12 December 2010

Come All You Tender Hearted

compiled by Teresa Martin Klaiber
December 2010

By now all my readers should be aware of my love of ballads and how they can be used in genealogy and history.

My families genealogy includes the sad story of Floyd Alson McCormack [1836-1906] and wife Francis Jane Ratliff McCormack's two daughters deaths in Carter County,Kentucky..

A few years ago a family cousin, Robert McCormack, asked if I knew of a ballad sang by the Stanly Brothers. I immediately sent him the copy from Ballad Makin in the Mountains of Kentucky by Jean Thomas. What is interesting about her publication is that she says the ballad "came to Jilson Setters' ears..." It did not say that Jilson Setters aka William Day was the author.

Over the years Robert has collected several versions of the ballad and now has a web page that is a true delight. Simply titled The Fire Tragedy, I am sure my readers will enjoy it.

As the snow storm moves into Eastern Kentucky, I am scanning McCormack items in my collection and refreshing my memory concerning the ballad. Among my items is a copy of the Carter County Herald, Olive Hill, Kentucky, dated 26 October 1922. The article is titled "A Sad Recollection."

This article has a few inconsistencies and states that Mrs. Francis McCormick was a widow residing in Flat Woods, Carter County and suffered from rheumatism. After putting her little girls to bed, she went to the neighbor's house to get some liniment and while there the house caught fire and burned. This article states the the affair happened in 1867.

The newspaper version follows:
Come all ye tender hearted
Your attention I will call;
I'll tell you how it started,
Come listen one and all.
On Wednesday night there was a light
Saw shining on the hill;
A mother ran with all her might,
While everything was still.
Two little girls had gone to bed,
While mother ached with pain;
"I'll get some liniment," she said,
"And soon return again."
Don't stay too long, dear mother,
For well be lonesome here,"
And then mother might have seen
Them drop a silent tear.
She went into a neighbor's house,
Some hundred yards away,
Twas there she sat and talked with them
Bud did not mean to stay.
They hear a noise life thunder
As the flames began to roar;
Ain't it an awful wonder
They never went to the door?
Time passed on much longer,
But still she did not go;
Ain't it an amazing wonder
The mother acted so?
When she started home again
Her house was in a flame;
She cried, "My babies, you're gone,
I am the one to blame."
She burst the door asunder
The flames rolled over her head.
She cried aloud, "No wonder."
She found her babies dead.
The little ones had gone to sleep
Before their mother came.
Oh how still they slept,
Wrapped in the red hot flame.
Their little bones lay on the ground,
They both lay face to face,
Their arms they were entwined around
Each other they did embrace.
Don't grieve for them, dear mother,
For they are now at res,
Ain't it an amazing wonder
How soon they both were blessed?
If they had said with you, ma,
Till they had both grown old,
They could not have purchased what they have
Though they had a world of gold.
We know they are gone from you, ma,
It's their eternal gain;
They're beyond the curtains of the sky
Where they'll never know no pain.
We know they're gone from you, ma;
God will it so to be;
Just put your trust in him, ma;
Your babes you soon shall see.

This version published in the Carter paper states that it was composed by M. J. Williams in 1888. The version published by Jean Thomas varies in many ways and never uses the word ain't or ma.

The story has some twists. In 1870 Francis was living in Greenup County, Kentucky working as a seamstress with her children and an Elizabeth Williams age 67 born in East Virginia. The little girls vary in ages from 8 years old to 6 months. Husband Floyd is not in the household. However he reappears in 1880 in Lawrence County living with a younger wife Martha [Haney]. Thus she was not a widow in 1870. Floyd did not die until 20 June 1906.

Looking for M. J. Williams who composed the ballad in 1888, I found Montraville J. Williams, the son of Jefferson Brooks Williams living next door to John Q. A. Davis, a violin and dulcimer maker in 1880 in Olive Hill, Carter County, Kentucky. Williams is 22 years old working on his fathers farm but was certainly influenced by John Q. A. Davis and his music.

Kentucky Vital records show that Montraville J. [spelled a variety of ways] was born 24 February 1858 in Smokey Valley, Carter County to Jefferson B. and Mary Griffith Williams.

By 1900 Montraville Williams is living with a sister's family and is selling organs. Montraville appears to have never married and is found in 1920 living as a boarder in Eagle, Carter County with no occupation, just two years prior to the writing of the article in the Carter County newspaper.

I was able to to locate the obituary of "Mont J." Williams published 17 January 1929 in the Carter Herald. With a special thanks to James Powers at the Boyd County Library, I did not have to make the drive on this snowy day to obtain the obit. We discussed what a wonderful genealogy find the obituary was because it lists when each of the siblings pre-deceased Montraville. Sadly the article does not state the one thing I had hoped - which was his occupation and involvement with music and musical instruments. According to the obituary Montraville J. Williams died 12 January 1929 and was buried at Globe, Kentucky.

Anyone with further information on any other ballads that M. J. Williams may have compiled is encouraged to contact me.

clip art by: www.clker.com

01 December 2010

Rowan County Signature Quilt

compiled by Teresa Martin Klaiber
December 2010

Quilt lovers know the historic
al value of textiles. Genealogists delight and cherish quilts when they find one signed by an ancestor. Today talented craft people can apply pictures to cloth creating quilt block images that will be handed down to newer generations.

In 1998 a cousin and I visited M
ary Alice Calvert Jayne in Morehead, Rowan County, Kentucky. We sipped tea, sitting by a small lit fireplace while Mary Alice talked about family members, and the history of Rowan County. It was the kind of day that was just right for sitting and listening. As time grew shorter Mary Alice invited us to look at a quilt in her bedroom. With a smile she looked at me and said "It has the signature of your great great grandmother stitched on it."

My heart raced as she opened t
he door and pointed to the quilt hanging on the wall behind her bed.

Mary Alice said that the quilt was made by ladies of the Christian Church in Morehead as a fund raiser and hung for many years in the church. When the church no longer could use the quilt they asked Mary Ali
ce if she would like to take it. Armed with a 35mm camera I took several snaps that day thinking that someday I would return and take down more of the names on the quilt.

Mary Alice Calvert Jayne was born 17 April 1912 in Morehead, Rowan County, Kentucky, the daughter of John B. Calvert and Sallie Fenton Hagaman. Sadly, before I even developed the film, Mary Alice died 11 November 1998 in her beloved Morehead.

Among the signatures that can be read on the photos in black are "Lizzie T. Martin." I have blogged about Elizabeth before. She was the wife of Henry Foster Martin, a Christian minister. Elizabeth died in 1936 in West Virginia and was brought back to Pine Hill Cemetery in Morehead for burial. Also embroidered in black are Bruce Calvert and J. M. Carey in the photos I took of small portions of the quilt.

Most of the signatures are predominately with red floss. Around the outer circle signed by Margaret Calvert are:

Faye Flannery
Dwight Pierce
Mae Blair
Eugene Calvert
Luther Jayne
Christine Williams
Dr. C. G. Nickell
Roy Caudill
Mr. J. B. Calvert
Cliff McClellan
Clara Robinson
Bob Strother
Kathryn Daniels
Mary Moore
Dr. Marsh
Flora Blair
Mason Jayne
Lottie Powers

Other names I can read in the photographs include:
Mrs. M. E. Carey
Elizabeth Maggard
George Denton
Mamie Blair
Henry Goldberg
Frank Karnip
Cora Bruce
Foster Goff
Patrick McKay
John Paul Nickell
Doris Penix
Thomas Paul
Mary Alice Calvert***
Robert S. Bishop
Charles Tatum
George M. Calvert
Tag Calvert

This is just a handful of the names on the quilt. Knowing some of the provenience of the quilt is most helpful. Since Mary Alice's name also appears I wonder if those signatures in black may not have been deceased when the quilt was created. Sadly Mary Alice was tiring and I hoped to answer further questions another day.

Having viewed other signature quilts, I note that these seem to be in similar hand where earlier signatures on quilts vary with handwriting. Maybe someone from Morehead can add more information on the quilt in the comment lines below my blog!

This particular quilt has now been handed down to niece Barbara Glenn Calvert Messer and is housed in Carter County, Kentucky. More research for another day.

20 November 2010

Don't Drink The Water!

compiled by Teresa Martin Klaiber
November 2010

My email has been flooded since writing "Vomiting Lizards." Many told of family tales of other unusual items eaten. One suggested that Uncle Billy Taylor may have eaten lizard eggs swallowing them whole and then they hatched.

I must confess I have had a history with the lizards of Eastern Kentucky. Most of Kentucky has skinks and blue tailed fence lizards. They scamper unharmed, in the warmth of the sun, along our log home porch and flower beds.

Friends and family enjoy telling of the day I disrobed in front of my son because something was in my pants. Once I got over the panic and found out it was an innocent lizard I calmed enough to let him get back to nature. I am sure he was not happy either having traveled up my leg in unfamiliar terrain. For several years I received gifts of shirts and even socks with lizard motif.

