Montgomery County Genealogy Trails
"Source: These vital records were posted on a public mailing list. Please confirm all data for yourself"
"Transcribed by Dale Donlon from materials provided from the research of Lynn Stephens Headley"
Early Families of Montgomery County & Pioneer Kentucky
These are from newspaper clippings that appeared in a genealogy column in the Mt. Sterling Advocate, written by Harry W. Mills. Harry W. Mills genealogy column originally appeared in the Mt. Sterling Advocate in the 1940's and 1950's.
First available records listing families in Mt. Sterling, Ky., are included in the Montgomery county census of 1810. (The 1800 census of Kentucky was destroyed when the British burned the Capitol at Washington during the War of 1812). The 1810 book containing the Montgomery county enumeration reads: "Schedule of the ... Persons within the Division Allotted to Hardage Smith .. And the Mt. Sterling listing begins: "Mount Sterling, August 30th, 1810..."
Families in Mt. Sterling, 1810
In 1810 there were 40 families residing in Mt. Sterling, and these are the "heads of families".
Hugh D. Thomson
James S. Magowin
Free Tom (colored family)
Total population of Mt. Sterling, 1810: Whites: Males, 89; females, 154; total 243; colored, 50 or more (the figures being illegible in many cases)
Following are brief genealogical sketches of some of the 1810 families:
FERGUSON -- William Ferguson, head of a family consisting of six males and one female. William Ferguson was born in Virginia in 1787. He married Susanna Smith, born 1789, daughter of Enoch Smith (1750-1825), and their children included the following: (1) Franklin Ferguson, born 1827; (2) George Ferguson, born 1830; (3) Christopher Ferguson, born 1833; (4) Ellen Ferguson, born 1835. Enoch Smith, in his will, probated May Court, 1825, named daughter Susanna Ferguson, and Frances Ferguson. William Ferguson was a son of Thomas and Priscilla (Ford) Ferguson. He had a brother, Josiah Ferguson, and a sister Susanna Ferguson, who married Israel Wright. (Note added by Bettie Cline McCaleb - Priscilla Ford's husband was Josiah Ferguson. This is stated in her father, Thomas Ford's will. Also when Josiah Ferguson died the settlement of his estate calls him Josiah. She also has a copy of a letter written by her great uncle Dr. Josiah Ferguson Jones in which he speaks of his grandparents as Josiah and Priscilla Ferguson. Perhaps Josiah was named Thomas Josiah but she has not found anything to prove that. In Fairfax Co. Va. John Ferguson mentions sons John, Joshua and Josiah but no Thomas.)
WILLIAMS -- Samuel Williams was head of a family consisting of five males and three females. There were 18 other families named Williams listed in the 1810 census of Montgomery county. No further information available on Samuel Williams.
OWINGS -- The Owings family settled early in Montgomery and Bath counties; but no further records of Richard Owings are available at present.
FERGUSON -- William Ferguson (1786 - 1869), son of Josiah and Frances (Smith) Ferguson married Susanna Smith (1789 - 1878). In 1810, William Ferguson was head of a family consisting of 6 males and 1 female.
CHILES -- William Chiles was a civil engineer. He owned considerable land; was married three times, and raised a large family of children. His son, Co. Walter Chiles, was born in Montgomery county; died in Frankfort, Ky.; graduate of Transylvania College; became a prominent lawyer; married (1) Eliza Price; no children; married (2) Caroline Stith, and had issue: Mary A., Landon C.
Many now living remember especially for his great interest in public school affairs, Landon T. Chiles for many years a merchant of Mt. Sterling; he married Mary Mitchell, and their children were Carrie, married Dr. Howard Van Antwerp; Richard A., lawyer of Mt. Sterling; Annie, married L. T. Young.
COFER -- Henry Cofer, "family" of one person (age group 26 to 45 years of age). Hence we suppose he was a bachelor or at least without family at that time. There were Cofers in early Montgomery and Bath counties.
DURRETT -- Paul Durrett was probably a bachelor in 1810, as he is listed in the census book as "head of a family" of one person (male, age group 26 to 45 years of age). Among the marriages performed by the Rev. John "Raccoon" Smith in Montgomery county is that of Paul Durrett and Gabriella L. Banks, on June 1, 1820. Hon. Wallace Gruelle, in his historic address in Mt. Sterling, 1872, recounts anecdotes regarding Paul Durrett, who, he says, "kept a sore ... was a jovial, high-toned gentleman and fond of his joke."
