Monday, August 22, 2011

Kentucky Trails, part 1

My wonderful DH made me an offer I couldn’t refuse. Would I like to spend a week doing research in Kentucky? You betcha! A number of my families came through Kentucky during the 1780-1840 time period, as part of the westward migration. There was so much to be documented, hints from the Ancestry trees to be proven. What a treat!

But, my people were stubbornly hiding. All that I know about my ggg-grandmother Susannah Huffman came from her obituary in 1899. She was “born near Kingsport, TN, in Hawkins County” and came with her brother to Indiana about 1836. A brief stop at the Kingsport Public Library provided few clues. I learned that Sullivan and Hawkins counties lost records to burning during “the late Unpleasantness”. I did find a few Huffmans in tax records that I hadn’t seen on census records, so they are saved for future reference.

Luck was better in Kentucky. The Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives sits atop a hill on the outskirts of Frankfort, looking very much like a fortress. Their microfilm collection yielded a few marriage records, but there weren’t many wills for my Walker, Carr, and Mauzy families. Probate records are my favorites when they appear. I didn’t find a likely candidate for Sallie Gooding’s father, nor Mary Reed. But, gggg-grandfather David Jameson left a lovely will naming his children. A lovely find! And also, there was a will left by a previously unknown (to me) brother Samuel 20 years earlier. So there was more family in Kentucky with him.

The next day took us to the beautiful Martin F. Schmidt Library at the Thomas D. Clark Center for Kentucky History, home to the resources of the Kentucky Historical Society. On their shelves was a volume of Mauzy research by Ben Mozee, someone I had communicated with many years ago. The early pages describing research into the Huguenot ancestor were definitely worth copying. Most of this day was spent combing the extensive surname files that include research contributions collected over years. Fairly common names like Carr and Walker certainly accumulated a lot of requests for research over the years, but nothing new on my folks. But here in the Jameson file is a copy of what appears to have been a Jameson family group newsletter, with a new clue! “Besides Andrew in Rockingham County records have shown the following: David, Samuel, and James Jamison. David and Samuel Jamison were the sons of Robert and Sarah (McKee) Jameson (see JN, June issue, 1992, page 630)…These two men along with a brother John resided for a short time in Augusta county, then later in Greenbrier co. now West Virginia before moving on to Kentucky.” This is my David! Well, you know I looked madly for “JN, June issue, 1992” in the Jameson file. Not there. Well, at least I have some more breadcrumbs to follow. The Jamesons were certainly speaking to me this trip!

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