Category Archives: Genealogy Ramblings

John G. Jefferson Biography

from County of Trigg, Kentucky, Historical and Biographical by Perrin, 1884

Cadiz Precinct

John G. Jefferson is the oldest native born white child now living in Cadiz; he was born here on September 21, 1834, and is a son of Dr. Thomas B. and Martha A. (Graves) Jefferson.  The father was born in Pittsylvania County, Virginia, on the 13th of April, 1805, and was a son of Peter F. and Elizabeth (Harrison) Jefferson.  The former was a cousin of President Jefferson, the latter a cousin of President Harrison.  When Thomas was six years old his father moved to Sumner County, Tennessee.  Here Dr. Jefferson obtained the rudiments of his education.  At the age of eighteen he entered the office of Dr. Rawlings and commenced the study of medicine.  After studying there one year he entered the Transylvania University at Lexington.  At this institution he remained two terms, and graduated with honor to himself and credit to his preceptors.  On his return from college he settled in the vicinity of Nashville, Tennessee.  After practicing medicine one year alone he entered into a co-partnership with Dr. Maxey, at Haysboro, Davidson County, Tennessee.  In 1830 he determined to go to St. Louis, and accordingly started for that place; he was delayed by a severe snowstorm at Hopkinsville, and while stopping there some of the citizens of Cadiz, among them William Cannon, then Clerk of the Circuit Court, petitioned him to settle at this point.  Accordingly in the fall of 1831 he came to Cadiz, and cast his lot with the people of this county.  In 1832, when the Asiatic cholera made its appearance in Kentucky, Salem, in Crittenden County, was smitten by the epidemic.  The people of Cadiz, fearing this disease would appear at that point, solicited Dr. Jefferson to go and investigate the theory of the disease.  With commendable zeal and fearlessness he started to Salem, but on his arrival at Princeton he found the scourge had already reached that point.  Here the citizens stopped him and insisted that he should take charge of the case of Mr. Peter Simmerman, a merchant of that place, then pronounced by the home physicians to be in a hopeless condition.  Our subject now has in his possession two letters concerning his father’s treatment of this case; one written by N. S. Dalman, Esq., the other by Thomas Haynes, Esq., in which the courage, skill and firmness of Dr. Jefferson are spoken of in words of deep admiration.  Simmerman although in a collapsed state when Dr. Jefferson reached him, was cured, and as one of the letter writers remarked, “Dr. Jefferson snatched an estimable citizen from the grave and restored him to the bosom of his family.”  He continued to make tri-weekly visits to Princeton during the prevalence of the disease, and under the treatment of this physician the disease lost its terrors to some extent.  From this time until his death Dr. Jefferson occupied a very high, if not the highest, rank in the medical profession of this and adjoining counties; he died on July 11, 1873, and his loss was severely felt in the community in which he had resided so long, especially by the poorer classes, for whom he had great sympathy.  He loved the right, manly and the noble, and detested fraud, meanness and sham.  The mother of subject was born in Davidson County, Tennessee, and her death occurred in this county in April, 1853.  The schools of the county furnished subject’s education.  When a youth he went to Eddyville, Lyon County, and there taught school for a while, then wrote in the County Clerk’s office.  While engaged in this latter occupation he also found time to read law some, and in 1855 he entered the Louisville Law School.  From this institution he graduated in the class of 1856; he came to this county and practiced his profession for a few months, when he became book-keeper at Laura Furnace, where he remained until his marriage.  During the war he spent most of the time in the South.  In 1866 he returned to Cadiz and remained a short time; he then went to Texas, where he spent several months, and then returned to this county.  In January, 1869, he was appointed County Court Clerk, and in the following August he was elected to the office for one year, and in August, 1870, he was re-elected for four years, and since that time has held the office continuously, being re-elected in 1874, 1878 and 1882;  he is an insurance agent, and also does something in farming, having a tract of land near Cadiz.  Mr. Jefferson was married near Nashville, Tennessee, on May 17, 1861, to Miss Elizabeth S. Banks, a daughter of Samuel M. and Nancy R. (McCarty) Banks.  Mrs. Jefferson was born in Fayette County, Missouri, and is the mother of five children – one girl and four boys.  Subject and family are all members of the Methodist Episcopal Church South.  Mr. Jefferson is also a member of A. F. &  A. M, I. O. O. F., K. of H. and Chosen Friends fraternities.

