Category Archives: Family Stories

The McQuown Family of Nelson and Barren Counties

Glasgow Municipal Cemetery, Barren County, Kentucky.

In the Glasgow Municipal Cemetery, located at 303 Leslie Avenue, in Glasgow, Kentucky, is buried a family by the name of McQuown.  This family was originally from Nelson County, Kentucky. And our story begins there.  William McQuown and Mary Elizabeth McCown married in Nelson County, October 27, 1827.

In the 1850 census of Nelson County we find William McQuown, age 44, a painter, living with his wife, Mary Elizabeth, age 47.  Their children are Burr, 21, a painter; Mary, 18; Alexander, 13; William Rice, 11; and Lewis, 7.  A son, Richard, was born in 1845, but lived less than a year.  Mary Elizabeth McQuown died about 1854; and daughter Mary died October 3, 1857.  This must have been very hard for the rest of the family to bear.

Evidently they decided to pick up and move to Barren County.  There we find the marriage certificate, dated November 15, 1856, for B. K. McQuown, residence of Glasgow, age 30, single, place of birth, Nelson County; who married Mariam Richardson, residence Glasgow, age 20, single born in Glasgow, Kentucky.  In the 1860 census Burr, 31, is listed as head of household, and is a cargo maker.  I’ve pondered this for most of the day.  To jump ahead just a bit, William McQuown is listed as an undertaker in the 1880 census.  I looked up cargo maker and most sites talked about making a basket type item to carry cargo in.  But, the word coffin comes from the Old French coffin, and from the Latin, cophinus, which translates into basket.  A coffin has six sides, a casket has four.  Could this have been another way of saying they made coffins?  We may never know.  Let me show you the household list:

  • McQuown, Burr K., 31, cargo maker
  • McQuown, Mariam, 28
  • McQuown, Wiliam A., 3
  • McQuown, Mary E., 2
  • McQuown, Richard, 6/12
  • McQuown, Alexander, 23, cargo maker
  • McQuown, Lewis, 17, apprentice
  • McQuown, William, 54, painter
  • Graham, Charles J., 23, cargo maker, Nova Scotia
  • Kell, William H., 25, plater, Ireland
  • Nickolds, Frank, 27, cargo maker
  • McGillock, James, 20, wagon maker
  • McGillock, William A., 17, apprentice

More than just the family living and working together.  We see Burr’s father, William, and his two brothers, Alexander and Lewis, living with Burr, his wife and small children.  It must have been a very busy place, with so many people living and working together.  But they sound like a very productive bunch!

Burr McQuown joined the Confederate Army during the Civil War.  He was in Company K, 7th Regiment, Kentucky Cavalry.  He was a bugler!  But we will save that story for another time.

In 1870 we find William, 65, painter, has married again – to Mary J., 49.  Son Lewis, 25, is a lawyer and Alexander, 23, is a painter.  Burr and Mariam have three more children, Burr, Leslie and Lewis.  Burr is now listed as a painter.

In 1880 William McQuown, 75, has the occupation of undertaker.  Mary J., is 60.  Son Alexander is still living with his parents at the age of 43, and is a painter.  And a grandson, Lewis A., also lives in the household.

William McQuown, December 14, 1804 – April 13, 1885.

Mary J. McQuown, wife of William McQuown, June 9, 1820 – July 18, 1897.

William McQuown died April 13, 1885.  He and his second wife, Mary J., who died July 18, 1897, are buried side by side.

Alexander McQuown, December 10, 1836 – July 31, 1885

Alexander McQuown died July 31, 1885.

Mariam, wife of B. K. McQuown, born January 15, 1833, died February 19, 1887.

Miriam Richardson McQuown died February 19, 1887, and husband Burr Kavanaugh McQuown November 2, 1904.  Other members of the family lived on into the early and mid-1900’s.

Burr Kavanaugh McQuown, June 18, 1829 – November 2, 1904.

Hooper Family Bible

How many of you know the wonderful genealogical research by Faye Sea Sanders.  Ms. Sanders could almost be called ‘Ms. Washington County’!  She was a powerhouse when it came to genealogy, and her books are used by many.  I was fortunate enough to meet her at a Maryland to Kentucky Reunion at St. Catharine College. 

The following Bible record on the Hooper family of Washington County was kept by Elijah Hooper until his death in 1927.  I have a slight connection with the Hooper family – one of my Hill relatives married a Hooper (not in this list).

Elijah Hooper was a private in Company D, 11th Kentucky Cavalry, for the Union during the Civil War.  He was captured on June 9, 1864, at Altoona, Georgia, and held at Andersonville Prison, and was one of the few who survived.  He started receiving his pension October 23, 1880, and Lucy received one from February 11, 1928, after his death.

In the 1850 and 1860 Washington County census Elijah is living with parents John and Mary Hooper.

