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Fayette County Sons of the MilitaryWilliam Russell, born in 1758, the son of General William and Tabitha Russell of Culpeper County, Virginia.In 1774 he joined one of the expeditions of Daniel Boone into Powell Valley against the Shawnee Indians.At the onset of the Revolutionary War, he served as an aide to Colonel William Campbell and fought atKings Mountain, Whitsell Mills and Guilford Court House. After the war, he removed to Fayette County, Kentucky and settled on land which his father had received for military service. He participated inseveral expeditions under Generals James Wilkinson, Charles Scott and Anthony Wayne during 1791 and 1794 along the Wabash and Maumee Rivers in the Northwest Territory. Russell served in the Virginia Legislature and House until about 1823. In 1808, President James Madison appointed Russell as Colonel of the 7thInfantry Regiment in the regular army and fought in the Battle of Tippecanoe against the Shawnee. In 1812 he was appointed to the supreme command of the Army of the Northw3est, commanding the frontiers of Indiana, Illinois and Missouri. Afterwards, retired to his farm in Fayette County. Source: Kentucky Encyclopedia by John E. Kleber.
John McKinney was employed by the people of Lexington as their first teacher. It was during the years when Kentuckians endured many murderous attacks from the Indians. Since Kentucky had no newspaper, any items of interest coming from other states beyond the mountains were eagerly greeted by all. In May of 1783, a traveler passing through the blue-grass section, brought with him a newspaper containing the Articles of Peace with Great Britain. All were anxious to read them. The fact that the Articles had not yet been ratified did not lessen the interest of the citizens. A copy of any paper was a treat, and such news as the Articles meant great hope for the struggling settlers. Before the gentleman departed, however, the citizens appealed to McKinney to copy the Articles of Peace. At that time Lexington was only a cluster of about thirty cabins, and one which stood just outside of the fort was used as a schoolroom. But the next morning while busily writing, McKinney heard a noise and glancing up saw a ferocious wildcat with bristles erect, tail curled, and eyes flashing. The cat had paused on the threshold and was peering around the room. At first she did not see McKinney, but by some involuntary movement he attracted her attention, and she soon exhibited other than friendly emotions. There was a saying "The wildcat was not to be frowned down." Having been accustomed to subdue the backwoods boys and girls by the awfulness of his frown, the teacher tried the same tactics now; but the cat was not to be frowned down. As the teacher reached for a ruler, the cat, with the ferocity of a lion, sprang upon him, fastened her claws into his side and began tearing his clothes, mangling his flesh, and inflicting serious wounds. Knowing he could not long withstand her power and despairing of aught else to do, he threw his weight upon her and pressed her against the sharp corner of the table. Soon her weird cries were mingled with his calls of distress, and erelong the citizens knew something unusual was happening in the little schoolhouse. The women were first to answer the cry of alarm. Reaching the door, they paused to discover the cause of the commotion and seeing Mr. McKinney bending over the table writhing and groaning, they at first glance thought that he had a severe attack of cramp, but quickly seeing the cat, one lady exclaimed, "Why, Mr. McKinney, what is the matter?"
He very gravely replied, "Madam, I have caught a cat."
By this time the cat was lifeless; but her teeth were so deeply embedded in his side that the neighbors, many of whom had gathered by this time, had great difficulty in disengaging her.The shock, the wound, and the loss of blood made McKinney very sick and weak, and for several days he was confined to his bed while the boys and girls enjoyed a holiday. Nonetheless, he lived to a ripe old age and was often heard to say he would rather fight two Indians than one wildcat. Source: Stories of Old Kentucky by Martha Grassham Purcell.
It was German Explorers Brought the Rifle, Wagon and Dulcimer into KentuckyIsaac Hite (Hayd), after surveying in Kentucky and returned there with James Harrod to surveyHarrodsburg the following year. One of the companions of Daniel Boone was the German Michael Stoner (Holsteiner), a Pennsylvania Dutchman. Matthias Harman (Hermann) was one of the numerous Harmans of eastern Kentucky and was included in the search party that looked for Jenny Wiley in 1789. Both theKentucky rifle and the Conestoga wagon originated in the German settlement of Pennsylvania, the rifle being transformed from the German Jager rifle. Also, the Appalachian dulcimer is of German origin. Germans were among the eight men who laid out Lexington and in 1790 they comprised 14% of the population. In 1885 the state commissioned Heinrich Lembke to make a tour of German settlements in Kentucky and found that thirteen colonies had spread from Lyon County in the west to Laurel County in the east. Source: Kentucky Encyclopedia by John E. Kleber.
