Category Archives: Family Stories

Richard Creekmur Biography

from Kentucky – A History of the State, Perrin, Battle and Kniffin, 1887

Simpson County

Richard Creekmur was born February 29, 1822, in Simpson County, Kentucky, where he grew to manhood and has always resided.  His father, William M. Creekmur, a native of Norfolk County, Virginia, was a soldier in the War of 1812; was long a member of the Regular Baptist Church, and died in Simpson County in 1844, at the age of seventy-two years.  He was a son of Richard Creekmur, of Virginia, who was a soldier in the Revolution.  William M. married Martha, daughter of Jonathan and Martha Balance (died 1847, aged sixty-three years), and from their union sprang Philip, Rilen, Dorcas (See), Mary Stewart, Sallie (May), William M., Richard and Tabitha (Stewart).

In May, 1844, Richard married Eliza, daughter of Philip and Mary (Jones) Gibbs, of Simpson County (born in Campbell County, Virginia, March 2, 1817), and to them were born Martha J. (Bush), Lafayette, Mary E. (deceased), William, Sallie B. (deceased), Emily and Alice (deceased).  In the beginning of their business career, Mr. and Mrs. Creekmur had an even start in the world, and by industry and perseverance have acquired a competency.  They lost five slaves by the late war.  Mr. Creekmur is a farmer, having 106 acres of well improved and productive land in a high state of cultivation.  He is a member of the Primitive Baptist Church, and in politics a Democrat.

William Creekmur was born in Simpson County, August 1, 1852; married November 9, 1876, Amanda N., daughter of Henry and Elizabeth (Capewell) Jennings, of Simpson County (born March 14, 1856), and their union has been favored by the birth of one son, Herschel.  William owns forty-eight acres of first-class land.  He is a member of the Missionary Baptist Church, and in politics a Democrat.

Blake Arnold Family Buried in Old Union Baptist Cemetery

This small cemetery sits on a little knoll, just over the Marion County border in Boyle County.  I have wanted to visit this cemetery for years.  Old UnionBaptist Cemetery is just off US68 and I always passed it on my way to Danville, and still pass it visiting my sister.  Before my marriage it was always my idea to stop, never had the chance.  Then Ritchey and I have talked about it every time we pass.  So about 40 years later I finally made it!  In the above photo you can see a black plaque on the tallest gray stone.  It reads, ‘Site of Old Union Church in memory of Pioneers of the Doctors Fork Community, erected by the Harmon – Gray – Pipes Family Association.’

This marker reads – Doctor’s Fork Baptist Church, organized March 15, 1801.  the first permanent meeting house of this congregation was on this site in 1805 and remained so until 1957.  This marker has been erected for the occasion of the bicentennial of Doctor’s Fork Baptist Church in loving memory of the founding members of this church’s congregation and the family of faith that continues to serve her today.’  Across the way stands the new, brick Doctor’s Fork Baptist Church – which is ministered by a friend of ours!

Blake Arnold, born in the year 1803, died March 29, 1872.

Today we will talk about the family of Blake Arnold.  He was born in Virginia in 1803.  Blake first married Permelia Calvert in Washington County, Kentucky, August 15, 1828.   Together they had at least five children, since they are named in the 1850 census, John, Mary, Martha and Nancy.  Nancy was born in 1838.  Wife Permelia must have died shortly thereafter.  She is not listed in the 1840 census of Mercer County – the only 3 females are the daughters.

Know all men by these presents that we, Blake Arnold and Thomas Stewart, are held and firmly bound unto the Commonwealth of Kentucky in the penal sum of fifty pounds current money to the payment of which well and truly to be made, we bind ourselves, our heirs, jointly and severally, firmly by these presents, sealed with our seals and dated this 17th day of August 1840.

The condition of the above obligation is such that whereas there is a license about to issue for a marriage intended to be solemnized between the above named Blake Arnold and Martha Blagrave.  Now if there be no lawful cause to obstruct said marriage then the above obligation to be void else to remain in  full force and virtue.

                              Blake Arnold, Thomas Stewart

Witness, John T. Allin, D. C.

On August 17, 1840, Blake Arnold married Martha Blagrave in Mercer County, Kentucky.  She is listed in the 1850 Boyle County Census with him, the five children mentioned above, and four children of there own – Samuel, Permelia (named for the first wife), James and Woodson Arnold.  In the 1860 Boyle County Census two additional children are listed – Robert and William Creed Arnold.

