Category Archives: Old Documents

Emancipation of Three Slaves

Today I want to share with you three slave emancipations from Washington County.  Black family history is sometimes very difficult to follow.  Hopefully this can help just a bit.  I do not have the original documents, but am using Pioneer History of Washington County Kentucky by Orval W. Baylor.  Mr. Baylor wrote for the Springfield, Washington County newspapers for a number of years.  Next time I am at the courthouse I will ask about these papers and if I find the originals will add them to this blog.

Know all men by these presents that I, Martin D. McHenry, of the County of Washington in the State of Kentucky, do hereby emancipate, set free and forever discharge from slavery a small mulatto girl named Maria, about seven years old last fall, being the same that was raised in the family of my deceased father and being the child of a Negro woman, Phoebe, who lived in my father’s family, and a reputed child of Harry, a mulatto man, who was emancipated by my father.  Given under my hand and seal this 1 day of April 1835.

M D. McHenry

Teste. John R. Wharton, D. H. Spears

Know all men by these presents, that I, Ann Spalding, widow of John Baptist Spalding, deceased, possessing an entire estate during widowhood, by virtue of the last will and testament of the aforesaid John Baptist Spalding, in a mulatto man slave, named Phillip; and I Stephen Spalding, the only claimant to the remainder of the said slave, at the marriage or death of the aforesaid Ann Spalding, (the other claims to the remainder of the aforesaid being extinguished by purchase), do solemnly agree to relinquish and abandon, or several and respective rights and titles to the ownership of the aforesaid Phillip, and the said Phillip is by force of this instrument, freed and emancipated from all service, which we and our heirs, have a legal claim to.  In witness we hereto set our hands and seals, this 8th day of January 1804.

Ann Spalding, Stephen Spalding

At a County Court held for Washington County the 2nd day of February 1807.  This instrument of writing was acknowledged by the within named Ann Spalding and Stephen Spalding to be their act and deed and ordered to be recorded.

Teste. John Reed, Clerk, Washington County

Know all men by these presents, that I, Barnabas McHenry, of Washington County and State of Kentucky, do fully emancipate Harry Pile, a slave now belonging to me, to go out free December the twenty-fifth in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and twenty-six:  I do hereby relinquish all right, title and claim to the aforesaid Harry after the date aforesaid, he shall not be free until he shall have made up all the time which he shall have absconded, by faithful services subsequently to the date aforesaid and repaid in the same way, all costs which may have been occasioned by his absconding, and then even in that case all my right, title and claim to him shall forever cease – he shall be free.  In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and seal on this second day of May in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and eight.

Barnabas McHenry

Acknowledged and recorded 2nd May 1808.  John Reed, Clerk Washington County

1900 Washington County School Census Report

Another page from a school census report from Washington County – this time from the year 1900 and district 46.  All the names are very familiar to me – especially Joseph B. Carrico, my great-grandfather – and his son, my grandfather, Joseph R. Carrico.  The Hamilton’s and Smith’s are cousins.

In an age when birth records were not officially kept, school census records are a good source!  It gives the father’s name, or mother if the father is deceased.  In one instance a mother has a different surname from her son, presumably she married again after the death of her husband.

Washington County 1900 School Census Report

District 46


J. L. Mudd

  • Mary G. Mudd, December 23, 1881, age 18
  • Annie C. Mudd, March 5, 1886, age 14
  • Willie R. Mudd, June 17, 1890, age 10
  • James A. Mudd, November 24, 1892, age 7

R. M. Osbourn

  • Willie E. Osbourn, April 3, 1891, age 9
  • Victor Osbourn, December 24, 1892, age 7

Mary J. Hamilton

  • Robert Hamilton, April 10, 1886, age 14

Ed Hamilton

  • Teresa Hamilton, April 21, 1881, age 19
  • Joseph E. Hamilton, March 13, 1883, age 17
  • Mary H. Hamilton, March 29, 1887, age 12
  • John A. Hamilton, July 29, 1888, age 12
  • Francis Hamilton, August 6, 1890, age 10
  • Colbert Hamilton, August 29, 1892, age 7

John R. Hill

  • John W. Hill, October 14, 1890, age 9

John R. Johnston

  • Teresa E. Johnston, March 18, 1883, age 17
  • Cora R. Johnston, December 16, 1884, age 15

Sylvester Smith

  • Bert Smith, June 16, 1882, age 17
  • Cleveland Smith, October 9, 1884, age 14
  • Edward Smith, July 5, 1886, age 12

