Category Archives: Hamby

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.


John & Bradbrook Hamby – Seeking Descendants!

Today’s family is another of the many poorly documented Southern lines of my husband. John Hamby was born about 1770 and his wife, Bradbrook, was born about the same time. Their marriage likely took place in Spartanburg County, South Carolina, but no record of it has been found.

The only thing known for certain about their deaths is that John and Bradbrook were each still living on 15 February 1822, when a deed of gift to son Amos was filed in Christian County, Kentucky. Amos was to provide care and maintenance for John and Bradbrook for the remainder of their lives in return for all of John’s property. it is interesting to note that the deed was written on 31 December 1821 and Amos married the very next day, 1 January 1822.

It also mentions that daughters Mariah and Melinda, living with their parents, were to retain their own property.

This is the only document which I have come across in years of research that proves any of the children of John Hamby. Amos Hamby is my husband’s direct line.

However, I know that many have worked on the Hamby line, which has Tory/Loyalist roots during the American Revolution and John and Bradbrook are said to be the parents of the following children:

1. James, born about 1793, probably in Spartanburg Co., South Carolina. He died after 1870, probably in Hopkins County, Kentucky. James married Nancy Brasher on 12 August 1813 in Christian County, Kentucky. Nancy was born about 1786 in South Carolina and died after 1870. Findagrave gives exact dates of birth and death for each, but gravestone photos are not posted.
2. Philip, born abut 1798, probably in Spartanburg County, South Carolina. He died after 1880, probably in Christian County, Kentucky. Philip married Jane Croft on 9 December 1824 in Christian County, Kentucky. She was born on 23 April 1803, Greenville County, South Carolina and died on 3 February 1878, Christian County, Kentucky.
3. Amos, born about 1802, probably in Spartanburg County, South Carolina. He died 3 May 1876 in Cedar County, Missouri. Amos married Vianna (Levina) Palmer on 1 January 1822 in Christian County, Kentucky.
4. William, born about 1803, probably in Spartanburg County, South Carolina and died between 1850-1860, probably in Cedar County, Missouri. He married (1) Sarah Crabtree on 9 October 1824  and (2) Louisa P. Nix on 24 August 1838, both in Christian County, Kentucky.
5. Mariah, born about 1804, probably in Spartanburg County, South Carolina and died before 6 September 1871, probably in Lawrence County, Arkansas. Mariah married David Smith on 2 June 1824 in Caldwell County, Kentucky.
6. Malinda, born about 1810, probably in Christian County, Kentucky and died after 1860, possibly in Barton County, Missouri, where the family was last living. Malinda married Hugh Pierce on 8 November 1832 in Lawrence County, Arkansas.
7. Silas, born 6 July 1812, probably in Christian County, Kentucky and died 20 July 1881 in Cedar County, Missouri. Silas married Nancy Brasher about 1830, probably in Christian County, Kentucky.

Now, I have my questions about whether John and Bradbrook had all these children, mainly because of their ages. Mariah and Malinda were both mentioned as living at home and they were to have their own property. They were both well under legal age and unmarried and were mentioned. Why then would Silas, who would have only been 9 years old and William, who was perhaps 18 years old not be mentioned if they were John’s sons?

If Philip and Silas were sons of John and Bradbrook, they were the only two children to live long enough to be enumerated in the 1880 census, which asked parents’ places of birth. Philip said his parents were born in South Carolina. Silas’s father’s place of birth was left empty, but places of birth for himself and his mother said Kentucky.

There were a lot of Hambys out there, most of whom were likely related, but few left wills, land deeds or any other records to prove their relationships to each other.

I have seen Bradbrook’s maiden name given as Green or Greene, but there are no Green/Greene families in the 1790 census of Spartanburg County, South Carolina. I have also read that Bradbrook was 100% Cherokee, but I have seen nothing documenting that heritage. Also, Bradbrook is more than a bit of an unusual name, either as a given or surname. There is only one Bradbrook family listed in the 1790 U.S. census and they are in Falmouth, Massachusetts. If she was Cherokee, could her name be a corruption perhaps of something like “Broad Brook, ” being named after a natural phenomenon?

I have also read that John Hamby died in 1847 in Randolph County, Arkansas, but I personally believe that he and Bradbrook both died between 15 February 1822, when he filed the deed of gift and the 1830 census when Amos and his young family lived in Livingston County, Kentucky. If John and his wife were both strong and healthy, why would they be giving their complete estates to son Amos? They were supposedly both in their young 50’s. I think that both parents died probably in Christian County, Kentucky before 1830 and Amos had moved on after their deaths.

On my next trip to Salt Lake, I will be looking for grantor Amos Hamby in the land deed index to see when he sold the property that his father gave him.

Please contact me if you have any documentation on this family!

Old Photo Mystery: Amos & Vianna Hamby, or Not?

Many years ago, a descendant of Amos and Vianna Palmer Hamby shared copies of photos he said were of the couple when they were first married. I excitedly saved this unexpected treasure and Eugene, the gentleman who so kindly shared the pictures, has long since passed away.

I knew very little about dating old photos back then and I took Eugene at his word when he said they were the Hambys. The originals had been in his family for a long time.

Recently, though, I took another look at the pictures and the clothing styles seem to date the couple to an era that doesn’t match the ages they would have been at that time.

Amos HambyVianna Palmer Hamby
Reportedly Amos and Levina (aka Vianna) (Palmer) Hamby – or Not!

Amos Hamby was born about 1802 in Spartanburg County, South Carolina. Vianna Palmer was born about 1805, probably in Kentucky. They married on 1 January 1822 in Christian County, Kentucky.

A previous post dealt with the mystery of who Abraham Palmer, father of Vianna, was.

I agree with cousin Eugene that this couple is fairly young and the photos might have been taken not long after they married. However, with an 1822 marriage date, we have the first clue that these people aren’t Amos and Vianna.

Second, I don’t have the original photos and don’t know who does have them today. However, they appear to have been mounted on an oval shaped frame and were not tintypes so I think these pictures are from an era closer to 1870.

Next, I looked at the lady’s hairstyle. A part down the middle with hair pulled tightly back was popular throughout the 1860’s and 1870’s.

I can’t tell much from their clothing. The gentleman is well dressed with both a vest and jacket, but no tie. The woman’s sleeves are straight with the cuff of her blouse extending past her sleeve. Her blouse has an elaborate, bulky bow made of fabric that has some kind of ridging in it.

I am far from an expert at dating old photos, but I have a sense that these were taken either in the 1860’s or maybe even early 1870’s.

Amos and Vianna Hamby’s daughter, Martha married Samuel Henry Perkins in 1841. The Perkins men seemed to have narrow, angular faces. Martha Hamby looks like she could have some Native American in her, but I don’t think she did. The couple above looks nothing like either of them, nor do they look like any of the rest of the family in the group photo.

Sam & Martha Perkins
Samuel and Martha are the older couple in center

Eugene was a direct descendant of Samuel and Martha Perkins, as is my husband. He insisted that they were the Hambys. Perhaps they are, but they aren’t Amos and Vianna. I would love to hear from those who know more about this than I do. Is the 1860’s time frame accurate? How old do you this this couple is? Please leave a comment.