Martha J., wife of Blake Arnold, born April 25, 1818, died October 12, 1893.

Blake Arnold died March 29, 1872.  We will discuss his will tomorrow.  Martha lived another 21 years, raising the children.

Permelia, daughter of B. & M. Arnold, born September 16, 1842, died August 29, 1867.

Daughter Permelia died at the young age of 25.  She was probably taken away by consumption.

R. B. Arnold died July 26, 1883, aged 30 years and 5 months.

Son Robert also died at a young age.

John Arnold, July 30, 1828 – December 3, 1880.  Julia Arnold, August 6, 1833 – June 21, 1897.

Eldest son, John, died seven years after his father.

George Crane, October 15, 1835 – August 21, 1928.  Nancy Crane, April 30, 1836 – March 17, 1909.

Daughter Nancy, buried with husband George Crane.

This small cemetery was worth the wait!  It is beautifully cared for by the families mentioned above.  Thanks to them for their dedication to their ancestors!

Gilbert Ratcliff Buried in Grove Hill Cemetery

Gilbert Ratcliff, Co. L, 11th U.S. Infantry, born August 22, 1890, killed November 10, 1918, in Argonne Forest, France.  Hill Grove Cemetery, Shelby County, Kentucky.

Gilbert Ratcliff was the youngest son of John Logan Ratcliff and Lucinda A. Sleadd, born August 22, 1890.  His parents were married in 1867.  Gilbert’s grandparents were William Sleadd and Sophie Vannatta.

In the 1900 census for Shelby County, Logan Ratcliff was 56, married for 33 years, and a farmer.  Lucinda was 52, a mother of 14 children, with 11 living.  The following children lived in the household – William, 28; Jessie, 21; Homer, 20; Newel, 17; Virginia, 15; and Gilbert, 9.

Gilbert’s draft registration card for World War I lists his home address as R.F.D. #3, Waddy, in Shelby County, Kentucky.  He was a natural born citizen, a farmer and worked for his father.  He was single.  Gilbert was medium tall, stout, with blue eyes and light hair.

How tragic that Gilbert died the day before the Armistice was signed.  How many lives were lost in that last day before the World War I ended?

Duncan Family of Jessamine County

In an earlier post I shared photos of the small Duncan Cemetery located on Main Street in Nicholasville.  Today I share more information about the family, from one of the biographies gathered and written by W. H. Perrin, J. H. Battle and G. C. Kniffin, published in 1887.   Biographies were written and accumulated over the state and country during this time period, to save the historical information of local, ordinary people.  I have found these to be useful not only in my Kentucky research, but also in Illinois, Iowa and Nebraska.  Remember to use these biographies as a beginning point, going back to original research to back up what is written in these biographies from over a century ago. 

To see more photographs of this cemetery go to the Duncan Cemetery blog written in April of this year.

from Kentucky – A History of the State; Perrin, Battle, Kniffin, 1887

Jessamine County

Duncan Family

It has been truly said, ‘Those lives that are without striking incidents are nevertheless worthy of record.’  That portion of history which is denominated biography has particular claims upon the historian, and truth is but a matter of common honesty.  Rev. William Duncan was born in Perthshire, Scotland, January 7, 1630.  He fell a martyr during the religious troubles that afflicted Scotland at the time Charles II was restored to the throne of his ancestors.  Rev. William Duncan had a grandson, William Duncan, who was born in Scotland, April 19, 1690, and settled in the colony of Virginia in the year 1719.  He was married to Ruth Rawley February 11, 1722.

Rawley Duncan, born in Culpeper County, Virginia, November 23, 1724, was the grandfather of the late William Duncan of Jessamine County, who died in 1863, and was born in Jessamine County, January 1, 1788.  William was married to Miss Nancy Blackford, daughter of Benjamin Blackford, in 1813.  The following are the names of his children in their order:  Ryan, born November 6, 1814; Margaret, January 14, 1817; Catherine, July 17, 1819; Sally Ann, October 21, 1821; James B., February 7, 1824; Robert, September 8, 1826; Benjamin S, February 13, 1829; Charles W., April 28, 1831, and Mary D., September 25, 1834.  Robert and Benjamin are the only sons now living.  Mrs. Kate Bourn and Mrs. Sallie Scott, the only daughters.

