Thursday, March 29, 2018

Release of Services 1834

A Release of Services usually occurred when a teenage son was released from the control and direction of his father.  This was the situation  in 1834 when James F. Clemons [Clemens] was released from the control and authority of his father, Gersham Clemons [Clemens]. This document is recorded in Livingston County, Kentucky  Deed Book DD, p. 85.  For more information on this type of document, read  Emancipation or Manumission and  Deed of Release of Services

"Know all men by these presents that I Grisham Clemons of Livingston County Kentucky  Father of James F. Clemons aged about 17 or 18 years have ever since the year 1832 in the month of June I think permitted my said Son to trade & work for his own Benefit and I do hereby disclaim any right or authority I have, or wright, to control said Boy or any right I might have to his Services  that said Boy is free from my control or interference that he is now and has been since June 1832 and from henceforth is his own man & free from my Authority  my reason of this is that I am unable to give him any thing for his services now and probably will not be Better [illegible]  able when he is twenty one . Therefore I am prompted  to do this as an act of Justice to my said son.    Witness my hand & seal this  4th day of January 1834.        [signed] Gersham Clemons.

Kentucky  Livingston County Sct
I James L. Dallam clerk of the county court for the county and state aforesaid do hereby certify that the foregoing release of services from Gersham Clemons to James F. Clemons was on this day produced to me in my said office and acknowledged by the said Gersham to be his act & deed Had & seal and ordered to be recorded whereupon I have verily recorded the same and this certificate this 4th day of January 1834.  [signed] James L. Dallam"

Published 30 March 2018, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Tombstone Tuesday - William and Darthulie Jennings

Aug. 5, 1861
Feb. 18, 1940

Jan. 1, 1860
Feb. 3, 1936

Buried Pinckneyville Cemetery, near Salem, Livingston County, Kentucky. Tombstone photographed 8 November 2017.

According to his death certificate, [1] William Jennings was born in Kentucky and was the son of T.J. Jennings, born Tennessee, and Elizabeth Boone, born Kentucky.  William Jennings died in Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky 17 February 1940.[2]

Darthula A. Jennings was born in Kentucky and died in Salem. She was the daughter of Beverly Boswell, born Kentucky, and Sarah Cooper, born Kentucky.[3]

W.M. Jennings and Darthula A. Boswell were married 7 March 1881 at the home of B.T. Boswell in Crittenden County. [4]

[1] Kentucky Death Certificate #5048, Wm. Jennings,, accessed 12 Jan 2018.
[2] Ibid.
[3] Kentucky Death Certificate #5451, Darthula A. Jennings,, accessed 12 Jan 2018.
[4] Brenda Joyce Jerome. Crittenden County, Kentucky Marriage Records, Vol. II, 1866-1886, (Evansville, IN: Evansville Bindery, 1991) 122.

Published 27 March 2018, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Thursday, March 22, 2018

William and Katherine Christ

William Christ Sr.
1861 - 1930

Katherine Christ
1872 - 1948

Buried in Fernwood Cemetery, Henderson, Kentucky. Tombstones photographed 25 October 2014 and 9 March 2018.

According to his death certificate,[1] William Christ was a baker and the son of Andrew Christ and Katherine Rickrick, both born in Germany. The informant listed on the death certificate was William Christ Jr.

William Christ is found in the household of Andrew and Catherine Christ on the 1880 Vanderburgh County, Indiana census.[2] They were living at 315 Upper First Street in Evansville.  William Christ's parent were both from Darmstadt, Germany. His father emigrated to America at the age of 17 or 18 years.[3]

William Christ and "Katie" Mayer were married 24 November 1892 in Evansville.[4]   By 1900, they had moved to Hopkinsville, Kentucky, where they were living on N. Main Street.  Later they moved to Henderson and continued to live there the remainder of their lives.

William's obituary stated he was connected with the Kentucky Bakery for 20 years and prior to that he was with the Kingdon Hotel.[5]  Funeral services were at his residence with the Rev. W.J. Hillman, pastor of the Zion Evangelical Church officiating. Survivors included his widow, sons William Jr., Oscar, Karl and Emil Christ, all of Henderson; daughters, Virginia and Katherine Christ; two grandchildren, sister, Miss Lucy Christ of New Albany, Indiana and a brother, George Christ of Evansville.

The death certificate of Katherine shows she was born 11 August 1872 in Germany and died 29 April 1948 in the Henderson Hospital. [6] Her usual residence was 325 Washington Street, Henderson. Her father was listed as Joseph Meyer and her mother as Katherine Rickrick. Both were born in Germany.

