Wednesday, October 18, 2017



The James Nourse family emigrated from England in 1769 and settled in Hampton, VA and later moved to Piedmont, a plantation near Charleston, VA (now Berkley County, West Virginia).  In 1775 James Nourse first visited Kentucky – he later died in 1784 at  his second home in Annapolis, MD. Later, in the 1790’s several children of James Nourse migrated to different parts of Kentucky, primarily Bardstown, Louisville and Logan County. Later descendants moved to Daviess County and later to Butler and Ohio County.

Artemisia Ann Nourse, born Logan County 3 Nov 1839, married William Grandison Abbott from Butler County. Their children were:


Other descendants with connections to Ohio County are:



Source:  James Nourse and his Descendants

By: Maria Catharine Nourse Lyle

Published 1897

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Horse Branch High School 1931 & 1940

Horse Branch High School 1931 - All listed LEFT to RIGHT

Top row: Clemmie Oller, Anna Bee Wilson, Elsie Stewart, Ruby Stringfield, Onis Morris, Roy Lindsey, Geoffrey Allen, Delmer Autry,  Earl Crume, Blemmer Landrum, Cary Paul Baize, Lucy Lee Edwards, Charlotte Monroe, Johnny Cummins, Lillian Arnold and Juanita Baize

Fourth row: Raymond Renfrow, Dave Lambert, Larry Wilson, Wilson Whitworth, Carson Autry and Willie Stewart

Third row: Ruby Burden, Gladys Tarrance, Ruby Sanders, Lydia Mollyhorn, Vernon Stogner, Helen Park, Erlis Simpson, Myrtle McCormack, Connie Wilson, Bessie Daniel, C. P. Davis, Elsie Jewell Payton, Anna Mary Crume, Mae Arnold, A.P. Sinclair (teacher)

Second row: Alene Leach (teacher), Virginia House, Gladys Park, Stanley Sanders, Cecil McDaniel, Beatrice Opal Tarrance, Harld Arnold, Mamie McDaniel, Ervin Minton, Virginia Wilson, Tom Ford, Edna Sipes, Natalia Decker and Gertha Oller

Bottom row: Carl Myers, Willie Logsdon, Pirtle Boyd Sandefur, Oval Baize, Randall Crume, Blummer McCormack, Paul Wilson, Delbert Logsdon, Unidentified, Smith Monroe and Cully Ford


Horse Branch High School Freshman class of 1940 - Rows listed LEFT to RIGHT

Top row: Roderick Shain, Tommy Stringfield, Hushel L. Sandefur, Jr., Ellis Miller, Van Owen House, Jr.

Third row: Mildred Arnold, Alma Wright, Ola C. Miller, Lou Anna Daugherty, H.D. Arnold, James Autry, Willis Quiggins, Charles Beck

Second row: J.J. Turner (teacher), Barney Leach, Raymond Arnold, Lois Jeannette Beatty, Christine Underhill, Wanda Taylor, Deveria Wilson, Juanita Wilson

Bottom row: Cecil Payton, Gloria Baize, Nellie Duncan, Alice Keith, ? Faught, Gracie Maze, Mary Louise Crume, James Hines, Milton Boyd Beatty

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Jacob M. Holloway

Jacob M. Holloway, who lived in Rosine, applied for a pension in 1912 for his service with the Confederate Army.

Saturday, October 7, 2017



MRS. ELIZABETH TAYLOR, consort of BLACKSTON TAYLOR, deceased, died on Thursday, JULY 26, 1888.. at the home of her grandson W. P. LEACH.  She resided with her son JOHN R. TAYLOR near LIBERTY CHURCH, and was on a short visit when she was taken ill.  She lived 24 hours after she was taken sick.  Aunt Betsey leaves a large train of relatives, who are among the best people of the county.    (MRS. HARBOR BLACKSTONE TAYLOR)

Mrs. Elizabeth Taylor was born Elizabeth Ann Austin; she was born in 1807 in Prince George Parish, Montgomery County, Maryland. 

She married Mr. Taylor in 1828. One of her four children was Susan Mahulda Taylor (born 1830) who married John Miller Leach; Susan and John had four children: William Powell Leach, Joseph Blackston Leach, Marquis D. Lafayette Leach, and John Horace Leach.

In will of John Austin, the father of Elizabeth Ann Austin (Taylor), written on 2 Apr 1870 and probated on 2 May 1870, he names his four "living" daughters and his four Leach grandson's. He states the $200 note held on John M. Leach (executed in 1857/1858) is to be collected and divided between his four grandsons: William F. Leach, Joseph B. Leach, Marcus S. Leach and John H. Leach. Will [Will Book C, pg. 63].

