Thursday, March 30, 2017

Thomas C. Leech (1826- 1894)

Thomas C. Leech, age 29,  married Miss Amanda B. Conner, age 19,  on 15 November 1855 in Livingston County, Kentucky. [1]  Prior to their marriage, Thomas had been living in John C. McGraw's hotel in Smithland. He listed his occupation in 1850 as a merchant. [2] The first child born to Thomas and Amanda was Henry, who died at the age of six months. In 1859, their second child, John, was born. In all, the couple had nine children, but only five were living when the parents died.

Son of
T.C. & A.B. Leech
April 1, 1857
Died Oct. 25, 1857

 Henry was buried in Smithland Cemetery, Livingston County. His tombstone was photographed 5 February 2017.   Little Henry Leech's birth record lists his parents as Thos. C. Leech and Amanda B. Conner.[3]

A wonderful obituary for Thomas C. Leech appeared in the Crittenden County newspaper as well as in the Paducah News.[4]

"Mr. T.C. Leech, one of the leading citizens of Paducah, died Tuesday of last week of pneumonia.

"Thomas C. Leech, sr., was born near Smithland in Livingston county ... September 12, 1826. He was the second of nine children. His father was James Crawford Leech, one of the pioneers of Livingston county, who emigrated from Virginia. His mother, Miss Linda Glen, was [a] daughter of Col. Glen, a prominent citizen and first settler of Caldwell, now Lyon county. On November 15, 1855, Mr. Leech was married to Miss Amanda Conner, of Greenup county, Ky. The couple had nine children - four sons and three daughters, of whom five survive, besides he grief stricken widow. They are Mrs. Irene Cox, T.C. Leech jr, Will C. Leech, Louis Leech and Miss Mattie Leech, all of this city.  A brother, Mr. Wm. V. Leech, a leading citizen of Cape Girardeau, Mo., who has been at his residence for several days, and Mrs. Capt. Joseph H. Fowler his sister, are the only other living members of his immediate family.

"For 27 years Mr. Leech was in business in Smithland. Hereby fair dealing he amassed a considerable fortune. In 1882 he removed to Paducah and embarked in various financial enterprises, in all of which he was successful. At the time of his death he was President of the Paducah Banking company and was interested in other thriving corporations. He died comparatively wealthy, and every penny of his fortune was the result of hard work and honest labor."

Thomas C. Leech was buried at Oak Grove Cemetery, Paducah, as was his wife, Amanda, who was born 17 August 1835 and died 10 May 1895.[5]

[1] Joyce McCandless Woodyard. Livingston County, Kentucky Marriage Records Including Marriages of Freedmen Vol. II, Aug 1839-Dec 1871, (Evansville, IN: Evansville Bindery, 1994), 91.
[2] 1850 Smithland, Livingston County, Kentucky census,, [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA, accessed 23 March 2017.
[3] Kentucky, Birth Records 1847-1911,, accessed 15 February 2017.
[4] "Thomas C. Leech Dead," Crittenden Press, 3 January 1895, p. 3.
[5] Oak Grove online database of burials,, accessed 16 February 2017.

Published 30 March  2017, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Tombstone Tuesday - John H. and Cynthia Crider

Cynthia Ann
1859  - 1937

John H.
1860 - 1896

Buried Piney Fork Cemetery, Crittenden County, Kentucky. Tombstone photographed 25 January 2017.

John H. Crider and Cynthia Ann Travis married 20 December 1881 in Crittenden County.[1]

Cynthia Ann Crider, born 25 May 1859, died 11 February 1937 and was the daughter of Dr. W.B. Travis and Sarah Bugg. [2] Her burial place is given as "Piny Camp." She is listed as the widow of John Henry Crider.

John H. Crider first appears as age one on the 1860 Crittenden County, Kentucky census in the household of Wm. B. and Elizabeth J. Crider.[3]

[1] Brenda Joyce Jerome. Crittenden County, Kentucky Marriages, Vol II 1866 - 1886, (Evansville, IN: Evansville Bindery, 1991) 128.
[2] Kentucky Death Certificate #10189 (1937) of Cynthia Ann Crider.
[3] Kentucky Census, 1860 Crittenden County, p. 150,, accessed 28 January 2017.

