Thursday, January 31, 2019

Because Someone Says It Doesn't Make It So

How many times have you seen on some one's family tree where a child was born when the mother was five years old or younger? Or maybe a man fathered a child when he was over 100 years old.  Ok, Ok, maybe these are extremes, but you get the idea. If something doesn't look right, it probably isn't right.

If a man seems to be chasing himself - living first in one place and then in another and then back to the first place - maybe you are chasing two different men with the same name. That happened with my ancestor, John E. Wilson,  who lived  in Livingston County, Kentucky until 1842. After 1842, he was found in Crittenden County. A man by that same name, including the middle initial, was a merchant in Livingston County at the same time.  Both had wives named Nancy. Were they one and the same or two different men?  By comparing deeds and other records for the two men, it was determined that my ancestor was the man living on Crooked Creek in what became Crittenden County. He was buried in Crooked Creek Cemetery, Crittenden County.  The other man of that name lived in Smithland in Livingston County and had to be the man buried in Smithland Cemetery.  It may take a little time to separate the records for the two men, but it works.

If names, dates and events seem beyond the realm of possibility, don't be afraid to question the sources and, by all means, don't accept it just because someone else says it is so, especially if you are depending on those online family trees.

 Published 31 Jan 2019, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Sarah J. Minner Moore 1828 - 1887

Gone Home
Sarah J.
wife of
George N. Moore
& Daughter of
Daniel & Margaret
Dec. 28, 1828
Mar. 31, 1887

Buried in Hurricane Cemetery, Crittenden County, Kentucky. Tombstone photographed 19 July 2018.

On the 17th of October 1853, George N. Moore obtained a license to marry Sarah J. Minner in Crittenden County.[1]  No marriage return was recorded.

George and Sarah J. Moore last appear together on the 1880 Crittenden County census.[2] George N. Moore remarried to Mrs. Nannie E. Jacobs on the 4th day of December 1887.[3]

[1] Kentucky County Marriages 1783-1965, Crittenden County 1853, George N.B. Moore and Sarah J. Minner,
[2] 1880 Crittenden County census, Hurricane Dist., Roll 410, p. 66C, E.D. 57, dwelling 104, family 104,
[3] Kentucky County Marriages 1783-1965, Crittenden County  1887, George N. Moore and Mrs. Nannie Jacobs,

Published 29 January 2019, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Winter Book Sale!

Winter Sale of Genealogy Books   Some of the books I have published are in short supply and there is only one copy of  the books  from my personal library. Contact me to make sure they are still available before ordering.

Published 26 Jan 2019, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Roster of Men Who Died in World War I

In 1919, a roster of  "Kentuckians Who Made the Supreme Sacrifice" during the first World War was published in Kentucky newspapers.[1] There were 2,726 names on the list and those names were grouped as follows:
Killed in action =    734
Died of disease =  1,501
Died of wounds =    305
Death by accident =   89
Lost at sea        =       33
Cause not stated =    62
     Total                    2,726

The high number of death by disease was due mainly to the influenza epidemic  in American camps as well as overseas.  The actual fighting fatalities totaled 1,039 killed in action and deaths from  wounds. Of those who died by accident, several were killed in airplane catastrophes. Lost at sea included those who died aboard transports and those whose ships were sunk or not accounted for.  Of those who died by cause not stated, several were deaths in German prison camps.  

Eura Boitnott, Princeton, died of wounds.
Samuel L. Booth, Princeton, died of wounds.
William G. Dailey, Princeton, died of disease.
Jimmie L. Denham, Princeton, died of disease.
Carl D. Hollowell, Princeton, died of disease.
Carter Koon, Fredonia, killed in action.
Clarence Littlefield, Dalton.
Edward Lowery, Princeton, died of disease.
Robert C. Marquess, Otter Pond, killed in action.
Frank M. Moss, Fredonia, killed of disease.
Andy P. Nuckols, Princeton, died of wounds.
B.C. Orange, Princeton, died of disease.
James Rogan, Fredonia, died of disease.
Arthur E. Rowland, Princeton, died of disease.
Clarence L. Scott, Dulaney, killed in action.
Roy Smith, Princeton, died of accident.
Otis E. Stone, Fredonia, died of disease.
Lonnie Towery, Princeton, died of disease.

Pvt. Carter Koon, of Fredonia, Caldwell County, volunteered to pass through heavy shellfire to rescue wounded comrades. He made two successful trips, but was mortally wounded on the third trip. He received the Distinguished Service Cross.

William M. Banister, Kuttawa, died of disease
Jesse Bohannon, Eddyville, died of wounds
Ollie B. Chandler, Kuttawa, died of disease.
Thomas Malloy Glenn, Eddyville, died of disease.
Floyd Ladd, Eddyville, died of disease.
James W. Lovell, Eddyville, killed in action.
Cecil F. McDonald, Eddyville, died of wounds.
Leslie W. Yates, Kuttawa, died of disease. 

