Johnson County Historical &

    Genealogical Society

 

SOME COMMENTS ABOUT THE GRAVES REGISTRATION PROJECT

by Harold L. Preston

This project was a program established under the New Deal in which people were paid to work on public projects during the Great Depression. The gathering of data was secured through college students during their summer breaks. Students worked their own county areas and utilized information gathered from the graveyards with additional data received through people residing in the various communities. Information provided in these lists would have been secured more than sixty years ago. In several instances, there are dual entries for the same person with conflicting data. Such conflicts probably arose by data shown on grave stones, and information which was received through persons interviewed in the community. We also note many entries wherein an individual was buried outside Johnson County. Such information was probably submitted by community residents who knew of local soldiers who were killed and buried in another county, state or country.

As noted in an earlier installment, this list portrays persons buried in Johnson County prior to the establishment of the first permanent white settlement at Harman's Station. This installment in the Highland Echo contains two examples where persons were supposedly buried on Johnson County land prior to the establishment of Harman's Station: The list shows a William Moses Preston buried in the Preston Cemetery at Paintsville with his date of death noted as April 9, 1765. The second person was Andy Rule who died on August 7, 1763 and was buried in the Staffordsville Cemetery. Such burials were nigh impossible, but such listing may have significant and valuable rationale! Did the people submitting this information in the nineteen hundred thirties know these men were the progenitors of the Preston and Rule families, and thereby, wish to make such information available for future generations?

In their respective publications, Hall and Kozee noted the progenitors of the Preston family in Eastern Kentucky were two Revolutionary War Veterans by the name of Nathan and Moses Preston. Nathan, Moses and several sisters were early settlers in Floyd County. The family migrated here from Bedford County, Virginia ca 1803. My personal research has found two other men with the name of Preston were also early settlers in Floyd County. One of those men was an Isaac Preston who appeared as a household head in Floyd County for the Census of 1810. Floyd County records noted this Isaac acquired several hundred acres of land opposite the Mouth of Paint Creek. In 1837, Isaac sold the last tract of this land and migrated to Missouri. A Shadrack Preston arrived in Floyd County by 1820. Later records revealed these two were born in North Carolina, but their probable father, Isaac Preston, had previously resided in Bedford County Virginia. Although absolute proof has not been established, there are many records which indicate the Isaac Preston of North Carolina was a brother of Nathan and Moses. Was the William Moses Preston listed in the Graves Registraton the father of Nathan, Moses and North Carolina Isaac?

 

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