Category Archives: Ketchum

Taking a Closer Look at George Larrison of Estill County, KY and a Ketcham Migration NJ to KY

A few days ago, I began looking for new clues that might help identify the parents, siblings and/or first husband (Mr. Ketcham) of Elsee Larrison Stufflebean.

It seems likely that Joseph Ketcham, born in the early 1790s, was the son and only child of Mr. Ketcham, who died sometime before Elsee married John Stufflebean in August 1795 in Bourbon County, Kentucky.

I’ve found several more tantalizing tidbits that seem to relate to the Ketcham family and the Larrisons.

Remember, these are only potential clues because the information is found on several of the many questionable online family trees.

First, the FamilySearch family tree includes a Joseph Ketcham, born around 1715 and who might have married Gertrude Johnson. They reportedly became the parents of nine children, including Joseph Ketcham Jr., who died as a young man. It wasn’t known if he died during the Revolution or where he actually died. However, Joseph Jr. was reportedly born 30 March 1751 in Hunterdon County, New Jersey. Nothing apparently is known about whether or not he was married.

This young man looks like an excellent candidate to be the husband of Elsee Larrison. You might think I am jumping to conclusions, which maybe I am, BUT and this is a big but, this Ketcham family migrated to – – – – – Shelby County, Kentucky ——after the close of the war. Whether or not this man was her husband, I don’t know, but the family is living in Hunterdon County, New Jersey in the same time period as the Larrisons AND they all migrated to Kentucky by 1800.

It is claimed that Joseph the father migrated to Kentucky with the family, but I haven’t been able to document that. The first Ketcham that appears in Shelby County records is Daniel Ketcham, who is supposed to be a son of Joseph and Gertrude.

Daniel Ketcham appears in not one, not two, but THREE records in 1800 in Shelby County. He bought land, sold land and is the first Ketcham to show up in any Shelby County record.

To sum up all this Ketcham data, what is important to this mystery is that Ketchums lived near Larrisons in New Jersey during the same time period – pre-Revolutionary War years.

Now it’s time to take a closer look at George Larrison who first appears in Madison County, Kentucky on the 1800 tax list and remains there until 1809, when he purchased 200 acres of land in Estill County and appears on the tax list for that county.

George Larrison, coincidentally or maybe not, first appears in Kentucky in 1800, like the Ketchams, but George is on the 1800 tax roll for Madison County. In those early days of settlement, counties were much bigger than their modern counterparts and Jefferson County (from which Shelby was set off) was not terribly far away and located slightly to the northwest of Madison County.

A number of different wives’ names have been attributed to George Larrison, but the truth is that no primary source giving her name has been found (by me) in Kentucky.

George bought 200 acres of land in what became Estill County in 1809. No wife’s name is included in the purchase. He sold off 40 of those acres in 1830. Again, no wife’s name is given and no dower rights are mentioned. He sold off the remaining 140 acres in 1833, with no wife or dower mentioned here, either.

Gilead Roop to George Larrison
Deed Book A:187-188
Estill County, Kentucky

George Larrison to Henry Roach
Deed Book D:398
Estill County, Kentucky

George Larrison to Frederick Wills (Wells?)
Deed Book E:304
Estill County, Kentucky

I am not going to take the time to transcribe these deeds because the only item of interest is that George signed with his mark on the 1830 deed.

As mentioned, George makes his first appearance in Kentucky in Madison County and remains on the tax list there until 1808. However, he is only taxed for himself and one horse. It doesn’t appear that he ever owned land in Madison County.

There are two marriage records that MIGHT pertain to George’s family while they lived in Madison County. In the first, William LARSON married Rosina Ham on 23 December 1802. Now, I’m not even sure that the surname is LARSON. It could be Wilson or who knows what?

Source: FamilySearch

What do you think? Also, I am not sure that George would have had a son old enough to marry as early as 1802. I tend to doubt that this record pertains to my George Larrison’s family.

The second record is for Eliza LARRISON to David Stewart on 31 May 1807:

Source: FamilySearch

If this is a child of George Larrison, then David Stewart must have died young and she remarried, as there is a marriage record in Estill County for one Betsey Larrison who married John Rogers on 30 December 1811. There is nothing in the dates to preclude these two Eliz./Betsey from being one person.

There is a David Steward enumerated in Madison County in 1810. He is in his 20s, as is the adult female and there is one young female also in the home. No David Stewart is found in Madison or Estill Counties, so it is possible that he died and Betsey remarried in Estill, where her father and siblings were living.

George Larrison appears on the tax rolls of Estill County from 1809 until 1831. The 1832 tax book is missing and he sold his land in 1833. By then he was elderly and his name is not found in any further records.

