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Sunday, October 27, 2013

Mt Vernon, Rockcastle County, Kentucky 1819

Last page of 1819 RCK Tax List
Inhabitants of Mt. Vernon

List of the Inhabitants of Mt Vernon, Rockcastle County, Kentucky
Bowman, Tillie
Colyer, John
Crawford, John
Farris, Hezekiah
Hagerty, Robert
Hamm, John
Henderson, J. S.
Kirtley, Elijah
Smith, Wm.
Terrill, James
Adams, Wm.
Buford, Wm.
Buford, Wm. Jr.
Bright, Jacob
Bryant, John
Hill, John
Newcum, Wm.
Total of 17
Rockcastle County, Kentucky was formed in 1810 from portions of Knox, Lincoln, Madison, and Pulaski counties.
The town of Mt. Vernon was established early, but was not incorporated until 1818. There is no tax list for 1818.
For more information on the town of Mt. Vernon, Kentucky read Three Springs and a Wilderness Station by Jeff Renner, published 2008.

Sunday, October 20, 2013



George Harlow had been a resident of Rockcastle County, Kentucky for sixteen years when he made his declaration for a pension in 1833. He was born in Hanover County, Virginia in 1756, being age 77 at the time of his declaration. He married Susan Proctor in Albemarle County, Virginia on Christmas Eve after the surrender of Lord Cornwallis in 1781. The couple did not have any children. Two people gave deposition to this fact, William Proctor, Susan's brother, and Francis A. Taylor. Susan stated her husband died 13th August 1846.

Susan Harlow is listed on the 1850 Census of Rockcastle County, Kentucky, age 88, and living in the household of Mary Jane Boyd, another widow with three small children. In 1852 Susan is listed on the tax lists of Rockcastle County, Kentucky with 40 acres on Renfro Creek. Previously, George was listed on the tax lists with 75 acres on Renfro Creek. Although she is not listed on the tax lists thereafter, she did make further petitions regarding bounty land in 1855. Susan Proctor, the daughter of George and Elizabeth Proctor died 22 January 1856 Rockcastle County, Kentucky at the age of 97. (Kentucky Death Records 1852-1953,

There are over fifty pages of the pension application files for George and Susan Proctor. These pages also give names of their contemporaries living at the time. Many of the early Rockcastle County, Kentucky records were destroyed by the courthouse fire in 1873. Therefore, George Harlow's pension application file is also a valuable source of information for the time period of Rockcastle County. Other Rockcastle County names mentioned in the file of George and Susan Harlow are James Terrill, Rockcastle County Clerk, and General William Smith, two of the first inhabitants of the town of Mt. Vernon; also, Thomas J. Smith, Justice of the Peace; Mary Ann Taylor, E. J. Smith, Rockcastle County Clerk; the Honorable Judge Joseph Evans, Major Charles Colyer, George Proctor born 1742, and Daniel Boyd, Clerk; James Dyehouse,  Jesse Edwards, Levi Smith, M. Boid [Boyd], Egbert L. Fish, Joseph B. Parson, Clergyman, and Alfred Smith, Attorney.

All the page images can be viewed at "U. S. Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty Land Warrant Applications 1800-1900" provided in association with the National Archives.

Below is the  transcribed declaration of George Harlow.
Service: VA                                 
State of Kentucky
Rockcastle County

[Declaration of George Harlow]

      On the 12th day of Sept 1833 personally appeared before Hon. Joseph Evans of the 15th judicial circuit in open court, George Harlow aged 77 the 13th of May last, resident of the county aforesaid, who being duly sworn according to law doth on his oath make the following declaration in order to obtain the benefits of the provisions made by the Act of Congress of the 7th June 1832, that he volunteered in the militia of the line of VA in the army of the United States for three months, the year now forgotten, but it was before General Boyne surrendered at Saratoga. He volunteered at Charlottesville, Albemarle County, VA in the Company commanded by Capt. ....... in Reg't Commanded by Col. Richison, he was marched to above Richmond, then to Cabbin Point, then to Petersburgh where he was discharged by his Capt. af'sd after faithfully served out his term of three months..... and before Burgoyne surrendered he volunteered for three months in the militia of said state in the company commanded by Capt. Dan'l White. Lt & Ensign forgotten, in the reg't commanded by Capt. Lynsey. He was marched again to old Richmond, then down the river about sixty miles until his time of three months had expired when he was honorably discharged by Capt. White on James River about 60 miles below Richmond. About four months after this he again volunteered in the militia of Va State for three months in the Company commanded by Capt. Jury Harmon, his Lt. was Thos. Garth, the company was attached to no Regt. The company was marched to Richmond, then to the mouth of Tuckahoe on the James River from thence conveyed munitions of war in canoes up the Pointy Fork in Goochland county on Jas. river, thence back to Richmond when his term of service had expired. He was honorably discharged at the mouth of Tuckahoe by Capt. Harman. Next, I shortly, about a month, the time exactly forgotten, he volunteered for three months in Albemarle County in the company commanded by Capt. James Garland, then he was marched to Winchester [to] guard prisoners in Albemarle surrendered under Gen. Burgoyne, Shortly after they were removed to Winchester where he was marched as a guard & continued in the service for three months, when he was honorably discharged at Winchester by his Lt., his name forgotten, Capt. Garland having been shot by one of our own men.

