Tag Archives: Mary Lewis

Joseph Hendricks & Mary Lewis, NC and Muhlenberg County, KY

After having spent most of the last month excitedly digging through Virginia records – and having a great deal of success – it is time to leave the Old Dominion and follow another branch of my husband’s family tree along a slightly different migratory path.

The earliest members of the Hendricks clan are found in Maryland before they headed to North Carolina and then Kentucky. The best thing about this branch of the family is that they had a wide reaching FAN club and I think they used the concept of mob travel because they all turn up together every time they moved. It is a definite plus in proving that I have followed the right Hendricks family since that surname is not all that uncommon.

Let’s begin with Joseph Hendricks, who was from a thoroughly German Dunker background and his wife, Mary Lewis, whose family branches were much more Anglo-oriented and of strong Quaker beliefs.

Joseph Hendricks was born 24 August 1793, probably in Rowan County, North Carolina, where his parents are documented as living at the time (in spite of his 1850 and 1860 census enumerations saying born in Kentucky.) He was the firstborn child of Jacob Hendricks and Frina (Fanny) Roland.

Mary Lewis was born 5 January 1794, probably in Pendleton District, South Carolina, where her parents were living at the time, having left North Carolina.

Joseph and Mary married not long after their 22 October 1813 marriage bond, filed in Warren County, Kentucky.

Both were under age, being 20 and 19 years old respectively, and the bond includes permission of Jacob Hendricks, father of Joseph, and Joab Lewis, father of Mary, to marry.

Joseph and Mary settled down into married life in Warren County until 1819, when Simpson County was set off from Warren. The young family didn’t move, but the county lines did and they are found in the 1820 census of Simpson County, Kentucky.

Joseph and Mary’s family now included four daughters.

The family still lived in Simpson County in 1830 and Mary had given birth to all of their children.

Sometime between 1830 and 1834, Joseph decided to move his family a bit further westward to Muhlenberg County, where the couple spent the rest of their lives.

Joseph wrote his will in Muhlenberg County in 1862 and it was proved in court in1864. Mary lived quite a few years more than her husband, passing away on 10 February 1882, probably in McLean County, where she had been living in 1880 with her daughter Catherine’s family.

Will of Joseph Hendricks, February 1864
Muhlenberg County, KY WB 3:211
Source: FamilySearch

In the name of God Amen I Joseph Hendricks of MuhlenbergyCounty and state of Kentucky being in good bodily health and of sound and disposing mind and memory calling to mind the frailty and uncertenty of human life and being desirous of settling my Worldly affar and directing how the estate with which it has pleased God to bless me shall be disposed of after my deceas while I have strength and capacity so to do make and publish this my last will and testement hereby revoking and making nul and void all other last wills and testaments by me heretofore made and first I commend my immortal being to him who gave it, and my boddy to the earth to be burried with as little expense as possible and as to my Worldly estate and all the property which I possess of which I shall dye seized and possess or to which I shall be entitled to at the time of my decease I devise bequesth and dispose thereoff in the manner following towit:

Item – I give to my oldest daughter Cathern Whitmer one dollar and to my second daughter Elizabeth Miller one dollar, and to my third daughter Eliza Hendricks one dollar and to my fourth daughter Martha Miller one dollar and to my fifth daughter Elvira Gish one dollar, and to my sixth daughter Emmerline Whitmer and to my seventh daughter Sarah Stobaugh one dollar and to my Eight child a son Jacob Hendricks and his heirs one dollar.

And the remaining portion of my estate I give devise and bequeath to my beloved wife Mary Hendricks to have and to hold and to live of ove duren her natural or widowhood this being my hole entire estate –

In testimony whereoff I the said Joseph Hendricks have to this my last will and testament contained on one sheat of paper and to this sheat thereoff I have subscribe my name and affixt my seal this Februay the 1 in the yere of our Lord one thousand eight hundred & sixty two.

Joseph Hendricks Seal
Witnessez. John Whitmer
John Phillips
Joseph Hendricks
All of the county of Muhlenberg and state of Kentucky.

State of Kentucky
Muhlenberg County Court} Sct.
February term 1864.
The foregoing last will and testament of Joseph Hendricks decd was produced to court and proved to be the act and deed of said decedent by the oaths of John Whitmer John Phillips and J.P. Hendricks the three subscribing witnesses, thereto and ordered to be recorded.
att: Thos. J. Jones clk


1. Catherine, born 26 May 1814, Warren County, Kentucky; died 22 April 1880, McLean County, Kentucky; married Daniel Whitmer, before 1850
2. Daughter, born c1816, based on 1820 census; died before her father
2. Elizabeth, born 3 March 1818, Warren County, Kentucky; died 21 October 1875, Hopkins County, Texas; married Michael Miller, c1837
3. Eliza, born 25 April 1820, Simpson County, Kentucky; died 14 August 1888, probably McLean County, Kentucky; unmarried.
4. Martha J., born 9 December 8121, Simpson County, Kentucky; died 21 August 1886, Muhlenberg County, Kentucky; married David Miller, c1841
5. Elvira, born 13 July 1823, Simpson County, Kentucky; died after 1900; married Jacob N. Gish, 8 January 1846, Muhlenberg County, Kentucky
6. Emmeline, born 25 May 1825, Simpson County, Kentucky; died 19 March 1909, Muhlenberg County, Kentucky; married Jeremiah A. Whitmer, 22 Aug 1845, Montgomery County, Tennessee
7. Sarah, born c1827, Simpson County, Kentucky; died after 1870, possibly Ballard County, Kentucky; married James Stobaugh, 21 August 1853, Muhlenberg County, Kentucky. James married (2) Elizabeth Goode, c1872 and the family migrated to Scott County, Missouri by 1880.
8. Jacob, born 6 September 1829, Simpson County, Kentucky; died 5 January 1856, Muhlenberg County, Kentucky; married Mary Elizabeth Lewis, 24 October 1850, Muhlenberg County, Kentucky

As I have thoroughly researched the Lewis clan (which can be accessed through the link above), my trek back to the East Coast will be following the Hendricks family and their collateral marriage lines.