Joseph Johnston

  • Hubert Johnston, February 14, 1892, age 8

Sidney Osbourn

  • Edward Osbourn, July 22, 1884, age 15

Joseph B. Carrico

  • Jessie Carrico, March 21, 1880, age 19
  • Fletcher Carrico, February 4, 1882, age 17
  • Joseph R. Carrico, January 15, 1884, age 15
  • Ellen Carrico, March 12, 1886, age 13
  • Mary A. Carrico, January 23, 1888, age 11

Pat Hamilton

  • Maggie Hamilton, October 22, 1882, age 18
  • Garland Hamilton, June 3, 1883, age 16
  • John Hamilton, August 8, 185, age 14
  • Joseph A. Hamilton, January 23, 1890, age 10

Will Riney

  • James E. Riney, October 12, 1888, age 11
  • Robert Riney, July 24, 1898, age 9
  • Leonard Riney, February 22, 1896, age 6

Thomas Medley

  • Joseph Medley, June 15, 1881, age 19
  • Emmanuel Medley, August 27, 1887, age 13

Rosa Medley

  • Maggie Medley, December 13, 1880, age 19
  • William Medley, October 10, 1882, age 17
  • Mary C. Medley, December 29, 1887, age 12
  • Della Medley, May 27, 1890, age 9

B. F. Spalding

  • Joseph E. Spalding, June 25, 1890, age 9
  • Albert Spalding, October 1, 1892, age 7
  • John B. Spalding, Apeil 14, 1894, age 6

Thomas P. O’Bryan

  • Lawrence O’Bryan, February 2, 1892, age 8
  • Regina O’Bryan, June 6, 1894, age 6

Ben O’Daniels

  • Alphonse O’Daniels, April 10, 1882, age 17
  • Claude O’Daniels, January 17, 1886, age 14
  • Nick O’Daniels, March 22, 1887, age 13
  • Albert O’Daniels, March 12, 1892, age 9
  • John O’Daniels, September 29, 1881, age 19
  • Abner O’Daniels, May 29, 1892, age 7

Susan Newitt

  • Edwin Spalding, September 29, 1886, age 14

Charlie Higdon

  • Ophelia Higdon, May 7, 1884, age 16
  • Charlie A. Higdon, June 12, 1888, age 13

John Mattingly

  • Anne Mattingly, January 5, 1884, age 16
  • John Mattingly, March 12, 1887, age 13
  • Clarence W. Mattingly, May 15, 1890, age 10
  • Mary E. Mattingly, June 21, 1892, age 8

Miles Osbourn

  • Teresa Osbourn, February 15, 1882, age 19

James O’Daniels

  • Thomas O’Daniels, April 21, 1890, age 10


Civil War Deaths – March 7 to May 28, 1862

It was very moving to type the following death records.  Civil War soldiers from the Kentucky Infantry and Cavalry, a few men whose last names began with the letter T, one page from a book of many.  Of the 24 men on this list only 8 were killed in battle or of a gun shot wound.  The rest were victims of typhoid fever, pneumonia, bronchitis or other diseases.  It seems such a waste of precious life.  God bless these men who gave everything for their country – and all those who continue to do so today.