William and Nancy Blackford Duncan’s stones are the two taller ones in the middle row.  William  Duncan, born January 1, 1788, died September 6, 1863.  Nancy, wife of William Duncan, born December 17, 1791, died June 24, 1860.

Robert Duncan was married to Miss Virginia Nave, youngest daughter of Jonathan Nave, in 1865.  The names of his children are Maggie Florence, Robert Jacob, Lizzie, Miranda and Emma Besueden.  Benjamin S. Duncan was married to Lucy A. Funk, youngest daughter of John Funk, May 22, 1856.  His children are:  Allen B., Carrie B. and John W. Duncan.  Allen B. Duncan married Miss Georgia Proctor, daughter of J. W. Proctor, cashier of the First National Bank of Danville, Kentucky.  Carrie B. Duncan married David Bell, son of Dr. Bell and grandson of the late Judge Robertson, both of Lexington, Kentucky.  J. W. Duncan is not married.

Charles Duncan, the grandfather of Robert and Benjamin, was born at Culpeper C. H., Virginia, October 8, 1762.  He settled in Jessamine County in 1787, where he reared a large family, and died during a visit he made to Washington, Indiana, July 12, 1829.  Sallie A. Duncan, daughter of William and Nancy Duncan, was married to Robert Carlisle, in 1851; he was a native of Fayette County, Kentucky.  His father was Robert Carlisle, who was born in Virginia, and John G. Carlisle is a nephew of Robert Carlisle, Sr.  R. G. Carlisle was a school-teacher in this county about 1850.  He was born in 1820, and his death occurred in 1864.  One child born to Robert G. Carlisle survives, Lizzie G., married to James A. Hulett, of Jessamine County.  Sallie A. Duncan’s second marriage was to Willaby S. Scott, who was born in Bourbon County, Kentucky, in 1815, died in 1882, leaving three children, Sallie, Carlisle and Eliza.  Mrs. Scott owns seventy acres of fine land in Nicholasville Precinct.  B. S. Duncan owns 380 acres in the same precinct.

 

Calien Crosby Family Buried at Grove Hill Cemetery in Shelbyville

Calien Crosby, 1806-1893.  Eliza Crosby, 1815-1908.  Grove Hill Cemetery, Shelbyville, Shelby County, Kentucky.

Calien Crosby and Eliza Mount were married on June 2, 1843, in Oldham County, Kentucky.  Calien was the son of John Uriel Crosby, a veteran of the Revolutionary War, and Nancy Ashby Peters.  Eliza was the daughter of John Mount and Lydia Jennings.  The following license gives much pertinent information.

State of Kentucky

Oldham County Court Clerk’s Office

To any minister of the Gospel, or other person legally authorized to celebrate the rites of Matrimony –

You are hereby authorized to join together in the Holy bond of Matrimony, according to the usages and customs of your church, Mr. Calien Crosby and Miss Eliza Mount, of this county, daughter of John Mount, deceased, she being of lawful age.

The said Calien Crosby having executed Bond with security, in my office, according to law.

Witness my hand as Clerk of said Court, this 29th day of May 1843.

William D. Mitchell, per Brent Hopkins

In 1850 the couple and their children are residing in Shelby County, and that is where they remain for the rest of their lives.  In the 1850 census Calien is 43, a farmer, with parents born in Virginia.  Eliza is 32, her parents also born in Virginia.  Children Mary Frances, 5; Lydia A., 3; and John Mount, 2, are living in the household.  Calien’s parents live with the family, John, 93; and Nancy, 84.

John Uriel Crosby, as mentioned before, was a soldier in the Revolutionary War, born in Fauquier County, Virginia, in 1755.  From The History of Shelby County Kentucky, by George L. Willis, Sr., it says that John Crosby and wife, Nancy, were among the thirteen charter members of the Antioch Church, located in Shelby County, about three and one-half miles north of Simpsonville.  John and Nancy are buried in what was called the Crosby Cemetery in that area.  Only two others are buried in this cemetery, son Gnoaeth Crosby, and Andrew Todd.

In the 1860 census there is an additional child, Charles Peters Crosby, who is 5.  In 1870 the two daughters have married, leaving John, 21; and Charles, 15; in the household.

In 1880 Charles, 24, remains with his parents.  Daughter Lydia A. Payne, 32, is also living with them, along with her children – Eliza, 10; Carrie, 8; Lulie, 6; and Robert C., 3.