Springfield’s “Silent City of the Dead”

IMG_6295from Pioneer History of Washington County, Kentucky, by O. W. Baylor

Article written November 7, 1935

Cemetery Hill, Springfield

Springfield’s “Silent City of the Dead,” on the south side of Road Run and situated on one of the highest points in this community, is known as “Cemetery Hill.”  This city of the dead on the south is nearly as old as the town of the living on the north side of the Run.  General Matthew Walton, on whose land the town of Springfield was laid out in 1793, gave the land on the hill to be used as a resting place for the dead of the town and surrounding community.

It seems strange that Springfield’s “City of the Dead” should be known as “Cemetery Hill,” but that is the name it has borne through all the years of its history.  In late years a number of Springfield’s citizens have suggested that the name by changed.  As a substitute for “Cemetery Hill,” the name of “Walton memorial Cemetery” has been suggested.

The write has spent considerable time on Cemetery Hill, noting the numerous graves and reading the inscriptions on the stones.  There is no systematic and complete record of the burials now in existence.  Only by the stones that mark many of the graves can we determine whose mortal remains rest on the Hill.  The graves unmarked, and there appear to be many of them, are probably in the main unknown to any person of this day.

There are some distinguished bones resting on Cemetery Hill awaiting the general resurrection.  There are many less distinguished, yet none the less beloved in their day of life and by their descendants yet living.

The grave most prominent from the point of view of all Washington Countians is that of General Matthew Walton.  To him belongs the title of “Father of Washington County.”  General Walton, more than any other, was responsible for the formation of the county in 1792.  He, too, may be called the Father of Springfield, for he set aside the land on which the town was established in 1793.

IMG_6285General Matthew Walton

General Walton’s grave was covered with a large stone slab on which were recounted the virtues and deeds of his life.  This slab, many years ago was broken and a portion thereof has disappeared.  Some of the older citizens of Springfield say that when the imposing monument of John Pope was erected the now missing portion of General Walton’s monument was used as a part of the base of the Pope memorial.

Enough of the original Walton grave slab is yet intact so that by painstaking reading it may be determined that the General was born December 16, 1739, and died January 11, 1819.  He was a resident of Springfield at the time of his death, his home being the same now occupied by Mrs. Nan Mayes.  His widow, who afterward married John Pope, is buried nearby.  Her epitaph appears on the Pope monument where we read:  “Frances Pope, consort of the Hon. John Pope, formerly of General Walton.  She died aged 71 years.”

IMG_6286The Hon. John Pope, born in Prince William County, Virginia, February 1773, died in Washington County, Kentucky, July 12, 1845.

Another important grave is that of the Hon. John Pope, lawyer, jurist and statesman, who came to Springfield about 1820 and died here in 1845.  He was thrice married, his last wife being Mrs. Frances Watkins Walton, widow of General Matthew Walton.  Their home in Washington County was first where Mr. Alex Barber now lives and then in Springfield in the imposing old brick house now owned by Miss Sallie McElroy.

Over the grave of John Pope there once stood an imposing shaft of marble.  I say once stood because the shaft has been broken in several places and the pieces now lay scattered about on the ground.  There is a portion of the inscription on the monument that tells us that “The affectionate gratitude of his grandchildren has reared this monument to his memory.”  Another inscription might be fittingly placed there by some of his descendants to read:  “Restored by his remembering descendants – 1935.”

The inscription on the monument of John Pope reads as follows:  “The Hon. John Pope.  Born in Prince William County, Virginia, February, 1773, died in Washington County, Kentucky, July 12, 1845.  Member of the United States Senate, Governor of Arkansas and Representative in Congress.  He was alike distinguished as a profound jurist, a brilliant orator, and enlightened statesman; while his Roman dignity of character, his sterling integrity and truthfulness, and his many private virtues threw the softening halo of respect and love over the stirring scenes of his public life.”

Mercer County Pensioners in 1840

Isn’t amazing when you learn something new?  In the last week or so I realized that the 1840 census listed pensioners for Revolutionary or Military Services!  On the second page of the census record is a column for their name and age.  Most are men who actually performed the military service, but a few are women who still received their husband’s pension.  Please note that Boyle County was not formed until 1842, therefore Danville and Perryville were part of Mercer County in 1840.

