Tag Archives: biographies

James C. Miller Biography

from History of Daviess County, Kentucky, Inter-State Publishing Company, 1883

Masonville Precinct

James C. Miller resides on the same farm in Masonville Precinct where his father settled in 1824, and where he was born August 26, 1830.  His father, Fleming Miller, was born in Henrico County, Virginia, November 1, 1791.  He followed teaming until the outbreaking of the War of 1812, when he enlisted in Captain De Val’s company.  After the war, he returned to Virginia and married Elizabeth Ally, and they came to Shelby County, Kentucky, where they had a family of four children, one living – Pleasant J., a tobacco merchant of Owensboro.  The mother died in Shelby County, and Mr. Miller then married Rosa Boswell, and then moved to Daviess County in 1824; soon after his arrival here she died.  He then married Sallie Crawford in 1829, a native of Shelby County, Kentucky.  He died June 28, 1860, and his wife died December 23, 1844.  James C., subject of this sketch, was the oldest of their eight children.  He was married to Amy S. Miller, January 23, 1852.  She was born in Ohio County, Kentucky, and was a daughter of James and A. (Anderson) Miller.  After his marriage, he settled on the old homestead with his father one year; then moved on a farm in Ohio County, Kentucky.  His wife died July 22, 1854, leaving one daughter – Sallie C., born February 27, 1853, now the wife of Dr. J. C. Sutton, residing in Hardinsburg, Breckinridge County, Kentucky.  After his wife died, he returned to Daviess County with his father.  He married Frances Y. Haynes, February 12, 1856.  She was native of Ohio County, Kentucky, born December 20, 1832, and was a daughter of Josiah and Frances Y. (Howard) Haynes.  After his marriage Mr. Miller settled on his farm in Ohio County and remained until 1870, when he returned to Daviess County and settled on a farm, two miles east of Whitesville, in Boston Precinct, where they remained until December 1878, when he purchased the old farmstead farm in Masonville Precinct, where he and family still reside.  Mr. and Mrs. Miller have had seven children, six living – Emma N., born March 14, 1857; Josiah H., born April 12, 1860; Henry C., born June 26, 1862; Fannie R., born July 12, 1866; Mary E., born January 27, 1869, and Amy B., born Jun 11, 1872, all residing with their parents except the eldest son, Josiah H., who is teaching school in Western Kentucky Normal School at South Carrollton.  Mr. and Mrs. James C. Miller are members of the Baptist church at Bethabara, as are all their children.  Mr. Miller is a member of Hodges Lodge, A. F. & A. M., at Whitesville.  He was Justice of the Peace in Ohio County four years; was appointed in Daviess County in 1880, to fill out an unexpired term, and elected in 1882 for whole term.  He was appointed Deputy Sheriff of Daviess County in 1875, and held that office three years.  He has held various other local offices of trust in his precinct.  Mr. Miller owns a fine farm of 165 acres where he resides, 125 under cultivation.  In politics, he is a Democrat.  He is of Irish and German descent.  Mrs. Miller’s family was English and Welsh decent.

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.

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.


John Quincy Adams – No Genealogist!

Last night I finished a book on John Quincy Adams, A Public Life, A Private Life, by Paul C. Nagel.  I can’t tell you the last time I read a novel.  They just do not hold my attention the way a history or biography does.

John Quincy Adams was a unique individual.  I’m not sure I like him.  He was far too worried about public opinion of his presidency, his jobs as ministers to countries overseas, and how the public and the next generations would think of him.  Of course, I am not president, a representative, or a minister to a foreign government.  I suppose I’m very comfortable in my skin.  I love where I am in life and what I do.  I honestly don’t feel the need to impress anyone.  Life with Ritchey, the kids and Julian is fulfillment enough for me – and sharing this great genealogy adventure with you!

