Tag Archives: Botetourt County Virginia

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.

First Members of New Providence Presbyterian Church – Born Before 1800 – Volume 1

IMG_6693Pioneers from Botetourt County, Virginia, first arrived in this area of McAfee, in what is now Mercer County, Kentucky, in 1773. McAfee Station, as the new area was called, was named for five brothers and their mother, who made the arduous journey from Virginia to the lands which would become Kentucky – George, Samuel, Robert, James and William McAfee, and their mother, Jane.  The first church, New Providence Presbyterian, in the form of a log cabin, was built in 1785.

Ritchey and I have been to the cemetery several times to photograph the gravestones.  There are so many old graves I thought it would be interesting to make a list of those buried here who were born before 1800.  To my surprise their are 118!  Probably more since older gravestones are easy to crumble and disintegrate throughout the years.

IMG_1683There is a large map of the cemetery at our local library – this is my copied, cut and pasted version – along with a cemetery listing (which is very helpful!).  I have my Excel spreadsheet finished, with name, birth and death dates, and corresponding monument numbers from the above map.

IMG_1685Yellow highlighting show photos I have, pink means I need to get those photos.  This map will be so helpful in locating stones – especially in conjuncture with where the ones I already have are located!

This will be an ongoing series, sharing photos of the stones and perhaps stories of these older generations.


John McGee, VA Troops Rev War, born 1730, died January 1, 1810, settled in Kentucky 1775, one of McAfee Company.

I do not know if John McGee brought a family with him when he came with the McAfee brothers in 1775.  There are none listed in the cemetery, but their gravestones may not have lasted.  He is the oldest person buried in New Providence Cemetery, followed closely by John Meaux who was born in 1731.


In Memory of John Meaux, born January 6, 1731, died July 20, 1828, in the 95th year of his age. 

Isn’t that a remarkable age to reach in the wilderness?  Another photo of his above ground stone.


John Meaux’s Station, built in 1784, is about two miles south of Salvisa on the west-side of US 127, near Vanarsdell. Marker at 592 Garriott Lane.

Next we have a husband and wife – the Graham’s.


In Memory of Samuel Graham, born February 23, A.D. 1739.  Departed this life January 1, A.D. 1816.


Sacred to the memory of Mrs. Elizabeth Graham, who was born 12th October 1747, and departed this life the 13th August, 1827, in the 80th year of her age.

And finally we have one of the original McAfee brother’s and his wife, both born in 1740.


In memory of George McAfee, born April 5, 1740, died April 14, 1803, in the 63rd year of his age.


George McAfee was a spy during the Revolutionary War, being a spy in Captain Gatliff’s Company of the Illinois Regiment.


In memory of Susanna, consort of George McAfee, born October 8, 1740, died September 3, 1810.  In the 70th year of her age.

Thus completes the first installment of the early members of the McAfee region of Mercer County, Kentucky, who lived, worshiped and were buried at New Providence Presbyterian Church.

James McAfee Will

James McAfee, an Irish immigrant, was an early settler in Mercer County, Kentucky (at that time Lincoln County, Virginia!) arriving from Botetourt County, Virginia, in 1784, along with two of his brothers and his mother.  Agnes Clark, his wife, was also born in Ireland.  She died in Mercer County, Kentucky, May 2, 1814.  Notice Thomas Allin is Court Clerk, the same Thomas Allin who was also an early settler and died in the 1833 cholera epidemic.

Mercer Co. Will Book 4, p.198

I, James McAfee, of Mercer County and State of Kentucky, calling to mind the mortality of all living, being weak in body but of perfect mind and memory do ordain and establish these present to be my last will and testament. In the first place I commend my soul into the hands of Almighty God who gave it and my body to be decently buried by my Executors to be hereafter named. Secondly I leave to my wife Agnes the little room and fireplace in my house it being her present bedroom and her stand of drawers and her bed and all its furniture to be under her absolute control during her life to live in and enjoy free from the power of any person. Thirdly It is my will and desire that all my household & kitchen furniture of every kind as well as all my negroes and their increase be under the power and control of my son Clarke during the life of my wife, subject to the following conditions. My son Clarke is to support my wife in all the necessaries of life, and my two grandchildren, Sally Woods & Woodford Woods, shall have liberty to live in my house and receive a reasonable support, they working as one of the family, and a common English Education. The said Sally until she is twenty one or married, but if she chooses to move away, my son Clarke is to be free from any charge & the said Woodford until he arrives at an age sufficient to be put to a trade or some other employment and at the death of my wife all the household and kitchen furniture as well as the property I leave my wife by this will shall be my said son Clarke’s & his heirs forever. And at my said wife’s death Clarke is to have his choice of any two of my negroes he pleases to him and his heirs and then the remainder of them to be sold and the money to be equally divided between my son John, Betsy Davenport & Nancy Buchanan my daughters. Fourthly it is my will that my son Clarke shall have all my stock of horses, cattle and hogs & sheep as well as all my farming utensils and crop, to him and his heirs and to pay all my just debts and if ever the money Lyndsey owes me is got Clarke is to have it. Fifthly my wife is to have her choice of one of my horses during her life and then at her death Clarke is to have it. Sixthly my son John is to have the part of my Land of my home tract which lies on the west side of Salt River containing three hundred acres more or less to him and his heirs forever. Seventhly my farm and about five hundred acres more or less bounded on the East by the stone quarry branch already surveyed and cornering on John Armstrong’s line shall be son Clarke’s & his heirs forever. Eighthly, about five hundred acres more or less which lies on the East of the above part left to Clarke, it being the balance of my home tract is to be sold or divided equally between my Daughter Betsy & Nancy and the four children of my Daughter Peggy, one share to them and their heirs forever except Nancy’s share which Shall go to her and her present children only. Ninthly it is my will that my son John & Clarke be the Executors of this will. Witness my hand & seal this 24th day of January 1809.