In about six weeks after his return and not more he again volunteered in Albemarle County, state of VA, in the militia of state of three months, the Capt. name forgotten, but his Lt.'s name was Fowler, Ensign forgotten, the Reg't. commanded now as he lives by Col. Armstrong. He marched to Richmond, then in the neighborhood of Petersburgh, then back to Richmond, then down the river about fifty miles and back to Richmond, then towards Petersburgh and in the neighborhood of Petersburgh he was discharged by his Capt. after honorably serving out his term of six months. He remembers on one of his terms he saw Gen'l [La Fayette}]  Fayate, Gen'l Nelson, who were said to be regular officers. He hereby relinquishes any claims whatever to a pension or annuity except the present and he declares that his name is not on the Pension roll of any agency in any state. He knows of no person now living by whom he can prove his services, except the evidence of George Proctor here annexed. That by reason of old age and the consequently loss of memory he cannot recollect dates or name officers names, but old as he is he knows he served the different tours in the militia of the State of Virginia in the service of the Army of the United States in the Revolutionary War.

[Question] 1. Where and in what year were you born?

Ans[wer]: In Hanover County State of VA, his age will show the year.

2. He has no record of his age.

3. When called into service each time he lived in Albemarle County, State of Virginia & continued to live there until 16 years past when he moved to KY, Rockcastle County where he now lives.

4. He entered the service each time as a volunteer on his own account.

5. As to the officers he has stated all he can remember and the general circumstances of his service.

6. His discharges he has long since lost, by when they were given he has described.

7. As to his veracity he refers to his neighbors, George Proctor, James Dyehouse, Jesse Edwards (there being no clergyman in his neighborhood)

                                                                                                                     George Harlow


Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Will of Captain James Estill 1781

Will of James Estill 1781 Lincoln County, Kentucky Will Book B, page 242

The Last Will and Testament of Captain James Estill
Lincoln County, Kentucky Will Book B, page 242
Transcribed by Professional Genealogist, Valerie J. Thompson, August 18, 2013
  The Last Will of James Estill, May 4th 1781
First, I leave my wife, Rachel, the one half of all my movable estate as her own property and all my slaves and the plantation I now live on called and known by the name of the Locust Thicket, the said tract containing one thousand acres the whole of which is to be at her discretion & discretion during her widowhood, either death, or marriage the land and slaves to be equally divided amongst Benjamin, Walles [Wallace], James, and Jonathan Estill, and if my wife should now be with child, I allow an equal share [ “equal share” crossed out] Division amongst the whole not only of the land and slaves already mentioned, but also my part of all the land [“the land” crossed out] the other land now lying in partnership between me and Samuel Estill and the remaining of my personal estate being one half this, I desire to be equally divided amongst my children.
                                                                                                                       James Estill  [Seal] {LS}
Witnesses Present:
David Gass
Samuel Estill
At a court held for Lincoln County 22 January 1783, This instrument of writing was exhibited in court as the last will and testament of James Estill & proved by the oaths of Samuel Estill one of the witnesses at a county court held for the said county the 14th day of January 1800, the same was proved by the oaths of David Gass a witness thereto and ordered to be recorded.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Mead Holt, son of Kennon Holt and other heirs named in Deed 1866

     Previous post was the marriage record for Mead Holt and Mary A. Shannon.  The following deed from Kennon Holt to his son, Joseph P. Holt located in Spencer County, Kentucky shows that Mead was indeed the son of Kennon Holt. Family lore suggests that Mead and Mary Holt died from drinking poisoned water about 1846. Their sons, Fleming and Samuel S. Holt are living with their grandparents, Kennon and Sarah Holt on the 1850 Census of Spencer County, Kentucky.
 Provisions were also made for Kennon and Sarah's granddaughters, Sarah and Mary E. Holt, children of their son, Thomas B. Holt, also deceased. Harriet Crutcher, daughter of Kennon and Sarah Holt is also named in this document.

Spencer County, Kentucky Deed Book M, page 259-261

Transcribed 28 June 2013 by Valerie J. Thompson, Professional Genealogist


Kennon Holt to Joseph P. Holt 1866

Page 259 Last line of the page:

     We Kennon Holt and Sarah Holt for and in consid-

Page 260

eration of the sum of Twelve thousand two hundred and fifty-four  43/100 dollars in hand paid and to be paid as follows, one fourth of which amount to be paid to our two grandsons, Fleming Holt and Samuel S. Holt the only heirs of our son, Mead Holt, dec’d, in equal portions. Viz., one third in hand  paid, and the balance in one and two years from the this date, for which notes are executed to them. The like amount and in like payments to Sallie Holt and Mary E. Holt in equal portions the only heirs of our son, Thomas Holt, dec’d, but said amount is to be retained in the hand of our son, Joseph P. Holt and held by him in trust for the use and benefit of our said granddaughters, Sallie Holt and Mary E. Holt until they arrive at the age of twenty one years or marry, at which time their portion shall be paid over to them respectively, The like amount and in like payments paid and to be paid to our daughter, Harriet Crutcher for which notes are executed to her, and the like amount to be retained by our son, Joseph P. Holt as his portions, do hereby give grant sell and convey with covenant of general warranty unto our said son, Joseph P. Holt and his heirs and assigns, One certain tract or parcel of land lying in the counties of Spencer and Shelby (the greater portion in the first named county) and State of Kentucky, the same on which we now live and bounded as follows, to wit: Beginning at a stone in the county road, corner to Samuel Ruble, Thence North 12 ¾ East 114 4/10 poles to a stone, thence North 21 ¾ East 116 5/10 poles to a beech, thence North 68 ¾ W 51 poles to a stone, thence North 68 ¼ West 56 poles to a stone, thence North 9 [degrees] West 13 poles to a stone, thence 71 ¼ degree E 41 poles to a stone, and a branch, thence N 61, West 28 ½ poles to a beech, thence North 71 West23 poles to a sugartree thence North 54 [degrees] West 32 8/10 poles to a stone and sugartree, thence North 87 West 43 8/10 poles to an elm, thence South 87 ¾ West 36 ½ poles to a stake and locust, thence South 34 ¼ West 15 9/10 poles to a beech, thence North 68 West 55 poles to the center of Guist’s Creek, thence South 15 ½ West 37 ½ poles to center of the creek, thence South 70 East 27 poles to a beech stump and a branch, thence South 70 East thence south 38 east 12 8/10 poles to an elm stump on a branch, thence up the same South 22 ½ East 30 poles, South 40 East 9 ½ poles South 29 East 21 poles South 14 east25 poles south 25 east22poles (line missing from copy) 21 poles to a stone in the old line, thence Soth 22 West 73 6/10 poles to a stone in the road, thence South 71 ¼ East 174 poles to the Beginning, containing four hundred and one acres, 1 rood 37 poles, To have and to hold the same with its appurtenances unto the said Joseph P. Holt and his heirs and assigns forever, But we hereby reserve the family room in the dwelling house on said farm for our use and benefit so long as we, or either of us may live with the right of engress and egress to and from the same at any and all times, as we may think fit and proper also the right to use firewood off of said land so long as we may use said room. It is further understood that a lean is retained on the land for the payment of the purchased money, Witness our hands this 6th day of February 1866.                                                                    

                                                                                                                       Kennon Holt

                                                                                                                       Sarah Holt

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Marriage Records for Mead Holt and Mary A. Shannon 1841

Marriage Bond for Marriage of Mead Holt to Mary A. Shannon 1841

     Know all men by these presents, That we Mead Holt and Samuel Shannon, Jr. are held and firmly bound unto the Commonwealth of Kentucky in the penal sum of fifty pounds, current money, to the payment of which well and truly to be made to the said Commonwealth, we bind ourselves, our heirs, executors and administrators jointly  and severally firmly by these presents, sealed with our seals and dated this 31st day of May 1841.

     The condition of the above obligation is such, that whereas there is a marriage shortly intended between the above bound Mead Holt and Miss Mary A. Shannon, daughter of Samuel Shannon.

     Now if there be no lawful cause to obstruct said marriage, then this obligation to be void, otherwise to remain in full force and virtue in law.


James R. Stephens, Clk                                                                    Mead Holt {Seal]

                                                                                              Sam’l Shannon, Jr. {Seal}

The consent for Mary reads:
Union County
     Samuel Shannon, Jr this day came before me the undersigned, and Justice of the Peace in and for Union County and made oath that Mary A. Shannon, daughter of Samuel, who is about to intermarry with Mead Holt is above the age of twenty one years, and that her place of residence is within the County of Union.
   Witness my hand this 31st day of May 1841.
A.L. Churchill, JP
Peterson Wall, Minister, Marriage 1841-1843

Minister’s Return of Peterson Wall, Minister of the Gospel of the Methodist Episcopal Church which was returned April 1843 for the marriages he had celebrated from 1841 to 1843. Listed are Mead Holt and Mary Shannon. The marriage was celebrated 1st June 1841.
Records are from Union County Court Clerk and reference from Union County, Kentucky Marriage Books 1811-1853” compiled by Peyton Heady

Sunday, May 19, 2013


Last Will and Testament of Lazarus Tilley - April 1814

Shelby County, Kentucky Will Book 3, page 124,125

Transcribed by Valerie J. Thompson May 11, 2013

Page 124

In the name of God, Amen, I, Lazarus Tilly, of Shelby County and State of Kentucky, being very sick and weak in body, but of perfect mind and memory, thanks be given to God for all His mercy’s, calling to mind the mortality of my body, and that it is appointed for all men once to die, do make and ordain this my last will and testament, that is to say, principally, and first of all I give and recommend my soul unto the hands of the Almighty God who gave it, and my body to the earth to be buried in a descent Christian burial at the discretion of my exec’rs, nothing doubting, but I shall at the general resurrection receive the same by the mighty power of God, and as touching such worldly estate where with it has pleased God to bless me in this life, I give, demise and dispose of the same in the following manner and form.