Towards the end of his life JQA, as he is styled in the book, discovered an old journal of Samuel Sewall, which mentioned his early Quincy family.  The journal was written 1674-1729.  He decided to enter the world of genealogy to untangle his family lines.  But he soon complained ‘how genealogical inquiries so often led into a labyrinth where much time was lost for more useful purposes.’  I’m sure we’ve all been through that labyrinth at one time or another!  For myself, I receive such a renewal of spirit and great satisfaction when I untangle some of those family lines – whether mine or another family.

One of JQA’s goals, or perhaps a goal set by others, was to write a biography of his esteemed father, John Adams.  Even his wife, Louisa, exhorted him to begin the project.  He decided to set aside an hour a day to work on this project.  “He began with an attempt to ‘decypher’ local history and genealogy, a project that , as usual, quickly sidetracked him.  He lost himself in tracing how, in the early days, such names as Quincy and Braintree had been spelled ‘Quinsie’ and ‘Brayntry.'”  Hm, that sounds familiar!

During the 1682 wedding of his great-great-grandparents, Daniel Quincy and Anna Shepard, an aunt dropped dead during the ceremony.  Now that’s a family story to tell – great joy to great sorrow.  I am in the process of trying to write at least a paragraph, usually more, about each of my family members – grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins.  This will be my view of my family and the way I remember them.  Important for the generations to come.

JQA was a strong believer in ending slavery – and not allowing the new states to permit it within their boundaries.  His fiery speeches in the House left no one in doubt of how he felt.  And this was after serving as president.  He is the only man elected president that went back to Congress afterwards.  After a stroke in 1846, he still returned to his duty.  On February 21, 1848, at the age of 80, JQA was in the Capitol, voting ‘no’ one more time to oppose the commendation of veterans of the ongoing Mexican War, which he opposed.  Attempting to stand and give his opinion, he fell, caught by colleagues.  He lingered two days before his death.

JQA was a distinct individual that stood for what he believed.  His presidency has gone down as one of the worst in history, but I believe that was more to do with party politics, as he did have good ideas for the country, and always wanted to keep the union strong.  As mentioned before I’m not sure I like him (too much drama!), but I do admire him and his dedication to the country he loved and served; from his nomination by President Washington as Minister to the Netherlands in 1794, to his last day in the House in 1848, JQA lived a life of service to his country.

James B. McFerran of Boyle County

James B. McFerran came from a long line of paternal James’, his grandfather emigrating from Ireland in 1761.  In the 1870 Census of Boyle County, James, 28, was living with his parents, James M. and Ruth Brown McFerran.  He is listed as a lawyer, as well as his 24-year-old brother, William.  In the 1880 Census, four years after his marriage to Mattie Davis, the couple are listed as boarders in a hotel in Danville, run by J. P. Thorel, and with them lives their 3-year-old daughter, Lela B.

Our story takes a sad turn as James B. McFerran died in Louisville, May 26, 1893, from hydatid cysts of the liver and spleen.  This was a parasitic infestation that is rather rare, especially to form in the spleen, as only 4% of cases do.  This is endemic in farming areas, and we know he came from a large farming family, as did his wife’s family.  Wife Mattie lived another 57 years.  She died May 22, 1944, and is buried in Bellevue Cemetery in Danville, Section 4, Lot 13, with her husband and other family members.

Kentucky – A History of the State, Perrin, 1887

Boyle County, Kentucky

James B. McFerran was born September 17, 1841, in Boyle County, Kentucky, and is the third of six sons and four daughters born to James M. and Ruth (Brown) McFerran.  James M. McFerran was born November 26, 1809, two miles south of Danville; was a large farmer and trader in stock; served as justice for twenty-four years, and represented his county one term in the lower house of the Kentucky Legislature, and died September 17, 1884.  He was a son of James McFerran, who was born in Ireland, July 16, 1757, and came to the United States with his parents when a lad of four years, and settled in Botetourt County, Virginia; when a young man about eighteen or twenty, he migrated, and located four miles south of Danville and became a substantial farmer and slave owner.  He married Elizabeth Young, of Lincoln County, and died in 1835, aged seventy-eight years.  He was the son of Martin McFerran, who came to Virginia from Ireland with his three sons, John, James and Martin, before the war for independence.  His religion was Presbyterian.  Mrs. Ruth (Brown) McFerran was born in Franklin County, Kentucky, in 1811, a daughter of Scott and Lucy (Monday) Brown, of Scotch descent.  She died September 26, 1855.  Scott Brown was a large farmer, and served as magistrate and sheriff of Franklin County.

