Location: Madison County KY

Kit Carson, His Life and Adventures – Indian Wars

The subject of this sketch, Christopher “Kit” Carson, was born on the 24th of December, 1809, in Madison County, Kentucky. The following year his parents removed to Howard County, Missouri, then a vast prairie tract and still further away from the old settlements. The new home was in the midst of a region filled with game, and inhabited by several predatory and hostile tribes of Indians, who regarded the whites as only to be respected for the value of their scalps. The elder Carson at once endeavored to provide for the safety of his family, as far as possible,...

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Biography of Jebez Ham

Jabez Ham, brother of John, was born in Madison Co., Ky., in 1797, and came to Missouri in 1817. He had no education, was of a roving disposition, and did nothing for several years but hunt and fish. His mind was naturally bright, and if he had been educated he would have made a remarkable man. Rev. Aley Snethen and Lewis Jones taught him the alphabet and learned him to read, and in 1824 he began to preach, having united with the Old or Hard Shell Baptist Church. In 1826 he organized a church of that denomination on Loutre Creek, and called it New Providence. For some time after he began to preach he always carried his gun with him when he went to church, both on week clays and Sundays, and often killed deer on his way to and from his preaching places. He also manufactured powder, which he had a ready sale for at high prices; and by this means and from the proceeds of his rifle he made a living and did well. He was a large, stout man, and often added emphasis to his opinions by the use of his fists. On a certain occasion he forgot the text that he had intended to preach from, and when he arose in the pulpit he announced the fact by saying to the congregation that he had...

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Biography of Stephen Ham

Stephen Ham lived and died in Madison Co., Ky. He was the father of John, Jabez, and Stephen Ham, Jr. John was born in Kentucky in 1786, and came to Missouri in 1809, and settled in St. Charles County. He joined Nathan Boone’s company of rangers, and served during the Indian war. In 1816 he and Jonathan Crow built a bark tent on Auxvasse creek, now in Callaway County, and lived in it for some time, while they were engaged in hunting. They were, therefore, probably the first American settlers within the limits of Callaway County. Ham cut his name on a lone tree in the prairie, which has since borne his name. He was a Methodist preacher. He was married twice, first to a Miss Bennett, by whom he had two children. She died when the children were quite small, and their father took them to their relatives in Kentucky, performing the journey on horse-back, with one of the children before him and one behind. When he came to water courses that were deep enough to swim his horse, he would tie one of the children on the bank, swim across with the other, tie it, and go back for the one he had left. He afterward married a Miss Thomas, and they had six daughters. Mr. Ham was a daring hunter, and there were but few who...

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Biographical Sketch of David Gentry

David Gentry, of Virginia, married Jane Kendrick, and settled in Madison County, Ky. They had Bright B., Pleasant, David, Dickey, Martin, Bailey, and five daughters. Bright B. married Martha Jones, and they had James, Margaret, David, Jonathan J., Eliza, Susan, Albert, and Fanny. David settled in Montgomery County in 1833, and married Polly A. Groom. Jonathan also settled in Montgomery County in 1833, and married Elizabeth...

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Biographical Sketch of Joseph McFarland

Joseph McFarland, of Ireland, came to America before the revolution, and settled at Norfolk, Va. He joined the American army when the war broke out, and was killed in battle. He left a widow and one son, Robert, who settled in Madison Co., Ky., where he married Rhoda Quick, and they had Sarah, Joseph, and Rachel. Mr. McFarland’s first wife died, and he subsequently married Eva Farmer, of Virginia, by whom he had-Eleanor, Lucinda, Elizabeth, Permelia, Eliza, and Robert. Joseph McFarland settled in Montgomery County in 1825. He married. Polly Cundiff. Lucinda married James McGarvin, of Montgomery County. Eliza married Jonathan G....

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Biography of Stephen Best

Stephen Best, of Ireland, emigrated to America many years before the revolution, and settled in Pennsylvania. His children were Isaac, Humphrey, Stephen, Jr., and Ebenezer. He also had several daughters, but their names are lost. Ebenezer never married, but he educated sixty children that claimed him for their father. He was one of the celebrated horse racers of Madison Co., Ky., and also indulged in chicken fighting. He once fought ten times with his chickens in one day, and gained seven of the fights, winning $1,000 each. Isaac Best and his wife came to Missouri in 1808, from Garrard Co., Ky. They rode two old horses, on which they also carried their bedding, furniture, cooking utensils, etc. They settled on the bottom in Montgomery County, which has since borne their name. Mr. Best, like his brother, was fond of amusement, and delighted in horse racing. When the Indian war broke out he built a fort on his farm, but had to give it up before peace was declared. The Indians became so troublesome that he was afraid to leave his family in the fort any longer, and conveyed them for greater security to Fort Clemson, on Loutre Island. The following day his fort was captured by the Indians, but they found nothing to reward them for their trouble. The names of Mr. Best’s children were John, Stephen, Isaac, Jr.,...

