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Struggles of the Kentucky Pioneers

Coal Mines in Ohio County, KentuckyThe life of the Kentucky pioneer and backwoodsman was one of long and bitter struggle. His task was to hunt, clear the forest to plow, and to fight local Indian tribes. Small forts, or stations were established to help resolve local conflicts with the savages being driven from their hunting grounds. The pioneers were of necessity armed, and were their own soldiers. They built forts and fought under commanders which the community had chosen. The mode of warefare somewhat resembled that of the Indian, and was quite different than the old European-style of both sides queuing up in a field and shooting at one another. The early pioneers fought the enemy from ambush. There was no court system, thus, the backwoodsman was prompt to avenge a wrong. He was grimly stern back woodsman who loved his freedom, and easily swayed by stormy passions. The atrocities suffered at the hand of the Indians taught him to relaliate in kind, thus, in this way he was cruel an relentless towards his enemy. After hostilities with the Indians came to a close, development of towns in the mountains was slow, and the woods remained isolated and cut off. Not until the railroads spread their iron network through the mountains, tapping an almost inexhaustible coal veins and mineral deposits, did the frontiersmen emerge into the business of coal-mining.

How to Turn Marginal Genealogy into Real Genealogy

tombstonesAs we continue our research, we find ourselves jotting down tidbits of information, thinking that it might be useful later. And it is, as more data reaches our computer. But what kind tidbits are most important? Witnesses to deeds and adjoining properties; every name in the old part of the cemetery, especially those adjoining your family plots. Names in the same district as your ancestor written down according to the order of the entries, along with such details as acreage, adjoining neighbors and waters. Purchasers of estate sales as some of these people married the daughters (examine these names in the county marriage records). Remarkably, all of these people were the old neighborhood! You will be amazed at how this information provides a better understand of the life and times of your ancestors, plus makes all the puzzle parts fit.

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Hartford City HallHartford City Hall

Fort Hartford

Ft. Hartford KY

McGee of Scotland, Virginia, Kentucky, Missouri









Ohio County Wills, Estates, Annual Returns, Inventories

Ohio County Court HouseOhio County was formed in 1798 from land taken from Hardin County and was named for the Ohio River, which originally formed its northern boundary; however, lost its northern portions in 1829 at the forming of Daviess and Hancock counties. The first settlements in Ohio County were Barnetts Station and Hartford. In January 1865, during the American Civil War, the courthouse in Hartford was burned by Kentucky Confederate cavalry because it was being used to house soldiers of the occupying Union Army. However, the county records were removed first and preserved. They county seat is Hartford.

Images of Wills, Estates, Distributions, Inventories, Appraisements, Guardianships
  • Book A, 1800 to 1824
  • Book B, 1826 to 1843
  • Book C, 1841 to 1862
  • Book D, 1862 to 1912
Indexes to Probate Records
  • Wills and Estates, 1800 to 1824
  • Wills and Estates, 1841 to 1862
Kentucky Pioneers


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