Civil War Deaths – March 7 to May 28, 1862

Kentucky Infantry and Cavalry

  • Robert Tober, Private, Co. H., 12 Ky Inf., died March 11, 1862, at G. H. No. 2&3, Nashville, Tennessee, of typhoid fever.
  • John Taylor, Private, Co. E., 12 Ky Inf., died March 13, 1862, at G. H. No. 5, at Louisville, Kentucky, of remittent fever.
  • B. F. Toombs, Private, Co. B, 15 Ky Inf., died March 25, 1862, at G. H. No. 6, Nashville, Tennessee, of typhoid fever.
  • Calvin Trent, Private, Co. K, 21 Ky Inf., died March 7, 1862, at Camp McClellan, of typhoid fever.
  • Erastus Taber, Private, Co. E, 22 Ky Inf., died March 22, 1862, G. H. Ashland, Kentucky, of typhoid fever.
  • Samuel Taylor, Private, Co. J, 3 Ky Cal., died March 17, 1862, G. H. No. 4, Nashville, Tennessee, of bronchitis.
  • Benjamin Tinsley, Private, Co. D, 6 Ky Inf., died April 7, 1862, Shiloh, Tennessee, killed in battle.
  • Richard L. Thornton, Color Securer, Co. K, 6 Ky Inf., died April 7, 1862, Shiloh, Tennessee, killed in battle.
  • Charles R. Tate, 1st Sergeant, Co. C, 9 Ky Inf., died April 7, 1862, Shiloh, Tennessee, killed in battle.
  • Thomas Turner, Private, Co. H, 9 Ky Inf., died April 7, 1862, Shiloh, Tennessee, fatal wound of chest at Shiloh.
  • Thomas Turner, Private, Co. K, 9 Ky Inf., died April 7, 1862, Shiloh, Tennessee, gun shot.
  • John T. Thompson, Private, Co. E, 11 Ky Inf., died April 27, 1862 at the regimental hospital, congestive fever.
  • Philip Tromwill, Private, Co C, 14 Ky Inf., died April 2, 1862, at 18 Brig. H., Ashland, Kentucky, of com. con.
  • Walter Taylor, Private, Co. C, 17 Ky Inf., died April 8, 1862, at Regimental Hospital, of pneumonia.
  • William Thompson, Private, Co. A, 21 Ky Inf., died April 7, 1862, Lexington, Kentucky, no cause given.
  • Elias Thorp, Private, Co. H, 22 Ky Inf., died April 1, 1862, 18 Brig. H., Ashland, Kentucky, of pneumonia.
  • John A. Thompson, Private, Co. B, 25 Ky Inf., died April 23, at 4 St. G. H., St. Louis, Missouri, of typhoid fever.
  • John Taner, Private, Co. G, 26 Ky Inf., died April 19, City G. H., St. Louis, Missouri, of gun shot wound.
  • J. Ticknor, Private, Co. G., 26 Ky Inf., no death date given, of mortal wound in chest.
  • L. L. Tomlinson, Private, 4 Ky Cav., Died April 2, 1862, G. L. No. 2, Bardstown, Kentucky, of gonorrhea.
  • Thomas Thresher, Corporal, Co. E, 5 Ky Inf., died May 4, 1862, G. H. No. 2, Nashville, Tennessee, of typhoid fever.
  • J. Thomas J. Turner, Private, Co. G, 13 Ky Inf., died May 28, 1862, Gothic H., Paducah, Kentucky, of debility.
  • Hezekiah Tabor, Corporal, Co. D, 20 Ky Inf., died May 2, 1862, at St. Luke’s G. H., Paducah, Kentucky, of gun shot wound.
  • Isaac Tillery, Private, Co. A, 24 Ky Inf., died May 16, 1862, at G. H. No. 1, Louisville, Kentucky, of acute colitis.

A Historical Sketch of Mercer County for the Louisiana Purchase Exposition in 1904

Ritchey and I visited Glover’s Bookery, located at 862 S. Broadway, in Lexington, Saturday.  They have a very large section of books on the history of Kentucky, as well as county histories.  You never know what you will find.  It depends on which estate sales they visited, or who has brought books in to sale.  Let me just say we hit the jackpot.  My pockets are now empty.  But it was money well spent!

One of my treasures is a small booklet by A. B. Rue, the author and photographer of Historical Sketch of Mercer County, Kentucky (Illustrated) The Within Photographs Were Made For The Louisiana Purchase Exposition, St. Louis – and the date is 1904.

I had never heard of Mr. A. B. Rue.  There are Rues in Mercer County, but did not know one of them was a photographer – or that he had a wife who was a famous portrait painter!  The following biography gives us a good idea of the life of this couple.  In the 1900 census of Mercer County, Archibald Rue is 57, had been married 35 years, and was a photographer.  His wife, Jessie, was also 57, had six children, four of whom were living at the time, and she is listed as a portrait painter!  Their daughter, Lelia Linney, 33, divorced, a lady’s perfume saleswoman, was living with the couple, along with her three children, Jessie, Cleon and Margie.  Insco Rue and Margie Rue also live in the household with their parents – Insco is a photographer and Margie is in school.

The Danville News-Advocate, Boyle County, Kentucky

Tuesday, July 12, 1904

The Louisiana Purchase Exposition, informally known as the St. Louis World’s Fair, was an international exposition held in St. Louis, Missouri, from April 30 to December 1, 1904.  More than 60 countries and 43 of the 45 American states, claimed exhibition spaces at the fair.  It is remarkable that I hold a small piece of what was shown to the world as part of Mercer County, Kentucky.  The photographs shown by A. B. Rue gave my little corner of the state a wonderful and varied history to share with the rest of the world, including the right to call Harrodsburg the first town in Kentucky and the oldest permanent American settlement west of the Appalachians.

I will have so much more to share with you from the pages of this booklet!