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Biography of Gideon Bowels

Gideon Bowles and wife, of Dublin, Ireland, were members of the St. James Colony that settled in Goochland Co., Va. Anderson Bowles, their son, married Jane Thomas, and settled in Cumberland Co., Va. Their children were Caleb, Sarah, James, Gideon, Ann, Anderson, Jr., Virginia, Elizabeth, Augusta, and David. Ann and Gideon died in Virginia. The rest of the children came with their parents to Madison Co., Ky., in 1806, and in 1811 they all settled in St. Louis Co., Mo., where Mr. Bowles died the following year. His widow lived until 1834. Caleb the eldest son was Judge of the County Court of St. Louis County several terms. He was married twice, and finally settled in Saline County, where he died. Sarah married Stephen Maddox, of Virginia, who settled in St. Louis County. They had fifteen children. James was a ranger in Captain Musick’s company, and was killed by the Indians at Cap-au-Gris in 1814, in his 20th year. Anderson settled in Mississippi, where he died. Virginia married Richard Ripley, of St. Louis County, and died soon after. Elizabeth married Richard Sapington, and lives in Illinois, a widow. Augusta married Jacilla Wells, who removed to Texas and died there. David, the youngest son living, was married first to Julia Mackay, a daughter of Capt. James Mackay, of St. Louis, by whom he had James A., Jane, Jesse, Nathan Z.,...

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Biographical Sketch of Daniel White

Daniel White, son of Samuel White, was born near the city of Richmond, in Madison County, Kentucky, February 26, 1831. He remained in his birthplace until he was about twenty-one years of age, during which time he was engaged in farming and working for his father. After becoming of age he was engaged in farming for two years, and then worked in a mill three years. August 9, 1862, he was enrolled in Company F, Seventh Kentucky Cavalry, and was in the service during the war, being in several battles and skirmishes. After the war Mr. White moved to Tazewell County, Illinois, where for seven years he was engaged in farming. He then moved to Piatt County, Illinois, where he was farming for six years. In 1816 he moved to Caldwell County, Missouri, where he farmed two years. In 1880 he came to Daviess County, Missouri, where he purchased a farm and has since been living. In 1857, Mr. White was married to Miss Mary S. Cruise. They have six children: William S., Martin V., Mary T., James A., Eliza and...

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Slave Narrative of Richard Miller

Interviewer: Anna Pritchett Person Interviewed: Richard Miller Location: Indiana Place of Birth: Danville, Kentucky Date of Birth: January 12, 1843 Place of Residence: 1109 North West Street Federal Writers’ Project of the W.P.A. District #6 Marion County Anna Pritchett 1200 Kentucky Avenue FOLKLORE RICHARD MILLER-AN OLD SOLDIER 1109 North West Street Richard Miller was born January 12, 1843 in Danville, Kentucky. His mother was an English subject, born in Bombay, India and was brought into America by a group of people who did not want to be under the English government. They landed in Canada, came on to Detroit, stayed there a short time, then went to Danville, Kentucky. There she married a slave named Miller. They were the parents of five children. After slavery was abolished, they bought a little farm a few miles from Danville, Kentucky. The mother was very ambitious for her children, and sent them to the country school. One day, when the children came home from school, their mother was gone; they knew not where. It was learned, she was sending her children to school, and that was not wanted. She was taken to Texas, and nothing, was heard from her until 1871. She wrote her brother she was comming to see them, and try to find her children, if any of them were left. The boy, Richard, was in the army. He was...

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Clark Co., Ky

CLARK CO. (Mayme Nunnelley) The first records of Slaves in Clark County was given by a descendant of one of the members of the little band of resolute Revolutionary soldiers who had been comrades and mess mates throughout the long bloody war. These fifteen families, some from Virginia and others from Maryland, started westward in the early spring of 1783 for Kentucky. They bought with them some horses, a few cattle, thirty or forty slaves and a few necessary household articles. After many hardships and trials, borne heroically by both men and women, they halted on the banks of the Big Stoner, in what is now the eastern part of Clark County. Two years later another group of families with their slaves came to join this little settlement. In some cases the owners were good to their slaves had comfortable quarters for them at a reasonable distance from the main house. Their clothing was given them as they needed it. In most instances the clothing was made on the plantation Material woven, and shoes made. The cabins were one and two rooms, maybe more if the families were large. The slaves ate their meals in the kitchen of the main house. A cruel and inhuman master was ostrazied and taught by the silent contempt of his neighbors a lesson which he seldom failed to learn. In 1789 the general...

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Slave Narrative of Belle Robinson

Interviewer: Eliza Ison Person Interviewed: Belle Robinson Location: Garrard County, Kentucky Place of Birth: Garrard County, Kentucky Date of Birth: June 3rd, 1853 I found Aunt Belle sitting on the porch, dressed nice and clean with a white handkerchief pinned on her neck. When I went to her and told her who I was and the reason for my visit her face beamed with smiles and she said “Lawdy, it has been so long that I have forgot nearly everything I knew”. Further investigation soon proved that she had not forgotten, for her statements were very intelligent. She was working on a quilt and close investigation found that the work was well done. Aunt Belle tells me “I was born June 3rd, 1853 in Garrard County near Lancaster. My mother’s name was Marion Blevin and she belonged to the family of Pleas Blevin. My father’s name was Arch Robinson who lived in Madison County. Harrison Brady bought me from Ole Miss Nancy Graham and when Mr. Brady died and his property was sold Mrs. Brady bought me back; and she always said that she paid $400 for me. I lived in that family for three generations, until every one of them died. I was the only child and had always lived at the big house with my mistus. I wore the same kind of clothes and ate the same...

