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Friday, March 1, 2019

DRURY HAM, Revolutionary War Soldier
Transcribed by
Valerie J. Thompson
March 1, 2019

Lincoln County, Kentucky Will Book M, pages 84,85

     I, Drury Ham of Lincoln County and State of Kentucky do hereby make my Last Will and Testament in manner and form following, that is to say, 1st, I desire that all my just debts be paid,  2nd it is my desire that my wife, Mariah, have two hundred dollars paid to her at my death, and two hundred dollars more at the end of one year thereafter, and should she die before I do, it is my desire that my wife’s son, Lilburn Johnson shall have the last two hundred dollars named in this item, and the first two hundred dollars named in this item returned to my legal heirs, and it is hereby understood and agreed upon by and between myself and my wife, Mariah, that she is not to come in or claim any more of my estate exclusive of the four hundred dollars named above in this item. 3rdly, it is my will and desire that my daughters, Sally Harris and Matilda Wheeldon, and my son, Hardin W Ham shall have an equal part both real and personal of the balance of my estate that I have not herein before disposed of. 4th, it is my will and desire that the children of my daughter Lucinda Graham have one equal part of my estate the same as my two daughters and my son named in the 3rd item of this my Last Will and Testament, and the said Lucinda Graham shall be the agent for her children, and receive their part of my estate and apply it to their benefit. 5th, It is my will that Charles N. Talbot and Drury W. Talbot, and Hardin W. Talbot, infant children of my deceased daughter, Malinda Talbot, shall have one equal part of my estate the same and equal with my children herein before named and that their part of the money arising from my estate be put in interest until they arrive at the age of twenty-one years
Page 85
old, and in case either of the children named in this item should die before they arrive at the age of twenty-one years old, the part of each child to return to his brothers, and in case all three of said children should die before they arrive at the age above named, then and in that case their part is to return to my legal heirs. Lastly, I do hereby constitute and appoint Elisha Perkins and Lewis Ball as my Executors of this my Last Will and Testament. In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and affixed my seal this 26th day of September 1835.
N B: The words, she, to and part were entered before assigned. 
                                                                                          Drury Ham {Seal}

Signed and sealed
In presence of:
Lewis Ball
Lewis X Padgett (his mark)
E. Perkins
Dabney Gooch

Lincoln County Kentucky Court Set
At a county court holden for the County of Lincoln on Monday, the 28th of December 1835, the Last Will and Testament of Drury Ham was exhibited into court and was proven by the oath of Lewis Ball, one of the subscribing witnesses, and ordered to be recorded by Elisha Perkins, one of the Executors named in said will, who made oath as the law directs, and executed bond in the amount of three thousand and five hundred dollars with Moses Grimes and Green Moore, his securities, with proper condition ordered that a certificate be granted to him in and form of law.
                                                                                 Witness: Thomas Helm
                                                                                 Clerk of Lincoln County Court

According to the pension papers of Drury Ham W27878, he died the day after Christmas, the 26th of December 1835. He had previously been married to Rachel Williams, 21 June 1791 in Madison County, Kentucky. He married Mariah Johnson 6 April 1827 in Lincoln County, Kentucky. He was born 9 July 1760 in Orange County, Virginia. From census records, Mariah was born in 1800. 

There are other estate papers for Drury Ham, in Lincoln County, Kentucky Estate Box 34, and further record in Order Book 10, pages 398-400

Mariah married Elisha Perkins 6 February 1840 in Pulaski County, Kentucky. The marriage bonds are recorded in the pension papers. Elisha Perkins died 22 November 1864. James Eubank and Benjamin F. Eubank gave statements that "Elisha Perkins died on the 22 day of November 1864 and that she [Mariah] has remained a widow from that date until the present time.They further state that they are able to fix the date of death of Elisha Perkins for the following reasons, that they were present soon after the death and helped dress and lay said Elisha Perkins out after his death. Also,the said Elisha Perkins died on the 22 day of November 1864, it being the same day that we killed a lot of large hogs that was bought at James Crows, and furthermore, the above date is inscribed on said Perkins tombstone..." 