 Additional counties will be listed in the future on this blog.

[1] "Kentuckians Who Made the Supreme Sacrifice in the War for Civilization," Louisville Courier-Journal, Mon., 2 Jun 1919, p. 13, 15. A partial roster was also published in the Hopkinsville Kentuckian on Sat., 7 Jun 1919, p. 5 and in the Owensboro Messenger on Sun., 15 Jun 1919, p. 11.

Published 24 Jan 2019, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Tombstone Tuesday - Montgomery and Martha E. Grassham

M. Grassham
1843  -  1924
Martha Elizabeth
His Wife
1845  -  1924

Buried Salem Cemetery, Livingston County, Kentucky. Tombstone photographed 13 October 2018.

According to his death certificate,[1]  Montgomery Grassham was born 19 March 1843 in Tennessee and died 8 July 1924 in Salem, Kentucky. A blacksmith by trade, he was the son of Nehemiah Grassham and Mary Clarke, both of who were born in Tennessee.

Martha Elizabeth Grassham was born 2 May 1845 in Kentucky and died 20 September 1924 in Salem, Kentucky. She was the daughter of William A. Mahan, born North Carolina, and Sarah Patton, born Kentucky. [2]

Montgomery Grassham and Miss Martha Elizabeth Mahan married 17 January 1865 at Wm. Mahan's residence. [3]

[1] Kentucky Death Record #1813, Montgomery Grassham,
[2] Kentucky Death Record #21209, Martha Elizabeth Grassham,
[3] Joyce McCandless Woodyard. Livingston County, Kentucky Marriage Records Including Marriages of Freedmen, Vol. II (Aug 1839 - Dec 1871), (Evansville, IN: Evansville Bindery, 1994) 149.

Published 22 Jan 2019, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Thursday, January 17, 2019

St. Vincent Academy 1820 - 1967

The records of Sacred Heart parish at St. Vincent, Union County  show that the Rev. Stephen Baden was the first priest to visit the Catholic population in southwestern Kentucky.  The first sermon was preached at the courthouse in Morganfield and the church was permanently established in 1819. In 1820 the Sisters of Charity established a school that became St. Vincent Academy.[1]

Many students who lived at a distance as well as many who lived in the surrounding area attended St. Vincent Academy. In 1891 the school celebrated the 71st annual commencement. Special trains were run to bring the large crowd to the exercises at St. Vincent.

Instead of the usual essays and programs, the operetta, "Author With the Poets" was the main event of entertainment. Taking part in the operetta were the following students: Mary B. Pike, Julia and Mary Wheatly, Ruth Shoemaker, Alma Mott, Lucy Mattingly, Mary and Christine Clements, Lena Wathen, Alice Kelley, Etta Davis, Katherine Elam, Florence Walker, Ida Willett, Hettie Dyer, Ruby Byrd, Mary Leonard, Anna Cambron, Lue Wilson and Addie Hayden.[2]

Diplomas that year were granted to Mary Pike, of Uniontown; Alma Mott, of Princeton; Ruth Shoemaker, of Morganfield; Julia Wheatley and Lucy Mattingly, of Waverly.[3]

A newspaper advertisement from 1913 shows that the school had "modern equipment, music, drawing and painting; shorthand and typewriting taught to the best improved methods."[4]

In 1920, St. Vincent Academy celebrated its centennial for three days in June.  Several women were to attend and celebrate their 50th anniversary of their graduation, including   Mrs. M.R. Waller and Mrs. J.G. Taylor. Another graduate who was to attend was Mrs. B.M. Mart, of Morganfield.[5]

St. Vincent Academy operated a boarding school until about 1964.   By March 1967, the faculty of St. Vincent's was planning the final days of the school.  There were no longer enough teachers to continue operating the high school and it was decided to close the school, leaving St. Vincent Academy parish  (grade)  school open. At that time, there were 265 students (63 students in the senior class) at St. Vincent High School and 85 parish school students. [6] 

On the 5th of December 1867, the buildings and land were auctioned off, bringing a total of $170,000. The administration building and other structures on a 10-acre plat were purchased for $17,500 by three men from Henderson, Kentucky. The land was sold to others, probably for farming.[7]

Paducah Sun-Democrat
30 July 1913, p. 7

[1] "Few Pastors at Union Parish," Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer, Mon., 7 Mar 1938, p. 6.
[2] "St. Vincent's Academy, The Seventy-First Commencement Celebrated with Appropriate Exercises," Louisville Courier-Journal, Thurs., 18 Jun 1891, p. 2.
[3] Ibid.
[4] "St. Vincent's Academy, Union County, Ky," Paducah Sun-Democrat, Wed., 30 Jul 1913, p. 7.
[5] "Observe Centennial of St. Vincent Academy, Owensboro Messenger, Sun., 23 May 1920, p . 1.
[6] "High School of Academy Founded in 1820 Is In Its Last Days," Paducah Sun, Fri., 3 Mar 1967, p. 21.
[7] "St. Vincent Academy Sold For $170,000 At Auction," Evansville Courier, 6 Dec 1967, p. 12.