Mercer County Kentucky Pensioners in 1840

Pensioners for Revolutionary or Military Services Included in the Foregoing

Living in Harrodsburg

  • Thomas Graham aged 78

Living in Mercer County

  • Samuel Slackney aged 79
  • Mary pipes aged 87
  • William Kelley aged 84
  • Timothy Corn aged 84
  • James Rains aged 82
  • Thomas Taylor aged 83
  • Matthew Colter aged 81
  • George Gabbard aged 79
  • Henry Hanslee aged 81
  • Lewis Webb aged 83
  • John Sneed aged 87
  • Christian Snail aged 89
  • Rebecca Verlyck aged 83
  • Cornelius O. Vanarsdall aged 80
  • Edward Willis aged 78
  • Ebenezer Cary aged 83
  • Charles Brown aged 88
  • John Comingore aged 90
  • Robert James aged 75
  • Elias Thacker aged 81
  • John Grant aged 85
  • Jane Shelton aged 82
  • Claborn Bradshaw aged 83
  • John Rice aged 78
  • Susanna Jinsdon aged 79
  • Mary Wilson aged 76
  • Elizabeth Coon aged 75
  • Martha Sandifer aged 83
  • Thomas Kyle aged 83
  •  Edward Houchins aged 80
  • Philip Board aged 80
  • James Galloway aged 84
  • Sarah Bohon aged 76
  • Isaac Fallis aged 77
  • Reuben Smithy aged 85
  • James Potter, Sr., aged  79
  • Charles Hart aged 81

Living in Perryville

  • Peter Hoff aged 85

Living in Danville

  • Henry Deshazer aged 87


Skinner Family of Clark County, Kentucky

IMG_1723In memory of John Skinner, born March 15, 1765, died April 26, 1843.  Winchester Cemetery, Clark County, Kentucky

Buried in the Winchester Cemetery of Clark County, Kentucky, are four members of the Skinner family.  John, the father, was born in 1765, in some records in Middlesex County, New Jersey.

IMG_1725In memory of Sarah Skinner, born October 2, 1775, died September 26, 1837

Sarah, wife of John Skinner was born October 2, 1775, ten years his junior.  I believe they moved to Kentucky about 1800.  According to some records they had many children, two of which are buried beside them.  This stone is very difficult to read, but Ritchey took several very close photos and I was able to make out the name and dates.

IMG_1722In memory of Nathan V. Skinner, born January 13, 1805.  His father erects these stones to his memory by the side of mother.  He died in a distant land, South Carolina, on the 13th day of  October, 1841.

Evidently this was a precious son who traveled to South Carolina – or possibly lived there – and this was a reminder of his life, even though he was probably buried where he died.

IMG_1724In memory of Isaac Skinner, son of J. and S. Skinner, born November 26, 1802, died August 26, 1834

Another son who died in his 30s!  What a sorrow that must have been.  I wish I knew more about this family, but at least there is this record to share with you.  Is anyone related to this family?

Jean Batist Photo!

Scan_Pic1572 2I share with you today one of my favorite photos!  As soon as I saw this gentleman – with his hat – I knew I must purchase for one of my blogs!  The name written on back in small block print is Jean Batist.  Evidently a Frenchman, or of French descent!  This is a Cabinet Card photo, but the bottom portion has been cut off – perhaps to put in a frame – and also the portion that would give the name of photographer and where the photo was taken!  Such a pity!

One of the most interesting aspects of the photo is the hat worn by this gentleman!  Does anyone recognize this as a particular hat – or a hat worn by a group?  I thought perhaps Masons or Odd Fellows, but could see no similarity.

He wears a beautiful watch chain and his velvet vest gives him a very dressy look.  As does the pinky ring on his left hand.

Our Jean Batist is very old – I would say in his eighties due to the soft folds under his chin and the wrinkles in his hands.  This should put his birth date around 1800-1810. Just look at his face – much character in the eyes and mouth!  Don’t you want to ask him a hundred questions?