Mariah Perkins is buried at the Barrier Johnson Farm Cemetery in Lincoln County, Kentucky.
Mariah, wife of Elisha Perkins June11, 1800-May 15, 1875 Presious Gran Ma
Photograph of her tombstone is located at FarmJohnsonCem.jpg

Saturday, January 26, 2019

James M. Siler, POA for Sarah Griffits, relict of Weimer Siler

James M. Siler is my third great grandfather on my father's side of the family. My grandmother was Flora Siler, daughter of Sampson Siler, son of Sherrod Siler, son of James M. Siler, whose father was Weimer Siler, and whose father was Jacob O. Siler, youngest son of immigrant Plickard Dederic Siler. He came to America aboard a two masted ship, "Two Snow Sisters" in 1738.

Power of Attorney to James M. Siler from Sarah Griffits, formerly Sarah Moad Siler, and the sale of Weimer Siler's land to Jacob Siler
Transcribed by Valerie J. Thompson, July 5, 2015
Whitley County, Kentucky Deed Book 4, page 324 –
Know all men by these presents that I, Sarah Griffit, formerly Sarah Siler, Relick of Wimer Silar deceased have this day appointed and constituted James M Silar my agent and attorney in fact and do hereby constitute and empower the said James M Silar to act for me and in my stead in the transaction of my business in as full and ample a manner as I myself could do to sell and convey by and any land or interest in said land which I may have in the State of Kentucky or else where, to receive any monies which may be due and owing to me from the estate of the said Weimer Silar, Dec’d, or any other person in the state of Georgia and receipt for the same and do all of her acts which it may be necessary to be done in the transaction of my business. In witness whereof I, Sarah Griffitt have hereunto set my hand and seal, affixed my seal together with my husband, Emanuel Griffits whose hand and seals are hereto affixed the day and date above written.   [No date written]                                                                     Sarah X Griffitts  (her mark)
                                                                                                                            Emanuel Griffitts
State of Tennessee
McMinn County
Personally appeared before me William George, Clerk of the County Court of McMinn County, Sarah Griffitts  and Emanuel Griffitts who after being duly sworn according to law, do say that the foregoing Power of Attorney was made by them and for the purpose therein explained. In witness I have hereunto set my hand and affixed my seal of office…this 23rd day of May 1856.  
                                                                                                                               Wm George, MC
State of Kentucky
Whitley County Court
I, G. C. Mathis, Clerk of the County Court for the county aforesaid do certify this the foregoing Power of Attorney for Sarah Griffit & Emanuel Griffit to James M Siler was this day processed to me my office and proved by the seal and certificate of William George, Clerk of McMinn County Court. Whereupon the same together with this certificate….”
Whitley County, Kentucky Deed Book 4, page 331 –
     This indenture made and entered into this the 31st day of May 1856 by and between Jacob Silar of the first part and James M Siler of the second part all of the County of Whitley and State of Kentucky, Witnesseth the said James Silar, att’y has this day sold and by these presents, Give, Grant, Bargain and Sell unto the aforesaid Jacob Silar my interest in the home farm of Wymer Siler, deceased, supposed to contain five [?] hundred acres be the same more or less, lying and being in the county and state aforesaid and adjoining the land upon which the said Jacob Silar now lives and , I James M. Silar, att’y, do hereby warrant and defend the title to the aforesaid land from the claim of myself, my heirs, or assigns and all other persons. In witness, whereof I have hereunto set my hand and affixed my seal this day and date written.                                                                             James M. Silar {Seal}
                                                                                            Attorney for Sarah Griffitt
State of Kentucky, Whitley County
     I, J C Watkins Clerk of the County Court, holden for this county aforesaid do certify that this deed from James M. Silar attorney for Sarah Grifit was this day produced to me in my office and acknowledged by the said James M Silar, att’y to be his act and deed whereupon the same together with the certificate hath been duly admitted to record in my office. Given under my hand this 14th day of June 1856.                                                                           J. C. Watkins