John Filson Seceded John McKinneyJohn Filson, an early historian to Kentucky, was born in Pennsylvania in 1747. Filson was provided the typical common school and academic education but afterwards was lured into the beautiful mountains of Kentucky. Filson reached Lexington in 1782. Here he succeeded "Wildcat McKinney" as the second teacher. It was Filson who wrote the first history of Kentucky and the first authentic account of that vast, transmontane wilderness as well. In 1784, he gave his book, " Discovery, Settlement, and Present State of Kentucky" which contained the first map ever drawn of this state, showing the three original counties of Jefferson, Fayette, and Lincoln. All of this was accomplished before there were any printing presses in Kentucky, so Filson carried his map to Philadelphia and his manuscript to Wilmington, Delaware. This little book of one hundred and eighteen pages was deemed of such consequence that one year after its appearance, it was translated into French and published by M. Parraud at Paris. Three editions were printed in England by Gilbert Imlay, Kentucky's first novelist, who incorporated it in his "Topographical Description of the Western Territory."Filson led a restless, strenuous life. Soon after his first visit to Kentucky he was back on his native heath, again in the state of his adoption, next in the Illinois country gathering data for a history of that section, the manuscripts of which are now the property of the Wisconsin Historical Society.In 1788 Filson was associated with Mathias Denman and Robert Patterson, the founder of Lexington, in the purchase of a tract of eight hundred acres opposite the mouth of the Licking River, where they planned a town, now the city of Cincinnati, but named by Filson, Losantiville,the "city opposite the mouth of the Licking." But Filson ventured out once again, this time never to be seen again. He had just surveyed the Great Miami. His friends supposed he was killed by the Indians.
George Beck Served "Mad Anthony" Wayne
George Beck, classicist, was born in England in 1749 and became instructor of mathematics at Woolwich Academy, near London when twenty-seven years of age. He was married to an English woman of culture and emigrated to the United States in 1795, reaching these shores in time to serve General "Mad Anthony" Wayne as a scout in his Indian campaign. Thereafter, he ventured to the Blue Grass country, arriving in Lexington in 1800; and it was not long before he began to send short original poems and spirited translations of Anacreon, Homer, Horace, and Virgil to old Gazette of John Bradford. At about this time, too, Beck was doing many portraits and a group of landscapes in oils of the Kentucky river country, a few of which have come down to posterity. Eighteen hundred and six seems to have been Beck's best year in Kentucky from the literary viewpoint, as the Gazette is full of his verses and translations. He was widely known as the "Lexington Horace." Besides painting and poetry, George Beck was a rather learned astronomer, as his Observations on the Comet of 1811 prove. With his wife he conducted an Academy for Young Ladies for several years. Yet his last years were much embittered by the lack of appreciation upon the part of the Western public. George Beck, poet, translator, mathematician, astronomer, artist, died in Lexington, Kentucky, December 14, 1812. His wife survived him until the cholera year of 1833, which swept away nearly two thousand citizens of Lexington and the Blue Grass. Source: Bibliography. Kentucky Gazette (Lexington, December 22, 1812); Appletons Cyclopedia of American Biography (New York, 1887, v. i).
