Tag Archives: genealogy research

Johnson Creek Covered Bridge in Robertson County

During our genealogy trip a few weeks ago Ritchey and I visited the Johnson Creek Covered Bridge in Robertson County.  It is about four miles north of Blue Lick Battlefield State Park, in the southern part of the county.  We drove east on US68 from Harrodsburg, turned left onto Hwy 165 after entering Robertson County, then right onto Hwy 1029.  The bridge is just a few miles up the road.

Built in 1874 by Jacob Bower, it is the only known example of Robert Smith’s truss system in the state.  In 1912 Jacob’s son, Louis, added an arch on each side for additional support due to increased traffic – I suppose it went from horse and buggies and wagons to cars!

A fire in 1910 partially destroyed the bridge, but it was rebuilt.  Pictures in 1966 show a ramshackle bridge that looks too dangerous to cross.  It was reconstructed in 2007-2008.

The bridge is 114 feet long and 16 feet wide.

Our visit was on a pleasant day, not too hot, giving plenty of time for photos and for Ritchey to find his geocache.

Even though there is a picnic table outside, we chose to sit in the middle of the bridge to eat our lunch, enjoying the breeze!  Happy to visit another place in Kentucky’s history.

1751 Will of Charles Yates – Charles County, Maryland

I believe this may be part of my Yates family that came from Maryland.

Charles County, Maryland

Will Book 1752-1767, Pages 1-2

Charles Yates Will

In the name of God, amen.  I, Charles Yates, of Charles County and state of Maryland, being in good health of body and of sound and disposing mind and memory, calling to remembrance the uncertainty of this life, think it meet and proper to settle my worldly affairs and to dispose of such worldly goods as it hath pleased God to give me.  After recommending my soul to the merits of its dear redeemer, Jesus Christ, and my body to the Earth there to be decently buried, I do make, ordain, constitute and appoint this my last will and testament in manner and form following.

Imprimis.  I give and bequeath unto my loving son, Charles Yates, one Negro girl named Sue and one feather bed and furniture, more than what I have before given him.

Item.  I give and bequeath to my loving son Francis Yates, one Negro man called Seymore, one Negro woman known by the names of Cates Mole and one Negro girl named Phia, and one feather bed bolster, two pillows, rugs, blankets and one pair of sheets and bedstead.

Item.  I give and bequeath unto my loving son Theophilus Yates one negro man named Tom, one Negro woman known by the name of Lydia Mole and one Negro girl named Judith and one featherbed bolster, pillows, rugs, blankets and pair of sheets and bedstead.

Item.  I give and bequeath unto my loving son Robert Yates over and above what I have already given him fifteen shillings sterling to buy him a ring.

Item.  I give and bequeath unto my three daughters Elizabeth Gwinn, Jane Bruce and Rebecca Barber over and above what I have already given them and each of them fifteen shillings to buy each of them a ring, like money with my son Robert.

Item.  I give and bequeath unto my grandson Benjamin Gwinn, son of Joseph and Elizabeth Gwinn, five thousand pounds of tobacco to buy him a Negro with.

Item.  Al the rest and residue of my personal estate I will and devise to be and remain on my now dwelling plantation for the use and support of my loving wife Jane during her natural life, and at her death such residue and the then increase to be equally divided amongst my three sons first named in this will, Charles, Francis

and Theophilus.

Item.  I also will and devise my now dwelling plantation, together with all the lands adjoining thereto which I now hold and possess unto my loving wife for and during her natural life without any molestation or interruption of my proper heir.

Lastly, I hereby constitute and appoint my loving son Charles Yates sole Executor of this my last will and testament, hereby revoking all other former will or wills by me heretofore made and executed.  In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and affixed my seal this 20th day of December 1751.  Signed, sealed and published in the presence of us who have hereunto subscribed as witnesses at the request of the testator.  John Harris, Robert Yates, William Bruce

Charles Yates

Amend to the foregoing will was the following note.  Charles County.  To wit, the 1st of June 1752.  Robert Yates and William Bruce, being duly and solemnly sworn on the holy Evangelists of Almighty God, do depose and say that they saw Charles Yates, the testator, sign and seal the foregoing  will and heard him publish and declare the same to be his last will and testament, that at the time of his doing he was to the best of their apprehension of sound and disposing mind and memory and that they, with John Harris, the other subscribing witness, subscribed their names as witnesses to the same will in the presence of the testator and at his request which probate was taken. In the presence of Charles Yates, heir at law to the deceased, who did not object thereto and at the same time Jane Yates, widow and relict of said deceased, signified by note from under hand that she would not accept of the legacy left her in said will and in leave thereof would take what the law allows widows in such cases.

