as he is not listed on the 1850 Livingston County census.  The William Smith family moved to Port Gibson, Claiborne County, Mississippi about 1858. How painful it must have been to move away from family and friends, leaving a deceased child behind.

Published 3 January 2017, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog, http://wkygenealogy.blogspot.com/