None the less the story of Uncle Billy Taylor seemed very unusual to me. Then along with the other emails I heard from Archivist Steve Green. Steve and I have corresponded for several years on matters involving Eastern Kentucky history and genealogy. He has intrigued and stimulated me about more than one subject. So it should come as no surprise that he was able to supply me with pages of similar stories involving illness and even death by lizard.

With so many available historical newspapers online the task of coordinating articles has become much easier for researchers. Steve submitted seventeen articles between 1884 and 1910 with incidences from Ohio, Indiana, Pennsylvania and of course Kentucky.

Several of the articles indicated that drinking spring water was the cause of lizards in their stomachs. In that case the articles should have referenced salamanders also found in Eastern Kentucky. Salamanders are a joy to catch when you go "creekin" here in my beloved homeland.

The Stanford Semi-Weekly Interior Journal out of Central Kentucky reported, 20 November 1896, that Julia Parsons, a young girl of Union County, swallowed a lizard while drinking water from a spring. She died in horrible agony the following day.

The Richmond Climax reported August 15, 1900 from an article in the Mt. Sterling Gazette that Willie Farley, of Moreland, [Lincoln County] Kentucky, age six, coughed up a full grown lizard about seven inches in length. The boy was reported to have swallowed the lizard while drinking water and had been in his stomach for some time.

Salamanders are known to rejuvenate body parts after accidents -super regeneration- and scientists have been doing cell studies for years. Answers.com says they have poisonous enzymes in their fangs that can "eat away your insides. Nothing to crazy though." As urban legends go even Snoops.com has a link about eating salamanders.

The water in the well on our farm in Eastern Kentucky is crystal clear and icy cold. The well has served generations of family and friends. While we now have another pumped well and even utilize city water, there is nothing like plunging that stainless bucket down and pulling the water up link by link and drinking from the dipper.

Appalachian genealogy and history is unlike any other in our country and the area is flooded with folklore and old beliefs. The family swears that when Jesse James and his gang robbed the Bank of Huntington, Jesse stopped at our farm and drank from the well commenting that it was the "best water I ever tasted." Some family members declare it was "written up" in a Huntington paper. I have followed the supposed path of the gang members and can't envision they were even close to our farm let alone the well behind the mansion house. I have searched the Huntington [W.VA.] news articles without success. But it is a good story. And wouldn't it been most beneficial for the posse if Jesse had drank a lizard!

17 November 2010

Vomiting Lizards

compiled by Teresa Martin Klaiber
November 2010

The title of this blog certainly is not very pretty but I am betting more than one person will check in to see what it is about. I certainly did a double take when I was recently looking at newspaper articles for 1892 in our area.

The Big Sandy News usually posted activities for various communities. Glenwood is in Lawrence County, Kentucky very close to both the Carter and Boyd County lines. The 16 September 1892 issue brings us this news from Glenwood:

"Last Sunday morning Uncle Billy Taylor was out among his cattle when he became deathly sick. He went to his house and a doctor was called. The old man had begun having convulsions, then began to vomit, when he threw up four grown lizards. He soon got better and says it is a mystery how they got there."

I had trouble swallowing this bit of news. Coming from a background with many doctors my mind is racing as to what actually did happen. My first thought was the gentleman had a severe case of tape worms but surely the physician could tell the difference! There is an eating disorder known as Pica where people eat a variety of things. Gould's Medical Dictionary for 1926 says it is "a craving for unnatural and strange articles of food; a symptom present in certain forms of insanity..."

There are several Taylor families in the area during this time frame so I don't want to "bite off more than I can chew" and will leave the genealogy to the Taylor researchers.

Clip art by clker.com

15 November 2010

Josiah Morton's Service Confused

compiled by Teresa Martin Klaiber
November 2010

While Registrar of the Poage Chapter DAR I was asked to assist a Greenup County resident with her papers concerning Josiah Morton. She proudly proclaimed that he had a lovely marker dedicated by the DAR in Greenup County and felt she would have no difficulty establishing her lineage.

The earliest, local, notation that Josiah Morton of Greenup County was in the Revolution appeared 28 April 1942 in the Daily Independent. During a report of the Poage Chapter business it states "...that the marker had arrived for the grave of Josiah Morton in Greenup County and would be placed soon honoring a Revolutionary soldier who died in 1838."

Another article in the Portsmouth Times, 11 October 1965, states Josiah Morton's service was performed under General Nathaniel Green. There was no indication in any chapter minutes or articles of how the chapter determined that this Josiah Morton, in fact, was the Josiah Morton who served from Virginia in the Revolution.

An article in the Portsmouth Times dated 20 November 1875 gives a very colorful description of Josiah Morton, and his slaves, of Greenup County, including the statement that he was a member of the First Presbyterian church of Portsmouth. With such detail one would think if he had military service it would have been mentioned in that article. It was not.

The History of Greenup County, Kentucky by Nina Biggs was not written until 1951, 9 years after the ordered marker indicating service. In Biggs publication she states that Josiah served at the Battle of Guilford Courthouse and Siege of Yorktown. She also mentions he has a land grant but does not stipulate where or what the land involved.

The next research step was to locate Josiah Morton's actual military service record. The Revolutionary Pension of one Josiah Morton filed with the National Archives is S8898. The very first page states that Josiah Morton of Caswell County, North Carolina served under the command of General Green. This Josiah Morton, by his own testimony had been in the state troops of Virginia from Prince Edward County, Virginia and had served at Yorktown. He states he was born in Prince Edward County 26 December 1760. He also states in his own words that after the war he moved to Caswell County, North Carolina. The statement was given in Caswell County in 1833.

There is no other Revolutionary record of another Josiah Morton among the Federal Records. The Josiah Morton of Greenup County appears on the 1830 Federal Census for Greenup County, Kentucky while Josiah Morton of Caswell County, North Carolina appears on the 1830 Federal Census of that county.

Researchers are aware that Josiah Morton of Greenup County, Kentucky married Nancy Fuqua while Josiah Morton of Caswell County, North Carolina was married to Elizabeth Venable. The NSDAR has a submission for Josiah with wife Elizabeth [National #420442]. There are no applications filed in the DAR for the Josiah Morton of Greenup County, Kentucky.

Josiah Morton of Greenup County, Kentucky was here in 1810. Josiah Morton of Greenup County does not appear on the 1820 pension list for the state of Kentucky nor does he appear in Revolutionary Soldiers in Kentucky by Quisenberry.

Next, I carefully reviewed the Land Warrants of Kentucky. Josiah Morton did not have a Virginia Revolutionary War Warrant. What I did find for Josiah Morton of Greenup County, Kentucky is a Kentucky Land Warrant dated 16 May 1819 book E page 393. These are warrants purchased from the early state of Kentucky not earned for military service.

Clearly the Poage Chapter attributed Josiah Morton of Greenup County with the service of another of the same name. But what about Josiah Morton of Greenup County? He certainly is of the right age to have interacted during the War.

The Library of Virginia shows a Josiah Morton in Charlotte County, Virginia at the same time Josiah Morton of Prince Edward County was in service. The Virginia Auditor of Public Accounts shows that during the session that began May 1780 of the General Assembly there was an act to impress supplies needed by the American Army. In Commissioner's Book I page 303 are the certificates issued by the commissioners of the provision law showing Josiah Morton's name and the recorded date payment was authorized. This Josiah is a patriot not a soldier. The Fuqua family also owned property in Charlotte County and Campbell County, Virginia.

Heads of Families of Virginia 1782 show Josiah Morton, later of Caswell, North Carolina in Prince Edward County while the other Josiah Morton resides in Charlotte County with 4 white and 20 blacks. Again the Fuqua's appear in the Charlotte County list.

In 1811, one year after Josiah Morton appears in the Greenup Census, the Legislative Petitions database for Virginia shows Mary Ward of Kanawha County, the widow of Jeremiah Ward asking for a law allowing her to pay Josiah Morton for his moiety in slaves which were divided by the estate of her father Moses Fuqua of Greenup County,Kentucky.

Thus while Josiah Morton, of Greenup County, Kentucky, may not have seen battle under General Green or been at Yorktown, as did his counterpart, he is a patriot recognized by his public claim.

05 November 2010

Train Accidents Took Many Loved Ones

compiled by Teresa Martin Klaiber
November 201

We are curious creatures. By that I mean, we as researchers, when looking for specific items in newspapers, always end up reading a zillion other articles before getting to the subject of our search.

And just about every newspaper in America in the early 1900's carried articles of train wrecks or people hit by trains when on the rails. As I was scanning an article about a family member in the Ashland Daily Independent I noticed a tiny one paragraph item telling of the death of yet another person killed by a train.

"9 April 1931 Tom May Killed By Train Today. The body of Tom May, 30, of Alphoretta, KY., was found badly mangled lying on the railroad tracks near Dinwood at 7 o'clock this morning. It is not known what train struck May and is not known how long he had been dead."

