Tag Archives: Lincoln County Kentucky

The Second John McMurtry and His Will

In pulling a will to use for today’s blog I did a second take when I read the name John McMurtry.  If you recall, I wrote a blog for John McMurtry’s will June 18, 2016.  Needless to say I had to re-read what I had written.  The John McMurtry of the 2016 blog lived in Mercer County, in the far east central part of the county, near where Shaker Village is located today.  He owned a mill at the junction of the Dix (originally Dick’s) and Kentucky rivers.

The will I share with you today is for John McMurtry who lived near Cove Spring.  This spring is located in the extreme south central part of Mercer County, at the border of Mercer and Boyle counties on US 127, south of Harrodsburg.  When his will was written, in 1780, it was Kentucky County – or as he wrote it – Caintuckey County.  By the time the will  was probated in 1783, his property was part of Lincoln County.  At that time Mercer County was part of Lincoln.  In the will John McMurtry mentions, but doesn’t name, his father.  Sons James, Alexander, Samuel and William.  Other children are mentioned, but not named.  His wife’s name was Mary. 

I believe the two John McMurtry’s are cousins.  In the September 1907 Register of the Kentucky Historical Society, it says that, ‘A cousin, William McMurtry, accompanied Captain John McMurtry.’ (the first mentioned).  It is very likely the second John McMurtry was a son of this William.  Another coincidence are the three men who witnessed this second will – John Hutton, James Hutton and William McMurtry.  The first John McMurtry married Mary Todd Hutton.  Both families, McMurtry and Hutton, were from Rockbridge County, Virginia.  Quite easy for the two families to intermarry.

Lincoln County Will Book 1, Pages 35-36

In the name of God, amen.  I, John McMurtry, of Caintuckey County in the state of Virginia, being in perfect health praised be God, do make this my last will and testament as followeth.  I allow father his hundred acres of land in the southeast corner of my survey – with the spring called William McMurtry’s Spring.  I give my son James one hundred and fifty acres of land with the buffer spring joining his grandfather’s line and extending along the south line of my survey, and a good mare bought with the money

at Holston for him.  And to my son Alexander I give the Cove Spring with a hundred and fifty acres of land, joining the north line of my survey.  And to my son Samuel I give an improvement towards the west line with one hundred and fifty acres of land, joining the west line.  And to my son William I give the little spring with the remainder of the land.  And to my wife, Mary, I give a full privilege of my son William’s land and all its conveyances during her lifetime, tho not to hinder him of a privilege of water and woodland when he comes of age, and for the movable assets I leave to my wife to school and support the children with and to distribute as she sees proper.  In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal the 7th day of July and in the year of our Lord 1780.

Sealed and declared by the above named John McMurty, for and as his last will and testament in the presence of us, John Hutton, James Hutton, William McMurtry.

At a Court held for Lincoln County the 18 February 1783

This instrument of writing was exhibited in Court as the last will and testament of John McMurtry, deceased, and proved by the oaths of James Hutton and William McMurtry, an ordered to be recorded.

Teste.  William May

 

1781 Will of Captain James Estill

In 1779, James Estill was a member of Captain John Holder’s Company which formed a part of the militia of the County of Kentucky, under the command of Colonel John Bowman.  Thus, James Estill was engaged in the Indian wars of 1781 and 1782, and was killed in battle March 22, 1782, near what is now Mount Sterling, Kentucky, during the Battle of Little Mountain.  This was a bloody battle in which both sides lost many men.  Captain James Estill was the last white man killed in battle, and his Indian attacker was shot after the captain fell.

This will was written shortly before Captain Estill left for battle.  It mentions the possibility of a child his wife might be carrying.  He was correct.  A daughter, Sarah, was born.  I can’t say if James saw this child, it is very likely he was killed before she was born.

The last will of James Estill, May 4 1781

First, I leave my wife Rachel the one half of all my moveable estate as her own property and all my slaves and the plantation whereon I now live, called and known by the name of the Locust Thicket.  The said tract containing one thousand acres, the whole of which is to be at her disposal and direction during her widowhood and either death or marriage, the same land and house to be equally divided amongst Benjamin, Wallace, James and Jonathan Estill, and if my wife should now be with child I allow an equal division amongst the whole tract of the land and slaves already mentioned, but also my part of all the other land now lying in a partnership between me and Samuel Estill, and the remainder of my personal estate, being one half their devise, to be equally shared amongst my children.

James Estill

Witnesses present – David Gass, Samuel Estill

At a Court held for Lincoln County 22 January 178_

This instrument of writing was exhibited in Court as the last will and testament of James Estill and proved by the oath of Samuel Estill one of the witnesses.  And a County Court held for the said county the 14 day of January 1800 the same was proved by the oath of David Gass, a witness thereto, and ordered to be recorded.