Thursday, November 2, 2017



Valerie J Thompson
Professional Genealogist
November 2, 2017

     Anna Thompson was the daughter of David and Anna Thompson. She married William Searce the 30th of June 1789 in Woodford County, Kentucky. This marriage occurred prior to  Kentucky's statehood. Image of the marriage Bond is located at and, “Kentucky County Marriages”. Image of the Consent for Anna’s marriage to William Searce is signed by her father, David Thomson (spelled without the ‘p’).

When  her father, David Thomson died about 1826/27 she received her 1/12 part of  the property of her father, along with her eleven siblings. Oldham County, Kentucky Will Book 1-2, 1824-1844 (
Pages 89-90 Settlement of the Estate of David Thompson, Thomas Mount and Redding Fisher were the Administrators. Settlement was dated 17th March 1827, and recorded 21st May 1827.

Delay in the division was due to a complaint of a few of the heirs:

Oldham County, Kentucky Order Book B-E 1828-1847, Index
David Thompson Heirs, pages 62, 74, 89, 113, 164, 206, 248, 394, 407, 459, 516, 544, 566

Deed record Oldham County, Kentucky Deed Book C, page 579, division of land of David Thompson

dated 26 March 1836. 

William Scearce her husband wrote his Last Will and Testament 16th of September 1830, which was probated in October of 1830. Executors were his wife, Anna, and sons, John and Henry. (From Annie Walker Burns book, Woodford County, Kentucky Wills, Will Book H, page 438) Image at, “Kentucky Wills and Probate 1774-1989” 

Oldham County, Deed Book ‘C’, page 628 Anna appointed her son, Henry, as her Attorney in fact to sell Susan Thompson’s part of the division of the land of David Thompson, as well as, Ann’s part of twelfth part of the division of her father, David Thompson’s land. This appointment of attorney was dated 28 October 1836. 

 I, Ann Scearce of Woodford County, Kentucky do nominate and appoint my son & friend, Henry Scearce of Woodford County, Kentucky, my true & lawful Attorney in fact to sell and dispose of land in Oldham County, which was allotted to Susan Thompson in a division of land formerly owned by David Thompson, dec’d, descended to heirs of law of Susan Thompson, dec’d of whom the s’d Ann Scearce is one. I also wish to sell & convey the portion allotted to Ann Scearce, she being one of the children and heirs of David Thompson, dec’d. [Signed] Ann Scearce

Anna died in 1847. Henry Searce and Samuel Berry were bound in the amount of $5000 for the appointment of Henry/Harry Searce as the Administrator of the “goods, chattel, and credits of Anne Searce.” (Kentucky Wills and Probate 1774-1989, Woodford County, Kentucky Administrator’s Bonds 1818-1868, image at and

Wednesday, March 1, 2017


Carlisle County, Kentucky Will Book 1886-1927, Vol. 1 page 156:
     Know all men by these presents that I, Allen Jones, of Carlisle county, Kentucky being of sound mind, but growing old, and desiring to give disposition of my property after my death, do make and publish this as my last will and testament.
     I hereby give and bequeath to my beloved wife, Viola Belle Jones all of the property both real and personal of every kind and nature to have and use as she may wish during her natural life only, and after her death all of my said property both real and personal of every kind and nature that my beloved wife has not used during her natural life in paying my just debts, and her support during her natural life, I will and bequeath to my youngest daughter, Lenia Jones in fee absolute, with the following conditions, to wit, in case if my said daughter, Lenia Jones, should die before she becomes 21 years of age, or has issue of her body, or has heirs of her body, then in that event, it is my will and wish that the residue of all my property that is left after my beloved wife death, I hereby give unto my heirs at law.
     In testimony whereof I, Allen Jones, have set my hand and seal to the foregoing typewritten paper as my last will and testament revoking all former wills by me made and declared.
Witness my hand in the presence of J. U. McKendree and H. L. Wiley who at my insistence and request witness my signing
Page 157
and declaring of this paper as my last will and testament, This February 22/1908.
                                                                                [Signed] Allen Jones
Attest: J. J. McKendree
              H. L. Wiley

