John Jay Dickey Diary 1897

Dickey Diary





Pg 1929

Nov. 6, 1897

An amusing incident occurred at Mr. Roack’s, a mill man near town this

afternoon.  He was drinking and had a smothering spell.  I was standing near

the house talking to Mr. Lee Callahan, a carpenter and builder, about the

Benge Church.  Mrs. Roarck saw me and sent for me.  She met me at the door,

weeping, told me to go in.  Two men had Mr. Roack on his feet at the window.

He soon revived and they laid him down.  He had been attending our meeting,

had been at our room, always under the influence of liquor but professing to

be saved.  Lying up in his bed, he began to lament the fact that his wife was

not saved, and in petrified tones begged me to pray for her.  He said, “I see

she has been shedding tears perhaps there is hope for her. “  After supper,

when she and her sons were standing around the bed he lifted up his voice and

prayed for his poor family, then asked me to pray.



pg. 1944

November 21, 1897, Sunday, Manchester, KY

This morning I preached the funeral of James Hibbard age 11, Frank

Hibbard age 9 and Mary Belle age 4, text “Blessed are They that

hunger and thirst after rightousness.”  The two older children died

Dec. 1895 and the yungest Dec. 1896.  One year ago the time was

set to preach the funerals of the two boys but only one preacher

was there (Bro. Brigman) and the time was put off.  Mr Brigman was

there today.  This is the custom of the country.  It is so all over the

mountains of Kentucky.  Funerals ate usually preached in the autumn,

no matter when the person dies.  If it is near autumn when death

takes place it is usually put off a yeat.  I have preached a few

funerals over the bodies of the dead.  At jackson I go t the custom

pretty well established with the town people.  There are reasons for

this custom.  It has grown up from the meager population.  Friends

were at a distance and could not be brought to the burial.  A time

was then fixed most favorable for bringing them together.  Again

preachers were not at hand to officiate when the person died and

therefore a time must be fixed then when they could be had.

These things have formed the custom and itis hard to change the

custom of the people.  It takes time.  Then someone must do it.  It

is interesting to trace the developement of the custom and manners

and habits of a people.  Long observation and close study are





December 16, 1897, Thursday, Manchester, KY


Bro. pickett is preaching some wonderful sermons. Monday night he preached

on, ‘Influence’ and Tuesday night on ‘Indifference’ – ‘Woe to them that are

at ease on Zion.’ I have never heard him or any other man surpass them, for

pungency, cogency, power of illustration, lucidy, and gospel truth. He is a

mighty man. He hailed fire and brimstone on dancing. To effect this, I

suppose the dancers met en masse at James Reed’s three miles from town, at

the old Judge Reed place last night. As we came from Dr. Burchell’s to

church we met buggies, equestrians, and a two horse wagon load going.

Praise God, Misses Lucretia and Gertrude Reed, who live with their mother

in a house in the yard of the ‘old place’, were at church testifying and

praying. A few weeks ago they were leaders in the dance. Tuesday night, the

14th, Miss Evans, the teacher at Dr. Burchell’s school house, professed

sanctification at church. She is a Presbyterian from Kingston, Green

County, Indiana, a most elegant young lady, very devout and consistant.


pg 1977

December 25, 1897,  Dr. Burchell’s   Clay County



I came her yesterday afternoon.  Have had a delightful day with

this delightful family.  Dr, Burchell is a native of Jessamine Cou-

nty, is 47 years old.  His wife is a daughter of T. T. Garrard and great

grandaughter of Governor Garrard.  They are excellent people.

Mrs. Burchell was converted in our last meeting.  Her daughters,

Mary, Jose and Lucy were converted in our first meeting.  They are

Presbyterians; Dr. is not yet converted.  They have 11 children, a

bright home of immortals.  Miss Hannah H. Evans is here.  She is

the district school teacher from Greensburg, Ind.  She was converted

in our meeting, is a Presbyterian also an extremely modest young

woman, of good mind, refined and fairly well educated.  She is

anxious to be used of the Lord and I believe she wil prove a

faithful and efficient worker.  How this region need such women!

Last night the children of the district had a Christmas entertain-

mentat the school house, under the management of Miss Evans, which

was very creditable to all concerned.  In the festivities of the

day we have kept Jesus before us.  I am trusting Him every hour

I am in his hands.   All is well.


1979 – Reed

……..I called at widow Reed’s in returning, to see Misses Gertrude and


Tonight there is a dance at Daugherty White’s. This makes 4 in town, since

I came here. Two have been at Dr. Hill’s one at Mrs Potter’s both

Presbyterians, and one at James Reid’s at the old Judge Reed place, three

miles in the county………



page 1997

January 23, 1898,  Sunday, Manchester, Ky



I arrived here at 10:30 am.  Today I was overtaken by night and a rainstorm

at John E. White’s and came from there this morning.  I

stayed Friday night at Taylor Marcum’s at the mouth of Big Creek.

I hope to establish a church at that point.  It is about half way

between Manchester and Hyden.  I rang the church bell as soon as I

arrived, this morning and had services.  Only a dozen were present.  At S.

School we had a fairly good attendance at 2 pm.  Last Sunday

Dr. Sandlin acted as superintendent, the Sunday before Miss Evans.

Bro. Farmer conducted prayer meeting both Wednesday nights during

my absence  Only 4 or 5 were present.  Thank God for someone to

stand in the breach.  Tonight as I sit in my room, card playing is

going on in an adjoining room profanity and obscenity most shocking, is

heard.  The card playing has been going on all afternoon, perhaps

all day.  At the table no one speaks a word to me.   The devil

seems to have set everything against me.  But God will use me yet

for their conversion.


page 1998

I told her I thought she could get a school at Big Creek,

this county.  She wrote to the trustees, this morning, or rather

Dr. Burchell wrote for her.  I trust she will get it for that would

begin my work there at once.  I stayed all night there last Friday

and told the people that I would visit the neighborhood and preach

for them and send then a religious teacher.  Perhaps she is the one.

I hope so.  Tonight Bro. Hiram Farmer came to my room.  He said

that he wanted something to do.  I told him we would go out to the

school houses about in the country near town and preach/  He said

he was ready.  He said he believed that God called him to preach or

rather that he ought to preach.  He is a Campbellite, converted

during Bro. Pickett’s meeting.  I decided today, to keep Loan Fund

Day in February.





John W. Culton. 

            I marketed the first saw log above the Cumberland Falls.  This was in

1874.  There being no railway crossing the Cumberland river above the

Falls, rafts could not be taken over the Falls hence there was no market

for the timber.  The Southern Pulp? Co. built a boom below the mouth of

Rockcastle river, caught the timber, rafted it and took it to

Nashville.  The Indiana Lumber Co. was interested in the boom as they

also bought logs.  In 1875 or 1876 an ice tide swept the boom away

breaking the companies and crippling me.  A boom between Barboursville

and P ville (sic) had been built.  Here logs were caught and at certain

stages of water were turned loose.  The ice tide swept this away also.

The ice piled [2076] up 45 feet high.  The breaking away was like the

firing of artillery.  If the boom had not given away the whole country

would have been inundated.

            The first timber I marketed was walnut.  I bought walnut trees 48 in.

in diameter for $2. a piece.  I cut thousands of walnut logs on the

banks and islands of the river which did not have to be touched but were

floated away by the rising tide.  Walnut and poplar were the only kinds

of timber taken out at that time.  This ended the floating of timber

till the L&N was built to Williamsburg about 1892.

            The Asher’s have been great factors in the development of the timber

industry in the mountains.  Chief among these have been the Asher

brothers, sons of Jackson D. Asher who lived and died on the head of Red

Bird.  These sons are named as follows: Ð George Mattison, Thos. J.,

Andrew Jackson,  Hugh L. and Abijah B.  They were raised barefoot.

Their father was a money maker, by saving.  He raised stock, loaned his

money.  Then they began the lumber business by putting small lots of

logs from the woods into the [2077] Cumberland river on contracts; each

year he put in more logs.  Matt and Jack went to California about ______

when they returned about ______ They all went in together.  Their father

helped them and then other brothers joined them and they soon became the

lumber kings of the mountains.  When Mr. Hunington (sic) the K.C.R.A.

from Paris to Livingstone their keen perception saw that the crossing of

that road at Ford on the Kentucky river made the best mill site in the

mountains.  Four of the brothers, Matt, Tom, Jackson and Hugh formed the

Asher Lumber Co. created mills, put in booms, bought large tracts of

timber on the upper forks of the Kentucky and began business on a large

scale.  They made money rapidly.  They ran the business for years, then

sold it to a Michigan Co.  Matt, Hugh and Jack bought fine farms round

Lexington where Hugh and Matt still reside.  Tom now owns one of the

best mills South of the Ohio river at Masioto, one mile above

Pineville.  It is of iron, nothing about it that can burn.  Jack Asher

lives at Pineville and is operating a saw mill at that [2078] point.

The two have $300,000 worth of lumber on their yards at present.





Abner Lewis 


His (Samuel Cornett) son, William Cornett, son-in-law of John Lewis gave me


In this case and with these two fees I purchased the Negro Boy.  John Lewis

and Abner Lewis were the progenitors of the Lewis’s in the mountains.

General George Britain was the administrator of the estate of Calvin

Bailey of Harlan, brother-in-law of Britain.



During war Clay county was remarkably exempt from depredations of marauding

bands.  Early in the war in 1861 or 1862 a small regiment of home guards

were organized in the county.  Alexander White was chosen Colonel and I

(David Yankee Little) Lieutenant Colonel.  My opponent was Capt. William

McDaniel whom I afterward defeated for the Senate.



In 1866 I was elected to the Senate of Kentucky from the 33rd Senatorial

District, composed of the counties of Clay, Harlan, Letcher, Pike, Floyd

and Perry.  My opponent was my townsman, Capt. William McDaniel.  He had

been a Capt. in the Union Army and had represented the district in the

Lower House.  During his term he had formed the 33rd. Senatorial District

expecting to represent it in the Senate.  I had a dream before I announced

myself in which my election was won. I told my wife about it and she

encouraged me to run.  I was solicited by men from all parts of the

district to make the race.  I was a Democrat, Judge Pearl told me to plunge

into the canvass and I would beat McDaniel, who was a Whig.  There was a

majority of 1,500 to overcome.



2109 – Reed


Henry Lucas – Manchester, Key., Dec. 22, 1898.

Gen. Hugh White when drinking fell into a salt kettle and came near losing

his life from the burn. He sent for Dr. William Reed, father of Dr. Stephen

Reed. He refused to come. “Let him die and go to hell,” said he. He had

refused him his daughter, Susan in marriage. “Old Alex White, himself a

great drinker, a brother-in-law of Dr. Reed married sisters Brauners –

persuaded him to go. After he had dressed the burn, General White handed

him $100 bill expecting him to give him change, he held out his hand,

“Another” said Reed. “No by the heavens, do you mean to break me up?”, said

Reed and he did so……         (this is verbatim)




William Cornett – Coon Creek, Leslie County, KY, Jan. 17, 1898. 

I was born in Perry county, KY, Feb. 3, 1814 on Leatherwood Creek.  My

father’s name was Archibal Cornett.  He was born in East Tennessee on

either Little or Big Moccasin.  His father’s name was James Cornett who

came to Perry County, KY.  When my father was a boy 7 to 10 years old.  My

father was 84 years old when he died in 1873.  This would make the coming

of the Cornett’s to KY from 1796 to 1799.  My grandfather was married twice,

once to a Gillam, once an Everedge.  He had children as follows:

Nathaniel, Samuel, Roger, Archibald, William, John, Robert, Lucy (Woolery

Eversole),  Elizabeth (Campbell), and Nancy (Samuel Combs), Archibald, my

father, married Judy McDaniel;  Robert (a Combs), Roger, Charlotte



page 2159-60

John H. Gilbert


I was born in Clay County Jan 12, 1842.  My father’s name was

Felix G. Gilbert; my mother’s name was Jemmina Snavely of Smith

County, Ga (Va.?)  My father was born in Tenn.  He was a son of

Felix Gilbert one of the early settlers of Clay County.  He came

here a few years after my uncle John Gilbert came.  I have heard

my ant Mary Ann McCollum say that when my grandfather came to

Red Bird there were only two families on the creek, viz;-

Dillon Asher and Rev. John Gilbert, my great uncle.  My grand-

mother’s name was Wallace of Tenn. Scotch-Irish.  The Gilbert’s

are English.  My father died in October 1855. (see will in Man-

chester).  He was five years the junior of my uncle John.  I am

sure of this.  He was 95 years old (John Gilbert made his will

August 17, 1860.  The same was probated April 1, 1868 – see

record in Clay County Court.  This would put Rev. John Gilbert’s

birth 1755 and 113 years at his death.) at the time when he died.

It was in winter time when my grandparents came.  My grandfather

had children as follows: John, Mary Ann, Felix, James, William,

Wallace and Hamilton and Haywood the youngest, Jennie, younger

who married Sam Jones.  Their descendants live in Knox Co.  Mary

Ann married Isaac McCollum.  My uncle (or great uncle) married Mollie Bowling

sister of James Bowling and early settler of this county.  James Bowling had

a brother whose name I do not remember who was the father of “Hungry” John Bolling still living on Sinking Creek, Knox Co. and “Hungry” James, dead and Mrs. John Holland mother of Anderson Holland of Martin’s Creek, this county. 

She still lives. I have heard my uncle Rev. John Gilbert say that he came when

peace was first made at the close of the Revolutionary War.

He was born in 1755, he would be 28 years old in 1782 or 1783.

when peace was made,  I heard both my grandfather and my great

uncle John Gilbert say that my grandfather was 95 years old

when he, the latter, died.  There were salt wells bored in Red

Bird.  John Gilbert made salt there and sold his works to Dire.




James Dixon Black – Manchester, Ky., March 9, 1898.

I was born in Knox Co. Sept. 24, 1851.  I am a son of John Craig Black.  He

was born in South Carolina in 1805.  He came to Nolechuckee (not sure of

the spelling) River in Tenn. and thence to Knox Co. when a boy.

He was a son of Alexander Black who was born in Ireland.  I do not know

what part of Ireland.  He came to America a married man.  John Gilbert, Sr.

said he loaned my father $300.00 to start in business when he did not know

whether or not he would ever get it back.  My father brought the first

wagon to Goose Creek.  (I doubt this, S.E.H.)  Henry Watterson’s mother was

a Tennessee Black.  Felix Grundy’s mother was a Black.  He was about the

only man who could hold a hand with Henry Clay.

My father died in Knox Co. in 1876 in his 72nd year.  He was a young man

when he came to Tennessee.  There are a lot of Blacks living in East

Tennessee where he lived.  My grandfather Black was an overseer on a South

Carolina Plantation.  My father was a farmer on Richland Creek where I was




He never held any office except Magistrate and that before it was elected. 

(there are some spaces with letters missing here in the last word not sure what it is suppose to be).


My father and mother had 13 children, John A. Black of Barbourville is my

brother.  There are 3 other brothers now living in Madison County, and a

sister, Mrs. Alabama Hopper, in Knox.  I am the youngest of the family. 

My mother was Clarissa Jones, born in Clay County in 1807, died in 1862.

She was a daughter of Isaac Jones.  We have a tradition that his father

came over from France with Lafayette, fought in the Revolution and settled

on the Yadkin in NC.  I got this from my uncles.  My oldest aunt (Black)

married H.J. Jones of Williamsburg Institute.  I attended the common

schools.  My father was an uneducated man and did not take the interest in

the education of his children that he should.  My mother died when I was 11

and my father married again.  Soon after that I left my father at 16.  I

worked on a farm for $10.00 per month for about a year.



