Family Stories

The Story of William Collins Buried In Old Burlington Cemetery

William Collins born June 10, 1788, died November 13, 1874.  Old Burlington Cemetery, Boone County, Kentucky.

One old gravestone can give us so much information – with a little research, of course.  William Collins is buried in Old Burlington Cemetery, in the city of that name, in Boone County.  He was born in New York in 1788 to Stephen Collins and Dolly Olmstead.  A list of early Connecticut marriages show that Stephen Collins and Dolly Olmstead were married in New Milford on June 13, 1781.  Stephen Collins was a veteran of the Revolutionary War and according to an application for SAR ‘served under Capt. Josiah Starr and Col. Mosely, State of Connecticut.  Two months under Col. Samuel Canfield.  Battles engaged in – St. John and with the Indians on the way there.  He enlisted from New Milford, Litchfield County, Connecticut.  On Nov. 26, 1832, his claim for a pension was allowed at Campbell County, Kentucky.’  Stephen Collins is listed in the 1840 census of neighboring Kenton County as a war veteran, aged 85.

Stephen Collins died June 23, 1841 and was buried in Old Burlington Cemetery.

Dolly, wife of Stephen Collins, died July 7, 1844, 80 years, 6 months and 19 days.

Dolly Olmstead Collins lived another three years, passing away July 7, 1844; she, too, was buried in the old city cemetery.

To the memory of my wife, Susan Collins; born December 3, 1791, and died November 1, 1849.

Mrs. Susan Collins is a mystery.  She is buried close to William, but I could find no marriage record for the two, and I do not see children listed in any census.  However, since Susan died before the 1850 census when all family members were listed, it is possible she and William were married and had no children.

There are other members of the Collins family buried in Old Burlington Cemetery, but unfortunately, we did not photograph their gravestones.

The 1850 census records for Boone County have three listings for Collins.  The first is our William Collins, age 62, born in NY, head of household.  With him live Amos Collins, 20, born in IN, the son of Amos Collins, brother to William.  Also, in the household is a Minerva Collins, 45, born in NY, probably William’s younger sister.

The second listing is Samuel Collins, also a son of Amos and nephew to William, 30; with wife Elizabeth, 20; and Thomas Cox, 16.

Roswell Randall, 29; his wife Martha J., 26; Marcus Collins, 36, a son of Stephen and brother to William; and Elizabeth Randall, 58, born in Delaware, most likely Roswell’s mother.

Lewis Collins, 47, NY, brother of William and son of Stephen, lives in adjoining Kenton County.  With him live Harriett Bradley, 50, NY, his widowed sister.  Lewis himself is recently widowed and his sister was there to help with his children – Benjamin, 8; Olmstead, 6; Mary, 4; and Lewis, 1.  June 7, 1852, Lewis married Frances Wilson, 28, a widow.  In 1860 the family (minus sister Harriet) is still in Kenton County, with the addition of Frances’ daughter, Hester Wilson.

In 1860 William Collins household includes sister Harriet, 58.  Benjamin Collins, 17, and Lewis Collins, 11, are with their uncle.  They are also living with their father Lewis in Kenton County – they must have been visiting when the census taker came around on June 26th; the boys were with their father earlier in the month when the census was taken on June 2nd in Kenton County.

In 1870, four years before their deaths, William Collins, 82, and sister Harriett Bradley, 72, were living with nephew Amos Collins, 40.  His wife Susan, 30, and their young son William, 3, made up the household.  Harriett died December 23, 1873.  She and brother William had shared a home for 30 years.

The following is an inventory and appraisement of the personal estate of Harriett Bradley, deceased, which appears in Will Book L, pages 129-135.  With such a full listing you can see the parlor with its carpet and sofa, a secretary along one wall.  The dining table and chairs, the table set with china tea sets, silver spoons, glass dishes.  She must have had a comfortable bedroom with her yarn carpet, coverlets and linens.

A sofa, two center tables, parlor carpet and curtains, a secretary, dining table, mirror, flag bottom (straw) chairs, cane bottom chairs, a green china tea set, a gilt china tea set, various silver spoons, teaspoons, two preserve stands, 3 wine glasses, a glass fruit stand, 11 fruit dishes, 2 cake plates, a map of the United States, beds and bed clothes, linens, brass kettle, iron kettle, tools, hay, corn, etc.

The above personal property we found belonging to the estate of Harriett Bradley, deceased, and William Collins, some of the articles belonged to Mrs. Bradley and some to William Collins.  We are unable to determine to which of the parties a very large number of the articles belong.  Mrs. Bradley and William Collins having been living and keeping house together for a great number of years, we believe that an equal division of the above property or the proceeds of the sale thereof between William Collins and Mrs. Bradley’s executor will do no injustice to either of the parties or estates.  In view of that fact and the fact that it was impossible to ascertain which was the owner of a large portion of the property, we appraise one half of the above property as belonging to the estate of Mrs. Harriett Bradley, deceased, believing from the last information we have that that is about the extent of her interest in the above property.

