Wednesday, June 28, 2017

The William Straker Family

The Straker family is usually associated  with the Bells Mines area of Crittenden County, Kentucky, but one child, the daughter of William and Jane N. Straker, is buried in Piney Fork Cemetery, located on the opposite side of Crittenden County.  This may seem like a strange place for this child to be buried, but it really isn't when you realize  that Jane N.  Straker had roots in Caldwell County,  near the Piney Fork area and possibly even attended Piney Fork Church.  Her parents, Alfred and Jane N. Moore, married in Caldwell County 19 March  1810[1] and lived in that county in 1820. They later moved to what is now Crittenden County.

William Straker, who was born in Liverpool,  England, married Jane N. Moore 8 April 1841 in Crittenden County.  By 1860, they had settled in the Bells Mines area.  Together they had the following known children: Mary E., Ann, James E., William N. and  John Gipson Straker. William Straker was a physician.

Mary E., their oldest child,  was born ca 1842 Crittenden County and  married Ammon D. Bennett 28 December 1859.[2]  Mary E. and Ammon lived in Caseyville, Union County. Ammon outlived Mary E. by several decades and sometime after 1900, he and his daughter, Sallie E., moved to San Bernadino County, California. Known issue of Mary E. and Ammon Bennett  were Addie Jane Bennett, Lydia Augusta Bennett, Sallie E. Bennett, Gib Taylor Bennett, Harland A. Bennett and James L. Bennett.

Ann Straker was born May 1845 and died September 1845. She is buried in Piney Fork Cemetery.

Ann Straker
Piney Fork Cemetery
Crittenden County, Kentucky

James E. Straker was born 27 December 1846 Kentucky and died 24 June 1913 Vanderburgh County, Indiana.[3]  He married Ellen Church in Crittenden County 30 December 1869[4]. She died 22 July 1908 and both she and James are buried at Locust Hill Cemetery, Evansville.  James E. Straker, a coal miner, died suddenly after he had quit work and was going to the shaft to be lifted to the surface. [5]  He was living with his sister, Mrs. Charles Bunge, at the time of his death. James E. and Ellen had the following children: Edwin B., Robert Emerson, Daisy Pearl and  Edith Nellie Straker.

William Nicholas  Straker was born 28 February 1849 Kentucky and died 15 January 1932 Herrin, Williamson County, Illinois.[6] A coal miner, he married Ann Eliza Williams 27 January 1875 Crittenden County, Kentucky. [7] They had Otho Liston and Iley Christopher Straker.

John Gipson Straker was born 7 March 1855 Crittenden County and died 18 April 1939  Union County, Kentucky. [8] John Gipson married Mary Henry Harmon 22 March 1877 Crittenden County.[9] John G. and Mary Straker were living in  Evansville, Indiana in 1900 and, in 1903, they divorced. [10] John G. Straker moved to Saline County, Illinois, where he married Margaret "Maggie" Tyler.  John G. and Mary Harmon Straker had the following children: James E., Henry C. and William N. Straker.

It is interesting that all of the children of William Straker and Jane N. Moore left Crittenden County with the majority settling in other states. Most of the children and grandchildren were coal miners  and settled on the west side of Evansville. As far as I can tell, none of William Straker's descendants followed  his occupation of a physician.

[1] Brenda Joyce Jerome, Caldwell County, Kentucky Marriages 1809-1832, (Evansville, IN: Evansville Bindery, 1996) 6.
[2] Brenda Joyce Jerome, Crittenden County, Kentucky Marriages 1842-1865 and Abstracts of Wills Book 1 1842-1924, (Evansville, IN: Evansville Bindery, 1990) 82.
[3] Indiana Death Certificate #490.  Find A Grave Memorial #112276417.
[4] Brenda Joyce Jerome,  Crittenden County, Kentucky Marriages 1866-1886 (Evansville, IN: Evansville Bindery, 1991) 29.
[5] "Drops Dead in Coal Mine," Evansville Courier, Wed., 25 June 1913, p. 1.
[6] Illinois Deaths and Stillbirths Index 1916-1947,, accessed 14 March 2017.
[7] Crittenden County, Kentucky Marriage Records 1866-1886: 69.
[8] Kentucky Death Certificate #23821 of John Gipson Straker,, accessed 14 March 2017.
[9] Crittenden County, Kentucky Marriage Records 1866-1886: 85.
[10] "Groom, 34, Five Marriages; Bride, 50, Thrice Married," Evansville Courier, 3 May 1905, p. 13. Article on marriage of Carney Dorsey and Mary Henry Harmon Straker. 

Published 28 June 2017, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

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