Teste.  Willis Green, Clerk

Isaacs – Moore 1783 Marriage Bond

Know all men by these presents that we, John Isaacs and Walker Daniel, are held and firmly  bound to his Excellency, the Governor of Virginia, in the sum of fifty pounds current money to the payment whereof to be made to the said Governor and his successors.  We bind ourselves, our heirs, executors and administrators, jointly and severally, firmly by these presents, sealed with our seals and dated this 28th day of October 1783.

The Condition of the above obligation is such that whereas there is a marriage shortly intended to be solemnized between the above bound John Isaacs and Polly Moore, for which a license has issued.  If therefore there be no lawful cause to obstruct  the said marriage then this obligation to be void or else to remain in full force.

John Isaacs, Walker Daniel

Sealed and delivered in presence of Willis Green

Lincoln County, Virginia (later Kentucky)

Louise Fabry and August Abt – From Germany and Switzerland to Lincoln County

A year or so ago Ritchey and I visited three small cemeteries in Ottenheim, Kentucky.  Ottenheim is a small town in rural Lincoln County settled by German and Swiss immigrants.  There is the German Reform Church Cemetery, the Lutheran Church Cemetery and St. Sylvester Catholic Church Cemetery.  I believe at one time Ottenheim was a bustling little town and community, but today you could drive through without realizing you missed it!

Today I want to share with you information about the Abt family – August Abt and Louise Fabry – and some of the photos we took in St. Sylvester Cemetery.

At home, with a little research, I’ve found much more about this immigrants to Lincoln County.  Louise Fabry came from Germany with her parents and siblings in 1886, leaving from the port of Le Harve, France, on the steamship St. Laurent.  They arrived in New York on March 18, 1886.  Included in the family were the parents – Pierre, 50, and Madeline, 42.  The children were Michael, 17; Pierre, 11; Louise, 7; Emile, 3; and Marie, 1.  The family came to Kentucky and settled in the little town of Ottenheim.

According to the census records August Abt and his family came from the Aargau Canton, Rottenschwil, Switzerland, in 1884.  His parents, Leonz Plezidus Abt and Verena Huber, were both from the Aargau Canton of Switzerland – he from the town of Rottenschwil and she from Unterlunkhofen – about a twenty-five-minute walk from each other.  Leonz and Verena married February 15, 1863.  They had eight children – Kaspar, August, Maria, Joseph, Johann, Adolf, Anna and Joseph.

Louise Fabry married August Abt on September 27, 1899, in Lincoln County, at Oppenheim.  In the 1910 Census of Lincoln County August is 44, Louise is 33.  Children are Celia, 10; Elsie, 8; and Charles, 6.  Daughter Elfredia was born in 1912.

Louise Abt, May 24, 1878 – September 5, 1918, St. Sylvester Catholic Cemetery, Ottenheim, Lincoln County, Kentucky.

Unfortunately, a terrible accident took place on August 30, 1918.  Louise caught her fingers in the gear of a fruit press.  She died six days later of lock-jaw, a form of blood poisoning.  What a sorrow for the family.  Elfredia was only six.

Cecelia Abt, June 18, 1906 – November 3, 1923.

Daughter Cecelia died at the young age of of 23.  I believe there must be a mistake for her birth year on her gravestone.  She was ten in the 1910 census, and 19 in the 1920 census.  Cecelia must have been older than the seventeen years it shows on her stone.

August Abt, February 8, 1865 – September 11, 1844.

Four years later August Abt married Wilhelmine ‘Minnie’ Jedamzik.  She also had children from a previous marriage.  They lived happily together until August’s death on September 11, 1944.

James Berry Will – Lincoln County

I, James Berry, of Lincoln County and state of Virginia, being weak in body, but of sound mind and memory, do make and dispose this my last will and testament. First, I recommend my body to the Earth to be buried in decent order, and my spirit I recommend to God that gave it, nothing doubting but I shall receive the same again by the mighty power of God, and touching such worldly estate

wherewith it hath pleased God to bless me with in this life, I give and devise in manor following, first of all I give to my daughter Elizabeth, two hundred acres of land being the half of a four hundred acre tract I have lying on Gilbert’s Creek, the other two hundred acres I give and bequeath to my beloved wife, Christina, during her life and if no other heirs at her death belonging to James Berry, my daughter Elizabeth is to possess the whole four hundred acres.  My roan horse I give and bequeath to my beloved wife, Christina, one third part of all my other movable state, excepting my sorrel horse, saddle and bridle, and that I give and bequeath to my step-son John Wilson.  And I appoint my beloved wife Christina Berry and Ebenezer Miller and John Smith, withall, executors of this my last will and testament, confirming this and none other to be my last will and testament.  In witness I have set my hand and seal this 10th of March 1781.