Alphoretta is located in Floyd County, Kentucky but the spelling is often confused with Alpharetta which is in Georgia. Alphoretta is just off Route 80 on Dinwood Road with just a few scattered homes.

Curious creature that I am I decided to view the death certificate for a few more details. The Floyd County death certificate was delayed. But the information shows that Thomas Jefferson May was younger than the Ashland paper had said. He was born 10 January 1910, the son of Clark May of Alphoretta. He was an engine oiler in a local gas plant. The tracks belonged to Chesapeake & Ohio and the doctor comment was "supposed to be accidentally struck by train."

The 1930 Federal census for Alphoretta, Floyd County, shows a large family. His father is listed as Beverly L. C. May and his mother [who was not listed on the death certificate] was Dollie. Tom is listed as 20 years old and doing farm labor.

The C&O, B&O and N&W rails along with many short lines crisscrossed Eastern Kentucky providing passenger service, mail and industrial hauls. When I transcribed the entries for Scioto Division Norfolk & Western RailRoad Life And Limb 1895-1928 I stopped many times because of the graphic details written by the physicians. While the book is based out of Scioto County, Ohio some of the rail workers and passengers were Kentucky natives. And not all entries ended with death.

Everett Short, a carpenter from Fallsburg, [Lawrence County] Kentucky bruised his foot and fractured the phalanx of his left great toe on 23 November 1916.

J. D. White of Fullerton [Greenup County] mashed his nail off his right thumb while working at the planing mill in March 1915. That had to be painful. Another Greenup resident, A. B. Callihan also bruised his right thumb at the joint while either working for N&W in Portsmouth or just standing at Grant Street in Portsmouth in 1922. The details are not clear and the injury, while reported to Roanoke, was not bad. These small incidences of course did not make the local newspapers.

I love the sound and rhythm of the trains as they follow the ribbon of the Ohio River. The power of the engines and the visual of industry flowing into our state by these majestic pieces of machinery always leaves me in awe. I even wonder about the spray painted graphics, known as tagging, on the cars these days. Where was that done and how many miles has it traveled since some one tagged it?

When I was a little girl we followed US #23 beside the rails to Portsmouth, Ohio where I sat by the hour on Waller Street, at my grandmothers, playing with my father and uncles O gauge railroad. I cherish the Christmas pictures of them as children playing with the train under the Christmas tree. We now have a rather large O gauge layout, thanks to my father, that his great grandchildren enjoy at our house. Both my grandsons are being given a small wooden train set for their 2nd birthdays this month from us. It makes me smile when they say "choo choo." Many happy hours of play.

[Nellie Kautz Martin of Ashland KY with grandson Henry Kautz Martin Jr at Henry Kautz and Clara Page Geer Martin home Portsmouth, OH about 1936]

But the reality is that many loved ones either working for or traveling and simply crossing the tracks have given their lives in the name of this powerful industry. it is part of our Eastern Kentucky history and it leaves me in awe.

23 October 2010

Treasures From Our Father's Past

compiled by Teresa Martin Klaiber
October 2010

I recently read that the Highlands Museum and Discovery Center in Ashland, Kentucky is developing a wonderful display with World War II memorabilia and will be host to a traveling exhibit as well.

During and after the war soldiers families received advertisements to submit their picture and information for publication in a book. The books were published across the country. Today we tag these type of books as "vanity books." You paid to submit your information and got a copy of the book.

But the World War II books and many other of these historical submitted publications are truly jewels for family and genealogists today.

The Boyd County Public Library received a worn and tattered copy of Patriots of Kentucky WW2 as a donation the other day. You can tell the book has been used over and over again.

I found no publisher listed nor date of publication. But the dedication says "To those who have died for their country - 2nd WW." It does not appear to be the same series as the WWII Young American Patriots 1941-45 series. But the publication is similar.

Another quirk of the publication is the use of 2 vs II throughout the publication. And unlike the Young American Patriots Series the photographs are not alphabetical. The book is organized by town and then by soldier. The book states "Look for your hometown and refer to the page indicated where you will find your picture and historical sketch..."

I spent some time just reading the list of cities and towns in the front of the book. Many of our soldiers were from rural Kentucky and I did find a few entries for Kentucky's unique rural burgs. Most entries, of course were for Louisville, Lexington and a large group from Ashland.

Since this blog is based in the postal service area of Rush, Kentucky I of course looked to see how many entries were from this area. I found two entries. Many more served from this area of Boyd County but these two were submitted:

Charlie C. Coburn Pvt 20, Entered US Army Inf. European Theater. Attended Boyd Co. School. Member of the Methodist Church. Son of Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Coburn. Rush, KY.

J. H. Lambert, Pvt. 22 US Army. Mediterranean. Attended Canburg High School and Baptist Church. Son of Mr. and Mrs. Lindsey Lambert.

Canburg is the Boyd County High School that was then held at Cannonsburg, Boyd County, Kentucky.

Three more entries caught my eye from northeastern Kentucky. Having raised three sons my heart went out to the mother who waited back home for word from three of hers. Under Flatwoods, Kentucky I found the entries of Charles Kenneth Clarke age 20 in the US Army and a POW in Germany. Lemuel Morton Clarke age 35 in the US Engineers and Leonard G. Clarke age 21 in the US Army. All three gentlemen the sons of Mr. and Mrs. W. R. Clarke.

William R. Clarke and wife Stella are listed in the 1930 Federal Census in Russell, Greenup County, Kentucky. Kenneth and Leonard are 5 and 6 years old and Lemuel Morton is listed as Morton age 20. The Clarke family was large with a total 0f ten children that year. It was no surprise to see that William R. Clarke supported his large family by working at the steel mill.

My generation grew up surrounded by silent hero's. They did not talk much about their service until the past few years. Now they are leaving us. This wonderful book was not about vanity but pride in being an American.

This treasure can be viewed in the Minnie Crawford Winder Genealogy Room at the Boyd County Public Library.

12 October 2010

A Chance to Win the Lottery

compiled by Teresa Martin Klaiber
October 2010

With the economy in shreds, I hear people in Eastern Kentucky joking daily that when they win the lottery they are going to do this or that. Well in our immediate family you have to play to win. Our budget does not have any wiggle room for even a scratch off ticket. We tend to look at this form of gambling as a very bad habit.

Not that I don't have some bad habits. I do. My youngest son suggests that my antiques are "clutter." He sadly prefers chrome and glass to sentimental or historical doo-dads. When hubby and I watched a show about hoarding the other day I did take a look around and sighed with relie
f. I can see all my furniture and there is nothing on the floors thus I think I am safe to say I don't fall into that category. But as I took stock of my surroundings I spotted an item that I have meant to research for some time.

I have a tattered old broadside th
at we found in the smokehouse on the farm we own. Our farm, Deliverance Farm, is a historical genealogists dream. I am not sure how many other genealogists have their own cabin that is on the Kentucky Landmark Register or their own cemetery. But I must tell you the day we finally broke the lock on the old smokehouse and discovered piles upon piles of old papers I had the biggest thrill of all.

Among the treasures in the smokehouse was a broadside titled the "Official Drawing of the Louisiana State Lottery, drawn at New Orleans, La. on Tuesday, July 10th 1888." The paper is signed by G. T. Beauregard and J. A. Early. It is labeled the single number drawing class "G."

For the past 12 years the paper has languished waiting my ever questioning mind to find out more about that lottery. These scraps of papers were a window into everyday life here on the farm.

The first thing was to confirm who was living on the farm in 1888 when this particular lottery was taking place. Henry Powell Sexton born 24 April 1835 married 2 March 1854 in Carter County to Julina McCormack. They had eleven children. By 1888 several were married but William Vincent, Martha E., James McClelland, John D, Jasper Newton, Henry Powell and little Julina Leota age 10 were still all living at home. The house on the farm was grand and was even mentioned in one deed as the "mansion house."

Of these children John D. Sexton, according to the family bible, would die in 18 October 1888 just months after the lottery sheet arrived by mail and was delivered to the farm here on Garner in Boyd County, Kentucky. His brother William Vincent Sexton was 19 years old and I wonder if he would be allowed to participate in this vice.

According to Robert M. Ireland in Kentucky Constitutional History "following the Civil War a number of state and national lotteries conducted flourishing business in Kentucky. Foremost among these was the nation's largest lottery, the Louisiana State Lottery, which ran almost daily advertisements of its monthly drawings. Kentucky reformers joined a growing chorus of complaints about lotteries especially the Louisiana State Lottery, which had allegedly corrupted its home state..."

This particular lottery already had a bad reputation and had many anti-lottery proponents on the campaign trail. A lawyer in a case in the Michigan Supreme Court, just months after the lottery sheet found its way to Garner, Boyd County, stated that "there is, in Kentucky, a lottery in which every day there are thirteen numbers drawn by lot out of seventy-eight. These numbers are wrongful and unlawful sale of a certain share or shares in a certain lottery and device in the nature of a lottery, known as the Louisiana State Lottery...{State v. Kaub, 1 West. Rep. 411, 19 Mo App. 149, Lawyers Reports Annotated Book 3, 1889}.

