Thursday, September 26, 2019

Henderson, Kentucky Newspaper Advertisements 1853

What better way to get a sense of the business and social climate of an area than to read the newspaper advertisements?  The following advertisements have been gleaned from the 20 January 1853 issue of the Democratic Banner of Henderson, Kentucky. This issue of the Banner is available in the Henderson Public Library and also on

Administrators Notice - Notice is hereby given to all the creditors of Benjamin F. Hardwick, Dec'd, to produce to the undersigned Administrator of said Dec'd, or to file with the presiding Judge of the Henderson County Court, their claims against the said Benj. F. Hardwick Dec'd  ... on or before the 8th day of January next, when a settlement of the matters of the Administration will be made. The assets are not sufficient to pay all the debts, and the claims not presented by the day aforesd., will not be paid, nor any part of them this 7th December 1852.  [signed] S.L. Drewry, Admr.  December 9, 1852

Life Insurance - The undersigned is Agent for the Kentucky Mutual Life Insurance Company, and will insure both Whites and Slaves, upon the most favorable terms.  P.H. Hillyer, Agent.   R.P. Letcher, Medical Examiner.

F. Millet, Merchant - This gentleman has removed to his new store rooms on the north side of Mill Street where he will keep on hand a general assortment of goods in his line.

Negros [sic] For Sale - On the 24th inst. (county court day) I will expose for sale at the court house door in the town of Henderson, four negroes, a woman and three children. The two youngest children will be sold with the mother as I am unwilling to separate them. A credit until June next will be given. Bond with approved security will be required.  [signed]  John B. Cabell

W.R. King - The report of this gentleman's death is no doubt false ... he has arrived at Havana in improved health.

Particular Notice -  The undersigned, desirous of closing out his business in this place, offers his well selected stock of ready-made Clothing and furnishing goods at very low prices. His stock consists, in part, of Coats, vests, pants, drawers, shirts, sacks, cloaks, &c. of every  style and quality; hats, caps, shoes, boots, &c. On Saturday, the 20th inst., I will commence  SELLING OFF AT COST, and on Saturday the 27th I will commence selling  AT AUCTION. All sums of $5 and under cash at hand - over $5 credit until the first of March, good security required. Country merchants will find it to their interest to call at the auction sales every Saturday. I hope those who may read this may give me a call and satisfy themselves that my word is NO HOAX.  [signed] S. Bissinger.

For Sale - Two good work horses (one rode well) either works well in single or double harness or in ploughing.  Having bought a pair of mules for my purpose, have no use for the horses. Call at the Louisville Furniture Rooms, Main Street.  [signed] C.H. Woolford.

Published 26 Sep 2019, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog, 

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Tombstone Tuesday - William C. Nelson

William C.
July 31, 1840
Mar. 19, 1927

Buried Dyer Hill Cemetery, Livingston County, Kentucky. Tombstone photographed 2019.

William C. Nelson's first marriage was to Martha M. Spell on 19 March 1868 in Livingston County, Kentucky. [1] His second marriage was to Mrs. Ellen Scyster Rappolee on 26 October 1876. [2]

In his obituary, William C. Nelson was listed as "C.W. Nelson of Birdsville, Ky."[3] His survivors included the widow, Mrs. Ellen Nelson; six children; one stepson; two sisters; eight grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.

According to his death certificate,[4] William C. Nelson was born 18 July 1840 and died 19 Mar 1928. His parents were listed as William Nelson and Eliza May, both of whom were born in Livingston County.

[1] Joyce McCandless Woodyard. Livingston County, Kentucky Marriage Records Including Marriages of Freedmen, Vol. II (Aug 1839-Dec 1871), (Evansville, IN: Evansville Bindery, 1994) 165.
[2] Livingston County, Kentucky Marriage Bond Book 1:577-578.
[3] "C.W. Nelson Dies at Birdsville, Ky.," Paducah News-Democrat, Tues., 27 Mar 1928, p. 2.
[4] Kentucky Death Record #10444 (1928), William C. Nelson,

Published 24 Sep 2019, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Livingston County African American Marriages 1872

Marriages for white couples and African American couples were recorded in separate volumes in western Kentucky.  The first African American marriages were recorded in 1866 and are found in  Freedmen's Declarations of Marriage of Negroes and Mulattoes. This book is where couples who had lived together as man and wife before Emancipation had their unions recorded. Marriages of couples who married in 1866 or later were recorded in the Marriage Register for Freedmen or in the Marriage Bond Books or both.

How long African American and white marriages were recorded in separate books depends on the county. In Livingston County, separate books were used through 1916. In Caldwell County, marriages were recorded separately through June 1968. An African American marriage bond often has less personal information than what is found on a white marriage bond.

