Joseph Ketchum, Son of Mr. Ketchum and Elsie Larrison Stufflebean, Part 2

Continuing the story of Joseph Ketchum, we left off with his enumeration in the 1850 census of Breathitt County, Kentucky:

Joseph Ketchum, 1850 Census of Breathitt County, Kentucky
Source: Ancestry

Missing from the family were wife, Sarah, and several of their children, based on the 1830 census, which showed the couple with six children, of whom three can be further identified, plus two children added based on the 1850 census:

  1. George, aged 10-14 (born 1816-1820); married Susan Miller, 15 August 1841, Estill County, KY
  2. John, aged 5-9 (born 1821-1825); at home in 1850
  3. Sarah Ann, aged 5-9 (born 1821-1825); married Andrew Friley, c1845 as his second wife, per birth record of their daughter
  4. Daughter, aged 5-9 (born 1821-1825)
  5. Daughter, aged under 5, (born 1826-1830)
  6. Daughter, aged under 5, (born 1826-1830)
  7. Susan, born c1832, Kentucky; married G.W. Hounshell, 7 July 1857, Breathitt County, Kentucky
  8. Eliza, born c1834, Kentucky; married Lewis Haddix, 12 September 1853, Breathitt County, Kentucky

What happened to Sarah and the other three girls? It would be easy to assume that each died before 1850, except for a curious entry in the 1850 census of Owsley County, Kentucky, which borders Breathitt County:

John Catchem, 1850 Owsley County, Kentucky
Source: Ancestry

John Catchem’s household includes himself, aged 25, “Vally” Catchem, aged 50, Marietta Catchem, aged 20 and Jane Catchem, aged 14.

In 1860, we find Sally Ketchin living with Jeremiah Miller’s family in Breathitt County:

Sally, 1860 Breathitt County, Kentucky
Source: Ancestry

What will become a common theme begins here. Sally, along with Jeremiah Miller, are noted as paupers. They are household #6. Look carefully, as household #6, the Little family, includes Jane Ketchum, aged 15.

Here is the earlier page, which shows the rest of the Littles:

Little Family, 1860 Census of Breathitt County, Kentucky
Source: Ancestry

I am sure this is Sarah King Ketchum because in household #2 we find:

George Ketchum, 1860 Census of Breathitt County, Kentucky
Source: Ancestry

George, son of Joseph and Sally, is living very close by with his family.

What about Joseph Ketchum? Like Sally and George, he is living in District 1 of Breathitt County, Kentucky, but there is a bit of a surprise:

Joseph Ketchum, 1860 Census of Breathitt County, Kentucky
Source: Ancestry

Joseph, aged 65, is head of household with Fanny Ketchum, aged 50, born Virginia, along with Isham Ketchum, aged 5 and Hiram Ketchum, aged 2!

No marriage record has been found, but Joseph and Sarah apparently divorced at some point between the birth of their last child and 1865 and Joseph remarried.

There are still a couple more surprises. Birth records exist for both Isham and Hiram. Isham’s parents are recorded as Joseph Ketchum and NANCY BRIANT! (Who is she???) Hiram’s parents are Joseph Ketchum and Fanny Barret.

By 1870, Hiram Ketchum, aged 11, and Margaret Ketchum, aged 9, are living in Lee County, which is right next to Estill and Breathitt Counties, with Pealy and Rebecca Penington, aged 52 and 54, along with Wesley Angel, aged 8. (Who are they? No idea!)

Joseph Ketchum is living with Ancel and Elvira Short, still in Breathitt County:

Ancel Short Family, 1870 Census of Breathitt County, Kentucky
Source: Ancestry

Who are they? I find no familial connection to Joseph with this family either and Fanny is no where to be found. Nor has Sally been found, or the Jeremiah Miller family. They’ve all just disappeared!

The last mention of Joseph Ketchum is in the Breathitt County court order books on 1 December 1874.

Breathitt County Order Book, 1 December 1874
Source: FamilySearch

The court noted $15.00 to be allotted for Joseph Ketchum, pauper with Eliza Haddix as “his committee” to be used towards his care for one year. Eliza was his daughter and Joseph may have died within that time span as there is no further mention of him in Breathitt County.

In Part 3, we’ll take a look at Joseph Ketchum’s descendants.



One thought on “Joseph Ketchum, Son of Mr. Ketchum and Elsie Larrison Stufflebean, Part 2”

  1. Concerning Isham Ketcham’s mother. If you count the names down to Isham it is 38, also down the father is 38. Over in the mother’s line there are some names inserted above but count the names and or blank of the one black child down to 38 and it shows Fanny Smith. Mother’s names are just out of line.

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