I then borrowed money from brother John and attended Greenville and

Ferschum (???D.S.) College, Tenn. where I was a student three years.  I

completed the B.S. course and expected to return and take the A.B. course,

but being in debt, I concluded not to return.  I began teaching in

Barbourville.  This was in 1872.  I studied law while teaching and at the

end of two years, 1874, I got license to practice law.  In 1875 I was

elected to the Lower House of the Kentucky Legislature from Knox and

Whitely Counties, as a Democrat overcoming a majority of 1000.  Duley King

was my opponent.  He was a nominee of the Republican party.  I was not

nominated.  I served out my term and resumed the practice of law in

Barbourville.  In 1877 I was elected School Commissioner receiving the

entire vote of the Board of Magistrates, though I was an Opponent.  In 1886

I was elected Grand Junior Warden of the Grand Lodge of Kentucky and in

1888 Grand Master.  In 1892 I was appointed one of five Commissioners from

Kentucky to the World’s Fair



or Columbian Exposition with W. H. Dulaney of Louisville, Dr. Clandy of

(looks like Christian County), J.W. Yerkes of Canville and Dr. A. D. James

of Muhlenburg County.  $100,000 was appropriated.  $75,000 was used;

$20,000 returned and $5,000 enjoined by Gross of Kentucky Restaurant, still

in litigation.  In 1896 I was the nominee of the Democratic Party for the

11th. Congressional District, every county was largely Republican but 367

more votes were cast for me than for Gen. Hardin in 1895 for Governor,

although the party was divided on the financial question in my race.  I am

now one of the Commissioners appointed by Governor Bradley to attend the

launching of the Battleship Kentucky the 24th. of this month.  I am a

Knight Templer (in 1888 Judge B.E. Day got the nomination for Congress in

the 11th. Congressional District over J.A. Black and was defeated by J.H.

Wilson of Barbourville.  If Mr. Black had been nominated he could have been

elected.  Wilson would not have run.  J.J.D.)

I was married in 1875 to Miss Mary Janette Pulitzer? of Barbourville.  I have three children living, one dead.


page 2173-74

William Washington White  Manchester, Key., March 7, 1898


I am a son of Hugh White.  My father came to Kentucky before

Alex 1799, Margaret 1800, John 1802, and Susan 1804, 4 were

born before we came here.

I have always understood that Bollings first made salt, at the

Upper Lick in pots.  My grandfathers name was William White.

He died on Yellow Creek.  My grandfather was Irish.  I had an

Uncle Washington who lived and died n Louisiana, James, Alexander,

John, Aunt Isabella married first Benson then Felix Gilbert Sr.



About 1878 or 1879, after Bob Potter had made an assignment Robert Bradley

of Lancaster, father of Governor William C. Bradley came to the Clay

Circuit Court.  He had formerly visited this court but had not been here

for a long time.  I got him a fee of $600.00 from Robert Potter’s mother;

James Potter, (brother? or husband?) of Mrs. Lou Simpson.  They had all

sold their interest in Barton Potter’s estate for $5,000.00 each and had

never paid anything to them.  They were about to lose all they had.  Mr.

Bradley took the case and made perhaps the speech of his life before the

court, Judge Randall.  At that time he was old, his hair was white as

cotton and very long.  He showed the court the law and then to win this

community he led out into a speech which was for pathos, for eloquence and

for power was never over-passed at the Bar of Clay County.  It was

published in the “Mountain Echo”.



Mrs. Margaret Jane Wyatt  Benge, KY,  March 14, 1898.

I was born in Leslie County on the Middle Fork, November 24, 1844.  My

father was Abel Morgan.  He was the son of Zachariah Morgan.  My

grandfather had 16 children, I think.  Jesse, William, Joseph, John, Abel,

David, Elisha, Washington, Betsy (Lewis) wife of Judge John Lewis of

Harlan,  Nancy (Sergeant), Louisa (Parsons);  There were others whom I

cannot remember.  My mother was Sarah Brown Lewis.  She was a daughter of

Wilson Basil Lewis of Harlan or Leslie County.  He lived on Greasy, on the

waters of Middle Fork.  His father lived in NC.  I do not know whether he

came to Kentucky or not.  My Grandfather Lewis had brothers and sisters as

follows:  John Lewis (Judge), Abner Lewis, a sister who married a Howard

and one who married a Coldiron.



My grandfather had two sons: Henry M. and Wilson; two daughters, Katie

(Ford, and my mother, Betsy (Morgan).  My father moved to Owsley County

when I was 11 years old.  1855 He died about Big Hill (KY).   I was married

to Iredel Wyatt in 1863.  There are other families of Lewis’s on the Poor

Fork who my people told me were not our relatives.  The Leslie County

Lewis’s are our kin.  So are the Morgan’s of Leslie, Clay, etc..  My uncle

Henry M. Lewis was said to be the richest man in Harlan County.  He began

with nothing.  He married Clarinda Wilson who still lives.




My maternal grandmother was a Moss.  Dr. Moss of Williamsburg is a

different stock, I think.  His father was Henry Moss who came from

Manchester to clerk for Barton Better.  He died of Drink.  Potter had a

store in Williamsburg.



I moved to Laurel County after the war and the first preacher was Rev.

William Wyatt.  He served two years.  He was a strong preacher.  Others

have been, McDaniel, Travis, Judd, Bullock, Ingram, and Anthony.



Josephus Ponder  Clay County KY, May 11, 1898

I was born in Bell County, June 10, 1834.  My father was Joseph Ponder.  He

was born and reared in SC. My great grandfather Ponder came to America from

Ireland.  I do not know where he landed nor where he settled but I suppose

he came to SC.  As my father was raised there I suppose my grandfather was

reared there also.  My father came to Buncombe, NC before his marriage to

Miss Catherine Holcomb.  In 1834 he moved to Bell Co., KY where he stayed

one year and returned to NC, and in 1844 he came to Clay County KY, and

located on Sexton’s Creek.  He died on the head of that creek about 1875.

He had children as follows:

Betsey (Daniel Murray), Mary (Levi Bailey), Martha (John Sandlin), Delighta

(Reuben McDaniel), Sally (Nathan Holcomb), Nancy (William Baker), Josephus

– Myself,  married Tabitha Murray.  My maternal grandfather was a soldier

in the Revolutionary War.





Montgomery Hounshell – Clay County, Ky.  May 11, 1898.

I was born in Lee Co., Va. I am 76 years old.  My father was

born in Wythe Co., VA.  He talked broken English – was Dutch.

His father was reared in America.  The people of Wythe County

were nearly all Dutch.  They were the best livers I ever saw.

I do not know how far back my people crossed the ocean.  I came

first to Breathitt County.  The Hounshells of Breathitt are my relatives.

There are a great many Hounshells in Virginia. 



There are Hounshells on the Ohio River, some have steamboats and

are rich.  I do not know what kin they are to me.  My four brothers

came to Kentucky with me.  My father came later and died here.


page 2193-97

John McDaniel – Benge,  March 14, 1898


I was born in Perry County, March 13, 1825.  My father, John

McDaniel was born in Buckingham County, Virginia.  He came to

Kentucky before he was married.  He had 11 children; Reuben,

Thomas, Keziah, Mary, Jesse are dead.  Elizabeth (Robison),

Tilah, Nancy (Robison), myself and William who lives in

Barboursville, are living.  My great grandfather came from

Ireland.  His son Thomas was my grandfather.  He was a deaf mute.

My mother, Judah Cornett, daughter of Nathaniel Cornett.  He

lived in Perry County.  His brother, Roger Cornett lived at

Benge.  My uncle Robin Cornett kept the toll gate which

stood just east of where James Benge now lives.  It was kept

by Elijah McWhorter at the foot of McWhorter Hill previous

to that time.  I think the gate east discontinued about or

during the war.  In 1852 I took Bob Potter to Mt. Vernon to

school.  We paid toll at a store house some 6 to 10 miles this

side of Mt. Vernon, kept by a man named Smith.  There were many

six horse wagons come to Goose Creek when I was a boy, from

Louisville, loaded with goods and went back with salt.  Robin

Cornett would buy things from these Wagoner’s for people who

would leave money with him for that purpose.  When the K.C.R.R.

reached Lexington it killed the salt trade from central Kentucky.

One was hardly out of sight of wagons those days.  When I work-

end at Gen Whites about 1843 there were 12 furnaces in operation

on Goose Creek and salt was selling at 35 cents a bushel.

The following persons owned or operated furnaces at that time:

Alex White, above the mouth of Buzzard; Adam White of Abingdon

at the mouth of Buzzard; Daniel Bates above Horton’s on the

west side of the creek; Gen White at the Forks of Goose Creek;

T.T. Garrard, where it now stands, built in 1832; Daugherty &

James White on the main Goose Creek above the Forks; Frank &

William White on the same Fork; Racener at D.Y. Little’s Ford

below Manchester; someone near where Garrison now lives at

the Ford of Little Goose Creek; Frank Clark at mouth of the Red

Bird, making ten.  Precious to that time there was as furnace

at Ford of Little Goose west of Manchester on the Burning

Springs Road between James Love’s house and the ford.  There

was once a furnace just above town at the mouth of Tankard

Branch; James Bowling was drowned in the deep well near it

called ___McHone Hole.  I worked there three months for Gen.

White.  I heard Daugh White say in speech when running against

T.T. Garrard for the Lower House, that he had eaten clabber out

of a dish, sitting on the floor, around which were gathered

his brothers and sisters each of whom would take a spoon in

turn as it was passed from one to the other.  (I suppose this

was a little demagoguery to win votes as T.T. Garrard was

born rich. J.J.D.)



page 2201

A War Tale


Obadiah Hammonds was a fellow soldier of my father.  He was

very homely.  One morning in camp he said, “Tom, we will all be

killed today”.  My father said, “Oh, I hope not.  I should hate

to look at you after the cities blow you for you are so ugly that

we can hardly stand to (see) look at you.



John D. Calderon Laurel Creek, Ky., April 9, 1898.

I was born in Harlan County, KY.  My father was William Calderon.  He was

born near the Falls of the Cumberland about 1800.  My mother was Leah

Lewis.  She was born near Salisbury, NC.  Her father was Abner Lewis.  The

first settlers of Harlan County were Samuel Howard, Abner Lewis, John

Lewis, John Dickson, Sen., Creeches.  The Lewis’s and Dickson’s, Gilliam’s,

Creeches, and Caldrons lived on the Poor Fork.  Polly’s, Day’s, Hall’s on

the same Creek.  My grandfather Conrad Calderon came from the continent of

Europe.  He was called “Black Dutch”.



I do not know whether he came from Holland or Germany.  He was a soldier in

the Revolution. 


page 2246-48

Rev. Hughes Bowling – Hector Creek, April 22, 1898


I was born in Leslie County, Key. then Clay, April 8, 1857.

I was born on Bull Creek.  My father was John Bolling.  My

mother was Susan Napier.  My paternal grandfather was

James Bowling.  His wife was Mahala Wilson.  My great

grandfather Bollling was named Eli.  He came from Licking

River, Tenn. to Clay County, Key. in 1807.  His sister Mary

called Mollie, came with him and became the wife of Rev. John

Gilbert.  His brothers Levi, John and James came with him also

a sister Nancy who married a Sizemore.  My great grandfather

settled on Bear Creek, Clay Co..  He paid for a tract of land on

that creek, containing 1500 acres by herding hogs one winter on

the mast.  Dan and Dave Bowling (sons of James Bowling) own and

resided on it.  They sold it in the boom for $7,000 but the parties

failed to pay for it.   Rev. Jesse Bowling who settled on the North

Fork in Breathitt County was the uncle of Eli, John, James, Levi,

Mary and Nancy Bowling.  This is the way I’ve always heard it.  I

have heard my father say that he heard Rev. John Gilbert say that

he had the settling of Clay County.  He first thought that he would

settle the mouth of Hctor but he finally had to settle higher up

Red Bird.  Taylor Gilbert says that his grandfather Rev. John

Gilbert preached in “hard shell” doctrine but I have heard many

old people say that he did not, but preached a free salvation for

all.  Hector Creek was named by John Gilbert in honor of a

favorite bear dog by that name which was killed by a bear on it.

 Old John Hays who lived and died on Hector said that the Bowlings above

mentioned all came from Tennessee that is, that Jesse Bowling

of North Fork came from the same place that the others did.  Hays

died five year ago, at the age of 93.  He said there was a Levi

Bowling in that neighborhood, Uncle to Eli and perhaps brother of

Jesse above (mentioned).  I think old John Gilbert came from the

same place.  Taylor Gilbert wrote them a few years ago to get the

ordination record of Jesse Bowling and others who ordained John

Gilbert but failed to get them.  I have always learned that the Hard

Shells broke off from the Baptist Church in 1833.  They were

100,000 strong at firsthand in 60 years that had fallen off to

40,000.  I learned it from Throckmorton and Potter debate held

in Indiana.  Silas Hensley, on this creek has a copy.  I joined the

church in 1884, am a preacher in the Missionary Baptist Church.


Rebecca MAGGARD Boggs Combs, Hazard, KY. 4/26/1898, 
I was born in 1821 in Harlan County, Kentucky on the Poor Fork. My father was Samuel MAGGARD. He was born in Rockbridge, Co., PA. He was Dutch. My mother was Rebecca ROBERTSON. They had 12 children to live to be grown. The children were: John, Susannah, Henry, Rudolph, David, Mgt (sic), Sarah, James, Moses, Samuel, Rebecca & Elizabeth. Susanna married Henry BACK related to the Breathitt BACKS. Mgt (sic) married Jesse ADAMS, Sarah married Samuel CAUDILL, Elizabeth a CREECH. He was killed in the war. My father and mother were members of the old Baptist Church so were all my bros and sis. John was the father of Samuel, Reuben or Rudolph MAGGARD of Leslie Co. My parents died on the Poor Fork; six or eight miles from its source. My husband's name was Abel BOGGS. He was raised on Callahan Creek, Lee County, Virginia, a mile from the Powell's River. 
I was married to Mr. Boggs when I was 15 years old. We had four children. Jesse who lives at Hazard; Silas lives at Troublesome, a Baptist preacher; Elizabeth (HUFF) who lives on the head of the Ball in Knott Co; Susanna who married Wm. AMBURGEY and lives in Montgomery Co. KY. I married John S. Combs Nov 1875. 


John S. Combs, Hazard, Ky. 4/26/1898. 
I was born in Perry County 7/25/1819. My father was Jeremiah Combs. He was born in N.C. or Va. My grandfather was Nicholas Combs. He was born in Va or New River, N.C. He lived and died near where L.D. Combs now lives in Perry County. He came to Kentucky early in the settlement of Kentucky. There was a large company came together: Mason, George, Nicholas, W, Jeremiah, Henry, Elijah Combs. There was one other who made it. Yes, Henry was his name. Mason was the oldest. I have seen none of these Uncles. Henry moved to Indiana; Wm moved to Bluegrass. I do not know whether or not General Leslie Combs was kin to us but I suppose he was a son of my Uncle Wm. Combs as they both lived in that section of the state. Uncle Wm moved to the Bluegrass before I was born. My father died Jan 1853, 73 years old. This would place his birth in 1780. He was not grown when he came here. I often heard my father & mother say that the Combs's came from Jamestown, Va to North Carolina. My father had two brothers: Samuel who lives or lived at Booneville, the father of Wiley Combs & Nicholas, the father of Lorenzo, one sister who married John WILLIAMS who died on Troublesome. 
My mother was Cynthia SUMNER. Her father was Samuel SUMNER who was killed by the Sheriff for resisting arrest either in N.C. or Ky. My mother came with the company to Ky. Her brother, John, came also. He moved to Indiana but some of his children returned and live in Letcher and Perry. My grandmother SUMNER married a HICKS and went to Indiana and raised a family. 
Two of my uncles HICKS lived on the Ozark Mts in the edge of Arkansas, when I was there. Nicholas Combs, my grandfather, was a soldier in the Revolutionary War. Several of his brothers were in the same war. I can't tell which ones were in the war, they may all have been in it. 
Old Wm CORNETT came with my uncles to Ky; also Richard SMITH, great grandfather of "Bad" Tom SMITH. He settled on Troublesome. 
I have heard my mother tell often of the killing of BENGE, the renegade. She saw the Indians and told of one fellow hiding in the loft and falling through while the Indians were cooking below and scaring them away. 
Mason Combs, my uncle, had children as follows: Martin, lived on Carr's Fork; Preston, lived in Breathitt on the Middle Fork, Cyry is son; Washington lived below mouth of Carr on North Fork; Talton Combs at the mouth of Carr; Clinton still lived at the mouth of Carr, very old; Bonaparte lived at Booneville. 
George Combs had children as follows: Claiborne lived in Owsley, Henry dead. 
Elijah lived in Perry. He was General of the Militia. He had sons: Jesse, Elijah, and Jackson. Josiah Combs was killed by Joe ADKINS was the son of Jesse. Jesse was Clerk of Perry first and as long as he lived and his grandson, Ira DAVIDSON, succeeded him. I have seen him (Gen. Elijah) in his regimentals commanding at the muster. He (Jesse) was killed by the explosion of a keg of powder in Shade DUFF'S store in Hazard. Someone snuffed a candle and accidentally threw the snuff in the keg of powder under the counter. DUFF was son-in-law of Combs. Both DUFF and Combs were killed. DUFF was killed instantly. Combs lay a good while. 
Henry (Harry) Combs had children as follows: Henry, lived in Big Creek; Matthew lived on Troublesome in Breathitt, father of Wm. M. Combs of Breathitt and Isaac of Wolfe; also George on Troublesome in Perry. Henry moved to Indiana. Old George married a HERALD. 
I do not know when the Combs's came to Kentucky, but I know it was in the 1700's. 
My grandfather Nicholas Combs lived to be 101 or 2 or 3 years old. He is buried near L. D. Combs. I was grown when he died. I was married, just married, had no children (He looked at his Bible. J.J.D.) was Feb.28,1838. I bought his dog irons at his sale to go housekeeping. 
The old SIZEMORES used to come to my father's to get liquor. They would drink and fight. 




