Thursday, May 31, 2018

M.F. Travis - Civil War Veteran

M.F. Travis
Co. K
17 Ky Cav.
Dec. 27, 1847
June 17, 1908

Buried Sugar Grove Cemetery, Crittenden County, Kentucky. Tombstone photographed 11 March 2011. This Civil War veteran's grave is marked by a government-provided tombstone.

Marcus Travis and Miss Mary Lamb were married by W.C. Love at the home of Robartus Lamb 1 March 1868 in Crittenden County.[1]  They were married 40 years before Marcus' death.

During the last days of the Civil War, Marcus F. Travis enlisted in Co. K, 17 KY Cavalry (Union), which was organized at Russellville, Kentucky 25 April 1865 and was attached to the Military Dept. of Kentucky and assigned to duty at Hopkinsville. They were mustered out 20 September 1865.[2]

Following her husband's death, Mary Lamb Travis filed for a widow's pension. [3]

[1] Brenda Joyce Jerome. Crittenden County, Kentucky Marriage Records, Vol. II 1866-1886,  (Evansville, IN: Evansville Bindery, 1991)16.
[2] Wikipedia
[3] U.S. Civil War Pension Index; General Index to Pension Files 1861-1934, Mary Travis, widow, Application #899313, Certificate #657660,

Published 31 May 2018, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

John Victor Ferren and Maggie A. Scott

John Victor
Nov. 7, 1875
July 22, 1927

Maggie A. Ferren
Wife of John Victor Ferren
Dec. 15, 1871
Nov. 8, 1945

Although both died in Los Angeles, California, they are buried in Smithland Cemetery, Livingston County, Kentucky. Their tombstones were photographed 25 January 2015.

The 1880 Livingston County census shows John V. Ferren, age 4,  in the household of Peter and Mary E. Ferren.[1]  Also in the household was George L. Ferren, age 1, and Catherine Ferren, age 54 and born in France. Peter Feren [sic] and Mary E. Hale married 21 September 1873 at J.W. Hale's in Livingston County. The bridegroom was 24 years old and the bride was age 18.[2]   Catherine Ferren was the mother of Peter Ferren.

John Victor and his wife, Maggie Amanda Ferren, moved  to Paducah and are found on the 1910 McCracken County census, along with their daughter, Sevilla, age 10.[3]  By 1917, they had moved to Cochise County, Arizona, where they were listed on the City Directory in Bisbee.[4] They also appear on the 1920 Cochise County, Arizona census.[5]

The Ferren family moved to Los Angeles, California, where John V. Ferren died  22 July 1927. A short death notice mentions his death.[6] It states that Forrest Ferren received word that his father, John V. Ferren, had died in Los Angeles. Born in Livingston County, John V. Ferren had lived most of his life in Paducah and was to be buried in Smithland.

Maggie Amanda Ferren was the daughter of George D. Scott and Mary Evaline Jones,[7]  who had married in Livingston County 14 April 1867. [8]  After her husband died, she continued to live in Los Angeles, where she is found on the 1930 census. Living with her is her mother, Mary E. Scott, age 87.[9] 

Mary E. (Scott) Ferren lived in Los Angeles until her death 8 November 1945.[10]

[1] 1880 Livingston County, KY census, Driskill Dist., Roll 429, E.D. 81, p. 316B,
[2] Livingston County, KY Marriage Bond Book, pp 101-102.
[3] 1910 McCracken County, KY census, Dist 2 (Part of), Ward 3, E.D. 119, Sheet 1B,
[4] 1917 City Directory, Bisbee, Cochise County, AZ,
[5] 1920 Cochise County, AZ census, Bisby, E.D. 5, Sheet 8B,
[6] "Dies in California," Lexington Leader, Tues., 26 July 1927.
[7] U.S. Social Security Applications and Claims Forms 1936-2007,
[8] Joyce McCandless Woodyard. Livingston County, KY Marriage Records Including Marriages of Freedmen Vol II (Aug 1839 - Dec. 1871), (Evansville, IN: Evansville Bindery, 1994)  160.
[9] 1930 Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, CA census, E.D. 211, Sheet 16A, Assembly Dist. 58, 1637 Berendo Street,
[10] California Death Index 1940-1997,

Published 29 May 2018, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Monday, May 28, 2018

Memorial Day 2018

Clip Art courtesy of Clipart Panda.

