Tag Archives: Fleming County Kentucky

Is the Death Date Correct?

Oswell B. Dorsey, born January 15, 1818, died March 22, 1854.  Machpelah Cemetery, Mt. Sterling, Montgomery County, Kentucky.

I believe most of us would conclude when looking at an ancestor’s gravestone, that the death date listed would be a good indication of when our loved one died.  Today while looking through photos taken at Machpelah Cemetery in Mount Sterling, Montgomery County, I found that not quite the case.  Not daily, but quite often I add a gravestone photo on my Kentucky Kindred Facebook page.  I chose the stone of Oswell and Virginia Dorsey since, according to the dates on the stone, both died in 1854, about six months apart.  Very unusual for a young couple to pass away so soon after the other.  The detective wheels started turning.

Virginia M., wife of O. B. Dorsey, born February 24, 1824, died September 28, 1854.

I put the two names in ancestry, with the dates of birth and death for Oswell Dorsey.  The first item I looked at was Montgomery County deaths for the year 1854.  Now this is when it got interesting.

According to their gravestone, Oswell died March 22, 1854, and wife Virginia died September 23, 1854.  Looking at the death records that was not the case.  They both died in July of 1854, both of fever and they were cared for by Dr. Benford.  There were quite a few deaths during the month of July – fever, flux and cholera listed as causes of death.  This changed their death dates from six months apart to a few days, possibly the same day.

Other information in the death records gave us the name of their parents.  Oswell was born in Fleming County, the son of John and Nancy Dorsey.  He was a merchant.  Virginia, born in Montgomery County, was the daughter of Edward and Mary Stockton.

Hm.  Next, I checked for a will for Oswell Dorsey.  His will was dated March 22, 1854.  The date on his gravestone.  Since the will wasn’t probated until the October 1854 term of court, it isn’t likely Oswell died the day he wrote it.  According to the will, everything was ‘to be managed and controlled by my friend and brother-in-law, George J. Stockton, for the exclusive use, enjoyment and benefit of my beloved wife, Virginia Dorsey.’  Of course, by the time the will was probated, Virginia Dorsey was dead.

One other reference on Ancestry was made to Genealogies of Kentucky Families Volume I.  I checked my copy and found the Dorsey’s came from Calvert County, Maryland, one group of whom settled in Flemingsburg, Kentucky, which was at that time called Stockton Station.  Larkin Dorsey, whose grandfather was in the Revolution, came to Kentucky with Major George Stockton, founder of Stockton Station.

‘Larkin Dorsey, who came to Kentucky with Major George Stockton, married Elizabeth Ingram, in 1780 at Hagerstown, Maryland.  He was born August 24, 1784 [must be 1748], and died February 22, 1822, in Flemingsburg, Kentucky.  He was a cadet in the 9th company of Light Infantry, January 3, 1776.  Commissioned Ensign in Army, June 18, 1778.  His children were:  Edward, John, Joshua, Rachel, Sarah, Robert, Amelia and Joseph.

‘John Dorsey married Nancy Spiers, Edward – Juliet McDowell, Joshua – Nancy Williams and Milly Alexander, Rachel – C. V. Anderson, Sarah – Thomas Wallace, Robert died in infancy, Amelia – Thomas Andrews and Joseph married Mary Wheatley and Ann Threlkeld.

‘The children of John Dorsey, who was born April 19, 1783, and died November 5, 1847, were – Oswell Burns Dorsey, Elizabeth Ingram Dorsey, Martha Ann Dorsey, Thomas Andrew Dorsey, John Edmondson Dorsey, Rachel Anderson Dorsey, Robert Stockton and Jeremiah Spiers Dorsey.’

Virginia Stockton Dorsey was a descendant of Major George Stockton, in whose company Larkin Dorsey came to Kentucky.  George Stockton married Larkin Dorsey’s sister, Rachel Dorsey; their son Edward Stockton married Mary Allin Jouett (of the Mercer County families of those names).  George Jouett Stockton and Virginia Margaret Stockton were two of their children.