We, J. U. McKendree and H. L. Wiley at the instance and request of Mr. Allen Jones subscribes ourselves as having been present and seeing said Jones sign his name to the foregoing paper and declaring it to be his last will and testament, we in his presence and the presence of each other, This February 22, 1908

                                                                                                        J. U. McKendree
                                                                                                        H. L. Wiley
State of Kentucky
Carlisle County
I, R. O. Willingham, Jr., Clerk of the County Court of the County aforesaid, certifiy that on the 9th day of August 1909, at a regular term of the Carlisle County Court, the foregoing will of Allen Jones, deceased, was filed for probate and proven by the oath of J. U. McKendree and H. L. Wiley, two subscribing witnesses thereto, and allowed and established as and for the last will and testament of Allen Jones, dec'd, and ordered to record which has been done accordingly.
Given under my hand this 11th day of July 1910.
                                                                        [Signed] R. O. Willingham, Jr., Clerk

Jones, Allen Vol. 1. 156 2/22/1908 8/9/1909 Wife: Viola Belle Jones; Youngest daughter Lenia Jones

Image of the Will can be found at "Kentucky, Wills and Probate Records, 1774-1989"

Viola Belle Allen and  Allen Jones were married 4 March 1897 in Hickman County, Kentucky,, image at "Kentucky County Marriages"
Two children, Lena and Allen were born of this union,

Allen Jones was previously married to Caroline Holder 10 January 1843 in White County, Tennessee.( Image at Tennessee Marriages 1780-2002, was mistranscribed as Janes)
Children of Allen Jones and Caroline Holder, listed on Census records of Ballard County, Kentucky were:
James J. Jones
Nancy Jones Holder
Mary Elizabeth Jones Vaughn
George Jones
Mika C.Jones Allen Layton


Friday, August 14, 2015


Marriage Bond of Ralph Williams to Patsy Owsley
Consent from Thomas Owsley for his daughter Patsy Owsley
Transcription of Marriage Bond of Ralph Williams and Patsy Owsley, as well as the Consent of Thomas Owsley for his daughter. 
By Valerie J. Thompson, Professional Genealogist

Know all men by these presents that we Rafe [Ralph] Williams and William Henderson are held & firmly bound unto James Garrard, Esquire Governor of Kentucky in the sum of Fifty pounds current money to the payment whereof to be made to the said Governor & his successors. We bind ourselves our heirs & firmly by these presents Sealed with our Seals & dated this 11th day of August 1798. The Condition of the above obligation is such that whereas there is a marriage shortly intended to be solemnized between the above bound Rafe [Ralph] Williams & Patsey Owsley for which a license has been issued. Now if there be no lawful cause to obstruct the said marriage then this obligation to be void, or else to remain in full force.

Sealed & Delivered in presence of                                     Ralph Williams {Seal}
Duff Guinn                                                                    William X Henderson [his mark] {Seal}

The Consent:
Sir please to give Mr. Rafe Williams marriage lison [license] for my daughter, Patsey Owsley this Given under my hand, August 10, 1798.
                                                                                              Thomas Owsley {Seal}
To: Mr. Willis Green
Attest: James Williams
           Jonathan Ragoy

   Patsy Owsley was the daughter of Thomas Owsley and Dinah, his wife. Thomas was a Revolutionary War Soldier. His complete pension application S35544 is viewable on, "U.S. Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files, 1800-1900".  His deposition is transcribed online at "Southern Campaign American Revolution Pension Statements & Rosters" His last appearance was in Rockcastle County Court in 1821. He is listed as Thos. Ousley on the 1820 U.S. Census in Rockcastle County, Kentucky. His death date given in the application is November 3, 1825.

