Ancestor Charts

Since it has been a long while since I posted, I thought a quick ancestor summary could be helpful. Here’s a fan chart of Bob (Robert Landon Kimbrough)’s ancestors, in hopes of catching a cousin or two. We continue to research in the background, but despite retirement it always seems we’ve just not quite solved “that” mystery – whatever it might be. rlk-fan

In this blog we have left out Bob’s wife’s family: an equally colorful group of characters soon to be added: a group of immigrant Scandinavians, Danes, and Germans. Despite the appearance of a lack of facts, we have spent nearly as much time on this crew as on the Kimbroughs. With one look at the surnames, however, you will understand some of our problem. Sylvanne’s grandparents were nearly all immigrants. The fortunate part of this family is that they settled in Oregon and Washington, closer to us than Kentucky or Virginia so easier to research. Sadly, the frontier nature of the area has created some record gaps. We’ll just keep looking and create some posts about them as well.

sylvanne-fan-chart

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It’s Good to have a Will or Maybe Not

It’s Good to have a Will or Maybe Not

In which we are reminded you can’t take it with you

 

I was lucky enough to spend several days in Salt Lake City at the Family History Library last month. I also got to attend Roots Tech, which was a lot of fun, and I even took the time to attend a couple classes and learned a few things.

While searching at the Library I found the probate file of William Wallace McMurry on Family Search <Tennessee Wills and Probate records, 1779-2008>. William was the 2nd great grandfather of Robert Landon Kimbrough (1919-2009) Landon and Harry’s late father, and was linked only by family story in our records until this discovery. Robert’s mother was Mary McMurry, daughter of Robert Lee McMurry. Here’s how he is related to WWM:

McMurray Robert Lee ancestors

Reading the probate file created the usual challenges: format, reproduction and handwriting.  This, and other documents that I’ve tried to decipher, drove me to buy Reading Early American Handwriting by Kip Sperry. When I was able to make my way through the documents I found a wealth of information about the family. William died intestate in 1850 in Dickson County and at that time had 7 named legal heirs. His wife had predeceased him.

As did all the Kentucky/Tennessee ancestors at that time, William owned at least a few slaves and they were offered at his estate sale as was customary. One of the slaves, Patsy, was mentioned by name and the sale included her 2 month old child. She was purchased by William’s son, J.T. The remaining three slaves were sold to others. Perhaps knowing to whom they were sold will assist others in tracing their ancestors. I am sure there are many untold stories.

McMurry will part slave sale

William Wallace McMurray Jr, eldest son and our ancestor must have taken to heart all the hard work and possible heartache that was entailed in being his father’s executor. He wrote a will on May 7th 1890 and it was probated in 1893 in Todd County Kentucky. It contained an interesting conditional bequest.

McMurry WW Last will and Testament 1890 crop

The question remains: was this a good thing, or a bad thing? Was 125 acres and the “William Old Place” more or less than her 1/7th share of the estate? Family story had it that she was to be “disinherited” if she married Jesse Rollow – she did marry him, by the way – but her brothers got together upon the death of their father and refused to deny her share. More research is needed to figure out what really happened with the land. As far as the marriage went, it appeared to be a happy one and they were married until her death in 1941.

Rollow Sallie McMurry Headstone Rossview

 

Bibles and Brick Walls

Does every genealogist have a serious brick wall? One they’ve worked on for years? In case you’ve forgotten, Thomas Winston Kimbrough was born according to a source or two, in Louisa County Virginia in 1796. Born to whom is the unanswered question! He married and subsequently moved to western Kentucky around 1819 where he lived until his death in 1868. In our search for T. W. K.’s parents we have become familiar with a wealth of Kimbrough information.  Through investigating multiple Kimbrough families and trying to reconstruct information from burned counties we have come across large number of descendants. We’re hoping by posting information to help others climb over their walls, someone may have the footholds for ours.

The family of Thomas Winston was large and members lived in several Kentucky counties and some in Tennessee. One of the items is the following Bible Record that was found on PERSI. I carefully reviewed the copies of pages we received and transcribed them, as you will see. If you’d like to have copies of the originals I worked with I’m happy to email them to you – they’re too ugly to post.

bible

Transcription of copies of Kimbrough Bible 1820

This Bible was undoubtedly from the family of Meridith Garth and Mildred Ann Maria Terry Kimbrough. Meridith was the oldest son of Thomas and is well documented in a variety of ways. No one mentions his grandparents, however.

Family Graveyard Restoration

In the early 1990’s while visiting Guthrie, Landon came upon the old Kimbrough Family Graveyard, now located on another’s property.

“I was really excited to find something my father’s family knew nothing about, but the task at hand was daunting: the gravestones were knocked over, covered with brush and rabbit warrens made walking hazardous.”

Landon surveys the graveyard 1997

Landon surveys the graveyard 1997

When I saw it, I worried about snakes, myself. I hate snakes.

Bob Kimbrough, Landon’s father and his cousin Ben Kimbrough of Clarksville, Tennessee, paid to have the site cleared and the tombstones replaced in their original positions as much as possible. We visited again a few years later and copied down the information about the tombstones and did our best to create a family tree for the people buried there, but that may not appear on the cemetery page. http://www.kimbroughgenealogy.com/kimbrough/cemetery/cemetery.html Feel free to email if you’d like what information we do have.

Robert Landon Kimbrough in the Kimbrough Family Graveyard in Guthrie, KY

Robert Landon “Bob” Kimbrough at the start of the restoration of the Kimbrough Family Graveyard in Hadensville, Todd County, Kentucky

Susan, the current owner of the house and property said that someone had found a tombstone or two down by the creek years ago, but didn’t know where they belonged. I fear that vandals likely displaced or took additional tombstones. It is said that there may have been another older graveyard on the property, or it may have been a slave graveyard. Sadly, other tombstones might have solved some of our family mysteries. The earliest burial date here that can be read is 1830 and the latest 1903.

