Kentucky Obituaries 1787-1799

Deaths from the Kentucky Obituaries, 1787-1854, with a few newspaper clippings.

KG – The Lexington Kentucky Gazette


Mrs. Elizabeth Downing, consort of John Downing, of Louisville.  Died Thursday, August 9, 1787, aged 25 years.  KG  10/6.


Mrs. Maria Irwin, consort of Samuel Irwin, of Danville.  Died September 25, 1788.  KG 10/11.


Major Isaac B. Dunn, of Lexington.  Suicided June 28, 1789.  Buried in the public burying ground there.  KG 6/28.


Mrs. Sarah Gano, consort of Rev. John Gano.  Died at Frankfort, April 17, 1792.  Buried near the Baptist meeting house at the Forks of Elkhorn.  KG 4/28.


Thomas Reeder died May 29, 1795.  He was Clerk of Bourbon County.  He married a daughter of J. Edwards, Esq.  KG 6/6.

Daniel Boyd, executed in Lexington, May 29, 1795.  KG 5/30.

Col. William Ward, of Lexington, died ‘a few days ago.’  See Stewart’s Kentucky Herald 8/18.


Christopher Kiser was ‘late deceased’ when his buildings on High Street, Lexington, were consumed by fire Saturday, January 23, 1796.  KG 1/23.

Sarah, consort of Rev. Moses Bledsoe, died near Lexington, July 26, 1796, in child bed.  She was 33 years of age.  KG 7/30.


Betsey Nelson Baylor, daughter of Capt. Walker Baylor, of Lexington, died Tuesday, January 31, 1797, aged 10 years.  KG 2/8.

General Thomas Barbee died in Louisville, February 21, 1797.  KG 2/25.

James Parker, merchant of Lexington, died March 6, 1797.  He was buried March 7 in the burying ground at Mr. Rankin’s Meeting House.  KG 3/8.

Major Hugh Brent, of Lexington, died May 24, 1797.  KG 5/27.

On the 22nd of July last, departed this life, Mr. Zachariah Worthy, of ? county, aged fifty-six years, after a long and painful illness, which he supported with truly Christian fortitude, and patient resignation to the will of God.  He died universally regretted by all his acquaintances and friends, but his loss will long be felt and deplored by the ? Church, of which he had been for more than thirty years a member and zealous supporter.  The friends of freedom, justice and Christianity, and good will to all men, will observe the principles which so eminently distinguished the life of this truly religious and benevolent man, displayed in his last will and testament of which we are happily enabled to give a copy from the records of ? court.

In the name of God, Amen.  I, Zachariah Worthy, of ? county, and state of Kentucky, being of sound mind and disposing memory; but having long been admonished by a painful illness, that I am shortly to ‘go the way appointed for all flesh,’ and wishing, before my departure from this mortal state, to make a just disposition of all the worldly substance with which it has pleased the bountiful giver of all good to endow me, do make and ordain this my last will and testament, in manner and form following (to wit.)

First, I give my body to the earth, and resign my soul into the hands of Almighty God who gave it, hoping that as it has pleased him in his great goodness, to teach me by his holy word, to do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly in his sight, I shall find mercy in his presence at the great day when he shall judge the world in righteousness, and reward those who have done well, and banish forever from his presence the workers of iniquity.

Item.  It is my will and desire that my lands, which are in dispute, shall be sent to Philadelphia, and there sold by my executors (hereinafter named) by deeds with special warranty only, for the best price which can be had, in order to raise a fund for the payment of my just debts.

And as to all my slaves and other perishable property of which I am justly possessed, I dispose of the same as follows:

I give and bequeath unto my beloved daughter, Dorothy, two slaves, Patty and Poll, and their increase to her and her heirs forever.

I give and bequeath unto my daughter, Rebecca, my slaves Nan and Phillis, and their increase to her and her heirs forever, also my bay mare and sorrel colt, and their increase.

I given and bequeath unto my youngest son, John, the following seven slaves, to wit: Ned, Tom, Sam, Bill, Peter, Charles and Dick, to him and his heirs forever, also six horses and all my black cattle.

And whereas it is my will and desire that my eldest son, Timothy, who is now at college, should be brought up to the gospel ministry; and it being necessary to raise a fund to enable him to complete his education and procure him books; and as my two slaves, Methusalem and Sarah, the father and mother of the above bequeathed slaves, having served me faithfully thirty-six years, are now grown old, sickly and infirm, who might shortly become chargeable to my children, my will is, that my executors do send the said slaves by the first boat which descends the river, to sell them in that part of the Spanish dominions, where the best price can be had, and apply the money arising from the said sale towards defraying the expenses incurred in the education of my said son, Timothy, to whom I give all the residue of my estate, both real and personal, to him and his heirs forever.