After the war Elijah married Lucy Ann Comley and raised a large family.  In the 1900 census it says Elijah and Lucy have been married for 34 years, have had twelve children and nine are living.  This corresponds to the family Bible – David, Ellic and John died before 1900.  Daughter Jannie (also listed as Pamelia J. in the 1870 census) is living with her parents, listed as a widow, and her son, Perry W. Burkhead, is one year of age.  Jannie married James W. Burkhead September 26, 1897, who evidently died shortly after the marriage.  Her second marriage was to James Comley on May 15, 1906.

Martha A. Hooper married James Alexander Walls on September 28, 1895.  Richard T. married Grace Olive Smoot, November 7, 1910.  Berry married Ada Louise Dibben, September 19, 1911.  Sallie married James Monroe Lovorn August 4, 1908.  Maggie married Will Lonzo Bunch; and Edward married Nellie Lewis.

Hooper Family Bible

Elijah Hooper and Lucy Ann Hooper [Comley] married August 6, 1869


  • Elijah Hooper – March 7, 1845
  • Lucy Ann Hooper – March 28, 1851
  • Mary L. Hooper – September 2, 1869
  • Martha A. Hooper – December 28, 1871
  • Jannie Hooper – March 4, 1874
  • John W. Hooper – May 6, 1876
  • Richard T. Hooper – September 11, 1878
  • David Hooper – November 14, 1881
  • Berry L. Hooper – January 9, 1883
  • Sallie S. Hooper – March 4, 1885
  • Maggie E. Hooper – January 21, 1887
  • Eddie H. Hooper – December 16, 1889
  • Ellic Hooper – July 30, 1892
  • Nannie May Hooper – October 4, 1894
  • Willie Lewis – November 12, ____
  • Anna Mae Hooper – October 11, 1925
  • Marshall Hooper – August 11, 1929

The last three are grandchildren?


  • David Hooper – March 18, 1888
  • Ellic Hooper – August 6, 1892
  • John W. Hooper – September 18, 1898
  • Elijah Hooper – December 2, 1927

David Hooper and Ellic Hooper were not listed in any census records since they were born and died between.  David was seven and Ellic was an infant when they passed away.  We would never have known of their existence if it weren’t for this Bible.


Mercer County Births – 1852-1859

Mercer County Births 1852-1859

  • Absolom H. Leonard, born October 20, 1852, son of John and Jane Deshazer Leonard, Dixville.
  • Catherine J. Leonard, born April 23, 1856, daughter of Jackson and Elizabeth Patterson Leonard, Mt. Pleasant.
  • Mary Jane Leonard, born July 11, 1856, daughter of James H. and Mary Patterson Leonard, Deep Creek.
  • Nancy J. Leonard, born October 5, 1853, daughter of John and Lucinda Sally Leonard, Dixville.
  • Rachel E. Leonard, born April 23, 1856, daughter of Erasmus and Lucinda Gammons Leonard, Graves Mill.
  • Sarah Leonard, born December 1856, daughter of John and Lucinda Sally Leonard, Deep Creek Meeting House.
  • Stephen D. Leonard, born June 15, 1857, son of William and Rhoda Lester Leonard, Dixville.
  • Turner T. Leonard, born September 7, 1858, son of Jackson and Elizabeth Patterson Leonard, Dixville.
  • Frances Lester, born February 19, 1858, daughter of Erasmus and Martha A. Powell Lester, Graves Mill.
  • Rachel B. Lester, born June 4, 1858, daughter of Erasmus and Elizabeth May Lester, Dixville.
  • ? Lester, born December 1852, daughter of Joseph and Martha Brazelton Lester, Harrodsburg.
  • Thomas Levitt, born December 10, 1854, son of John and Ann Kennedy Levitt, Curdsville.
  • Almetta Lewis, born September 1857, daughter of William and Nancy Bailey Lewis, Dixville.
  • Eliza A. Lewis, born October 7, 1857, daughter of Elijah R. and Martha A. Brown Lewis, Dixville.
  • Elizabeth Lewis, born November 15, 1859, daughter of William and Nancy Baily Lewis, Patterson’s Mill.
  • Elizabeth Lewis, born August 9, 1853, daughter of Elijah and Martha Brown Lewis, Duncansville.
  • John Huston Lewis, born April 2, 1852, son of William and Nancy Bailey Lewis, Dixville.
  • Jordan W. Lewis, born September 9, 1853, son of William and Nancy Bailey Lewis, Dixville.
  • Mahala J. Lewis, born October 2, 1855, daughter of William and Nancy Bailey Lewis, Graves’ Mill.
  • ? Lewis, born March 21, 1856, son of Samuel and Nancy Galligher Lewis, B. R. Mill.

Loving to Eat – Is it Instilled in Our DNA?