In conclusion we can say the dates on the gravestone for Oswell and Virginia Stockton Dorsey are incorrect – but why?  If we look a little closer to the death records for Montgomery County for 1854, we find that George J. Stockton is listed just under the name of Virginia Dorsey.  George is listed as 40, a merchant (were he and Oswell Dorsey business partners as well as brothers-in-law?), parents were Edward and Mary Stockton (same as Virginia) and he died of cholera, cared for by Dr. Nelson.  Under his name is William Stockton, 14, son of George and Gusta [Augusta] Ann Stockton, who also died of cholera.  And below his name is Gusta A. Stockton, 36, daughter of Francis Somersall, who died of fever.  Oswell and Virginia Dorsey had no children.  George and Augusta Stockton had four – William Edward who died in 1854 with his parents, Robert Henry, Mary Somersall Stockton and Augusta George Stockton, who was born in February of 1854, a babe of five months when her parents died, and who lived just until the age of three.  With so many deaths in one family, it was quite likely several years before gravestones were purchased.  This could have led to the mix-up in death dates.  Always check several sources, if possible.

Marriages – Fleming County, Kentucky

Gabriel Builderback married Rachel Ferguson 14 Feb 1799
William Builderback married Mary McAllister 18 Sep 1799
Nathaniel Bunnell married Elizabeth Dunevan 13 Jan 1800
John Burress married Sarah Ferguson 11 Jan 1800
Charles Burress married Elizabeth Plummer 29 Oct 1799
Isaac Butcher married Elizabeth Clark 10 Mar 1799
Anderson Callahan married Patty Reeves 18 Dec 1800
Simeon Carpenter married Sallie Dankins 30 Jun 1800
Bartholomew Carrel married Frances Clark 19 Dec 1799
Henry Carter married Mary Green 11 Aug 1800
Edward Choat married Hannah Fraser 28 Sep 1799
James Cochran married Jane McIntire 27 Apr 1800
Levi Connely married Jane Hasting 08 Mar 1800
Bartholomew Correl married Frances Clark 19 Dec 1799
Uriah Dale married Mary Gardner 13 Jun 1799
Joseph Davis married Polly McKee 18 Apr 1799
James DeMoss married Sarah Burris ?? Nov 1798
John Donohu married Elizabeth Williams 28 Mar 1798
Jesse England married Hannah Mershan 13 Feb 1800
Isaac Farrand married Elizabeth Gilmore 11 Mar 1800
John Farrand married Sarah Currel 12 Mar 1800
Henry Ferguson married Nancy Glen 11 Jan 1800
John Finley married Mary Longhead 01 Jun 1799
James Fitzgerald married Fannie Hughes 27 Apr 1800
Jilson Fletcher married Rhoda Heffling 11 Jun 1799

Thomas Family Buried At Maysville Cemetery


This beautiful stone marks the final resting place of many members of the Jacob Thomas and Amanda Cooper family.  Jacob was born in Virginia and made his way to Kentucky at a young age.  He met and married Amanda, born in Kentucky, around 1833.  After their marriage the couple moved to Indiana for a time; their two eldest children were born there.


Jacob Thomas, July 7, 1807 – July 27, 1885.  Amanda A. Thomas, February 20, 1813 – May 14, 1871

In the 1850 Census of Mason County Jacob is listed as 43, a farmer; Amanda, 37; James C., 16; John N., 14; Richard B., 12; Oliver H. P., 6; Alice J., 2.  A period of six years between Richard and Oliver make us suspect that a couple of children died during that time period.  In 1860 Jacob is 52; Amanda, 47; John, 24, is a clerk; and Oliver is 15.  Alice died in 1851 and Richard in 1854.  In 1870 there is Jacob, 63; Amanda, 57; and Perry, 25.  I believe this must be son Oliver, due to the ages from 1860 and 1870 – and since he was named for the famous naval commander.  In 1880 Amanda has already passed away.  Jacob is listed as 72, with son James, 44; his wife, Elizabeth, 38; and children John, 19; Lilly, 11; Jacob, 9; and Laura, 3.


