Tag Archives: Mercer County Kentucky

Early Mercer County Marriages by William Bottom

Mercer County marriages from November 23, 1814 to October 12, 1815

  • November 23rd, 1814, I joined together in the holy estate of matrimony John Bruce and Barthenia Casey.
  • December 8th, 1814, I joined together in the holy estate of matrimony Joseph Files and Patsey Martin.
  • December 8th, 1814, I joined together in the holy estate of matrimony Thomas Bottom and Nancy Thompson.
  • May 23rd, 1815, I joined together in the holy estate of matrimony Elijah Moore and Lydia Hendrixson.
  • June 23rd, 1815, I joined together in the holy estate of matrimony Aaron Hendrixson and Polly Moore.
  • July 4th, 1815, I joined together in the holy estate of matrimony Berryman Harreld and Polly Parr.
  • July 20th, 1815, I joined together in the holy estate of matrimony Austin Moore and Patsey Goldman.
  • September 1st, 1815, I joined together in the holy estate of matrimony David Casey and Elizabeth Whoberry.

By me, William Bottom

Thomas Allin, County Clerk

Joseph and Mary Jane Lillard Buried in New Providence Cemetery

Joseph Lillard, born June 27, 1827, died August 9, 1898.  New Providence Presbyterian Cemetery, Mercer County, Kentucky.

The Harrodsburg Herald, Mercer County, Kentucky

Friday, August 12, 1898

Mr. Joseph Lillard, an influential farmer of the McAfee neighborhood, died Tuesday night of a complication of diseases. Mr. Lillard was seventy-one years of age and was highly respected. He leaves a wife and several grown children. Funeral services were conducted at Providence church yesterday afternoon by his pastor, Rev. S. F. Taylor, and the interment took place in Providence Cemetery, a large number of his friends and neighbors attending.

Mary Jane, wife of Joseph R. Lillard, January 22, 1832 – August 16, 1910. 

The Harrodsburg Herald, Mercer County, Kentucky

 Friday, August 19, 1910

Mrs. Mary Jane Lillard, one of the most venerable and highly respected women of the county died Tuesday night at the home of her son, Mr. Will Lillard, near McAfee. She was seventy-nine years of age and the widow of the late Joseph Lillard. She was a lovable Christian character and had been for years a devoted member of New Providence church, where her funeral was held on Thursday morning at 10 o’clock, conducted by Rev. Harvey Glass, and the interment was in the adjacent cemetery. The deceased leaves three sons, all substantial and well-known citizens of this county. They are Messrs. William, James and David Lillard.

A Morning At New Providence Presbyterian Cemetery In Mercer County

Yesterday was a perfect early summer day – I follow the meteorologist’s yearly calendar – summer starts June 1!  A perfect day for a visit to a cemetery.  Living in Mercer County gives the opportunity to visit many old cemeteries and we chose New Providence.  We’ve been there several times.  Almost all stones have been photographed, but one section was taken with the sun in the wrong position; we were there about four in the afternoon.  Ten o’clock is a perfect time for good photos, and that’s when we arrived.

Ritchey and Julian came with me today.  They ran around the cemetery five times – the three-year-old is quite a runner.  Nothing like getting rid of a little excess energy!  And I was left to get the best photos I could.  I share the following with you.

Samuel Bunton, born February 10, 1783, died October 22, 1858.

Rachel, wife of Samuel Bunton, born September 1, 1786, died July 9, 1859.

Mandy C., wife of J. B. Compton, born September 21, 1839, died February 1, 1862.  Our infant son Henry born December 23, 1861, died September 20, 1862.

Detail at top of stone.

A small stone added for the infant Henry.  Several in stones in a line had the grave with sides and a foot stone.

Henry P., son of J. B. and M. C. Compton, born December 23, 1861, died September 29, 1862.

Susan, wife of James H. Voorhies, born May 13, 1824, died December 8, 1862.  Notice the beautiful wreath of flowers at the top.

Shot of Susan Voorhies gravestone and foot stone.

Stephen Lyen’s stone has broken off and was leaning on the base.  Ritchey held it to take photos.

Stephen Lyen, born May 18, 1793, died May 31, 1863.

Nancy, wife of Stephen Lyen, born December 10, 1798, died May 4, 1863.  Husband and wife died within a month.  Did they contract a fever or pneumonia?  I doubt we’ll ever know.


1825 Will of James Downey, Senior – Anderson County

James Downey, Sr., was evidently a resident of Mercer County, but in the area that would be Anderson County in 1827, when the county was formed.  Marriage records from Mercer County confirm the marriage of his children.  William Morris married Martha Downey October 15, 1804.  James Downey, Jr., married Mary Riley July 30, 1805.  Joel Downey married Sally T. Adams December 22, 1807.  John Downey married Nancy Wingate December 20, 1824.  Nancy Downey married David Owts (possibly Oats) April 5, 1825.  Since James, Sr., made his will less than two months after Nancy’s marriage, he evidently had his opinion of his new son-in-law, leaving land strictly for the personal use of his daughter, ‘free from the control of her husband’, and naming son James as trustee for his sister.

Will Book A, Pages 1-2, Anderson County, Kentucky

In the name of God, Amen.  I, James Downey, Senior., of the County of Mercer and State of Kentucky, being of sound mind and memory, and knowing that it is appointed for all men to die, do make and ordain this writing to be my last will and testament.  It is my will that my just debts and funeral expenses be first paid, and that my executor make sale of one cow, upon reasonable credit, and the money arising from such sale shall be equally divided between my sons Joseph A. Downey, John Downey, James Downey, Jr., and my daughter, Martha Morris, which is to be in full of all I intend for them.