Early Jefferson County Kentucky Marriages

Early Jefferson County Kentucky Marriages

  • William Sullivan married Jane Boyd – December 29, 1791
  • Matthias Rose married Anna Hickman – January 24, 1792
  • Samuel Spencer married Catharine Bruner – January 16, 1792
  • Samuel Griffith married Hannah Ketcham – January 24, 1792
  • Thomas Allender married Hannah Stansberry – February 5, 1792
  • Robert Wooden married Abby Miller – February 15, 1792
  • John Foster married Ann Favour – February 20, 1792
  • Lewis Real married Catharine Drake – March 16, 1792
  • William Chapman married Mrs. Mary Byers, widow – March 28, 1792
  • David Byers married Rebecca Parks – April 2, 1792
  • John Meeks married Margaret Irwin – April 4, 1792
  • Harmon Nash married Mildred Chinoweth – April 9, 1792
  • William Beard married Polly Stroop – April 11, 1792
  • William Allison married Nelly Tyler – May 11, 1792
  • John Woods married Mary Harrison – May 14, 1792
  • John Vaughan married Mary Patten – May 15, 1792
  • John Mansco married Peggy Robertson – May 15, 1792
  • Thomas Doyle married Mrs. Margaret Bradford, widow – May 21, 1792
  • James Patten married Mrs. Elizabeth Reagar, widow – June 14, 1792
  • Isaac Kinnison married Nancy Burriss – June 14, 1792
  • Alexander McKinney married Mary Brinley – June 16, 1792
  • Stephen Peters married Elizabeth Adams – June 16, 1792
  • Samuel Hay married Anne Wood – July 10, 1792
  • John Daniel married Rachel Lynn – July 18, 1792
  • Joseph Hunter married Catharine Philips – July 21, 1792
  • Abraham Hite married Elizabeth Erickson – July 21, 1792
  • Nathan Smith married Rosanna Murray – July 23, 1792
  • William Montgomery married Susanna Basye – August 4, 1792
  • Robert McClellan married Nancy Pryor – August 7, 1792
  • John Felty married Elizabeth Linley – September 13, 1792
  • James Grisson married Sarah Sharpe – September 14, 1792
  • John Stuckey married Mary Meredith – October 12, 1792
  • David Cripps married Catharine Shively – November 1, 1792
  • Asabel Linn married Nancy Dodge – November 3, 1792
  • Adam Mony married Elizabeth Wigbey – November 6, 1792
  • Charles Finely married Catharine Shrayder – November 14, 1792
  • Willis Hord married Polly Buckner – December 28, 1792
  • Henry Churchill married Mrs. Penelope Oldham, widow – December 29, 1792
  • Lewis Robards married Hannah Winn – December 29, 1792
  • Samuel Buckner married Susan Evans – December 31, 1792
  • John Blanchard married Betsey Buckner – December 31, 1792

Mark Elliot Huston of Spencer County, Kentucky


Last year, in May, Ritchey and I toured Spencer County, Kentucky, looking for older graveyards and gravestones.  In the center of Taylorsville, fairly close to Salt River, is what is known the old Taylorsville Cemetery.  It has few graves (at least with stones), and those that remain are not in good condition.


The cemetery is on an incline, a difficult climb from the side, but we found a small road that led to the front entrance.


Sacred to the memory of Mark E. and Martha Ann Huston

One of the most interesting gravestones I found was inside what was left of an iron fence.  It is now rusted, and two sides are gone.  There are two above ground graves that I believe hold the remains of Mark Elliott and Martha Ann Murphy Huston.


Mark E. Huston, born in Logan County, Kentucky, April 12, 1801, died March 23, 1873

Mark Huston is listed in the 1840 Spencer County census, living alone, one white male, 30-39 years of age.  He is listed as a professional.  Three years late, February 7, 1843, Mark married Martha Ann Murphy, age eighteen.  In April of that year he purchased 8 acres on the North Salt River in Spencer County, Book P, page 2.  Perhaps they built their home on this property.


Martha A. Murphy, wife of M. E. Huston, born in Shelby County, Kentucky, March 27, 1825, died June 6, 1844

Just a little over a year after their marriage, Martha gives birth to a son, William M. Huston, born May 13, 1844.  Evidently the birth was difficult, or perhaps she contracted something afterwards, but Martha died June 6, 1844, when her son was twenty-four days old.  She had not reached her 20th birthday.

Mark Huston must have grieved and mourned for his young wife the rest of his life – he never remarried – in all census records, beginning with the 1850 of Spencer County, to 1870, he and William live together, sometimes with others living there who take care of the home.  I feel this beautiful monument must have been constructed after the death of the father – by the son who never knew his mother, but must have been told stories of her through their years together, and in memory of the father who raised and cared from him from infancy to adulthood.