Category Archives: Genealogy Ramblings

Mothers and Babies 1895-1906

Mothers and Babies 1895-1906

Who can resist a photo of a mother and child?  Now that I am to be a grandmother in January – for the first time! – these lovely photos are even more important to me!  My daughter Kate and hubby Todd are expecting a little boy!  I cannot wait!

These photos were taken in Austria, then either sent to relatives in the United States, or brought as cherished memories when arriving on our shores.  Each photo is special in its own way, but my favorite would have to be the first one – look at the love on this mother’s face!

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The little one is in a cute dress, much different from the usual white that you see in most photos!  The sleeves on the woman’s dress are the beginning of the huge sleeve in the last few years of the 1800’s – I would date this photo at 1895.  Photographer – Charles Scolik.

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Another great photo – now we see the huge leg-o-mutton sleeve’s from 1897-1899!  Helene Wastl, the woman, wears a beautiful dress, and the little one seems very interested in having his photo taken!  Photographer – Carl Peitzner.

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I love the skirt and blouse this woman wears!  And look at that tiny waist – after having her child!  The little girl is sweet – and I believe she is wearing leggings – not easy to see.  Photographer – Visite Portrait.

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This is a gorgeous photo – the woman is dressed beautifully and the little boy is adorable!  On back is the date May 1903.  Photographer – L. Grillich.

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Such a sweet photo!  The mother wears a beautiful blouse, and the little one is so cute!  1906 is embossed on the card.  Photographer – Dr. H. Heid.

Mrs. Jane I. Eccles McCoun Obituary

from The Sunday Herald, St. Joseph, Missouri

December 12, 1897

Death of Mrs. McCoun

A Pionner Woman Who Had Almost Reached The Century Mark

‘Mrs. Jane I. McCoun, aged 95, died at 2:30 yesterday afternoon at the home of her son, three miles northwest of the city.  Her death was due to the natural infirmities resulting from old age.  The funeral will take place at the house at 10:30 Monday morning.  The interment will take place at Mt. Mora Cemetery.’

‘Mrs. McCoun was born in Harrodsburg, Kentucky, December 23, 1802.  She was married in 1827, removed to Andrew County, Missouri, in 1856 and to St. Joseph in 1863.’

The Bible record of her grandson, John Conway McCoun, records:

Jane Isabella McCoun died on December 11, 1897, age 95 less 12 days.

The son mentioned was Ferdinand McCoun.  The year of her marriage is incorrect.  She was married on January 29, 1829, in Harrodsburg, Kentucky, to Robert McCoun.  She had also been married, in 1844, in Barren County, Kentucky, to William J. McKittrick, but he died within six months of that marriage and when she moved to Missouri she was known as Jane I. McCoun.

She was the daughter of John Eccles and Nancy Shepherd, who were married in Mercer County, Kentucky, on December 11, 1800.  Nancy’s father, William Shepherd, came to Mercer County as early as 1779, after having served in the Greenbriar Militia and being wounded at Pt. Pleasant on October 10, 1774.

Jane Isabella Eccles lived in Harrodsburg until her marriage, except for two or three years when the family located in Elizabethtown, Hardin County, Kentucky, where her father established a law practice – later returning to Harrodsburg.

Jane was survived by only two of her seven children.

Her death was presided over by Dr. Imuss.  Her funeral services were conducted by Rev. M. M. Goode of the First Christian Church, a close family friend, and for many years, the pastor of the church in St. Joseph, Missouri.

Jane was buried in Mt. Mora Cemetery, the “pioneer” cemetery in St. Joseph, Missouri, on December 13, 18987.

Small Town Life Is Okay!

Small Town Life Is Okay!

Springfield, Washington County, Kentucky

The other day I happened upon a list of historical populations for Washington County, Kentucky. Since more of my family is from Washington County than any other county in Kentucky, it has always been of great interest to me. This list included the populations of Washington County from 1800 to 2010. In 1800 there were 9,050 individuals living in the county. Hm, how many of those am I related to? Quite a few I would venture to guess! By that time my Carrico, Spalding, Edwards, O’Bryan, Smith, Cusick, Moran, Lyons, and Montgomery ancestors – with their huge families – had been in Washington County for several years, most arriving about 1795 from St. Mary’s County and Charles County, Maryland, a few from Loudoun County, Virginia.