Rev. Adam Rankin, author of the first book ever printed in Kentucky, was born in Pennsylvania, March 24, 1755. He was graduated from Liberty Hall, now Washington and Lee University, Lexington, Virginia, when about twenty-five years of age; and two years later he was licensed to preach by the Virginia Presbytery. Rev. Rankin came to Lexington, Kentucky, in 1784, to accept the pastorate of the Presbyterian church. The brethen of the church of Rev. Rankin made life unbearable for him, and he went to London, where he remained for two years. When he did return to Kentucky it was to face a number of accusations and a church trial, wherein he was finally suspended. Rev. Rankin was a strange, eccentric man, a dreamer of dreams, a Kentucky Luther, and, perhaps, a bit crazed with the bitter opposition his views received. His latest, boldest dream was that Jerusalem was about to be rebuilt and that he must hurry there in order to assist in the rebuilding. He bade his Lexington flock farewell, and started to the Holy City, but, on November 25, 1827, death overtook him at Philadelphia. Rev. Rankin was the author of several theological works, but his A Process in the Transylvania Presbytery, &c. (Maxwell and Gooch, At the Sign of the Buffalo, Main Street, Lexington, 1793), is the first book ever printed in Kentucky, if the Kentucky Acts which John Bradford published in the same year be excepted. Many days were required to print this little book of Rankin upon the hand-press of the publishers, though it contained but ninety-six pages, divided into five parts. Source: Bibliography. History of the Presbyterian Church in Kentucky, by R. H. Davidson (New York, 1847); The Centenary of Kentucky, by R. T. Durrett (Louisville, Kentucky, 1892).
A Good Fight in Front of the Court House
A capital day in Lexington was described in The Blue Grass Region of Kentucky by James Lane Anderson as "a most admirable and serene day for fighting. Fights grew like a fresh-water polypeby being broken in two: each part produced a progeny."
Thus, while the justices sat quietly on the bench inside, and the people fought quietly in the streets outside, a day of the month was set apart for the conservation of the peace for individual war. There is no evidence that either the justices or the constables ever interfered. "These pugilistic encounters had a certain law of beauty: they were affairs of equal combat and of courage. The fight over, animosity was gone, the feud ended. The men must shake hands, go and drink together, become friends."
"Ashland" Henry Clay House"Ashland" was originally built by Henry Clay who resided there from 1812 to 1851. The present house on the site was reconstructed in 157 by his son, James Clay, who used the same foundation and original floor lan, except that he added elements of the Italianate designs. Most of the furnishings on display in the house today are original to the house. The property once consisted of some 600 acres of land. Henry Clay imported thoroughbred horses and pedigreed livestock to Kentucky and built a private racetrack as well. Henry Clay served as the U. S. Senator and Speaker of the House of Representatives. He was in favor of the War of 1812 and negotiated its peace in 1814.
Names of Families in Fayette County Wills, Estates, Deeds, Marriages, Paymaster RecordsFayette County was one of the original three counties created from the former Kentucky County, Virginia by the Virginia Act in 1780, along with Jefferson and Lincoln counties. Together they separated from Virginia in 1792 to become the state of Kentucky.Originally, Fayette County included land which makes up 37 present-day counties and portions of 7 others. It was reduced to its present boundaries in 1799. The county is named after Marquis de LaFayette who came to America to join the rebelling English colonies in the American Revolutionary War.On January 1, 1974, Fayette County merged its government with that of its county seat of Lexington, creating a consolidated city-county governed by the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government.
Fayette County Kentucky Probate Records available to members of Kentucky Pioneers
Paymaster Records from the War of 1812
- 42nd Regiment Militia of 1811
- 42nd Regiment Militia of 1813