Published 17 Jan 2019, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

John L. and Cornelia Riley

John L.
1847  -  1915
1848  -  1934

J.L. Riley married Cornelia Jane Adkins 12 March 1868 in Caldwell County, Kentucky. Giving consent for the bride was her father, Robert Atkins [sic]. The bride was age 18 and the bridegroom was 20.[1]

According to her death record,[2] Cornelia was born 10 June 1848 Lyon County, Kentucky and died 3 February 1934 Lola, Livingston County, Kentucky. The  informant was Sarah Harris of Lola.

John Lansden Riley was born 30 May 1847 Lyon County and died 15 August 1915 Crittenden County.[3] John L. Riley is listed in the household of James and Lydia Riley on the 1850 Caldwell County census. [4] His parents were both born in Tennessee.

[1] Brenda Joyce Jerome. Caldwell County, Kentucky Marriages 1866-1873, (Evansville, IN: Evansville Bindery, 2002) 47. Also recorded in Caldwell County Marriage Book 8, p. 57.
[2] Kentucky Death Record #4539 (1934), Cornelia Jane Riley,
[3] Kentucky Death Record #20916 (1915), John Lansden Riley,
[4] 1850 Caldwell County, Kentucky census, Dist. 1, Roll M432_194, p. 325B,

Published 15 Jan 2019, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Check Out the Neighbors!

When photographing tombstones of  your ancestors, it is a good idea to check out surrounding tombstones in case a relative is buried nearby.

In this photograph of the tombstone of Philip Fritts, the tombstone of  John E. Wilson can be seen in the background.  Philip Fritt's first wife was Pernecia Wilson, daughter of John E. Wilson.  They are buried in Crooked Creek Cemetery, Crittenden County, Kentucky.

Photographing nearby tombstones may save you from having to make a return trip to the cemetery.

 Published 10 Jan 2019, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Elizabeth A. Conley and Sons

Elizabeth A.
Wife of
Neal Conley
Died June 9, 1879
57 yr's, 4 mo's, 12 D's

Buried in Smithland Cemetery, Smithland, Kentucky. Tombstone photographed 8 October 2014.

Elizabeth Blackstone married Neil [sic] Conley 15 December 1849 Livingston County, Kentucky.[1]  By 1860, Neil Conley had disappeared and Elizabeth was living in Smithland with their sons, Thomas M. and John D. Conley. [2] To date, no other record has been found for Neil Conley.

Thomas M. Conley is also buried in Smithland Cemetery.  John D. Conley was born 18 July 1854.[3]  He married Olive W. Reeves in 1880 Alexander County, Illinois[4] and was listed on the Alexander County census that year.  By  1905, John D. Conley had moved to Minneapolis, Hennepin County, Minnesota.  He continued to move across the country, finally ending up in Pierce County, Washington, where he was listed as a bartender in a saloon. [5] John D. Conley died 18 May 1915 Tacoma and was buried in Tacoma Cemetery.[6]

No additional information has been found on Elizabeth Blackstone Conley. She was definitely in Smithland in 1860, but does not appear on later census records.

[1] Joyce McCandless Woodyard. Livingston County, Kentucky Marriage Records Including Marriages of Freedmen, Vol. II (Aug 1839-Dec 1871), (Evansville, IN: Evansville Bindery, 1994), 59.
[2] 1860 Livingston County, Kentucky census, Roll M653-382, p. 285,  Elizabeth was age 36, born South Carolina.
[3] Kentucky Birth Records 1847-1911, Livingston County 1854, Jno. Dunn Conley,  Parents are listed as Neil Conley and Elizabeth Blackton.
[4] Illinois County Marriage Records 1800-1940, Alexander County 1880, The month and day are not given.
[5] 1910 Pierce County, Washington census, Tacoma Ward 6, Roll T624-1664, p. 5B, E.D. 274, He as born in Kentucky, his father was born in Ohio and his mother was born in South Carolina.
[6] Find A Grave Memorial #52815942, John D. Conley. His birth date is given as 18 July 1854.