In ten years, 1810, the population had grown by half again, to 13,248. Although Captain John Linton was not in Kentucky at this time, a few of his sons and many of his wife’s sisters and brothers had made the journey to this new land.

By 1820 there were an additional 2700 souls in Washington County. This now included the captain and wife, Ann Mason Linton, all their children and numerous grandchildren. Also by this time my Coulter, Crow and White families were part of the 15,947 in the county.

By 1830 the county’s population had doubled to 19,017. This was the ‘red letter’ year for Washington County. With people arriving from Virginia, Maryland, the Carolina’s and other places Springfield was a booming town! This was the pinnacle.

In 1834 Marion County was formed from Washington County and a little over half of the inhabitants were in that portion of the county, becoming Marion County citizens. Strange as it may seem, all my families were still in Washington County! The 1840 census shows 10,596.

After a surge of 1600 in 1850 to 12,194, the population keeps steady for the next 20+ years. There were many who ventured on to Missouri during the 1850 to 1870 time period. My 3rd great-grandfather, John Cotton Taylor, was one of those. He moved his family to Cape Girardeau County in Missouri, leaving only his eldest daughter (and my great-great-grandmother) in Kentucky. Life was not as easy as they thought, most of the family dying until one son and his three young children, a daughter and the widow came back to Washington County about 1870. Many others found the move to Missouri to their liking, others continued the westward movement every further from their old Kentucky home. My Hill family moved from Garrard County to Washington County during the late 1850’s, rounding out the full frame of both my paternal and maternal lines – all in one county!

After a stagnant two decades the population of Washington County increased by 2,000 by 1880. For the next 40 years it varied very little. The 1930 census shows a decline of 2,100 – with 12,623 living in the county. And a steady decline over the next 70 years, until the turn of the 21st century, gives a total of 10,916 for the county.

What can be reason for this decline? Springfield and Washington County have remained the same small town and rural outlying area for at least 150 years. When visiting my grandmother, Mary Alice Montgomery Carrico, in Springfield in the 1960’s, I remember the small, home-town appeal Springfield held for those who visited as well as those who lived there. Robertson’s and The Louisville Store on Main Street were where locals shopped for clothing. Restaurants were small establishments with names such as The Snappy Grill and Cecconi’s. I remember my aunt talking about men putting a nickel tip under their ten cent coffee cup! Ritchey and I ate at Cecconi’s a few years ago – it’s a small ‘hole in wall’ restaurant, but the food is still marvelous! The Snappy Grill is long gone, but in the back room there was more enjoyed than the food – the local poker games were well known for their $20 antes!

My mother’s uncle, Edward Montgomery, ran a movie theater. She helped make popcorn and sell tickets on the weekends. This was in her younger days in the 1940’s. By the 1950’s everyone went to the drive-in on Friday and Saturday nights – which happened to be just across the street from where my grandmother lived. On the Fourth of July they always had fireworks, and we sat on grandmother’s front porch and oohed and aahed at the beautiful colors and sparkles! We were so close to where they shot them off that we heard the great boom and whoosh rushing into the sky – then the boom of explosion!

There were two grocery stores, my grandmother using the one who delivered – I can’t remember the name but I believe it was Joe something – named after the proprietor! She called in her order and it was delivered within a couple of hours. It was safe enough that we were sent to the small market about a mile down the road for cookies or ice cream for dessert – which my grandmother had to have! She used saccharin tablets religiously in her coffee, but there was always room for dessert!