This makes me wonder if Henry Powell Sexton was a betting man or did the paper just get tossed aside as a lark? We found no ticket among the papers in the smokehouse, only the official drawing list. Did he think and dream of winning to help maintain the house and farm here on Garner, Boyd County, Kentucky?

An article Gambling In The South: History [medscape.com] says that during the post Civil war era Kentucky and other states held lotteries to finance projects including such things as fire fighting equipment. Kentucky did have a legal lottery of its own at this period in history. But the Louisiana Lottery seemed to dominate the states and reaped huge financial benefits. Wiki points out that it was a monopoly that bribed legislators and paid no state taxes by "donating" $40,000 a year to the state of Louisiana. An article in the New York Times said that the $40,000 was contributed directly to the Republican campaign fund in 1888. In fact the lottery was syndicated originally out of New York. From all that I read if anyone played this lottery in Eastern Kentucky they would not reap benefits for the good of family or community. The money all went south - or was that north?

The billboard signatures of G. T. Beauregard and J. A. Early were gentleman paid by the lottery for little more than theatrical value when the drawing took place. Beauregard and Jubal Early were former Confederate Generals that were paid grandly for their time. Did a small farmer in Eastern Kentucky have a chance to gain financially? Probably not.

By 1892 the New Orleans Anti-Lottery League was supported by the Democratic Party and the Louisiana Farmers' Alliance. Why? Because it appears that the lottery targeted farmers by sending out massive mailings and billboard advertisements. [The Alliance and the Lottery: Farmers Try for the Sweepstakes by Henry C. Dethloff, University of Southwestern Louisiana, Louisiana History. The Journal of the Louisiana Historical Association Vol 6, No 2 1965]. President Harrison wrote a letter to Congress concerning lotteries with special reference to the Louisiana group saying "The people of all the states are debauched and defrauded..." He went on to say that it would be practically impossible for this type of company to exist if the "public mail system shut down their advertisements and remittances".

The Louisiana Lottery Company was successfully shut down in 1893. Just how deviant were they? The company transferred it domicile to Honduras and continued to sell tickets in the United States until 1906 when the United States Department of Justice finally shut them out for good. Some of the Louisiana State Lottery Company Records are housed in the Wilson Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

We probably will never know how much money, if any the Henry Powell Sexton family may have gambled on the Louisiana Lottery, if any. I do know they worked hard farming and logging to maintain a living in the county. H. P. helped the county build the poor house, worked as required on the roads and was well known in the community. It was back breaking work and we all have dreams of a better life.

It is easy to see who actually benefited from the lottery in 1888. I think it is a valuable lesson. I will continue to keep my dollar in the piggy bank and let someone else dream of riches from the lottery.

11 October 2010

"Sawdust, Spangles & Dreams"

compiled by Teresa Martin Klaiber
October 2010

Genealogists come from all walks of life. Like other fields, genealogists have their own network. Within that network I am known by some through my research business, Family Lineage Investigations; some through genealogy organizations; others recognize me during my time as a staff genealogist for the Boyd Library; or by many simply as the cemetery lady. But I also have another past.

My past is full of wonderful animals, and to borrow from the musical Jumbo, it has had a share of "Sawdust, Spangles & Dreams."

While Eastern Kentucky is well known for the Country Western Highway and music entertainers, our area is rich with other performers as well.

My first memory of a big top was as little more than a toddler when Coles Brothers Circus came to Ashland, Boyd County, Kentucky. The canvas went up in the field that would later become Hecks and is now owned by Kings Daughters Hospital behind the famous Bluegrass Grill.

My mother, already friends with many performers, knew no strangers and my father, early in his veterinary practice was already becoming known for his skills with circus animals. While there were no official winter quarters for a given show in Boyd County, for over three decades performers were made welcome in the community by my family. By the time I was in grade school, in the 1950's, our tiny house on Algonquin Avenue already had a trapeze bar, tight wire and trampoline placed in the back yard for performers that wanted to practice.

I was taught how to twirl a baton by performer Rusti Delaney. Trapeze artist Jimmy Lloyd helped me with my roller skates. My first elephant ride was on Burma. I still have a letter in my collection from her keeper Lou Turner who taught me how to properly mount and dismount. Ironically Jimmy Lloyd would later be killed by a rogue elephant [while they are magnificent animals I have a great fear of them but always loved & trusted Burma].

In 1959 George Wolfford did an article for the Ashland Daily Independent titled "Circus Clowns Serve As Baby Sitters For Ashland". I made the newspaper seated between Victor Lewis and Coco the Clown. Under my picture it read "Real Life bedtime Stories - Terry Martin,...enjoys true-to-life bedtime stories read by two honest-to-goodness clowns." In the picture I am holding the latest edition of The Billboard as they look over my shoulder.

Victor Lewis encouraged my fledgling attempts at art. Coco, Michael Polakovs, born 1923 in Rega, Latavia married Hazel Fannin and became a resident of Boyd County, Kentucky. He designed the first Ronald McDonald outfit, headlined with Ringling Brothers and was a member of the Clown Hall of Fame. But to me he was my champion & part of my family. When troubled or in trouble he was always there with his gentle smile. In or out of greasepaint he made me laugh.

He was not my father's brother but they loved each other as such and in the world of sawdust it is an honor to give someone a "family title" which could leave genealogists pondering when doing research. He will always be my "uncle Mike".

The Fannin's have a long history and were pioneers in Lawrence and Boyd County. Hazel is the daughter of Harry F. and Madeline Davis Fannin. Madeline was the great grand daughter of David Davis and wife Catherine Bryson. Her maternal lineage includes John and Elizabeth Chadwick Eastham.

Harry Fannin was the son of George and Emma Lambert Fannin. Michael Polakovs came to America in 1953. He was laid to rest in Rose Hill Cemetery, Ashland, Kentucky in December 2009. He leaves a legacy and wonderful family in Boyd County.

My first "gig" was with Coco and Victor around 1960 when they performed at the Children's Home in Ironton, Ohio. I was supposed to squirt water on Coco as part of the "busy bee" skit. Of course I botched it up which apparently made it all the funnier. I went on to do several more one night stands. I was the stooge for Narbu the guerrilla once. I was not supposed to hit him hard with the purse [as per instructions]. I konked him a good one! Again it apparently brought more laughs.

By the 1960's Ashland Oil was presenting a circus each Christmas for employees and family. The performers found their way to our new home. My parents place was named Jomar [for John and Mary Martin]. It also happens to be the name of the rail car that John and Mary Ringling North used. Today there are many homes on Jomar Road that receive mail with that street address but probably don't know the significance or link to circus heritage.

I was an only child but I felt I had siblings. The Wallenda children, Tino and Delilah Zoppe' spent summers with us. Many years later I would fill in for Tino's wife at a show in New Jersey. No laughs, but I am sure he was glad when it was over. All I had to do was smile, hand him props and "ta da." I think he got all his props ok and can only imagine the description he gave Olinka when he got home!

By the time I was 15 I went on the road for several weeks with Kirby's Chimps. The Kirby's were great and it was a wonderful vacation. I had no duties or cares. When I was 16 I traveled with Clyde Brothers Circus for the summer. This time I had to pull my own weight. The Toth's had a roly poly act and I quickly learned to help with set up. I was given a costume and immediately put in Spec and finale and allowed to carry baby Oggie the Orangatang. He was wonderful and I missed him at the end of the season. I also was given my first real job. Under the tutelage of Gee Gee Engesser Powell I became a hawker of cotton candy. Today, tucked away in my jewelry box, among my treasures, is a small silver disk that she gave me when I left the show. It is engraved "Cotton Candy Queen."

My father would later write Doc, My Tiger's Got An Itch which gives a wonderful overview of life and circus friends. Among his narratives he mentions elephant man "Captain K. Y. Seagraves". He was an elephant trainer with Mills Brothers Circus.

K. Y. Sagraves was born Lonnie Virgil Sagraves 17 December 1920 in Boyd County, Kentucky. His father, James A. Sagraves was a boilermaker in the steel mill at Ashland. His mother was Katie Weaver Sagraves. James and Katie are buried in Dixon Cemetery, Boyd County, Kentucky. K. Y. died 24 November 1985 in Ashland.

Boyd County has been entertained by the circus for generations. The Boyd County Library Hanner's Photograph Collection contains ads and billboards for several shows including the announcement that the Forepaugh Show with its Wild West would be arriving in Ashland, October 2nd, 1890 by train.

1923 seems to have been an extremely popular year for circus entertainment in Ashland. An ad for Sparks Circus said they would be at the "circus ground" April 11th. Their ad said there were 350 performers, 2 herds of elephants and hundreds of thoroughbred horses. Two months later in June the Haag Show also played Ashland. The following month, July, the L. G. Heth show with 35 double length circus cars also arrived in Ashland. They were followed by the Al. G. Barnes Circus on August 16th. All these shows and later shows were at 35th & Winchester, the same lot that I remember in the early 1950's.

