Family Stories

First Pages of Order Book A 1786 – Madison County

I just happened upon the first Order Book for Madison County during a search today.  The first day is given primarily to the Justices taking their Oath of Fidelity to the Commonwealth and oaths as justice, sheriff, county clerk, lieutenant and lieutenant of militia.

I had to check my dictionary for legal terms for one item – Oyer and Terminer – ‘in English law, special tribunals empowered to hear and determine cases within their criminal jurisdiction, commissioned by the kind when the delay involved in ordinary prosecution could not be tolerated, as in the case of sudden insurrection.  The term has been sometimes used in American law to identify high courts of criminal jurisdiction in some states.’  I think in this case in 1786 it was used because traveling back to Virginia (Kentucky was still a part of the parent state in that year) was not possible and a county court was deemed necessary.

This is a great source for early names and happenings in the county.  Unfortunately, most order books are not indexed – but it makes a great read.

At the House of George Adams, Gent., in Madison County, on Tuesday the 22nd of August one thousand seven hundred and eighty six.

Present

George Adams, John Snody, Christopher Irvine, David Guest, James Barnet, John Bowles, Archibald Woods, Jr., Nicholas George, Joseph Kennedy, Gent., a Commission of the Peace and of Oyer and Terminer directed to the said George Adams, John Snody, Christopher Irvine, David Guest [Gass is written above], James Barnet, John Bowles,, James Thomson, Archibald Woods, Jr., Nicholas George and Joseph Kennedy, Gent., constituting and appointing the Justices of the Peace and of Oyer and Terminer for the said County of Madison, whereupon John Snody and Christopher Irvine, Gent., administered the Oath of Fidelity to the Commonwealth and also the Oath of a Justice of the Peace, as the law directs, to the said George Adams and then the said oaths were severally administered to John Snody, Christopher Irvine, David Guest, James Barnet, John Bowles, Archibald Woods and Nicholas George and Joseph Kennedy by George Adams, Gent., and thereupon a Court was held for the said County of Madison.

Present the Justices first Mentioned.

Joseph Kennedy, Gent., produced a Commission from his Excellency the Governor appointing him Sheriff of this County, which being read and thereupon the said Joseph Kennedy took the Oath of Fidelity to the Commonwealth and the oath of officer and together with John Logan, Christopher Irvine and Thomas Kennedy, his securities, entered into Bond for the faithful performance of his office, conditioned as the law directs.

The Court doth appoint William Irvine to be Clerk of this County whereupon he entered into bond and security as the law directs and also took the Oath of Fidelity to the Commonwealth and the Oath of Office.

James Barnet, Esq., produced a Commission from his Excellency the governor appointing him Lieutenant of this County whereupon he took the Oath of Fidelity to the Commonwealth and the Oath of Office.

Thomas Kennedy, Esq., produced a Commission from his Excellency the Governor appointing him Lieutenant Colonel in the Militia of this County whereupon he took the oath of Fidelity to the Commonwealth and the Oath of Office.

On the motion of John Anderson his ear mark being swallow fork in each ear is O.R.

On the motion of Samuel Rice his ear mark be a crop and a hole in the right ear and a crop and under keel in the left is O.R.

The Court is adjourned till tomorrow ten o’clock.

George Adams

1 reply »

  1. Have you read the name the Doctor Reverend Christopher Clark? He was married to Agnes (Nancy) Wright. They were buried on Lancaster Rd., along with their son William, who I came from. I saw the cemetery in the mid 80s, but I think it is a subdivision now.

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