In addition to my grandmother, and sometimes my Great-Aunt Lil who moved between Lexington and Springfield for her last twenty years, the attraction to me was the Washington County Court House! After getting my license at 16 year of age, many summer afternoons were spent there – down into the dungeon as I affectionately call it – the smell of old ledgers and books, shelves filled to the brim (and sometimes overflowing), filing cabinets about to burst and Miss Olive Walker sitting at a small desk, with sunshine coming in the two small, rather dusty windows at the very top of the wall – just a hint that there was an outside world! But why go outside when everything I was interested in was within those four walls! Marriages, deeds, wills, lifetimes of many Washington countians who were long gone, but never forgotten! It was there I honed my genealogy skills under the tutelage of Miss Walker – and will always be grateful that she helped turn a passion into a life-long glorious experience! So perhaps a small town is not bad after all!

McFatridge and Willham Bible Records

McFatridge and Willham Bible Records

Mercer County, Kentucky


  • William McFatridge was married to Margaret J. McKittrick November 14, 1855
  • W. W. Wilham was married to N. L. McFatridge November 28, 1889.  W. W. and Nancy Lou got their marriage license at Lebanon, Marion County, Kentucky
  • Oliver Willham married Jewell Hiatt October 18, 1921, by Rev. H. O. Nicely
  • William Oliver Willham was married to Gene Gardner June 20, 1948, at the Harrodsburg Baptist Church, 5:30 p.m. by John M. Carter and Evans T. Mosely, ministers.


  • William McFatridge born August 6, 1814
  • Margaret McKittrick born April 20, 1828
  • William A. McFatridge born August 27, 1856
  • Lizzie McFatridge born January 10, 1859
  • Sallie K. McFatridge born November 18, 1860
  • John S. McFatridge born December 16, 1861
  • Nannie L. McFatridge born December 23, 1866
  • Oliver Willham born September 20, 1898
  • Harold Oliver Willham born September 20, 1898
  • William Oliver Willham born July 22, 1928


  • Margaret McFatridge died October 9, 1876
  • Sallie K. McFatridge died September 7, 1876
  • William McFatridge died August 5, 1891
  • Lizzie McFatridge died December 31, 1898
  • William Andrew McFatridge died September 22, 1916
  • John S. McFatridge died March 9, 1933
  • H. Oliver Willham died May 29, 1943
  • Nancy Willham died June 16, 1946
  • Nan Willham (infant) died November 23, 1953
  • William Wall Willham died July 10, 1951
  • Jewell Hiatt Willham, wife of Oliver, died March 27, 1964, Good Friday at 12 noon

From Gethsemani Abbey to the Big City of Louisville


About twelve years ago I researched the family of Richard Linton.  We spent three or four years unraveling his Linton-Welsh family.  Since my own research took his Linton’s back to Captain John Hancock Linton, most of my time was concentrated on the descendants of the captain’s grandson, Moses Filmore Linton, and the Welsh line.  Cousin Dick and I both worked on the final report for his family – I giving the facts and dates and other information, and he giving the personal touch with family stories and photos.

Captain John’s son Moses came to Kentucky several years earlier than his father and settled in Nelson County, then moving to Washington County when his father arrived in the state.  His son Moses Filmore Linton, born in 1819, married Margaret Willett Kennedy, a widow, September 2, 1850, in Nelson County.  Moses and Margaret’s first child, William Franklin Linton, is the grandfather of Richard Linton.  Moses Filmore Linton died April 4, 1876, leaving William Franklin to help his mother with the farm and family.

William F. Linton married Catherine Welsh January 27, 1879, in Mt. Vernon, Rockcastle County, Kentucky. Catherine was the daughter of John Welsh and Sarah Hollern, both immigrants from Galway County, Ireland.  The couple came back to the Nelson County farm (about 70 miles on a straight line, west-northwest, from Mt. Vernon) near Gethsemani Abbey and lived for a few years. Kate Linton is listed in the 1880 census living in the household with her mother-in-law, Margaret Linton. That is, William F. and Catherine began their marriage living at the family farm with William F.’s widowed mother, Margaret, and six of William’s siblings still at home, while William F. worked the farm. (Daughter Louisa had married by this time and daughter Regina had died.)