Published 28 May 2018, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Harry Thomas - Man of Mystery

The small, plain monument marking his grave in Fernwood Cemetery gives no clue to the life - or death - of Harry Thomas. Born 28 December 1859 and died 30 October 1930 in Henderson, Kentucky.[1] His death certificate gives "heart trouble" as his cause of death, but the circumstances of his death are a bit  unusual.

Let's back up, though, and talk about the circumstances of his life.  Born in Illinois, he was the son of James N. Thomas and Lizzie Johnston.[2]  Harry Thomas had an artificial leg; he had it when he came to Henderson in 1898 from Chicago.  It is said he lost the leg when he fell under a train while working as a railroader. Engaged to be married, he sent his bride-to-be away, saying he didn't want her to be a nurse to him. He remained single the rest of his life. [3]  

Harry Thomas opened a store at 236 N. Main Street in Henderson  and supported himself  buying and selling junk. He lived in the rear of his store and above his store lived the William Christ family, who looked out for Harry.

Harry Thomas was last seen on the streets several days before his death became known. When he had not checked in with the Christ family, they began a search for him. One of the Christ daughters looked out an upstairs window in the rear of the building and saw his artificial leg protruding out the back door into the alley. Friends were called to retrieve his body, but it was too late to save him.

It is supposed he fell and "his head had struck hard upon the floor.  A mass of blood surrounded his head."[4]  The coroner was called to the scene and "in examining the body discovered three diamond rings, several pearl stick pins and money amounting to $36 in his pockets. The valuables were placed in a vault in a local bank."[5]

Harry Thomas was an interesting man.  Periodically, he would embark on a trip to a far-off land.  When he was ready to leave, he would tell Mrs. Christ and give her the keys to his store.   When he ran short of money in his travels, "he would take off his wooden leg, hobble to a corner in whatever city or country he might be and count the coins as they fell into his hat. He would collect enough for another hop, and then again stop to collect more coins."[6] Harry's last trip was after the  world war (World War I), when he went to China, the land that he loved.

There was a bit of mystery surrounding Harry Thomas. He is gone now and he carried to the graves the secrets of his life and his travels.

[1] Kentucky Death Certificate #24739 (1930), Harry Thomas, Henderson County ,
[2] Ibid.
[3] "Cheap John, Junk Dealer de luxe, Takes Secrets to Tomb," Evansville Journal, Mon., 3 November 1930, pp 1, 10.
[4] Ibid.
[5] "Harry Thomas Is Found Dead, Cold Body of Business Man Is Discovered" Henderson Sunday Gleaner and Journal, Sun., 2 November 1930.
[6] "Cheap John, Junk Dealer de luxe, Takes Secrets to Tomb," Evansville Journal.

Published 24 May 2018, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Claude H. and Linnie T. Barnes


Claude H.
Jan. 6, 1907
Aug. 22, 1977

Linnie T.
Nov. 14, 1910
July 7, 1932

The roses may fade, the lilies die,
but the flowers immortal bloom on High

Buried Ferguson Cemetery, Livingston County, Kentucky. Tombstone photographed 4 December 2013.

In 1920, Claude Barnes was enumerated in the household of his parents, Pat H. and Mamie Barnes.[1]  Linnie T. is living nearby with her parents.[2]

According to her death certificate, Linnie was born near Birdsville, Kentucky and was the daughter of Gus Henry, who was born at Birdsville, and Myrtle Harris, born in Hopkins County, Kentucky. [3] She died of tuberculosis. 