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

October 1819 - Hartford


100 YEARS AGO (As of October 29, 1919)

[Contributed to newspaper by Morris Barnett, finder of I. P. Morton’s Ledger.]

“A contract was closed with Benjamin and John Field for two years supply of salt which was delivered in 16 wagons loads aggregating 80,000 lbs. and costing 3 cents per pound. In the ledger containing the transaction of the 1840’s, 20 years later, Wm. C. Rowan seems to have taken this job. His deliveries were made weekly and in barrel lots. This salt was mined in the Buford neighborhood. Does anyone know the exact location of these old salt wells or mines? If these men were able to procure so much salt with the crude methods of those days, why cannot a fortune be made with modern methods?

Another business enterprise that has long ago had its books balanced, was that of Jacob Wood, hatter. He made about 6 varieties and prices ranged from $1 to $10. His long suit was the making of beaver and fur hats. It seems that Mr. Morton would sell these hats on a commission basis, for on this date 100 years ago, he bought 9 of these hats  which were quickly sold to the following gentlemen: Leonard Bean, James Fitzhugh, Harrison D. Taylor, William S. Barrett, Christopher Jackson, Elijah Phipps, Stephen Statler, Andrew Rowan, and Samuel O. Peyton.

Charles Henderson paid his bill with check on the bank in Hartford.

Vol W. Peyton drove sows and pigs to town and received $7.50 for them.

John Clark was paid $1.00 for ferrying Peyton's wagon across the creek going to and coming from The Yellow Banks.

John Calhoun paid $6.00 for purchases and received a discount of 25 per cent by paying it in silver.”

Saturday, September 30, 2017

William R. Chapman

William Rumsey Chapman, from Beaver Dam, born 6 Dec 1841, applied for a pension for his service in the Confederate Army.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017


WILLIAM PATTON MIDKIFF was born July 2, 1845, in Ohio County, Ky., where he grew to manhood and where he still resides. His father, Thomas B. Medkiff (sic), a native of Ohio County, died in 1858, aged about thirty-one years. He was the son of Joseph Medkiff, an early pioneer, and many years a teacher in Ohio County, who died in 1852. His father was Franklin Medkiff. Thomas B. married Adeline, daughter of William and Hulda (Ross) Garth, of Shelby County, Ky., (now living, about sixty years of age); their union was blessed with William P., Henry C., Thomas B., John E., and Stephen A. (deceased). March 10, 1867, William P. united in marriage with Mary A., daughter of Thomas W. and Nancy (Wright) Wedding, of Ohio County, born March 23, 1847, and to her and husband have been born the following named children: Oscar H., Alphonso, Thomas P., Oria E., Joseph F., James E., and Allen W.  Mr. Medkiff is a farmer, owning 185 acres of land in a high state of cultivation. At the age of fifteen years, he entered the service of his country, as a soldier in the Seventeenth Kentucky Infantry; in politics he is a stanch Republican.

Source: J. H. BATTLE, W H. PERRIN, & G. C. KNIFFIN 1895

Mr. Midkiff (nickname "Buck") died 19 Feb 1940 in Ohio County and is buried in the Midkiff Cemetery.

The following is the work of Daniel Mahard and was found on a web site that is no longer online:

Benjamin Midkiff of Ohio County, KY

"The patriarch of the Ohio County, Kentucky Midkiff family is Benjamin Midkiff Sr. Benjamin is identified as the son of Curtis Midkiff of Lancaster, Pennsylvania by family oral tradition. Very little is known of Curtis after he leaves Pennsylvania. Both Curtis and his son Benjamin are found in the records of Lancaster up to about 1770, when it is believed they emigrate out of that region. The family may have moved into the Virginia Valley or further West into Greenbriar County, Virginia; an area now known as West Virginia. No documents have been found in the Virginia records to identify the Midkiff family there; however, the families they married into and are later found living amongst in Kentucky can be traced their origins back to this area of Virginia. It is said that Curtis Midkiff eventually settled in North Carolina, but this has yet to be proven by record.

The primary source for the life of Benjamin Midkiff is Jerry Long of Owensboro, Kentucky. Mr. Long has spent years collecting information on Benjamin Midkiff and his descendants and the main body of our knowledge of Benjamin is based on the work he has done. Mr. Long has established that Benjamin Midkiff came to Kentucky by 1796, possibly with the Robinson family of which his first wife Elizabeth belonged. Elizabeth’s father, James Robinson, and her brother-in-law appear in Madison County, Kentucky tax list of 1790; however, there is no evidence of Benjamin at this time. The Robinson family can be traced back to Botetourt County, Virginia where Elizabeth’s sister her sistere Sarah married John Sawyer in 1786 and her Jane married James McMullin in 1788. Elizabeth’s sister, Rebecca, is said to have married Lindsay Carson and was the mother of mountianman Kit Carson. The Midkiffs and Robinsons both appear in tax records of Madison County, Kentucky and by 1805 left records indicating they had settled in Shelby County, Kentucky. James Robinson died in Shelby County in 1805 and left a will dated the 03rd of May 1805 naming among his his heirs, a daughter Elizabeth and her husband Benjamin Midkiff. The will further identifies the Midkiffs by naming one of their children. Later records indicate that many of Benjamin’s children were born in Shelby County, further establishing the link. Benjamin also left a deed in Ohio County, Kentucky stating he had come from Shelby County.