Let’s talk about food.  That doesn’t seem to be very genealogy oriented, but, if you think about it, food is very much a family and friends occasion.  It doesn’t matter if you are cooking for two or twenty, the thought and preparation beforehand will make it a feast.

Whether it is a meal for Ritchey and I, or cooking for a crowd, there is much preparation before hand – not only just the cooking, but the thought of what herbs and spices would make this taste better?  How about this vegetable and a small salad?  What bread would taste best with this meal?  We want our family to enjoy their food and make this meal a memorable occasion.

Once during the 1930’s a salesman happened to stop by my great-grandmother Frances Barber Linton Montgomery’s home at lunch.  Even though she was having only the very basics of a depression era meal – fried pork fat, greens, potatoes and boiled eggs –  she invited the gentleman to eat with them.  My grandmother was distressed that her mother would ask someone to eat their ‘poor’ meal!  But since the invitation was issued with a kind heart, and the food was served with love, he said it was the best meal he had eaten in quite a while – and ate with relish.  The definition of hospitality – ‘the cordial and generous reception of or disposition toward guests’.  We should all remember that – it says nothing of fancy food, crystal plates or numerous dishes offered.  It speaks of treating guests, or family, with love.

My paternal grandmother, who cooked on a wood stove all her life, always added fried chicken wings to my father’s lunchbox – specifically for my mother.  It was her favorite piece of chicken and my grandmother remembered it.  This was before my parents married, so it was the love for a possible daughter-in-law that drove her to do this.  I remember her biscuits, warm and golden from the oven, her fried chicken and mashed potatoes.  I always wanted to be in the kitchen with her when she cooked, because it was warm and cozy, and the smells were wonderful!

My son-in-law once said he wished he appreciated his food as much as we did.  He likes to eat, but it’s not quite the almost ‘religious’ experience we have when it comes to food.  Is that part of his DNA – eat to live, but not an experience to enjoy, not only the food and the thought and preparation that went into, but the tantalizing tastes in your mouth and the discussion of how it was fixed, what was used, how did you get that particular flavor?  As we eat one meal we will discuss what we will have at another!  Is that instilled in your DNA?  Is it something you can learn?

Both sides of my family loved to eat.  My parents both came from farming families, so much of the food was grown on the farm – from the livestock they raised, to the vegetable gardens and fruit trees growing in the yard.  Both were young children that lived through the depression, but as my mom said many times, they always had plenty to eat.  Any time there was a gathering food was involved.  From the treats my paternal grandmother brought out while the adults were playing cards, for all to share, to the wagons filled with food in the yard when everyone gathered – such as for my grandparents 60th wedding anniversary.  I can remember special delicacies that each of my aunts made – and we always wanted that particular aunt to make that dish!

My maternal grandmother sold her fresh churned butter to make a little extra money.  Mom said before she sold it she took a knife and made little flowers and leaves on top for a pretty pattern.  Her butter and eggs were gladly accepted by the Springfield grocers – because they always sold well!  And grandmother’s baked chicken and dressing are something I drool over to this day – I can still taste it!  Mom always talked about her mother’s bread pudding.  I never had it, but it must have been superb.

And to make special memories with your family doesn’t require expensive ingredients.  My sister loves my Cannellini Beans paired with a skillet of cornbread.  How easy can you get?  Her family doesn’t care for dried beans, so she never cooks them at home.  I try to make this for her often, and  I thought I would share this recipe with you today.  What special dishes do you serve to those you love?

Cannellini Beans with Sage and Garlic

  • 1 pound dried cannellini beans
  • water
  • ½ stick butter
  • salt
  • black pepper
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • handful of dried sage

In a large pan rinse cannellini beans thoroughly. Add water to cover beans by about three inches. Bring to a boil then turn heat to medium. Stir occasionally, watching beans carefully. You may need to add a little water now and then to keep at the suggested level. After an hour add the butter and a good pinch of salt. Continue cooking until beans have softened and the soup becomes thick – approximately 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Taste and add more salt if necessary. Lower heat to medium low.  Add black pepper, garlic and sage. Cook an additional 30 minutes. Serve with cornbread.  Enjoy!


Children of Daniel Dunscombe Duncan and Frances Rosetta James

Today I went to the boxes of genealogy information brought to me by my cousin, Garwood Linton, originally of Logan County.  Garwood’s Linton family descends from Benjamin Franklin Linton, son of Captain John Linton; I descend from son William Linton and daughter Nancy Linton.  

This list of information on the family of Daniel Dunscombe Duncan and Frances Rosetta James is in the handwriting of Louis B. Linton.  I believe he was another Linton cousin my great-grandmother, Frances Linton Montgomery, corresponded with during the 1920’s and 30’s.  Louis B. Linton’s mother is the Susan Mary Duncan on this list.  She married Thomas Alvey Linton.  And Thomas Alvey Linton is a brother to John Wesley Linton, Garwood’s 2nd great-grandfather.  Wow!  Those complicated Linton lines – but then all family lines usually are!