After Linnie's death, Claude went to Detroit, where he worked as a die setter and was a lodger, along with James A. Barnes and Margaret Barnes, on Baker Street. [4]   On 10 May 1941, Claude married Emma Hargis Elkins in Henry County, Ohio. He was listed as born in Kentucky, lived Detroit and was a widower.[5]

Claude H. Barnes  died in Paducah at the age of 70 years. According to his obituary, he was survived by a sister and a brother. Services were held at Smith Funeral Home Chapel and burial was in Ferguson Cemetery, near Smithland. He was a member of Wolverine Masonic Lodge No. 484 F&AM in Detroit.[6]

[1] 1920 Livingston County, Kentucky census, Dyer Hill, Roll T_625-587, E.D. 118, page 2B,
[2] 1920 Livingston County, Kentucky census, Dyer Hill, Roll T_625-587, E.D. 117, page 3A, Household of Gus and Myrtle Henry,
[3] Kentucky Death Certificate #30082, Linnie T. Barnes,
[4] 1940 Wayne County, Michigan census, Detroit, E.D. 84-908, page 6A,
[5] Ohio County Marriage Records 1774-1993, Henry County, Ohio 1914-1982,
[6] "Claude Barnes, Reidland, dies at 70," Paducah Sun-Democrat, Mon., 22 August 1977, p. 5B.

Published 22 May 2018, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Life of Mary T. McCarroll Dorroh

Recently I came across a scrap of paper among the Livingston County, Kentucky County Clerk's Papers. It intrigued me. Who was the father of Mary T. Mc Carroll and what happened to her?  It didn't take long to start the journey of learning about this five year old child.

 Livingston County, Kentucky County Clerk's Papers 1836-1839 

Andrew McCarroll married Miss Lucinda Threlkeld 13 March 1834 in Livingston County. Bondsman was Gabriel Threlkeld and James W. Mansfield, Baptist minister performed the ceremony.[1]  Andrew and Lucinda apparently had only one child, Mary T., who was born 26 January 1835.

Andrew McCarroll died before 20 March 1836 and Lucinda, as the widow, renounced  her rights to administer on her late husband's estate in favor of Jesse Padon, who was the county sheriff. [2] Padon was also appointed guardian to the McCarroll child, Mary T.[3] After Padon died in 1840,[4] Lucinda was appointed guardian to Mary T. McCarroll.[5]

On the 4th of April 1843, Mrs. Lucinda McCarroll, widow, married David B. Glenn in Livingston County[6] and they moved to neighboring  Caldwell County. [7] Lucinda's daughter, Mary, was enumerated in the Glenn household.

Now comes the part where you have to weigh the evidence to determine what happened to Mary T. McCarroll.  Caldwell County records show that James J. Dorroh married Miss Mary T. McConnell 12 March 1857. Was this Mary T. McCarroll?  I believe it was because the marriage occurred at the home of David B. Glenn and Glenn was also the security for the marriage bond.[8]  Remember David B. Glenn was the stepfather of Mary T. McCarroll.

The birth records of the two oldest children of James J. Dorroh and Mary T. McCarroll provide additional proof. On the birth record of William Andrew Dorroh on 8 June 1858, Mary T. McCarra is listed as his mother.[9]  And on the birth record of Mary Dorroh on 15 October 1859, Mary T. McCorrall is given as her mother.[10]  I'm convinced!  Surely Mary T. McCarroll was the wife of James J. Dorroh and the mother of William Andrew and Mary Dorroh. There were other children born to this marriage:  Rebecca, Joseph F. and Sarah Dorroh.[11]

Apparently Mary T. McCarroll Dorroh died before 28 October 1868 as on that date he married Mrs. Esther J. Hill in Crittenden County, Kentucky.[12] Did Mary T. die in childbirth?  Perhaps. I didn't learn everything I wanted to know about her, but I do know she was part of a family and even married and had children of her own. It makes me sad, though, that she died without seeing any of her children married or with children of their own.