Published 28 March 2017, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Beatty - Towles Marriage Contract 1857

A marriage contract was designed to protect the property of each party, especially the property acquired during a previous marriage or by inheritance from family. Marriage contracts are found in the deed books.

The following document[1] provides valuable information. It tells us that a marriage is shortly intended between James Beatty and Judith Towles and gives us the name of her previous husband and the names of their children. In addition, it provides the name of  her father.

This Indenture made this the 19th day of May 1857  Between James Beatty of the first part & Judith T. Towles of the second part and both of the county of Henderson and State of Kentucky  Witnesseth that whereas the parties have agreed this day to unite in marriage, and whereas James Beatty is desirous to secure to  Judith T. Towles & her children by Thos. Towles, dec'd   towit: Mary Towles, Ann T. Towles, Martha Towles, Thos. Towles & Betty Towles such as she may have by the sd. James Beatty the means of support & maintenance. Now, in consideration of the agreement to marry,  James Beatty hereby covenants with Judith T. Towles that she shall hold for her own separate use and benefit &  support of James Beatty & her children , all of the property which she now owns real, personal and mixed and whether held for life or in fee & which has come to her by gift or devise or in any other way whatever from Thos. Towles Jr. dec'd, Thos. Towles Sr. dec'd or from her father Henry Dixon Sr. or which may hereafter come to her from the estate of either of the three persons last named.  That the property its increase & proceeds shall in no way be liable for any debts  contracts or obligation of  James Beatty now existing or which may hereafter be contracted by him & that the property shall not be subject to the control or disposition of James Beatty, but by the consent of Judith T. Towles & for the purpose heretofore expressed. And the parties hereto in consideration  of the agreement & their love and affection for the afore named children of Thos. Towles Jr. dec'd mutually bind themselves to provide for their maintenance & education in a manner suitable to their rank and condition in life so far as the proceeds of the property herein secured will suffice. And it is further agreed that should any of the children of Thos. Towles Jr. dec'd marry in the lifetime of Judith T. Towles she shall have the same right to make to the children so marrying any advance out of the sd. property she may deems proper as though she had remained sole & unmarried. And the parties agree & mutually bind themselves to each other & to the children that they will hold all the property in Trust for the purposed herein expressed.  In witness whereof the parties have hereunto set their hands & seals this the day and date above written.  [signed]  James Beatty (seal)  Judith T. Towles (seal)

State of Kentucky = Henderson County, Sct:
I William D. Allison clerk of the County Court of Henderson County do certify that this marriage contract & agreement between James Beatty and Judith T. Towles was this day duly acknowledged before me in my county by James Beatty & Judith T. Towles to be their act and deed and thereupon the same together with this certificate was truly recorded in my office - Witness my hand this 19th day of May 1857.  [signed] Will D. Allison C.H.C.C.  By John Young  D.Clk.

[1] Henderson County, Kentucky  Deed Book R, pages 238-239, Henderson County Clerk's Office, Henderson, Kentucky.

Published 23 March 2017, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Tombstone Tuesday - Elmer & Adelaide Rice

Elmer H .
Apr. 15, 1892
Nov. 17 1942

Adelaide R.
Aug. 24, 1896
Dec. 26, 1967

Both are buried in Pleasant Hill Cemetery, Crittenden County, Kentucky. Tombstones photographed 23 September 2015.

Elmer H. Rice's Kentucky death certificate #23806 (1942) shows he was the son of William Rice and Dosie Raughoff.  Elmer died in the V.A. facility in Christian County, Kentucky. His usual residence was in Marion, Crittenden County.  His World War I Draft Registration cards for 1917-1918[1] show he was born in Equality, Illinois and, in June 1917,  he was living in Detroit, Michigan. The next year he was living in Crittenden County.

A passport was issued 13 May 1919 to Adelaide Retailland Rice, French-born wife of Henry H. Rice. Her passport application was made at the American Consulate in Nantes, France while her husband was in the U.S. military in France. She sailed on the Manchuria from France to New York.[2]

Elmer and Adelaide Rice can be found on the 1920 Crittenden County census.

Elmer also has a military tombstone.