Nor are circus personalities limited to my life time in Boyd County. In the early 1900's many articles were written about the Nichols Brothers. Howard, Clyde, William, Walter and Millard were the sons of Thomas M. Nichols and his wife Lucretia. In 1910 the family is residing in Catlettsburg. Thomas is listed as an electrician and his sons are listed as traveling jugglers. Articles say that they learned to hoop juggle from their father who never did professional appearances. They played the Hippadrome Theatre in New York. After World War I the brothers scattered. Eventually there were three separate acts under the same name. Howard played in different areas of Europe. Millard, Bill, Walter and Millard's wife Birdie May of Ashland made up another act in the New York area while Clyde and his wife played the Chicago area. Thomas M. Nichols [1868-1945] is buried in Ashland Cemetery.

Gee Gee, my father and Coco have all passed away along with so many others. All have touched my life and left memories. And while the circus has evolved "Sawdust, Spangles & Dreams" never die. The Wallenda's carry on the circus tradition. The family friendships continue into new generations. Their children along with my children share pictures of our grandchildren [thanks to Facebook]. Another generation that have dreams and who can enjoy the wonder of the circus with all its sawdust and spangles.

01 October 2010

Joseph Kelley Goes To Prison

compiled by Teresa Martin Klaiber
October 2010

In an earlier blog I wrote about Eliza O. Kelly's tombstone in Klaiber cemetery. Eliza was born 23 February 1849 and died 18 November 1895 "the wife of Joseph Kelly". [Kelly on the tombstone Kelley on many records.]

After writing about her I realized I did not know as much about her as others in our cemetery so the last two weeks, when time has permitted, I have been on a quest to learn more about Joseph and Eliza O.

There certainly have been serendipity moments with this new quest. I no sooner began researching and received my Kentucky Explorer which included a picture of Joseph and Eliza's son Robert Lee Kelley. Within a matter of hours I was in touch with two descendants who had hit several brick walls looking for this family and had no idea that Eliza O. was buried in Klaiber Cemetery.

Review of death and marriage records for the issues of Eliza list the spelling of her last name from Byran, Bryan, Barnes, Baum and Buiram. The tombstone lists her as Eliza O.

I have kept copious cemetery notes and was also able to get in touch with descendants of yet another issue Samuel Franklin Kelley who had visited with me in 1997. Sadly their father, Harry passed away in 2003 in Muskingum County, Ohio. I am so glad I was able to meet him but he had not been sure about his family history.

Harry's grandfather "Frank" married first Emily Alice Lucas who died in 1896 and is also in Klaiber Cemetery [Boyd County, KY]. After consulting with descendants and doing general background research it appears that Joseph died between 1900 and 1910.

In 1900 he was residing, age 84, with son Robert just a few miles from our cemetery in Carter County, Kentucky. Logically [one would think] family would put their father to rest next to Eliza. And there is the crux. There is a large expanse on either side with what appears to be unmarked graves. There is no writing on the other 3 sides of Eliza O.'s pretty pyramid stone.

We are able to track Joseph through various records but could not locate him or his family in either 1860 or 1870. One family theory was that he had been arrested after the Civil War as a guerrilla and was in the state prison in 1870. Certainly we did find a Joseph born 1826 in the Kentucky State Prison but confirmation that it was the correct Joseph was needed. Kentucky Legislative reports listed the crimes of inmates in 1870 and war fare was not among the items for incarceration at Frankfort. With the idea that a whisper of family tradition might have some merit, I decided to investigate.

Criminal actions are filed in the county circuit courts in Kentucky. After reviewing the Boyd County records I found the indictment against Lafayette Lovejoy, Walker Rollin, Joseph Kelley Jr., Washington Bryan Jr., Taylor Bryant and Nat Edmonds for "breach of public peace". [Boyd Circuit Court, June 1869, page 286, 324, 364--Bryan and Bryant as spelled. Research confirms they are brothers].

Of these gentleman only Joseph went to trial and was convicted and sent to the penitentiary for a term of two years. The next step in this research exercise is to visit the Kentucky State Archives and review the surviving case packets to find out the details of the crime.

Now that we had determined where Joseph was in 1870 and confirmed that he returned to Boyd County where he appears on the 1873 tax records, I set out to fill in the previous 10 years. From issues records I knew that his first child, Samuel Franklin "Frank," had been born across the river in Lawrence County, Ohio in 1865. Their daughter, Maria J., was born in Kentucky 3 years later in 1868.

Being knowledgeable about locality and common surnames in a given area helps when formulating and processing clues and documents. Thus when I found the following New York Times article I immediately knew that members of the Shepherd family lived & still live in the neighborhood where Klaiber Cemetery is located. Not only does the article cite Carter County in Kentucky but Ironton is in Lawrence County, Ohio.

"16 Nov 1858: Another gang of Counterfeiters Broken Up - The Cincinnati papers of Wednesday state that an extensive organization of coin counterfeiters has been broken up in Lawrence County, Ohio. The police officers found at the houses of Joseph Kelly and Wm. H. Shepherd, near Ironton, a large lot of counterfeiters' machinery, tools and acids - a full and complete set, and all that was necessary to manufacture bogus coin - concealed in different parts of the dwellings. They then searched further for the men, who were absent at the time, and arrested them, Shepherd on Friday evening last, in Carter County, Kentucky, and Kelly not far from his own house, on Saturday morning about four o'clock. The apparatus is quite extensive, and includes almost everything necessary to the successful prosecution of the trade, although the implements are rather crude and awkward, just such as men in the country would be apt to construct or have constructed. there were exhibited at the examination implements of various kinds of mulling, stamping, galvanizing, polishing, chipping, etc., with muriatic and sulphuric acid, and various chemicals. A number of half finished coins were also shown."

So the question is posed: had Joseph been released from prison in Ohio only to return to prison in Kentucky? I decided to find William H. Shepherd. Yes, by 1870 Shepherd was back in Kentucky residing in Greenup County. To confirm that the family resided in the portion of north eastern Kentucky near Klaiber Cemetery I decided to see if I could locate his large family in 1860. My heart sank as I found William Shepherd listed with Margaret and children in 1860 in Carter County. The counterfeiter was in prison in Ohio. Had I jumped to the wrong conclusion? Was it another William Shepherd from Carter County? Was I on the right track?

It is extremely important to read every line of every document and not rely on extractions or indexes. In this instance, William Shepherd, age 44, born Kentucky, has a listed occupation as "counterfeiter." Following the census column to the right is a notation "convicted in Columbus."

The 1860 Federal Census for the Ohio State Penitentiary in Columbus lists William H. Shepherd age 44, born Kentucky and Joseph Kelly, age 34 [born 1826] born Ohio as counterfeiters.

Further work needs to be done on the exercise and several problems present themselves. First most records of Joseph in Kentucky, that we have located thus far, place his birth as Kentucky, not Ohio. So while William Shepherd is from "our" neighborhood and the age is exact, it is not conclusive, but circumstantial, that the Joseph Kelley who went to prison in Kentucky is the same one who went to prison in Lawrence County, Ohio. And while Joseph Kelley, the husband of Eliza O. interacted with Bryant's for the indictment in Kentucky further research is still needed to connect Eliza to her paternal family. Nor have I yet located Eliza and her two children [Samuel Franklin born 1865 OH and Maria J. born 1868 KY] while Joseph was in prison.

The descendants are excited to learn so many new things about the issues and burial of Eliza O., and like all good researchers they want to know more. As the trustee of the cemetery, it would be wonderful to be able to confirm another unmarked grave in our cemetery and add to the growing wealth of history on top of our hill.

And that 7 degrees of relationship - or is that six degrees of separation - holds true to the cemetery. Like the song "...the shin bone is connected to the leg bone..." the Kelley family is connected to the Lucas family connected to the Sexton family connected to the Klaiber family. Can you tell I am as excited as the descendants? Well of course! I love the genealogical hunt. And with open arms I await the next serendipity moment in this research exercise. I'll be watching the comment box!

21 September 2010

Hemp License In Eastern Kentucky

compiled by Teresa Martin Klaiber
September 2010

Hemp was needed for ropes and used in feed bags and bailing twine. Early Kentucky pioneers brought the seed from Virginia and set aside acres for production. Lewis Collins cited Nathan Burrows of Lexington as being the first to introduce the manufacture of hemp into Kentucky about 1796 [Historical Sketches of Kentucky].

James Klotter's New History of Kentucky references eighteen rope and bagging manufacturers in Fayette County during 1838. By 1890 the Commonwealth was producing 94% of all the hemp produced in the United States.

Both Klotter and John Kleber, author of The Kentucky Encyclopedia, concentrate on larger production in central Kentucky. But it was James F. Hopkins, at the University of Kentucky who realized the historical significance that the production of hemp played within the Commonwealth. While working on his master's in 1936, he concentrated on the relevance of cultivation, processing and marketing relative to Kentucky's social, economic and even political history. His book A History of the Hemp Industry In Kentucky is still available today.