Funeral services for Katherine Christ were held at the Evangelical and Reformed church with the Rev. David Schlinkman officiating. Surviving were daughters, Katherine and Virginia; sons William, Karl and Emil, all of Henderson and a brother, Karl Meyer of Germany.

Watch for another post mentioning William and Katherine Christ soon.

[1] Kentucky Death Certificate #30281 (1930), William Christ,, accessed 8 March 2018.
[2] 1880 Vanderburgh County, Indiana census, p. 325 A, E.D. 80,, accessed 7 March 2018.
[3] "An Old Citizen," Evansville Courier, Fri., 16 September 1892, p. 8.
[4] Vanderburgh County Marriages Vol. 16, p. 441, filed 9 December 1892.
[5] "Wm. Christ, 70, Dies Following Apolexy Stroke," Henderson Morning Gleaner, Fri., 19 December 1930, p. 6.
[6] Kentucky Death Certificate #9845 (1948), Katherine Christ,, accessed 8 March 2018.

 Published 22 March 2018, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Mollie Holland Webb 1870 - 1897

In Loving Remembrance of
Wife of
Frank Webb
Dau. of R. & J.
Dec. 21, 1870
July 15, 1897

Buried Smithland Cemetery. Tombstone photographed 25 January 2018.

In  1880, Mollie Holland, age 9, Mulatto, was enumerated in the household of the  Riley and Jennie Holland family in Lyon County, Kentucky. [1]

In 1900, Frank Webb, who was born December 1888, was listed in the household of his grandparents, R. and Jennie Holland in Lyon County.[2] His father, Frank, was a porter in a hotel in Smithland at that time.[3] By 1910, the elder Frank Webb had remarried and was a cook in a hotel in Paducah.[4]

[1] 1880 Lyon County, Kentucky census, Parkersville, E.D. 144, dwelling 95, family 95,, accessed 27 January 2018.
[2] 1900 Lyon County, Kentucky census, Lamasco, Dist. 61, p. 2,, accessed 27 January 2018.
[3] 1900 Livingston County, Kentucky, Smithland, Roll 39, p. 6, E.D. 53,, accessed 27 January 2018.
[4] 1910 McCracken County, Kentucky, Paducah, Ward 4, Roll T624_493, p. 20B, E.D. 120,, accessed 27 January 2018.

Published 20 March 2018, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Life of Robert M. Mitchell

I enjoy writing  Tombstone Tuesday posts. I love starting with birth and death dates and filling in the time between those dates. Who did he  marry?  Where did he live?  What was his occupation? Was he born in this county and if not, where was his birth place?

Sometime ago I came upon a weathered tombstone in Smithland Cemetery that was almost unreadable. Taking a photograph and rubbing my hand across the face of the stone revealed the following information: 

R.M. Mitchell Born  Aug. 5, 1788 -  Died July 9, 1858

An entry in my muchly-used copy of the Livingston County cemetery book [1] verified the birth date, but noted the death date was below ground level.  Apparently, after the book was published, someone had dug down so that the death date was revealed.

Now comes the fun part. Who was R.M. Mitchell. What part did he play in Smithland between 1788 and 1858? 

Robert Mitchell, age 61 and born North Carolina, appears on the 1850 Livingston County census[2] along with Nancy, age 45 born Kentucky and James and Joshua East, ages 14 and 19 respectively. Wife and children?  Continued checking provided the following information:   Robert M. Mitchell married Mrs. Nancy East 12 May 1844[3] in Livingston County. Nancy East had previously been married to Clinton Kidd 26 July 1821[4] and Jesse G. East 16 Nov 1834.[5]  Good!  Robert Mitchell and R.M. Mitchell were likely the same person.  It is likely that Robert M. Mitchell was married prior to his marriage to Nancy, but there is no such marriage recorded in Livingston County.

There was more to learn. By checking the county court minutes, I learned that Mitchell had operated a tavern at his house in Smithland in the early 1830s.[6]  Later Robert M. Mitchell was elected jailer of Livingston County and took the oath of office on Monday, 5 Sep 1853. He served as jailer until tendering his resignation 3 Nov 1857, when William M. Mitchell was appointed jailer.[7]  I wonder if Robert M. Mitchell was ill when he resigned. His death came just eight months after he submitted his resignation. What do you bet William M. Mitchell was a close relative, a son perhaps?

According to his death record,[8] Robert M. Mitchell  was born in Orange County, North Carolina, was also a shoe and boot maker and was the son of R.L. Mitchell.

Going back to the cemetery book, I learned that Nancy Mitchell had a tombstone beside her husband, [9] but I did not find it. She was born 14 Jan 1805 and died 17 Sep 1856.