The 1890 census was lost in a fire in Washington, D.C. What valuable information up in cinders! The next available census records, 1900, show William F., wife Catherine and seven children living in Jefferson County at 1322 W. Broadway in Louisville. William is listed as a grocer. Catherine is shown being the mother of eight children, seven of which are living. It is impossible to tell when this child would have been born and died. Since no mention of this child has been handed down through the family it probably died shortly after birth.

How and when did the family make such a move from the farm to the city? We turn to the Louisville City Directories for some clues. In 1883 a Wm. F. Linton is listed as a brakeman for the Louisville and Nashville Railroad. No residence is given. It is possible William F. (b: 1851) first moved to Louisville on his own – perhaps to find employment and housing for his family. Either the family farm was not producing enough to support all the children of Moses and Margaret Linton, or William F., and later a few of his brothers thought they could receive a better economic return for their labor in the city, or they simply desired to engage in some work other than farming. In the 1885 directory William F. Linton is listed as a driver for Brinkley and Adams, and gives his residence as 1524 Lytle. Catherine and the children must have made the move to Louisville by this time.

By 1888 two brothers (John K. Linton, b: 1858; Joseph Charles Fenton Linton, b: 1859) and a cousin (James Monroe Linton, b: 1857) have joined William in Louisville. The list from the directory is as follows: William F. Linton, packer Brinkley & Grubbs, res. 1818 Lytle; Fenton Linton, driver C.P.R.R. Co., res. 1726 W. Walnut; James M. Linton, driver, res. 2417 W. Broadway; John Linton, driver Brinkley & Grubbs, res. 1818 Lytle. James Monroe Linton is the son (7th and last child) of William Yerby Linton (b: 1818), brother to Moses F. Linton (b: 1819) and William Yerby’s first wife, Mary M. Polly Hagan.

Over the next 6 years, the four changed employers a time or two. Then, in 1894, a significant development — the first mention of the Linton Brothers Grocery. The listing is as follows in the 1894 Carson’s City Directory for Louisville: Linton Bros. (W.F. & J.F. Linton) grocers, 2401 Slevin; James F. (Linton Bros.) res. 226 7th; John, packer Lou. Tin & Stove Co., res. 511 22nd; Monroe, engineer Lou. Tin & Stove Co., res. 226 7th; Wm. F. (Linton Bros.) res. 2401 Slevin. Here again, the James F. should be Joseph F. in reference to (Joseph Charles) Fenton Linton (b: 1859).

For whatever reason, by 1895 the partnership (even if it was just an informal one) had been dissolved. Joseph Fenton Linton found a new partner at the Slevin address and William moved his business to another address. The 1895 directory is as follows: Linton Bros. (W. F. Linton) grocer, 1324 W. Broadway; John, packer, Lou. Tin & Stove Co., res. 2401 Slevin; Joseph F. (J.F. & J.M. Linton), bus. 2401 Slevin; J.F. & J.M. (Joseph F. & J. Monroe Linton) grocers, 2401 Slevin; J. Monroe (J.F. & J.M. Linton) res. 2401 Slevin; Wm. F. (Linton Bros.) res. 1324 W. Broadway. During the next several years, the city directory records some additional job changes by some of the group. During these next years, the city directory continues to show William F. as operating a grocery at 1324 W. Broadway. The latter also seems to have been the residence address for William F.’s family until 1900 when the residence is shown as 1322 W. Broadway where, according to the census for that year, they rented.

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Catherine Welsh Linton holding her youngest of 8 children (7 of whom survived) — son George William Linton. As Uncle George, born July 11, 1899, appears to be about 2 months old here, that would date the picture to September 1899, making Grandmother Catherine, born 7-13-1861, a young and very attractive woman of 38 years. After eight children, her beauty is all the more amazing. (Indeed, I think my male cousins would join me in saying that at 38, Grandmother Catherine was still quite a chick.)

By 1907, with the grocery still at 1324 W. Broadway, the residence has changed to 1320 W. Broadway, with that address also listed as his residence. In 1910, their residence changed to 1224 W. Broadway, and the census for that year states that they owned their home. Catherine worked as a saleslady, Margaret as bookkeeper and Walter, and Annie as clerks at the grocery store that William owned. Sallie had already married.