James B. McFerran graduated from Centre College in the class of 1862; was a trader until 1867, when he began the study of law.  In the winter of 1867-1868 he attended the law school at Louisville, and was soon after admitted to the bar at Danville, where he had an excellent practice.  He has served as master commissioner four years, and also represented his county in the Kentucky Legislature in 1873-1874.  In 1883 he located on a farm of 200 acres, two miles south of Danville.  He was married May 17, 1876, to Miss Mattie Davis, daughter of James H. and Mattie (Alexander) Davis, the former a native of Garrard, and the latter a native of Mercer Count, Kentucky.  James H. Davis located in Boyle County about 1852, and became a leading farmer and breeder of shorthorns.  He had the reputation of having the finest herd of shorthorns in the state, realizing fabulous prices, but paying as high as $5,000 for a single bull.  He was a son of Asel and Sarah (Tucker) Davis, from Virginia.

Mr. and Mrs. McFerran have one bright daughter to bless their home.  In politics he is a Democrat, and is now engaged in the practice of his profession at Danville.

Andrew Lovelace of Ballard County

The first white men in Ballard County came in 1780, when General George Rogers Clark came with about 200 soldiers to establish a military outpost at the confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi rivers, laying claim of the United States to the Mississippi River as its western boundary.  Fort Jefferson was established with about 200 soldiers, which was a mile and a half south of what is now the town of Wickliffe.  The Chickasaw Indians considered this their territory and were anything but happy that their land had been invaded by the white man.  A few settlers came down the river to the fort after it was established, but the Indians attacked and killed them mercilessly.  Soon the fort was abandoned and any remaining settlers left also.  Until the purchase of this area of Kentucky in 1819, there were no permanent settlers.

Of the settlers who came in around 1818/1819 were John Humphrey, Solomon Redferrin, Robert Crafton and William Crafton, Daniel Doolin, John Weaver, James Talbott, William Rush, William Holman, Samuel Wilson, Andrew Lovelace, the Ewell family, the Newman family, Benjamin Kimmell, Samuel Saruthers, Penuel Billington, James Ashley, Israel Linn, William Linn, the Stovall family, the Unsell family.

from Kentucky – A History of the State, Perrin, 1885

Ballard County, Kentucky

Andrew Lovelace

Upon the crest of a high hill overlooking the village of Lovelace, and commanding a magnificent view of the valley of the Mayfield Creek, rests a substantial brick residence, the home of a bright and sturdy old pioneer, the worthy subject of this sketch.  Andrew Lovelace was born February 12, 1811, in Butler County, Kentucky, and came with his parents, in 1822, to what is now Ballard County, where he has since resided.  His father, Captain Andrew Lovelace, Sr., a native of Rowan County, North Carolina, was born in 1776, removed to Kentucky in an early day, and died here in 1863.  He was the son of Elias, a soldier of the Revolution, who also died at this place about 1833.  He was the son of John, an Englishman.  Subject’s mother, Rebecca, daughter of William Holman, of North Carolina, died in 1834.  To her and husband were born:  Elizabeth (Hall), Nancy (Lynn), Elias, Archibald, subject, Rebecca (Humphrey), Isaac and William.  Subject was married November 5, 1833, to Miss Eleanor, daughter of Thomas and Elizabeth (Shelton) Ashley, of Butler County (born May 15, 1815), and his union has been blessed by the birth of Virgil S., Martha J. (Howard), John H., Freeman B., James M., Mary E. (Elsey), William A., Eliza B. (Trice), and Susan V. (Henderson).  Subject is a farmer, has prospered in his business and now owns 400 acres of well improved and valuable land which is in a fine state of cultivation.  In politics he still clings to the tenets of the old line Whigs.