Page 125

(first) After all my just debts are paid, I give a certain negro woman, Milley, her freedom so far as this the said negro woman has [chosen] my son-in-law, Richard Graves, and his wife, Nelly Graves where with the said negro Milly is to work, and be well treated as long as she lives. It will be understood that, if the negro woman should be afflicted, or unable to work the said Graves and his wife shall ….   her so long as she lives without any …   To the rest of my children all the balance of my real estate such as land, negroes, … is to be equally divided between all of my children. My son Henry has undertaken to make a crop for me this present year. He is to continue peaceably to finish his crop with all that was put on for the benefit of making the crop. The balance of my negroes, except what is put in the crop is to be dealt with as the law directs. Likewise, all of the balance of my estate, except what is engaged in the crop is to be dealt accordingly. It is my wish that Sam’l Tinsley, Esqr., and John Martin shall be my exec’rs of this my last will and testament, In witness whereof I have hereunto caused my hand and seal to be set this 2nd day of April 1814. Signed, sealed and delivered in the presence of

Richard Rogers

George Hawkins                                                                                           Lazarus Tilley {Seal}


 Shelby County                       April County Court 1814

     This last will & testament of Lazarus Tilly, deceased was this day produced in court and proved by the oaths of Richard Rogers & George Hawkins, two subscribing witnesses thereto and ordered to be recorded which is done accordingly.                        At: James Craig, Clk.


Shelby County Court Order Book 4, page 126A

The last will and testament of Lazarus Tilley deceased was produced into court & proved by the oaths of Rich’d Rogers and Geo. Hawkins, Witnesses thereto & ordered to be recorded.
Shelby County Deed Book V1, page 74 Lazarus Tilley’s heirs to Henry Tilley
Transcribed by Valerie J. Thompson May 11, 2013
This Indenture made this 21st day of September in the Year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixteen, Between Joel Tilley and Betsey his wife, and Jesse Simmons and Nancy Simmons of the County Stokes County and State of North Carolina of the one part, also Aaron Tilley and Nancy his wife, Lazarous Tilley and Caty Tilley his wife, Moses Tilley and Betsey his wife, Richard Graves and Nelly Graves his wife, and James Richardson and Anna Richardson his wife, and Woody Burge and Betsey Burge his wife, Henry Lisby and Polly Lisby his wife, Aggatha Mitchell of the County of Shelby and State of Kentucky of the one part and Henry Tilley of the County of Shelby and State of Kentucky of the other part, Witnesseth that the above persons being heirs and devisees of Lazarus Tilley dec’d, for inconsideration of the sum of five hundred and sixty three dollars & 46 cents to them in hand paid, the receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged hath granted, bargained, and sold unto Henry Tilley a certain tract of land lying in the said County of Shelby on the waters of Beech creek and bounded as follows, to wit, Beginning at a Stone, a corner of Aaron Tilley’s running N 20 E 140 poles to a beech & sugar tree, thence N790 W10 poles to a beech and Stake, thence N15 E20 poles to a beech and ash, thence N44 E48 poles to a 2 beeches, thence N45 W68 poles to 2 beeches on the bank of Beech Creek, thence down said Creek N85 W58 poles to a beech and buckeye, thence S20W260 poles to 2 Beeches on the road, thence S70E18 poles to a stone, thence S20 E61 poles to a beech and sugar tree in Scotts line, thence with the same N20 E50 poles to a sugar tree, thence to the Beginning containing 182 acres & 84 poles, To have & to hold the said tract of land as above described and every part and parcel thereof with all the appurtenances thereunto in any way belonging to him the said Henry Tilley and his heirs forever against the claim of all persons whatsoever setting up or holding any right or title thereto they, the said Joel Tilly & Betsey his wife, Jesse Simmons & Nancy Simmons of North Carolina and Aaron Tilly & Nancy his wife, Lazarus Tilley & Caty his wife, Moses Tilley & Betsey his wife, Richard Graves & Nelly his wife, James Richardson & Anna his wife, Woody Burge & Betsy his wife, Henry Lisby & Polly his wife, Aggatha Mitchell all being heirs and devisees of Lazarus Tilly dec’d, Shall and will warrant and forever defend by these presents. It is also to be remembered that if the foregoing tract of land should be lost in law or equity that the above named heirs and devisees are to pay the purchase money back jointly without interest. In Testimony whereof they, the said legatees, hath hereunto set their hands and affixed their seals this day and year first above written,
Test:                                        Joel Tilley                                            James Richardson
Sam’l Tinsley                         Elizabeth Tilley                                   Ann Richardson
William Tilley                        Aaron Tilley                                         Henry Lisby
Jno G. Robertson                  Nancy Tilley                                        Mary Ann Lisby
                                                Lazarus Tilley                                       Agatha Mitchell (her mark)
                                                Caty Tilley                                             Moses Tilley
                                                 Woody Burge (his mark)                   Elizabeth Tilley
                                                 Betsey Burge                                       Jesse Simmons
                                                 Richard Graves                                    Nancy Simmons
                                                 Nelly Graves                                        By me, R. D. Tilley, Attorney in fact
Shelby County Court Office
     This deed was proven before me in my office on the 21st day of October 1816 to be the acts and deeds of Joel Tilley & Elizabeth his wife, Aaron Tilley & Nancy his wife, Lazarus Tilley and Caty his wife, Woody Burge and Betsy his wife Richard Graves & Nelly his wife, James Richardson & Anna his wife, Henry Lisby and Mary Ann his wife, and Agatha Mitchell by the oath of Sam’l Tinsley a subscribing witness thereto & on the 21st day of November 1817 said deed was
Page 76
Further proven to be the acts and deeds of the aforesaid parties by the oath of William Tilley another subscribing witness thereto. On the 17th day of January 1818 said deed was acknowledged by Moses Tilley to be his act and deed, and on the 7th day of March following deed was acknowledged by Elizabeth Tilley. wife of said Moses Tilley, to be her act and deed, and the said Elizabeth having been examined separate and apart from her said husband has relinquished her dower in and to the lands in said deed mentioned, and on the 19th day of May 1826 said deed was acknowledged by R. D. Tilley attorney in fact for Jesse Simmons & Nancy his wife to be his act and deed, and thereupon the same was truly recorded.
                                                                                                          Ja S Whitaker, Clk
Lazarus Tilley, born about 1749, first appeared on the 1797 Tax List of Shelby County, Kentucky with his son, Aaron. He sold his land in Stokes County, North Carolina to his son Joel Tilley, who remained there. He appears on the 1810 Census of Shelby County, Kentucky with his sons, Aaron and Henry. Lazarus was a Revolutionary War soldier from North Carolina, whose DAR Ancestor number is A202507. His service source records include Hann, North Carolina Revolutionary Army Accounts Journal A 1775-1776, page 166; Absher, Surry County Court Minutes 1768-1789, pages 21,22, & 30. He served under Captain Joseph Phillips, was a juror, and overseer of roads. (

