William – Are you Thomas’ brother?

William – Are you Thomas’ brother?

As the search for Thomas Winston Kimbrough <TWK>’s parents continues, we have collected a lot of information on various Kimbroughs and continue to attempt to stitch together family groups. We will focus on the presumed brothers, based on Mededith Kimbrough’s will. < See the page The Kimbrough Brothers>

Our current subject is William Kimbrough, born in Virginia who ended up in Illinois. He’s the best candidate for a brother so far.


William  J. KIMBROUGH was born circa 1783 in Virginia and he married Susannah WIATT OR WYATT on 18 Dec 1814 in Henry, Virginia. They were married by the Rev. Mr. Patterson, a Methodist Minister, per William’s Military Pension application. He is 13 years older than Thomas, so that may indicate more than one family for the unnamed father.

William shows up in the 1830 Census in Todd County, Kentucky in proximity to TWK. His close neighbor, Young Thomas, is a signer on the will of TWK’s brother Meredith.  So far,  we cannot find a son for him named Meredith, which is a way to identify him from the will.  They do have a son, James M., noted in one of the censuses, but that appears to be James Monroe. At the time of Meredith’s will in 1831, the couple had been married for 17 years, surely long enough to have had a son whose name was Meredith. The following biography that was posted on Find A Grave <Memorial# 74654025> reports 14 children, so perhaps there was a son that’s not named in any of the records we surveyed. A biography of one of William’s sons, also William, is cited below and includes his birth in Todd County in 1830. In the following generation, a son is named Meredith.

Here’s the excerpt and the source:

William and Susan (Wyatt) Kimbrough, natives of Virginia, whence they removed to Kentucky at an early day. The father engaged in farming in Todd county until 1834 when he brought his family to Hancock County, Illinois, settling in Carthage township, where he purchased a farm of forty acres east of the city of Carthage. 


He built there a log cabin and began the development of the property. He lived there for some years and afterward sold the farm, removing to a larger farm which he rented.

Kimbrough Wm Brother Land record 1840

A number of years later he took up his abode in Carthage, where he lived retired, his death occurring there when he was eighty-six years of age. He was a member of the Baptist church and a democrat in political views. A public-spirited man, he was an advocate of all that tended to improve and advance the community interests. He was also a prosperous and progressive resident of the county in his day and he was uniformly respected. At the time of the war of 1812 he espoused the cause of his country and served throughout the period of hostilities. His widow, who was also a consistent member of the Baptist church, survived him for a number of years and in their family were fourteen children, who grew to maturity, but William R. is the only one now living. Both parents lie buried in Seckman cemetery in Carthage township. <1907> 1

We’re sure that there were many challenges along the way. Here’s just one of them from 1868 – it could be attributed to either father or son:

Kimbrough fire Quincy_Daily_Whig_1868-12-21_[2].png

pexels-photo-461061.jpegWhen all is said and done, we still don’t know who William’s parents are and whether or not he was Thomas’ brother for sure. Hopefully, as we search for information on all the brothers mentioned in the will a solution to this “brick wall” will present itself. Until then, with any luck some of this information will be helpful to the multitude of descendants of William J. and Susannah Wyatt Kimbrough.





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.


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.


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.