Kentucky – A History of the State, Perrin, Battle & Kniffin, 1888

Jefferson County, Kentucky

A. B. Rue, formerly a photographic artist of high repute in Louisville, is a native of mercer County, Kentucky; was born in 1842, and is a son of Nelson and Margaret (Adams) Rue, both natives of Kentucky, but whose parents came from new jersey at an early day and passed their lives in this state on a farm. A. B. Rue is the fourth in a family of nine children born to his parents. He remained on the home farm until 1861, when he enlisted in Company F, Nineteenth Kentucky Volunteers, and was in active service the three years following, being promoted to second-lieutenant in the meanwhile, and mustered out as a first-lieutenant at Louisville in 1865.  He took part in the following engagements:  Mill Springs, Cumberland Gap (and the campaign from the latter to the Ohio River), Arkansas Post, and in all the engagements by Grant in the siege of Vicksburg.  At the latter place he was taken ill and was unfit for duty about four months, after which he returned to his regiment in New Orleans and remained with it until mustered out as stated above, when he entered college at Cincinnati.  In 1866 he learned photography at Harrodsburg, Kentucky, and for seven years followed his vocation in various towns through the state.  In 1881 he located in Louisville at No. 341 Fourth Avenue, where his merits as an artist were soon recognized and where he was actively employed until 1888, when he moved to Harrodsburg, Kentucky.  He was married, September 5, 1865, to Jessie Anderson, a daughter of Henry T. Anderson, so well-known as a Reformed minister.  Mrs. Rue is celebrated as a portrait painter, and has studied under the best masters in America.  She has followed the art for many years, and is an artist of superior talents.  Mr. and Mrs. Rue are the parents of six children:  Lelia, Insco, Zoe, Letcher, Margie, and one dead.  Mrs. Rue is now a member of the Presbyterian Church, while Mr. Rue is a member of the Warren Memorial Presbyterian Church; he is a member of the G.A.R., I.O.O.F., K. of P., and K. of H.


Indenture from James and Ann Davis to Alexander Lewis

This is an addition to an Indenture, made in Mercer County, Kentucky, January 11, 1797, to an original indenture from April 27, 1790, between James and Ann Davis and Alexander Lewis.  Dick’s River as they mention in the indenture is known as Dix River today.

This Indenture made this 11th day of January 1797 between James Davis and Ann, his wife, of Clark County, of the one part, and Alexander Lewis, of the other part.  Witnesseth that whereas by a certain indenture of bargain and sale by the said James and Ann to the said Alexander Lewis made and executed on the 26th day of April 1790, and acknowledged before the Court of Mercer County, and ordered to be recorded on the 27th day of April 1790, it was the intent and meaning of the said James and Ann that the tract of land therein mentioned to contain one hundred and eighty acres, should adjoin to and bend on Dicks River as it meanders from the lower to the upper corners thereof and we, the said James and Ann, still being desirous that those our intentions should be fully understood and made manifest have hereunto set our hands and affixed our seals the day and date first above written and desire that the same shell be recorded and considered as a part of the Indenture herein referred to.

James Davis, Ann Davis

Executed in the presence of Joseph Davis, Ambrose Gordon, Jeremiah Brown, Thomas Wood

Mercer County            August County Court 1797

This Indenture was proved to be the act and deed of James Davis, a party thereto by the oaths of Joseph Davis, Jeremiah Brown and Ambrose Gordon, three subscribing witnesses thereto and is ordered to be recorded.                   Thomas Allin, County Clerk

Deed Book 3, Page 322

1824 Receipt of John L. Edwards

‘Received of John L. Edwards the amount of my account against Edward Edwards except nine dollars 25 cents for which he has given me his note March 27, 1824.  C Rice’

This is another of the precious little pieces of paper saved by my great-grandmother Frances Barber Linton Montgomery.  Edward Barber Edwards, mentioned in the above note, was Frances’ great-grandfather, my 4th.  Edward Barber Edwards was born in Maryland, April 21, 1768, the son of Jonathan Edwards and Sarah Barber.  He married Nancy Linton, daughter of Captain John Linton and Ann Mason.

Edward, Nancy and family arrived in Washington County, Kentucky, from Loudoun County, Virginia, in November 1816, two years before the Captain and other members of the family made the move.  We know this because November 27, 1816, Edward B. Edwards made oath ‘he removed to Kentucky with intention to become a citizen, that he brought with four slaves named Stephen, Hannah, Poland and Charles, and not with intention to sell, testified by S. D. Roman, Washington County Justice of the Peace.’  Every man who brought slaves into Washington County had to make this statement.  Captain John Linton made the same statement two years later.