George and his family were enumerated in the 1810 census of Estill County. Let’s assume that Elizabeth who married David Stewart is his daughter to see where she fits in the family. Since no consent was given, we will assume she was at least 18 when she first married and she might have been 21.

Male 45+ (George)
Female 45+ (unknown wife, often called Elizabeth)
Elizabeth, born c1790; married (1) David Stewart, 31 May 1807, Madison County, Kentucky (2) John Rogers, 30 December 1811, Estill County, Kentucky
Female 16-25(born 1785-1794)
Female 10-15 (born 1795-1800)
Male 10-15 (born 1795-1800)
Male 10-15 (born 1795-1800)
Male -10 (born 1800-1809)
Male -10 (born 1800-1809)

No Larrison is found in the 1820 census and I suspect that, like the Stufflebeans, they might have trekked off to Indiana to try life out there. Also like the Stufflebeans, some of the family didn’t find Indiana to their liking and moved on. In George’s case, he returned to Estill County, where the family was again enumerated in 1830.

There is a very different family configuration in 1830, probably the result of son George Jr. marrying Nancy Dunaway on 26 June 1817 in Estill County.

Here is the 1830 household of George Larrison:

Male 80-89 (born 1740-1750)
Female 80-89 (born 1740-1750)
Male 60-69 (born 1760-1770)
Male 30-39 (born 1790-1800)
Female 30-39 (born 1790-1800)
Male 15-19 (born 1811-1815)
Male 10-14 (born 1816-1820)
Male 10-14 (born 1816-1820)
Female 10-14 (born 1816-1820)
Female 5-9 (born 1821-1825)
Female 5-9 (born 1821-1825)
Female -5 (born 1826-1830)
Male -5 (born 1826-1830)
Male -5 (born 1826-1830)

This is clearly a blended family and I think the key is George Jr. and Nancy Dunaway, who married in 1817. Before we try to figure out who is who, there are a number of Larrison marriages found in Estill County.

1. Betsey Larrison married John Rogers, 30 December 1811
2. Abigail Larrison married William Rogers, 7 June 1813
3. George Larrison married Nancy Dunaway, 26 June 1817
4. William Larrison married Nancy Parks, 15 January 1822
5. David Larrison married Sally Barnes, 19 September 1822
6. Manerva Larrison married James Barnes, 21 March 1830
7. Mariah Larrison married Elisha Barnes, 6 January 1833
8. Jacob Larrison married Fanny Townsend, 30 December 1835
9. Washington Larrison married Sally Crow, 1 August 1838

I don’t think any of the children born after 1810 were children of George Sr. and his unknown wife. It is certainly possible that George might have remarried wherever the family disappeared to in 1820, but that wife would apparently have died before the 1830 census.

I am also assuming that the male aged 60-69 is George. I haven’t a clue who the elderly couple in their 80s is! I think most of the younger children belong to George Jr. and Nancy. Assuming the babies arrived every two years, all of these children would fit (except for maybe one girl, unless twins?) with parents who married in 1817.

Tomorrow, we will review tax records and any other sources that might be found to shed more light on George Larrison of Estill County, Kentucky.






Joseph Ketchum, Son of Mr. Ketchum and Elsie Larrison Stufflebean, Part 3

In the final part of this series about Joseph Ketchum, let’s take a look at his presumed children and what became of them. His family has become somewhat of a ragtag collection.

Children of Joseph and Sarah King:

  1. George, aged 10-14 (born 1816-1820); married Susan Miller, 15 August 1841, Estill County, Kentucky
  2. John, aged 5-9 (born 1821-1825); at home in 1850, possibly in both his mother’s and father’s homes to help out. No further record.
  3. Sarah Ann, aged 5-9 (born 1821-1825); married Andrew Friley, c1845 as his second wife, per birth record of their daughter
  4. Alcey, aged 5-9 (born 1821-1825); married Moses Dunaway, 18 August 1842, Estill County, Kentucky
  5. Daughter, aged under 5, (born 1826-1830); no further record
  6. Marietta, aged under 5, (born 1826-1830); at home in 1850 with mother; no further record.
  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
  9. Jane, born c1836; at home with mother in 1850; no further record.

Child of Joseph Ketchum and Nancy Briant:

  1. Isham, born 11 November 1855, Breathitt County, Kentucky

Children of Joseph Ketchum and Fanny Barret:

  1. Hiram, born 1858, Breathitt County, Kentucky
  2. Margaret, born c1861, Kentucky

Working from eldest to youngest child, we have:

I. George, born c1819, Estill County, KY; died after 1880, probably Breathitt County, KY; married Susan Miller, 15 April 1841, Estill County, KY. She was born c1826, KY; died after 1880. George was a coal miner.