Thanks Bob, or how we got so interested in Kimbrough genealogy

My late father-in-law, Bob Kimbrough, known as “Lan” to his relatives, took a trip back to his hometown of Guthrie, Kentucky during the early years of our marriage. I have always been interested in history and when I found that this family had an old house there – a plantation house, really – and some older relatives who still lived near there, I was hooked. Why not investigate the Kimbrough genealogy? It seemed sooo much more romantic than my local folks. It didn’t hurt that each time I searched the various genealogy websites I would find hits on the name – many of which turned out to be related.

So began the quest that’s lasted over 15 years: who were the Kimbroughs? Are the McMurrys related to William Wallace? Are the Bollings descended from Pocahontas? Were the Kimbroughs the only plantation owners in Kentucky that didn’t own slaves? As you can imagine, many of the family legends, like the last one, have turned out to be just that – legends. Can’t say it hasn’t been fun.

As I began another round of sorting information today I came upon some pictures that reminded me of Bob’s pivotal part in our search. He passed away on December 13th, 2009, so as we approach this anniversary I thought it apt to write a bit about him, his history and his contribution to the Kimbrough legacy.

Bob was born on 26 March 1919 in Guthrie, Todd County, Kentucky to Keith Keesee  and Mary McMurry Kimbrough. He was the 3rd son of 5 children and spent his growing up years in Guthrie. His mother died when he was not yet 11. He decided, after high school to attend Georgia Tech in faraway Atlanta, encouraged by his aunt and uncle who lived there. He obtained his engineering degree from there and never looked back. He was Army Air Corps ROTC and entered WW II in 1941.

Here are his orders:

Special Orders to Galveston

Monday, 23 June 1941

HEADQUARTERS KENTUCKY MILITARY AREA

436 Post Office Building

Louisville, Kentucky.

June 23, 1941. Special Orders No. 112.

By direction of the President and under authority contained in Public Resolution No. 96, 16th Congress, approved August 27, 1940, second Lieutenant Robert Landon Kimbrough, 0-410941, CA-Res.,(541st CA) Guthrie, Todd, County, Kentucky, is ordered to extended active duty effective June 30, 1941, on which date he will proceed without delay from the place shown after his name to Fort Knox, Kentucky reporting upon arrival to the Commanding General, for temporary duty for the purpose of undergoing final type physical examination. Upon completion of the physical examination, if found physically qualified, he will proceed immediately to Galveston, Texas, reporting upon arrival to the Commanding Officer, for assignment and duty with Harbor Defenses of Galveston.

He will rank from May 20,1941. Unless sooner relieved, he will return to his home from the station where he is then serving.in time to arrive thereat on June 29, 1942, on which date he will stand relieved from active duty. The travel directed is necessary in the military service. FD~1325 P 15-06, 15-02, 15-07, 15-13, 15-01, A 1505-01-2. (Reference War Department letter AG 320.2 (12-27-40) M-A-M, January 3, 1941, Subject:

“Allotment of Reserve officers for Regular Army Inactive Units to be activated June 1, 1941”). (Reqn. #112-1941)

 Bob in 1940s

He shared with us one of the other important related turning points of his life – he was NOT sent to Guadalcanal later in the conflict as his engineering skills were needed elsewhere. Otherwise a lot of our Kimbroughs would not exist. The military continued to be a big part of Bob’s life even after discharge in about 1947  from the Air Force as he maintained membership in the Reserves until the mid 1980’s.

Bob spent his post active military career with the Boeing Company and retired from there. After his retirement he did some traveling and on one of his trips he came upon the old Kimbrough Family Cemetery which was originally on the Kimbrough Plantation in Hadensville, Kentucky,  just outside of Guthrie. His original Kentucky forebears were buried there and he wanted to see that it was preserved for future generations. With support from a cousin, Ben Kimbrough and his nephew John, son of his late brother Charles, Bob crafted a plan to restore what tombstones and sites could be found. We got involved in the last stage of the restoration: taking pictures and documenting the burials – as best we could. Our results are seen on the website http://www.kimbroughgenealogy.com .

The quest for information to know more about the folks who were buried in the cemetery really drove a lot of the research for a while. We have yet to find out where Thomas Winston Kimbrough and his brothers were raised…but we have hope! I’m sorry that Bob won’t be around to celebrate with us when the brick wall is finally breached, but I’ll imagine him laughing.

RLK on front porch of his childhood home in Guthrie, Kentucky in 2001

Yes, we’re still here!

Ok, I know we said we’d be back to you later…didn’t really mean a LOT later, but life intervened. We have just moved into a new residence and coupled with our travels genealogy did take a back seat. I’m sorry to say that we haven’t yet dismantled our brick wall. We believed we had isolated our search in Virginia but North Carolina (full of Kimbroughs) keeps popping up. We’ve not done much research there, either on site or long distance. So far we have gathered so much Kimbrough information it’s overwhelming! I will post some Bible pages.Kimbrough Bible - Memoranda Page

Kimbrough Bible - Births Page

Kimbrough Bible - Deaths Page

Kimbrough Bible - Marriages Page

Kimbrough Bible - Matrimony Page

These Bible pages are from the family of William Landon Kimbrough of Hadensville, Todd, Kentucky and show members including Landon’s grandfather Keith.

Meanwhile I’ve tried to do some work on my lines. Most of my forebears landed in America in the late 1800s so are a problem of another type – clearing the palate, so to speak. Eventually I’ll blog about that, too. Both Landon and I have lines that go back to pre-Revolutionary War and also have 19th century immigrants. Typical Americans.