As a baby boomer and a young adult of the 60's our generation's idea and thoughts of hemp was in the form of marijuana known as "pot" and "weed" and smoked at Woodstock. And while today helicopters do regular scans of Eastern Kentucky for marijuana fields I either was very naive or it did not exist in Boyd County when I was in high school.

Thus I was intrigued to learn more about the history of hemp when I discovered that it had been grown and hempseed sold legally from the farm we own.

The effects of cannabis came to national attention in the late 1910's. The Uniform State Narcotic Act was finalized in 1932. But just prior to World War II fiber and jute production was on the rise. Strict controls were imposed on the raising and selling of the seed and hemp. Licenses were issued by the federal government and only a very strict few obtained them. According to the forward in Hopkins book the licenses "became little more than bragging curiosities, and the end of the war rang down the historic curtain on that second modest phase of hemp growing in Kentucky."

I take offense on behalf of my father-in-law about bragging rights. I know what a hard working proud Eastern Kentucky farmer he was. Every inch of dirt on this farm was utilized as was every crop to produce a living to put food on the table. He would not have wasted acres nor the trouble it must have been to acquire the license if it were not going to have a monetary value for the family.

The U. S. Department of Agriculture assigned each farm a number [they still do today]. John H. Klaiber received license 8107 pursuant to the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937. It gave him the right to own hempseed and the legal right to sell it. The seed had to be cleaned with a combine or hand fan cleaning mill. The prices were set by the Commodity Credit Corporation and was sold directly to them.

Reading the fine print on the surviving contract, John H. Klaiber had for 1943, the seed had to be cleaned so that morning glory seed or other foreign matter was less than 2%. Klaiber turned in 5.27 bushels. After testing he received $36.37 for his efforts in this early 1943 contract.

According to a USDA publication titled Industrial Hemp in the United States during World War II imports of abaca and jute were unavailable. the Government instituted this emergency program to produce hemp as a domestic substitute. The Commodity credit Corporation contracted with War Hemp Industries, Inc. which was a "quasi-official organization." The production peaked in 1943 which is the year we have the farm license. As soon as the war was over legal restrictions were reimposed though one small hemp fiber industry continued in Wisconsin until 1958.

The USDA produced a film in 1942 titled Hemp For Victory to encourage farmers to grow it as part of the war efforts. The goal for 1943 was 50,000 acres of seed hemp and the target area was Kentucky. Thanks to the Hemp Industries Association the link at the film title in this blog will provide readers with a transcript of the campaign to get farmers to grow the product.

12 September 2010

Cemetery Destruction

compiled by Teresa Martin Klaiber
September 2010

When we think of cemetery destruction we, unfortunately, think of vandalism. But that is not always the case. Mother nature can do some damage with acid rain and falling trees. Another destruction is caused by animals.

When it comes to animal destruction,ultimately humans are to blame. It may be that a fence was never created around the plots and later cattle and horses were turned into the field, thus the owner of the animals is at fault. But this latest example, hits home, and was totally inexcusable destruction that points directly to lazy or non-caring humans. Do I sound mad? Yes I am. If the responsible parties were caught they should have to pay for damages. I ranted on Face Book the day we discovered the damage.

Klaiber Cemetery has a strong secure fence. The sign at the gate clearly states to please keep the gate latched. Not just closed but latched. The entrance gate explains that there are cattle in the surrounding field. On at least five occasions this past year we have found the cemetery gate clanging with the wind. On four occasions we were blessed and cattle did not wonder into sacred ground. The fifth time we were not as lucky but thankfully no stones were broken, only toppled.

The stones have been lovingly up-righted. We keep Barre Pak on hand for repairs and the stones are sealed back on their bases. I feel I know each and every person in this cemetery personally, and in fact I do know many and most all descendants. I am so relieved that no stone is damaged.

Thanks to human ingenuity we now have a locked giant spring on the gate. The spring makes opening the gate a muscled effort and will slam immediately behind you. We believe that even if Ole Bessie rubs against the gate she won't be able to get inside. It is a bit of an effort for me to even get inside the gate but since someone can't take the two seconds to latch the chain, so be it. The lock on the spring allows the trustees to unlock it to open it wider for the hearse and large equipment.

I personally want to thank our neighbor Bob Blair for assisting with his tractor to once again make our cemetery the beautiful, peaceful resting place it is.

Eliza Kelly
Wife of Joseph Kelly died 18 November 1895

Henry Kane and Lucinda Sexton Lucas Tombstone
Henry Kane Lucas born 6 Dec 1846 died 2 June 1933
was the son of Emanuel and Charlotte Moore Lucas.
Lucinda Sexton was born 1850 died 5 Jan 1931,
the daughter of James Henderson and Hulda Sexton.

10 September 2010

News Media Can Be Misleading

compiled by Teresa Martin Klaiber
September 2010

News media is making its own news these days, accused of being either left or right or incorrectly presenting information. Some genealogists tend to take newspaper articles as gospel trying to utilize them as primary evidence.

When I discovered a clipping in the Portsmouth Times about an early furnace in Eastern Kentucky that I did not recognize I could easily have passed the information on. But something nagged me. First while I am certainly no expert on the early furnaces of our region, I am familiar with the names of most. The name of the furnace in the Portsmouth Times just could not be retrieved in my memory bank and I also knew enough history of the city of Ashland's Central Park and Armco Park in the county to know this property did not relate to them.

I am also very proud of the fact that I helped rescue 403 record books [yes we counted them] from Bellefonte, Buena Vista, Princess and Amanda furnaces in 2000. Many years ago Greenup and Boyd county lost these treasured records and 68 years later they turned up in the attic of the Henry Ford Museum in Michigan. When asked if our library wanted them back I quickly volunteered to make the trip to retrieve them. They are now safely back home where they belong, thanks to a tolerant husband that pulled our trailer and a cousin that tagged along to help load ledgers.

But I digress. The article reads:

27 July 1895: "The old Preston furnace and lands near Ashland, KY is about to pass into the hands of Boyd County to be used as a park. This was the first furnace constructed west of the mountains, having been built in 1789. The cannon balls used by the Americans at the Battle of New Orleans in 1813 were cast at this furnace."

With notes in hand, I set out to document this early furnace that seemed to have been within the bounds of present day Boyd County, Kentucky, at least according to the Portsmouth newspaper.

Before investigating court records I first reviewed my copy of Iron Furnaces Of The Hanging Rock Iron Region by Donald E. Rist. Rist states that the first furnace in the Hanging Rock Region was not built until 1818. The furnace is named Argillite and was built within the bounds of present day Greenup County. This is a well documented publication. Had I stumbled across an earlier furnace and piece of history that no one else seemed to have concentrated on? I found that highly unlikely.

Approaching the problem in what seemed a methodical method, I reviewed the Boyd County deed indexes followed by the Boyd County Court Order Books and Boyd County Fiscal Court Minutes. Neither the order book or minute books were indexed thus the exercise was time consuming. Besides the time, it also turned into what we genealogists term negative research. I found no entries or discussions concerning Boyd County receiving furnace lands for a park in the given time frame or even near that time frame.

Reviewing the article I concentrated on the surname Preston realizing that Colonel John Preston had large holdings from Virginia Grants in the Big Sandy Region sometimes simply referred to as the Preston lands. Prestonsburg was named for him and he established Paint Lick Station in 1790 later to become Paintsville, Johnson County. But within the many available articles I found no mention of an early furnace.

The article states "the first furnace constructed west of the mountains..." With the help of both Bing and Google I found two furnaces with the claim that they were the first west of the Alleghenies. The Peter Tarr furnace was built in the 1790's near Weirton, West Virginia. I found several articles and a description in Wikipedia. Wiki did state the furnace was used to cast cannon balls but that they were utilized at the Battle of Lake Erie in 1813 not New Orleans. Add that with the fact that it is not in Eastern Kentucky it scored a minus two in my research notes.

The second furnace known as the Slate Creek furnace was in Kentucky. I found several references and varied names. The furnace was also known as Bourbon furnace located in Bath County, Kentucky. While this furnace is in Kentucky I was about to give it at least one minus score because of the distance from Ashland but decided to look a little further. I found a wonderful article, Thomas Deye Owings of Maryland, Kentucky, Texas posted by the son of deceased author W. T. Block referencing the furnace.

Block states that the furnace was settled in 1789 which coincided with the Portsmouth newspaper. His article is well documented and appeared in Ancestry Magazine, Volume 19 #2 July/Aug 2001 as well as at the link above.

Block writes "According to the Lexington Gazette (10 December 1813), by 1813 the furnace was making three or four tons of iron daily. Some of its products were cannon balls that were later used at the Battle of New Orleans..."

However the furnace was sold by Jacob Myers to John Cockey Owings, Willis Green, Christopher Greenup and Walter Beall. There is no mention of Preston. Do I give this a minus score?