The following African American marriage records for 1872 can be found in Livingston County Marriage Register for Freedmen 1866-1896 and Bond Book 1A. Several abbreviations were used in the entries below. B: is the person (bondsman) who signed the marriage bond with the bridegroom.  Wit: refers to the witnesses to the marriage ceremony. The abbreviations and numbers at the end of each entry refer to the source and page number. For example, Reg: 32-33 refers to Register pages 32 -33 and BB1A:155 refers to Bond Book 1A, page 155.

Luther Crawford and Maria Champion married 14 Mar 1872 at Guss Champion's. Wit: Daniel Craford [sic], Ben Champion. [signed] C. Ogilby, B.M. (bond 13 Mar 1872)  B: John Threlkeld. [Reg:32-33, BB1A:155]

Green Thompson and Clarissa Woods married 16 Mar 1872 by Wm. B. Presnell, JP at Jas. Ellis'. Wit: H.M. Coffer, Chas. E. Presnell. (bond 16 Mar 1872) B: Andrew Robinson. [Reg:32-33, BB1A:157]

Anderson Webb and Martha Powell married 28 Jun 1872 by P.R. Anderson at the Methodist Church. Wit: Henry Green, Viney Ferguson. (bond 23 Jun 1872) B: Tobe Pippin. [Reg:32-33, BB1A:159]

Richard Stanley and Elvira Johnson married 4 Aug 1872 by Wm. B. Presnell, JP at bride's mother's residence. Wit: Charles M. Powell, John J. Dupriest. (bond 3 Aug 1872) B: William E. Ironmonger. [Reg:32-33, BB1A:161]

Christopher Fowler and Louisa Dorrah married 24 Oct 1872 by L.B. Davison, minister, at Smithland. Wit: Frank Sanders, Lizzie Sanders. (bond 23 Oct 1872) B:Frank Sanders. [Reg:34-35, BB1A:163]

Green Pringle and Jane Pippin married 19 Dec 1872 by Reg. Wm. Jones at "colored church in the presence of Salem joining the Pringle farm." Wit: Dempsey Parker, George Mays. (bond 18 Dec 1872) B: Robert Fleming. [Reg:34-35, BB1A:165]

Wm. E. Ironmonger and Mary Gray married 22 Dec 1872 by John Davis, M.G. at Ruben Holland's. Wit: F.M. Jones, W.H. Lucas. (bond 21 Dec 1872) B: James Wilson. [Reg:34-35, BB1A:167]

Nathaniel Pippin and Kate/Cathrine Woods married 26 Dec 1872 by Rev. Wm. Jones at Esq. Champion's in presence of Salem, Livingston Kentucky. Wit: Green Pringle, C. Crofferd. (bond 24 Dec 1872) B: James Pippin. [Reg:34-35, BB1A:169]

Published 19 Sep 2019, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Sources and Credits

To be the best genealogist possible, there are several research guidelines and rules we should follow. To disregard them shows we either do not know how to properly do research or we do not care. The following rules are among those most often disregarded.

1.  Genealogists are taught that every fact not within common knowledge must be substantiated with a source.  Using proper source citations demonstrates your knowledge of what constitutes proof for each fact and where it can be found. Not citing your sources is asking people to read your mind to learn where you found your material. I don't know anyone who has that ability.

2.  "Borrowing" material from other genealogists without giving them credit is not acceptable - anytime. This applies to family group sheets prepared by others, family trees on, photographs taken by another person, family histories written for family reunions and, yes, blog posts. The rule of thumb is this: If you didn't write it, it isn't yours and you should not use it without permission. If permission is given, be sure to give credit to the person who did write it. 

There are many rules in genealogy, but the two listed above are ones that are consistently disregarded.   Be a responsible genealogist, cite your sources and give credit to others for their work.

Published 17 Sep 2019, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Roster of Men Who Died in World War I - Henderson County

In 1919, the names of Kentucky soldiers who lost their lives during World War I were published in several newspapers, including the Louisville Courier-Journal, the Hopkinsville Kentuckian and the Owensboro Messenger. The deaths from disease were mainly caused by the influenza epidemic of 1918 - 1919. Of the 2,726 men who died during the war, 1,501 died from disease while 734 were killed in action and 305 died of wounds.

Henderson County
Junius Alexander, Henderson, died of disease
Elbert Ball, Henderson, died of wounds
William Buckner, Henderson, died of accident
Thomas T. Colmesnell, died of disease[1]
Walter Crawford, Corydon, killed in action
John Dudley, Smith Mills, died of disease
Ruby Henry Farless, Henry, died of disease
Louis G. Fulner, Henderson, killed in action
Edward Gish, Henderson, died of gas
Lee Green, Henderson, died of disease
Fred J. Gorham, Henderson, died of disease
William F. Hancock, Smith Mills, died of disease
Robert Hobbs, Henderson, died of disease
Carl Jones, Geneva, died of disease
Fennon Landers, Henderson, died of disease
Luther McGuire, Henderson, died of disease
Eugene G. Marks, Henderson, killed in action
* George Marynell, Henderson, died of disease
*  Lonnie Marynell, Henderson, died of disease
Roy P. McClure, Corydon, died of disease
William Norman, Henderson, died of disease
Herman L. Paff, Henderson, killed in action
Grover Reid, killed in action[2]
Jesse Russell, Geneva, killed in action
Harry Rutledge, Henderson, killed in action
Frank V. Shaeffer, Henderson, killed in action
William Singer, Henderson, killed in action
Hugh K. Smith, Henderson, died of disease
John Wells, Henderson, killed in action
Arch Williams, Spottsville, died of disease
Charlie Woodard, Henderson, died of disease
*  Arch Dixon Worsham, Henderson, killed in action
Charles J. Frances, Smith Mills, died of disease
James H. Gresham, Henderson, killed in action
John Myrton McClure, Henderson, died of disease
Edward Wiggers, died of disease[3]