We plan to visit Logan County and western Kentucky later in the fall, and will stay at Garwood’s airbnb farm cottage – it is lovely and the scenery is breathtaking!  We will rest and relax – and I’m sure there will be some genealogy research involved.

Daniel Dunscombe Duncan, August 23, 1833 – February 28, 1910, married Frances Rosetta James, September 28, 1854.  She was born December 15, 1833, and died December 22, 1915.  Their children are as follows:

  1. Ida Elizabeth Duncan, July 20, 1855 – 1919.
  2. Sam Henry Duncan, March 29, 1857 – September 27, 1944
  3. Susan Mary Duncan, January 17, 1859 – August 3, 1907
  4. William Edward Duncan, November 28, 1860 – June 27, 1898
  5. Isaac Lunsford Duncan, December 25, 1862 – March 19, 1936
  6. Lennie (Fanny Ann) Duncan, February 15, 1864 – January 17, 1928
  7. Robert Lee Duncan, August 24, 1866 – October 12, 1915
  8. Walter Duncan, October 12, 1868 – March 12, 1941
  9. Charles James Duncan, October 17, 1870 – May 25, 1898
  10. D. D. Duncan, Jr., October 13, 1872 – August 30, 1936
  11. Thomas Price Duncan, May 24, 1875 – December 11, 1957


Dmytro and Maria Spilczak Buried in Toronto

In loving memory of Dmytro Spilczak, September 29, 1883 – January 6, 1960, beloved husband of Maria Kushnirenko, October 13, 1887 – February 15, 1972.  Assumption Catholic Cemetery, Mississauga, Toronto, Canada.

We’re a long way from Kentucky today!  Ritchey and our son, Linton, were in Toronto earlier this month.  And, of course, during any visit, they will stop at a cemetery for a few photos!  This one was taken at the Assumption Catholic Cemetery, in Mississauga, Toronto, Canada.  As you can see, a loving husband and wife, Dmytro and Maria Spilczak.  I tried to find information about the pair, but since they died more recent than most of those I write about, perhaps that’s why little could be found.

I did find a manifest of alien passengers for the United States on the S. S. Polonia, sailing from Trieste, in June 1913.  Dmytro Spylczak, age 30, was a farm laborer from Austria, and his nationality is given as Ruth (as were several others from Austria).  I’m not sure what this means.  Several weeks ago I read Frederic Morton’s A Nervous Splendor, Vienna 1888/1889.  A very interesting, although sad read, and I did learn there were many nationalities, or groups of people gathered under Emperor Franz Joseph’s crown.

The rest of the ship’s list said he was going to Winnipeg, he paid for his ticket himself, he was in possession of $20, was going to join a relative, and was born in Austria.  The name of the relative was not listed.

Dmytro Spilczak

If this were Dmytro’s first trip to Canada, did he leave his home country due to the rumors of war?  Even in the book I just mentioned, 1888/1889 was a time when people already felt the rumbles of war – 23 years earlier.

Maria Kushnirenko Spilczak

We are fortunate to have photographs of the couple on their gravestone.

John and Eliza Murphy Lillard Buried In Cloverport Cemetery

A few weeks ago I wrote a blog about Silas Lillard.  He is a brother to the above named John Lillard.  The brothers were born in Boyle County, Kentucky, sons of Barnett Lillard and Elizabeth Dicken.  When grown, the men moved to Breckinridge County and lived near the town of Cloverport.  In the 1900 Census of Breckinridge County John was 57, Eliza was 54, daughter Anna was 16, and brother Silas was 67.  At some point the family moved to Cloverport Road in Hancock County (Cloverport is on the border between the two counties.).

John Lillard and Eliza Murphy married in Breckinridge County the 6th of December 1882, at J. V. Murphy’s – most likely the father of the bride.  The witnesses were Charles E. Lightfoot and F. M. Ragsdale.  The groom was 40 and the bride’s age was given as 36, but according to her birth date she would have been 38.  Since it was a later in life marriage the couple had one daughter, Anna, born in 1884.

John and brother Silas were prominent farmers in the area, and were well-liked in their community.

The Breckinridge News, Cloverport, Kentucky

Wednesday, November 7, 1906

John Lillard’s stroke was very serious, although he lived another six years.

From his death certificate we learn the name of John Lillard’s parents.

John Lillard, 1842-1912.  Cloverport Cemetery, Breckinridge County, Kentucky.

The Breckinridge News, Cloverport, Kentucky

Wednesday, February 2, 1921

Surprisingly, Eliza Murphy Lillard also suffered a stroke, just like her husband, and she lived another seven years.

Eliza Murphy Lillard, 1844-1928.

Anna Lillard married Frank C. English.