All posts by Kentucky Kindred Genealogical Research

I am a family historian, a genealogist, one who puts families together, who finds those who have been lost for many years and acquaints modern day generations with their ancestors. There's nothing like having a full family tree! Email me at

William M. Irvine Obituary

William M. Irvine, born June 1, 1825, died February 23, 1891.  Also his wife, Elizabeth S., born May 6, 1829, died November 25, 1920.  Richmond Cemetery, Madison County, Kentucky.

The Richmond Climax, Madison County, Kentucky

Wednesday, February 25, 1891

William M. Irvine died in Richmond, Kentucky, on Monday afternoon, February 23rd, 1891, aged 65 years and 8 months.  The exact nature of his disease has not been announced by his physicians, but a marked decline in his physical condition had been noticeable for several months.  The funeral will take place in Richmond Cemetery tomorrow at 3 p.m.

William M. Irvine was born in Richmond June 1st, 1825, was educated at Transylvania, and took the junior law course in that school under the tutelage of Robertson, Wooley and Marshall.  He also studied law at Harvard, and obtained license to practice, but became interested in farming and declined to practice law.  Was elected cashier of the Farmers National Bank, which he left to organize the First National, then the Second National, acting as its President for a number of years, returning to the First.  Took an active part in the affairs of Central University and became a curator.  He was a successful financier and leaves a large fortune.  Was a consistent member of the First Presbyterian Church, and a progressive and valuable citizen and a Democrat.  Was a grandson of William Irvine, a native of Virginia, who was desperately wounded at the so-called Estill’s Defeat, 1782, carried from the field by Joe Proctor, and afterwards became a member of the Constitutional Convention of 1799, and the first County and Circuit Clerk of Madison County.  The deceased leaves no children, but his wife survives him.

The Richmond Climax, Madison County, Kentucky

Wednesday, March 4, 1891

A Lesson In War

The writer will never forget his first meeting with Col. William M. Irvine, whose death occurred last week.  On the morning of the 31st of August 1862, the writer, a mere boy, left his home out in the country, and came to Richmond to see about the battle that was fought the day before between the Confederates under Kirby Smith, and the Federals under Nelson.  Coming across the country, we reached the battle-field near where the last stand was made.  At this moment, several citizens came up on horseback and paused a moment in conversation.  One of them, a fine-looking man with a pathetic cast of countenance, remarked: ‘Gentleman, something must be done.  There are several hundred dead men lying around here!’  This was a startling revelation to us.  We had seen pictures of battles in which a dozen or more fallen could be counted, but to think that we had come upon a scene of carnage where three or four hundred men lay dead and promiscuously scattered about, was, to say the least, startling.  But we took in the field from Richmond to Mt. Zion Church, and it was a day never-to-be-forgotten.  Upon inquiry, we learned that the gentleman who made the remark that gave us an idea of war, was Col. William M. Irvine, a man whose self-possession, dignity and consideration of others were marked characteristics.

1902 Washington County School Census Report

During my visit to the Washington County Clerk’s office on the 14th, I happened to notice grey boxes of school census reports on one of the top shelves.  Since I had not looked at these before I chose 1902 – hoping to find my grandparents listed.  Amazingly I did!  My paternal grandfather, Jessie Hill, is listed below.  This report is for District 39 – I found all but one grandparent in the other reports.

This is a great source for birthdates – given by the parents – since there are no birth records at this date.  In addition, ages of children are also stated.  Two sets of twins are listed on this page!

Washington County School Census Report 1902

District 39


Ben Hagen

  1. Joseph Hagen, February 20, 1883 age 19
  2. Jesse Hagen, August 18, 1889, age 13

James Daniel and Mary Boone

  1. Will Boone, September 29, 1884, age 17
  2. Mary Boone, September 29, 1886, age 15
  3. Sallie Boone, September 29, 1886, age 15
  4. Lettie Boone, January 17, 1891, age 11
  5. Robert Boone, August 21, 1893, age 9

Ludd F. and Mary Yankey

  1. Sady Yankey, February 3, 1883, age 19
  2. Fred Yankey, February 3, 1883, age 19
  3. Eliza Yankey, July 6, 1885, age 17
  4. Maggie Yankey, May 14, 1887, age 15
  5. Lillie Belle Yankey, November 29, 1889, age 13
  6. Becky Lee Yankey, May 31, 1892, age 10
  7. James Anderson Yankey, August 27, 1895, age 7

Frank and Mollie Yankey

  1. Mattie Yankey, February 26, 1888, age 14
  2. Robert Yankey, September 18, 1889, age 12
  3. Mary Yankey, April 16, 1892, age 10
  4. Lettie Yankey, September 16, 1895, age 7

John Buckman

  1. Mattie Buckman, September 27, 1883, age 19
  2. Mary Lill Buckman, March 10, 1886, age 16

Calebel R. and Eliza Bennington

  1. Clotill Bennington, December 25, 1885, age 17
  2. Tansia Bennington, March 11, 1888, age 14 – Female
  3. William Bennington, January 23, 1890, age 12
  4. Ezra Bennington, May 29, 1892, age 10
  5. Bessie Bennington, January 5, 1895, age 7