In genealogy we never use the word assume. It is an ugly word for any research project. But yet the more I reviewed the small Portsmouth, Ohio article the more I wondered did the writer carelessly misread the county name when both begin with "B" and did he assume it had to be near Ashland? And even if that assumption is correct where did the name Preston furnace come from?

Over the years I have turned to Kentucky geological reports and surveys for many projects. With one last ditch effort I decided to see what possibilities were left. In Geology of Kentucky, chapter 28, Misc. Mineral Resources, I once again found the old Slate Creek furnace listed as the first west of the Alleghenies. Within an instant the puzzle pieces finally fit together.

The publication describes the Preston Ore Banks that were located on Slate Creek southeast of Owingsville. It goes on to say that the remains of the furnace are on the bank of Slate Creek along the road between Preston Station and Owingsville. "Of historic interest is the shipment of cannon balls by way of the Licking and Ohio rivers to General Jackson for the defense of New Orleans..."

The three sentence 1895 article in the Portsmouth Times had utilized Preston Station or the ore banks for lack of a better name of the furnace. Preston Station was founded about 1881, just 14 year prior to the writing of the newspaper article in question. According to the History of Bath County, Preston was named for William Preston who had significant land holdings in the area. He donated a right-of-way to the Elizabethtown Lexington & Big Sandy Railway Company with the stipulation that a station be named for him at that location. The rails continued to Ashland.

The information concerning William Preston and the right-of-way was repeated in Robert Rennick's Kentucky Place Names. Neither author elaborated on Preston but this compiler recommends reading Kentucky's Last Cavalier. General William Preston 1816-1887 by Peter J. Shelinger for details about his massive land holdings which included lands in Bath County.

Yes, someone had inserted the four letter Boyd instead of the four letter Bath into the article. Before I blame this particular paper remember that articles got copied and recopied from one town to the next. While I have not found any other paper publishing that article I would not be surprised to find it again sometime.

Am I upset that I did not unearth a new historical tidbit for Eastern Kentucky or another furnace for Boyd County by utilizing this exercise? Not at all. I expanded my knowledge base a bit further.

Other notations I located on Slate Creek furnace state that the surviving stones had been within a highway roadside park. In 1969 the Owingsville Jaycees and the state Highway Department completed a joint project and dedicated the park on July 1st, 74 years after the announcement of a park in the Portsmouth paper.

The Kentucky Historical Society Historical Marker Database lists the furnace as The Bourbon Ironworks, marker #993 placed at KY Route 36 and KY 965 which is Preston Road. Mr. Block's well informed article, cited earlier, includes pictures of the remaining furnace and marker. Those interested in further information on Bourbon aka Slate Creek furnace and its works will enjoy reading page 90-98 of the History of Bath County by J. A. Richards.

News media past and present can be misleading. When you read tomorrow's paper maybe you should dig a little deeper before drawing conclusions.

01 September 2010

Let Me Count The Ways

compiled by Teresa Martin Klaiber September 2010

Elizabeth Barrett Browning spoke of love when she scribed "...let me count the ways..." and this compiler does love genealogy and all its little nuances.

Little tidbits can help or confuse researchers when reviewing original source materials. Little nuggets can sometimes make the researcher chew the nub of their pencil, bite their nails and tug at the ends of their hair. Name variations are one of those nuggets that are sometimes subtle and sometimes are a cacophony on paper.

There are several url's with extended genealogies on the Lee and Fraley family from Russell County, Virginia thus it is not my intent to repeat what can easily be found. But I was interested in how many name adaptations David Fletcher Lee had left in his paper trail before he was laid to rest in Ashland Cemetery, Ashland, Boyd County, Kentucky.

The family appears on the 1920 Federal Census for Ashland City, Boyd County, Kentucky where the gentleman is listed as David F. Lee, born in Russell County, Virginia.

The 1924-25 Ashland City directory lists him simply as D. F. Lee, a retired Baptist minister, residing at 813 West Carter Avenue. The following year he and his wife are listed at 821 Carter Avenue and again he is listed simply as D. F. Lee.

The same year, 1926, David F. Lee becomes ill and dies on 18 December. The informant was son Mason. But the Registrar incorrectly utilized the middle initial E. on the certificate [#30074] and the entry is even indexed as David E. Lee. Mason did provide David's parents as James Lee and Chloe Fraley of Virginia. David's birth date is cited as April 23, 1842 but simply states the place of birth as Virginia - county not given.

Looking at the 1850 census of Russell County, Virginia James Lee, 85 years old, born in Georgia, and wife Chloe age 39, born in Russell County, do have a son born in 1842 but the name written down on the microfilmed census form appears as Fletcher G. Lee, and is indexed as such.


Immediately following his death, on 28 February 1927, the widow of David F. Lee, Mary E. Lee, applied for a Widow's Indigent Pension under the Confederate Pension Act. Son's Mason and Robert Lee were examined and Mary was to be placed on the Confederate Pension Roll according to the entry [Boyd County Court Order Book 15, page 107].

The Soldiers & Sailors System search engine shows him listed simply as David Lee with the 22nd Virginia Cavalry aka Bowen's Regt. Virginia Mounted Riflemen. It gives a 2nd entry for David F. Lee as a private with Owen's Kentucky Cavalry. The database does not distinguish that these are the same person having served in both units.

Jeffrey Weaver provides information about David Lee's military service on his Compiled Service Records of 22nd Virginia Cavalry site [be sure to have on speakers the music is nice]. Weaver's entry states that David Lee [no middle name] joined Company A of the 22nd on 8/4/63. AWOL 10/31/63, he later served in Owen's Kentucky Cavalry. Captured in Morgan County, Kentucky 11/8/63 sent to Camp Chase. Applied for pension in 1915 in Kentucky.

There is a small error in the material shown at that particular link. According to the Index of Confederate Pension Applications, Division of Archives and Records Management, Commonwealth of Kentucky, page 108 - D. F. Lee of Carter County applied for his pension 6-14-1912 [not 1915], Application number #485. The same page Shows that the request of the Boyd County Court had been accepted and Mary was placed on the rolls as the widow of D. F. Lee 3-10-1927, Application number #4443. Once again a full name was not cited.

In 1900 the family was in Carter County in the Maddox Precinct where David is listed as David F. Lee along with his family. The 1880 Carter County census utilizes the name Fletcher Lee. He uses the name Fletcher Lee in the 1870 Russell County, Virginia Census as well and does not exercise the name David.

This gentleman marries, for a 3rd time, Mary Elizabeth Wilburn, 25 March 1876 in Carter County, Kentucky. The entry is for Fletcher Lee and as a side bar states that he and his parents were born in Lee County, Virginia. His occupation is listed as preacher.

Prior to the Civil War, the 1860 census simply lists him as D. F. Lee in Russell County, Virginia.

His widow, by his 3rd marriage, Mary E. Lee lived until 20 November 1940. Her death certificate [#25113] states that her husband was D. F. Lee. As I walked through Ashland Cemetery I hoped that since his full name was listed in the cemetery records as David Fletcher Lee that in the very end his full name was carved in stone. Alas yet again his small stone reads Rev. D. F. Lee.

At this point I did not retrieve his first two marriages and will leave the rest of the genealogical trail for other researchers. I do wonder if his colleagues might have simply called him Fletch or just D. F. We folks in Eastern Kentucky do love our nicknames.

What tidbits are you leaving behind as a paper trail? How many ways have you signed your name in your lifetime? Utilizing initials, maiden names, nicknames and misspellings, count the ways.

Let me count thine own way:

Teresa Lynn Martin
Terry Martin
Terri Martin
Terri Klaiber
Teresa Lynn Klaiber
Teresa Lynn Martin Klaiber
Teresa Martin Klaiber

And I bet I have left a few out!

27 August 2010

Happy Trails To You.

compiled by Teresa Martin Klaiber August 2010

I admit that I am a complete and total fan of Leonard Sly aka Roy Rogers. And I must confess I am borrowing and humming the song, Happy Trails To You. But since Roy was from Ohio and lived in Scioto County it has little to do with Eastern Kentucky trails.

In genealogy we have paper trails and migration trails. And in the past few weeks I have been busy following both types of trails. Both trails I have been working on have led into the Bluegrass section of the state and show just how easy it was for entire waves of migration to just pass us by here in Eastern Kentucky.

Carrie Eldridge has written several different publications in Atlas style showing migration routes that lead into Kentucky that are invaluable to researchers. She has been a frequent researcher at the Boyd County library for many years. Her atlas publications are also in the stacks and are showing the wear of much use. One quickly sees that the Pound and the rivers were the main routes into Eastern Kentucky.

Those that traveled through our beautiful Cumberland Gap entered the Cumberland Plateau in Eastern Kentucky through what is now Knox County and veered west along Boone's Trace and the Wilderness Road into the heart of Kentucky to the stations near Lexington and Scott County.