HENLEY -- Osburn Henley (Hensley?) was head of a large family (11 males and 3 females); but no further records are at hand regarding this man.
MILLS - Dr. John Augustus Mills (born in Maryland ca. 1780; died in Fulton, Callaway county, Missouri), settled in Montgomery county in pioneer days, and was one of the first three physicians in Mt. Sterling. Afterward he removed to Winchester, Clark county, Kentucky, where he attained prominenc. We have been told that an oil painting of the celebrated physician hangs in the Clark county court house. Dr. Mill's wife was named Lucy (maiden name not known), a native of Virginia; their family in 1810 included four children, but the names of only two have come to us: (I) John Mills, born in Kentucky ca. 1929; no further record. (II) Emily Mills, married Irvine Hockaday, and removed to Fulton, Mo., in early times. They had eight children; the oldest child, Lucy Hockaday, married Solomom Van Meter. Irvine Hockaday was the first clerk of that county of Callaway, Missouri. A descendant of Dr. Mills tells us that "... when Dr. Mills and his wife became old, our grandmother, Emily Hockaday, went to Winchester and took them back to Fulton, Mo. A room was built especially for them, and there they lived until their deaths. They are buried in the family lot in Fulton."
BIGGS -- Andrew Biggs was the head of a large family in 1810 - 15 males and 4 females, a total of 19 persons. However, as he was a hotel keeper, it is supposed that the persons listed included guests in his establishment as well as members of his immediate family group. In his historical address delivered in Mt. Sterling, July 4, 1872, Judge Wallace Gruelle stated: "The first tavern in the place (Mt. Sterling) was erected on the corner now occupied by Johnson & Thompson's dry goods store... Joseph Simpson was the builder and boniface (sic). Andrew Biggs subsequently opened a tavern where the Kentucky Hotel now stands." Andrew Biggs probably was one of the early settlers of Montgomery county, as his name appears on the 1797 tax list.
MERCKLEY -- Frederick Merekley is listed in 1810 as head of a family of 6 males and 1 female. He is not listed on the 1820 census of Mt. Sterling. No further record.
EVERITT -- Richmond Everitt, head of a family of 6 persons in 1810, was no doubt of the same family as Samuel D. Everitt listed in Mt. Sterling., 1820. Reid's "Historical Sketches": "... In a house adjoining the west of Simpson's tavern, Samuel and Peter Everitt began their successful career as merchants."
GROOMS -- Moses Grooms, head of a family of 6 persons in 1810, is also listed in the 1820 census of Mt. Sterling. No further record available.
KELSOE -- Hugh Kelso came to Kentucky from Bath county, Virginia; his brother, John Kelsoe, also settled in Montgomery county, Kentucky. They were sons of James and Elizabeth (Sitlington) Kelso of Bath county, Virginia, who also had daughters, Mary (Polly) Kelso and Elizabeth (Betsy) Kelso. Betsy Kelso was the wife of Thomas Hughart of Bath county, Virginia, who migrated to Kentucky, settling in Bath county, Kentucky.. (The Kelso and Hughart families are among a number of early families which removed from Bath county, in Virginia, and settled in the county of the same name in Kentucky. There are only two counties in the entire country named Bath -- one in Virginia and one in Kentucky.
MCILVAIN -- Archibald McIlvain's family included 4 males, all adults; adjoining was James McIlvain, with a family of 2 males and 3 females. Memebers of the McIlvain family intermarried with Banks, McBee (Mockbee) and other early Montgomery county families.
FEAMSTER -- Samuel Feamster (Feimster) of Mt. Sterling, 1810, was a descendant of a Scotch family which settled early in the Bath-Highland county, Virginia, section.
HODGES -- The family of William Hodges, Mt. Sterling, 1810, included two adults and three children. No record available of name of his wife or of the children. The auditor's accounting of "town lotts" in Mt. Sterling, 1797, listed William Hoges (Hodges) as owner of a "lott". Gruelle's historical sketch of Montgomery county states: "A man named Hodge erected the first grist mill on the back end of the property adjoining the Methodist church, now owned by Dr. Ashby. He ran it by horsepower." The man who erected the first grist mill was possibly the William Hodges of Mt. Sterling; however, there were others of the name living in Montgomery county, or owning property there, as the auditor's book of 1797 lists John Hodges, Andrew Hodge, as well as William Hodges.
