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Plantation Owners

Contributed by: Peggy Gilkey 2005


 I have contributed this family history of my ancestors with the hope that the names, dates and areas they lived in may aid you you in the search for your ancestors.


If anyone does have success in finding their family because in part from this report, I would enjoy knowing about it, if you find any corrections or additions, if anyone has more information on Henry, Sylvia or any of the other families, please contact me. 

                                                                                                             Peggy Gilkey  


The Calvert Family

So. Carolina - Kentucky


The Calvert family removed from Spartinburg, South Carolina to Caldwell Co., Kentucky. The first to appear on a tax list was Elisha Calvert in 1812. He is sometimes found as Elias Calvert, he was the son of Spencer Calvert, a Revolutionary War Veteran.


Spencer Calvert born, May 10, 1759 in Prince William Co., Virginia, died Dec. 28, 1834, in Caldwell Co., KY. He married Jan. 2, 1780 in Laurens Co., So. Carolina to Nancy Leatherwood, born Jan 2, 1761 in Prince William Co., VA and died April 12, 1822 in Caldwell Co., KY., buried at the Calvert Cemetery across from Union Grove Church in Caldwell.


Elisha/Elias Calvert married Eleanor Morse granddaughter of Ebenezer Morse, also from Spartinburg, S. C. Ebenezer had served as a patriot in the Revolution. The Morse family appears on the tax for Caldwell County the first time in 1809.


The Reason Fryer family came, I believe at a later date. Reason married Delilah Calvert the daughter of Spencer, I place their arrival in Caldwell about 1817 as Delilah had twin girls in South Carolina in 1816 and the next child, a son, was born in Caldwell Co., KY in 1818.


The Fryer Family

So. Carolina - Kentucky  - Illinois


Reason Fryer was born Nov. 14, 1787 in Spartinburg, So. Carolina and died April 27, 1856 in Caldwell Co., KY. He was the son of Richard and Rachel (Holland) Fryer.


Richard was also a Revolutionary War Veteran and Reason may have inherited his father's bounty land and this would account for the vast land holdings in Caldwell Co., KY. Reason Fryer married Oct. 19, 1815 in Spartinburg, S. C., to Delilah A. Calvert born Jan. 15, 1790 and died 

March 5, 1850 in Caldwell County. She was the daughter of Spencer and Nancy (Leatherwood) Calvert the same Spencer mentioned earlier as a veteran of the Revolution.


Reason and Delilah (Calvert) Fryer had 5 known children including Richard H. and William Sanford Fryer, and are buried at the Calvert Cemetery across from Union Grove Church, Hwy 1119 just off Hwy 293.


In "Kentucky Name Places" it states Fryer, a hamlet, was named for a Fryer (Reason Fryer) who owned a large plantation across the road from where Barnes Store now sits. This plantation consisted it is said of 1,200 acres and as anyone that has ever lived in the area knows it is prime farmland. Fryer is still the official name of the area, although most people recognize it more readily as Barnes Store, and at one time was called "Peach".


It was served by the Quin Post Office, 2 miles N N/W. Mr. Ed Barnes had the post office moved to the store in 1909 and it was closed in 1913. The store is still at the junction of Hwy. 293 and Hwy 70., although Arnold Barnes retired and closed the store several years ago.


According to a Fryer family history by Norma J. Henry, when Reason Fryer died in Caldwell Co., KY., on April 27, 1856, much of his personal property including slaves were put up for sale to settle the estate. Reason's son, William Sanford Fryer, spent  $4,200.00, to buy slaves to keep them together. He had been an overseer on his father's plantation and had known many of them since childhood, although he was a northern sympathizer, and believed in freeing the slaves. Because of his feelings about this, he along with others, were harassed, captured, starved and some even killed by what was called the Broadfoot or Mosby's Guerrillas. Finally, William Sanford  Fryer and his family moved to Illinois and helped secure farms for the other families that wanted to leave the Guerrilla's harassment in Caldwell County and move to Illinois.


The 1870 Caldwell Co., KY census lists hh 95-90, Williams Mill Pct., Richard H. Fryer, 46, wm farmer, with his wife Mildred, daughters Margaret and Paulina. Richard is William Sanford Fryer's brother and the next dwelling place from Richard is Jacob Fryer, 31 m mu farm laborer, his wife Mollie and their children.


Jacob (Jake) and Richard had grown up together, worked together and now  after the Civil War had ended and the country had been so torn apart, they were working together on farms side by side trying to make a living for their families. 


There was a period of time when William S. Fryer and some of the family had come back to the Caldwell Co., farm and tried to raise a crop. Feelings and emotions still ran high over the events during and after the Civil War and William; his family soon left to return to Illinois.


In northern Caldwell Co., off 293, across the road from Liberty Church there is a cemetery that some call the Drennan Cemetery and some call the Fryer Cemetery (black). Many of the black Fryers are buried in this cemetery.



The Morse Family

So. Carolina - Kentucky


Ebenezer Morse born, Dec. 9, 1744, and died June 6, 1818, in Crider, Caldwell Co., KY. He married before 1764 to Agness Spiller born about 1745 in Virginia and died Jan. 14, 1819 in Crider, Caldwell Co., KY. Ebenezer, during the Revolution, furnished arms and supplies to the Continental Army, had removed from South Carolina to northern Caldwell Co., KY.


Will of  Ebenezer Morse

June 3, 1818

Caldwell Co., KY.

Contributed by: Peggy Gilkey


In the name of God amen, I Ebenezer Morse, a citizen of Caldwell County do make, ordain and declare this instrument to be my last will and testament revoking all others, first my will and desire is that my mulatto woman, Sylvia at my death recieve her freedom as a testimony of my sense of her faithfull service to me and of my stock to recieve one cow and calf and one sow pig-Item my will is that the rest of my estate consisting of negros and stock of all kinds with my farming to be sold on a reasonable credit & equal dividind made of the monies ariseing from such sail between my children to wit Travis Morse, Obadiah Morse, James Morse, John Morse, Wm. Morse, and Jarrot Morse, Lucy Bucey, Fanney Wofford, Eunice Bumpass. 

Lastly I do constitute my three eldest sons as my lawfull executors namely Travis, Obadiah, and James Morse as witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal 3rd day of June 1818. 

His mark Ebenezer x Morse                     witnessed by Spencer Calvert and John T Calvert


May 24, 1819 to June 1819 there was a law suit against the heirs of Ebenezer Morse estate by John Pennington in right of his children to break the Will of Ebenezer Morse claiming Ebenezer didn't know what he was doing when he made his will. John Pennington was the widower of Ebenezer's deceased daughter Sarah Morse. The Will was held up to be legal, at least as far as Sylvia was concerned because a court record dated Monday, Aug. 24, 1818 shows as follows:


Court Order, Caldwell County, KY 

Jas. Morse 1 of the exrs. of the Will of Ebb Morse OK'd debt to page 14.

Justices of County Court of Caldwell Co., KY $200.00 to be void if a mulatto woman belonging to the estate of dec'd in his lifetime and emancipated by him in his Last Will and Testament should be at all times able to support herself without becoming chargable to said county and it is ordered that the said negro be emancipated agreeable to the said Will and have a certificate of her freedom the fee being paid.