*  Henderson Family Has Two Gold Stars, Henderson, Ky, Dec. 3 - A telegram reached here yesterday stating that George Marynell, of the 7th U.S. cavalry had been drowned. The death of young Marynell is especially distressing because it is the second gold star for the Marynell home in a few weeks. The other soldier son to pass away was Lonnie Marynell, who died of pneumonia at camp. He is survived by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. F.A. Marynell and four brothers. [Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer, Tues., 3 Dec 1918, p. 4]

*  Lieut. Worsham Won French War Cross, Henderson, Ky., Oct. 3 - The name of Lieut. Arch Dixon Worsham appears in the list of officers and men who were awarded the French Croix de Guerre for heroism on the battlefield. Lieut. Worsham lost his life on July 31, while leading a patrol against the Germans in No Man's Land. He is the first Henderson officer to have made the supreme sacrifice, and the medal given him will be sent to his mother, Mrs. A.J. Worsham, of this city. [Princeton, Indiana Daily Clarion, Thurs., 3 Oct 1918, p. 4]

[1] No hometown listed.
[2] No hometown listed.
[3] No hometown listed.

Published 12 Sep 2019, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Tombstone Tuesday Elsie J. Neal 1844 - 1917

Elsie J.
Wife of
M.R. Neal
Oct. 25, 1844
Mar. 3, 1917

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

According to her death certificate,[1] Elsie Jane Neal was the daughter of Johon [sic] B. Parsons, born North Carolina, and Sinthania Powell, born Tennessee.

Elsie J. Parsons married Mason R. Neal 18 June 1865 Jackson County, Illinois.[2] They were enumerated on the 1910 Livingston County census.[3] At that time Elsie and M.R. Neal had been married 45 years. Elsie had given birth to six children with three still living.

[1] Kentucky Death Certificate #14908 (1917), Elsie Jane Neal,
[2] Illinois Compiled Marriages 1851-1900, Elsie J. Parson and Mason R. Neal, Jackson County, Illinois,
[3] 1910 Livingston County, Kentucky census, Dist. 3, Roll: T624_491, p. 6A, E.D. 0102,

Published 10 Sep 2019, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Cleaning Cemeteries - A Day Long Event

For a long time it has been a custom for families to gather around the burial sites of loved ones on certain days to pull weeds and trim the grass. Many families gathered in cemeteries around Memorial Day, but at other times and in other locations the gatherings were in late summer.  In addition to the physical work, it was a time to reminiscence about the past, but it was, also,  a time to whisper or talk openly to our deceased family members.  If we talked to dear departed Aunt Molly while in a public place, we would run the risk of someone thinking we were "tetched" in the head and call a doctor,  but it was perfectly fine to talk to her while pulling weeds around her headstone.  

In order to do a thorough cleaning job, certain tools were needed - grass clippers or shears and, of course, every lady needed a pair of old gloves to protect her hands. If flowers were being planted, they were carried in a large coffee can, along with a gallon jug of water.

At noon, it was time to have dinner, sometimes followed by a sermon by the local minister and a quartet singing gospel hymns.

I love the newspaper notices of graveyard cleanings.  In 1897, an article about the cleaning of Mt. Zion Cemetery in Crittenden County appeared in a local newspaper.  The article stated that cleaning occupied the morning and, at noon, dinner was spread on the ground. In the afternoon, religious services were held and everyone participated in prayers and songs. Making an address was Uncle Highly Gilbert, who had assisted in digging the first grave at Mt. Zion and had lived to see more than 400 other graves dug in the cemetery. Among those buried in Mt. Zion are Ryland Heath, Col. Wm. Hughes, Chapel Nunn, Chesley Nunn, Dr. M. Bristoe, Wm. and Jack Will and many others.[1]

Below is one of my favorites articles notifying people of an upcoming cemetery cleaning.

If you read county or small town newspapers, you will surely see notices of cemetery cleanings. It is a wonderful way to honor our deceased loved ones and also a great way to learn about our family history.

[1] "Mt. Zion Cemetery," Crittenden Press, Thurs., 2 Sep 1897, p. 3.
[2] "Notice," Crittenden Record-Press, Thurs., 31 Aug 1911, p. 8.

Published 3 Sep 2019, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,