- Recorded in Book 1, 1795 to 1801
- Recorded in Bond Box, 1803 to 1850
- Miscellaneous 1820 to 1841
Indexes of Probate Records
- Wills and Estates 1793 to 1808
- Wills and Estates 1809 to 1813
Images of Wills, Estates, Inventories, Book A, 1793 to 1808Testators: Adams, Alexander;Applegate, James;Barker, Nathaniel;Bartlett, Henry;Beard, Sarah; Beasley, Augustine; Bell, John;Boulware, William;Bradshaw, Jane' Bradshaw, John;Breckinridge, John; Bright, Nicholas;Bruce, George; Bryant, Morgan" Cade, Charles; Caldwell, John; Camper, Henry; Capell, Martin; Chinn, Milly; Clark, John;Clark, William;Clarke, John;Clugett, Ninion;Crawford, James;Crockett, Winder;Curry, Nicholas;Davis, Samuel;Denchman, Jacob;Ellis, William;Epperson, Richard;Epperson, Susannah;Erwin, James;Ferguson, Jonah;Fitzgerald, William;Franks, Elizabeth;Frye, William;Fullerton, William;Gardner, Alexander;George, January;George, Morris;Gillispie, David;Goodin, Martin;Grant, Rebecca;Grant, William;Graves, Thomas;Gwyn, Morris;Haley, William;Hammond, James;Harrison, Hugh;Harrison, Thomas;Hart, Thomas;Henderson, John;Herndon, Thomas;Higgins, Joel;Hill, James;Hillock, Henry;Holder, Sophia;Hollyman, William;Hufford, Ann;Hunter, George;Irvin, James;January, Peter;Jenkins, William;Johnson, John;Kelly, Katherine;Kersner, Casper;Laughlin, Peter;Lingerfelter, Bernard;Lowry, James;Lowry, Stephen;Lucas, Susannah;Luggett, James;Lyle, Robert;MacFarlane, George;Marshall, Henry;Mason, Edmond;Maxfield, George;McCann, Joseph;McConnell, Elizabeth;McCrosky, Samuel;McCullough, Patrick;McDaniel, Reuben;McMurtry, Joseph;McNair, John;Megowan, Robert;Metter, William;Miller, John;Miller, William;Mitchell, William;Moffett, Walter;Montgomery, James;Moon, Archibald;Moore, William;Morris, Daniel;Murphy, Nancy;Nance, John;Nance, Joseph;Neal, Charles;Noe, Randell;Nuttle, Elijah;Parker, James;Parker, Robert;Parrish, John;Parrish, William;Parish, Patsy;Payne, Edward;Payne, Sanford;Pool, Thomas;Prather, Jeremiah;Rankin, Jeremiah;Redman, Benjamin;Reyburk, Adam;Rice, Elizabeth;Robinson, David;Rogers, Bird;Scott, Andrew;Scott, Elizabeth;Scott, William;Sertz, John;Shaw, Nathaniel;Sidenor, Martin;Simpson, Samuel;Smith, Benjamin;Smith, Guy;Smith, James;Smith, Jane;Smith, Mary;Smith, William;Springer, Edward;Spurr, Richard;Steele, Andrew;Stevens, John;Stuart, William;Telford, Joseph;Todd, John;Todd, Levi;Todd, Mary;Turner, Catharine;Vance, John;Vanlindingham, James;Vanlendengham, Richard;Vivion, John;Vonphul, Catharine;Ward, William;Webb, Charles;Webb, John;Webster, John;Webster (estate);Whiteside, William;Whitley, William;Wilgins, John;Williams, John;Wilson, Nancy;Winn, Benjamin;Winn, George;Winn, Owen;Woods, Andrew;Young, George Sr.;Young, John;Young, William
Images of Wills, Inventories and Estates, Book B, 1809 to 1813Testators: Alexander, John;Allen, Benjamin;Applegate, James;Arthur, John;Ashby, Nathaniel;Atwood, Elizabeth;Bacon, William;Bartholomew, Joseph;Bass, Elizabeth;Baxter, German;Baynes, M. C.;Bell, John;Berryman, James;Bindtell, John;Blanton, Carter;Blanton, Richard;Blest, Anthony;Boyce, William;Brandon, John;Breckinridge, John;Brown, Henry;Brumbarger, Frederick;Buice, George;Bullock, James;Cade, Charles;Caldwell, George;Campbell, Charles;Campbell, Robert;Camper, Lettice;Carter, Job;Carter, John;Ceander, John;Chim, William;Clark, Thomas;Clark, William;Clarke, James;Clarke, James L.;Cockwell, John;Comer, Francis;Comer, James;Curry, Nicholas;Daingerfield, William;Daviess, Joseph Hamilton;Davis, Samuel;Delisle, John;Dickey, William;Donaldson, George;Downing, James;Easter, John;Edmiston, John, Capt.;Ellis, Hezekiah;Ellis, William;Elroad, Robert;Emmons, Elias;Estes, John;Fair, Edmund;Franks, Elizabeth;Franks, John;Frey, Joseph;Frye, Jacob;Gillespie, David;Gilliam, Starke;Goodloe, Thomas;Grant, Rebecca;Grimes, Phillip;Harden, Charles;Harper, Peter;Harrison, Hezekiah;Hart, N. G. S;.Hart, Thomas;Hayden, Jeremiah;Henderson, David;Higgins, Azariah;Hill, James;Hollyman, William;Holmes, Jonathan;Humphree, John;Hunt, Robert;Johnson, Mathew;Johnson, Nathan;Jones, H.;Kay, John;Kertly, Larkin;Lay, Abraham;Legrand, John;Legrand, Peter;Lewis, Thomas;Lingenfelder, Bernard;Low, Charles;Lowry, James;Mansell, George;Martin, orphans;Mason, Charles;Matthews, John;McCann, Abediance;McCann, Joseph;McCord, John;McCoy, Kenneth;McCullough, Patrick;McDaniel, John;McMurty, George;McMurtry, Joseph;McQuiney, Thomas;Meglone, Hugh;Nicholas, George;Nichols, George;Noe, Randall;Parker, Robert;Parrish, William;Payne, Daniel