Andrew and Eleanor Lovelace are buried in the Lovelace Family Cemetery in the town of Lovelace.

Biography of Major Isaac N. Cardwell

from Kentucky – A History of the State, Perrin, 1888

Clark County

Major Isaac N. Cardwell, a native of Knox County, Tennessee, was born September 27, 1827.  John Cardwell, his father, was born in Fauquier County, Virginia, in 1790.  He acquired a common-school education in youth, and adopted his father’s vocation in life, farming.  He came to Knox County, Tennessee, in 1812, where he followed agricultural pursuits, living on his father’s farm in that county.  In 1822 he was married to Miss Ara W., daughter of Colonel Thomas Watkins, a wealthy planter, who had a family of eleven children, of whom Ara was the seventh.  In 1831 John Cardwell removed to Jefferson County, Tennessee, where he purchased land and farmed, remaining until 1840, when he came to Breathitt County, Kentucky.  He entered general merchandising, and was Postmaster at Jackson, Breathitt County, from 1844 until 1877.  Mr. and Mrs. Cardwell were the parents of six children, viz.:  John W., William D., Isaac N., Thomas P., Miranda E. (Little) and A. E., the last named two of whom are dead.  John Cardwell served in the War of 1812, and drew a pension for that service during the latter part of his life.  He and Mrs. Cardwell were both members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and in politics he was a Whig.  He died in 1877, in his eighty-seventh year.

Perrin Cardwell, grandfather of our subject, was also born in Fauquier County, Virginia, and was of English origin.  He emigrated in an early day to Knox County, Tennessee, where he died in 1850, in the ninety-eighth year of his age, leaving a widow, Mrs. Elizabeth (Warsham) Cardwell, and nine children, viz.:  John, William, Daniel, George, Martha (Watkins), Susan (Nutty), Maria (Jourolman) and Louisa (Jourolman).  Perrin Cardwell was in life a wealthy planter and a minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church.

Judge Cardwell was educated at the Tennessee University, graduating in 1850.  He read law with Judge Reese at Knoxville, Tennessee, and was admitted to the bar in September, 1850.  He came to Kentucky in 1858, and located at Booneville, the county seat of Owsley County, where he practiced law very successfully until 1861, when he was commissioned by President Lincoln as Major of the Seventh Kentucky Infantry (Federal service).  He served until February 1863, when on account of rheumatism he was compelled to resign.  Returning home he remained in Lexington until the fall of 1864, when he removed to Estill County and opened a law office at Irvine.  He served two terms in the Kentucky Legislature as Representative of that county, in 1872-73 and 1881-82.  He served during the last year of the Mexican War as Orderly Sergeant of Captain John J. Reese’s company of the Fifth Tennessee Infantry.  In 1860, just before the beginning of the late Civil War, he was commissioned by Governor Beriah Magoffin as Colonel of the Militia in Owsley County. In 1884 he left Estill County, and settled in Winchester, Clark County, where he has since been practicing law.

Judge Cardwell has been twice married.  His first wife died in July, 1881, leaving one child, Lena (Fox), of Madison County, Kentucky.  He was next married in Frankfort, in November, 1882, to Miss Jennie Todd, daughter of Harry I. and Jane B. (Davidson) Todd, both Kentuckians.  Mrs. Cardwell is a granddaughter of Governor Crittenden, was born and raised in Frankfort, and is a member of the Presbyterian Church.  Mr. Cardwell, who is not connected with any religious organization, and with no secret organization except the Masonic order, is politically a Republican.  His mother is still living, and is in the eighty-seventh year of her age.