The 1911 directory reveals another significant development: William F. is listed as operating a saloon at 1332 W. Broadway and a grocery at 1100 S. 9th. Son Walter is listed as a bartender for his father. Son James Willett is listed as a clerk for S. Shapinsky & Co. In 1912 William F. is listed as operating only the saloon.

In 1918 William F. is still operating the saloon at 1332 W. Broadway with son Jas. W. as bartender. Son Walter is now a travel agent; son J. Richard (Richard J.) a clerk for P. Lorillard Co.; and son W. Geo. (George W.) a clerk for Stewart Dry Goods Co.

In the frames below, Richard Linton has provided the pictures (the full and then the cropped ones) of Linton’s Grocery, with William F. Linton standing at the front door. Although the photo shows that the business was selling liquor (the emblem on the right of the door), and apparently beer (sign on the left), presumably that could have been done from a grocery store without converting the store into a saloon. Moreover, William F.’s apron has more the appearance of a butcher’s apron than any appearance it likely would have had (even if he wore an apron) when he was operating a saloon from 1911 to 1920 — the decade of World War I.

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The photo also is consistent with an 1899 time frame based on the fact that the upstairs appears to be a residence. Recall that during the last 5 years of the 19th Century, the family’s residence was the same 1324 W. Broadway address as their grocery business. As the two youngest sons (Richard and George) progressed into their grade school years, they delivered groceries in the store’s goat cart, as described later. That would have been done from the 1324 W. Broadway location during perhaps the 3 or 4 years before the store moved in 1910, and possibly for the next 2 years at the new location of 1100 S. 9th before it appears that William F. discontinued his grocery store in favor of operating his saloon business.

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This close up view (as cropped from the original photo) of granddad Linton shows him to have been husky, with rather muscular arms. He appears to have been perhaps 5’11” or so in height, and, as of this photo, weighing roughly 235 pounds.  His formidable appearance no doubt served him well when he later, during the 1910s, operated a saloon a few doors away at 1332 W. Broadway. On his birthday of July 4 that 1899, Granddad would have turned 48 years of age.


Richard J. “Dick” Linton, Sr., in Go-Cart with Billy Goat.  Brother George standing by.  The boys delivered groceries in Go-Cart for their Daddy.  Linton’s Grocery, Louisville, Kentucky - from  a handwritten note.

Following the close of World War I, a great social, legal, and economic change occurred in the United States — on January 16, 1920, Prohibition became part of the “law of the land” by virtue of the 18th Amendment to the Constitution (and by the Volstead Act that implemented the Amendment). Prohibition would remain the law until it essentially was repealed, by the 21st Amendment, effective December 5, 1933. (The repeal was not total, for it permitted the states to enact their own prohibition laws. Few did. Today, only some counties or communities remain “dry.”)

Under Prohibition, all importing, exporting, transporting, selling and manufacturing of intoxicant liquor was put to an end. And thus ended the saloon days for William F. In the 1920 Louisville Directory he was listed as selling soft drinks at the former address of the saloon. Sons George, James Willett and Richard were clerks, but Walter had become department manager of Embry-Weir Motors. For the next two years William F. was listed as a grocer once again.


On March 24, 1922, William F. Linton passed away. He and Catherine had spent 43 years together. Catherine lived on at the West Broadway address until 1926 when she moved to 1860 Yale Drive. The rest of her days were spent there. On September 27, 1931, Catherine died. She and William are buried in Calvary Cemetery in Louisville.


Todd Family Buried at the Lexington Cemetery


Many members of the Robert Smith Todd family are buried at the Lexington Cemetery. Robert is well known as the father of Mary Todd, who married Abraham Lincoln, and became first lady during one of the most trying times in our country’s history. But even without this illustrious branch of the family tree the Todd family was prominent in Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky. Robert’s father, Levi Todd, helped found the city of Lexington, and was a prominent land owner in the state. Levi Todd was born October 4, 1756 and died September 6, 1807. He married first Jane Briggs and secondly Jane Holmes, the first being the mother of Robert Todd. Levi was the son of David Todd and Hannah Owen, from Louisa County, Virginia, coming with his family to Kentucky in 1775.