Benjamin Midkiff and his children settled northeast of Fordsville in Ohio County in a place known as McGans or McGan’s Station. Though Benjamin did not remain in this area, several of his children did and several Midkiffs are buried in an old graveyard now known as the Capp Cemetery.

On the 03rd of May 1816, Stephen May of Nelson Co., Kentucky deeded to Benjamin Midkiff 5,000 acres of land in Ohio County, Kentucky for the sum of $2.00. At that time, Benjamin was already a resident of Ohio County. This large tract was located in the vicinity of Kough Creek. The land had been deeded to Stephen May on the 10th of June 1795 by William and Mary May, who had received the original grant to the land on the 18th of June 1787. The land granted to the Mays in 1787 is described as being located in Hardin County, which must have been the parent county of Ohio. Ohio County records show other large grants from the May family to other settlers in the region and further identify William May as the Surveyor for Nelson County. It is not clear if the Mays did not correctly register their grants or if they were selling land that had not been granted to them in the first place, but their dealing with Benjamin Midkiff would have dire consequences for Midkiff. This land would become the subject of a law suit brought against Benjamin Midkiff on the 09th of July 1822, which concluded in Midkiff’s eviction from his land and his complete loss of improvements. The case is referred to in later documents as John Doe on the devise of Hubbard Taylor vs. Benjamin Midkiff. Midkiff’s inability to establish his claim to the land was the genesis of a string of misfortunes for Benjamin, which would end in his insolvency at death and continued litigation against his heirs as late as the 1850s.

The lawsuit against Benjamin Midkiff later gave rise to another suit brought by the heirs of James Sutton of considerable length and confusion. The Sutton suit generated over one hundred pages of court documents, which provide a rich source of information on Benjamin Midkiff, including numerous depositions by family, friends, and acquaintances. These records have been personally reviewed by me and prove to be valuable in establishing the story of Benjamin’s final years, as well as, the naming of all his heirs. The basis for the lawsuit appears to date from the time before the loss of Benjamin’s title to the May tract in 1822. Benjamin Midkiff exchanged with a James Sutton of Indiana, 100 acres out of the May tract in Ohio County, Kentucky for two lots (118 and 119) in the town of Evansville, Vandenburgh County, Indiana. The transfer of land took place about 1818 or 1819. By this time, Benjamin’s home farm was a tract of land of 220 acres of which 100 acres were transferred to Sutton. When Midkiff lost title to his land in 1822 and was evicted from his property, James Sutton too lost his title to the 100 acres. On the 23rd of May 1854, the Sutton heirs, convinced that the Midkiff heirs had received money from the sale of land once owned by James Sutton in Indiana, brought suit against Benjamin Midkiff’s heirs for to recovery money that their father had lost. There is some discussion as to the fact that the land was not exchanged and therefore the Indiana land that Benjamin obtained through the transaction would not default back to Sutton or his heirs, since Midkiff conveyed the land “as is.” There also appears to be a parallel suit for the Sutton heirs’ claim to the town lots in Evansville that raises several confusing and conflicting questions about what actually happened and when. The court eventually concluded that Benjamin Midkiff left no estate and that his heirs never received money, so that there was nothing for the Sutton heirs to recover. It is interesting to note that James Sutton’s will, which was proved on the 21st of May 1842, is witnessed by Benjamin’s son John Midkiff. The two families were obviously on good terms at this time. James Sutton’s will makes no mention of the loss of the land or any debt to the Midkiffs and leaves most of his estate to his eldest son James Sutton. The suit against the Midkiffs appears to be spearheaded by the children and not the father. Another clue to the genesis of this litigation is a deed executed by William C. Midkiff, the son of Benjamin Midkiff by his second wife Jemima. On April 3, 1850, William conveyed to James C. Sutton, son of James Sutton Sr., his share in the two tracts in Evansville for the sum of $25 or $10 dollars. Though the deed is provided by Sutton, neither William Midkiff or the witnesses claim it was executed. To further confuse issues, in the deposition of Benjamin’s elder half-brother, Joseph Midkiff, Joseph states that his father died in August 1834 or 1835 and left no estate in Kentucky and that he believed that the lots in Evansville were sold for taxes. He proceeds to state that in March of 1850, he sold his interest in the tracts to a John Huson for $25. It may be that these conveying of interests in the land was not a formal deed, but giving Huson and Sutton the right to go to Indiana and claim the land lost to taxes, but that does not seem to make sense either. In all, it appears the litigation went on for many years.