James M. and Fannie Chandler

  1. Richard Chandler, January 4, 1888, age 14
  2. Ivia Chandler, February 25, 1891, age 11 – Female
  3. James Chandler, June 15, 1894, age 8

John H. and Martha Thompson

  1. Florence Thompson, September 26, 1883, age 19

Isaiah and Lydia Ann Hill

  1. Isaiah Hill, January 16, 1885, age 17
  2. Lydia Hill, March 7, 1887, age 15
  3. Alfa Hill, November 2, 1890, age 12
  4. Jessie Hill, August 8, 1894, age 8

Hays and Hattie May Hill

  1. Jesse Eddy Hill, October 2, 1895, age 7 – Female

Ran and Catherine Bell Hill

  1. Thomas Hill, October 17, 1891, age 10

Bill and Elizabeth Hill

  1. Effie Ann Hill, October 23, 1891, age 10
  2. Mary Lee Hill, February 12, 1896, age 6

Frank and Bertha Montgomery

  1. Lizzie Montgomery, November 1, 1892, age 10
  2. Leo Montgomery, March 17, 1895, age 7

Marshall and Katey Smith

  1. Burnett Smith, April 1, 1884, age 18
  2. Annie Bell Smith, April 14, 1886, age 16

Jeff and Sally Carrico

  1. Claud Carrico, December 12, 1881, age 19
  2. Maggie Carrico, December 5, 1883, age 17
  3. Agnes Carrico, October 23, 1885, age 15
  4. Lee Carrico, July 23, 1888, age 13
  5. Jennie Carrico, December 24, 1890, age 11
  6. Sam B. Carrico, October 4, 1892, age 9

John and Sue Knott

  1. Mamie Knott, March 13, 1890, age 12
  2. John F. Knott, October 19, 1892, age 10
  3. Ernestine Knott, August 22, 1894, age 8

James and Clara Butler

  1. Sophia Butler, February 25, 1891, age 11
  2. Thomas Butler, November 17, 1893, age 9
  3. Durwood Butler, April 24, 1894, age 8

Robert Parrott, Guardian

  1. Robert Ross, June 1, 1887, age 15

Theodore Jennings Biography

from Kentucky – A History of the State; Perrin, Battle and Kniffin, 1888

Jefferson County

Theodore Jennings was born in Greencastle, Indiana, June 7, 1850, and is a son of Theodore C. Jennings, a miller, and an early settler of Indiana, who emigrated from Kentucky.  His mother was a daughter of Joel and Mary Yager, natives of Jefferson County, Kentucky.  The subject of this sketch was educated principally in the State University at Bloomington, Indiana.  In 1872 he engaged in a general merchandise business at Utica, Indiana, and in 1876 engaged in the drug business, which he followed until April, 1881, when he sold out and removed to Jeffersonville, and took charge of Lewman and Bros. drug business until 1884, when he came to Louisville, and engaged in the same business with F. Bender, on Shelby and Jefferson streets.  Having read medicine for ten years, he began attending a course of lectures in 1885, at the Louisville Medical College, graduating in 1887, and at once commenced practicing.  His office is at 909 East Jefferson Street, Louisville.  Dr. Jennings was married, in 1872, to Miss Maggie Summers, niece of James and Margaret Hobson, of Utica, Indiana, by whom he has three children: Anna, James and Maggie.  His wife died May 25, 1880.  He was next married, October 11, 1884, to Miss Maud Fogle, a daughter of Ebenezer Fogle, of Marion County.  By this second marriage he has one daughter, Nellie M. Jennings.

1813 Leonard – Thompson Marriage in Mercer County

It was my great delight to discover an ancestral relationship with my dear friend, Debbie Hise.  Her husband has long joked that we were related, and to his amazement we are.  Debbie is my fourth cousin once removed – we descend from John Leonard and Deborah Thompson.  They are my fourth great-grandparents, Debbie’s third.  After being friends for 30+ years, it is nice to have that unexpected connection!

Know all men by these presents, that we, John Leonard and James Thompson, are held and firmly bound unto the Commonwealth of Kentucky in the penal sum of fifty pounds current money, the payment of which well and truly to be made to the said Commonwealth.  We bind ourselves, our heirs, jointly and severally, firmly by these presents, sealed with our seals and dated this 23rd day of November 1813.

The condition of the above obligation is such that whereas there is a license about to issue for a marriage intending to be solemnized between the above bound John Leonard and Deborah Thompson.  Now if there be no lawful cause to obstruct said marriage then this obligation to be void, else to remain in full force and virtue.

John Leonard, James Thompson

Teste.  Thomas Allin


1880’s Style Photo

I simply love this photo!  It is a great example of 1880’s style – probably mid 80’s.  The tight curls at the forehead are definitely from this time period – they used a hot curling iron, much as we do today.  The pleated skirt also indicates the mid 1880’s.