[1] W.W. I Draft Registration Cards 1917-1918,, accessed 29 December 2016.
[2] U.S. Passport Applications 1820-1925,, accessed 31 December 2016.

Published 21 March 2017, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Thursday, March 16, 2017

CSA Pension Applications

Do you have an ancestor who received a pension for his Civil War service to the Confederate States of America? If he was living in Kentucky at the time of the application, you can read  his application at the  Kentucky Dept. for Libraries and Archives Electronic Records Archives  website.  An bonus is that it is a free website.  The information in the pension applications includes date of birth,  enlistment date and location, present residence, plus the depositions of at least two people who knew the veteran.  

The Confederate Pension Act was passed by the Kentucky General Assembly in March 1912 to provide aid to indigent and disabled Confederate veterans. Any Confederate veteran living in Kentucky in 1912 or after could apply for a pension, regardless of the state in which he resided or the unit in which he served during the war. In March 1914, indigent widows of Confederate soldiers became eligible for a pension. The widows' applications included the date of their marriage and date of the veteran's death.  

Pensions for the Union veterans were funded by the federal government. Many southern states funded state pensions for Confederate veterans. 

This source has been mentioned previously, but it is such a helpful source that it begs to be mentioned again.

Published 16 March 2017, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Tombstone Tuesday - W.O. and Laura E. Hayden

W.O. Hayden
Jan. 30, 1853 - Oct. 14, 1927
Laura E. His Wife
Dec. 25, 1862 - Mar. 3, 1946

Buried Salem Cemetery, LIvingston County, Kentucky. Tombstone photographed 19 July 2010.

The 1900 Livingston County census shows the Hayden family living in Salem. Listed are William and Laura E. Hayden, who had been married 17 years.  Laura had given birth to five children and four were living in 1900. Their children are given as Mary D., John L., Charlie L (daughter) and William F.

Kentucky death certificate #11722 (1946) gives Laura E.'s birthplace as North Carolina and her parents as Richard Sherrill and Tressie Bager[?], who were also born in North Carolina.

Kentucky death certificate #23562 (1927) for W.O. Hayden states  he was born in Missouri and his parents were William A. Hayden and America Finch.

Published 14 March 2017, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Friday, March 10, 2017

Caldwell County, Kentucky Guardian Appointments 1837

At the age of 14 years, a child was allowed to choose his own guardian. The county court appointed guardians for those under the age of 14. The guardian and his surety signed a bond to guarantee the faithful performance of duties. The sum mentioned on the bond was not paid unless the guardian failed to perform his duties. 

Guardian appointments are recorded in two places in Caldwell County, Kentucky in 1837.  They can be found as loose, original bonds and were also recorded in the county court order (court minutes) books. The following entries have been transcribed from the original documents in the county clerk's office of the Caldwell County courthouse in Princeton, Kentucky.

Jemima Johnson was appointed guardian for Thos. S. Johnson, Robert H. Johnson, Martha A. Johnson, Sarah Jane Johnson and James A. Johnson, heirs & infants of Thomas Johnson dec’d in penal sum of $5000.  Sureties: John H. Rackerby, William M. Phelps. 16 Jan 1837.
Alexr. M. Hunter appointed guardian for James Walling, heir & infant of James Walling dec’d in the penal sum of $100. Surety: David H. Caldwell. 17 Apr 1837.

James A. Asher was appointed guardian for Polly Asher, heir & infant of Saml. M. Asher, by her choice, in penal sum of $1000. Sureties: William McChesney, Precious Asher. 17 Apr 1837.

James B. Waddill was appointed guardian for Geo. H. Cawley, Milton Cawley and Edna P. Cawley, heirs & infants of Elizabeth Cawley dec’d in penal sum of $800. Sureties: George White, Charles M. Jackson.  17 Apr 1837.

David H. Caldwell appointed guardian for Abraham Son, heir & infant of Abraham Son dec’d in penal sum of $500. Surety: Alexr. M. Hunter.  17 Apr 1837.

James M. Bumpass was appointed guardian for Jefferson Asher and Emely P. Asher, heirs & infants of Saml. M. Asher dec’d in penal sum of $1500. Sureties: Elenezer Morse Jr, Elenezer Morse Sr. 17 Apr 1837.