James McAfee Seal

Signed in presents of Robert B. McAfee, Samuel Bunton, Hannah McAfee

Mercer County, Kentucky

July County Court 1811

The foregoing last will and testament of James McAfee, deceased, was produced into Court and proved by the oaths of Robert B. McAfee and Samuel Bunton two subscribing witnesses thereto & ordered to be recorded. Tho. Allin Clerk

James J. McAfee, Biography

from Mercer County, Kentucky – Biographies

James J. McAfee was born February 23, 1824.  His father, John McAfee, a native of Botetourt County, Virginia, was born October 20, 1775, removed in infancy, with his parents, to that portion of Kentucky now embraced in Mercer County, where he was reared, and in the War of 1812 furnished a substitute on account of sickness.  He was a farmer and a slave-holder, a stanch Presbyterian, connected with the New Presbyterian Church, a Democrat, and died April 28, 1833.  He was the son of Samuel McAfee, who with his brothers, Robert, William, George and James, came to Kentucky in 1773, made their surveys of lands on Salt River on a part of which James J. was born and now resides; he returned again in 1775, made improvements, and planted fruit tree seeds, and permanently located in 1779.  With his family, in times of danger, he lived in the fort at McAfee’s Station; was active and aggressive as an Indian fighter, slew the Indian who killed his comrade at his side; owned 1,400 acres of land north of Harrodsburg, was the first magistrate in Kentucky, a prominent farmer and slave-holder, was one of the founders of the New Providence Church, and died June 8, 1807.  He married a Miss McConsic, and their offspring were John, William, Samuel, Robert, Hannah (Daviess), Mary (Moore), and Jane (MacGoffin).  John first married Miss McCama, and their children were Samuel, Joseph, William, John and Cynthia (Allen).  His second wife was Mrs. Dicey Curry, daughter of David Caldwell, and from their union sprang Caldwell, Mary A. (Singleton, Williams and King), James J., Phoebe E. (Thompson), and Francis M.  James J. first married, 1845, Miss Elizabeth J., daughter of William and Priscilla (Armstrong) Adams, of Mercer County, who died June 17, 1847, and from their union there was one child, Elizabeth J.  June 3, 1851, he was united in marriage with Elizabeth, daughter of Lee and Nancy Lillard, of Mercer County, who died November 3, 1858, aged twenty-seven years, and to them were born Joel P. and Nannie C. (Davis).  He next married, in 1860, Mrs. Minerva J. Harris, daughter of Jonathan and Eliza (Hamilton) Nichols, of Bloomington, Indiana, and their union has been favored by the birth of Monroe Harris and Bettie H. (Hudson).  Mr. McAfee was engaged for a period of six years in merchandising.  He is now a farmer, owning 127 acres of well-improved and productive land, in McAfee Precinct.  He is a member of New Providence Presbyterian church, also an Ancient Odd Fellow, and a Democrat.  The ancestors of the McAfee family were identified with the reforms of Oliver Cromwell; afterward removed to Ireland on account of the persecutions of the Covenanters, assisted in placing William of Orange on the throne, removed to Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, and thence to Virginia.  Joseph, Samuel, William and John, sons of John, and grandsons of Samuel McAfee, about the year 1835, with their families, emigrated from Mercer County, Kentucky, to Marion County, Missouri, and procured their lands at Congress price, which was $1.25 per acre.  After partially improving their homes, and the settlement had become somewhat strengthened by the influx of immigration, they set about building a house of worship; they soon had a comfortable frame building erected, which they named New Providence, for the church they left in Kentucky.  Joseph, Samuel and John were elected elders.  Joseph, who married Priscilla, a granddaughter of the old pioneer, John Armstrong, educated two of his sons for the ministry; the oldest one, John Armstrong McAfee, was one of the founders, and president of Park College, ten miles from Kansas City, Missouri, which has been in successful operation for a number of years.

Today In Genealogy History – January 4, 2012

Two sisters were married on this date 216 years ago – Ann Nisbett Linton and William Powell – and Frances Harrison Linton and Thomas Lowry – January 4, 1796 – in Botetourt County, Virginia.  Ann and Frances were daughters of William Linton and Euphemia Nisbett.