[1] Joyce M. Woodyard. Livingston County, Kentucky Marriage Records, Vol. 1 (Pct 1799-July 1839), (Smithland, KY: n.p., 1992) 129.
[2] Brenda Joyce Jerome. Livingston County, Kentucky Estate Records 1799-1842, (Evansville, IN: Evansville Bindery, 2004) 119-120.
[3] Livingston County Court Order Book I, p. 243-244, Mon., 4 Nov 1839.
[4] Livingston County Court Order Book I, p. 267, Mon., 6 April 1840. The last will and Testament of Jesse Padon was produced in open court.
[5] Livingston County Court Order Book I, p. 258, Mon., 5 Oct 1840.
[6] Woodyard. Livingston County Marriage Records Including Marriages of Freedmen Vol. II (Aug 1839-Dec 1871), (Evansville, IN: Evansville Bindery, 1994)  28.
[7] 1850 Caldwell County, Kentucky Census, Dist. 1, Roll 432_194, p. 303A,
[8] Brenda Joyce Jerome. Caldwell County, Kentucky Marriage Records 1854-1865, (Evansville, IN: Evansville Bindery, 1997)  25.
[9] Kentucky Birth Records 1847-1911, Caldwell County 1858,
[10] Kentucky Birth Records 1847-1911, Caldwell County 1859,
[11] 1860 Caldwell County, Kentucky Census, Fredonia, Roll M593_451, p. 439A,
[12] Brenda Joyce Jerome. Crittenden County, Kentucky Marriage Records Vol. II  1866-1886, (Evansvile, IN: Evansville Bindery, 1991) 21.

Published 17 May 2018, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

John W. Cook 1878 - 1921

Son of
J.R. & C.D.
Nov. 1, 1878
May 28, 1921
A father dead, beloved
and dear, and nature
weep a tender fear

Buried Repton Cemetery, Crittenden County, Kentucky. Tombstone photographed 14 March 2018.

John William Cook was the son of Joseph R. Cook and Caldonia Burton, both of whom were born in Crittenden County. [1] He is listed on the 1900 Crittenden County census with his wife, Ida M., and son, Eddie O. Cook. John W. and Ida M. Cook had been married two years.[2]

In 1917, John W. Cook applied for the military draft and gave the following information: He was born 1 November 1878; was employed by the Wasson Coal Co. in Wasson, Saline County, Illinois and his nearest relative was Ida Mae Cook.[3]

The death of John W. Cook was recorded as 29 May 1921 in Saline County, Illinois. He was a coal miner and his parents were given as Joe Cook and Callie Burton. [4]  According to his obituary, John W. Cook had lived at Wasson two years. He was injured at Wasson mines and suffered from "a nervous trouble" which soon paralyzed his whole body.  Survivors were his wife, son Homer and daughter, Sybil. The funeral was held in Crittenden County. [5]

[1] Kentucky, Birth Records, 1847-1911, John W. Cook, born 30 September 1878,, accessed 19 March 2018.
[2] 1900 Crittenden County, Kentucky census, Bells Mines, p. 1, E.D. 36,, accessed 19 March 2018.
[3] U.S. World War I Draft Registration Card 1917-1918, John William Cook,
[4] Illinois Deaths and Stillbirths Index 1916-1947, Jno. W. Cook,, accessed 19 March 2018.
[5] "Dies After Being Ill Six Months," Harrisburg Daily Register, Monday, 30 May 1921.

Published 15 May 2018, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Friday, May 11, 2018

Blog Award

Ending the week on a positive note with a shiny new award for one of  Feedspot's Top 100 Genealogy Blogs.  I am honored.

Published 11 May 2018, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Smithland Lodge, No. 138, Livingston County, Kentucky 1892

It is often hard to locate a person between 1880 and 1900  due to the lack of a complete 1890 federal census. Therefore, any record that places a person in a particular place during this time period  is valuable.  

Smithland Lodge, No. 138, met at Smithland, Livingston County, on the first Monday of each month. The following information has been transcribed from Proceedings of the Grand Lodge of Kentucky, F. and A.M.,  Ninety-Third Annual Communication, held in Louisville, Kentucky commencing Oct. 18 and 19, 1892, available on Google Books, accessed 5 January 2018.

