Amos Hamby & Vianna Palmer, Christian County, KY to Cedar County, MO

Amos Hamby and wife Vianna Palmer are two of my husband Dave’s 4X great grandparents. I have previously written about Vianna’s mysterious father, Abraham Palmer, who drops from a space ship to write a note giving permission for her to marry Amos, and then is beamed back up and disappears forever.

I’ve also written about two photos I have in the family collection, which a distant cousin, now passed away, said were Amos and Vianna at the time of their marriage in 1822, but with which I disagree because of the age of the couple and their dress styles, which seem to date from c1870. And, that’s aside from the fact that photography was invented fifteen years about Amos and Vianna were married!

In spite of these two posts about Amos and Vianna, I have neglected to write about their lives and family.

Amos Hamby was born c1796 – 1802, in South Carolina, the son of John and Braddy (Bradbrook) (maybe Green) Hamby. It is not known whether he was born in Spartanburg or Greenville Counties, as there were John Hambys, cousins, living in both counties.

Vianna Palmer, who later went by Levina, was born c1805. As mentioned, her father was apparently the elusive Abraham Palmer and nothing is known about her mother. Her birthplace is unproven – the 1850 census states she was born in Tennessee, while the 1860 and 1870 censuses both say South Carolina.

No Abraham Palmer is found anywhere in the U.S. censuses in 1810, 1820 or 1830, hence the martian drop off! FYI – that might actually point to a Tennessee birthplace for Vianna since eastern Tennessee’s early census records are lost.

Amos and his parents, John and Braddy, filed a land deed the day before his 1 January 1822 marriage in Christian County, Kentucky. In return for receiving their estate, he was to care for them in their old age.

The Hamby family moved several times. Amos’s grandfather had distinct Tory tendencies during the American Revolution, which explains their moves between North Carolina and South Carolina.

Amos’s father then moved his young family to Kentucky sometime between the 1820 Greenville County, South Carolina census and 1 January 1822, the day that Amos married in Christian County, Kentucky.

Amos continued the family tradition of moving. Although the 1830 census places him in Livingston County, Kentucky, a short distance west of Christian County on the Illinois border, Amos appears on the tax lists of Christian County from 1822-1829.

What the census doesn’t show is that Amos Hamby appears on the tax lists of Lawrence County, Arkansas in 1831 and 1833, indicating a residence there before moving on to Missouri.

1840 brought them to Polk County, Missouri and by 1850, they finally settled in Cedar County, Missouri, where Amos and Vianna remained until they died on 3 May 1876 and 3 September 1875, respectively.

However, land records indicate that Amos had a patent registered in Dade County in 1853 even though he is called a resident of Cedar County. Whether he ever lived in Dade County or if he just sold the land is not known.

From the family’s first move from Christian County to their last in Cedar County, the Hambys migrated over 600 miles almost due west.


  1. James Madison, born c1823, Christian County, Kentucky; died after 1852, possibly Sonoma County, California. He appears not to have married or had children.
  2. Martha, born 4 September 1826, Christian County, Kentucky; died 19 March 1891, Cedar County, Missouri; married Samuel Henry Perkins, 24 April 1841, Cedar County, Missouri
  3. Caroline Mary, born c1828, Christian County, Kentucky; died before 1850. Undocumented family information says she married Elijah Seaton Perkins, but no marriage record has been found. He is living alone in 1850 and she is not in her parents’ home either. If they did marry, she may have died soon.
  4. Emily, born c1830, probably Livingston County, Kentucky; died after 1860; no further information
  5. David Smith, born 17 April 1831, Lawrence County, Arkansas; died 26 March 1912, probably Polk County, Missouri; married (1) Emily Caroline Hailey, 28 May 1851, Cedar County, Missouri (2) Chaney Melissa Tate, 24 October 1869, Cedar County, Missouri
  6. William M., born c1836, Missouri; died after 1850. He might be the William Hamby who married Catherine Sterr, 30 April 1858 and/or Lavina Cooksey, 22 March 1863, both in Cedar County, Missouri. His first cousin, son of Silas Hamby, was also born about the same year as this William. No death record has been found for William, which might clear up his parentage.
  7. Jeremiah T. or Y., born c1837, Missouri; died after 1860; said to have married Cordelia Belle Ethridge, but no record found. In 1860, Amos A., 4/12 months old was in the home of Jeremiah and Cordelia. In 1870, Delia, Alonzo, aged 8,  and Melissa C., aged 8, were living with Amos and Levina Hamby. Jeremiah died before 23 October 1866, when Cordelia was named administrator of his estate in Dade County, Missouri.
  8. Jane, born 21 June 1842, Missouri; died 5 September 1935, Cedar County, Missouri; married Wilson Wayne Wooldridge, 2 February 1866, Cedar County, Missouri

Although Amos and Vianna/Levina had eight children, it seems that only Martha, David, Jeremiah and Jane might have descendants. The fates of Emily and William are unknown.

It also seems that researchers have confused/combined William and his brother Jeremiah with Hamby cousins close in age. Jeremiah’s middle name was said to be Yandell, but his cousin Jeremiah married Catherine Yandell and that cousin died in 1855 in Kentucky.

Some of the children of Amos and Vianna need a bit more research to sort them out from their cousins.


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