Andrew Combs Hazard [Perry Co], Kentucky. April 26, 1898 
I was born in 1806. My grandfather lived at the Long Islands of Holston River, a good while. He and my father went there several times. My grandfather married Nancy GRIGSBY. I have been at the Long Islands of Holston myself. My mother was a sickly women and I went back for medicine. I took my mother to Salt Creek, Indiana to see her mother, Mrs. HICKS. I am a brother of John S. Combs who lives on this creek. I knew that General Leslie Combs was kin to us but I do not know whether he was Uncle William's son or not. I saw my uncle William often. He used to come from about Lexington to see us. My Grandfather Nicholas Combs came first. He built a cabin and left his wife and went back for provisions etc. 
I think Sam CORNETT was the oldest of the CORNETT'S. My grandfather was detained on his first trip back to (the) Long Island of Holston and he feared his wife would starve or die before he could get back but when he came up to the point of the mouth of Carr, he helloed and she answered him. His heart leaped with joy at the response. the deer were all about the cabin but she did not know how to shoot. The women were not marksmen. I knew my mother to kill bear and deer. the old Combs's were property plenty. They owned slaves. They went back to Tennessee. I crossed New River when I went to the seashore. I think old Thomas GRIGSBY came out with my grandfather; he was his brother-in-law, brother of my grandmother. Old Mason Combs married a terrible women. Martin Combs was his son, on Carr; also Preston on Middle Fork and Bony at Booneville. the Indians used to scout through the settlement and do devilment. My wife was Polly FELTNER, they were Dutch people. My wife is four years my junior. She has a brother on Lot's Creek called Jacob FELTNER, pretty well preserved. The FELTNERS came from Tennessee. They were here when I was born. I was born in this county. My mother was a SUMNER. They came from the Long Islands of Holston. There is a island in the river a mile or two long, just below Blountsville. I am pretty certain my father married in this state. My brother, Moses was the eldest child. He was a man grown when I was a boy. My wife had brothers and sisters as follows: 
William, Henry, Rebecca (OSBORNE) in Indiana, and Jacob. My father in law died and is buried at the Squire Nick Combs, place near L.D. Combs. She had a sister Nancy, married a RICHIE. Old Richard SMITH married Nancy Combs, my aunt. He was a Baptist preacher. He would drink liquor and fight. He whipped a bully and got his nose and ear bitten off. He was a blacksmith. He could not be whipped. I have traveled a great deal. I got my eyes hurt in a fight when on the road to Indiana. A fellow imposed on my brother and I whipped him. The Dr. told me my eye would fail when I was old and now the sight is gone. I have had many fights but not on my own account. 
I never was whipped. Some of the old Combs's belonged to the church. My father did. He made a great deal of liquor. My grandfather and he were great workers, never stopped. They both got well off. My father made money making flat boats and selling to Clay's Ferry to boat tobacco to New Orleans. He sold one for $200.The Combs's were usually tall. My father was called "Chunky" Jerry. He was like the GRIGSBYS. 
He had $10,000 worth of land in Perry County when he died. He had land all over the county. My grandfather was the richest of all the Combs's. All had negros and a great deal of property. My father used to boat coal to Clay's Ferry. I remember when they began to boat coal from here. It was when I was a boy. I remember when he took empty boats down. I am not certain but I think my father Jerry Combs, took the first boat load of coal down the river. I remember when they began to take timber off on rafts. They took walnut first. John AMY(AMIS), Sam DAVIDSON, old Billy STRONG, the preacher the BEGLEYS, and others were involved in the 'cattle war' the middle forkers got the worst of it. Old GILBERT was with AMY(AMIS) he rode up amongst the Grapevine boys. Some of the SIZEMORES were in it. CALLAHANS and DAVIDSONS came from Clay to help the Grapevine boys. AMY(AMIS) was an overbearing man. Joel ELKINS set his gun behind the door of the Court House and at the picked time shot AMY(AMIS). 1807. 
They called William Combs of Fayette, "OLD BUCKERY". They said he was doing well. He was a farmer. I have been to his house in Fayette. My grandfather was a wild man, would fight in a minute but was very kind hearted. Old General Combs sent a negro man to bury a negro of his own who had died in a swamp below Squire Nicks burying ground. He had laid down on a log in a swamp and fell off dead. His little dog was lying between his shoulders when he found him. General (Elijah) told the negro to put a chain about the dead Negros neck and drag him out and dig a hole and put him in it. My grandfather (Nicholas Combs) found it out and was about to thrash the negro for doing such a thing. They both carried (it) (him) to the graveyard and buried (him) in a coffin. General and grandfather had some hard words about it. General did not care for such treatment of others nor did he fear anybody, but my grandfather was too strong for him. The FELTNERS came from Long Islands of Holston but came later then my grandfather but not much. I have seen old General Elijah Combs at muster in his regimentals. I have been sick nine month but have had no physician. I have no confidence in the doctors we have. Then I thought I was old and must soon die and it was no use to try. I am in a peculiar condition. I do not believe anybody could do me any good. 







Allen ROBERTSON, Manchester, KY, April 15, 1898.

I was born in Madison County, near Fox town on Otter Creek, March 25,


I knew Sam BENNETT, Moses BENNETT, his brother the grandfather of Gov.


My father was born at or near mouth of Dan River, VA, at a little town

called Moravian town.

His name was David ROBISON; he died in Clay County KY 18 0r 20 of June

1872 or 73

age 103 and from Feb to June.

My father was Samuel ROBERTSON. He was born in the Highlands of Scotland.

 His wife Elizabeth HARRIS.  His brother William came over with him.  I

do not know when they came nor whether either was married when they came,

though I think, they were.

My grandfather left Moravian town and settled two miles southeast of

Richmond, KY

where the water works now are, in 1777.  I have heard my father say it

was two years after BOONE went into the Fort at Boones borough.

Col. ESTILL settled near him about the same time, I think the same year.

 My grandfather lived



and died near there, a mile near Richmond, adjoining Judge GOODOE’s then

called the John RIGG Farm.  My father was the eldest.  He had a brother,

John, who went to Jackson County MO.

William, James and Alex settled in Indiana.

James in Shelby County.  The other in Morgan County at Martinsville.

Sally married GORDON and went to Mississippi.

Esther married  George BAKER and went  with others to Indiana.

Mary married METCALF and went to Indiana.

Jessamine went to Indiana unmarried.

Mother married William Mobley and died in Madison. 

My father married Alien ALLEN.

In 1839 he moved  from Otter Creek to Clay County and located on Goose

Creek opposite the mouth of Beech Creek.  He said he came to this part of

the State to hunt, in an early day, when little Goose Creek was the line

between the whites and the Indians before a treaty was made between them.

  He hunted with John BAKER Sr., father of “Julius” Bob and “Durham”

John, George who married Esther ROBERTS”ON, my aunt, and was a Methodist

preacher; and James called “Clay bank”



a great fighter, “Clyburn” was the father of Billy Bakers. was called

“RENTA” as has a brother, Bowling BAKER and a brother George BAKER.

George was the father of John BAKER called “Cana” the rhyme, who made

rhymes on Col Felix GILBERT and “Dry” John BAKER when John ran for the

Senate and was elected and when Felix ran for Representative and was

defeated by Elhanan MURPHY.  Bowling Jr. son of Bowling Sr was bound to

Daugh WHITE to learn salt making and killed Morgan DEZAM with a single

barrel pistol with two balls in it.

He fled the country and never returned.  George’s descendants have


The BAKERS came from North Carolina to Madison County and lived in Forts

there.  Another of these hunters from the Blue Grass was William MORRIS,

called “Cuddy” who settled in the forks of Goose Creek and Red Bird.

There, “Renta” BAKER, his three sons, George, John  and “Julius” Bob





Renta Baker

He (David Robinson) hunted with John Baker, Sr. father of ‘Julius’ Bob

and “Durkham’ John, George who married Esther Robertson my aunt,

and was a Methodist preacher; and James called ‘Claybank’ a great fighter,

‘Clay Bank’ was the father of Billy Baker, was called ‘Renta’ has a


 Bowling Baker and a brother George Baker. 

The Bakers came from NC to Madison County and lived in Forts there. 

Another of these hunters from the Blue Grass was William Morris, called

‘Cudcy’ who settled in the Forks of Goose Creek and Red Bird.  These,

‘Renta Baker, his three sons, George, John and “Julius Bob Morris,

Jack Harris, Elisha Harrison with my father David Robertson made the

8 hunters who visited these regions.





Elisha HARRISON with my father David ROBERTSON made the 8 hunters who

visited these regions. Benge LANGFORD and a man named LYONS first made

salt for commerce.  I have seen 40 boat loads of salt, 2,500 bushels tied

up at my father’s place at the mouth of Beech Creek from 1837 to 1844. 

There were 18 furnaces in blast above Manchester, besides Francis CLARK’s

two furnaces, one coal and the other wood.  Francis CLARK got his 1000

acres at the mouth of Bull Skin by a “Head Right” from VA.  I think it

was patented in his father’s name.  Salt was worth 75 cents. The Goose

Creek furnaces made about 90 bushels a day and the Bull Skin aobut 60

bushels and they would average 200 days a year.   My mother was an ALLEN.

 She was a daughter of Adoniram ALLEN.  He was nicknamed

‘Tediuoooooooooous” because he was so particular.

The two creeks called “Teges” were named for him; he was born in New

Hampshire near



the Vermont line.  He was a Captain in Col. CLEVELAND’s regiment at the

battle of King’s Mountain where three Colonels commanded alternately.  He

settled in Augusta, GA.  He was a mechanic.  He was first a ship builder.

 At Augusta he put up iron works for some parties there.  He also did

some work of that kind in Sparta GA.

He emigrated to KY but stopped in NC fut stayed there only a year to put

up a mill, perhaps.    (James and The. GARRARD, James and Daugh WHITE)

were commissioners who expended $20,000 in South Fork and Goose Creek

and Red Bird.  This was about 1856-7.

Eighteen years ago Judge HYDEN got an appropriation of $6,000  which

General GARRARD and myself expended in the narrows or from the mouth of

Crain Creek to Turkey Gap, a distance of five miles by land.  Most of it

was put in Chute.  The “Basin” is 27 feet deep.  We put blasts in the

bottom of the narrows.

There have been perhaps 100 salt boats sunk in the “Basin” but no one was

ever lost there  until till about 1871.



several have been drowned since.  Pilots used to chard $5.00 for taking

boats through the narrows.  There were 300 guards at the jail at one time

when Dr BAKER was in prison here.

I was a guard from June to October.  I was one of the eight inside

guards.  I was always present when any of Dr BAKER;s friends came in to

see him.  I was a late comer into the county and all parties had

confidence in me.  While the 300 county guards were on duty the State

sent 300 guards; so that there were 600 at one time.  Judge F>P>

ROBERTSON and Judge KAINKADE, both of Lexington were retained for the

defense.  Joseph MOORE of Mt Vernon was Commonwealth’s Attorney, Dr.

CALDWELL’s father assisted in the prosecution.

Dr BAKER was a monomaniac on the subject of his wife.  He would talk with

perfect coherency in any other subject, but the moment his wife was

mentioned he was wild, looked wild, talked incoherent, Daniel BATES made

a will



after Dr BAKER shot him, willing $10,000 for the prosecution of Dr BAKER.

 He died inside of 24 hours after he was shot.  He was sitting in his

chair, asleep, at the salt furnace, when BAKER shot him.

Milt RICE, afterwards Congressman from the 9th Dist, located at

Barboursville, I think it was, to practice law.  His brother located at

Irvine and married a Miss SMITH.  They were Irishmen who located first in

NY then came to KY.  Rice had not gotten any practice when a suit came up

Commonwealth against “Boston” Bob BAKER.., a misdemeanor.  He had no

counsel and the Judge appointed Rice to defend him.  Silas WOODSON,

afterwards Gov of MO and John M. ELLIOTT, afterwards Judge of the Court

of Appeals were prosecuting.  they made BAKER out terribly guilty.  Hi

CORNETT was also before the Court for the same offense; the difficulty

had been between them.  In the latter case they changed side. Now CORNETT

was an angel.  Rice said that in NY they did not practice law by telling

anecdotes but as it was so common in KY he would indulge.  He said he was

reminded of WOODSON’s position in this case of a church trial.


John D. WHITE 
Mason Combs was the original Combs in the mountains. he settled on a high hill below the mouth of Carr's Fork, on opposite side. Mace's Creek was named for him and is really Mason's Creek. His brother's Danger Combs and Gen. Elijah Combs came later. He laid out a patent about the mouth of Mace's Creek making his beginning corner a "mill seat" upon which a mill was never built until two years ago by one of the HALLS. 



Matilda Duff Lewis,  Hyden, Ky., May 27, 1898.


My father was Rev. Daniel Duff, was born in Guilford County, NC in 1776.

His father was Shadrick Duff.  He was killed in the Revolutionary War.  His

wife was Deborah Dickson,  and she did not survive him.  Shadrick Duff’s

 father was born in Ireland,  He was Scotch-Irish.  The Dickson’s were Irish also.

 My father spoke (used) broken English.  My father used to call Mrs. Sparks his

old Irish aunt.  My father had a sister, Elizabeth who married to Mr McLean.

They settled in Green County, TN, and reared a large family.



I saw two of the sons at my father’s once.  My mother was Nancy Ann Ellison.

 My parents married in Guilford County.  Her father was Welsh.  Soon after

my father and mother married they went to Lee County, VA.  There were Duffs

living there.  Robin Duff of that county was a very wealthy man.  They were

related to my father.  While they lived in Lee County several children were

born to them.  Their oldest child was Henry, He was born in 1798.  John was

born in 1801.  In 1818 my parents moved to Perry County, Kentucky, and

settled on the North Fork of the Kentucky River about two miles above the

mouth of Grapevine Creek.  He was a Baptist Minister.  Attending a meeting

of some kind in Harlan County, he met with Rev. Jesse Bolling (Bowling)

 who lived on the North Fork and becoming attached to him and made many visits

to his home.  This led to his removal to Kentucky and Perry County.  My father’s children

were:  Henry, John, Shad rick and Martha . Martha late married William Bowman and

moved to Iowa.