This is quite a beautiful dress – I love all the buttons.  The lace collar and cuffs are very ornate with flowers and leaves, and give a feminine touch to the outfit.  Her jewelry lets everyone know she is a well-to-do woman.

This photograph was taken by W. A. Hopkins in Darlington, Wisconsin.

Encapsulate – Not Laminate!

I think I used the wrong term when writing about the old marriage records at Washington County Courthouse, and what the clerk has done with the older marriages to preserve them.  I said they were laminated – that was wrong.  Laminating, as one kind person brought to my attention, would be the wrong avenue to saving a record.  It could not be recovered since the lamination would stick to the record itself.  The records at Washington County are encapsulated – enclosed within  two sheets of Mylar film.  The top could easily be cut off and the record taken out if need be.  I wanted to correct my statement before any damage was done to any of your old, precious records!  Happy researching!

Where Were Those Daguerreotypes, Ambrotypes and Tintypes Taken?

After writing the blogs last week about the very old family photographs I have, I couldn’t help but think – where did they have these photos taken?  This lead to another search.  Located in Washington County, I believe they must have gone to Louisville.  It would have been the nearest large city, so that was where I focused my research.

Thomas Jefferson Dobyns was a daguerreotypist, ambrotypist and merchant, active in Memphis, Tennessee, as early as 1845.  He opened a studio in Louisville in 1847, and one in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1848; two years later Vicksburg and Nashville contained his studios, as well as New Orleans in 1851 and New York in 1853.

According to From Pioneer Photographers from the Mississippi to the Continental Divide, by Peter E. Palquist and Thomas R. Kailbroun, Dobyns opened his ‘Daguerreian gallery in Memphis across from the Continental Hotel in late August 1845, in time to take advantage of the crowds of delegates in town to attend the Western and Southwestern Convention’ and as of June 1846, advertised that ‘he had a camera large enough to execute pictures of any size.’

As the above ad in The Louisville Daily Courier, Thursday, February 8, 1855, says, the studio is opened again and with reduced prices.  It lists itself as the oldest gallery in the city, located at the corner of Main and Third Streets.  Dobyns’ partner in Louisville was John Hewett.

This advertisement from an August 21, 1855, Louisville Daily Courier, lists several galleries.  W. A. McGill list prices beginning at 50 cents for a 1/9 size daguerreotype.  He also offers miniatures set in rings, lockets, pins, etc.  50 cent daguerreotypes are also offered by Carpenter and Swymmer.  And Theodore Harris offers photographs in 15 seconds!

I love this advertisement from August 28, 1855, since it gives more information on the types of photographs you can choose – upon a metal plate, glass or paper, from Webster’s Gallery.

Mammoth Gallery says, ‘A blue and white Double Quick Work Sky Light, just introduced by Roesberg, at his well-known Mammoth Daguerrean Gallery, which enables him to take Pictures in a few seconds, and for the reduced price of fifty cents and upwards.  It also is one of the best lights ever known to produce a correct likeness, either of children or adults.  The red hair and blue eyes which heretofore have always been so difficult to produce, are now no longer any trouble, to give them the real artistic disposition of light and shade.’  In addition, he adds, ‘All medium size pictures that are badly taken by other artists, will be retaken over at 50 cents, and if not bettered no charge is made for trying.’

At Brown’s Gallery, an athanotype is ‘a photograph on glass, a picture of exquisite beauty, holding place above daguerreotypes or the ordinary photograph.  The picture is held between plates of glass, and securely protected from all influence of atmosphere, dampness, and even acids, hence it bears every guarantee of durability.’

John M. Hewett, in collaboration with T. J. Dobyns, was located on Main Street between Third and Fourth Streets.  From The Encyclopedia of Louisville, by John E. Kleber, gives us an 1848 description of Hewitt’s studio, ‘as one of the most magnificent in the United States, with a reception room, 65 by 63 feet, furnished with the most costly furniture, including a ‘splendid pianoforte’ kept for the entertainment of visitors.  A separate ‘ladies’ toilet’ was similarly furnished.  Both of these areas were separate from the room where likenesses were taken, which had a ‘magnificent light and is equal to the other rooms spoken of.’  All were ornamented with likenesses ‘of the most eminent men and the most beautiful ladies in the United States.  The Filson Club owns a fine set of daguerreotype portraits by Hewitt, and his work is also found in Louisville family collections.  The studio does not appear in directories after 1856.  In 1852, 23 people engaged in making daguerreotypes that year – only eight studios are listed in the city directory for 1851-52, so they employed an average of two to three individuals.’

From the same book, we learn that during the 1850’s several studios were founded – Webster and Brother (Edward Z. and Israel B. Webster), Theodore Harris, Daniel Stuber and Edward Klauber.

It would be wonderful to know for sure which studio(s) my family visited for their daguerreotypes, ambrotypes and tintypes!