Precious Asher was appointed guardian for Saml. M. Asher and America L. Asher, heirs & infants of Saml. M. Asher dec’d in penal sum of $1500. Sureties: James M. Bumpass, Wm. B. Young.  17 Apr 1837.

Francis Howard was appointed guardian for Sally Howard, William Howard and Patsey Howard, heirs & infants of Sally Howard dec’d in penal sum of $1500. Sureties: Cullen Cook, Allen Howard.  15 May 1837.

James S. Meek was appointed guardian for Robert C. Ritchey, heir & infant of Robert C. Richey [sic] dec’d in penal sum of $300. Surety: Robert L. Boyd.  21 Aug 1837.

Celia Nichols was appointed guardian for Louisa, Wright, Polly Ann, Sarah Jane, John R. & Leavin Nichols, heirs & infants of Reddick Nichols dec’d in penal sum of $300. Sureties: Berry Nichols, Whitmil Jenkins. 16 Oct 1837.

Bethel Davis was appointed guardian for Mary Pew, heir & infant of Bethel Pew dec’d in penal sum of $100. Surety: Fleming Gatewood. 16 Oct 1837.

Mary Dunning was appointed guardian for Nancy, Sarinah[?], Rebecca & Cordy Dunning, heirs & infants of Noam Dunning, dec’d in penal sum of $100. Surety: William Kesterson.  20 Nov 1837.

Meredith C. Archer was appointed guardian for E.B.W. Jones, heir & infant of E.B.W. Jones dec’d in penal sum of $1500. Sureties: George G. Cash, William O'Hara.  18 Dec 1837.

Meredith C. Archer was appointed guardian for Morrison D. Wilcox and Franklin Wilcox, heirs & infants of Morrison D. Wilcox in penal sum of $2500. Sureties: George G. Cash, William O'Hara.  18 Dec 1837.

Robert  S. Boyd was appointed guardian for Robert  R. Farris, heir & infant of Robert Farris dec’d in penal sum of $800. Surety: Samuel Black.  18 Dec 1837.

John W. Shaw was appointed guardian for Darcus E. Shaw, Evelina J. Shaw and Washington L. Shaw, heirs & infants of William Shaw dec’d in penal sum of $200. Surety: Samuel Black.  18 Dec 1837.

Published 10 March 2017, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Tombstone Tuesday - Maude Roach Hodge

Maude Roach
1869 - 1939

Buried Cedar Hill Cemetery, Princeton, Kentucky. Tombstone photographed 21 June 2013.

According to Kentucky death certificate #29078 (1039), Mrs. Hodge was born Aug. 22, 1869 in Trigg County to Robert Roach and Virginia White.  She was married to S.D. Hodge.  Mrs. Hodge died Dec. 7, 1939 in Caldwell County, Kentucky.

UPDATE - Mr. S.D. Hodge and Miss Maude M. Roach married the 18th day of October 1905 in Trigg County, Kentucky.  Hodge was age 37, born in Crittenden County, Kentucky and lived in Princeton. He was an attorney and this was his second marriage. His parents were S. Hodge (born  in Livingston County, KY) and Kitty D. Hodge (born Crittenden County).  Maude M. Roach was age 37, born and resided in Trigg County and this was her first marriage. Her parents were R.W. Roach and Virginia Roach, both born in Trigg County.  When Hodge obtained the marriage bond on 17 October 1905, Wylie Jones was his surety.  This record can be found in Caldwell County Marriage Book 22, page 562.

Published 24 July 2017, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Thursday, March 2, 2017

What is a Surety?

A surety is a person who assumes the responsibility (is "bonded") by the court to pay money or do other ordered acts on behalf of his "principal" who was charged with that expense, or the performance of that act, if that principal should fail to do so. [1]  As an example, if John Jones signs a bond to act as administrator of an estate, but does not, it becomes the responsibility of  his surety.  Being a surety was not to be taken lightly. 

[1] Henry Campbell Black, Black's Law Dictionary, Fourth Edition (St. Paul:1951), West Publishing Co., accessed 14 Jan 2017.

Published 2 March 2017, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,