I discovered that George Marshall and his wife Nancy Ann Roszell Marshall, along with her father Dr. Nehemiah Roszell, were involved with land transactions, circa 1795. The land lay just north of the Cumberland River just above the Trace. The land appears to lay in what is Knox County today. George Marshall testified that he later sold his 1000 acre moiety to Cary Clark. The transactions are in the Old Kentucky Entries at the Kentucky Land Office. Patent OK5566 gives the most revealing information on this family. At the time of the transactions [there are a total of 3 patents] the entire area was a portion of Lincoln County. Had this family migrated just a few miles to the east their lives and the terrain would have been entirely different.

The Roszell's and Marshall's followed the trail and settled in Scott County on Miller's Run and Cherry Run. George's daughter Frances married Thomas W. Peek who resided near Stamping Ground on McConnell Run also in Scott County. By 1819 George Marshall, along with son-in-law Thomas W. Peek were on the move again. George went west looking at land along the Green River but ended up with a purchase of land in Caldwell County not far from the newly opened Jackson Purchase.

It is interesting how trails can create and influence lives. Son-in-law Thomas W. Peek, was just a small boy when his mother and family followed the trail to Scott County by a totally different route. Thomas' father, Francis Peake died at Wheeling, Virginia and Mary brought her family into Scott County by the northern route. His mother states that she brought her family to Kentucky in 1793. The National Road aka Cumberland Road would not be built from Wheeling until 1811 and Ebenezer Zane would not start blazing Zane's Trace until 1796. Thus the practical way, as well as the safest way for her to migrate to Kentucky would be along the Ohio River from Wheeling. A woman pioneering before Zane ever cleared those Indian trails.

I think about the widow Mary Peake and her children and how they could easily have stopped along the Ohio River at the mouth of the Big Sandy or chosen any number of other trails. But she also headed for land near settled stations in Scott County.

Families grow and continue to move and with several generations my own line ended up in Eastern Kentucky which their ancestors had skirted and managed to avoid in the early pioneer days.

I am so proud that this is my family that traveled these early pioneering trails across Kentucky in so many regions. I think Nancy Ann Roszell's father may be the most pioneering of the group. Dr. Nehemiah Roszell crossed the Ohio River into the Northwest territory and was just a couple of miles from the mouth of the Miami when he died in 1797. I doubt he ever saw my beautiful Eastern Kentucky, unless he was looking over his shoulder at the mountains and hills.

Happy Trails To You until we meet again.

19 August 2010

Name That Cemetery!

compiled by Teresa Martin Klaiber August 2010

No this isn't a quizz show. I had a call from California and the caller was confused by the names of the cemeteries in Boyd County, Kentucky.

The caller was working on a Stephens family which means she also had to look at Stevens spellings. She had a death certificate for a Stephens showing one of her ancestors in Stevens Graveyard but when she utilized the Boyd County Master Cemetery Database it stated he was in Stevens/Marcum Cemetery. When she looked at the Boyd County, Kentucky Cemeteries Location Guide she found four cemetery listings utilizing both spellings at different locations. Could "the cemetery lady" please help her?

Working with genealogy every day it is easy to assume that everyone knows genealogical abbreviations and lingo. Working with the Boyd County Cemetery Master Database is also easy interpretation for those of us that utilize it every day. There is a nice introduction on the history of the database in the Location Guide. Since one file is .pdf and the other a searchable dbase not every online user gets to the introduction.

Cemeteries have a history of changing names with land ownership, not just here in Eastern Kentucky but across our nation. A good example is the history of our own Klaiber Cemetery which has had at least four different names over the years & geological survey maps incorrectly spelled it Clyber. Coroners and undertakers many times either incorrectly spelled the cemetery name or named the cemetery after the person being buried there compounding the name problem.

Thus when the Kentucky Historical Society Cemetery Grant began in 1968, volunteers needed to be very careful when submitting data, especially since there may be more than one cemetery with the same name in any given county. The volunteers needed to distinguish any two with the same name. KHS required that each cemetery have a name and some cemeteries were unnamed. It was up to the volunteers to provide a name for each cemetery while distinguishing them individually.

KHS required latitude and longitude as the only form of direction. This only added to the problems. First, unlike today, only a few professionals had anything like a GPS with them and secondly the volunteers had to manually figure the coordinates which left room for error [we found one directional placing the cemetery in the Ohio River]. The KHS form did not give route numbers.

The reality of the KHS Grant program was that it failed on several levels and was a huge success at the same time. Yes I know that statement does not seem to make sense. So let me explain. First it failed on the state level simply because early computers could not handle all the data from all the counties. Next because of computer limitations each cemetery was assigned a number instead of utilizing the assigned names causing even more confusion. Thus the failure. But the grant required that a copy of the typed material be left in each county and that was and is a huge success.

The more I worked with my beloved Boyd County cemeteries the more I became aware of the "name game" and all the limitations it caused for researchers. I began keeping a notebook with notations on each cemetery which developed into The Boyd County, Kentucky Cemeteries Location Guide. Far from a publication, it is simply a collection of historical notations and directions to cemeteries within the county. Because of the various name changes or "AKA" [also know as] each entry is cross referenced.

As my notes on cemetery names grew so did my notebooks with information on who was buried in each. I collected the KHS typed forms and then compared them with the available handwritten entries that, coordinator volunteer, Evelyn Jackson kept for Boyd County. A few of the readings never made it KHS. It became apparent that a master index for Boyd County was a must and new computer technology allowed me to develop a template.

When creating the columns I knew instantly that the KHS numbering system did not work and a column would have to allow for the cemetery name. With the "name game" I soon realized the column needed to be large enough to include some description. Thus we have "Stevens on Durbin", "Stevens/Marcum", "Stevens, Otis" and simply Stevens. If you look in the Location guide you will get directions and information on each. Stevens/Marcum has an AKA Marcum and is cross referenced in the guide as Marcum because some death certificates listed it as Marcum Cemetery.

With the template in place our newly created "Boyd County Master Cemetery Database" was on the way. A column for the source was marked KHS as all the typed grant forms were entered. Another column tells the viewer the year the entry was created. When step #1 was completed Jackson's hand written notations were added with any entries that had not made it to KHS. The source column is marked ESJ telling the reader that it was from her files.

Step #3 was the addition of any older readings that I had found scattered throughout publications and in the vertical files. If an entry differed it was added to the database.

Step #4 was the addition of entries from death certificates 1911 - 1916. The source column then says Dcert. By adding these we know of people that are buried in unmarked graves.

The database at this point still had and has limitations. We knew that not all Ashland Cemetery was in the KHS readings nor did we have Rose Hill entries completed from a separate book. The older entries from Rose Hill have now been completed thanks to Jim Kettel and Ashland Cemetery has supplied the library with additional information which is online as well. Still far from complete the Master database continued and continues to grow.

Step #5 developed with the creation of the Boyd County Fiscal Court Cemetery Board. Again new technology made "reading" a cemetery a thing of the past and "digitizing" the cemetery the new lingo. Joyce Whitlock and I set out on a two year journey across Boyd County to photograph tombstones. Once the tombstone was uploaded to the computer, a split screen view of the actual stone allowed less mistakes in entries into the dbase. While a majority of the cemeteries are digitized it is still an ongoing process. The digitized photographs are available at the Boyd County Public Library.

We have been working with the Boyd County PVA office who is also digitally mapping the county and the cemeteries. During one of our first meetings I asked about a particular cemetery and was told since they did not have the name they just called it whatever came "closest to the location." Oh the haunting "name game" again. The PVA office now utilizes the Location Guide and we hopefully have resolved creating yet another "AKA."

The database has proven to be extremely beneficial for researchers as it continues to grow. It has answered some interesting questions over the past few years. In one example we knew from the KHS reading that a stone existed in 1977 but was not standing when digitized for the followup a couple of years ago. By following research leads with help from the database we were able to determine when the grave and stone had been moved and where it now is.

In the case of the caller from California she was able to determine gps and driving directions to Stevens/Marcum Cemetery. She quickly had the site up on Google Maps and now knows where her ancestor is interred.

The database entry shows that it was from the KHS reading and in the comments line was typed "unmarked." Since no additional comments or entries were made when we digitized the cemetery in 2005 no stone was located at that time either. Additionally the caller says she has the death certificate and an obituary stating that her ancestor is buried next to his wife. That information adds another unmarked burial in Stevens/Marcum Cemetery.

Thanks to the collective efforts of the Boyd County Fiscal Court Cemetery Board, the cemeteries of Boyd County now have road signs giving an added aide for drivers to locate those tucked in the foliage on the hill and hopefully solidifying the question of the name of each cemetery in our county.

It has been an honor to share the database template with our neighboring Greenup County. The template is designed so that other counties with data can be added or merged with Boyd County. The dream of the original KHS project so many years ago has become a local reality. Greenup County and Carter County all have cemetery road signs as well. Seeing the road signs makes me hope that the "name game" is no longer like a quizz show.