They reared a family.  Deborah, who married William Bolling and reared a

large family on Middle Fork about Perry and Breathitt line.  Mary married

Shepherd and moved to Missouri;  Colson who married Elizabeth Gilbert of

VA.  These Gilberts moved to the Sandy County, where Thomas Gilbert, the

father died.  Drusilla married William Gilbert, brother of Elizabeth.  They

moved to Illinois about the close of the war.  They lived in Carter County

up to that time.  Alexander, married Miss Holly or Holyfield.  He is a

carpenter and lived in Breathitt.  Margaret who married John Hays of

Breathitt and moved to Wolf County where he died.  She was living at last

account.  She raised a large family.  I am the next and youngest.  I was

born in 1825.  I married John Lewis in 1859.  Our children:  Brusilla

Lewis, wife of Theo. Lewis, and Henry Lewis with whom I live and one who

died are my children.  These are all.  My father died in 1855 in Carter

County;  My mother in Perry County in 1849.



My father then went to his daughters in Carter county where he married a

Mrs. Ellen Roe.  He only lived a short time after this.

I went to school to David Fee.  He was a smart man, a good teacher and

highly respected.  He taught near my home.  When my father moved to

Kentucky he came horseback.  They came down Red Bird and up Cutshin.  There

were no wagon roads.  They stayed all night at John Gilberts.

I knew old William Strong, he too, was a Baptist preacher.  He married Jane

Callahan, the daughter of Edward Callahan, of Red Bird.  Several of her

brothers lived on the North Fork and it was they who were engaged in the

“Cattle War”.  John Amis the leader of the other side, was a brother-in-law

of john Gilbert, they having married sisters – Bollings.  The names of

Callahans were William and Isaac, nicknamed “Pike” and it seems to me there

was a third.  Old Samuel Davidson married a Callahan, sister to Mrs.

Strong, and he was in the war.



Rev. William Strong was a Baptist preacher.  He had children as follows:

Edward, Isaac, Alexander and William.  William married a Deaton, sister of

the old Legislature.  Edward married a Spencer; his children were: Capt.

William Strong, Mrs. Alfred Marcum, Mrs. John Little and Mrs. Henry Duff,

also Robert Strong who died young leaving a few children; also Judge Alex

Strong of Lee Co., Ky.  William had children as follows: Judge Edward

Strong of Lost Creek, known as “Red Ned”.  Mrs. William Cope (Tom Copes’

father), and Mrs. Wiley Cope, of Big Branch.  Isaac had a son, William.

Alexander married Miss Wilson, had several children, one the wife of George

Baker of Clay Co., also Daniel Strong of Laurel County.  John Spencer was

an early settler, Grapevine.  I think he came from Virginia.  He had a

large family.  I think William Spencer of Breathitt who married Miss

Britain was a relative of his.  Joseph Spencer was one of his sons. 



John Spencer who married John Duff’s daughter was a son of Joseph Spencer.

My brother, John Duff married Mary, the daughter of General Elijah Combs.

He had children as follows:  Sarah Jane (Davidson), Henry Duff who married

Mahala Strong, daughter of Edward and sister of Capt. Bill Strong;  Elijah

married Mary Eversole, daughter of old Billy Eversole lives in Owsley,

father of Miss Mary Duff; Shadrick Duff married Mary Combs, granddaughter

of Gen. Combs.  They raised a family; Louisa, wife of John Spencer; Nancy

wife of Major John Eversole, mother of Joseph and Harry, George, John and

Claude Eversole; Orleana, wife of Adam Campbell, they reared a family;

Mary, wife of Anderson Eversole who moved to Kansas, a brother of Abner and

Capt. Billy Eversole.

John Duff, my brother, was the first surveyor in Perry Co.. He was County

Judge of Perry in his old days.  He had an arm amputated when he was in the

70’s.  He died in 1892, aged 91.  He left a fine estate at the mouth of

Grapevine.  His wife survives him.



Shadrick Duff, my brother was killed by the explosion of a keg of gun

powder in a store room in Hazard when a young man.  He snuffed a candle and

threw the snuff into a keg of powder, accidently.  He and my brother John,

were in partnership in the goods business.



We lived in Hazard at the time.  John was in the south with a drove of

horses at that time and did not hear of the clamity till he reached home.

His wife told him of it before he got off his horse, whereupon he went to

the grave and stuck his riding switch in the fresh dirt.  It grew to be a

tree and stands there today.



John McDANIEL  June 13, 1898

I knew Col. Daniel Garrard well.  He told me that he drank a great deal

when he was young but when he married he quit and would not drink anything

intoxicating not even cider.  General T.T. Garrard never drank not even a


I knew General Hugh White well.  He drank a great deal when young but quit

entirely.  James White, his son, did not drink anything.  Daugherty would

take a dram and sometimes get tipsy.



page 2344-47

Jason Walker Bolling.  Benge, Kentucky, June 15, 1898


My great grandfather, Jesse Bolling came to Kentucky in

180.  My grandfather Elijah Bolling was born at the Three

Forks of Powell River in Lee County,  Virginia in 1798, and

when he was 12 years old his father removed to Perry County,

Kentucky.  Daniel Duff baptized my grandfather, Elijah

Bolling.  Rev, Andrew baker baptized my great grandfather

at Blackwater Church, now Hawkins County, Tennessee.  My

great great grandfather was Major John Bolling.  He had 19 sons.

I do not knw that there were any daughters.  One of the sons

William Bolling married Martha Jefferson, sister of Thomas

Jefferson, President of the United States.  Other sons were,

Jesse above mentioned, Benjamin was oldest born 1752 or 3.

Jesse was born 1765.  Robert(a) the wife of U.S. Senator,

Archibald Dixon, was the daughter of  Dilany Bolling of

Missouri and the granddaughter of Major John Bolling,


Gov. John Young Brown’s wife was a daughter of Archibald

Dixon.  (Roger Cornett, son of the original William Cornett

built the house where Hemp. Coldiron lives, in 1802 he married

Zilpha Callahan.  This makes the date of the Cornett’s coming

to Kentucky 1796-1799 probable.  Men from Crug’s Ferry at

mouth of Sexton were at the raising.  Roger Cornett was in slaves

and land.  He owned the Coleman Survey, patented in 1783, 5,600


There are Bollings in western Keentucky.  One went to Congress

some years ago, perhaps 1870 or 1872.

The first Bolling who came to America was Colonel Robert Bolling

of London, England.

I think old Cava Baker made the rhyme on the “Cattle War”, I

have always heard it that way.  Old Julius Bob Baker and

William Neal were in St. Clairs defeat.  Baker held a Major’s

commission.  They are both buried Buffalo, Owsley County.

Neal requested to be buried beside Baker.  John Gilbert and

John Amis married sisters of James Bowling, Eli, John,

grandfather of Judge Josiah Comb’s wife,  Christopher,

William, Joseph, Nancy (Sizemore) was another sister from

these have descended most of the Bollings in Clay County.

Jesse Bolling my great grandfather, married Mary Pennington

of Lee County, Va.  He was born in North Carolina at Hillsboro.

His father was born in Virginia.  David Pennington, her brother,

was living during the war of the Rebellion.  My grandfater,

Elijah Bolling stayedd with him in Lee Co. furing the late war.

Jesse Bolling had children as follows; Hannah married Huff;

Mary married Abram Barger; Justice married ????; John

married Polly Lewis; Jesse married Lewis for his second wife;

William married a daughter of FDaniel Duff; Elijah married

Roberts; George married Lewis; a daughter married Joseph

Spencer; Betsey married Abel Pennington; another married

Maggard; another died single.  A. P. Hill and Basil Duke

married sisters of John Morgan.  His mother was the daughter

of John Hunt, the first millionaire in Kentucky.  Dr, Foster of

Kentucky was reared by Mrs. Hunt.




page 2348

David Benge     Wednesday, June 15, 1898


My grandfather, David Benge (called King David) came to Ky.,

and settled in Madison County.  While living there he used to

drive stock to this section and herd them on the range.  If he

had any brothers and sisters  I never heard of them.

Thomas Benge son of David Benge and father of Jane Benge,

killed ___Porter, stood his trail, came clear and then went

first to Indiana and then to Iowa.  It occurred near McWhorter.

It was at corn shucking; the pile was divided and these men fell

out – perhaps were Captains- and Benge struck Porter with a

rake.  He lived a week or ten days and died.  My grandfather

was a soldier in two wars, Revolutionary and 1812,  My father

was John Benge.  He volunteered in the War of 1812; my

grandfather would not let him go but went in his stead.  His

other sons were; Willliam, Joseph, and Lewis Franklin.  His

daughters were; Nancy (William Cornett, son of Roger); Sallie

Ann (George Treeman); Adeline (Elisha Stiver); Zilpa (Robert

Stiver); Lucinda (Benjamin Johnson); Mary (Elijah McGee).

John, my father, had 13 children, 10 girls and 3 boys, all still

living but one eldest is 86.  My brother’s name was James, he

lives here in Clay.  Hemarried Benge! second cousin.  I am next

to the oldest.  I married Nancy Lynx, daughter of Fred Lynx.

I had twelve children all living but two.  My oldest sister, Sallie

Ann, married John Johnson and lives near Bernstadt.  Lucinda

married Zessa McWhorter; They had a large family.  Lydia Ann

married James Hawes.  They had a large family.  Martha married

James Bolling, lives on Goose Cree.  Betsey married Henderson

Howes, parents of Mark & William Howes.  They had a good

family.  Eliza married Adam Bolling, both are living and have 8

or 9 children.  Bina married Gillum House, both are living.  Jennie

married William Bolling, both living on Little Goose.  Nancy

married Byrd, she died in child birth, left no children.  Evalina

married William Martin, had a large family.  I lived where I now

reside 60 years.  I used to make whiskey before the war.  I think

it a bad business.  I never drank much whiskey, ruins a




page 2375-76

Salt Making

Alexander Outkaw who made salt on Goose Creek was from the

head of Nolechicky River, Tenn. called Outlaw’s Bend.  In digging

salt wells my father said they found a pine log 25 or 30 ft. below

the surface.  I think Barton made the first salt on Goose Creek.

I have heard Jake Phipps and Joseph Cox, salt makers, talk of it.

Cox was full of fun.  A proud man came along where he worked at

Barton’s salt works.  He wanted to get across the Creek.  Said he

would give so much money if he were on the other side.  Joe said he

would carry him over on his back for that amount.  In the middle of

the stream Cox declared they must swim for the water was too deep to

float..  He sunk into the water and thus got the proud man thoroughly wet.

 I do not know if this was the Cox who was shot at the battle

on North Fork.  When my father came here the people cut down the

cane and planted the corn without fencing.  They would break off

the young cane as it would come.  There were plenty of buffalo and

elk when my father came here.  The bears would eat the corn so it

was with great difficulty they raised corn.  Salatiel Martin called

“Dad” Martin, was the first settler at the mouth of Martin’s Fork.

 Jesse Pace who settled on Pace’s Creek went deranged.  Mr. White.

the son of James White Senator. went to Congress from this district while

he lived at the mouth of Buzzard on Goose Creek, where Judge White

lives.  My grandmother has a Welsh Bible.  I have heard her read it

often.  I think it is in the family somewhere perhaps at Felix



page 2377-78

William Washington Hayre     Clay Co., Ky.   July 1, 1898

My grandfather Hayre, Thomas, was born in Ireland.  He married

Miss Martha Corrigan in Ireland.  They came to America and

settled in Iredell Co., N.C.  They might have been married in

America, both were born in Ireland.  My father was William

Corrigan Hayre.  He was born in Iredell Co., N.C. in 1802 at least

he was raised there.  My father married Miss Nancy Patterson

of Iredell Co., N.C. or at least in North Carolina.  After his

marriage, he and his father removed to the Cherokee Purchase, perhaps in

N.C. and lived there about a year.  My grandfather

went back to Iredell County and my father came to Clay County,

Kentucky about 1829.  My mother’s parents John Patterson and

wife were born in Scotland.  They settled in N.C. when they came to

America.  I do not know when they came.  John McLeod of Rockcastle

River is a relative of Patterson’s.  My ancestors were all Protestants

or either Presbyterians or I learned it that way.  My father and

mother were Methodists.  They joined in this county at Potter’s

Chapel.  My mother died just in 1857 and my father in 1881.  They

were good people.  When my father came from N.C.  had no

penitentiary in that state.  The gallows or the whipping post were

the alternatives.  The second offense in theft was death.  The Clay

County lawyers would not have North Carolinians on juries, in those

days.  They were afraid their clients would get justice.  I married first

Polina Hibbard who bore me five children; Frances (John Davidson); John C.

married Hazel Roberts;  Thomas married a Kersly; Robert married a

Pennington; Butler and Nancy.  My second wife was Susan Benge,

she had only one child, William Franklin.  They all live in Clay and Laurel (Counties).   I am a member of the Methodist Church.



I was 13 days trying the Strong and Amis cases.  I had Captain Clark with

me.  I bound everyone over in bonds.  Bill Strong and Amis in $1,000 each;

others less.  John Akeman and Dan McDaniel $500.00 each.  This was in 1873.




……….The Breathitt Court was visited at that time by, William Harvey

Burus and Newton P. Reed of West Liberty; Kenaz Farrow; Richard Apperson of

Mt Sterling; Judge Daniel Freck of Richmond; Samuel Ensworth and D.Y.

Lyttle of Manchester; Sydney M. Banies of Irvine whom Harvey Burus said was

the heaviest lawyer that he had met in the mountain bars……..



(William Murray) July 10, 1898 Sunday.

I am at Bro. McDaniel’s.  Went through 3 services today with good strength.

 Preached on Foreign Missions, took a collection, got $2.50.




T. T. Garrard- Manchester, Ky., April, 1898

  John Hays married a Callahan. It was in the year 1806, Captain Amos

and his company marched down from the Upper Licks. Kinkade wrote back to

General Hugh White for reinforcements. Davidsons lived on the Middle

Fork, also in Clay. Clay Davidson went to help those on the North Fork.


  William Asher, grandson of Dillon Asher, told me that his grandfather

came to Red Bird in 1800. John Gilbert came trapping when he first came

to these parts. He caught the beaver out of the beaver dam on Red Bird,

where Carter Holton now lives just above the mouth of Spring Creek on

the right hand side. He also went to the e Middle Fork and caught t all

the e beaver at the mouth of LongÕs Creek.


  James Renfro once owned the site of Pineville but Gibson who came from

Virginia owned it before him.


James and Dough Garrard, Hugh White pooled their issues and it was in

force when the war broke out. They had an agent to sell for all, usually

about 50 cents. Grant said of the salt claims of Goose Creek people, “It

is a just claim and ought to be paid and would be paid some day but this

is not the time to do it.” Salt was worth $1.00 a bushel when the works

were closed down by the order of General Buck.


