Marriage Records

Rev. “Raccoon” John Smith – Biography and Marriages Performed 1817-1819

Kentucky Pioneer and Court Records, by Mrs. Harry Kennett McAdams, 1929

Copy of Newspaper Article, Printed in “Sentinel-Democrat,” Mt. Sterling, Ky., March 14, 1929

We are publishing below, through the courtesy of Mrs. Rezin Owings and Mrs. W. P. Oldham, a sketch of the life of Rev. John (Raccoon) Smith and the marriages he solemnized in Montgomery and adjoining counties during the years from 1816 to 1852.  These records were destroyed when the court house burned in Mt. Sterling and this is the only record now in existence.  Rev. John Smith was born in Sullivan County, Tennessee, October 15, 1784.  He married Miss Anna Townsend, of Monticello, and after her death in 1814 he came to the Blue Grass.  In 1816 he was married to Miss Nancy Hurt, of Wayne County.  He was the first pastor of the Spencer, Lulbegrud, North Middletown and Grassy Lick churches for several years.  He also helped to organize the Somerset, Sharpsburg and Owingsville churches and was at one time pastor of the Mt. Sterling Christian Church.  In 1834 he became an evangelist and his services covered nearly every county in Kentucky and parts of Tennessee and Alabama.  After the death of his wife, he spent the remainder of his life with his daughters, Mrs. J. A. J. Lee, in Owingsville, and Mrs. Ringo, in Mexico, Missouri, where he died.

The Lexington Herald, September 23, 1909 gives the following sorrowful account in the life of Rev. John Smith.

The south was being opened up and many were drawn thither by what seemed to be a most fascinating picture.  Smith sold his home and with $1,500 in his pocket, he hoped to enter ten thousand acres of that fertile soil.  In 1814 he located his family in a cabin in Alabama, and he went out to select his land.  But while he was away the cabin burned, and two of his children and all of his money were consumed in the flames of that awful night.  The poor mother escaped, but her heart was broken and she died, and was buried with the ashes of her children.  The husband, though a strong man, was so shocked that he went down with fever, and for weeks lingered near the grave.  But he finally recovered and with a sad heart and empty purse, he returned to the old home in Kentucky.

John’s wife, Anna Townsend Smith died January 7, 1815, along with daughter Elvira, aged 5, and son Eli, aged 7.  Two daughters, Jane, and Zerelda survived the fire.

In Mt. Sterling, Montgomery County, two fires destroyed many of the early records of the county – March 4, 1851, and December 2, 1863 – burned by Confederate cavalrymen to prevent its use as a Union garrison.  We are quite fortunate to have copies of marriages performed by Rev. John Smith, 1817-1851.  There are also copies of his marriages performed in Bath, Bourbon, Clark, Fayette, Fleming, Scott Wayne and Woodford counties.  Today I share Montgomery County 1817-1819.

Marriages in Montgomery County, Kentucky, Performed by Rev. Raccoon John Smith


  • William Clark and Hannah Jones, November 13
  • Henry Coons and Nancy Evans, December 4
  • James Clark and Susannah Jones, December 18


  • James Moreland and Ann Bramill, January 29
  • Alexander Kelly and Nancy Rafferty, February 12
  • Joseph Smith and Polly Rice, February 19
  • John Roberts and Ann Dobbins, February 26
  • Henry Woodard and Louisa Heflin, March 12
  • Phillip McDaniel and Polly Tapp, March 15
  • Nathan Davis and Nancy Kidd, March 19
  • David Rice and Polly Cave, March 31
  • John Hampton and Sally May, March 31
  • Henry Brothers and Patsey Sallee, May 31
  • Landy Richardson and Nancy Williams, July 28
  • Andrew Crase and Nancy Rogers, August 27
  • Hiram Bartlett and Nancy Priest, September 8
  • Jonathan McFerrin and Rebecca Harper, October 12
  • Robert Allen and Polly Ellison, October 15
  • George Thompson and Rachel Crabtree, October 17
  • William Bradshaw and Elizabeth Campbell, October 25
  • William F. Luckett and Harriett Simson, October 29
  • Stephen Eubank and Nancy Burkley, November 4
  • Peter Wills and Rebecca Fowler, November 26
  • Dillingham Ward and Susan McFerrin, November 26
  • Robert Heggins and Fannie Wise, December 3
  • Robert Ringo and Sarah Hodge, September 24
  • Alexander McDaniel and Priscilla Carington, December 24


  • James M. Miller and Polly Wayne, January 1
  • John Ficklin and Polly Anderson, January 27
  • James Dale and Ann Wills, February 2
  • John Moseley and Judith Moseley, February 18
  • Glover Smart and Louisiana Mosely, February 18
  • Rezin M. Bran and Elizabeth McDaniel, February 25
  • John W. Rodgers and Bethsheba Howel, March 7
  • Thomas Reids and Margaret Boxley, March 11
  • Elias Tolin and Elizabeth Perks, March 21
  • Nicholas Harper and Lucy Jameson, daughter of John Jameson, March 30
  • John Pritchett and Hannah Pritchett, April 18
  • Jesse Kelly and Elizabeth Stringer, April 25
  • Isaac Fowler and Caroline Green, August 1
  • William Gaitskill and Polly Green, August 5
  • Peter Cox and Mary B. Grinstead, April 4 [exactly]
  • Henry C. Woolf and Susannah Barnett, August 12
  • Benjamin Ayles and Jane Spiller, August 12
  • John Trimble and Margaret Turley, September 9

1 reply »

  1. Have been looking for parents of my great great grandfather, William Womack Hubbs, born in Fulton Co Kentucky in 1803. He migrated to Gallatin Co Illinois where he died in 1864. Have hit a brick wall.

    Thank you,
    Martha Baker Harpling

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