Family Stories

Eight Sons Born to Thomas Francis Terrell and Mary Frances Fletcher – McCracken County

Terrell family plot, Oak Grove Cemetery, Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky.

One photo from the many taken at Oak Grove Cemetery in Paducah, McCracken County, has led to an interesting amount of information about the Terrell family.  Thomas Francis Terrell and Mary Frances Fletcher (with the same middle name) were both born in Virginia; he in 1820 and she in 1827.  The couple married about 1844.  They are first found in the Ballard County 1850 census.  Thomas is sheriff, with real estate valued at $15,000.  Two children, James, 4, and Richard, 1, have been born to the couple, and Mary’s mother, Frances Fletcher, 46, lives with the family.

By 1860 the family has moved to McCracken County.  Thomas is a pork packer and general trader, who evidently was very good at his job.  He has real estate valued at $73,000, and personal estate of $27,000.  Mary owns $3,000 of real estate and a personal estate of $10,000.  Perhaps her father’s estate was settled and she received her portion of land and money.  In addition to James and Richard, four more sons are included in the family – Chiles, 8; John, 6; Thomas, 3; and Edward, 1.  Mother Frances is still living in the household.

In 1870 two more sons – for a total of eight – have been born, A. Sidney, 7; and Fletcher, 3.  At this date Thomas is a commission merchant for a tobacco warehouse.  Son James, 23, is a tobacco dealer and Richard works in a feed store.

Thomas F. Terrell, Jr., 1856-1875.

Son Thomas died in 1875.

1880 finds Thomas is at his same job, as well as James and Richard.  Chiles and Edwin are farmers, John and Sidney, grocers.  Richard is married to Mildred Pickett, and they live next door to his parents.  Three children make up their family – Thomas, 4; Mary, 2; and Mildred 3/12.  Sister-in-law Hattie Pickett lives with Richard and Mildred; she is a school teacher.

Mildred Terrell, daughter of Richard Gilliam and Mildred Pickett Terrell, was an enthusiastic genealogist who became a member of the DAR.  The following information is from her application:

Miss Mildred Terrell, 69034, born in Paducah, Kentucky.

  • Descendant of Micajah Chiles
  • Daughter of Richard Gilliam Terrell and Mildred Pickett, his wife
  • Granddaughter of Thomas F. Terrell (1820-1898) and Mary Frances Fletcher (d.1904), his wife
  • Gr-granddaughter of Chiles Terrell (b. 1780) and Cordelia Upshaw, his wife
  • Gr-gr-granddaughter of Jonathan Terrell (b. 1755) and Elizabeth Hunnicutt, his wife
  • Gr-gr-gr-granddaughter of David Terrell (1729-59) and Agatha Chiles, his wife
  • Gr-gr-gr-gr-granddaughter of Micajah Chiles and Anna Chiles, his wife
  • Micajah signed the Declaration of Independence of Albemarle County, Virginia, 1779. He was born in Virginia and died there in 1779.
  • Also No. 62020

Although she never married, Mildred is listed in the Paducah newspaper as hosting DAR meetings, sewing bees, etc.

James F. Terrell, 1846-1889.

Son James F. Terrell, died in 1889, and father Thomas in 1898.

Thomas F. Terrell, 1820-1898.

The Paducah Sun, McCracken County, Kentucky

Tuesday, January 11, 1898

From his obituary we find that Thomas was born January 13, 1820, in Richmond, Virginia.  He was a pioneer of Wilmington, which was formerly the county seat.  As we found in the census records, he was sheriff of Ballard County for thirteen years and was a representative in the legislature from that area.  He leaves his wife, Mary, and six sons.

The 1900 census is a bit amusing.  Mary Frances Fletcher Terrell refuses to tell her age – it is written as such on the census record!  She is listed as having birthed 8 children with 6 living.  Five sons live with her – Chiles, 38; John, 36; Edwin, 34; Sidney, 29; and Fletcher, 26.  After the census was taken, within the next several years, Sidney married Mary Cook; they had one son named for his father.

Chiles Terrell, 1851-1901

Chiles Terrell died December 11, 1901.

The Paducah Sun, McCracken County, Kentucky

Thursday, December 12, 1901

Chiles Terrell, like several of his brothers, was a confirmed bachelor.  He owned property in both McCracken and Ballard counties.  According to another obituary (which was extremely hard to read) he was much loved.

Mary F. Terrell, 1827-1904.

Mary Frances Fletcher Terrell dies August 16, 1904.

The Paducah Sun, McCracken County, Kentucky

August 16, 1904

Mary’s obituary states that she was born in Petersburg, Virginia, in February 1828, the daughter of R. C. and Frances Fletcher.  Perhaps the obituary gives a reason for not giving her age in the last census – ‘Mrs. Terrell was extremely youthful in her appearance, and her feelings, and those who knew her best could scarcely realize her age.’  My favorite part, ‘She was kind, generous and much beloved.  She was a devoted mother, and will be greatly missed in her home circle, as well as by many friends.’

John B. Terrell, 1853-1922.

John B. Terrell dies December 8, 1922.

The Paducah Sun Democrat, McCracken County, Kentucky

Saturday, December 9, 1922

John was a livery stable operator for more than fifty years, and owned a stable of good horses.  In addition to four brothers he was survived by two sons – J. C. Terrell, former captain of police, and Thomas Terrell.

Edwin C. Terrell died June 12, 1932.

The Paducah Sun Demcrat, McCracken County, Kentucky

Monday, June 13, 1932

He was survived by two brothers, Richard and Fletcher.

Richard Gilliam Terrell, April 4, 1849 – November 26, 1937.

Richard Gilliam Terrell died November 26, 1937.

The Paducah Sun Democrat, McCracken County, Kentucky

Friday, November 26, 1937

Richard Terrell died suddenly of a heart attack.  His beloved wife, Mildred, died earlier in the year.  One note in his obituary, he was a graduate of Washington and Lee University and attended when Robert E. Lee was its president.  Richard was in the grocery business.  Surviving are brother Fletcher; two sons, Richard G. and Horace P., three daughters, Miss Mildred Terrell, Mrs. Frances Walker and Mrs. Henry Muir; along with three grandchildren.

Mildred Pickett Terrell, March 24, 1853 – January 20, 1937.

Mildred Pickett Terrell died January 20, 1937.

The last of the family was Fletcher Terrell.  He died September 20, 1944.

The Paducah Sun Democrat, McCracken County, Kentucky

Wednesday, September 20, 1944

Categories: Family Stories

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