Sunday, April 7, 2013


State of Kentucky
County of Rockcastle

     On this 26th day of April 1852 personally appeared before me Thos. J. Smith the undersigned, an acting Justice of the Peace within and for the County and State above mentioned, Hector McKay aged 49 years a resident of the county and State aforesaid, who being first duly sworn according to law doth state upon his oath, that he is the Administrator of the estate of Jane McKay, deceased, who was the wife of Alexander McKay, deceased, doth on his oath make and subscribe to the following declaration on behalf of the heirs of the said Alexander and Jane McKay, deceased, in order to obtain the benefit of the provisionary act of Congress of the United States passed the 4 July 1836, or the provisions of such acts of Congress as might apply to the following same case,

Doth declare on his oath that the said Alexander McKay, deceased, is the identical man, who was a soldier in the War of the Revolution, against Great Britain – From the County of Rowan State of North Carolina, that the said McKay served a part of the time as a private in the North Carolina Militia, and a part of the time in the Continental North Carolina line, and is informed and [verily] believes in some of the tours aforesaid. The said Alexander McKay served once under Captain Pearl, and once under and belonged to the Company Commanded by Captain Campbell, and was commissioned while in the service aforesaid a Sergeant or Lieutenant, and acted in that capacity the greater portion of the time the said McKay served in the war of the Revolution aforesaid, and computing the different times in all was not less than two years, or there about, and that the said Alexander McKay is the identical man that served as aforesaid, and after serving out the different period for which he entered the service aforesaid faithfully was honorably discharged in the war aforesaid, said discharge having long since been lost, and that the said Alexander McKay is the identical man who was married in the County of Rowan, State of North Carolina to Jane Munroe, which took place the early part of the year 1779, and before the close of the war of the Revolution, and is the identical parties mentioned in the annexed Marriage Bond, that said McKay and wife aforesaid married in the County of Rowan, State of North Carolina, after the close of the war aforesaid until the year 1812, which time the said McKay and wife aforesaid migrated to Garrard County, State of Kentucky, and there remained up to his death, never claiming pension, being ignorant of his rights, his death happened in said County and State the year 1830 leaving his wife, Jane, a widow and some children who survived him, and shortly thereafter his said widow and children migrated from Kentucky to Jefferson County, Indiana, and there remained a widow ignorant of her rights to a pension, never claimed one up to her death which happened 5th day of July 1845, leaving the following and only children who survive their ancestors, the said McKay & wife, Viz: Alexander McKay,Jr., Margaret Munroe, late Margaret McKay, Hugh McKay, William McKay, Hector McKay, that the said Alexander McKay deceased having served his country faithfully in the war aforesaid, that he presents this petition in right of his children to a pension to the department of the United States that governs such causes at Washington City, and reference to the North Carolina Revolutionary Rolls, and the proof in the cause, which is herewith respectfully submitted, will doubtless award to the heirs aforesaid their claim to a pension, as the law of the US direst.

                                                                                                Hector McKay (Adm.)
Marriage Bond of Alexander McKay to Jean Munroe

Marriage Bond of Alexander McKay and Jane Munroe:

North Carolina

County of Rowan

Know all men by these presents, that we, Alexander McKay and Robert McKay of the County and residence aforesaid, are held and firmly bound unto said State in the just and full sum of five hundred pounds for the true payment whereof, we jointly and severally bind ourselves, our heirs, executors, and administrators, and each of them firmly by these presents, sealed with our seals and dated the 12th day of March anno Dom. 1779.

