It’s always a fun day when I find some documentation for ancestors in my husband’s family tree. They are usually living out on the frontier where extant records are scarce.
Therefore, I was quite excited to find not one, but two, documents for Dave’s 4X great grandmother, Nancy Kennedy Holland. She was likely born about 1775 and probably in Frederick County, Maryland.
She married Ephraim Holland on 21 May 1794 in Bourbon County, Kentucky. The Hollands were also from Maryland, but hailed from Anne Arundel County.
What two documents did I find? Well, the first was fun on its own – a land deed from Thomas and Rachel Kennedy to Ephraim Holland on 12 July 1796. (Bourbon County, Kentucky Land Deed Book C:692-693)
There is nothing earth shattering in it, but it does identify Ephraim as living in Fayette County, Kentucky. It doesn’t mention anything about a blood or marital relationship between the Kennedys and Ephraim, though.
The second document is the will of Thomas Kennedy, dated 10 December 1816 and entered into Bourbon County Court records during the term of September 1827.
Bourbon County, Kentucky Will Book G:502
I Thomas Kennedy of the County of Bourbon and state of Kentucky do make and ordain the following my last will and Testament (to wit) After the expense of my funeral is discharged and my just debts are paid
I give unto my son Thomas the sum of one dollar in addition to what Ihave already given him.
I give unto my son James the sum of Eighty five dollars in addition to what I have already given him to be paid unto him at any time within two years after my decease.
I give unto my daughter Nancy the sum of one dollar in addition to what I have already given her.
I give unto my son Jesse all the ballance of my Estate both real and personal to go to his use & disposition to him and his Heirs forever.
Except one third part thereof to go to the use and benefit
of my wife Rachel during her natural life only and at her death to descend to my son Jesse and his heirs forever.
I do forthwith Enjoin it upon my son Jesse to take care of my son John and see that he is sustained and dealt humanely by as he is not capable of taking care of himself.
Lastly I do nominate my son Jesse in conjunction with my friends Nicholas Talboott and William Boggess to Execute this my last Will & Testament.
In testimony hereof I have set my hand and seal this tenth day of December one thousand eight hundred and sixteen.
Thomas Kennedy (seal)
in the presence of
Bourbon County Court September Term 1827
This last will and testament of Thomas Kennedy Dcd. being
proved in open court by the oath of Nicholas Talbott and William
Boggess subscribing witnesses thereto is ordered to be recorded.
Thos P. Smith CBC
It isn’t clear from the will whether Thomas’s wife Rachel was his only wife and the mother of his children. Thomas never refers to his children helping their mother and calls John “my son.”
Find-a-Grave was very helpful in this case, as there are images posted from the Kennedy Cemetery in Bourbon County. The gravestones are very old and probably originals.
Additional information includes the fact that Rachel Graham was Thomas’s second wife. She was born 7 December 1750, North Carolina and predeceased Thomas, dying on 17 June 1826, Bourbon County, Kentucky. Rachel married (1) Daniel Cook and they had a daughter Abigail, born in 1778 in North Carolina. Abigail married John Lyon, 15 November 1798, Bourbon County, Kentucky.
Thomas’s gravestone is flat on the ground, but very legible:
Born in Maryland. 22 January 1744 Resided 7 years in Virginia, visited KY in 1776, migrated with his family in 1779, resided at Strodes Station till 1785, then located on this place and died. Without a struggle or a groan, his last words were “I never felt better in all my life”.
The Strode Station Cemetery has a Find-a-Grave memorial for Thomas’s first wife, Ann Locker, born 1748; died Spring 1780, Strode Station, Clark County, Kentucky; married 19 April 1772, probably Fauquier County, Virginia. There is a second memorial at Strode Station for their son, John, born 1775; died 1780.
There is a second monument at Thomas Kennedy’s grave, indicating Revolutionary War service in the Virginia militia.
Thomas’s children with Ann Locker. The family lived in Virginia and it’s possible the children were born in Fauquier County.:
- Thomas, born 24 March 1773, Virginia; died 1857, Crawford County, Illinois; married Elizabeth Eaton, 7 August 1793, Bourbon County, Kentucky.
- James, born c1774, Virginia; died between 18 May and 24 August 1835, when he wrote his will and when it was recorded in Lawrence County, Indiana County Court; married (1)? and (2) Matilda (MNU), Matilda died between the 1840 and 1850 censuses, probably Lawrence County, Indiana
- John, born c1776, Virginia; died Spring 1780, Strode Station, Clark County, Kentucky
- Nancy, born February 1778, Virginia; died after 10 December 1816; married Ephraim Holland, 21 May 1794, Bourbon County, Kentucky. Ephraim died in 1814, Scott County, Kentucky.
Thomas’s children with Rachel:
- John, born 27 June 1785; died 2 December 1838, Bourbon County, Kentucky. John was unable to care for himself during his lifetime. He was unmarried. Jesse Kennedy called him “my silly brother, insane from birth to death.”
- Jesse, born 11 August 1787; died 3 April 1863, Bourbon County, Kentucky; married Polly Waugh, 5 March 1814, Bourbon County, Kentucky
- Rachel, born 20 December 1791, Bourbon County, Kentucky; gravestone says she died young, but no date.
This information was collected from various websites found online with details recorded in my notes. I wondered how much of this information was accurate until I hit the MOTHERLODE!
Come back for Part 2 tomorrow.