  Mr. Thompson of Louisville was the commissioner who took the proxy in




David Benge, Wednesday, June 15, 1898

My grandfather, David Benge (called King David) came to Ky. and settled in

Madison County. While living there he used to drive stock to this section

and herd them on the range. If he had any brothers and sisters I never hear

of them. Thomas Benge son of David Benge and father of Jane Benge, killed

____Porter, stood his trial, came clear and then went first to Indiana and

then to Iowa. It occurred near McWhorter. It was at a corn shucking; the

pile was divided and these men fell out – perhaps were Captains -and Benge

struck Porter with a rake. He lived a week or ten days and died. My

grandfather was a soldier in two wars, Revolutionary and 1812. My father

was John Benge. He volunteered in the War of 1812; my grandfather would not

let him go but went in his stead. His other sons were; William, Joseph, and

Lewis Franklin. His daughters were; Nancy (William Cornett, son of Roger);

Sallie Ann (George Treeman); Adeline (Elisha Shiver); Zilpha (Robert

Stiver); Lucinda (Benjamin Johnson); Mary (Elijah McGee). John, my father,

had 13 children, 10 girls and 3 boys, all still living but one eldest is

86. My brother’s name was James, he lives here in Clay. He married Benge’

second cousin. I am next to the oldest. I married Nancy Lynx, daughter of

Fred Linx. I had twelve children all living but two. My oldest sister,

Sallie Ann, married John Johnson and lives near Bernstadt. Lucinda married

Zessa McWhorter; They had a large family. Martha married James Bolling,

lives on Goose Creek. Betsey married Henderson Howes, parents of Mark and

William Howes. They had a good family. Eliza married Adam Bolling, both are

living and have 8 or 9 children. Bina married Gillum House, both are

living. Jennie married William Bolling, both living on Little Goose. Nancy

married Byrd, she died in child birth, left no children. Evaline married

William Martin, had a large family. I have lived where I now reside 60

years. I used to make whiskey before the war. I think it a bad business. I

never drank much whiskey, ruins a neighborhood


Matilda DUFF Lewis - Hyden, Ky., May 1898. 
My father was Rev. Daniel DUFF, born in Guilford County, N.C. in 1776. His father was Shadrick DUFF. He was killed in the Revolutionary War. His wife was Deborah DICKSON, did not survive him. Shadrick DUFF'S father was born in Ireland. He was Scotch-Irish. The DICKSONS were Irish also. My father spoke (used) broken English. My father used to call Mrs SPARKS his old Irish aunt. My father had a sister, Eliabeth, who married Mr. McLEAN. They settled in Green County, Tenn. and reared a large family. I saw two of the sons at my father's once. My mother was Nancy Ann ELLISON. My parents were married in Guilford County. Her father was Welsh. Soon after my father and mother married they came to Lee County, Va. There were DUFFS living there. Robin DUFF of that county was a very wealthy man. They were related to my father. 
While they [Daniel & Nancy Ann ELLISON Duff] lived in Lee County several children were born to them. Their oldest child was Henry, he was born in 1798. John was born in 1801. In 1818 my parents removed to Perry County, Kentucky, and settled on the North Fork of the Kentucky River about two miles above the mouth of Grapevine Creek. He [Daniel] was a Baptist Minister. Attending a meeting of some kind in Harlan County, he met with Rev. Jesse BOLLING who lived on the North Fork and becoming attached to him, made a visit to his home. This led to his removal to Kentucky and Perry County. 
My father's children were: Henry, John, Shadrick and Martha who married William BOWMAN and moved to Iowa. They reared a family. 
Deborah, who married William BOLLING and reared a large family on Middle Fork about Perry and Breathitt line. 
Mary married SHEPHERD and moved to Missouri; 
Colson who married Elizabeth GILBERT of Virginia. These GILBERTS moved to Sandy Country, where Thomas GILBERT, the father died. 
Drusilla married William GILBERT, brother of Elizabeth. They moved to Illinois about the close of the war. They lived in Carter county up to that time. 
Alexander married Miss HOLLY or HOLYFIELD. He is a carpenter and lived in Breathitt. 
Margaret who married John HAYS of Breathitt and moved to Wolfe County where she died. She was living at last account. [sic] She raised a large family. 
I am the next and youngest. I was born in 1825. I married John LEWIS in 1859. Our children: Drusilla LEWIS, wife of Theo LEWIS, and Henry LEWIS with whom I live and one who died are my children. These are all. 
My father died in 1855 in Carter County, my mother in Perry County in 1849. My father then went to his daughters in Carter County where he married a Mrs. Ellen ROE. He only lived a short time after this. 
I went to school to David FEE. He was a smart man, a good teacher and highly respected. He taught near my home. When my father moved to Kentucky he came horseback. They came down Red Bird and up Cutshin. There were no wagon roads. They stayed all night at John GILBERTS. I knew old William STRONG, he too, was a Baptist preacher. He married Jane CALLAHAN, the daughter of Edward CALLAHAN, of Red Bird. Several of her brothers lived on the North Fork and it was they who were engaged in the "Cattle War." John AMIS, the leader of the other side, was a brother-in-law of John GILBERT, they having married sisters ... BOLLINGS. The names of CALLAHANS were William and Isaac, nicknamed "Pike" and it seems to me there was a third. Old Samuel DAVIDSON married a CALLAHAN, sister to Mrs. SSTRONG, and he was in the war. 
Rev. William STRONG was a Baptist preacher. He had children as follows; Edward, Isaac, Alexander and William. William married a DEATON, sister of the old legislator. Edward married a SPENCER; his children were: Capt. William STRONG, Mrs. Alfred MARCUM, Mrs. John LITTLE and Mrs. Henry DUFF, also Robert STRONG who died young leaving a few children; also Judge Alex STRONG of Lee County, Kentucky. William had children as follows; Judge Edward STRONG of Lost Creek known as "Red Ned;" Mrs. William COPE (Tom COPE'S father) and Mrs. Wiley COPE, of Big Branch. Isaac had a son, William. Alexander married Miss WILSON, had several children, one the wife of George BAKER of Clay County, also Daniel STRONG of Laurel County. 
John SPENCER was an early settler of Grapevine. I think he came from Virginia. He had a large family. I think William SPENCER of Breathitt who married Miss BRITTAIN was a relative of his. Joseph SPENCER was one of his sons. John SPENCER who married John DUFF'S daughter was a son of Joseph SPENCER. 
My brother, John DUFF married Mary, the daughter of General Elijah Combs. He had children as follows: 
Henry DUFF who married Mahala STRONG, daughter of Edward and sister of Capt. Bill STRONG; 
Elijah, married Mary EVERSOLE, daughter of old Billy EVERSOLE lives in Owsley, father of Miss Mary DUFF; 
Shadrick DUFF married Mary Combs, granddaughters of Gen. Combs. They raised a family; 
Louisa, wife of John SPENCER; 
Nancy, wife of Major John EVERSOLE, mother of Joseph and HARRY, George, John and Claude EVERSOLE; 
Orleana, wife of Adam CAMPBELL, they reared a family; 
Mary wife of Anderson EVERSOLE who moved to Kansas, a brother of Abner and Capt. Billy EVERSOLE. 
John DUFF, my brother, was the first surveyor in Perry County. He was county judge of Perry in his old days. He had an arm amputated when he was in the 70's. He died in 1892, age 91. He left a fine estate at the mouth of Grapevine. His wife survives him. 
Old Miss EFFIE MOORE, raised one child, Allen MOORE. She was a good woman, raised her child well, never had any other. Allen married Margaret LEWIS, sister of my husband. They had a large family of children; Daniel James, William, who was killed in Jackson, some left the country; Drusilla married James WHITE, parents of Miss Mary WHITE. They were two of the old DAVIDSONS, Samuel who married CALLAHAN above given and who moved to Missouri; and Robert who lived in Breathitt. 
Shadrick DUFF, my brother was killed by the explosion of a keg of gun powder in a store room in Hazard when a young man. He snuffed a candle and threw the snuff into a keg of power, accidentally. He and my brother James were in partnership in the goods business. We lived in Hazard at the time. [My brother] John was in the south with a drove of horses at that time and did not hear the calamity till he reached home. His wife told him of it, before he got off his horse, whereupon he went to the grave and stuck his riding switch in the fresh dirt. It grew to be a tree and stands there today. 


Margaret Combs Lewis, Hyden, KY, May 30, 1898. 
I was born in Perry County, Kentucky in 1820 or 1822. 
My father was Nicholas Combs. He was a son of Nicholas Combs, one of the original eight brothers who settled in Perry County from Holston River, Virginia. 
My grandfather John Combs, my mother's father, was a Revolutionary soldier, I am certain of that. One of his brothers was also a soldier in the Revolutionary War. I think it was Washington. I was nearly grown when my grandfather, Nicholas Combs, died in 1837 or 1838. He settled near where L. D. Combs now lives and there lived and died. My father, Nicholas Combs, told me that when grandfather first came to Perry he went to Carr to get some wheat to sow from old William CORNETT. He had no wheat but half a bushel of rye which my grandfather brought home. My grandfather sowed it and when the grain was in the milk they washed it and cooked it, so scarce was bread stuff. 
My grandfather, Nicholas Combs,* had only five children, viz. Nicholas, Jeremiah and Semund [sic]. Rebecca married a WILLIAMS and Licia married a SMITH. 
Granville and Lorenzo Combs are my brothers and still live below Hazard. 
My mother was Elizabeth Combs, daughter of John Combs and one of the original eight Combs in Perry. He first settled in Lincoln County near Danville and later came to Perry and settled on Carr's Fork. He moved to Owsley County and lived a number of years and then went to Lincoln or Boyle County where two of his daughters lived and there died. These daughters never came to the mountains. They married before their father moved to the mountains. One of them married Joseph GOOD, two of their sons from about Danville were in Perry once buying cattle. They were prosperous men. Another daughter married James HUNDLEY and they removed to Perry with my grandfather, John Combs. They had two sons, Harry (Henry) HUNDLEY and Samuel HUNDLEY. Harry (Henry) HUNDLEY married a sister of Judge Josiah Combs of Perry. Kenneth HUNDLEY, son of Sam, married Miss MATTINGLY, sister of Judge Josiah Combs' wife. My grandfather, John Combs, had a daughter named Dicie who married a SPENCER and removed to Illinois. This SPENCER was related to the SPENCERS on Grapevine. Another daughter, Margaret died single. My grandfather, John Combs, had sons: Hardin, Benjamin and John, called Jack. Hardin lived and died in Breathitt on Middle Fork at the mouth of Buck Creek. My sister married his son, Hardin. She still lives there. Benjamin lived and died on Turkey Creek, Breathitt County. Jack lived in Owsley on Cow Creek. I think the Combs came from North Carolina to Holston River. Meredith Combs of Clay County is a son of my uncle John or Jack Combs. 




William M. Combs, Jackson, Breathitt Co, KY, July 19, 1898. 
Henry Combs was my grandfather. He married Rachael CLEMENTS before he came to Kentucky. They had children as follows: Matthew (my father), Henry, George, James, Stephen and Frank; Bettie, Polly and Winnie. Bettie married Jerry Combs; Winnie married John MILLER; Polly, Downey STACY. My grandfather moved to Indiana about 1837 or 1838. He visited KY about 1848. He reared a large family by his second wife, Phoebe FRANCIS. George died in Perry on Troublesome. His descendents are still there. Henry married Nancy BROWN in New River, NC and reared a family on Big Creek, Perry County. Frank married Bettie OLIVER first, second Polly COUCH, lived and died in Perry. Stephen lived and died in Breathitt. My father married Frankie BROWN on New River, (sister to) my Aunt Nancy BROWN (who was married to Henry Combs). His children were: Aaron, Alfred, Matthew, Henry, Richard, Isaac B., Wm. M., Nathan, Rachel. Aaron married Ruth DICKERSON; Alfred, Peggy NOBLE; Matthew, Sallie WILLIAMS; Henry, Tempie DAVIS; Richard, Polly BACK; Isaac B., Louvisa McINTYRE; Wm. M., Jane Combs, daughter of Washington and grandaughter of Mason Combs, one of the original COMBES; Nathan married Miss CLINE of Arkansas and is still living there. Rachael married Isaac BACK. Alfred and Henry lived and died on Troublesome in Breathitt. Aaron and Matthew lived and died in Missouri; Richard in Montgomery Co., Ky. Isaac B., in Wolfe County, Ky., Rachael on Quicksand, Breathitt Co., Ky. 
William M. Combs, 1898, Breathitt County, KY. 
I was personally acquainted with General Leslie Combs. I met him in Frankfort in 1862, July. Dr. RODMAN knocked him down. Combs called RODMAN a God-d------ traitor. Leslie swore he could cut out a better General with a broad ax out of a buckeye than the General who was commanding at Flafort??? [sic] (Frankfort). Leslie told me we are all kin. I do not know how close, but it was distant. He had two brothers who were not much. Leslie was the boy Captain during the War of 1812. He carried a man off the battle field, and when Leslie broke (?), this man set him up in business. 
Nickolson Combs was called "Danger" Combs; his son, Nickolson, was called "Birdeye;" he was Peggy LEWIS' father. General Leslie Combs was Clerk of the Court of Appeals after the Civil War. 
At a Methodist meeting at the mouth of Lot's Creek, the preachers were slapping the mourners on the back and telling them to pray on, saying, "We have the devil down. Let's keep him down." Old General Elijah Combs was present and ... (Interview ends here without any warning.) 
William M Combs, Jackson [Breathitt Co], Kentucky, July 19, 1898. Reverend Nixon COVEY, a local Methodist preacher, taught school in the Cut Off at Jackson in 1844. I went to school to him in 1844. He is the grandfather of the BARNETTS. 
Reverend Carlisle BABBITT was an early circuit rider. He reproved Nathan NOBLE for cooking on Sunday. Next time, he gave him cold bread. BABBITT asked for the warm bread which NOBLE had cooked for himself, but he did not get it. His wife, Aunt Jennie, was a member of the Methodist Church. BABBITT preached on Lost Creek and Troublesome. It was old Mrs. ALLEN who told him where to find his sheep. It was at a log rolling; Mrs. ALLEN was there. He stopped. Mrs. ALLEN was a little tipsy and asked him his business. "I am hunting lost sheep (of Israel)." "I say that is your ram at old BILL (JAKE) NOBLE'S." 
Some say she said, "Ill be d--ned." I went to school to a circuit rider in the old Baptist church on Troublesome. Reverend Richard SMITH married Malissie Combs, an ancestor of Bad TOM SMITH. 
Napoleon Bonaparte Combs, Jackson, Kentucky, July 19, 1898. 
I was born in Perry County, Kentucky, in 1808. All I know about my age is that I voted for General JACKSON. I think it was his second election for I only voted for him once.* My father was Mason Combs. My mother was Jennie RICHESON or RICHARDSON. He and seven brothers came. William Combs, my uncle, went to Fayette County. He was at my mother's after my father died and wanted to take me to his home to raise. My father had 11 children, 5 girls and 6 boys. I am the youngest. The girls were born first. Willie, the youngest daughter, was born in Kentucky. There are seven children, at least, born after the CombsES came to Kentucky, and the youngest was born in 1808. The surveyor (?) books are good authorities. John DUFF was the first surveyor I knew. I think the CombsES are Irish. Stephen JETT told me that he stayed all night at my father's when he moved to Kentucky. My father took up all the land that he could in his own name, and then he took some up in his daughter, Willie's, name. He owned six miles up Carr, also up and down the North Fork. He had land in Tennessee. He left his land on the Holston. He said there were Indians in Kentucky, and if he could not live here, he would have his own land to which to go back. He never sold it. He had plenty here and did not need it. 
I married Miss Susan ISOM. My father-in-law said he used to carry his own gun while plowing, but I do not know that there were Indians here. The ISOMS must have come about as early as the CombsES. I moved first to Breathitt about fifty years ago and then to Owsley seven years later. General Leslie Combs, of Lexington, was a cousin of my father's. I have always understood it. One of my nephews named his son for him. So did Hardin Combs of the Middle Fork, Breathitt. Old Leslie told Wiley Combs, my son-in-law, "Never deny your name. It is as good a name as there is in this world." He always claimed kin to us." 
Jason Walker BOLLING, Benge, Kentucky, June 15, 1898. 
My great grandfather, Jesse BOLLING, came to Kentucky in 1810. My grandfather, Elijah BOLLING was born at the Three Forks of Powell River in Lee Co., Virginia in 1798, and when he was 12 years old his father removed to Perry Co., Ky. Daniel DUFF baptized by great-grandfather, Elijah BOLLING. Rev. Andrew BAKER baptized by great-grandfather at Blackwater Church, now Hawkins County, Tenn. My great-great grandfather was Major John BOLLING. He had 19 sons. I do not know that there were any daughters. One of these sons, William BOLLING married Martha JEFFERSON, sister of Thomas JEFFERSON, President of the United States. Other sons were, Jesse, above mentioned, Benjamin the oldest born in 1752 or 3. Jesse was born 1765. Roberta the wife of U. S. Senator Archibald DIXON, was the daughter of Dilaney BOLLING of Missouri and the granddaughter of Major John BOLLING, aforesaid. Gov. John Young BROWN'S wife was a daughter of Archibald DIXON. (ROGER CORNETT, son of the original William CORNETT built the house where HAMP. COLDIRON lives, in 1802, he married ZILPHA CALLAHAN. This makes the date of the CORNETT'S coming to Kentucky 1796-1799 probable. Men from Crug's Ferry at mouth of Sexton were at the raising. ROGER CORNETT was into slaves and land. He owned the COLEMAN Survey, patented in 1783 of 5,600 acres.) 
There are some BOLLINGS in western Kentucky. One went to Congress some years ago, perhaps 1870 or 1872. The first BOLLING who came to America was Colonel Robert BOLLING of London, England. I think old Cava BAKER made the rhyme on the "Cattle War," I have always heard it that way. Old Julius Bob BAKER and William NEAL were in St. Clair's defeat. BAKER held a Major's Commission. They are both buried at Buffalo, Owsley, County. NEAL requested to be buried beside BAKER. John GILBERT and John AMIS married sisters of James BOWLING [sic]. From Eli, John (grandfather of Judge Josiah Combs'S wife), Christopher, William, Joseph, Nancy (SIZEMORE) another sister of these, have descended most of the BOLLINGS in Clay County. Jesse BOLLING, my great grandfather married Mary PENNINGTON of Lee County, Va. He was born in North Carolina at Hillsboro. His father was born in Virginia. David PENNINGTON, her brother, was living during the War of the Rebellion. My grandfather, Elijah BOLLING stayed with him in Lee Co. during the late war. Jesse BOLLING had ten children as follows: Hannah mararied HUFF; Mary married Abram BARGER; Justice married ??; John married Polly LEWIS; Jesse married LEWIS for his second wife; William married a daughter of Daniel DUFF; Elijah married ROBERTS; George married LEWIS; a daughter married Joseph SPENCER; Betsey married Abel PENNINGTON; another married MAGGARD; another died single. A. P. HILL and Basil DUKE married sisters of John MORGAN. His mother was the daughter of John HUNT, the first millionaire in Kentucky. Dr. FOSTER of Kentucky was reared by Mrs. HUNT. 