Richard B. Thomas, July 19, 1838 – October 24, 1854.  Alice J. Thomas, March 12, 1848 – February 12, 1851.

Richard and Alice are children of Jacob and Amanda Thomas.

James Cooper Thomas, eldest son of Jacob and Amanda, married Elizabeth Jane Soward, from Fleming County, November 24, 1859.   I could not find them in the 1860 or 1870 census, just in the 1880, living with James’ widowed father.


John N. Thomas, July 16, 1836 – February 3, 1896.  Jacob Thomas, 1872-1932.  Lulu Y. THomas, 1871-1965.  James C. Thomas, 1898-1950.  Marybelle Thomas, 1965-1965.

John Thomas is the son of Jacob and Amanda, and brother to James Cooper Thomas.  Jacob and Lulu (Lilly) are children of James and Elizabeth.  I’m not sure how the last two fit in the family.


James C. Thomas, April 2, 1834 – October 23, 1917.  Elizabeth J., wife of J. C. Thomas, June 24, 1842 – July 4, 1899.  Charles Thomas, son of J. C. & E. Thomas, March 12, 1862 – April 5, 1863.

A tiny son, born during the Civil War, is listed on the stone with his parents.  Elizabeth Soward Thomas died on Independence Day in 1899.  James lived another 18 years.  His death certificate says he was born in Indiana, his father Jacob was born in Virginia, and his mother, a Cooper, was born in Kentucky.  He was widowed, a retired farmer.  It said he died, sitting in a chair, after eating a hearty meal – at the wonderful age of 83!

Dr. Henry Plummer Obituary

IMG_7282Henry Plummer, 1834-1904.  His wife, Lizzie, 1842-1910, Spring Hill Cemetery, Mercer County, Kentucky

from The Harrodsburg Herald, Mercer County, Kentucky

Thursday, January 21, 1904

Found Dead in Bed – His Death Causes Much Sorrow

The entire community was shocked Wednesday morning by the announcement that Dr. Henry Plummer had been found dead in bed at his office, which he had used as a sleeping apartment for some months. He had been complaining two or three days previous. Early Monday morning he called up Dr. W. D. Powell, whose office adjoined his own. He seemed to be suffering with an acute attack of indigestion and Dr. Powell relieved him. On Monday night he again called up Dr. Powell by telephone, and again later in the night. Dr. Powell then took him to his room where he remained the balance of the night. On Tuesday night Dr. Powell called on him and they talked for an hour or two, and on leaving Dr. Powell asked him to again occupy his room. Dr. Plummer replied that he felt so much better that he would remain in his own room, saying that if he needed him he would call him up. At 7 o’clock Wednesday morning, Henry Speaks, the colored man who attended the office, went into the room and found Dr. Plummer on his left side, with one hand extending down the side of the bed. The boy at once notified Dr. Powell. From indication he had passed away without a struggle, and had been dead but a short time. Deceased was a native of Fleming County. He enlisted in Captain Ben Desha’s Confederate Infantry. He was medical officer of the company and remained in the hospital at Bowling Green until February, 1862, when, on the retreat, he was assigned to an Arkansas battalion as surgeon. He was at Shiloh, Perryville and Chicamauga. After the war he located here and married Miss Lizzie Mills, daughter of Major Benjamin Mills, who had charge of the arsenal at Harper’s Ferry at the time of the John Brown raid, whom he met while caring for wounded soldiers after the Battle of Perryville. Dr. Plummer had served as President of the Central Kentucky Medical Society, also as President of the Mercer County Medical Society and as school trustee and was a leading Mason. Two children, Mrs. Arthur Wiseman, of Shelbyville, and Mrs. Bowen Jones, of Lexington, survive him. All Masons are requested to meet at their hall at 1 o’clock this (Thursday) afternoon to attend the funeral, which will take place at 2 o’clock at the First Presbyterian Church. Dr. Vaughn of the Methodist Church will preach the funeral, Dr. Hunter being too ill to officiate.