The Condition of the above obligation is such that whereas the above bound, Alexander McKay hath made application for a license for a marriage to be celebrated between him and Jean Munroe of the County aforesaid. Now, if it shall not appear at any time hereafter that there is any lawful cause to obstruct said marriage, then this obligation to be void, otherwise to remain in force and virtue.

Signed, sealed and delivered,                                                 Alexander X (his mark)McKay {Seal}

In presence of                                                                            Robert X McKay (his mark) {Seal]





Sunday, March 24, 2013


Transcribed by Valerie J. Thompson, 20 Mar 2013

Nicholas County, Kentucky Will Book H, page 266
Last will and Testament of James M. Myers, owing to the uncertainty of life and certainty of death, I make this my last will and testament.
First, I will that my insurance money, or so much of it as it will take you towards paying off my land debt.
Second, That I desire that my wife Lucy H. Myers shall have full possession and control of my entire estate, real and personal so long as she remains a widow, or until my children become of age.
Third, That I desire to empower my wife, if she thinks is best for the interest of herself and my children, to sell the land on which we now live, and to re-invest the money in land, or not to re-invest as she may think best, and I request the court to confirm the sale; if the money is not re-invested in land, I require of my wife to give security that is good and satisfactory for my children’s money until they become of age.
Fourth, I desire all my debts be paid as early as practicable.
Fifth, I hereby appoint my father-in-law, Milford Berry and request of him to see to it that this, my will, is properly and rightfully executed.

Signed by me this First day of February 1879,      J. M. Myers

Attest: George C. Faris
             R. T. Hill

Nicholas County Court, March Term, 1879
This instrument of writing purporting to be the last will and testament of James M. Myers, deceased was this day produced in open court and was fully proved by the oaths of Geo. C. Faris and R. T. Hill, the attesting witnesses, thereto, Whereupon said last will and testament is confirmed, established, and ordered to be recorded, which is done.                Attest: Jno. A. Cambell, CNCC
     James Monroe Myers was born 21 May 1840 and died 9 Feb 1879 according to his tombstone located at the Hopkins Cemetery, also known as the W. B. Hopkins burial ground in Nicholas County, Kentucky.  His death notice was given in the Carlisle-Mercury newspaper 20 Feb 1879. Photograph of his tombstone can be found at Find A Grave Memorial #6973315.
This young man, who died at age 39 was married to Lucy H. Berry, daughter of Milford Berry, who was named as his Executor. Lucy was the young widow of Jacob J. Hopkins, who is also buried at the Hopkins Cemetery, Find A Grave Memorial  #6973288.
Lucy and Jacob J. Hopkins had one son, Jacob Milford Hopkins born 25 Feb 1870-19 July 1933. According to his death certificate he is buried at Lexington Cemetery, Fayette County, Kentucky. Death certificate image is available at Kentucky Death Records,
James Monroe Myers and Lucy had three sons. She is listed on the 1880 Census of Moorefield,Nicholas County, Kentucky with her four sons.
The sons of James Monroe Myers and Lucy Berry Hopkins:
*Herdy Pickett Myers was born 1 July 1873 (WW I Draft Registration), although tombstone reads 1874.  He died 27 Nov 1958 Nicholas County, Kentucky. He is buried at Carlisle Cemetery, Nicholas County, Kentucky, Find A Grave Memorial# 83240816. His Kentucky death certificate is viewable at Kentucky Death Records,
*Herman P. Myers was born 1873, possibly a twin to Herdy Pickett Myers, in Nicholas County, Kentucky. He died 1900 and is also buried at Carlisle Cemetery, Nicholas County, Kentucky, Find A Grave Memorial# 83240879
*James Walter Myers was born 4 Sep 1878 (WW I Draft Registration). He died 30 Dec 1952 Nicholas County, Kentucky. He is also buried at Carlisle Cemetery, Find A Grave Memorial# 83241043 His Kentucky Death certificate viewable at Kentucky Death Records, states his parents were James Monroe Myers and Lucy Berry.
Lucy H. Berry, daughter of Milford Berry and Frances Ann Hendricks, and widow of Jacob J. Hopkins and James Monroe Myers was born Sep 1849, and died 12 July 1908. She is buried with her sons  at the Carlisle Cemetery in Nicholas County, Kentucky, Find A Grave Memorial# 75082089


Sunday, March 3, 2013

PETER SHUTTS 1841-1900

Peter Shutts Co D, 116th Ohio Infantry
Rock Springs Cemetery, Rockcastle County, Kentucky

          A tombstone represents a family. The following is a glimpse of the life of Peter Shutts of Company D 116th Ohio Infantry. This Company was organized in Monroe County, Ohio, which is where I believe Peter Shutts was born about 1841. He is listed with his parents William and Catherine Shutts on the 1850 and 1860 Census of Monroe County, Ohio. He remained in Monroe County, Ohio after the Civil War through 1880, where he is listed in Summit, Monroe County. About 1886 he and his wife, Margaret Powell, and their children moved south to Rockcastle County, Kentucky.