John Mount Crosby died in 1891, leaving a young wife, Mary.  He is followed two years later by the death of Calien Crosby.

In his will, Calien Crosby left wife Eliza 150 acres and any other land remaining after the children receive their shares.  This included the home residence and outbuildings.  She was also to receive one third of all personal property in addition to 45 head of sheep, 25 head of hogs, 18 head of cattle and 4 head of horses and colts.

Daughter Mary Frances Crosby married Steven Henry McMakin.  She was to receive 101 acres of land to be used by the couple during their natural lives, then return to the original Crosby estate.

Daughter Lydia Payne and her children received 100 acres of land.

The heirs of son John Mount Crosby were to receive 64 acres of land.  This ‘in addition to what I have previously paid for him on his home tract makes him equal with my other children’.  The land will remain in the hands of the executors until the children come of age.

Son Charles Peters Crosby was to receive 115 acres of land, and will be able to purchase the land left to wife Eliza at a private sale after her death.

Son Charles, and son-in-law Steven McMakin, were named executors.  The will was written September 5, 1891, two years before he died.

It was previously mentioned that daughter Lydia, and her children, lived in her parents household during 1880.  She married Jilson H. Payne October 22, 1868.   In the 1910 census she is listed as divorced – perhaps the reason for living with her parents in earlier years.  In 1910 she is 63, living on her own income.  Daughter Eliza is 39, and is a dressmaker.  Son Robert, 32, and brother, Charles Peters Crosby, 54, are both farmers.

Lydia Crosby Payne died September 3, 1923, of tuberculosis.  She was 77 years of age.  Both parents are listed on the death certificate, as well as place of burial, Grove Hill Cemetery.  Son Robert Payne was the informant.  On the death certificate it says she was a widow.

The Crosby family is buried in a beautiful plot in Grove Hill Cemetery.  The trees are tall and old, their branches surrounding part of the gravestone.  Notice the smaller stones in back of the large one – those are for Lydia Crosby Payne, some of her children, and other members of the Crosby family.  With such shade they were too difficult to photograph.

 

Snider Gravestone in Grove Hill Cemetery Shelby County

Dr. Thomas Norton Snider, May 16, 1927 – June 30, 2005.  ‘He cared for all of God’s creatures both large and small.  Lynette Poole Snider, September 20, 1931 – May 20, 1998.  “Essence of grace.’  Grove Hill Cemetery, Shelbyville, Shelby County, Kentucky.

Ritchey and I visited Grove Hill Cemetery in Shelbyville, Shelby County, today.  I was quite impressed with the grounds, and the good care given to the gravestones.

I wanted to share this particular gravestone with you since it was so unusual.  A girl, in full skirt, enjoying the essence of dance.  This is a new stone, and I couldn’t find more other than Dr. Snider was a veterinarian for over 50 years, and was a paratrooper with the 11th Airborne Division during the Korean War.  His wife preceded him in death by seven years, and he was survived by two daughters.

Was his wife or one of his daughters a dancer?  This is the epitome of life and exuberance – and just what a stone should represent!

 

McFerran’s Buried In Bellevue Cemetery

Earlier in the week I published a post on James B. McFerran and his family – originally immigrants from Ireland before the beginning of the American revolution.  To read more about this family click here.

Yesterday Ritchey and I visited Bellevue Cemetery in Danville, Boyle County, where many of the family are buried.  The larger stone is for the parents of James B. – James M. and Ruth Brown McFerran.

Mrs. Ruth B. McFerran, born October 31, 1811, died September 26, 1885.  ‘There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.’  Bellevue Cemetery, Danville, Boyle County, Kentucky.

J. M. McFerran, born November 26, 1809, died September 17, 1884.  ‘Ask his neighbors.’

I’ve never seen such a simple line on a gravestone, but it speaks volumes.

James B. McFerran

Mattie Davis McFerran, James’ wife.

Leila McFerran Farris, James and Mattie’s daughter.

Lucy M. Welch, 1846-1927.  James B.’s sister.

Elizabeth McFerran, wife of William Crow, 1837-1919.  James B.’s sister.

William Crow, 1831-1900.  James B.’s brother-in-law.

A few others are buried in this lot, probably grandchildren to James M. and Ruth Brown McFerran.