Grandkids’ Clues Help Bust Brick Wall – Lewis and Hendricks Families

It took me many years to unravel clues to sort out my husband’s Miller and Whitmer families and I’ve written about them extensively in the past. Martin Miller, born about 1785 in Pennsylvania, married Catherine Whitmer in Botetourt County, Virginia and migrated with her family to Muhlenberg County, Kentucky around 1812.

From that time until today, there have been hundreds and hundreds of German Miller descendants in that area of Kentucky and, in the early to mid-1800s, they tended to be quite clannish, intermarrying into other local German families.

Therefore, when Martin and Catherine’s son, Michael, married Elizabeth Hendricks, I figured that tracing her family line would be a walk in the park. Wrong assumption! Definitely the wrong assumption!

Elizabeth’s maiden name was known through family lore and genealogical work had begun by Miller descendants living in Kentucky back in the 1950s and 1960s. However, I could locate no marriage record for Michael and Elizabeth, even though Muhlenberg County records are quite complete.

Michael and Elizabeth would have married about 1836 or 1837, as their first child, Mary Catherine, was born about 1838. Her parents, again according to family lore, were Joseph Hendricks and Mary Lewis.

I have found nothing to dispute that; in fact, the 1850 census shows Joseph and Mary Hendricks living only three farms from Martin Miller and four from Michael and Elizabeth. Further, the will of Joseph Hendricks, dated 1 February 1862 and proved in February 1864 names his eight children and Elizabeth Miller is one of them. Therefore, I am satisfied that Michael Miller married the daughter of Joseph and Mary (Lewis) Hendricks.

Now to the mystery about Mary Lewis. As no marriage has been found for Michael and Elizabeth Hendricks Miller, no marriage has been found for her parents either, although they apparently married about 1813, probably in Kentucky.

Michael and Elizabeth Miller were the parents of ten children and I wondered about a couple of their names, as the Miller and Whitmer families seemed to keep fairly close to German naming patterns and used the same given names through the generations. A couple of Michael’s and Elizabeth’s children’s names stood out from the crowd:

  1. Mary Catherine – born c1838
  2. Sarah J. – born 1841
  3. Louisa – born 1842
  4. Wilson Turner – born c1844
  5. James L. – born c1846
  6. Joab – born 1848
  7. Leonard – born 1850
  8. Jacob -born c1854
  9. Benjamin F. – born c1856
  10. Elizabeth – born c1858

The girls’ names were all quite tradtional, but the boys’ names not so much. Wilson Turner, James (rare in the Miller family), Joab, Leonard and Benjamin most definitely were not typical Miller or Whitmer names. I wondered where they came from.

I think I found some answers. In the 1840 and 1850 censuses, there is a Wilson Turner who married Elizabeth Noffsinger. Wilson was born about 1804 in Virginia. They lived doors away from the Millers and I suspect he must have been a highly regarded neighbor with a special tie to Michael Miller, who was born in 1815, although I have no idea what that might be. However, Michael’s first son was named Wilson Turner Miller, born in 1844. Although Wilson’s wife was of German background, the Turners had no ties by marriage to Martin Miller’s family, as far as I have been able to determine.

Next name on the list is James. While the Whitmers and Millers didn’t have that name in their families, it is way too common to read much into it, except that it may have been the name given to a relative of Elizabeth Hendricks.

Then we have Joab and Leonard. Not only are these not Miller or Whitmer names, they are not very common given names in that area and that time period. After digging around, it appeared that the Hendricks and Lewis families lived in Warren and Simpson Counties in Kentucky before settling in Muhlenberg.

The Simpson County Historical Society (and Archives) had family folders on some of the Lewis families. One man jumped right out at me – JOAB Lewis – whose wife was –  Catherine LEONARD. Each was born around 1770, so easily the right age to have children born from the mid 1790s onwards. Unfortunately, Simpson County is a badly burned county. There are no surviving county courthouse records before 1852 and, even after that, there are many gaps.

However, the ladies at the Historical Society were most helpful and they mailed me copies of family information.

Joab Lewis was born c1760-1769, per the 1830 census. Wife Catherine Leonard was born c1770-1779 and they married around 1793. Unfortunately, this family also lived in South Carolina, where Joab reportedly married Catherine Leonard. There are no marriage records for the 1790s in that area.

The Lewis and Leonard families will take a lot more research to document the members, where they lived and died, and how they lived their lives.

However, I think I have satisfied my curiosity about how Joab and Leonard entered the Miller family as names. Joab was Elizabeth Hendricks Miller’s grandfather and Leonard was her grandmother’s maiden name.

Do I have documentation to meet the genealogical proof standard? Nope, but I have a very promising bread crumb trail to follow to try to meet that standard.