Application for Military Marker

     Peter died Thursday, 24th May 1900. The cemetery is listed as 'Thompson' on the application for a military marker. The Rock Springs Cemetery may have been identified with the Thompson family at one time, as the tallest monument there is for a young Thompson woman, whose family are also buried there.
Mt Vernon Signal 25 May 1900

Pension Index Card
     Peter filed for his pension 26th April 1880. Margaret, as his widow, filed 19th Nov 1900 in Kentucky.
1890 Veterans Schedule
Glades, Rockcastle


     Peter is listed on the 1890 Veterans Schedule of Glades, Rockcastle County, Kentucky. He enlisted 12 Aug 1862 (Union) and mustered out 14 June 1865 Richmond, Virginia. His residence is listed as Wabd.
Tombstone photo for Peter Shutts by Valerie J. Thompson located at Find A Grave Memorial# 5368028
    Martha Powell Shutts survived her husband another six years. She died 28 Feb 1916 in Rockcastle County, Kentucky. Her Kentucky Death Certificate lists her birth as Monroe County, Ohio, 12 Aug 1846, and her parents as John and Katie Powell.  
Children of Peter and Martha Shutts:
     *Susan Dorman listed in the 1880 Census, Summit, Monroe County, Ohio is named as a sister to Peter H. Shutts in his obituary.  Susan Dorman was born 15 April 1869. She married William D. Livesay 24 Nov 1887 in Rockcastle County, Kentucky. She died 17 July 1950,  Find A Grave Memorial# 5379037 and photo at the Livesay Cemetery, Mt. Vernon, Rockcastle County, Kentucky.
   William D. Livesay was born 11 Dec 1865 and died 28 Apr 1936, Find A Grave Memorial# 5379036 and tombstone photo.
     *Harriet "Hattie" Shutts was born 20 May 1870 in Monroe County, Ohio. She married John McNeil 13 Dec 1896 in Rockcastle County, Kentucky. (Rockcastle County, Marriages)
    *Peter Herman Shutts was born 30 Nov 1872 in Monroe County, Ohio. He married Balzora W. Price, daughter of William H. Price and Sarah Colyer, 15 Mar 1896 in Pulaski County, Kentucky. He died 28 Feb 1944 in Hendricks County, Indiana. He was a school teacher at one time. He is buried at the Danville South Cemetery, Hendricks County, Indiana. Find A Grave Memorial# 36562871 and tombstone photo. Public photo of his obituary at
  Balzora W. Price (1875-1968) died in Bradenton, Florida and is buried at Skyway Memorial Gardens, Palmetto County, Florida Find A Grave Memorial# 52514378 and tombstone photo. Public photo of obituary at
     *John W Shutts was born 15 Nov 1875 in Monroe County, Ohio. He  married Mary Elizabeth "Lizzie" McMullin 18 Sep 1895 in Rockcastle County, Kentucky. He died 1 April 1955. They are buried at Providence Church Cemetery in Rockcastle County, Kentucky. Find A Grave Memorial# 6959220. Mary "Lizzie" McMullin 30 Sep 1877 -25 April 1963 Find A Grave Memorial# 6959219
Other References:
U.S. Civil War Pension File Index -
U.S. Headstone Applications for Military Veterans 1925-1963 -
Newspaper Images of Mt. Vernon Signal

Sunday, February 24, 2013


Where Did Ambrose Coffee Live?
Valerie J. Thompson

Boonesborough lots, page 17 from Searching for Boonesborough by Anthropologist, Nancy O'Malley, 1989

     In previous post about Ambrose Coffee, he lived for some time at the Fort Boonesborough, and received by lottery one of the town lots of the town of Boonesborough. He also had a settlement of 400 acres and a 1000 acre preemption "for residing in the country since the year 1775 and improving the land in the year 1777 lying on the road that leads from Boonsborough to the Salt Springs". This he assigned to Henry Fields.
Ambrose Coffee's mark, and location of land was noted in other land records. Christmas Eve, 1779, John Fleury asssigned his settlement and preemption Warrant #369 to James Estill. Description of the land was as follows: "lying on a branch of the South Fork of Licking East of the Salt Spring Trace leading from Boonsborough and about two miles East of Ambrose Coffes land". (Old Kentucky Land Grants 3629.0) This land was later part of the land dispute of the heirs of James Estill.
In 1780 "James Read assignee of George Blackburn enters 500 acres upon a Military Warrant on the waters of Drowning Creek westwardly from the Trace from Boones Station Camp Creek including a Spring & a tree marked by Ambrose Coffee." (Lincoln Land Entries #706, June 17, 1780)
November 27, 1783 John South "entered 1000 acres of land upon part of the said Warrant No 17610 lying on the East side of the South Fork of Kentucky about 8 miles from the mouth of the said fork...including a small improvement made by Ambrose Coffee for the quantity." (Lincoln Land entry #3252, Treasury Warrant No. 17610)
In 1788-1790 Ambrose Coffee is among the taxpayers for Fayette County, Kentucky.
In 1792 the county boundaries change and Ambrose Coffee is now located on the tax lists for Clark County, Kentucky.
The only deed record in Clark County, Kentucky for Ambrose Coffee is in Deed Book 1,page 485 when he purchases from Daniel and Violet Williams, 20 acres of land on the waters of Spencer Creek, dated 1795.
Kentucky is changing and the county lines are moving again. In 1797 Montgomery County is formed from Clark County, Kentucky. Ambrose Coffee is listed on the tax list of Montgomery County for the years 1800-1809. The first deed book of Montgomery County, Kentucky is missing.
During those years Ambrose Coffee was often called upon to give deposition during various land disputes. September 16, 1811 Ambrose himself fills in the gaps of his known whereabouts, when questioned by Green Clay in the Henry Banta land dispute in Madison County, Kentucky.
Thirty-three years ago I came to Kentucky, in the year 1776, and landed at the town called Lee’s Town, on the Kentucky; from thence Major Crittenden & Co. went near the head of Willis Lee’s run, waters of Elkhorn, and now known by Crittenden’s Camp. There we cleared a piece of ground and planted corn in the same year, 1776, and in the fall of 1776 Major Crittenden & Co. went up the Ohio and I went to Harrodsburh, and there I continued part of that fall and the greater part of the winter; and report came that Colonel Boone was taken from the Lower Blue Licks to Logan’s Station, and to Harrodsburgh the report came; and one Richard May raised a company to go to the Lower Blue Licks to see what was done. I was one of the company with Richard May. Some time in February 1777, we arrived at Boonesborough, and there I continued till 1785 or 1786, and moved then out of Boonesborough into Bush’s Settlement; stayed there a year or two; from that there were two of the Martin’s built a mill on Lower Howard’s Creek and there I attended the mill going upon two years, and then Colonel Holder bought her, an after he bought her I attended her near two years, and from that  I moved up to the head of Spencer Creek, near old Nicholas Anderson’s, and from that to Slate Creek, where I now live, near Myer’s Mill.
Draper Manuscripts, Shane Interview - Jacob Stevens