McCarty;Payne, Edward;Payne, Henry;Payne, Sanford;Payne, Silas;Pemberton, William;Perry, David;Pettit, Nathaniel;Pilcher, Joshua;Prather, Baruch;Price, Christiana;Price, Philemon;Randall, Nancy;Rice, Elizabeth;Robinson, David;Roffe, Rebecca;Roffe, William;Ross, William;Rose, James;Scott, Andrew;Smith, Benjamin and Mary;Smith, Benjamin;Smith, Dorcas;Smith, Elijah;Smith, Jane;Smith, Martin;Smith, Mary;Spencer, Daniel;Springle, John;Steele, Richard;Stone, John;Statham, Charles;Taylor, Asa;Taylor, Ignatius;Taylor, Phillip;Tegarden, George;Thompson, Hugh;Thompson, James;Tilford, Joseph;Todd, John;Todd, William;Tomlinson, Elijah;Tomlinson, William;Tracy, Anthony;Tundy, William;Turner, Catharine;Vance, Joseph;Vance, Robert;Vaughn, Lewis;Wallace, James;Wasson, James;Welsh, Benjamin;West, Elizabeth;Whiteside, William;Wingate, Camrod;Wood, Andrew;Young, George;Young, Richard Sr.;Young, orphans
Junk GenealogyThere is an inclination today to accept other research and link it to your pedigree charts. There are a number of sites which provide easy linking to genealogies already traced. It is best not to link your ancestor to any genealogy charts on any website. Although at first glance this appears to be an easy way to have the lineage traced back further in time, it is a serious mistake. You do not want this unless you want a whole bunch of new problems to unravel. Here is how it works. A computer generation generally accepts all of the entries, even if it is for the same name. For example, you add Mary Smith born 1802. However, there is another Mary Smith born 1801. The computer treats it as two separate people. If you wish to use the research progress of someone else, I suggest that you check out their sources and double check the information in the records. Excellent sources include is old bible records, church and parish registers, and all information discovered at the county court house, viz: last wills and testaments, probate, estates of every sort, marriages, deeds, civil and superior court cases, land grants, pensions, and so forth. Such records represent sources of factual truths. One must gather all probable information and make comparisons with the data. Census records contain important data, such as places of birth, number of years married, proper names of children, and so forth. After speaking to relatives and gathering tombstone information, the census record is one of the first places to search. What I am saying here is that computer-generated charts actually raise the level of errors. Many people, in the interest of furthering their tree, accept the work of other people. I do not. However, I use that information as a guideline to establish actual facts. Research in county records is very important because few errors are found there. As a point of information, a last will and testament is usually filed of record and probated within 3 days of the death. The reason is that the relatives need to put the probate in process in order to have the authority to act for the deceased person. If you want to know where your ancestor came from or where he went, you must search all of the deed records as a matter of course. This is part of discovery. As for marriages, parsons were not always required to file their licenses and marriage ceremonies with the county court house. Therefore, until laws established this process (usually after 1900), few marriage records (per population) exist. Hence, one must search old newspapers where marriages and obituaries are found. This is a very tedious process. Also, it is easy to discover whether or not your ancestor had a last will and testament or estate on Kentucky Pioneers Simply click on a county on the homepage, and you will see a list of records available (to members) as well as names. This part is free. All that you do is click on the county and find out! It is very difficult to read the old indexes. We have made this very easy for you. All indexes are (typed) links to the actual documents in the court houses. Can it get any better than that?