Update on Family of Ephraim Holland & Nancy Kennedy: More Children Identified, but Questions Remain

I love making contact with new cousins and, thanks to cousin Jerry, all of the children of Ephraim Holland and Nancy Kennedy of Scott County, Kentucky have now been identified.

I had identified most of their children and written about the family in the past, but two – a presumed son and daughter – were unsure/unknown to me.

As a quick review, the Holland family hailed from Anne Arundel County, Maryland and migrated south into Kentucky in the early 1790s.

Ephraim Holland, the son of Anthony Holland and Mary (probably Howard), was born c1756, likely in Anne Arundel County, Maryland.

Ephraim married Nancy Kennedy, daughter of Thomas Kennedy and Ann Locker, about 21 May 1794 in Bourbon County, Kentucky, where their marriage bond was filed.

Ephraim was a tavern keeper and settled in Scott County, Kentucky. He left no will, but died by 1814, when the inventory of his estate was filed. Nancy survived him at least until 1820, when she was enumerated as head of household in the census.

On  6 July 1836, Ephraim’s heirs sold his land in Scott County. Scott County courthouse had a fire and a number of records that survived were partially burned. I mention that because it seems that James Madison Holland is listed with “Eli” and then the page is partially missing. That would be his wife, Elizabeth, not They were named in the opening section:

Henry E. Brown, Abigail his wife,
Thomas K. Holland,
George W. Holland,
Polly Holland,
Ann Holland,
Montgomery Holland,
Mattison (James Madison) Holland
Eli. . . Holland

However, signing the deed were:

Thomas Holland
Henry E. Brown
Abigail C. Brown
George W. Holland
Polly Holland
Ann Holland

James Madison Holland was living in Howard County, Missouri and Montgomery was in Cincinnati, Ohio.

That leaves unexplained the identity of  “Eli. . .  Holland.”

The 1820 census, in which Nancy Holland is head of household, doesn’t help matters much, especially since marriage records are lacking. Scott County lost records in 1837.

Ephraim’s and Nancy’s known children:

1. James Madison, born 1790s (birth year varies a lot); married (1) Annie Thompson, 1818 (2) Sarah Hutchinson, 1832. Lived in Howard County, Missouri and counties split off from it until he died after 1860. James had three sons – John, Ephraim and James – and two daughters – Sarah and Mary.

2. Abigail C., born c1795; married Henry E. Brown, probably after 1820. There is one Henry Brown in Scott County in 1820, over 45 years of age, but with three males at home aged 16-25. Henry and Abigail were living on 2 July 1836, when they sold Ephraim Holland’s land with the other heirs, but they have not been identified in any census before or after that date.

3. Thomas Kennedy, born 2 January 1798; died 29 March 1856, Scott County, Kentucky; married Sarah Stone (1811-1881), c1829. They were the parents of Eliza A., Nancy J., Elizabeth, John Ephraim and William Madison.

4. Mary, born c1802, died 1857, Cincinnati, Hamilton, Ohio. She apparently never married.

5. George W., born c1804; died after 2 July 1836. No further information.

6. Anne, born 22 October 1806; died 13 July 1890, Franklin, Warren, Ohio; married (1) John V. Simpson, 26 October 1830, Cincinnati, Hamilton, Ohio (2) Christopher Kellett, 27 January 1846, Cincinnati, Hamilton, Ohio (3) Samuel Beresford, 11 July 1853, Cincinnati, Hamilton, Ohio. She had one daughter, Mary Jane Simpson, born c1831.

7. Montgomery, born c1808; died 1891, Cincinnati, Hamilton, Ohio; married Martha Meyers, c1830. They had 7 children – George W., Richard P., Ephraim, Charles, Milton G., Robert and Martha. What happened to Richard after the 1880 census is not known. At that time, all the children were still living unmarried at home with Martha, except for Charles. Ephraim married, but had no children. His other siblings apparently never married either, so Montgomery and Martha appear to have no descendants.

Are these all the children of Ephraim and Nancy? Well, I’m not sure. I mentioned that the 1820 census didn’t help clarify matters.

At that time, Nancy Holland had in her home not one female over 45 (herself), but TWO females over 45. Therefore, we are looking at some type of blended family.

Also in the home were the following:

Male, 16-25 (probably Thomas, born c1798)
Female, 16-25 (probably Mary, born c1802)
Male, 10-15 (probably George W., born c1804)
Female, 10-15 (probably Anne, born c1806)
Male, under 10 (probably Montgomery, born c1808)

Note the ages are off slightly, but since their true birth dates aren’t known, the children are still a good fit for those at home with Nancy in 1820.

The monkey wrench thrown in the mix, though, are the female 10-15 years old and the female under 10.

The elephant in the room is whether the female over 45 had one or two girls that she brought into the Holland home with her or if Nancy was the mother of one or both of the girls.

Given that husband Ephraim passed away in 1814, Nancy could have given birth to a child shortly after the 1810 census and another as late as 1815.

If so, one of those girls could be the “Eli. . . .” Holland listed with the heirs in the 1836 land deed. If she was born in 1815, that could also explain why the heirs were selling in 1836 – she had just turned 21 years old.

I don’t know if I will ever have an answer to those two young girls in Nancy Holland’s home in 1820.

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