Census records are very helpful in determining the residence of our ancestor, but the census was only taken every ten years. How do we know if they lived there between the census records? One way is through the use of petitions, which were generated as needed and instead of every ten years. When a new road or ferry or precinct was desired, neighbors banded together to sign a petition for the improvement and presented it to the county court. Knowing the names of the neighbors helps us place the location of our ancestor.
The following petition was located in 1994 in loose county clerk's papers of 1814, Livingston County clerk's office, Smithland, Kentucky. The Livingston County seat of justice was Salem in 1814.
"Common Wealth of Kentucky Livingstone County, --- To the Worshipfull Court at Salem: We your petitioners Consider it much to the advantage of Travellers to turn the road betwixt McGaskings and Mr. Cowserts about two miles distance, It will be about half a mile higher, and will afford Water for the accommodation of Travellers Which is not to be had on the old road. We hope you will take the Case under your Serious Consideration and grant our petition as far as you think proper -- Signed by Us this 13th May 1814."
Jas. H. Stephenson
Published 23 August 2018, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog, http://wkygenealogy.blogspot.com/