James Brock
January 3, 1898. Hyden, Kentucky.

I live in Leslie County, I am 55 years old. I was born in Clay County. My father’s name is Aaron Brock. My mother was Barbara Shepherd. Her father’s name was James Shepherd. He was born in Virginia. I don not know what county it was; it was near Fort Yokum and Fort —, which was taken when he was about ten years old by the Indians who were led by Benge, the white man who was taken by the Indians when a boy seven years old. His capture was as follows. His mother had sent him to gather elderberries for the ducks. A party of Indians came upon him and attempted to kill him. He gathered stones and began to fight them. Pleased with his valor they took him prisoner saying, “He will make a good warrior.” I have heard my grandfather tell this and many other things, among them the taking of Fort — and the killing of Benge.
At the taking of this last mentioned fort, the Indians killed all but two women, the wives of George and Peter Levice. (Livingston in Collins.) Among the slain were the aged mother and father of Benge. After the massacre one of the captured women asked Benge if he did not remember an old man and an old woman who were killed. He said he did. She said, “They were your father and mother.” He dropped his head and wept. They crossed the Cumberland Mountains at Benge’s Gap. One of the women was tied to an Indian chief but the other, led by Benge (Peter Levice’s wife), marked the path of their retreat by pieces of her clothing torn and scattered.
As the whites pursued, they came to the house of my great grandfather, Nimrod Shepherd. My great grandmother was baking bread. It was not more than half cooked but was divided among them hastily. They took down some dried bear meat and venison saying, “We will use the bear’s flesh for meat and the venison for bread.” The first sight they got of the Indians was an Indians who had been stationed as a picket. He was roasting a turkey and nodding. Peter Levice slipped within 31 feet of him. They feared to shoot, lest the prisoners should be murdered. Springing for behind a tree, Levice, at three bounds, fell upon his victim and dispatched him with his tomahawk. He fell into the fire and the pursuers first ate turkey and then went on in their pursuit. Peter had lost a wife before this by the Indians and had recently remarried. He swore he would have her if he had to pursue them into Ohio.
George Levice’s wife was enciente. Peter Levice’s wife was sitting awake. Benge was asleep with his hand in her lap. Only one Indian was awake. A bird hovered over Benge’s head, fluttered, and darted off in the direction of the pursuers. The waking Indian shook Benge and told him there was danger. He grunted but fell back to sleep. The bird repeated its performance. The Indian then awakened Benge and told him, “Get up. Bad luck. Bad luck.” Benge rose and climbed a black gum tree nearby and got some mistletoe, saying, “I have always gotten mistletoe from this tree when coming to Powell’s Valley and have always had good luck.” He put it in his shot pouch and they started. The white men overtook them near Benge’s Gap. Mrs. Peter Levice first saw her rescuers, and her husband was the first one she saw. He was peeping from behind a tree. He caught her eye and shook his fist at her to keep her quiet. She went only a few steps, when she broke away and started toward her husband, screaming. Benge made three leaps after her, but seeing his danger, he turned in retreat. Levice fired at him as he was pursuing his wife but feared lest he would kill his wife. As Benge retreated he bounded from side to side to prevent his pursuers from hitting him. Vinton Hobbs saved his load till Benge would get into the narrow gap and then at a distance of 55 yards he put a ball through his head. Benge had a “blackjack” cup tied to his body which he clapped over his forehead, and it filled with blood and brains. He also had a small keg of brandy swung over his shoulder. The white men were so infuriated that they turned the contents of the cup upon the ground and drank the brandy from it. They took three strips of flesh from his back, 18 inches long, saying, “These are for razor strops.” They put his skull in the cleft of a rock, and my mother said she had seen it often. George Levice’s wife clenched the Indian to who she was tied and held his arms. He struck at her with his tomahawk over his shoulders but she had his arms pinioned and he could only use them below the elbows. She would dodge his lick as far as her head was concerned but her collar bone received the blows. She held him till her husband came to the rescue and dispatched him. Soon after she died. A party of white men had gone another route in pursuit of the Indians and they killed all that escaped from this party save one and he died after reaching home. This was the last Indian raid into that country. My grandfather died about 20 years ago (1878), he was about 90 (88-94) years old. This would place this event late in the last century. (Collins’ account is from Beiy Shaw’s in American Pioneers.) Collins says 1793, Bell County.
The Indians had captured a little Negro boy. They had him in one end of a sack and a keg of liquor or brandy in the other end of the sack. When they were attacked they tumbled the sack over the cliff. It struck the top of a spruce pine which softened the fall. After they had settled with the Indians and had started back they heard the little boy crying. Going down under the cliff they found him. When they asked him how he got there he said, “Why they just throwed me over here and didn’t care whether they killed me or no.”
A man named Wallin, with a squad of seven men came from Virginia to Harlan County to hunt. Near the mouth of what is now called Wallins in Harlan County one of the party saw an Indian sitting on a log patching his moccasin and raising his trusty rifle shot him dead. Within two hours the Whites were surrounded by Indians and were all shot dead but one man. He escaped to Virginia and it was 7 days before he returned with a party to bury the dead. Each hunter had his dog. These dogs had attacked the bodies of the dead, except Wallin’s. His dog lay by the side of his master’s corpse and would neither touch it himself nor suffer another to do so. They buried them where they were shot, which was on Laurel Branch, a little above the mouth of Wallin’s Branch, at the foot of Pine Mountain. Wallin’s Creek got its name in this way.




John Rolfe, Pocahontas, and their son Thomas

 Pocahontas and Family
Our understanding of the Powhatan and surrounding Native-American peoples is derived primarily from archaeology and the writings of early European explorers and settlers. By about 1300 AD, the tribes of the Coastal Plain lived in semi- sedentary villages supported by small hunting and gathering camps. Increasing reliance on horticulture focused the location of villages along floodplains and areas of rich sandy soil near rivers and the Chesapeake Bay. The rich environment provided almost unlimited quantities of fish and shellfish, much of which was dried for storage. The material goods of these people included tools and ornaments made from stone, wood, bone, and shell. The era from about 1200 BC to 1600 AD, known as the Woodland period, also marked the introduction of pottery into the Eastern Native-American groups. By the time of European contact; a wide variety of pottery styles and shapes were in common usage.
Throughout most of the Late Woodland period (900 to 1600 AD), these groups formed small independent tribal societies. By the 16th century, however, larger chiefdoms developed and hundreds of villages dotted the landscape. European traders were able to capitalize on the Native Americans’ extensive use of personal ornamentation. The men of the group painted and tattooed themselves and wore various types of ornamentation. The women painted and tattooed their faces and also wore ornaments of bone and shell, including necklaces. Their clothing consisted of short apron-like garments of skins.
By 1600, the Powhatan chiefdom, under the rule of Wahunsunacock, covered an area extending from Washington, D.C., to the North Carolina line, and included at least 32 sub-chiefdoms in over 150 villages.  The Powhatan chiefdom was one of a number of Algonquian language groups in the larger region. John Smith noted that  
“ The forme of their Common wealth is a monarchical government, one as Emperor ruleth over many kings or governours. Their chief ruler is called Powhatan .”
Powhatan controlled these groups through inheritance and power; they paid him tax or tribute and received his aid in times of need.
Pocahontas, also known as Matoax or Matoaka, was born to Powhatan sometime around 1595 or 1596. The colonists reported her place of birth as Werowocomoco, along the York River, Powhatan’s principal residence until 1609.15 Pocahontas began visiting the Jamestown settlement with some regularity and developed a friendship with Captain John Smith, who realized the need to cultivate communication between the English and Native Americans. ‘I She appears to have been very willing to help break the language barrier and assist settlers in procuring food from the more cooperative members of her group. However, her most famous service to the colonists is the legendary rescue of Captain Smith. As the story goes, Smith had been captured and taken to Werowocomoco, where he received a death sentence from Powhatan and his advisors.
As he was about to be killed, Smith reports in his Generall Historie that Pocahontas took his head in her armes and laid her owne upon his to save him from death.
Powhatan agreed to spare Smith’s life and proposed that he return to Jamestown and deliver two guns and a grinding stone in exchange for adoptive membership in the Powhatan fold.”
The almost mythical story of Pocahontas had its origins in the first accounts of the settlers: the histories of Smith, Argall, Dale, Purchas, and Hamor. Fictional accounts appear to have begun in the late 18th century with a romanticized version of the story, The Female American, written by Mrs. Unca Eliza Winkfield in 1767.
If the story of Pocahontas grew during the late 18th century, it blossomed during the first half of the 19th. Historian Frances Mossiker has noted that “grease-paint Pocahontases overran the stages of America throughout the first half of the 19th century. 1121 The earliest of these dramas was The Indian Princess; or, La Belle Sauvage, the 1808 work by James Nelson Barker and John Bray, an “Operatic Melo-Drame in Three Acts. 1121 The Pocahontas story continued to be told in story, verse, and song throughout the 19th and 20th centuries. Although most of the works provide some detail on her son Thomas and his family, Pocahontas’s story usually ends not long after her death in England.
Pocahontas did not marry Captain John Smith as many believe. In 1613, she was abducted by the English and brought to Henrico, where she remained for a year or more, and in 1614 was converted to the Christian faith. It was while in Henrico that Pocahontas met her future husband, John Rolfe. Shortly after her conversion, Rolfe wrote to Sir Thomas Dale, expressing his desire to marry Pocahontas. Dale felt the union would benefit the colony, and after a trip to obtain permission from Powhatan, the couple was married in the church on Jamestown Island in April 1614. The Rolfe’s built a new house along the James River near Varina, between Henrico and Bermuda Hundred. In 1615, Pocahontas gave birth to her only child, a son named Thomas. Later the same year, members of the Church of England proposed the creation of an Indian school – in Virginia and suggested that Mrs. John Rolfe might visit England to launch the venture. The Virginia Company appropriated the idea as a way to raise more money and attract new colonists to Virginia.
In June 1616, John Rolfe, Pocahontas, and son Thomas arrived in England. The Seven-month visit was a success in every way, generating new interest in the settlement of Virginia and important financial backing. The celebration quickly ended, however, as Pocahontas and her family prepared to return home. While waiting for the ship to sail from Gravesend, England, Pocahontas became ill and died. She was buried in St. George’s Parish Church on March 21, 1617.
John Rolfe returned to Virginia, but without his son. Thomas was placed in the care of his uncle, Henry Rolfe, who raised the boy. Father and son did not see each other again. When Thomas returned to Virginia in 1635, he received his father’s land in Varina as well as several thousand acres left to him by Powhatan. It appears that Thomas settled in Surry County, in an area known as “Smith’s Fort.” Although Thomas visited the Powhatan on occasion, he lived the life of an English tobacco planter. Thomas married Jane Poythress, and the couple had one child, a daughter named Jane. Little else is known of their life together.
Linebaugh, Donald W. Kippax  Plantation: Traders, Merchants, and Planters. An Exhibit Celebrating the Families of Pocahontas.Center for Archaeological Research, the College of William and Mary, Historic Hopewell Foundation, Inc. The City of Hopewell (1995).

Rulers of Jerusalem- Boulogne Family (Bolling Family).

I cannot recall the original source of this information, but I have attached all that I had in hopes that interested parties can research further on this subject matter. The Bolling/ Bowling and various spellings have thought to have had their surname changed many times. The original spelling is thought to have been Boulogne, De Bolling, Bolling, Bowling, and various other family spellings. this is interesting reading.


Boulogne family

• Godfrey         1099 – 1100

• Baldwin I       1100 – 1118

Rethel family

* Baldwin II     1118 – 1131

Anjou family

* Foulques       1131 – 1143

* Baldwin III   1143 – 1162

* Amairic I      1162 – 1174

* Baldwin IV   1174 – 1185

Montferrat family

Baldwin V de Montferrat         1185 – 1186

Anjou family

* Sibylle          1186 – 1190

Lusignan family

* Guy  1186 – 1192/94

Montferrat family

Konrad I de Montferrat            1192

Champagne family

* Henry           1194 – 1197

Lusignan family

* Ainalric II     1197 – 1205

Isabella I          1205

Montferrat family

Maria   1205 – 1212

Brienne family

* Jean  1210 – 1212, regent 1212-25

* Isabella II      1225 – 1228

Hohenstaufen family

Note: Jerusalem was lost in 1244, the Kingdom being based at Acre thereafter

* Friedrich       1225 – 1228

* Konrad         1228 – 1254

* Konradin      1254 – 1268

Lusignan (Châtillon) family

* Hugh III        1268 – 1284

* Jean  1284 – 1285

* Henri IV       1285 – 1291

To Egypt          1291 – 1516

To the Ottoman Empire           1516 – 1918

To Great Britain           1918 – 1948

State of Israel   1948 –


The Bowling Name in History

These stats were gathered after I read the book, “The Bowling Name in History” by Ancestry. I have listed some of the most interesting numbers:

The Bowling Name in History

Timeline in History

1840- 110 Bowling Families with most living in Kentucky. (21).

1861-1865- 163 Bowling Union Soldiers and 358 Confederate Soldiers.

1880- Top Bowling US Occupations- Keeping house, farmer, laborer, at home.

1881 England- Most Bowling residents lived in Lancashire and Yorkshire Counties

1900-1170 Bowling Families with most living in KY, average household size 5.34

1914-1918 World War I- 1,565 Bowling draft registrants, with most registering in KY.

1920- 1844 Bowling households of which 44 percent owned home, 70 % of these individuals were literate.

1939-1945 World War II- 895 Bowling soldiers joined the US Army.

Today- Most Bowling families in US  live in Kentucky and Ohio.


1832-1904- Bowling land patents were issued from the federal government.

1821-1948- Most Bowling immigrants to US came from England, Ireland, and Canada.

1945- Most Bowling Immigrants to the US arrived in 1945. The Queen Mary was the most common ship that Bowling immigrants sailed on.