Edward and Nancy had six children when they made the trek from Virginia, all born in Loudoun County, Virginia – Susan Clark, John Linton, Catherine Kitural, Jonathan Joseph, Benjamin Mason and Mary Jane Edwards.  Two daughters were born in Kentucky – Martha Linton in 1817 and Sarah Barber in 1822.  This was a family that used family surnames when naming their children!

Edward Barber Edwards died two years after his youngest child was born.  His will was written January 16, 1824, and proved in court March 8, 1824.  I do not know the cause of his death.  He was 55 years.  In his will Edward gives Nancy the land that he lives on, with all the stock and Negroes, and household and kitchen furniture, except for 100 acres of land he gives to his eldest son, John Linton Edwards, at the expiration of seven years from the date of the will.  At Nancy’s death the rest of the land is to go to son Benjamin, the rest of the estate to be equally divided between his daughters and son Jonathan.  Wife Nancy, and son, John, were named executrix and executor.  The will was witnessed by William Caldwell, John Linton and John Linton.  One of the John Linton’s was Captain John, the other his son.

This note of 1824 is only one piece of the settlement of the estate of Edward Barber Edwards.  I can only be thankful that these small pieces of paper from so long ago were treasured through the years and kept as part of our family heritage.  What do you have that is a family treasure?



No Will, But Other Papers for Isaac Newton Greathouse, Deceased

Isaac Newton Greathouse was the son of Harmon Greathouse III.  His grandfather was also thus named, and his great-grandfather, Herman Groethaus, was born in Heidelberg, Germany, in 1676.  When this gentleman came to America, in 1710, he settled in Philadelphia, and changed his name to Harmon Greathouse.  Isaac Newton Greathouse married Elizabeth Berkeley Lewis, daughter of John Lewis and Hannah Eskridge Lewis – two early settlers who moved their family of three small children from Loudoun County, Virginia, to Louisville, Kentucky, baby Elizabeth being born there July 14, 1799.  In the fall of 1799, moving to what was then called Old Fortification Creek, then Hardin County, soon to be Breckinridge, the young family consisted of baby Elizabeth, Catherine aged seven, Eliza aged 4, and Moses Linton aged 2.

Isaac and Elizabeth were married in 1818, and in their fourteen years of married life had seven children – John L., Harmon B., Hannah Amanda, Susannah, Joseph L., John Fletcher and William Linton Greathouse.

Today I would to share with you an inventory, accounts due and bill of sale for Isaac Newton Greathouse, who died in Hancock County October 21, 1832.  At the age of 40, born in Nelson County in 1792, perhaps he thought death would be much later.  At any event, he did not leave a will.  In a case such as this, even though there is no will, there is much information to be found in the paperwork found in will books – inventories, accounts due, sale bills, dowers, guardian reports, etc.

On page 31 in Will Book 1 for Hancock County is the inventory, produced by Isaac’s brother, Rudolphus B. Greathouse. There are three pages of items, including a heifer valued at $80, a lot of corn for $100, and two slaves – Margaret and George, valued at $275 each.  Isaac Newton Greathouse was a doctor and his medical books, $22.50, and two lots of medicines valued at $34.43 ¾.  Also included are guns, horses, tools, hogs, crops, bed and bedding, etc.  The total amount of the inventory was $1,675.68 ¾.

A list of notes due Isaac Greathouse was next in the will book, page 32.  Again, his brother Rudolphus, entered the account information on January 28, 1833.  The most largest note owed was from Joseph Evans at $325.  William Linton Lewis, an uncle of Isaac Greathouse’s wife, Elizabeth Lewis, owed $239.95.  The smallest amount owed was $1.25, for a total of about $996.

The sale bill begins on page 33 of will book one.  Many of the items were purchased by the widow, Elizabeth Greathouse – gun, horse, bookcase, books, desk.  She purchased a cradle for $1.00.  Elizabeth purchased a sugar chest for $5.00 – was it like the one I have?  One yoke of oxen, fields of rye and wheat, stacks of hay, cows and calves, hogs, sheep.  Others who purchased items were neighbors, as you would expect – Samuel and Edmond Hawes, Benoni House, Henry Newman, Leonard Jones, Timothy Holmes, Holbert Henderson, James Haywood, Joseph Crisler and brother, Rudolphus Greathouse.

After Isaac’s death, Elizabeth Greathouse raised her children, and lived to just three months shy of her eightieth birthday.  Like her parents, she was made of pioneer stock and helped settle the new lands of Kentucky in the early years of the state.  She outlived her husband and all but three of her children – Harmon B. Greathouse who died in 1889, Joseph L. Greathouse who died in 1891, and William Linton Greathouse who died in 1901.