Published 8 Jan 2019, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

A Monument for a Kentucky Hero

Daniel Boone is recognized as one of the heroes in Kentucky history. While he may not have led the life portrayed by Fess Parker  as Daniel Boone on television, he certainly led an exciting life. Kentuckians can thank him for blazing a trail through the Cumberland Gap, opening up the western frontier in 1769 and then,  a few years later,  settled an area he called Boonesborough.[1]  He left Kentucky for Missouri, though, when his land speculations failed and he fell into debt.[2]

Boone died in Missouri in 1820 and was buried beside his wife, Rebecca, in an unmarked grave  near Marthasville, Warren County, Missouri.[3]   More than 20 years later, a movement was begun, at the instance of citizens of Kentucky, to exhume the remains of Daniel and Rebecca Boone and have them re-buried in Frankfort, the capitol of the Commonwealth of Kentucky. [4]  They were the first persons buried in Frankfort Cemetery on September 13, 1845. The day of their re-burial in Frankfort, all businesses were closed and  there was a grand parade composed of  public officials, officers and  soldiers of the late war, members of fraternal organizations, militia members in uniform, Sunday Schools and teachers, clergy and members of the Methodist Episcopal Conference as well as gentlemen on foot, strangers and citizens in carriages and strangers and citizens on horseback.[5] And, of course, there was military music.

The call went out all over Kentucky for its citizens to contribute to the erection of a suitable monument for Daniel and Rebecca Boone. [6] Men in each area of each county were appointed to collect donations for the monument. The following notice appeared in Livingston County:

" It appearing to the Court that the remains of  Daniel Boone & wife have been removed from Missouri  to Kentucky the state of his youthful & daring [illegible] now rest in the public Cemetery at Frankfort, the Capital of our state, without a tomb or monument to mark the place where they rest[?] and It appearing that our beloved Commonwealth desires & have determined to appeal to her citizens & to the remaining Persons of the state & their  Sons & descendants for donations & gifts to be appropriated to erecting a Suitable Monument to their memory. And this Court, feeling [illegible] on this subject & conscious that the undertaking is a good & patriotic one & to enable all within this County males & females,  old & young, to participate in it   Do think proper to appoint the following persons as agents to receive gifts & donations for this purpose & who will report to this Court at the next December Court, to wit -
For Salem -  Wm. McCroskey
For Berry's Ferry & Neighborhood -  U.G. Berry & N. Barns
For Hopewell Furnace - Hiram Leathers & Jas. H. Leech
For The Point - John H. Wood
For Smithland - John E. Newman, Jas. L. Dallam, John C. McGraw, D.W. Patterson & John A. Martin
Together with the Magistrates & Deputy Sheriffs"[7]

Daniel and Rebecca Boone got their monument, but not until the Kentucky Legislature appropriated $2000 for the monument in 1860.[8]  But that isn't the end of the story of the monument. It was damaged during the Civil War and in 1904, $2000 was appropriated to restore the monument.[9]

Then, in 1983, a forensic anthropologist in Kentucky, stated he found clues that Daniel Boone might not be buried in Frankfort Cemetery. He believed  that a man of African descent had, by mistake, been buried there beside Rebecca  and very likely Daniel was still buried in Missouri. [10]  Of course, Missourians claim Daniel is still buried in Missouri and Kentuckians are certain Daniel's remains rest in Frankfort Cemetery. Whether or not Daniel Boone is buried in Frankfort Cemetery can be debated, but one thing is certain - he remains  a Kentucky hero.

[1] "Daniel Boone Biography (1734-1820),", accessed 20 Dec 2018.
[2] "Daniel Boone," Wikipedia,, accessed 20 Dec 2018.
[3]  Ibid.
[4] Acts of the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Kentucky Passed at December Session 1848, Chapter 207, An Act to Incorporate the Boone Monumental Association, approved Feb. 12, 1849, (Frankfort, Ky: A.G. Hodges & Co, 1849) 145.
[5] Ms. Jennie C. Morton. "History of The Frankfort Cemetery(From the Streets of the Capital), Register of the Kentucky State Historical Society, Vol. 7, No. 19 (Jan 1909)pp 23, 25-34, JSTOR <https://www/> accessed 19 Dec 2018.
[6] Acts of the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, December Session 1848, Chapter 207.
[7] Livingston County, Kentucky Court Order Book K:32-33, 10 Aug 1848.
[8] "Daniel Boone," Wikipedia.
[9] The Kentucky Statutes, Fifth Edition, Vol. I, Chapter 88A, (Louisville, KY: The Baldwin Law Book Company, 1915) 1420, accessed 18 Dec 2018.
[10] "The Body in Daniel Boone's Grave May Not Be His," The New York Times, 21 July 1983, New York Times Archives online, <, accessed 19 Dec 2018.

Published 2 Jan 2019, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Happy New Year 2019

Published 1 Jan 2019, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,