Ships the Bowling’s Sailed On:

Queen Mary-20 ppl                                         Adriatic- 8ppl

Leviathan- 16 ppl                                            Baltic- 8 ppl.

Queen Elizabeth- 15 ppl

Britannic- 14 ppl

Cedric- 11 ppl

City of Limerick- 9 ppl

General Maurice Rose- 9 ppl

Majestic- 9 ppl

1840 Fun Facts

US population was 17,069,000

Inventions: Sewing machine, vulcanized rubber

Most popular spectator event: Horse racing

10- hour work day was established.


States with the most Bowling Households in 1840-

Kentucky -21


Tennessee- 11

Indiana- 9



Bowling Households in Kentucky


Early Kentucky inhabitants included members of the Cherokee, Chickasaw, and Shawnee Indian Tribes. Daniel Boone established the first English-speaking settlement in the area in 1775.  Kentucky became a state in 1792.  The 1820 Missouri Compromise confirmed its status as a slave state. Kentucky’s 1840 population was 780,000 including 190,000 people of African descent.


1880- Did you know?

US Population- 50,155,783.

Residents born outside the US: 5,248,568

Teacher’s salary monthly: male- 71.50  and female: 54.50 per month

Life expectancy was 39.6 years

Bike Ownership- 50,000

Miles of Railroad track- 87,000


States with most Bowling’s in 1880

Kentucky- 110

Virginia- 73






Bowlingtown, Kentucky–A Lost Communiy, but not Forgtten

Interesting article on Bowlingtown, I never noticed that my blog was used as an original source for her article.

Our Unbounded Heritage: 12th Century & Beyond

This post tells the story of the Bowling’s/Boling’s and Bowlingtown– a story as viewed by ancestors and living relatives; it includes a famous colonizer; a single woman’s efforts to keep Bowlingtown and its families on the map and in our memories; and, a local newspaper’s documentary about them all.

A Brief History

Image:  Bowlingtown Main St. 1910 Bowlingtown Main St. 1910

Daniel Boone, the Great American Pioneer, used his daring, wood-craft, and “wilderness scout” skills and experiences to open up the landscape and colonize Kentucky for his family and other settlers that founded Bowlingtown like the Bowling, Boling,  Barger, Begley, Combs, Duff, Hacker, Rice, and West families.

Image: Buckhorn Lake Buckhorn Lake

Bowlingtown was a thriving community of hundreds that once prospered where Buckhorn Lake state park now stands. After several years efforts (1995-1999), by Jewell Gordon, one of the last residents’ of Bowlingtown, a plaque now appears at the front of the Buckhorn Lodge that reads:

View original post 1,761 more words

World Wide Health Epidemics (Mainly North America).

This is agreat reference when doing your research. In research not only are you getting to know names and dates, but you are re-creating that person to find out who they were, how they lived, and what they were like. Line up your death dates and chances are you will find out if there was any correlation to an epidemic.

1657 Boston Measles
1687 Boston Measles
1690 New York Yellow Fever
1713 Boston Measles
 1729 Boston Measles
1732-3 Worldwide Influenza
1738 South Carolina Smallpox
1739-40 Boston Measles
1747 CT,NY,PA,SC  Measles
1759 N. America [areas inhabited by white people] Measles
1761 North America and West Indies Influenza
1772 North America Measles
1775 N. America [especially hard in NE] epidemic Unknown
1775-6 Worldwide [one of the worst epidemics] Influenza
1783 Dover, DE [“extremely fatal”] Bilious Disorder
1788 Philadelphia and New York Measles
1793 Vermont [a “putrid” fever] and Influenza
1793 VA [killed 500 in 5 counties in 4 weeks] Influenza
1793 Philadelphia [one of the worst epidemics] Yellow Fever
1793 Harrisburg, PA [many unexplained deaths] Unknown
1793 Middletown, PA [many mysterious deaths] Unknown
 1794 Philadelphia, PA Yellow Fever
1796-7 Philadelphia, PA Yellow Fever
1798 Philadelphia, PA [one of the worst] Yellow Fever
 1803 New York Yellow Fever
1820-3 Nationwide [starts Schuylkill River and spreads] “Fever”
1831-2 Nationwide [brought by English emigrants] Asiatic Cholera
1832 NY City and other major cities Cholera
 1837 Philadelphia Typhus
1841 Nationwide [especially severe in the south] Yellow Fever
1847 New Orleans Yellow Fever
1847-8 Worldwide Influenza
1848-9 North America Cholera
1850 Nationwide Yellow Fever
1850-1 North America Influenza
1852 Nationwide [New Orleans-8,000 die in summer] Yellow Fever
1855 Nationwide [many parts] Yellow Fever
1857-9 Worldwide [one of the greatest epidemics]
Influenza 1860-1 Pennsylvania Smallpox
1865-73 Philadelphia, NY, Boston, and New Orleans} {Smallpox- Baltimore, Memphis, Washington DC} Cholera and a series of recurring epidemics of: Typhus, Typhoid, Scarlet Fever, Yellow Fever
1873-5 North America and Europe Influenza
1878 New Orleans [last great epidemic] Yellow Fever
1885 Plymouth, PA Typhoid
1886 Jacksonville, FL Yellow Fever
1918 (high point year) Influenza Worldwide more people hospitalized in WWI from this epidemic than wounds. US Army training camps became death camps, with 80% death rate in some camps.
Finally, these specific instances of cholera were mentioned:
1833 Columbus, OH
1834 New York City
1849 New York
1851 Coles Co., IL, the Great Plains, and Missouri

Feuds of Clay County Kentucky

June 8, 1899 this date is important to set the tone, this is the date Bad Tom Baker and thirty of his kinsmen rode into Clay County seat of Manchester. Soldiers had been sent in to maintain order and the reason they were there was because of Thomas Baker sometimes called “Bad Tom”, Baker unhitched his horse and started for the courthouse, Tom was the leader of the Baker clan and had an ongoing feud with the Howard and White families. Twice in recent months he had been accused of murder, and the most recent was the killing of Deputy Sheriff Will White. Word had been sent to Tom, his son James and brother Wiley to come in and face trial, Tom’s belief is he could never get a fair trial because the courts were controlled by his feud enemies the Howard and White families. The local lawmen of the area also knew that the Bakers could summon up fifty men or so in minutes to defend the clan if need be and tension was high that day, they were not eager to go up on “Crane Creek” and bring Tom in.
Tom had sent word he would come in if Governor Bradley sent in troops to protect him and get him a fair trial he also said that he would not be put “that stinking rat hole of a jail.” They surrendered their weapons and escorted to the court room by Col. Roger D. Williams who was in charge of the troops sent to the area, on the way they saw James “Big Jim” Howard, the man who had killed Tom’s father Baldy George Baker, after two delays and a hung jury (reported 11-1) for acquittal , Howard had been found guilty by a Laurel Circuit Court but was free on appeal. Taller then Tom Jim Howard only stared with no expression at the Baker’s as they went into the courtroom.
Another figure was arriving in town at that moment none other than General Theophilus Toulmin (T.T.) Garrard, hero of the Mexican and Civil wars, former member of Congress and the state legislature, grandson of a governor, and patriarch of the Garrard family, he had also opposed the Whites, in commerce and politics and the degrading feud, the Whites and their followers, he had come in from “Goose Creek” to lend support to the Bakers. In court Col.

Williams set opposite the judge so as to maintain order while A.C. Lyttle the attorney argued for a change of venue, but Judge Cook who had came up from Pineville to oversee the proceedings called a recess, and on going outside Tom thanked T.T. Garrard for being there on his behalf, Tom, Jim and Wiley ate dinner at the Potter House, smoked for awhile and returned to court. Attorney A.C. Lyttle made a passionate plea for a change of venue again to Judge Cook, he also pointed out that the county was under control of the Whites and Howards, he added there would be bloodshed if Baker went on trial for killing a White in Manchester.

The isolation of the county was also apparent from the 1800’s settlers were beginning to sink big salt wells along “Goose Creek” and salt was so valuable at the time that the state built the first road into the county, it was not much of a road but it was a road. In the year of 1802 there were two wells in the county output of about 500 bushels a year, and by 1845 there were fifteen deep wells some up to a thousand feet, whose water yielded up to a pound and a quarter of salt per gallon, about 255,000 bushels a year at about a dollar and a half to two dollars a bushel. Game was a plenty in the area bear, elk, deer, wolves, foxes and beaver as well as rabbits, raccoons and squirrels. It was an elk hunt that triggered the first violence in the area, in 1806 that become known as the Cattle Wars. In that year Clay was formed and about 100 people lived in Manchester nothing more than a village.
T.T. Garrard was born June 7, 1812 son of Daniel Garrard and Loucinda Toulmin Garrard,,,Daniel was son of James Garrard governor of Kentucky from 1796-1804 he moved to Clay Co. Around 1805 and married Loucinda in 1808. When T.T. was twenty he married Nancy Brawner at the home of ALEXANDER WHITE which implies relations were not always hostile between the families, T.T. And Nancy had two children the first died as an infant and Nancy herself died in 1838, in 1841 T.T. Garrard ran against Daugherty White for state representative, he loosed but never gave up and in 1843 he ran against Josiah Combs and won, and the next election he was elected without an opponent. T.T was a Democrat and the Whites were Whigs,(Republicans after 1860). 
In 1844 Abner Baker Jr. Married Susan White, and this is the start of trouble, Abner was the county’s first Court Clerk, and also a good surveyor and proved unbiased over squabbles about property lines, Abner also had a reputation for erratic behavior and a bad temper. After the wedding the couple moved in with Daniel Bates who had married Abner’s sister Mary and Bates was also a prosperous salt maker, apparently the parents did not hold well with the marriage because they did not build their own house. Anyway after the wedding Abner showed signs he was not playing with a full deck, he began accusing various men in the area of adultery with Susan including Daniel Bates, her own father and visitors and servants, the Whites on the other hand took a dim view of the situation and tried to get Susan to move back home. His family begged him to see a doctor, but he stormed out of the house and went to Knoxville, Tenn. But on September 13, 1844 he returned and went directly to Daniel Bates salt works and shot his friend in the back. As he lay dying Bates dictated a will in which he freed his servant Pompey, and his slave’s Joe Nash and his wife Lucy. He also directed his son to take revenge on BAKER and see he was prosecuted or killed, he left $10,000 to make sure it was done. This in fact split the community from those who did not think a crazy man should be hung and others who thought he should be strung up with little fuss, unsure of what to do GARRARD refused to hand Abner over to the Sheriff or the Bates family. On September 24 he was took to two magistrates one of which was Garrard himself and they deemed him insane and turned him over to his brothers both of them being doctors themselves. But he fled from Knoxville to Cuba where they said he might regain his sanity, this did not sit well with the WHITES & BATES so the persuaded the commonwealth to indict him for murder, doctors testified that Abner was suffering from a mental disease “monomania” but, this did not sway the jury, he was found guilty and on October 3, 1845 he was led to the gallows and hanged and a wedge had been driven between the powerful families of Clay Co. KY. The BAKERS wept with rage for the WHITES helping the BATES to bring Abner Baker to trial when they knew he was insane. The lines had been drawn and competition for salt hardened into hostility.
In 1847 the Mexican War came on and a lot of young men of the area signed on, T.T. Garrard was among the first to sign up he returned to Manchester a Captain, he had been a widower for more then ten years but on his return from the war he married Lucinda Burnam Lees, but not more than ten days after the wedding T.T. & his brother William and two slaves became Forty-Niners and set out for the gold fields of California. In his “memoirs” T.T explained he wanted to know the excitement of the ‘gold rush’ and his new wife understood. The brothers joined a wagon train out of St. Louis and making it to California bought a share in a gold mine and for a while T.T. Hauled provisions to the mine, but did not think much for mining so he ended up selling his share of the mine but his brother William stayed on and spent the rest of his life in California. T.T. Went down to San Francisco and caught a ship for Panama, but before he left the one of the slaves begged to be allowed to stay and promised to send T.T. $500 as soon as he could earn it although male slaves were worth much more than this, T.T. Complied and several years later he received a letter with $500 dollars in it, the former slave had done well and had made a business of his own. The other slave (William Tillet) however wanted none of California or Panama and chose to return to Clay Co. KY. The two of them caught a ship to Panama , crossed the mountains on foot and took a dugout canoe down the Chagres River to the Atlantic and boarded a freighter to New Orleans, there they booked passage on a Steamboat to Louisville and rode home to Manchester arriving February 5, 1850, in his diary T.T. said “Panama cane” grew up to eighty foot high and people built houses out of it (probably Bamboo).
In the fall of 1849 another Baker was accused of murder, William Baker son of Sarah and Boston Bob Baker apparently had killed Frank Prewitt a shoemaker, Matilda his wife was also suspect, he was tried in Manchester and although the GARRARDS came to his defense even hiring outside help he was led to the gallows on January 15, 1850, John Gilbert the hangman and Sheriff was in tears William was rather serene, he asked his friends not to forget Job Allen, Adonriam Baker and Robert Hays for testifying falsely against him. “James WHITE has too much money for a man such as me to live.” Five years later Matilda on her death bed confessed to the murder of Prewitt. Another wedge was drove not only the WHITES & GARRARDS but between the BAKERS & HOWARDS as well.

In 1856 the Garrard’s backed John Bowling for jailer he won but, within six months was found shot to death, the evidence pointed toward ED WHITE, which was tried and acquitted, T.T. Ran for the senate and won but resigned and ran for Congress against Greene Adams of Harlan Co. He lost, but ran against Carlo Britain of Harlan Co. And won the state senate, he served until he entered the Army on the onset of the Civil War. Although a staunch Democrat he joined the Union Army and was named Colonel by President Lincoln, he helped to raise 10,000 men of eastern Kentucky, at one point his father heard he was going to lead troops against Confederate General Felix Zollicoffer,”I hope he gets a good whipping,” his father said, but he did not, Boston Bob Baker who joined at the age of 63 under the command of T.T. Garrard was the one who supposedly killed Zollicoffer.

After the war some hostilities arose but most had fought for the Union, the politics of the area found in 1866, Beverly White county judge, John Ed White as commissioner of schools and Will White as county court clerk. An argument broke out in the courthouse doorway between Sheriff John G. White and Jack Hacker, Dale Lyttle joined in to protest the John White bullying and White was joined by his brother Will and cousin Daugh. Someone eventually pulled a pistol and Hacker and Lyttle fell dead in the doorway, the WHITES were arrested tried and released and of course the Garrard, Baker clan was furious because Lyttle was kinsman of the Bakers Tom Baker married Emily Lyttle. this is the stuff that feeds the feud.


