Peter F. Foley was born August 14, 1834, the son of James G. Foley and Tabitha Fox. March 10, 1856, he married Martha Richardson, born February 2, 1837.
The first time we see Peter in the census records is in 1850, in Russell County, Kentucky, with his parents. James G. Foley, 42, born in Virginia, is head of household. His wife, Tabitha, is 36. The following children are listed: Peter F., 16; Benjamin G., 13; Moses R., 8; and Nancy I., 6.
Towards the bottom of this list of marriages for the year 1856 in Russell County, we have Peter Foley, age 22, born in Knox County, marries Martha A. Richardson, 19, born in Pulaski County, on March 10th. On April 1st of this year Green B. Foley (Benjamin G.), age 19, born Knox County, marries Kesiah Richardson, 18, born in Pulaski County. Evidently brothers – or possibly cousins – married sisters – and you can see evidence of this from Peter and Martha’s children – one daughter is named Kesiah.
In the 1860 census Peter is listed as 25; Martha, 22; with children George A., 3; and Sarah J., 1.
During the month of February, 1864, the following members of the Foley family are on the ‘Consolidated list of all person of Class 1, subject to do military duty in the Third Congressional District, consisting of the counties of Warren, Logan, Todd, Allan, Hart, Metcalfe, Russell, Barren, Clinton, Cumberland and Monroe.’ On this particular page under the residence of Russell County are listed James G. Foley, 31, married; Benjamin G. Foley, 26, married; Peter F. Foley, 30, married; Moses R. Foley, 21, unmarried; John Foley, 24, married; Luke Foley, 21, unmarried; Green B. Foley, 24, married; Moses Foley, 23, married; J. E. Foley, 29, married. All these gentleman were Class I – eligible men between the ages of twenty and thirty-five. I feel sure they would have taken the unmarried men first.
In the 1870 Census of Russell County Peter Foley is 34, Martha A., 32; George A., 13; Sarah J., 11; Andrew J., 9; Tabitha A, 7; Kesiah E., 5; Susan E., 3; and Irene F., 11/12.
In the 1880 Census son George A. is no longer living with the family. He would have been 23 and very likely married by this point. Peter Foley is listed as 45, Martha A., 43; Sarah J., 21; Andrew J., 19; Tabitha A., 17; Kesiah E., 15; Susan E., 13; Irena F., 10; Theodore J., 5; and Logan R., 11/12, born in June.
Son Andrew J. Foley died in March of 1885. I believe it must have been some time before the stone was erected. The inscription at the bottom of the stone reads, “Long gone but not forgotten.”
By 1900 the children have all left home and Peter, 65, married 45 years; and Martha A., 63, gave birth to 11 children and 8 are living; are the only two in the household.
Martha Foley died April 13, 1903. She was buried in the Peter Foley Family Cemetery, which was probably near their home. I read that she was well known as a mid-wife.
Peter lives on several more years, and is listed in the 1910 Census of Russell County as 75, a widower. Living with him are Susan E. Rexroat, 38, a widow, gave birth to 6 children and 6 are living, his daughter. Susan’s children, and Peter’s grandchildren, are Mary M., 21; Logan F., 19; Frances, 15; Hetty, 12; Albert, 11; and Naomi R., 7. All but Naomi were born in Texas, she was born in Kentucky. I’m glad Peter had family to share his home!
Peter F. Foley died December 30, 1916, of bronchial pneumonia. The death certificate gives his date of birth as August 14, 1834. He was 82 years, 4 months and 16 days old. His occupation was farmer. It also tells us he was born in Knox County, Kentucky, to James G. Foley and Tabitha Fox. The most interesting part of the death certificate is the place of burial – P. F. Foley Cemetery – and the undertaker – P. S. Foley. I did find later that the graves of Peter and Martha were moved from the abandoned family cemetery in September of 1997 and buried at Popular Grove Baptist Church Cemetery. A baby’s grave was left in the old cemetery.
A few other Foley family members are buried in this cemetery, but much later than Peter and Martha. Perhaps they are grandchildren!