Names of Families in Russell County Wills, Estates, Deeds

Russell County was formed on December 14, 1825, from portions of Adair, Cumberland, and Wayne counties. It was named after Colonel William Russell. Some deeds are loosely added to the first will book.

Just How Primitive were the Ancient Civilizations?

Is it remarkable how people lived a hundred years ago, without indoor plumbing, running water, a/c, etc.? Does this stand out in our thoughts as the backwoods, a primitive lifestyle? And, in the future, will our descendants think of the 21st century as another period of lackluster? Yet, excavations on a Greek Island known as Crete reveal indoor plumbing as far back as the 5th century B. C. Further excavations all over the world reveal some pretty astounding facts concerning our ancestors. More and more we learn that they were not so primitive after all. Apparently, much history was lost over the ages and mankind is simply “relearning” some ancient crafts.

The textbook versions of ancient Egypt, for example, would have us believe that slaves hauled stones weighing hundreds, even thousands of pounds across the desert and built pyramids. Yet, when artifacts from the King Tutankhamun tomb were being displayed around the country, it was observed a miniature mechanism of a “gear” fashioned in gold. Gears, of course, pull and lift objects) and must have belonged to that era.

Dutch Merchant Ship in the Poldark Series was a Real Vessel

While immigrants were removing to the American colonies, pirate ships combed the seas looking for treasure. They explored the West Indies and South America and particularly Brazil, and as Spanish vessels transported gold back to Spain, attacked where they could. Plundering pirates were also visible during the Revolutionary War. Not too long ago, divers spotted artifacts from the wreck of the Schiedam, a pirate vessel that sank off the coast of Cornwall (U.K.) in 1684. Among the bounty were found hollow iron shells packed with gunpowder-packed grenades which would have been lit by a fuse. This vessel sank in 1683 off the Cornish coast where it lay for centuries, discovered in 1971, but lost again under shifting sands. But divers recently found it again. This was the Dutch merchant ship, which was won by a Royal Navy captain from pirates, at the exact spot of a shipwreck in the Poldark film series.

John C. Calhoun

John C. Calhoun, a famous Statesman from South Carolina and the seventh Vice President of the United States from 1825 to 1832, had numerous relatives in Kentucky. Major William Love, an early Justice of the Peace, was married to Esther Calhoun, a first cousin to Senator Calhoun. Major Love was a native of South Carolina, 38 years of age at the time that he was the first Justice in the area; also known to snore, according to the article. Source: The Register, Kentucky Historical Society, Vol. 69, pp.265.

The Children Need to Hear Family Stories

The smartest thing which you can do is tell the stories of your ancestors to your children! What child does not wish to listen to family stories of the past? And what adult does not appreciate their grandfathers and patriots of an earlier time? Most families discover a Revolutionary War Soldier or one who fought in the American Civil War. There is always a good story to tell. It simply has to be found. That is your job!

Russell County Kentucky Genealogy Records Available to Members

Russell County Probate Records available to members of Kentucky Pioneers

Indexes to Probate Records

  • Index to Will Book A

Miscellaneous Wills and Estates

  • Bernard, Allen
  • Bernard, Charles
  • Cook, Emory
  • Flowers, Rebecca
  • Knight, Elsy
  • Knight, Posey
  • Long, Edward
  • Smith, William
  • Stapp, William
  • Stephens, William Sr.
  • Turner, Richard
  • Wilson, Moses
  • Wilson, Thomas
  • Wilson, Thomas Sr.
  • Wooldridge, Richard

Magazines and Periodicals for Kentucky

The first magazine issued in Kentucky or the West was The Medley, or Monthly Miscellany for the year 1803, edited and published by Daniel Bradford, son of old John Bradford, the editor of The Kentucky Gazette. The Medley lived through the year 1803, but in January of 1804, Editor Bradford announced that he was compelled (from lack of appreciation) to abandon its publication. The twelve parts were bound for those of the subscribers who cared to have them made into a single volume, and probably not more than two copies are extant today.
The Almoner, a religious periodical, the first issue date was Lexington, April 1814. The period went out of print twelve months later. It was published by Thomas T. Skillman, the pioneer printer. It mostly contains an account of the preacher, John Poage Campbell, and his many theological works.
In August of 1819, William Gibbes Hunt, a Harvard man, who later took a degree from Transylvania University, established The Western Review at Lexington. This was the first literary magazine in the West. Hunt was a man of fine taste, and he had a proper conception of what a magazine should be. He worked hard for two years, but in July of 1821 when he published the first draft of the famous poem of General William O. Butler, ” The Boatman’s Horn” he discovered that it was time to quit.The four bound volumes of The Western Review apparently survived.

The Literary Pamphleteer magazine was born and died in Paris, Kentucky in 1823. The following year, Thomas T. Skillman established The Western Luminary at Lexington. This was a semi-religious journal, but its publication was shortly suspended.

The Microscope seems to have been the first magazine published at Louisville, it being founded in 1824, but its life was ephemeral.

Under a half a dozen different names, with many lapses between the miles, The Transylvanian, which Professor Thomas Johnson Matthews of Transylvania University established at Lexington in 1829, has survived until the present time. It is now the literary magazine of Transylvania University. Mr. James Lane Allen, Mr. Frank Waller Allen, and one or two other well-known Kentucky writers saw their earliest essays and stories first published in The Transylvanian.

The Lexington Literary Journal published by John Clark twice a week, was founded in 1833.

The Louisville Literary News-Letter, edited by Edmund Flagg and issued by George D. Prentice, was current in the Kentucky metropolis from December 1838 to November of 1840.

Far and away the most famous literary periodical ever published in Kentucky, was The Western Messenger, founded at Cincinnati in 1835, and removed to Louisville in April of 1836. James Freeman Clarke (1810-1888), the noted Boston Unitarian preacher and author, was editor, publisher, and agent of The Messenger while it was in Louisville. Ralph Waldo Emerson first appeared as a poet in the magazine of his friend. His Goodby Proud World, The Rhodora, The Humble Bee, and several of his other now noted poems, were printed for the first time in The Messenger. Clarke also published papers from the hands of Hawthorne, Oliver Wendell Holmes, William Ellery Channing, Margaret Fuller, and nearly all of the writers now grouped as the New England school. He printed a poem by John Keats, which had never been previously published, the manuscript of which was furnished by George Keats, brother of the poet, who lived in Louisville for many years. Clarke later wrote an interesting sketch of George Keats for his magazine. During parts of the four years, he published The Messenger at Louisville he had as assistant editors Christopher P. Cranch and Samuel Osgood, now well-known names in American letters. Clarke returned to Boston in 1840 and The Messenger returned to Cincinnati where it was suspended in April of 1841.

Thirteen years after The Western Messenger left Louisville, The Western Literary Magazine, a monthly publication, was begun; and three years later, or in 1856, The Louisville Review, another monthly, was established.

The Southern Bivouac, which was conducted at Louisville for several years by General Basil W. Duke and Richard W. Knott.

The Illustrated Kentuckian, founded at Lexington in 1892.

The Southern Magazine of Louisville, published papers by Mr. Allen, stories by Mr. John Fox, Jr., and several other now well-known writers; and the Midland Reviewpublished by Charles J. O’Malley ran for some time.