In the spring of 1897 another play to take back the courthouse was waged, this being encouraged by Granville Philpot winning the election to the state legislature and of course the success of the Philpot’s in gunfights, T.T. Garrard called a meeting of the BAKERS, WEBBS, McCollum’s & PHILPOTS but Judge B.P. White also called a meeting counting on the HOWARDS, HALLS, BENGES,& GRIFFINS, the Griffins had a feud of their own going on with the Philpot’s. Bev. White and Jim Howard won and George Baker was elected to County Attorney, the courthouse remained under White control. During the week of August 7, 1897 Deputy Sheriff George HALL & former revenue officer Holland Campbell met John & Anse Baker and Charles Wooten on the road near Manchester, the WHITE-HOWARD faction had scheduled a meeting in the courthouse that day and Hall thought they were going to interrupt it, someone started shooting but none was killed Anse was wounded and his horse was killed. The following night Hall’s home and Campbell’s store at Pin Hook were burned, Anse and Bad Tom Baker were charged with arson, Tom swore he was miles from that area with friends who could vouch for him, T.T. Garrard bailed him out. February 14 1898 Tom and Anse Baker were to be tried for arson and they were acquitted, Sheriff Beverly White was most disappointed and him and John were having words in the hallway and an all out fist fight ensues, the Bakers continued the fight out to the courthouse yard where they mounted their horses and made off for “Crane Creek.”
Accounts of what happened around Crane Creek in the month of April 1898 are confusing indeed and is hard to know who the real villains are, Dickey’ diary has an entry for April 10 (Dickey is a preacher); Written by T.T. Garrard;” My son James Garrard was the Auditor’s agent when Ball Howard failed as Sheriff, as such he sold Howard’s property and the state bid it in. It was the timber on this land that Tom Baker and the Howard’s fell out over, I understand that James Howard has threatened to kill my son James since this feud has come up because of his official work.” The Sheriff T.T. is referring to is known as Ball Howard, but in Harlan his name was Adrian Ballenger apparently Ball owed Tom Baker money for some trees a matter of $15, Ball and his sons Israel and Corbin were putting the finishing touches on the raft on Crane Creek when Tom Baker approached him for the money, Ballard had told Tom he did not owe him any money as they stood there someone reached for a weapon Tom threw an auger at Ball, who ducked and swung a peavey at Tom, then Tom hit Ball a glancing blow with a pistol, Israeli Howard then fired at Tom giving him a slight flesh wound, Corbin Howard and Jesse Barrett jumped in to defuse the situation before anyone was killed, but the fuse had been lit. Meanwhile Big Jim Howard had heard of the Crane Creek incident and went to the office of George W. (Baldy George) Baker to propose a truce, and apparently an agreement had been reached because they shook hands and was glad a peaceful solution had been reached, problem is they did not inform their families at Crane Creek.
The next morning the Bakers were pushing logs into position for trip down river and on the other side the Howards were doing the same and when noon came the Bakers nodded and left for dinner, when Tom arrived home he was with Charlie WOOTEN, Jesse BARRETT and Toms brother Wiley, Tom nodded to his wife and asked James his 18 year old son to come on, James knew something was afoot and complained of being sick, but his mother told him “get your sorry thing up from there and help your daddy.” James got up got his rifle and followed the others, back at the lumber yard the Howards cast off their ropes and Israel and Corbin and a man named Davidson headed down river. Wilson, Ball and Burch Stores headed for home, As the group started past the house of Gardener & Cythena Baker, Thena (short for Cythena) came out and rang the bell, what is Thena ringing that bell for now ? Wilson wondered. As they passed about 200 yards of the Baker home a rage of bullets rang put, Wilson Howard fell riddled with bullets, Burch Stores had his head practically blown off, Ball Howard hit in the chest fell forward across his horse, which veered and galloped away as he fled the ambushers apparently came out and finished off Wilson and Stores. Wilson shot six times according to the Howards identified the murders to be the Bakers,(It is possible that he lived for a while?) Ball escaped along with the Shackle ford boys and John Lewis although he was badly wounded. A curious thing happened John Sester who was coming down Crane Creek said that Thena came down to Bal while Gard went and got a sled and took him to their house and treated the wound and got his family, Thena and Gard later helped the Howards get the bodies of Wilson and Burch Stores. (Of note also is that Ball said they came out and finished them off, in that case Will could not identify anyone, but Ball was very seriously wounded and was running for his life.)


Jim Howard furious because of the agreement between him and George, he learned that Tom Baker’s father was away from home set out toward Crane Creek, they met on the road and Jim ordered Baldy George Baker to dismount, 25 bullets pierced the body of George Baker and apparently Jim taking his time as not to be a killing shot, the old man apparently bled to death on the road (This is the Baker version). The old man told Jim he had nothing to do with the killings.(The following version is from Rev. Dickey and the witness Calderon) Another account has it this way; The morning after the killings Jim went out on Crane Creek to retrieve the bodies after retrieving the bodies he drew near Boston Gap cemetery he was fired on from ambush, and he retreated to the Willow Grove school, he knew he couldn’t go up Crane past the Baker house so he choose another route and near Collins Fork, he was shot at again. Trying to figure out how to get home alive, he went back to the store and started talking with John Calderon, so mad he looked crazy according to Mrs. Calderon, when a young girl nearby said,” looks like Baldy George is out early,” and Jim turned toward the head of the Baker clan about 20 yards away. according to Stanley DeZarn, Calderon years later living in Indiana gave Jess Wilson an eye-witness account of what happened. “Jim was standing by his horse and reached up and grabbed his rifle, about the same time Baldy George saw him and grabbed his rifle and slid off his horse and Jim shot him, Jim was shooting a .45 x .90 the shot went right through the horse and hit Baldy George in the stomach, the doctor’s came from Manchester and operated on him on the counter of the store, but he died the next day.” Calderon’s version holds closely with that of Rev. Dickey, he talks of the doctor’s operating on Baldy George Baker on the store counter, and also only mentions one wound.
So where did the 25 shots come from in the magazine? Well, Tom Baker in a letter to Gov. Bradley months later, accused Jim of shooting Baldy 25 times. At any rate Jim forgot about going home that day and rode up Collins Fork and down Ells Branch, past the spot where men were digging graves for Wilson Howard and Burch Stores, he surrendered to Deputy Sheriff Will White at his home near Burning Springs. They had supper and talked and Jim spent the night with Will and his wife Kate, the next morning they rode to Manchester and Will turned him over to Judge Brown who released him on his own recognizance. Brown deputized forty men to protect the Howard home on Crane Creek, gunmen soon began shooting into the Howard home from the brush, Ball remained home until he could travel, then Jim and guards took him to HARLAN COUNTY home of one of Ball’s cousins (probably Berry Howard) and Ball remained there until the June term of court in Clay County. In Manchester things were tense the Garrard’s were demanding an immediate trial of Jim Howard for the killing of Baldy George and the Whites and Howards were demanding the trial of Tom Baker and his cohorts for the killings of Wilson & Burch. Baldy George had 15 sons and Bad Tom had 13, but not all of the Howards or the Bakers participated in the feud.
At the burial of Baldy Baker none of his 15 sons showed up, however, at Laurel Creek cemetery where the Howards were attempting to bury Wilson and Burch Stores shots rang out, and the Howards un-armed had to take the coffins and flee, they buried them at Maxine Baker cemetery several miles away near Oneida. The two graves at Laurel Creek remained empty for years. Will White was out in the county collecting delinquent taxes when he ran into Tom and Dee Baker and James HELTON, near the mouth of Jim’s Branch, Will was killed Tom supposedly fired the fatal shot. The GOFORTHS were sitting on their porch George and Lucretia, they hurried down the road in direction of the gunfire they had seen a horse veer with its rider and several men had ridden away. Will White had been mortally wounded but before he died he grabbed Mrs. Goforth’s hand and said promise me Lucy, that you will testify in court that Tom and Dee Baker and Jim Helton killed me, I promise Will she said. Will White had not been a popular man to say the least, he was known as a man of violent temper and his kinsmen would not take the killing lightly. Will was buried on June the 4th Dickey wrote; Miss Alice Callahan and I sang “nearer my God to thee” just as the grave was about to be filled John G. and Gilbert White rode up, they live in Winchester. On the 19th just as I was starting to Hyden I saw Will White jump on Tish Philpot and beat him about. White was drunk. The Whites will now help the Howards to exterminate the Bakers, the old White, Garrard feud has been going on for 50 years, but has never broken out in virulent form. The past few days the a large number of whites and Howards have been under arms, there were about 30 Winchesters (rifles) in town today.


On June 24th. John Howard was shot and killed at his home on Sexton Creek, he had been in the front room of his house when a shot came through the window and hit him in the arm, he grabbed his pistol and ran out and saw a man running he dropped him with one shot, only to be hit again and killed. The body of his victim was retrieved(?)by the killer no one was ever arrested. On July 1st. Bad Tom was tried and released for the killing of the Howards after witnesses swore he was miles away when the killings took place. Legend has it Wilson Howard lived until 4 in the afternoon and had identified his killers but to whom? Thena and Gard Baker could not swear to it even if they were willing, and they surely were not. On July 3rd Gilbert Garrard and his wife were shot at on the way to church, one shot cut Garrard’s coat and another creased his horse, on July 8th T.T. Garrard bailed John Baker out of jail in Barbourville, Dickey wrote Garrard had bailed out John to kill Howards. The cases of John Baker and Jesse Barrett were held in Clark Circuit Court in Winchester, the jury found the Bakers not guilty. Bad Tom was tried in Barbourville for the murder of Will White and handed a life sentence, but he appealed and was released, later that week Gilbert Garrard left Manchester, with four bodyguards for Pineville, near Red Bird they were fired upon and two of the bodyguards were killed, the rest of the body escaped and T.T. Blamed the Whites who said nothing. On July 20th John Baker and Frank Clark were on their way to T.T. Garrards when they were stopped by Sheriff Felix Davidson and Daugh White according to the corner, John Baker had 32 bullets in him and Clark had 11.


The change of venue so sought out by A.C. Lyttle had worked the trial of Bad Tom Baker would be held in Bourbourville, I want to thank you General Tom said, don’t mention it said Garrard I am glad you got the change of venue. Tom told his wife that she might as well go home and her and some of the boys could come down in the morning and accompany him to Barbourville. Tom walked back and stood with Emily in the doorway of the tent, some of the Baker kinsmen having retrieved their guns had started mounting up for the ride back to Crane Creek, but then a shot rang out, and bad Tom with a moan fell forward across his wife’s feet. Tom Baker was dead shot in the chest. The soldiers ran across the street and Captain Bryan ordered them to break down the gate and then they had trouble with a locked front door, the ran through the house but found no  one, they found a rifle in the front room with the barrel still warm, by an open rear window they found a hat with Sheriff White’s name on it. It is very unfortunate that the gun that killed Baker was found in your house, “Before God said White, I didn’t kill him.” A reporter who had came up and was scribbling away and peering over him was CHAD HALL, looking down on Tom with a fascinated stare. 

Chad Hall many years later on his death bed would confess the murder of Bad Tom Baker, an article was written in the Louisville newspaper attesting to this fact that he was the killer. Bad Tom Baker was buried in Boston Gap by his father George W. (Baldy) Baker.

Another rather colorful individual who wrote in his memoirs of the feuds in the area was none other than John Anderson Burns, who said his family moved to West Virginia to get away from the bloodshed in Clay Co. I have read his book and it is very informative indeed, John grew up in West Va. But returned to Clay in 1882 and worked logging in the area on the rafts and getting timber out. In 1899 when he said he got a message from God and founded the Oneida Baptist Institute, which still is located in Onieda and not to mention the Philpot’s and Griffins you read about above had a shootout on “Pigeon Roost” that lasted most of an afternoon and this resulted in the death of 3 men and a horse, as Burns describes the area if anything had got worse. Burns on the other hand was establishing schools on Rader Creek and later on Crane, and he was doing it with the help of none other than Tom Baker, who was not only a gunman but respected as a school trustee who wanted better education in Clay Co. Setting up a school on Rader Creek proved not to be just “reading, ritin & rithmetic. Burns learned early on that he was going to have to show that he could whip any boy in the school as well as some of their parents if he was going to establish any kind of discipline. He went to Tom Baker for advice “You go ahead and teach,” said Baker. “I’ll see you aren’t bothered. He then sent out word that anyone giving Professor Burns trouble would have to answer to Tom Baker. After this Burns had no more trouble.

It is also interesting how he got the name “Bad Tom” the newspapers and also the White’s in their letters to the governor called him Thomas Baker, the bad Tom part did not come in until after his death. No one seemed to question him on the hiring of teachers or their dismissals or to settle school matters. The Rev. John Jay Dickey who left many writings during the hottest part of the feud years was a Methodist Minister who had preached in Breathitt County, where he founded not only a church but a school, which developed into Lee’s Junior College, and established and published the Jackson Hustler the county’s first newspaper and he also taught and preached in Owsley County, which he found badly in need of salvation but he heard that Clay needed it even worse and he could hardly wait to begin God’s work there also. He had trouble from the state to even meet his daily needs, and he could not persuade Clay Countians to even build the church he had planned, but for almost ten years he kept diaries of his work in the mountains, and today they remain the most reliable.

The first white man to settle this region was John Gilbert who was a surveyor, you will find his name on thousands of acres and Felix G. Gilbert joined John later he can also be found on thousands of acres, the first settler to make salt there was James Collins who in 1775 tracked some animals to a large salt lick on what became known as “Collins Fork” of Goose Creek. But it was John Gilbert who led the South Forkers in the Battle of Hanging Rock against the North Forkers who were under the command of two men Callahan and Strong, names later remembered in the Breathitt County Feuds, the South Forkers were apparently headed for ambush when John Gilbert caught the glean of a rifle barrel and gave the alarm, and then led a flanking attack that saved the day. Later in life John became a preacher as did the leader of the North Forkers, William Strong. How this all came about was in the fall of 1806 a group of men living on the South Fork of the Kentucky River (Clay County) went over to Middle Fork (Leslie and Perry Counties) to hunt elk. They found instead a herd of cattle ? Apparently abandoned, they killed and dressed one of the cows for food and were driving the rest home, and this is when the North Forkers appeared, a gunfight ensued where one from each side was killed and the South Forkers retreated, gunfights took place between these groups for years and to think all this started over the killing of a cow, question on how many got killed in the cattle wars and feuds.

Tom Walters a Clay Co. Native who went to Florida and was a school official there, lists 55 people in the northeastern part of the county alone, Walters has another list compiled by a friends uncle from memory in the 1950’s of over 100 murdered in the feuds. Stanley DeZarn another Clay Co. Native who moved to Hamilton, OH. “Estimates” over 100 died in the feuds, James Anderson Burns one of my favorite authors that the feuds not counting the cattle wars took more than 150 lives. The earlier cattle wars had created an atmosphere in Clay Co. Of bitterness and hatred and it also established a pattern of violence an accepted way to settle disputes and protect property, this made violence an excepted way of life.


Credits: Author; John Anderson Burns, Memoirs of T.T Garrard, Diary of Rev. John Jay Dickey and Author; John Ed Pearce. Ella Sizemoore


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Getting To Know Your Family

Call me a genealogy nerd, but research to me is so much more complex than just a simple vital search on an ancestor. Far beyond the birth, marriage, and death dates remains a person, a family member, that once lived a few years back. This person held the key to so much of your families being; genes, characteristics, personality, traits, and so much more that just your DNA. With them, a host of answer’s to the questions that you have today, both good and bad. Why do I look the way I do? What family gene’s do I have that could cause life debilitating diseases? Where did my temperament come from? What doors has this person opened for my family? All these simple questions, and so much more!

When I first started my research on my paternal side, I was looking for names and dates of great grandparents, and their surrounding family. I was literally shocked to realize how far I was able to trace back my lineage, and even more surprised as to the locations in which my family had arrived from. I never thought in a million years, that I would discover and find so many answers to the questions about my paternal side. From the smallest question as to Where did I get these ears from?  There were much more significant answers that I received, such as, Why did my paternal side of the male family drink so much? I even received an answer to a surprising question, as to why am I slowly losing some of my hearing now? Well, come to find out, my paternal side had known Hearing defects in our generations past. A few family members even opened up world renowned Schools for the Hearing Impaired.

Researching my family members has created a sense of loyalty, and established in some sense a relationship or connection with them. There have been surprises, interesting facts, and disappointments along the way. I have discovered that sometimes you create a person in the image that you expect them to be, and often times, with further research back, you discover facts about them that can be somewhat disappointing. For example, while doing research I discovered that my great, great, great grandparents were married a very long time, and had many children together. I discovered that although they were together, the ggg grandfather also had a whole separate family in the same town! The perception that I had created in my mind, was not based on the genealogical facts that I discovered.

To take my research to another level, I like to analyze the socio-economics of the area that they lived in. What was the time frame in regards to world historical events? Was there something sufficient going on that would effect their standards of living? The  Depression era, disease epidemics, local and federal politics? All surrounding facts that could help create the culture of that particular time.

One last thing, take the time to study and analyze the vital records of your ancestor. You will be able to determine a lot about the person they were by studying birth, marriage, and especially death certificates. Census records hold so many unknown facts about the family as a whole: location of where they lived, their profession, education, social status, people they associated with and so much more!

I encourage you to get to know your family members better, research with open eyes, an open heart, and you will be surprised at all the interesting facts that you discover.