The lawsuit does give a great deal of information on Benjamin Midkiff and is the primary source of information on his life. It also is the primary source that records the names of his children, including William C. Midkiff who is often excluded in family group sheets. In the complaint of the Sutton suit it states that Benjamin, “removed from this county (Ohio) about the year 1823 ... and (removed) to the state of Indiana about the year 1827 or 1828.“ The story that emerges from the lawsuit is that Benjamin was evicted from his land in 1822 and in the following two years is forced to default on loans made to him, since he had no source of income. People like Benjamin’s son-in-law Joseph Barnett also lot money, since he had secured Benjamin’s debt. In a deposition dated November 1853, Elijah Phipps the former Deputy Sheriff of Ohio County recalls that he was forced to take property belonging to Benjamin Midkiff to pay off claims against Midkiff, but found this difficult as Midkiff had little left after the loss of the May grant. By 1823, Benjamin Midkiff appears to have borrowed money from William Wadkin and John Calhoon. Benjamin managed to pay the Watkins debt off, but the Calhoon debt appears to have not been satisfied. Phipps states that Benjamin Midkiff “was called an industrious man and made money and property and had as much property about him in 1823 as most of the families of that day.” This statement again suggests that the loss of his title to the May grant was the primary cause of Benjamin’s financial problems. Insolvent, Benjamin left Kentucky and settled in Indiana where he had purchased two town lots in Evansville, Vandenburgh County, Indiana. The move to Indiana would have allowed him to start anew, since he could not be sued for debt in another state; however, Benjamin’s luck did not improve in Indiana. By this time, Benjamin was in his late 60s. It is not clear what happened in Indiana, but his two lots appear to have been lost to taxes. In the complaint of the Sutton suit it states that Benjamin died in August of 1834 in Indiana and that “no one has administration on his estate in Kentucky or Indiana or believe he had no property ...” This has been confirmed by Jerry Long who has looked at both Kentucky and Indiana records and found no probate.

Benjamin was married twice and raised a large family. Though some of the Midkiffs are buried in the Capp Cemetery, no Midkiff family graveyard has been located and no family Bible has surfaced to give a full account of the births, marriages, and deaths in this family. Benjamin married first Elizabeth Robinson, daughter of James Robinson of Shelby Co., Kentucky about 1796. No marriage record has been found for the couple in Kentucky. Jerry Long has searched the records of both Madison and Shelby counties and have found no evidence of their marriage. However, the will of Elizabeth’s father in Shelby County proves this relationship and the birth of their first child in 1797 indicates they were probably married by that point in time. It is possible that Benjamin and Elizabeth married in Virginia where it is known that the Robinsons had settled for a short time before removing to Kentucky. Early Virginia records are poor and to date have not been searched. Benjamin and Elizabeth had at least eight children that lived to adulthood, all appear to have been born in Kentucky and most in Shelby County. Sometime between 1816 and 1825 Benjamin married Jemima Garner who bore him his last child; William Curtis Midkiff. Nothing is known of Jemima or her family. There are no Garners or Gardners in the Ohio County area and it is thought that perhaps she came from the neighboring county of Breckenridge (now Hancock Co., KY). Breckenridge lost their early marriage records in a fire in the 1950s, which would explain the absence of a marriage bond. Jemima Midkiff is found in the 1850 Census as a widow living with her son William C. Midkiff in Hancock County. She must have died before the lawsuit of 1853/4, since she is not named as an heir to Benjamin Midkiff.

Many of Benjamin’s children remained in the Ohio County area. It should be noted though that there is another “Medcalf” family in Ohio County, starting with the arrival of George Medcalf who is found in the 1800 Census well before Benjamin’s arrival. It is believed that the two families are not related. Though Benjamin came from a Quaker family in Pennsylvania, the family abandoned their early religious roots and most became Baptists. The papers involving the Sutton claim against the Midkiffs indicate that most of the Midkiff men could not sign their name and instead chose to “mark” their documents. This is not a clear indication of illiteracy, since some people could often read, but not write or if they could not write well, they often chose to mark instead. However, the 1860 Census indicates that James G. Midkiff could not read or write, so it is possible that none of these men had any formal education. In the Civil War the family became divided over loyalties to the Union and to the Confederacy. Children of John Midkiff, who appears to have been the only slave owner in the family fought on the side of the Confederacy. John Midkiff had married into the Smith family, which were slave owners in the County and with his bride came slaves. The children of James Midkiff are known to have sided with the Union."