Also mentioned in Thomas' application is a Pulaski County, Kentucky deed gifting his property to four of his children, Anthony, Zachariah, Sally, and Eleanor (Pulaski County, Kentucky Deed Book 1, pages 75, 76)

Ralph Williams also deeded by gift his property to his children in 1809, "Thomas Williams, Washington Williams, & Joseph Williams, Lucy Williams, Polley Williams & Pashans [Patience] Williams", Pulaski County, Kentucky Deed Book 2, page 127, 128.

Ralph Williams was an early Justice of the Peace for Pulaski County, Kentucky. (Early Pulaski Court Records) He and his family later migrated to Indiana. He died August 17, 1849. Find A Grave Memorial 11912960  His wife, Martha "Patsy" Owsley Williams died December 4, 1847 in Franklin County, Indiana.  Find A Grave Memorial 11912972.


     I've recently come across several of my photos and documents plastered to trees without any acknowledgement for the source, or the person who actually did the research, or where the items were stolen from. Please DO NOT TAKE PHOTOS or DOCUMENTS off my blog, unless I give you express written permission!!!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015


Spring Hill Race Course, photo by Valerie J. Thompson

     Before there was Churchill Downs there was Spring Hill Race Course, owned and operated by Henry W. Farris of Crab Orchard, Lincoln County, Kentucky. The outline of the race course can still be seen on a Google map. It is also a prominent feature shown on the Beers and Lanagan 1879 Map of Lincoln and Garrard Counties, (below)

Spring Hill Race Course
     Henry W. Farris mentions the Spring Hill Race Course in his will and the date it opened. The following is the thoughtful and informative will.

     Lincoln County, Kentucky. Will Book Book 3, page 140. 141

     Henry W. Farris Will
                                                                                         Crab Orchard, Ky March 12, 1884
     On the 14th day of August 1809, I was born near the Walnut Flats in Lincoln County, Ky, and on the 14th April 1814 Jane Elizabeth Farrar was born in Mecklenburg County, Virginia. On the 7th June 1832 I married her in Mecklenburg, where she was born, making 51 years that we have lived happily together, having eight children and one son, William Dabney who died quite young. Out of our eight living children we have five daughters and three sons, Alexander Scott, Ann Elizabeth, Laura, Alice, Mary, Duncan Kenner, Hattie, and Henry Bacon. We have 18 living grandchildren, Scott has two, a son and daughter; Ann Elizabeth Guest has three sons, and two daughters; Laura Moore has four sons and one daughter; Alice Dobbin has three sons; Mary Hoskins has one son; Hattie Ewell has one son and one daughter making the 18, and two adopted grandchildren, Calvin and Betty Hoskins making even 20 living grandchildren all of which I dearly love, and know no difference between them. We have had a great many ups and downs in life. In 1835 we settled in Crab Orchard, built the greater part of the brick corner house, which we occupied as a Hotel for many years. In 1836 I opened what is known as the Spring Hill Race Course, which has been used as such ever since. We have lived at Crab Orchard ever since, except six years that we lived at Woodlawn near Louisville. From the time I laid out the course, I have spent a considerable amount on the premises and what I want to come at is myself and wife have a deed recorded in the Clerk's office at Stanford, which shows for itself, and my wish is that my wife take full charge of all the premises and effects that I own,and manage to the best advantage as long as she lives, and to add as much as possible to the value of the property as she thinks proper and as the property is not susceptible of being divided between out children, it is my request that she make such arrangements that after her death to have everything sold that we possess to the highest bidder and after paying all our just debts divide the remainder equally between our eight children, all of them having been kind and thoughtful to me consequently I don't wish to make any differences between them. My reason for requesting my good wife to keep the property in a good shape as possible to add to its value is from the force of circumstances having two daily trains each day both ways from Louisville to Knoxville and the healthy location and prospect of a boom at the Springs makes me believe that property, and particularly this description of property will increase in value greatly. I am not forgetful of constantly breathing an humble prayer to the Lord for the many blessings bestowed upon me and family, and have full faith that my prayers are considered. 
                                                                                                      Henry W. Farris
Bettie C. Farris
E. T Stephenson 
R. G Bronaugh
A. J. Foley

     Henry W. Farris was a Justice of the Peace for Lincoln County, but he was most noted as a turfman, owner of Spring Hill Race Course, and horse breeder.