Chas. H. Webb, Master
Robert G. Ferguson, Senior Warden
George P. Rogers, Junior Warden
James K. Huey, Secretary
James W. Cade, Treasurer
John C. Guthrie, Senior Deacon
Abram J. Bebout, Junior Deacon
Jacob V. Seyster, Steward
Emilius P. Haynes, Tyler

Master Masons
Bebout, Abram J.
Brandon, Rev. W.C.
Cade, James Waddle
Ferguson, Robert G.
Guthrie, John C.
Haynes, Emilius P.
Huey, James K.
Miller, Rev. Joshua A.
Rogers, George P.
Seyster, Jacob Van

Published 11 May 2018, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Tombstone Tuesday - W.C. and Mary H. McGehee

Rev. W.C. McGehee
Sept. 29, 1818
Oct. 27, 1873

Mary H. McGehee
Dec. 10, 1835
Apr. 18, 1912

Buried Cedar Hill Cemetery, Princeton, Kentucky. Tombstones photographed 15 Dec 2017.

The Rev. William C. McGehee and Miss Mary H. Dudley were married 22 August 1853 by S.N. Davis, Cumberland Presbyterian minister, at the home of M. Dudley. The bridegroom was born in Louisa County, Virginia and his bride was born in Princeton. [1]

The McGehee family was living in Todd County, Kentucky in 1860[2] and, by 1870, they were living in Princeton again.[3]  The Rev. McGehee wrote his will on the same day he died and it was recorded 16 December 1873.[4] He mentioned his wife, Mary H. McGehee, and "our children," but does not name them.

By 1900, Mary H. McGehee had moved to Knoxville, Knox County, Tennessee.[5] Ten years later she was living in the home of her daughter, Annie McGehee Dooley, in Knoxville.[6]

According to Death Certificate #5214, Mary H. McGehee was the daughter of Milton B. Dudley and Eliza Harpending and was born in Kentucky.[7]

[1] Brenda Joyce Jerome. Caldwell County, Kentucky Marriages1833-1853, (Evansville, IN: Evansville Bindery, 1997) 171, 180.
[2] 1860 Todd County, Kentucky census, Elkton, Roll M653-396, p. 760,, accessed 12 March 2018.
[3] 1870 Caldwell County, Kentucky census, Princeton, Roll M583_451, p. 506B,, accessed 12 March 2018.
[4] Caldwell County Will Book B, 279.
[5] U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995,, accessed 12 March 2018. Mary H. McGehee was living at 233 Church Ave E.
[6] 1910 Knox County, Tennessee, Knoxville Ward 6, Roll T624_1507, p. 6B, E.D. 86,, accessed 12 March 2018.
[7] Tennessee Death Certificate #5214, Mary H. McGehee;, accessed 12 March 2018.

Published 8 May 2018, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Flowers Mark the Graves in Wilson Cemetery

Margaret A.
Wife of
G.P. Wilson
Mar. 14, 1836
Apr. 11, 1906

Buried in the Wilson Family Cemetery, off Bells Mines Church Road, Crittenden County, Kentucky. The above tombstone was photographed 1 April 2013. Note the blooming daffodils.

Margaret A. Wilson's obituary tells a great deal about her life. She was "born in Livingston county, Ky., March 14, 1836; was married to Mr. George P. Wilson March 24, 1853, and died at their home near Weston, Ky., April 11, 1906.

"Sister Wilson professed religion when quite young and joined the Methodist church in 1853. She was of  cheerful disposition, and was an earnest, faithful worker in the church, and as a result of this faithful life many were induced to give up sin and turn to God.

"She leaves a husband, three sons and three daughters to mourn their loss. Two sons preceded her to the sun-bright clime above. Aunt Mag, as she was familiarly called, will be greatly missed. I preached her funeral at the residence where she had lived so long and we laid her away in the family cemetery near by, which she had already adorned with flowers, to await the resurrection at the last day."  [signed]  R.C. Love.[1]

The flowers in the cemetery planted by Margaret A. Wilson are still visible in the photograph above. We first located this cemetery in the early 1990s and several years later we used the flowers to guide us to the cemetery. The photograph below was made during a visit in the 1990s.

Wilson Cemetery with blooming daffodils 1990s

[1] "Obituary," Crittenden Record-Press, Marion, KY, Fri., 4 May 1906, p . 1.

Published 3 May 2018, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,