THOMSON -- Hugh D. Thomson, head of a family consisting of two adults, was probably of the same family as David Anderson Thompson, Jr., who came from Virginia to Kentucky in early days and settled near Mt. Sterling.
RINGO -- Henry Ringgold (Ringo), living in Mt. Sterling in August, 1810, was no doubt of the family of Henry Ringo (1724-1802), who with his seven sons and daughters came from New Jersey by way of Virginia to Montgomery county, Kentucky, in early days.
STIFF -- Daniel Stiff, living in Mt. Sterling, 1810, with a family of two adults; and Joseph Stiff, head of a family of two adults and five children, living in Montgomery county, Kentucky, 1810, were probably near relatives. However, no information is available as to their origin, although there was a family of that name in Middlesex county, Virginia, by the year 1710. The family originated in Old England, where it was seated in Wiltshire as early as the 13th century. The surname Stiff is derived from the nickname "The Stiff," meaning rigid in feature or obstinate in temper. An authority on the origin of surnames states that "the vowel was once long" that is, pronounced as Stife, as in the word Strife.
CHEATHAM -- In 1810, David Cheatham, James Cheatham, and John Cheatham were living in the county, and Leonard Cheatham in the town of Mt. Sterling. The federal enumeration shows Leonard Cheatham head of a family of 2 adults and 6 children. (One of the officers of the county militia of Montgomery county, set up by the governor in 1798, was Ensign Lewis Cheatham.)
FORBUSH -- In 1776, James Forbush was one of the first settlers at Bryant's Station (in Fayette county); he later moved over into Broubon county. Gracy Forbush, head of a family living in Mt. Sterling, 1810, consisting of 1 adult (female) and two children, may have been the widow of a descendant of this James Forbush, who came into Montgomery county prior to 1810.
SIMPSON -- Joseph Simpson was head of a family of 2 adults and 11 children in the 1810 enumeration of Mt. Sterling. (One of the officers of the Montgomery county regiment of militia, set up by the governor in 1798 was Lieutenant Joseph Simpson. This is no doubt the Joseph Simpson mentioned by Reid: "The first tavern (in Mt. Sterling) was built on the corner now occupied by Wells and Thompson's dry good store. It was hewed log building, with a huge, old-fashioned porch running its entire length. Joseph Simpson was the builder and the landlord... ).
SPURGEON (Spurgin) -- Among the names of "visitors and locators" mentioned by Reid in recounting the pioneer history of Montgomery county was Samuel Spurgeon (1779), who "settled near Mt. Sterling with his family in 1792". Samuel Spurgeon living in Mt. Sterling in 1810, head of a family of 2 adults and 5 children.
VIRT (Vert) -- Jacob Virt was an early settler of Kentucky, his name appearing in the records of Bourbon county as early as 1790. He later removed to Montgomery county, where he died; his will, probated at May court, 1826, names wife, Keziah Virt, and the following children: (1) Adam Virt; (2) Sibber Virt (married - Pleak); (3) Polly Virt (married - Pleak); (4) Betsy Virt (married - Wilson); (5) Jacob Virt; (6) Rebecca Virt (married - Sutton); (7) Sally Virt; (8) Nathaniel Virt; (9) John Virt; (10) Keziah Virt; (11) Reason Virt; (12) William Virt; (13) Daniel Virt.
INGRAM (Ingrim) -- Thomas Ingrim or Ingram lived in Montgomery county in 1810, when he was head of a family of 4 persons. One Uriah Ingrim owned property in Montgomery county, 1797, and was probably of the same family line. This family appears in later records of Bath and Morgan counties, Kentucky, and may have lived in that part of early Montgomery which later was cut off to form Bath and Morgan.