Milton Barlow Biography


Milton Barlow was born at Flemingsburg, Fleming County, Kentucky, February 6, 1818.  The family to which he belongs is of French origin, having left France with the Huguenots, after the revocation of he edict of Nantes, and settled first in England, coming thence to America at an early period.  his grandfather, William Henry Harris Barlow, resided at Lynchburg, Virginia, and immigrated to Kentucky from that state with the earliest settlers.  He located near Millersburg, in Nicholas County, where he took up a large tract of land, and erected a block-house.  He was surrounded by hostile savages, and his primitive dwelling was often used as a citadel of defense against their attacks.  He married Elizabeth Kimbrough, daughter of another early settler in that locality, and had a family of seven children, of whom the sons were Samuel, William, James, Thomas H., John and Harrison.  Betsey became the wife of Lawson Bell, and Sarah, of his brother, Hosea Bell.  Thomas H. Barlow was the father of Milton, and was born in the year 1787.  He was reared upon his father’s farm, and in early life enlisted in Johnson’s regiment during the War of 1812, being present at the battle of Thames.  He subsequently engaged in farming; and being possessed of great mechanical ingenuity and skill turned his attention to the building of steam mills, and at Augusta, Kentucky, built a steamboat.  He erected a steam mill at Cynthiana, Kentucky, and later established a foundry and machine shop at Lexington, where he chiefly manufactured saw-mill machinery and steam engines.  He made the machinery for the Red River furnace, and in May, 1826, exhibited at Lexington a small locomotive which he had designed and made from his own model, without having seen one.  About the year 1838 he built a steam mill in Lincoln County, which he operated for a time in conjunction with his son Milton, and later returned to Lexington, where he engaged successfully in the preparation of hemp for naval rope-making purposes – his son being also associated in this enterprise.  Soon after he began work upon an instrument, afterward called a planetarium, which was an ingenious mechanical device, designed to illustrate, in a practical way, the motions of the heavenly bodies, an showing the relation which they sustained to each other at difference seasons of the year, as well ass to the sun and moon.  After three years of study and experiment, assisted by M. Van Dalsem, Professor Dodd, president of the university, and his son, to whom its mechanical construction and perfection was assigned, the instrument was completed, and pronounced a wonderful invention by those public educators of the country to whom it was shown.  It was adopted by the United States Congress for West Point and Annapolis Academies, for which a complimentary prize of $4,000 was paid.  New Orleans, Mississippi University, St. Louis and Washington Lee Universities and many of the leading institutions of learning of this country were supplied with fine planetariums prior to the late war, which suspended the manufactory.  In 1843 father and son conceived the idea of building a rifle-cannon, and after careful experiments completed it, and procured a patent on it in January, 1855.  On August 30, 1856, an appropriation of $3,000 was made by Congress to furnish a gun to the government which was tested, accepted and the patent adopted for general use.  Thomas H. Barlow died in Cincinnati near the close of the late Civil War.  He was pre-eminently a man of genius and great usefulness, and left the impress of his intellectual strength upon the men and institutions of his time.  His wife was Keziah West, and hi children, Milton, Samuel and Elizabeth.  Milton Barlow, at the age of twelve years, was set to work in his father’s shop.  When about fourteen years of age he manufactured a low pressure steam engine with glass air pump and condenser for Rev. Benjamin O. Pears, who was the head of an excellent private school in Lexington, and by way of payment received $150 and three sessions of schooling.  Upon the breaking out of the war between Texas and Mexico he enlisted under General Gaines in Captain Carter’s company at Lexington, Kentucky (for Fort Sabine), the expedition for the protection of our southwestern frontier; and upon the disbandment of his regiment returned home by way of New Orleans as a river engineer.  He subsequently worked in the machine shop of Bridgeford & Hanson at Louisville, then engaged in milling in Lincoln County with his father, and finally manufactured silver-ware in Lexington for several years.  He was the operative constructor of the planetarium, to which reference has been made, and prior to the opening of the war engaged in its manufacture at Lexington, disposing very readily of eighty-two of them in the United States.  He exhibited it at the great Crystal Palace exhibition in New York in 1855.  The breaking out of the Civil War sadly disarranged all of his plan.  Being opposed to both secession and coercion it was his intention to remain neutral, but having been place under arrest by the Federal authorities in Lexington, and subjected to indignities, he espoused the cause of the South, and served in the Confederate Army, first under General Abe Beauford, and later as captain of ordnance under Morgan.  After the close of the war he resumed his residence in Kentucky.  The planetarium was selected by the Kentucky Legislature as Kentucky’s most suitable contribution to the International Exhibition at Paris, France, in 1867, contributing $1,500 to defray expenses, etc.  During the exposition Mr. Barlow visited France, patented the planetarium and caused a manufactory to be established in Paris.  At the close of the exhibition the planetarium was awarded the highest premium given to any illustrative apparatus.  Thus Kentucky has furnished the world with the best illustrative astronomical apparatus.  Returning to the United States Mr. Barlow located at Richmond, Kentucky, where he built a residence and large flouring-mill, which he is now successfully operating.  He inherited his father’s inventive genius, and has always been engaged in the conception or manufacture of some mechanical contrivance.  He recently petitioned Congress to allow him to make a large gun for the government coast defense, to demonstrate the advantages of a new improvement he has designed, and which he thinks will prove efficacious against any ship that can be sent against us.  Mr. Barlow was married on May 20, 1845, to Anastasia C., daughter of Lewis A. Thompson, of Lexington, Kentucky, and has nine children, of whom seven are living, viz.:  Margaret, Virginia, Carie, Milton V., Richard A., Robert E. Leo and Florence Barlow.