Lewis Collins note of $7,000, interest from July 25th, 1873.

Lewis Collins note of $159.00, interest from May 27th, 1862, credit November 8th – $25.00

Joseph M. Martin and Hiram Martin’s note of $561.25, interest from January 15th, 1873

  1. W. Wilson’s note, $100.00, interest from July 12th, 1868, credit August 22nd,1872, $10.00

William Collin’s note, $5,500.00, interest from February 13th, 1860

One Covington and Lexington Railroad seven percent convertible mortgage bond, number seven hundred and thirty-nine – $1,000, with interest attached from September 1st, 1873 to March 1st, 1883, inclusive each for $33.00 and twenty in number.  The bond is worth in cash $920.  The coupon for September 1st, 1873 is worth $35.00.  The coupon for March 1st, 1874 is worth $35.00.

The wardrobe of the decedent we do not appraise.

The above is all the personal property belonging to the estate of decedent Harriet Bradley thereof as fixed by us of which we have any knowledge.  Before acting we were duly sworn as required by law.  February 20th, 1874.  James Calvert, Roswell Randall.

At the sale Lewis Collins bought 8 flag chairs, the green china tea set, a dozen knives and forks, 2 vegetable dishes, a dozen teaspoons, a bedspread and coverlet, drapery, blankets, a rocking chair, curtains, andirons, shovel and tongs, 2 horse collars, a plow, mower and reaper.

Marcus Collins bought one mat, 4 Windsor chairs, 11 fruit dishes, 2 cake plates, 4 small plates, a butter knife, a cream spoon, two dozen tablespoons, 3 linen sheets, 2 quilts and 4 pillowslips.

Amos Collins bought a mirror, the map, a carpet, a basket, 1 briar scythe and 1 plow.

Olmstead Collins bought straw cutter, 50 bushels of corn 1 lot of hay in loft and a brown mare.

Items that were purchased for more than $10 were sold on a credit of six months, for smaller sums cash was given.  There was no total given but added together the sum of items sold was $484.53.  Some of the tools, hay, corn, horse and, secretary, a feather bed and a yarn carpet were more than $10 each.  Harriet’s prized dishes, tea sets and silver spoons were scattered around the county, a few purchased by relatives.

Where is the will of William Collins?  According to this notation made by F. P. Walton, Deputy Clerk of Boone County, ‘The will of William Collins, Deceased, was left with me in my office on the 7th day of December, for safe keeping.’  Will Book L, Page 235.  I could find nothing else about William’s will.  Did the clerk lose it?  There is no further mention of it.  One of those mysteries we sometimes run across.

On page 379 of the same will book we find information given by Roswell Randall, whose committee took care of the estate of William Collins.  M. and D. C. Collins were administrators for William.  It also says Lewis Collins was now deceased – he died shortly after his brother William.  A note of Lewis’ was dated May 17, 1832.  There was a farm in Kenton County for which Lewis Collins paid rent.

In addition to rent on the Kenton County farm as mentioned above, is the rent for 1874 which has not been paid, the amount due is $273.  Cash was given for turkeys sold.  A house belonging to William Collins in Covington was rented for April through October of 1874.  Cash was paid for hay, old timber and house logs.  Total debits were $3,393.14

Taxes paid by William in 1873 totaled $37.55.  He purchased undershirts and suspenders for $3.00, a coat and vest at $30.00, a hat for $2.50, clover seed – and paid someone to sow – it for $2.00.  Window glass and putty for dwelling was $1.40.  Shingles were $112.50.  Lining for gutters for dwelling was $8.00.  He also purchased silk handkerchiefs, 120 pounds of nails for roof for dwelling, paint and oil.  Pants were $8.00 and a medical receipt for Dr. Layer was $2.00.  Several sums were paid to Marcus Collins.  Evidently, he took care of William and was repaid for money spent.  $10.00 was paid for repairing the graveyard; $10.00 to Dr. Hall, minister, for funeral services.  Another medical bill for Dr. Smith was $27.30.  Two large notes, $700.00 that William Collins paid as surety for Cleveland Scott, was considered worthless.  Evidently Scott didn’t have the money to pay.  Another note on Perry Stephens for $1,368 was also considered worthless.  The total credits were $3,461.95 which left a total of $68.81, which was paid to the court.

Neither William Collins or his sister Harriett had children – I found no list, and none were included in their estate papers.  But they lived a full life and were evidently beloved by many nieces and nephews.

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