Test.  Daniel Jenifer, Deputy Clerk of Charles County

Young Men College and Professional Photographs

Today I share with you four photographs of young men, probably college students or professionals.  Most of the time I post photos of women or children.  Don’t want the men to feel left out!  I would date these photographs from 1900 to possibly 1920.  None are carte-de-visite or cabinet cards from earlier times.

Perhaps the youngest in the group, this young man looks very serious.  This photo was taken by Crosby Photography, Cottage Studios in Franklin, Simpson County, Kentucky.

This is a postcard photo.  What do you think is attached to his breast pocket?  Something from a club or organization?

This young man also has something in his pocket, and is attached to his lapel.  He is a very handsome young man.

Our last photo shows a young man serious about his books and work.  He has quite a nifty bow tie.  This photo was taken by Louis Burkart at 11th and Ann Streets in Newport, Kentucky.

Brown Family Buried in Maple Grove Cemetery – Logan County

I found little information on this family, other than obituaries.  They are listed in the 1880 Logan County census.  Robert R. Brown is 48, a farmer.  Mary, his wife, is 47.  Two sons are listed – Robert W., 17; and Joseph A., 14.  It is possible this family moved to Logan from Hardin County since the father lived there when the couple married in 1864, or Breckinridge County since that was where the mother lived before marriage.  Even though both sons were married, their wives are not buried in this cemetery.

Sacred to the Memory of Robert R. Brown, born January 29, 1832, died May 8, 1894.  ‘Servant of God, well done.’  Maple Grove Cemetery, Russellville, Logan County, Kentucky.

Sacred to the memory of Mary E. A. Brown, born October 8, 1828, died February 24, 1910.  ‘One little hour and then the glorious crowning.’

The Breckinridge News, Cloverport, Breckinridge County, Kentucky

Wednesday, March 2, 1910

Venerable Mother

of Robert W. Brown Is Summoned – Was a Member of the Old Lewis Family of Breckinridge

Mrs. Mary E. A. Brown, the mother of R. W. Brown, managing editor of The Louisville Times, and of Joseph A. Brown, of Nashville, Tennessee, died at the home of the latter Thursday evening February the twenty-fourth.  Her final illness started from the pricking of her thumb with a needle last Friday.  Erysipelas developed and caused her death.  Mrs. Brown was nearly eighty-three years of age and her life was beautiful and interesting.  In her early womanhood days she lived in Breckinridge County with Dr. Thomas J. Lewis, the father of the Rev. James T. Lewis, of Basin Springs.  In 1864 she married Robert R. Brown of Hardin County.

Mrs. Brown was a woman remarkable in many ways and was greatly talented in music and literature.  She was a member of the Broadway Methodist Temple Church of Louisville.

It is said, during the last twenty-five years her older son, Robert, never failed to spend Christmas with her.

Robert W. Brown, born November 13, 1862, died December 28, 1924.

The Owensboro Messenger, Daviess County, Kentucky

Tuesday, December 30, 1924

Joe A. Brown, born December 9, 1866, died January 22, 1939.

The Tennessean, Nashville, Tennessee

Monday, January 23, 1939



Daniel McIlvoy and Matilda Hardin 1822 Marriage Bond and Consent – Washington County

Daniel McIlvoy was born in Caldrain, Antrim County, Northern Ireland, January 1, 1800.  His parents were Alexander McIlvoy and Mary Magdalene McConley.   He and his sisters – Margaret, Catherine, Magdalene, Alice, Rose and Jane – came to America before this 1822 marriage.  It is possible the parents moved here at the same time.