James Jolly – Fleming County, Kentucky, Will

James Jolly is my husband’s grandfather – but we know so very little about him.  He supposedly married Esther Myra Hertz in Kansas City, Missouri, about 1920/1921.  After their son, Rex, was born in 1922, James left and never returned.  We do know that James Jolly was from western Kentucky, possibly the Paducah area.  Esther sent many letters begging him to come back – but they were always returned – unread.  A year later she died of tuberculosis – or a broken heart – and Rex was adopted.  Thus the shortened version of why we are now Brown’s instead of Jolly’s!

One of the few pictures we have of James Jolly. On the back is written ‘Jim taken on his birthday 1922’.

I don’t know that the James Jolly, whose will is listed below, is any relation – but we always copy any Jolly records we find – just in case one day there is a clue we can follow!  How nice it would be to know about James Jolly and his family!

Fleming County, Kentucky

Wills, Book M – 1864-1871

I, James Jolly, of the County of Fleming and State of Kentucky, do hereby make my last will and testament in manner and form following, that is to say

First, that I give to my son Thomas Jolly, the sum of fifteen acres of land situated in the north-west corner of my farm, so is to include the house he now lives in.

Secondly, that I will and bequeath to my son Samuel Jolly the amount of fifteen acres of land situated in the south west corner of my farm so as to include the house that he now lives in.

Thirdly, that I will to my daughter Sarah Flora the sum of thirty dollars for waiting on me during my sickness.

Fourthly, that I will and bequeath to my wife Nelly Jolly the residue of my farm, to have the use and control of during her lifetime, and after death I desire it to be equally divided among my several children which I give to them, their heirs, executors, administrations and assigns forever.  In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and affixed my seal, this the 8th day of March in the year eighteen hundred and seventy.

                                                                               James Jolly

Attest:  Milton M. Grimes, Matthew R. McDonell, Jesse B. Sooke

Rec. testament of writing purporting to be the last will and testament of James Jolly, deceased, was produced and proven in open court by the oaths of Jesse B. Sooke, Milton M. Grimes and Matthew R. McDonell, attesting witnesses thereto to be the last will and testament of said decedent, signed, acknowledged, sealed and delivered in their presence as such by him, whereupon the same is recorded as the last will and testament of said decedent and is ordered to be recorded.

                                                           Joseph Throop, Clerk