James Berry, Christina Berry, Ebenezer Miller, John Smith

Teste.  John Kearnel, Samuel Dennie, Thomas Dinton

At a Court held for Lincoln County the 16th January 1782

This instrument of writing was exhibited in Court as the last will and testament of James Berry, deceased, and proved by the oaths of Samuel Dennie and Thomas Dinton and ordered to be recorded.

Teste.  William May, Clerk, Lincoln County

Will Book 1, pages 9-10

French-Callaway 1783 Lincoln County Marriage

James French and Keziah Callaway received their marriage bond on June 19, 1783, in Lincoln County, Virginia – later, Kentucky.  At this time, there were three counties – Jefferson, Fayette and Lincoln – of what was once Kentucky County, Virginia.  It has been said their wedding was the first celebrated at Fort Boonesborough. 

Quite interesting to share this particular marriage with you today since I just finished reading Sue Kelly Ballard’s My Blessed, Wretched Life, Rebecca Boone’s Story.  I heartily recommend this book.  Ms. Ballard gives us personalized characters and clear descriptions of the life lived during those tumultuous years.  I didn’t search for this marriage – just pulled it out of the file.

James French was born in November 1756 in Prince William County, Virginia, and died in April 1835 in Montgomery County, Kentucky.  Keziah ‘Cuzza’ Callaway was born August 8, 1768, in Bedford County, Virginia, and died September 26, 1845, in Montgomery County, Kentucky. She was the daughter of Col. Richard Callaway of Boonesborough, and Elizabeth Hoy, his second wife.  Two of their daughters, along with Jemima Boone, were captured by the Indians near Fort Boonesborough.  Richard Callaway and Daniel Boone left immediately to rescue the girls, which they did within two days.  Richard was killed in 1780 by a party of Shawnee Indians.  Elizabeth then lived with her daughter and son-in-law.  It was said that on May 24, 1840, Keziah was the honored guest of a reunion at Boonesborough where more than seven thousand residents of Madison and Clark counties, along with the Governor, attended the event.

James and Keziah had at least seven children – Catherine, Richard, Susannah, Stephen, Keziah, Theodosia and Livia French.

Notice the lovely handwriting of Elizabeth Callaway – a learned woman!

Know all men by these presents that we, James French and John Holly, are held and firmly bound unto his Excellency, the Governor of Virginia, for the time being, in the sum of fifty pounds current money, to the payment whereof to be made to the Governor and his successors, we bind ourselves, our heirs, executors and administrators, jointly and severally, firmly by these presents, sealed with our seals and dated this 19th day of June 1783.

The condition of the above obligation is such that whereas there is a marriage shortly intended to be solemnized between the above bound James French and Cuzza Callaway, for which a license has issued.  Now if there be no lawful cause to obstruct the said marriage then this obligation to be void or else to remain in full force.

James French, John Holly

Sealed and delivered in presence of Willis Green

Sir,

You have my approbation of, and request to issue a marriage license to Mr. James French and Miss Cuzza Callaway.  I am, sincerely yours.

Elizabeth Callaway, June 16, 1783

To the Clerk of Lincoln Court

1783 Marriage of James Stevens and Susannah Haydon

James Stevens was born in Orange County, Virginia, July 23, 1757, and died September 3, 1832, in Warren County, Kentucky.  He was a veteran of the Revolutionary War, enlisted in Orange County, and served in the Second Virginia Regiment.  Susannah Haydon, his wife, was born in Virginia, March 25, 1768, and died January 9, 1839, in Warren County.  They were married in Lincoln County, Kentucky (Virginia at the time), July 9, 1783.

I will mention that it was not Thomas Harrison that was Governor of Virginia at this time, but Benjamin Harrison.  He lived at his plantation home known as Berkeley. 

Ritchey and I visited this home last year while in Virginia – it is quite beautiful and commands a majestic view of the James River.  We had afternoon tea under the huge trees of the yard.

Know all men by these presents that we, James Stevens and Richard Beale, are held and firmly bound unto his Excellency, Thomas Harrison, Esq., Governor of Virginia, in the sum of fifty pounds current money, the payment whereof to be made to the said Governor and his successors.  We bind ourselves, our heirs, executors and administrators, jointly and severally, firmly by these presents, sealed with our seals and dated this 9th day of July 1783.

The condition of the above obligation is such that whereas there is a marriage shortly intended to be solemnized between the above bound James Stevens and Susannah Haydon, for which a license has issued.  Now if there be no lawful cause to obstruct the said intended marriage then the obligation to be void, or else to remain in full force.

James Stevens, Richard Beale

Sealed and delivered in presence of Willis Green

Lincoln County

Sir,

Please to grant Mr. James Stevens his license to marry my daughter, Susannah Haydon, and oblige, sir, your humble servant.

John Haydon, July 9th 1783

Mr. Willis Green

Test. John Conner, Abner Haydon