David Todd, born April 8, 1723, died February 8, 1785, Grandfather of Robert Smith Todd


Hannah Owen, wife of David Todd, born June 3, 1729, died may 16, 1805, Grandmother of RST


General Levi Todd, born October 4, 1756, died September 6, 1807, father of RST


Jane Briggs, wife of General Levi Todd, born June 3, 1761, died July 22, 1800, mother of RSTIMG_1550_1

Elizabeth L. Todd, died February 16, 1874, 2nd wife of RST

Robert Todd married Eliza Parker in November of 1812. Together they had seven children before Elizabeth’s death in 1825. Robert married again, to Elizabeth “Betsy” Humphreys. His children never warmed to their new step-mother. Robert and his second wife had nine children, so the Todd house was overflowing. In 1832 Robert Todd purchased a home on Main Street in Lexington, now known as the Mary Todd Lincoln House which is open to the public.

Children of Robert Smith Todd and Elizabeth Parker

  • Mary Ann Todd
  • Levi Owen Todd
  • Elizabeth Porter Todd
  • Frances Todd
  • Ann Todd
  • Robert Parker Todd
  • George Rogers Clark Todd

Children of Robert Smith Todd and Elizabeth Humphreys

  • Margaret Todd
  • Samuel B. Todd
  • David H. Todd
  • Martha Todd
  • Emilie Todd
  • Alexander H. Todd
  • Elodie Todd
  • Katherine Todd
  • Robert Smith Todd


In Memory of My Boys – Samuel B. Todd, David H. Todd, Alexander H. Todd, all Confederate Soldiers – sons of RST and Elizabeth Humphreys

It is well known that while Mary Todd Lincoln’s husband was the President and leader of the Union forces during the Civil War, her brothers fought for the South.


Martha, daughter of Robert and Elizabeth L. Todd, of Lexington, Kentucky, and wife of C. B. White, of Selma, Missouri, born June 9, 1833, died July 9, 1868


Emilie, daughter of R. S. and E. L. Todd, and wife of General Ben Hardin Helm, born November 11, 1836, died February 20, 1930


Katherine, daughter of General Ben Hardin Helm and Emilie Todd, Granddaughter of RST, born September 2, 1857, died June 18, 1937


Elodie, daughter of General Ben Hardin Helm and Emilie Todd, wife of Waller H. Lewis, Granddaughter of RST, born March 7, 1859, died June 12, 1953


Ben Hardin Helm, son of General Ben Hardin Helm and Emilie Todd, Grandson of RST, born May 16, 1862, died May 28, 1946

Last year I read Mary Todd Lincoln, A Biography by Jean H. Baker. A fascinating book, it gives greater insight Mary Todd as a privileged daughter of pioneer Kentuckians, and Mary Lincoln on the world stage as wife of the one of the most important men in history.

French Family Bible Records

French Family Bible Records

Mercer County, Kentucky


  • Edward French was born 11th day of March 1821
  • Jane French was born 29th day of October 1821
  • Lillian French was born 26th day of September 1871
  • Fannie Comingo was born 2nd day of November 1871
  • John French was born 15th day of May 1844
  • Harve Walker French was born 20th day of February 1847
  • William Henry Comingo was born 10th day of May 1852
  • James E. Comingo was born 24th day of June 1854
  • Rachel Ann Comingo was born 29th day of September 1857
  • Edward French was born the 5th day of March 1814
  • Oney French was born the 29th day of November 1875
  • Carlile Wade was born the 2nd day of September 1884
  • Veria Wade was born the 6th day of January 1881


  • Edward French and Jane, his wife, were married on the 6th day of October 1842
  • John French and Susan, his wife, were married the 28th day of January 1867
  • Harvey W. French and Larue, his wife, were married the 5th day of January 1871
  • William H. Comingo and Mary, his wife, were married the 16th day of June 1871
  • James E. Comingo and Mattie, his wife, were married the 23rd day of September 1875


  • Edward French died on the 26th day of December 1849