KINCAID (Kinkaid) -- By the time of the Colonial wars, this family was quite numerous in southwest Virginia (Augusta, and counties cut off therefrom, including Greenbrier, Bath, etc.). The pioneer history of Kentucky records many of the name. David Kincaid and John Kincaid were early property owners in Montgomery county (1797 tax list). The 1810 Census of this county lists a number of families named Kincaid, including: Archibald Kincaid, John Kincaid, Andrew Kincaid, Andrew Kincaid, Jr., Thomas Kincaid, George Kincaid and David Kincaid. They all seem to have lived in what became Bath county, 1811. Marriages performed by the Rev. Joseph Price Howe, first pastor of Springfield Presbyterian church, Bath County, Kentucky, include those of: Thomas Kincaid and Mary Bracken, on March 13, 1800; John Caldwell and Mary Kincaid on March 13, 1800, and James Johnston and Ann Kincaid on September 10, 1810.
MAGOWAN -- James S. Magowan, listed as head of a family of 2 adults and 5 children. James Strode Magowan was born in Virginia, 1774, son of James Magowan of Berleley county, Virginia; located near Mt. Sterling. He was a large land owner. Judge Gruelle in his historical sketch of Mt. Sterling, stated that "in 1809 James Magowan started a tanyard on the lot on which the railroad depot is being erected." James S. Magowan served as Representative from Montgomery county, with William Hodges, 1808. James Strode Magowan died about 1852. His son, James P. Magowan (born 1801; died 1858), married, 1827, Eliza Jane Banks (She was born in what is now Bath county, May 16, 1806; died 1871, daughter of Cuthbert and Elizabeth MeIlvaine Banks. Children: (1) Anna Eliza; (2) James Asa; (3) John Trabue; (4) William Cuthbert. John Trabue Magowan, son of James T. and Eliza (Banks) Magowan, was born 1834; died 1909; he was born, lived and died in Montgomery county. In 1872, he was married to Emily G. Gatewood. Children: (1) James R.; (2) Mary.
HEIGHTON -- The federal enumeration of 1810, shows Josiah Heighton listed with one adult male, age group 45 years plus in family. Hence, it is supposed that he was an aged man without family, living alone. No other information is available. (There was a John Heaton, a similar name in the 1797 Tax List of Montgomery County.)
McFERRIN -- John McFerrin was head of a family of 2 adults and 5 children, living in Mt. Sterling, 1810. No information at present available as to the names of the wife and children of John McFerrin; however among the marriages performed by Rev. John Smith, in Montgomery county were the following: Jonathan McFerrin and Rebecca Harper, October 13, 1818; Dillingham Ward and Susan McFerrin, November 26, 1818; and Aaron McFerrin and Elizabeth Montgomery, April 13, 1830. The family of McFerrin is an old one of Virginia, and member of the family come from York county, Virginia, to Lincoln county Kentucky, in early pioneer days. John McFerrin of Mt. Sterling was probably of the same family.
FEATHERCHY -- Andrew Featherchy was head of a family consisting of 2 adults and 8 children, living in Mt. Sterling 1810. (no further information)
WHITLEDGE - Robert Whitledge was a member of the first exploring party in the spring of 1775, but evidently he did not settle in Montgomery county. The name of Robert Whitledge is found on a petition to the Virginia Assembly by "... sundry inhabitants of the County of Bourbon," dated Oct. 27 1788. The petitioners are described as "living near the Courthouse and on Licking Creek... " Hence, we conclude that Robert Whitledge located near the town of Hopewell (now Paris, Bourbon county). In Bourbon county early were also Thomas Whitledge and John Whitledge, brothers; and Robert Whitledge likely was of the same family.
JUDY - John Judy and others "came out from Virginia in 1779 and composed the little colony of whites that first settled Montgomery county." The family of Judy (Tshudi) came from Switzerland to America in early days settling first in Pennsylvania; later, members removed to Virginia and Kentucky.
THOMAS - Moses Thomas is named as a member of the little colony that "first settled Montgomery county". One Benjamin Thomas is mentioned in early Montgomery county records: On Nov. 7, 1803, Weathers Smith of Bourbon county gave power of attorney to Benjamin Thomas of Montgomery, "to make division of land held by me and my brother George Smith". Benjamin Thomas died "about February, 1813, leaving will devising land to Benjamin Franklin Thomas and Washington Thomas, under age, of who James French was guardian.
SADE - William Sade, another of those who "came out from Virginia in 1779", may have located elsewhere; no further record found in Montgomery county.