Other records I searched, but without success, were the deeds. Apparently, Robert M. Mitchell did not own land.  The Livingston County tax lists [10] verified that Robert M. Mitchell owned no land.  He was taxed on one white male over 21, one horse and a gold/silver or metallic watch. He also had two cattle and 10 hogs on the 1855 tax list. He was not listed as a slave owner on the 1850 slave schedule.

So, after starting with nothing more than a birth date and death date, I have filled in the gaps in his life. I know who he married, his occupation, where he was born and the name of his father.  Now, on to a new project.

[1] Livingston County, Kentucky Homemaker Clubs. Livingston County, Kentucky Cemeteries 1738 - 1976 (n.p., 1976), 323.
[2] 1850 Livingston County, Kentucky census, page 358 (stamped), dwelling 491, family 491,
[3] Joyce McCandless Woodyard. Livingston County, Kentucky Marriage Records Including Marriages of Freedmen, Vol. II (August 1839-December 1871), (Evansville, IN: Evansville Bindery, 1994), 33.
[4] Joyce McCandless Woodyard. Livingston County, Kentucky Marriage Records, Vol. I, (Smithland, KY: n.p. 1992), 63.
[5] Woodyard. Livingston County, Kentucky Marriage Records, Vol. I, 133. Nancy Kidd's name is erroneously given as Mrs. Nancy Kibb.
[6] Livingston County, Kentucky Court Order Book H:31, 66, 150.  No location for this tavern was given.
[7] Livingston County, Kentucky Court Order Book L:155, 415.
[8] Kentucky Death Records, 1852-1910, Robt. M. Mitchell died 10 July 1858, Livingston County, Kentucky,
[9] Livingston County, Kentucky Homemakers. Livingston County, Kentucky Cemeteries, p. 323.
[10] Livingston County Tax Lists 1854 - 1859, Roll 250, Kentucky Dept for Libraries and Archives.

Published 15 Mar 2018, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Tombstone Tuesday - James and Maranda McGregor

Jas. McGregor
Mar. 5, 1831
May 16, 1912
Maranda His Wife
Jan. 4, 1834
July 4, 1917

Buried Cedar Hill Cemetery, Princeton, Caldwell County, Kentucky. Tombstone photographed 15 Dec 2017.

According to his death certificate,[1] James McGregor was born in Hopkins County, Kentucky and was the son of John McGregor, born South Carolina, and Polly Franklin, born Kentucky. Informant on the death certificate was L.H. McGregor.

Maranda McGregor was also born in Hopkins County and was the daughter of David Franklin and Diadema Jackson, both of whom were born in Hopkins County.[2]

James McGregor married Marand_ Franklin 18 Sep 1853 Hopkins County.

[1] Kentucky Death Certificate #11939 (1912), James McGregor,, accessed 15 Dec 2017.
[2] Kentucky Death Certificate #18811 (1917), Maranda McGregor,, accessed 15 Dec 2017.

Published 13 March 2018, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Livingston County Indentures of Apprenticeship 1853 - 1854

Children who were orphans were often apprenticed or "bound out" to someone in the community to learn a trade. Males were usually bound out until they were 21 years old and females until they were 18 years of age. In addition to teaching the child a trade, the master was to provide the apprentice with food, clothing, lodging, medical attention and was to see that the apprentice was taught to read, write and learn arithmetic to and including the "Rule of Three." At the end of his service, the apprentice was to be given a new suit of clothing. Occasionally, the apprentice was to receive a sum of money in lieu of receiving an education. On his part, the apprentice was to keep his master's secrets and obey his commands, must not waste his master's goods or lend them without consent or visit taverns or tippling houses and could not contract marriage. The following information has been abstracted from Livingston County Court Order Book L (1851-1860) and Indentures of Apprenticeship Book 1834-1877 in the county clerk's office, Smithland, Kentucky.

John Wesley Malone, age 14 and the infant & orphan of Thomas Malone dec'd, was apprenticed to John H. Porter to learn the trade of a blacksmith,  7 Feb 1853.

Henry Harrison Malone, now age 12 and an infant & orphan of Thomas Malone dec'd, was apprenticed to John H. Porter to learn the trade of a blacksmith, 7 Feb 1853.

Mrs. Nancy Boyd, mother of Isaac Boyd, being summoned to shew cause why her son Isaac shall not be bound out and William Nelson signified his willingness to take Isaac as an apprentice to learn the trade of a farmer. Isaac is now age 10,  7 Feb 1853.

William Nelson released from the obligation of an indenture of apprenticeship entered into at the Feb term 1853 binding out Isaac Boyd. Charles G. Halstead signified his willingness to take Isaac as an apprentice to learn the trade of a farmer, 7 Mar 1853.