Death Notice for H. W. Farris, Interior Journal, Friday 20 June 1884. Pg 1
     Died at 10 o'clock p.m on the 17th inst., H. W. Farris, an old and highly esteemed citizen. He was for years an honored member of the county court. He had been confined to his room and most of the time to his bed for several months of heart disease and although his death has been almost daily expected, it was still a great shock to his family. He was sitting up in bed talking with his family in a very cheerful manner, when his heart refused longer to perform its function and without a moments warning his spirit was ushered into the presence of the God who gave it. When we say that he was one of the kindest of neighbors, truest, best of friends and most indulgent husband and father, we speak from our personal knowledge. His remains were interred in the family burying ground, witnessed by a large crowd of friends and relatives. We extend to his aged and bereaved widow our heart felt sympathy.

Semi Weekly Interior Journal, Sept. 7, 1897.Pg 6

     "Henry Farris was the original owner of Crab Orchard race track, over which, Mrs. Higgins says, some of the best horses this country ever produced have run, among them those of Harper Bros. who used to be habitual visitors to this race course and to which people from long distances came - in fact, the races here then were about like the races at Lexington and Louisville now are - a big thing." Semi Weekly Interior Journal, Sept. 7, 1897, page 6

"Kentucky's thoroughbred run on other ground, and the once gay track of Crab Orchard now never feels the shock of the flying courser's feet. It was owned formerly by Mr. Henry Farris, but I understand has lately been sold to Col. J. W. Guest. A little money mixed with that noted turfman's influence may make it what it was once." Semi Weekly Interior Journal, Friday, December 24, 1886.  Note: James W. Guest was married to Henry W. Farris' daughter, Ann Elizabeth. 

     According to the Chicago Tribune, August 8, 1897 "Old Times on the Turf, Spring Hill Course in Kentucky Recalled" - "The oldest existing running track in America, and the one over which the first regularly managed race was run, was Spring Hill course near Crab Orchard Springs in Lincoln County, Kentucky, for many years the most leading and noted summer resort in the South. Here were trained and first raced Josh Bell, the first thoroughbred to sell for as much as $4000, and his full brother Jim Bell, the first horse to run a mile in 1:40." Henry W. Farris trained and sold Josh Bell and others of the Bell family. Spring Hill was still being used as a training center at the time the article was written. Read the full article here:

"Crab Orchard Springs and the Spring Hill Race track were about the 'sportiest' places outside of New Orleans, in the South, or perhaps in America."

"...associated with the history of the track are the names of such well known old time horsemen, as Harper, owner of Longfellow; Dan Swigart, James Ford, Murphy, Hunter, Henry Farris,  the Logans, the Guests, and so on."

"Two old buildings practically unused are still standing at Crab Orchard as relics of the antebellum days"

Old Farris Place, photo by Valerie J. Thompson

     Just behind the building shown above is a small cemetery in the trees. Only a few stones are readable, that of Nathan Guest June 4, 1807 -1851 or 1854; Lydia Welch 1782-1855, James Welch 1773-1810. This cemetery is listed as the Collier Cemetery for some unknown reason, and photographs of the stones are shown at

  "The remains of the famous  Wagner - the hero of the celebrated Wagner-Grey Eagle race - are buried within the circle of the Spring Hill track." This race was held at Oakland in 1839. Wagner's owner, John Campbell put a lot of money into the stables at Spring Hill and spent a lot of time there. General Lee's horse, Traveler, was of Grey Eagle stock. 

The old Spring Hill Race Course is now "little more than a pleasant memory".