Matilda Hardin’s parents were Benjamin Hardin and Agnes Elizabeth Clark.  Her father died just a year or two before this marriage.

Daniel and Matilda Hardin McIlvoy’s children were Ben, born October 23, 1823; Sarah Ann, September 2, 1825; Alexander, May 13, 1828; Charles, September 26, 1830; Elizabeth Magdalene, March 27, 1832; Mark Robert, February 20, 1834; Mary Jane, September 3, 1836; James Polin, November 23, 1839; Joseph Thomas, December 7, 1842; and Martha Ellen, November 24, 1846.

Daniel McIlvoy died April 13, 1875.  Matilda lived two years longer, dying March 15, 1877.

Know all men by these presents that we, Daniel McIlvoy and John Hayner, are held and firmly bound unto the Commonwealth of Kentucky in the just and full sum of fifty pounds current money, to the payment of which well and truly to be paid to the said Commonwealth.  We bind ourselves, our heirs, jointly and severally, firmly by these presents, sealed with our seals and dated this 17th day of April 1822.

The condition of the above obligation is such that whereas a license hath issued from the clerk’s office of the Washington County Court to the above bound Daniel McIlvoy to intermarry with Matilda Hardin, daughter of Benjamin Hardin, deceased.  Now if there be no lawful cause to obstruct said marriage this obligation to be void, otherwise to remain in full force and virtue in law.

Daniel McIlvoy, John Hayner

Witness, Thomas Hughes

This is to certify that my daughter Matilda is twenty-one years of age, and of course qualified to choose a husband for herself, and as she wishes to marry Mr. Daniel McIlvoy you will be so good as to issue a license for them to marry and you will oblige yours.

Elizabeth Hardin

Mr. John Hughes, April 17th 1822

Teste. Mark Gilliam, John Hayner

James Marshall and Jennie Lee Rankins Buried in Mt. Olivet Cemetery

James M. Rankins, 1844-1917.  Jennie Lee, his wife, 1854-1918.  Mt. Olivet Cemetery, Robertson County, Kentucky.

James M. Rankins was the son of Marshall Rankins and Mary Steel, born June 4, 1844, according to his gravestone, 1849 according to his death certificate.  He died September 25, 1917 of stroke.

Jennie Lee was the daughter of E. A. Lee and Mary Lee, born December 3, 1853, according to her death certificate, 1854 on her gravestone.  She died November 18, 1918, from diabetes.

In the 1860 census of Mason County James M. was 15 years of age, living with his parents, and three older brothers – John A., 23; Thomas J., 19; and George W., 17.  In the 1870 census of Fleming County, Jennie, 16, is living with her mother, Mary, 48, and sisters Sarah, 19; Emma, 14; and Mary, 8.  Her father, E. A. Lee, must have died about 1862/1863 – possibly during the Civil War?

James and Jennie married after the 1880 census was taken, since she still lived with her mother at that time.  From a short notice in the newspaper we can estimate that marriage in March of 1882.

The Evening Bulletin, Maysville, Mason County, Kentucky

Thursday, March 30, 1882

There are three children of the couple listed in census records – James L., Grover C., and Louise N.  In the 1900 census, when these three are listed with their parents, Jennie is listed as having five children, three living; the couple is shown as married 18 years.

In The Evening Bulletin, Maysville, Mason County, Kentucky, of Monday, February 13, 1893, is a notice that ‘Morris, the four-weeks old son of Mr. and Mrs. James Rankins, died Saturday afternoon at 4 o’clock, of pneumonia, and was buried yesterday.  The parents have the sympathy of their friends in their loss.’  I found nothing about the fifth child.

In 1910, only James and Jennie are in the census records for Robertson County .

In one newspaper article I found James Rankins was noted as ‘Colonel’.  Was he in the Spanish-American War?  He would have been an extremely young colonel for the Civil War.

James drove what was known as a ‘bus line in Maysville.  In January of 1903 the icy roads were hazardous and he and his passengers narrowly escaped injury.

The Courier-Journal, Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Monday, January 12, 1903

He purchased Mr. C. T. Anderson’s interest in this line in 1895, and was then known as Trigg & Rankins.  In other articles I found that he owned a livery stable on Third Street, which he sold in 1885.  in 1886 he was Deputy Marshall.

