Family Stories

History of Marion County, Kentucky

This history of Marion County, Kentucky, I know very well.  In the summer between my senior year of high school and first semester at college I worked at our local public library – in Marion County.  Having spent many, many hours there in the previous several years, going through census records – micro fiche – no books at that time! – and pouring over the county histories and family histories for records of my family – I was very familiar with the library, and excited when I was hired!  One of my tasks, other than shelving books, checking out customers, etc., was to type an extra copy of this history by W. T. Knott!  There are perhaps 100 pages.  We did not have copy machines (1975) so if you wanted an extra copy it was typed!  I was fascinated with the book – so loved every moment of my typing assignment!

The first part I will share with you is about the author – and his genealogy.  Since this is fairly lengthy it will be two or three sections over the course of a few weeks.

Marion County was formed from Washington County in 1834.

from The History of Marion County by W. T. Knott

The Author

William T. Knott of Lebanon, Kentucky, cultured gentleman and ripe scholar, son of Joseph Percy and Maria Irvine (McElroy) Knott, was born on Cherry Run, Washington (now Marion) County, Kentucky, October 10, 1822.

The genealogy of the Knott family begins with Thomas Percy Knott (great-great-grandfather), who was an Episcopal minister in Derbyshire, England.  His only son, Thomas Percy Knott (great-grandfather) was educated for the ministry and had pursued his studies with that intent, until he chanced to meet a young lady named Jane Hart, who was to be sent to Baltimore, Maryland, to school, and the young man changed his purpose, or rather his classical course in England – he came to America and married the same Jane Hart.  The children of this marital relation were:  Nancy, who married Anthony Bickett; Joseph Percy, married Frances Ray; Mary, married Richard Ray; Frances married Stephen Briscoe; Thomas Percy, married Frances Rayne; Samuel, married Elizabeth Ray; Lloyd W., married Martha Allen; Jane Hart and Ellen, who never married.

Thomas Percy Knott (grandfather) was a teacher in Maryland before coming to Kentucky, and followed that profession in Marion (then Washington) County.  Among his pupils were Ben Hardin, Colonel C. A. Wickliffe, Martin Ewing and others, whose names illumine the pages of Kentucky history.  He continued to teach – being especially devoted to the languages and to surveying – until the time of his death in 1826.  His remains were interred at Raywick, Marion County.

Joseph Percy Knott (father) was born in Maryland, near Elicott’s Mills, March 31, 1794; came to Kentucky as an infant, was educated by his father and was a teacher in Washington (now Marion) County, in the vicinity of Lebanon, and was also a teacher in Columbia Seminary and on Cherry Run, near the place where he settled after his marriage.  He was one of the contractors who constructed the famous turnpike over Muldrough’s Hill, one of the first improvements of that kind in the state; resumed teaching in Shelbyville in 1846 and 1847, and later at West Point, where he died in 1851.  He served as magistrate in Washington County (now Marion) for some years; was a member of the Legislature from Washington County in the years 1833-1834, when Marion County was cut off from Washington, and an active public-spirited and scholarly gentleman.  He was a member of the Presbyterian Church and an exemplary Christian.  He married Maria Irvine McElroy, and the names of their children were:  William T. Knott, the subject of this sketch; Samuel Cleland, who married Sarah Gates; Margaret Marion, married Robert T. Nesbitt; James Proctor, ex-governor, married Sarah R. McElroy; Edward Whitfield, married Mattie McCoy, now living in Kirkwood, Missouri; Anna Maria, married Randolph Hudnall; and Joanna, who married Reverend Marcellus C. Gorin, a Presbyterian minister of St. Louis, Missouri.

Anna Maria Hudnall died in 1859, leaving a daughter, Anna Hudnall, who is editor of a newspaper in Carson City, Nevada.

3 replies »

  1. I would love to read the entire history. How interesting. The Rays are in my family tree.

  2. Cherry Run Creek is in Raywick not the vicinity of Lebanon. It starts in Raywick and ends in Raywick. Just for clarification. Thanks Robbie

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