Lewis Peavler #3 and Catherine Head

Although the Peavler family spent many years in Knox County, Kentucky, several moved on yet again. Lewis and Catherine Head Peavler moved on to Sullivan County, Missouri. Even by today’s standards, the trip is long – 685 miles in a northwesterly direction and almost 11 hours by car.

I believe they migrated with other ethnic German families who decided that Missouri was the place to be. I’ve noticed many names, like Bull and Standifer, that were in Knox County and then later in the Linn and Sullivan Counties area in Missouri.

If the birth years of their children are fairly accurate, Lewis and Kate, as she was called, left Kentucky sometime after the 1850 census of Knox County, where they were enumerated, and 1852, when their last child, Thomas M. Peavler, was born in Missouri.

It also helps that a biographical sketch published in the History of Adair, Sullivan, Putnam and Schuyler Counties, MO, Goodspeed Publishing Co., Chicago, 1888 details John Ira Peavler’s life and his family.

The father of our subject was Lewis Peavler, a native of Tennessee, who married a Virginia lady by the name of Kate Head. From the union with this excellent woman were born eight children, of whom but six are living. Elizabeth is the wife of Thomas Standiford, of Oklahoma. Matilda became the wife and is now the widow of John Stufflebean. Isaac died during the war, having been in service for some time before his death. William now resides in Texas; James, in California and Thomas resided in Oklahoma, while another is deceased. Our subject was third in order of birth.

There are a couple of inconsistencies in the sketch. First, it says that Lewis and Kate had eight children, but it appears they had nine. The 1830 census of Scott County, Virginia shows Lewis Peaver, aged 20-30 with a female in the same age bracket plus a female under 5. That would be Sarah Catherine. The 1840 census of Knox County, Kentucky shows Lewis and Kate with a female 10-15, female 5-10, a male 5-10, a female under 5 and a male under 5. That would account for Sarah Catherine, Mary Elizabeth, John Ira, Matilda M. and Isaac Lewis.

Sarah Catherine Peavler Evans died in 1861, her husband remarried and the new family moved to Josh Bell County, Kentucky. Perhaps whoever gave the biographical information for the book knew John Ira was the third born, but perhaps forgot or didn’t know Sarah Catherine’s name. The two other deceased children by 1888 were Isaac, mentioned as dying in the war and Docia Peavler Smith, who died in 1875.

Lewis Peavler, born about 1805 in Tennessee or Virginia married Catherine (Kate) Head about 1830.

Lewis and Catherine (Head) Peavler,
probably with youngest child, Thomas M. Peavler, c1864

A now deceased Peavler researcher shared a copy of this photo with me back in the 1980s. The boy wasn’t identified, but I think he is their son, Thomas. Their clothing styles fit the Civil War era and Thomas would have been about 12 in 1864.


Sarah Catherine, born 4 September 1829, Scott County, Virginia; died 16 December 1861. She married William K. Evans on 30 May 1844 in Knox County, Kentucky.
Mary Elizabeth, born 14 November 1832 in Virginia or Kentucky; died 11 May 1921, Noble, Cleveland County, Oklahoma. She married Thomas Standifer on 2 September 1849, Knox County, Kentucky.
John Ira, born 2 May 1834, Knox County, Kentucky; died 10 August 1906, Saline County, Missouri. He married Louisa Bull on 26 November 1864 in St. Louis, Missouri.
Matilda M., born December 1836, Knox County, Kentucky; reportedly died on 6 August 1900, Linn County, Missouri. She married (1) John Stufflebean, who died in 1864 in the Civil War and (2) John Hall in 1869, but they divorced. Matilda had five children with John Stufflebean, but no Hall children.
Isaac Lewis, born c1839, Knox County, Kentucky; died 26 February 1865 fighting in the Civil War. He reportedly married Rachel Jane Stufflebean on 7 February 1860, but no marriage record has been found.
Docia C., born c1842, Knox County, Kentucky; died 16 February 1875, Linn County, Missouri. She married Addison J. Smith on 2 September 1858, Sullivan County, Missouri.
William Franklin, born July 1843, Knox County, Kentucky; died 28 September 1927, Fort Worth, Tarrant County, Texas. He married (1) Mary E. Chaplin on 26 February 1862 in Sullivan County, Missouri and (2) Julia, c1891, probably in Hunt County, Texas
James George, aka Jim George, born 20 April 1846, Knox County, Kentucky; died 1930 in Yuba County, California. He married Mary Elizabeth Haynes on 14 December 1865, Linn County, Missouri. Jim George and Mary are both buried at Wheatland Cemetery in Yuba County.
Thomas M., born c1852, probably Sullivan County, Missouri; died 5 February 1938, Muskogee, Muskogee County, Oklahoma. He married (1) Sarah Matilda Carmack,  1871 and (2) widow Prudy Anna Bull on 4 October 1883, Linn County, Missouri.

If you are descended from Lewis #1, #2 or all three, please leave a comment.


3 thoughts on “Lewis Peavler #3 and Catherine Head”

  1. I see on your info that William Franklin was a son. That was my GGGrandfather.His son James E Peavler born 1864,Mo,married Rhoda Ellen Trent in Greenville,Tx His son William E Peavler( my grandfather)
    born 12-10-1888,His son Abraham H Peavler (my dad) born 3,1921
    that’s is what I have Thanks,Abe

    1. More than likely descended from Lewis number 1.. My family came from Sullivan County, Tennessee to Jefferson County, Illinois and then Indiana.. Interesting information sorry it took me so long to find it.

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