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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.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Ambrose Coffee, Boonesborough Settler 1775.

     We do hereby certify that Henry Field, assignee of Ambrose Coffee is entitled to Four hundred acres of land in the district of Kentucky on account of the s'd Coffee residing in the country ever since the year 1775, and improving the land in the year 1777, lying on the Waters of Licking on the road that leads from Boonesborough to the Salt Springs and that said Henry Field Assignee is also entitled to the preeemption of one thousand acres of land adjoining his said settlement. Given under our hands at Harodsburgh this 4th of November 1779.
                                                                                            William Fleming
                                                                                             Stephen Trigg
Test: John Williams CCC                                                    Edmund Lyne

(Page 5 of documents for Preemption Warrant #679 located at

     On April 25, 1775 names were drawn for 40 of the 54 lots of the new town of Boonesborough. Ambrose Coffee drew lot number 13. (Draper Manuscripts 1CC36) (William Calk papers)