And I do hereby appoint my truly esteemed friends, the Rev. Jesse Obadiah and the Rev. Henry Harrison, executors of this my last will and testament, requiring that as compensation for their services and as a token of my esteem, they will apply to their use the hire of said Methusalem and Sarah, until an opportunity offers for disposing of them as above, and that each of them accept a copy of Bishop Watson’s inestimable sermon, “on the mercy of God, in creating both rich and poor, bond and free.”

And having thus made a just disposition of all my worldly concerns, I have only to enjoin it on my said children, as they wish for a peaceful and quiet conscience at the awful hour of death, that they invariably practice the sacred precept of our Redeemer, “Do unto all men as ye would that they should do unto you.”

Given under my hand and seal this 22nd day of July 1797.

Zachariah Worthy

Teste.  John Jessamy, Henry Wholesome, Titus Thompson

[I’m sorry but this was the most disturbing will I’ve ever typed.  I didn’t read it beforehand.]

Zachariah Worthy, of Kentucky, died July 22, 1797, aged 56 years.  His will named the following:  Dorothy Worthy, Rebecca Worthy, John Worthy, Timothy worthy.  Executors:  Rev. John Obadiah and Rev. Henry Harrison.  Teste:  John Sessamy, Henry Wholesome and Titus Thompson.  KG 10/14.

The following circumstances of a duel was transmitted to us for publication, in a letter from Post S. Vincent’s, dated September 13, 1797.

An affair of a very serious nature took place here on Sunday last, between Gideon Davis Pendleton, at attorney, and Joshua Harbin.  In consequence of some attempts made by Harbin to injure the character of Pendleton, Pendleton challenged Harbin to a duel – they met on the opposite side of the river from the village without seconds – Pendleton requested Harbin to lay off the ground, which he agreed to do, if Pendleton would lay down his pistol, with which he complied and advancing towards Harbin unarmed, Harbin fired on him, the ball past through his breast, he ran about ten paces and fell dead.  Harbin then went to Pendleton’s pistol, fired it off and returned in triumph, saying Pendleton fired first!

Gideon Davis Pendleton, killed at Post St. Vincents, in September 1797, in a duel with Joshua Harbin.  KG 10/4.

Richard Lake, attorney-at-law of Lexington.  Died Sunday, December 23, 1797.  He was buried the same day in the Baptist Burying Ground.  His funeral was attended by the Lexington Lodge of Free Masons, of which fraternity he was a member.  KG 12/26.


Betty Bledsoe, wife of Joseph Bledsoe, a minister.  She died February 7, 1799, and was buried February 9, in Lexington.  KG 2/21.

John Lewis, of Jessamine County, died April 3, 1799, ‘at the Havanna.’  KG 7/25.

Capt. William Kennedy, of Campbell County, died May 16, 1799.  KG 7/25.

Col. George Nicholas, professor of law and politics in the Transylvania University, died July 25, 1799, in Lexington.  KG 8/1.

Col. John Campbell, a senator from Fayette County to the State Legislature, died October 19, 1799.  KG 10/19.

David Bell died at the Clark County residence of Mrs. Gist.  KG 12/15.

5 replies »

  1. No word on why mr. Daniel Boyd was executed.  Curious.

    Sent from Yahoo Mail on Android

    • Wilma, I was stunned, absolutely stunned. To talk about how Methusalem and Sarah had faithfully served him for 36 years, and were the parents of the slaves he distributed to his children, I thought, being such a Christian man, would have them cared for the rest of their lives. To send them down the river to be sold – after they served his executors – is cold and inhumane. I cannot imagine.

      • Looking for parents of william bell who marr elizabeth fightmaster 1799 harr co ky. Call Wilma Bonar at 859 472 2547. Have researched many many bells and beall. Sept. 27, 2021

  2. Hi: Thanks for the email on Kentucky obituaries. Regarding John and Sarah Gano, I show: 1 John Gano . +Sarah Mary Stites .. 2 Richard Montgomery Gano …… +Elizabeth Ewing ……. 3 John Allen Gano ……….. +Mary Katherine Conn ……….. 4 Richard Montgomery Gano …………… +Martha Jones ‘Mattie’ Welsh ……………. 5 William Beriah Gano ……………….. +Jeanette DeLafayette ‘Nettie’ Grissom ………………… 6 Allene Stone Gano ……………………. +Howard Robard Hughes, Sr. ……………………. 7 Howard Robard ‘the Billionaire’ Hughes, Jr. Howard’s first wife was my cousin, Ella Botts Rice. Dave BottsDelray Beach, Florida

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