WHITE - Benjamin White is named among the early "visitors and locators". Possibly he was a "visitor" rather that a "locator" as no further information is found regarding him. An early settler of Montgomery county was Aquilla White (hand written note: A. W. Rev. Soldier), who came to Kentucky in 1779, and located first at Boonesborough; later removing to Montgomery county. He was in the American Revolution in which he served as a Captain in the Pennsylvania Line. He is on the Pension list of 1835, resident of Montgomery county; age given as 89.
ANDERSON - Nicholas Anderson was one of the early "visitors and locators" of Montgomery county. The noncupation will of one Nicholas Anderson was proven by the oath of David Bradshaw in December Court, 1823, Montgomery county. His Wife, Rachel and children are mentioned (but children's names are not given.) There were quite a number of men named Anderson in early records of Montgomery county, who may possibly be descendants or else of the same branch as Nicholas Anderson, but sufficient data is not at hand to identify these people and arrange a genealogical sketch.
POAGE - Another one of the early "visitors and locators" was James Poage. On Dec. 17, 1796, Governor James Garrard issued commissions to Justices of the first Court of Quarter Sessions for the newly established County of Montgomery; one of the Justices was named James Poage. Early in the year 1798, the Governor laid off a regiment of Militia for the new County of Montgomery. He appointed the Lieutenant-Colonel and Commandant, James Poage. Montgomery County Tax Lists, 1797, show that James Poage was the owner of 1106 acres of land. No genealogical records found.
SPURGIN - Samuel Spurgin, among the early visitors and locators; no further record. (Penned note: sale bill - estate - 1838)
TURLEY - James Turley came from Culpeper county, Virginia to near Mt. Sterling, Kentucky, before the county of Montgomery was established. The first tax lists of the new county, 1797, show the names of James Turley and Loenard Turley. The U. S. census of 1810 lists the name of Leonard Turley as head of a family consisting of 5 males and 3 females; however, no record of James Turley at this time, hence it is supposed he was deceased or had moved elsewhere. (There was one James Turley born about 1762, a Revolutionary soldier living in Sangamon county, Illinois, by the year 1835, when he was listed as a pensioner, age given as 72). Other Turleys found in early Montgomery county records are no doubt descendants of the pioneers, however, we have definite record of only one child of James Turley, Justice of the Peace. He was Thomas J. Turley, born in Montgomery county, who in 1830 removed to Gallatin county, Kentucky. He married Artie Lillard, a daughter of Rev. David Lillard, an early Baptist minister of Kentucky. Leonard Turley seems to have lived in that part of Montgomery which later became Bath county.
ROBINSON - There seems to have been more than one branch of the Robinson family in Montgomery county pioneer days. At the present stage of our inquiry it is impossible to identify and arrange available records of those of the name in early Montgomery county.
HUGHES - David Hughes, one of the first Justices of the Peace of Montgomery, was a large landowner of the new county, as evidenced by the tax lists of 1797. One James Hughes was also an early landowner. A charter member of old Springfield Presbyterian church, Montgomery (later Bath) county was John Hughes. (Penned in the margin: John Hughes M. Polly Pattterson - Nov. 9, 1809)
ROSENBOROUGH - William Rosenborough, Justice of the Peace, Montgomery county, 1797, may have removed elsewhere or possibly he resided in a part of the county which soon was cut off from Montgomery county. No record.
HARDWICK - John Hardwick (or Hardwicke), Sr., Justice of the Peace, Montgomery county, Kentucky, was born in Virginia, about 1714; he removed from Bedford county, Virginia to Kentucky soon after the American Revolution, and his name is among the records of Fayette county, Kentucky, by the year 1790. The 1797 tax lists, Montgomery county, show the names of John Hardwick, Senr.; John Hardwick, Junr.; George Hardwick, Sr., married 1st, a Miss Venable; 2nd, Dorcas Bush of Virginia.
COLVIN - Governor James Gerrard on December 17, 1796, issued commissions to men appointed as Justices of the Peace for the new county of Montgomery (which was established by an Act of the Kentucky Legislature approved December 14, 1796, to take effect March 1, 1797). Among those named as Justices of the Peace was one Joseph Colvin.