Second.  It is my will and desire that my wife, Martha Downey, shall enjoy the peaceable and uninterrupted possession of my land, houses, stock and household furniture, to dispose of as she thinks properly, as long as she lives, except my daughter Nancy Owts is to have her horse, bed and furniture and clothes, and at the decease of my said wife Martha, it is my will and desire that all that part of my tract of land which lies on the northeast side of Fox Creek, where I now live and the one eighth of an acre, including a spring I use water site of, on the south side of the said creek, to be laid off in a square, making the said creek the base line, shall be, and the same is hereby vested in my son James, as trustee for my said daughter Nancy and her heirs, to be applied solely to her use and benefit, free from the control of her husband.  But it is to be understood, that my said daughter Nancy, with the consent of her said trustee, may sell the said tract of land and the proceed thereof shall be laid out in such way as my said son James may direct, to the sole use of my said daughter, and her heirs forever.  And in case my said son James should die, the County Court of Mercer, in their discretion, may appoint another trustee, who shall have all the power vested in my said son, James.  Also, my daughter Nancy, at the decease

Of her mother, is to have all my stock and personal property to her and her heirs forever, that is to say, such of it as remains undisposed of by my said wife, who is to have the same at her absolute disposal as long as she lives.

Third.  The balance of my land on the southwest side of Fox Creek, shall after the decease of my wife, Martha, it is my will that the same shall go to my son Joel and his heirs forever.

Fourth.  It is my will that my son James shall be my sole executor of this my last will and testament, who is to see the same faithfully carried into execution.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and seal this 31st day of May 1825.

James Downey

Signed, sealed and acknowledged before Robert B. McAfee, Susan J. Boyce, Sally C. McAfee

Anderson County Court – September Term 1827

I, Nelson C. Johnson, Clerk of the County Court for the County aforesaid, do certify, that his last will and testament of James Downey, Senior., deceased, was this day produced in open court, and proven by the oaths of Robert B. McAfee and Sally C. McAfee, two of the subscribing witnesses to said will, and ordered by the court to be recorded.  Whereupon, the said will, together with the foregoing certificate hath been duly admitted to record in my office.  Given under my hand this 3rd day of September 1827.

N. C. Johnson, Clerk


First Members of New Providence Presbyterian Church – Born Before 1800 – Volume 4

The third installment of the original members of New Providence Presbyterian Church, Mercer County, Kentucky, who were born before 1800 – and there are quite a few – we’ve only scratched the surface!  The previous installments can be viewed – Volume 1 and Volume 2 and Volume 3.

Priscilla, wife of Robert McAfee, died February 19, 1837, in the 66 year of her age (born 1771).

James Coleman, born October 6, 1776, died January 5, 1844.

Mary Bunton, wife of James Lyons, born April 10, 1777, died May 27, 1850.

Ann, wife of Col. George McAfee, born January 11, 1777, died April 7, 1851.

In memory of Col. George McAfee, born April 28th, 1777, died May 28th, 1819, aged 42 years.

Robert McAfee, died January 30, 1849, in the 72nd year of his age (born 1777).

Nancy Buchanan, consort of A. Buchanan, deceased, departed this life October 1st, 1810, aged 32 years (born 1778).

Thomas Cleland, D. D., born May 22, 1778, died January 31, 1858.

Vernon E. Riley Obituary

Vernon E. Riley, October 23, 1908 -March 22, 1914.  ‘Budded on earth to bloom in heaven.’  Bruner’s Chapel Baptist Cemetery, Mercer County, Kentucky.

The Harrodsburg Herald, Mercer County, Kentucky

Friday, March 27, 1914

Little Vernon, aged 5 years, died last Sunday at the home of his grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Jacob Bottom, near Jenkinsville. He was the only child of Mrs. Ida Riley, widow of the late Mr. Sydney Riley. The bright little fellow was ill but a short while with pneumonia. The funeral service was held at Bruner’s Chapel, conducted by Rev. Willis, and the interment was in the cemetery there. The bereaved mother has the sympathy of many friends.


Elijah Francis Matherly Obituary

E. F. Matherly, May 26, 1830 – October 28, 1912.  Julia A., his wife, April 14, 1835 – January 8, 1914.  Deep Creek Baptist Cemetery, Mercer County, Kentucky.

The Harrodsburg Herald, Mercer County, Kentucky

Friday, November 1, 1912

E. F. Matherly, about the oldest citizen in the West End of the county, died Monday night at the age of eighty-two. He was a highly respected gentleman, and besides his aged wife he leaves seven grown children. The funeral services were held at the Deep Creek church and the burial was in the cemetery adjacent to the church.

In 1850 Elijah Francis was living with his parents, Banister and Susan Matherly.  Banister was born in Virginia.  In addition, Sarah Matherly, Banister’s mother and Elijah’s grandmother, was living with the family.  She was 95 and born in Maryland, which makes her birth year 1755.

Elijah Francis Matherly and Julia Ann Lester were married in Mercer County October 23, 1852.  In the census records I found their children listed as Amanda, John, Nancy, Jesse, Matilda, Martha, Obediah, Mary, Elijah and Julia. 

The death certificate for Elijah Matherly gives his mother’s maiden name as Susan Taylor.  It also gives his birth date as May 26, 1829.