Monday, March 18, 2013


JONATHAN ROGERS, the son of Baptist Minister James Rogers (1742-1828), was born in Jefferson (now Nelson) County, Virginia (now Kentucky), on September 7, 1781, two months after his parents had become Charter Members of the old Cedar Creek Baptist Church (on July 4, 1781), the second to be organized in what is now the State of Kentucky. James Rogers and his brothers had built "Rogers Fort" near Bardstown in 1780 as a protection from Indian raids. Jonathan Rogers' mother was Martha (Blackburn) Rogers (1741-1818). His father was a native of Ireland, probably born in Virginia; while his mother was a native of Augusta County, Virginia. They had married on May 21, 1766, in West Augusta County, Virginia. After her death, on April 30, 1818, and burial in Nelson County, he removed to Mercer County, where he met and married Nancy Flournoy (a widow), on September 12, 1820. He died in Mercer County, on March 24, 1828, and is thought to be buried in that County. 

Jonathan Rogers married ELIZABETH RAY, in Washington County, Kentucky, on January 31st, 1803, the daughter of Joseph Ray and Mary (Sheckles) Ray. She was born on May 4, 1782, in Maryland. They lived in Washington County until 1807, when they removed to Ohio County, Kentucky, where they became members of the historic Beaver Dam (1798) Baptist Church. In the period 1828-1836, he served as the Clerk of that Church. 

Jonathan and Elizabeth (Ray) Rogers became the parents of ten children: Samuel Ray Rogers (b. January 8, 1804); Matilda Rogers (b. May 8, 1805-d. May 21, 1805); Elizabeth Rogers (b. May 16, 1806); James Madison Rogers (b. December 4, 1808); Joseph Blackburn Rogers (b. January 13, 1811); Martha B. "Patsy" Rogers (b. June 12, 1813); Mary Ann "Polly" Rogers (b. May 8, 1815); Cinderella (spelled mostly Cindrilla) Rogers (b. September 5th, 1817); Nancy Ray Rogers (b. April 3, 1820); and William Lloyd Rogers (b. January 4, 1824). The first three children were born in Washington County, Kentucky; while the remaining seven were born in Ohio County, Kentucky. One notes that nine of the ten children reached adulthood. 

Jonathan Rogers served as the first Clerk of the new Church, from July, 1836, through February, 1840. He died on May 28, 1844, and his body was laid to rest in the Green River Church Cemetery. His wife, Elizabeth (Ray) Rogers, continued in the Church's fellowship until her death, on July 22, 1862. Her body was laid to rest beside that of her late husband. Monuments were erected over their graves shortly after their respective deaths. By 1978, it was noted by Lon Rogers that the Jonathan Rogers' gravestone was broken up and beyond repair. It was replaced by him and others in the family. It appears that after her husband's death she lived with her son, William Lloyd Rogers, until her death, since she was living in his household in the 1850 and 1860 Censuses of Ohio County, Kentucky. 

Information on four of the children:

JAMES MADISON ROGERS (b. December 4, 1808) married SEANNA BORAH in Butler County, Kentucky, on January 2, 1832. She was the daughter of George E. Borah and Mary Jane (Traester) Borah. They were married in the Borah home. The Borahs were long-time residents of Butler County, where Seanna Borah was born on May 6, 1810. Both became Charter Members of the Green River Church, coming from the Beaver Dam Church by letter on July 16, 1836. Their four children were: Joseph Noah Rogers (b. December 4, 1832); Elizabeth "Betsey" Rogers (b. November 6, 1834); George Washington Rogers (b. May 16, 1837); and, Jonathan Judson Rogers (b. November 28, 1839). All of them were born in Butler County, Kentucky. All of them, except the daughter, moved to Texas in 1858. But prior to this, on September 11, 1852, Brother and Mrs. Rogers had been lettered out from the Church's membership. 

MARY ANN "POLLY" ROGERS, a daughter of Jonathan and Elizabeth (Ray) Rogers, became a Constituent (Charter) Member, too, by letter from the Beaver Dam Church. On November 2, 1837, she married Sanford Preston, and was lettered out on the following November 18th. They returned to the Church by letter on June 20th, 1840. Her untimely death occurred on September 12, 1843. She had become the mother of three sons; James Robert Preston (b. August 17, 1838); Samuel Berry Preston (b. April 12, 1840) and Jonathan Lloyd Preston (b. February 18th, 1842. 

CINDERELLA ROGERS, another daughter of the Jonathan Rogers [sic], also became a Charter Member of the Church. On October 10, 1837, she was united in marriage to Simeon Wilson. They became the parents of five children: James Rogers Wilson (b. October 11, 1838); Joseph Ellis Wilson (b. June 18, 1841); Mary Ann Wilson (b. c. 1844); Jonathan Berry Wilson (b. February 6, 1846); and Eliza Wilson (b. February 26, 1842). She was lettered out on November 18th, 1837, shortly after her marriage. Mr. Wilson died before 1860, for she is listed as the wife of Thomas Jefferson Cox that year in the Ohio County Census. She had returned to the Church by letter in May, 1858, under the name of Wilson. Both she and Mr. Cox were lettered out to become Charter Members of the Slaty Creek Church, in January, 1871. They returned to the Church by letter in 1883. Mr. Cox died in September, 1892, and she died in August, 1905. She was the last of the Charter Members to die. Her remains were interred in the Green River Cemetery. 

JOSEPH BLACKBURN ROGERS, was the third son and fifth child born to Jonathan and Elizabeth (Ray) Rogers. He was born in Ohio County on January 13, 1811; and died at Cromwell, in the same county, on March 29, 1864, during the Civil War. On May 31, 1841, in Ohio County, Kentucky, he married Mary E. Milton (b. August 25, 1818-d. October 1, 1871). She, too, died in Cromwell, Kentucky. He was a noted gunsmith by profession, making those of the muzzle-loading type. Among his identifying marks were eight-sided barrels with six-pointed stars on the sides. His Will is recorded in the Ohio County Clerk's Office, Book D, Page 9. He became a member of the Green River Church by Christian experience and baptism during the great revival of 1838, continuing as such until his death. He served as the Church Clerk from January, 1847, through August, 1851; and, in the years 1844-1845, 1847, 1849-1950, 1852, 1854, 1856-1857, 1859, and 1861-1862 he served as a Messenger from the Church to the Gasper River Association. Having been elected by the Church to the office on June 9th, he was ordained as a Deacon on August 5, 1855, by Baptist Ministers J. S. Coleman, Alfred Taylor and E. P. O'Bannon. He continued to fill the office well until his death.

A Sesquicentennial History of the Green River Missionary Baptist Church 1836 - 1986, Written and Compiled by Wendell Holmes Rone, Sr., For the One Hundred and Fiftieth Anniversary of the Founding of the Church, 1987.

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