Draper Manuscripts, Kentucky Calendar 12CC 133-138, , page 136 Shane Interview with Jacob Stevens, who was born 1761 in Bedford, Virginia. Interview taken near Slate 1 ½ miles to the left of Jeffersonville. Shane’s notes in margin:
“Ambrose Coffee, that says he was in the (died over Slate, here) attack on Bnsbgh"

Tuesday, February 19, 2013


    Historical Event:

The first meeting of the Kentucky Chapter of the Association of Professional Genealogists was held this evening 19 Feb 2013 via GotoMeeting. I think it was a success!

As one of the first items of the agenda, we the members would like to  encourage new members to join the Kentucky Chapter of APG. You may be contacted by one of the current members. If you are interested in becoming a member of the Kentucky Chapter of APG  you may contact Cohen Swiney. our representative to the National Association of Professional Genealogists:

One must be a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists to join the Kentucky Chapter.

Hope to see you at our next meeting. The date and time will be announced.

All the Best,

Valerie J. Thompson

Sunday, February 17, 2013


Lawrence Heather Burns age 3 1/2
Back of photo Hall & Co 306 Main St, Buffalo, NY

     The beautiful photograph of little Lawrence Heather Burns, immediately caught my eye, as I had been researching Burns surname in New York for a client in Scotland. Phyllis Brown of Kentucky Kindred had purchased the photo on Ebay, and posted it to Facebook.  I shared the photo with my client. Although this Lawrence was not from her family, she did know a little something about this young fellow. Sometimes genealogy is serendipity!

 Lawrence Heather Burns was born in 1888. His mother was Annie Heather (her surname). With a birth date and the name of his mother,  I was then able to learn more about young Lawrence Heather Burns.

The father of Lawrence Heather Burns was Millard Shelton Burns born 7 Apr 1854, son of George Burns and Elizabeth Christie. Elizabeth Christie was the daughter of Joseph Christie who died 1863 in Buffalo, Erie County, New York. The Christy's were from England.

Anna Heather was the daughter of William and  Mary Ann Heather. Mary Ann was born Jan 1821 Ireland, or Scotland, and was living with Anna and her husband in 1900 - 1910 in Buffalo, New York.

Lawrence Heather Burns lived in Buffalo, Erie County, New York all his life.  June 5, 1917 he registered for the draft of World War I.  He gave his birth date as March 25, 1888 Buffalo, New York. At age 29, he was married and Vice-President of Buffalo Non-Ferrous Castings, Company. He was of medium height and build, with grey eyes and dark hair.

About 1916 Lawrence married Annie Livingston Cox, also known as Anita, the daughter of John Sayre Cox and Miriam Franklin Leggett. They had four children:

     Lawrence Heather Burns, Jr. was born 27 March 1917.

     Donald Whitley Burns was born 24 May 1919.

     Clara Ann Burns was born Christmas Day, 1920.

     Sayre S. Burns was born 7 Aug 1924.

After a full life Lawrence Heather Burns passed from this life 18 Nov 1952. He is interred at Forest Lawn Cemetery, Buffalo, New York along with his parents.

A descendant of Lawrence Heather Burns has been contacted.  I am hoping the photograph can be returned to the family.

Census records Erie County, New York for years, 1890-1930
WW I Draft Registrations
St Luke's Episcopal Church Records, Nov 1894
U.S. Directories
Social Security Death Records
Forest Lawn Cemetery
Permission from Phyliss Brown to use the photograph

An a special 'Thank You!" to my client in Scotland.