  1. Marcus W., born c1846; died after 1880
  2. Jeremiah, born c1847; died after 1900; married Anna Bennett, 3 September 1877, Lee County, KY. She died before 1900, but they had at least four children. He was a coal miner.
  3. Ellen, born c1850; died 19 May 1931, Carter County, KY; married William J. York, c1870.
  4. Armina, born 28 October 1851, KY; died 19 November 1909, KY; married Ransom Botner, c1875
  5. Eliza, born c1855; married Randall Smallwood, c1880
  6. Martin, born 24 December 1856, Breathitt County, KY; died 15 June 1915, Owsley County, KY;
  7. Jefferson, born c1860; died after 1870
  8. Douglass (female), born c1863; nickname was Spicy; married George Abston
  9. Nancy, born c1867; died after 1880

III. Sarah, born c1825; married Andrew Friley as his second wife. He married (1) Eda Hamilton, 5 September 1839, Estill County, Kentucky. He died in March 1860 of tuberculosis. Sarah hasn’t been found after the 1860 census.


  1. Rebecca, born c1847; died after 1860; no further record
  2. Susan, born c1849; married Nimrod McIntosh
  3. Rachel, born c1851; married William Turner
  4. Armina, born c1853; died after 1860; no further record
  5. James B., born c1855; died 26 March 1919, Laurel County, KY; married Violet Fletcher, 9 July 1877, Breathitt County, KY
  6. Araminta, born c1857; died after 1860
  7. Elizabeth, born c1859; died after 1860

IV. Alcey, born 1820s; died after June 1890 veteran’s census; married Moses Dunaway, 18 August 1842, Estill County, Kentucky. He was born c1819; died 2 January 1863 of a gunshot wound in Tennessee during the Civil war. Alcey received a widow’s pension. Moses was a coal miner.

In 1880, Alcey was noted to have bleeding lungs. She lived with Mason, unmarried head of household, and Milo, again noted as an idiot.


1. William, born c1849; died after 1910; married Quintilla Ann Estes, c1871. She was a widow when she died in 1929 in Lee County, Kentucky.
2. Mason Berry, born 25 March 1854; died 10 April 1917, Lee County, KY. he was a coal miner and never married.
3. Milo, born c1858; noted as an idiot in 1860 census; died after 1880 when he lived at home.

VII. Susan, born c1832, Indiana; died after 1880; married George W. Hounshell, 7 July 1857, Breathitt County, Kentucky. He was born c1829, Virginia. this family hasn’t been found in 1870 and Susan was either widowed or divorced in 1880.


1. Mortie, born c1855; died after 1880
2. Granville, born 12 July 1858, Breathitt County, Kentucky; married Martha Spencer
3. Jane, born c1864
4. Andrew J., born c1866
5. Vicy (Luvicy?), born c1868

The 1860 census shows the Hounshell and Haddix families living side by side:

Breathitt County, KY 1860 Census
Source: Ancestry

VIII. Eliza, born c1834; married Lewis Haddix, 12 September 1853, Breathitt County, Kentucky. Eliza was the apparent caretaker for her father in the mid-1870s, when he was noted as a pauper in court records. Lewis died during  the Civil War. He was in Co. C TN Cavalry and Eliza applied for a pension on 31 March 1866.


  1. Susan F., born c1854
  2. Sarah, born 15 June 1856; Breathitt County, KY
  3. Samuel, born c1858
  4. Silas, born c1860

The 1870 census is rather confusing as Susan is not at home, but instead Eliza has Sarah, Samuel and Silas along with James, born 1862, Samuel, born 1856, Charley, born 1858, Levi, born 1863 and Pearl, born 1856. Was Pearl the same child as Susan F. and why is Samuel listed twice with different birth years?

Of Joseph’s apparent children born after he and Sarah split up, we have Isham and Hiram. That is another mystery as Isham Ketchum and Hiram Ketchum are not very common names. Two men with these names are found living in Laurel County, Kentucky, a few doors from each other, in 1880. Hiram married Louisa Combs on 15 November 1879, Lee County, Kentucky. Isham married Dora House on 24 November 1887 in Jackson County, Kentucky. The strange part about the 1880 census is that Isham is living with his mother, Margaret, aged 67. If these are Joseph’s sons, who in the world is Margaret??? His mother is named as Nancy Briant on his birth record.

In any case, Joseph Ketchum most definitely has descendants out there. If you are descended from this man, I would love to share info with you, since he is a half brother of my Stufflebean family.




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.