In 1885 he and several others helped Charles Johnson, an ex-confederate, renting a house for Mr. Johnson and his family during their time of need.  Evidently James Rankins was very conscious of helping others, as well as being civic minded.

The Evening Bulletin, Maysville, Mason County, Kentucky

Saturday, November 21, 1885

James Rankins also carried the mail between Mt. Olivet and Maysville.

The Public Ledger, Maysville, Mason County, Kentucky

Monday, February 15, 1904

In a 1906 article about his son Grover, he is also noted as Colonel.

The Public Ledger, Maysville, Mason County, Kentucky

Saturday, February 17, 1906

I could not find an obituary for James M. Rankins, but did find one for Jennie Lee Rankins.

The Public Ledger, Maysville, Mason County, Kentucky

Monday, November 25, 1918




Author of A Knight Templar Abroad

W. Harlan Cord, son of W. H. & V. R. Cord.  March 10, 1850 – November 29, 1885.  ‘A Knight Templar Abroad’.  Evergreen Hill Cemetery, Flemingsburg, Fleming County, Kentucky.

When I first saw this gravestone in Evergreen Hill Cemetery in Flemingsburg, Fleming County, I knew there had to be a story behind it.  And yes, I found one.

William Harlan Cord was the son of William Hough Cord and Virginia R. Dupuy.  His father was born in Mississippi, his mother, Virginia.  The two met and married in Mason County, just north of Fleming County May 31, 1849.  I could not find the couple in the 1850 census, but in 1860 the family is living in Fleming County.  William is 37, a lawyer.  Virginia passed away in 1855.  Children listed are William H., 10; Irene, 8; and Mary, 5.  Also living in the household is Mary F. Dupuy, sister of Virginia, living there to help care for the children.  She is listed as 32, born in Virginia.

In 1870 William and Mary have married.  Children listed are William H., 20; Mary, 15; and Clarence, 3, evidently a child of this second marriage.  Also living in the household is Eliza Dupuy, 45, her occupation – authoress.  She is another sister of Virginia and Mary Dupuy.  In 1880 everyone except Mary Cord live together.

With just a bit of research I found that Eliza Ann Dupuy, 1814-December 29, 1880, was a short-story writer and novelist.  She was born in Petersburg, Virginia, the daughter of Jesse Dupuy, a shipowner, and Mary Anne Thompson Sturdevant.  Jesse Dupuy died at an early age and Eliza helped support her mother and younger siblings, which included working as governess and tutor for several prominent southern families.  She lived in New Orleans during the Civil War.  She wrote thirteen novels, many under the pen name Annie Young.  She returned to Kentucky after the war and died on a visit to New Orleans January 15, 1881.

The Evening Bulletin, Maysville, Mason County, Kentucky

Friday, April 3, 1885

Perhaps having an aunt that was a published author – or authoress as she proclaimed herself – helped William Harlan Cord take up his pen and paper.  Harlan studied law, to follow in the footsteps of his father, but perhaps writing was his passion.  His book, A Knight Templar Abroad, is a record of his visit to Europe in 1883.

The Courier-Journal, Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Friday, May 15, 1885

The Evening Bulletin of Maysville said in their December 15, 1884, edition, that Harlan had sold $500 worth of his book in three weeks!  The books were priced at $1.50.  He sold about 335 copies during that time period.  Unfortunately. he did not live long enough to achieve the fame that could have been his.  In the November 30, 1885, edition of the same newspaper it is mentioned that ‘Mr. W. Harlan Cord of Flemingsburg is dangerously ill.’  W. Harlan Cord died the day before the newspaper was printed, November 29, 1885.

The beautiful stone that was made specifically for Harlan has a knight on horseback, with the name of his book above.  The cross and crown at the top of the stone is a Christian symbol of the sovereignty of the Lord.  When the crown is combined with a cross, the crown means victory and the cross means Christianity.  The cross with a crown also denotes a member of the York Rite Masons.  As with all types of crowns used by the Masons, it symbolizes the power and authority to lead or command.