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Slave Narrative of Peter Bruner

Interviewer: Evelyn McLemore Person Interviewed: Peter Bruner Date of Interview: 1936 Location: Kentucky Place of Birth: Winchester, Kentucky, Clark Co. Date of Birth: 1845 ESTILL CO. (Evelyn McLemore) Story of Peter Bruner, a former slave: Peter Bruner, was born in Winchester, Kentucky, Clark Co., in 1845. His master was John Bell Bruner, who at that time treated him fairly well. When Peter was 10 years of age his master brought him and his sister to Irvine. After arriving in Irvine, Peter’s master was very cruel to him. They got only cornbread, fat meat and water to eat. If his master’s hunger was not satisfied, he would even take this little from them. The[TR:?] were tables to eat from. Once Peter, was taken into his master’s house to nurse the children and was made to sleep on the floor with only a ragged quilt to lie on and one thin one over him. Often he was whipped because his mistress said the washing was not clean, when it was. On one occasion when he was beaten his master took a piece of sole leather about 1 foot long and 2 inches wide, cut it full of holes and dipped it in water that was brined. He then took the leather and lashed the poor slave’s back. Joe Bruner, was a better master to his slaves than John. Once when Peter...

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Slave Narrative of Dan Bogie

Interviewer: Eliza Ison Person Interviewed: Dan Bogie Location: Garrard County, Kentucky Date of Interview: May 5, 1858 Garrard County. Ex-Slave Stories. (Eliza Ison) [HW: Ky 9] Uncle Dan tells me “he was born May 5, 1858 at the Abe Wheeler place near Spoonsville, now known as Nina, about nine miles due east from Lancaster. Mother, whose name was Lucinda Wheeler, belonged to the Wheeler family. My father was a slave of Dan Bogie’s, at Kirksville, in Madison County, and I was named for him. My mother’s people were born in Garrard County as far as I know. I had one sister, born in 1860, who is now dead, and is buried not far from Lancaster. Marse Bogie owned about 200 acres of land in the eastern section of the county, and as far as I can remember there were only four slaves on the place. We lived in a one-room cabin, with a loft above, and this cabin was an old fashioned one about hundred yards from the house. We lived in one room, with one bed in the cabin. The one bed was an old fashioned, high post corded bed where my father and mother slept. My sister and me slept in a trundle bed, made like the big bed except the posts were made smaller and was on rollers, so it could be rolled under the big...

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Biography of James Sidney Rollins

James Sidney Rollins, lawyer and statesman, distinguished for extraordinary public services, was born April 19, 1812, at Richmond, Kentucky, and died at Columbia, Missouri, January 9, 1888, in the seventy-sixth year of his age. His parents were Anthony Wayne and Sallie Harris (Rodes) Rollins. The father was a native of Pennsylvania, a graduate of Jefferson College in that state and an eminent physician. He was a son of Henry Rollins, who was born in County Tyrone, Ireland, emigrated to America during the Revolutionary war, enlisted in the Continental army and fought in the battle of Brandywine. The mother, a lady of refinement and beautiful character, was a native of Madison county, Kentucky. James Sidney Rollins was educated in Washington College of Pennsylvania and in the University of Indiana at Bloomington, being graduated from the latter institution in 1830 with the highest honors and as valedictorian of his class. His parents having removed to Boone county, Missouri, he followed them after his graduation, taking charge of the large farm upon which they had located. During the same time he read law under the instruction of Judge Abiel Leonard of Fayette. During the Black Hawk war, in 1832, he acted as aide-de-camp on the staff of Major General Richard Gentry and was actively engaged for six months on the Des Moines river, deriving from this service the title of major. He...

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Biography of James William Bell

James William Bell, a resident of Topeka for more than thirty years, has built up a business and reputation as a buyer and dealer in horses which is by no means confined to the State of Kansas. His operations extend practically over the entire country. He has been a prominent exporter to foreign markets. James William Bell was born in Greenbrier County in what is now West Virginia but was then Virginia, December 18, 1854. The Bell family goes back to Scotch-Irish antecedents and the first of the name came to Virginia in colonial times. David Henderson Bell, father of James William Bell, was born at Rockbridge, Virginia, in 1818, and when a young man removed to Greenbrier County in what was then the western part of the Old Dominion. Acquiring a large tract of land in that rugged region, he farmed and raised stock on an extensive scale. For the pursuits of his mature years James William Bell had the equivalent of a liberal literary training. Most of his education was acquired in a school and under a prominent educator. This educator was Doctor Macalhaney and the school was known as Louisburg Academy. Outside of school his other experiences as a young man comprised much work on the home farm, and he also entered a store belonging to his uncle. After several years of clerical experience he removed...

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