This Joseph Colvin may have lived in a part of Montgomery county which was later cut off to form other counties, or else he removed elsewhere. (There was a Joseph Colvin who settled in Lincoln county, Kentucky, early). For some years, there seems to have been considerable effort by descendants to complete the history of the Colvin family; and a number of inquiries have appeared in publications and been submitted from various places, seeking data on the early settlers of the name Colvin in Virginia and Kentucky. One inquiry printed in a historical paper asked for information on one of Joseph Colvin, said to be related to the families of Anderson, Trimble Allen which came from Augusta county, Virginia, to Kentucky in pioneer days and settled in Kentucky, including Fayette county.
In the hope of being of some small help to anyone seeking information on the early history of the Colvin family, the following notes, collected by the writer over a period of some dozen years are given:
The Colvin family is said to have come from England to America about 1744. This family tradition seems to fit into the following item, from Foote's History of Virginia: About the year of 1735, William Hoge removed from Pennsylvania and settled on the Opeckon, three miles south of Winchester, Virginia.. Opeckon Meeting House stands upon this tract of land. The families of Vance, Allen, Colvin, White ... and others joined him and formed the Opeckon Congregation, the oldest west of the Blue Ridge. (The Vance family was an early family of the Presbyterian faith in Frederick county, Virginia).
In Frederick Morton's History of Winchester, Virginia, in the writer [sic], there is a copy of an ancient document regarding the laying out of lots for the town of Winchester. Among names mentioned are Marquis Calmes, Andrew Campbell, Margan Morgan, John White, and David Vance - all names represented among early Kentucky families. The date is March 21, 1744 (New Style Calendar).
From another course, we learn that Andrew Vance, who came from Ireland to America about 1700, and settled at Opeckon Creek, Frederick county, Virginia, in 1735, married Elizabeth Colvin.
Long before the War of the Revolution, members of the Colvin family have settled in Culpepper county, Virginia.
Jospeh Colvin, son of Charles Colvin, was born in Culpepper county, Virginia, in 1778, and came with his parents to Kentucky. He married Nancy Turner, daughter of Stephen and Mary Turner. Their son, Armistead Colvin, was born near Lancaster, Ky., April 23, 1807, and died in Indiana, 1872; he married in Garrard county, Kentucky, April 4, 1809, Leannah Wilson, daughter of William and Nancy (Banks) Wilson.
The county of Montgomery was formed from part of Clark county under an act of the Kentucky Legislature approved December 14, 1796, to take effect March 1, 1797. On February 8, 1798, the Governor laid off a new regiment of militia, being the thirty-first, to be included in the county of Montgomery and appointed James Poage, Lieutenant Colonel Commandant, and Andrew Swearingen, Major of the First Battalion, and Samuel Downing, Major of the Second Battalion. (Other officers commissioned for this Regiment of Militia were also named). (From Kentucky archives.)
POAGE - James Poage is named among the first explorers of what is now Montgomery county; he is said to have settled near Mt. Sterling in 1792; he was appointed a Justice of the Court of Quarter Sessions for the new county of Montgomery; his name is shown on first tax lists, 1797, as a large landowner; and he was appointed Commandant of the first Regiment of Militia for Montgomery county. Unfortunately, no further record is available of James Poage in this county; however, some notes on the family in Kentucky and Virginia may be of interest: One William Poage lived in Harrodsburg from 1776 to 1778; he was an ingenious man, and made all the buckets, milk pails, tubs and noggins used by the people of the Fort. His widow married Joseph Lindsey in 1781, and several years later she married to James McGinty. (Collins' History of Kentucky). In 1739, two brothers, John and Robert Poage, came to America landing in Philadelphia, and later going to Virginia. Robert Poage married Elizabeth Preston; children: Margaret, John, Martha, Sarah, George, Mary, William, Elizabeth, Robert, Thomas. Robert Poage was one of the first elders of the Old Stone church, Augusta county, Virginia. John Poage, son of Robert, Sr. married Jean Somers; children: John, Grace, Martha, Robert, William, Anne, James, Jonathan, Thomas, and Rebecca. Among the officers of the Augusta county Virginia Militia in the Revolutionary War were James Poage, Lieutenant; John Poage, Ensign; and George Poage, Captain.
There was also one colored family of "Free Tom" who lived in Mt.. Sterling, Kentucky, at the time of the Federal Census enumeration of 1810.
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