David Flournoy, Clerk of the Livingston County Court, agreeable to an order of court hath bound William B. Ferrill as an apprentice to Jeremiah Ferrill until 1 Feb 1867 at which time the apprentice will arrive at the age of 21, to learn the trade & mystery of a farmer, 4 Sep 1854.

John Hutchinson bound as an apprentice to Elzy J. Ross until 4 Sep 1867 at which time the apprentice will have arrived at the age of 21, to learn the trade of a farmer, 4 Sep 1854.

Indenture of Apprenticeship Book 1834-1877, page 94
Livingston County, KY Clerk's Office

Published 8 March 2018, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Tombstone Tuesday - Joseph W. and Maude LaRue Wright

Joseph W.
June 7, 1869
Apr. 4, 1947

Maude LaRue
Jan. 23, 1872
Dec. 27, 1919

This stone commemorates only the body in which we lived here on earth. We have gone to live with Jesus. Jesus wants you to come. We want you to come. Won't you?

According to his death certificate,[1] Joseph W. Wright was born June 7, 1870 in Kentucky and was a funeral director.  His parents were Joseph Wright, born Kentucky, and Martha Tate, born Virginia. His obituary[2] stated he was a prominent Livingston County businessman, a resident of Hampton, and died at his home." He had been in ill health for several years, having retired from general merchandising business a few years ago. Funeral services were at the Hampton Methodist church Saturday. Burial in Salem Cemetery. Survivors include a daughter, Mrs. Ladd Robinson, and a grandson, Joseph Franklin Robinson."

Joseph W. Wright appears on the 1870 Union County, Kentucky census in the household of Joseph and Martha Wright.[3]

Maude LaRue Wright was born in Kentucky and was the daughter of Marion LaRue and Lyda Kidd, both of whom were born in Kentucky. [4]

[1] Kentucky Death Certificate #13932 (Delayed), Joseph W. Wright,, accessed 30 Dec 2017.
[2] Livingston Leader, 10 Apr 1947.
[3] 1870 Census, Union County, Kentucky, Roll: M593_501, p. 321A, Post Office Morganfield,, accessed 30 Dec 2017.
[4] Kentucky Death Certificate #33204, Maude L. Wright,, accessed 30 Dec 2017.

Published 6 Mar 2018, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Thursday, March 1, 2018

The Perfect Obituary

The perfect obituary answers the following  10 questions:

1.  Name of the decedent and residence
2.  Cause of death 
3.  Date of birth and death 
4.  Date of marriage(s) and name(s) of spouse(s) 
5.  Name of parents
6.  Place of birth and death
7.  Military service 
8.  Names of survivors
9.  Religious affiliation
10. Place of burial

Although we can hope for answers to all 10 questions, rarely do we get answers to more than half of them.  I was delighted to find the obituary of W.L.  Hughes of Marion, Crittenden County, Kentucky in his local newspaper. His father was mentioned, but not named.  That and military service are the only two questions not addressed.   See what you think about this obituary.

"W.L. Hughes
Passes Away[1]

After Many Months of Illness and
Suffering  A Well Known and
Respected Citizen

Wm. Leonard Hughes, one of the county's pioneer citizens, died at his home two miles northeast of Marion Thursday, Sept. 21st, of cirrhosis of the liver, which he had suffered for several years.

He was in his 71st year having been born April 4th, 1846. His father moved here from Smith county, Tennessee, when he was a child.

"He was married Dec. 27th, 1866 to Miss Lutitia Hunt of this county who survives him with five children, all of whom are representative citizens. There are two sons, Wm.  H., and John Wyatt Hughes; and three daughters, Mary Ellen, wife of J.H. Mayes, of this city; Martha Frances, wife of John M. Baker; and Lucy Jane, wife of Josie Hunt, the latter two of Pleasant Hill section. He is survived by one brother, Heziciah Hughes, of Lilly Dale, and one sister, Mrs. H.S. Wheeler, of this city.

"The deceased was a member for nearly 40 years of the Pleasant Hill Primitive Baptist church and always lived an upright christian life. He was a man of strict integrity and honorable in all of his dealings. His sons could not do better than to follow his example. His remains were laid to rest in Pleasant Hill cemetery on Friday at noon Sept. 22nd, 1916, Eld. John A. Hunt officiating. A large gathering of sorrowing friends and relatives were there to do honor to the memory of the dead man."

[1] "W.L. Hughes Passes Away," Crittenden Record-Press, Thursday, 28 September 1916, p. 6.

Published 1 Mar 2018, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,