Search billions of records on

Home Up Family Photo Albums Family Reunions Founders Days Links Membership News Our Beginnings Pioneer Village Publications MCHS Order Form Talk to Todd

  Magoffin County Historical Society 
"Preserving Our Past for the Future"

(Click here to) Join Us On Facebook!

Back to Archives

This article, written by Todd Preston, President of the Magoffin County Historical Society, was taken from the
July 22, 2010 issue of THE SALYERSVILLE INDEPENDENT newspaper.

The Salyersville Independent , a weekly newspaper.
P. O. Box 29, Salyersville, KY 41465. 
Telephone (606) 349-2915. 
Yearly subscription rates are $24.00 in Kentucky and
$30.00 per year out of state.

            We were happy to have members of the Blankenship-Patrick-Connelley family visiting our area recently. Joyce Kellogg of Chagrin Falls, OH had organized the trip for family members to come to Magoffin County for a revisit of the areas where they and family members had lived.  We first took them on a tour of the Pioneer Village where they saw and walked on the set of steps that had been given to us from the former home of Francis and Gladys Blankenship Connelley.

            After lunch at the Kozy Korner we then visited the Gardner Farm and host Ben Gardner delighted the whole group with a tour of the old Gardner mansion.  Ben and I introduced them to “divining rods” for finding abandoned graves, water lines, etc.

            We came back to town and I showed them the approximate area of the homes where Kate Blankenship and Francis Connelley lived as well as the Blankenship cemetery.

            We then visited the burial site of John Blankenship in the old part of the Bluegrass Cemetery where I told them about “Big John’s” showmanship in the 4th of July contests at the Connelley Farm Park fifty years ago and especially during the 1960 Centennial celebration.  The group proceeded toward the Connelley Farm when we parted.

            On this same day, there were several other people visiting our facility for tours and searching for their ancestors which kept Dorothy busy.  Danny and Pansy Patrick with their family came to visit.  It was Pansy’s grandchildren’s first visit to Kentucky.  Belsey Connelley made the trip in to get to visit with his kinsmen.  Judy Combs of Slade, KY stopped by and blended right in with the Blankenship clan for a tour of the Pioneer Village.

            We were happy to have them all and hope that we were able to make their trip to our area enjoyable and informative.

            Stacy Bays ( is searching for her ancestry. She is the 3rd great granddaughter of Rufas Garland Bays (1816-1865) who is noted for being elected the first Commissioner of Free Schools in Magoffin Co. KY, 31 May 1860.  He was married to Sarah Salyer b. 1823 d. 1900.   Stacy believes Rufas was also a teacher and would like more information.

            Our Salyer book gives the info that Abner Salyer was the first child of William M. Salyer and Nancy.  Abner married 30 Jun 1800 to Nancy Hale.  Their first child was Sarah “Sally” Salyer b. 1823 who marr. 1st to William Griffy.  She married 2nd to Rufas G. Bays and married 3rd to Robert Henry Perry.

            David Risner continued with this family in his book with the info that Sarah Salyer was born in 1823 and married 2nd Dr. Rufas Garland Bays b. 7 Jun 1816 TN, d. 1865 Olive Hill in Carter Co. KY and states he was the first Commissioner of Free Schools in Magoffin County.

            The children of Rufas Bays were Elizabeth Bays b. 7 May 1847, Sena Malinda Bays b. 4 Aug 1849, Rebecca J. Bays b. 1852 and Newton White Bays b. 1853.

            In the Floyd County, KY Land Grants we find that he received 196 acres on Merides Branch on 6 Jun 1851.  Two of their children appear in the 1850 Floyd Co. KY census: Mary Griffy age 7, and William J. Griffy age 6, dau and son of William and Sarah Salyer Griffey.  Mary Griffey married 1st to William Gilden in 1861 Magoffin Co. KY and later married a Puckett.  William J. Griffey married Nancy Jane, dau of William Henry Perry. 

            In 1870 there is a Nancy Jane Griffy age 27, married to Nathaniel Row age 30 and they have these children: Benjamin F. Row age 7, Lodiska Row age 5, Rowland Row age 3 and Newton B. Row age 1 month.  In that same census year there is a William Griffy age 25 and his wife Nancy J. age 22 listed.

            Jimmy Fletcher, 42 Millcreek Road, Gallipolis, OH 45631 wrote for info on Floyd Fletcher and asked where he was buried.

            Floyd Fletcher shows in the 1930 Magoffin County census as age 21 (b. 1919), son of Wince Fletcher and Kate Nickles.  He married 1 Jan 1946 to Mable Nickles age 16, dau of Sherman Nickles and Halie Perkins.

            Anna Lyons Bower, 1360 Vicksburg South Drive, Greenwood, IN ( sent the following query: David Lyon was born about 1819 in Ohio and shows up in the 1850 Lawrence Co. KY census: David Lyon age 30, wife Manervia (Burton) age 32 with children Maria S. age 7, William L. age 4, Susan Age 4 and Mary age 1.

            The 1860 Lawrence Co. KY census lists these additional children: Andrew J. Lyon age 10, Samantha Lyon age 8, John W. Lyon age 6, George W. Lyon age 6 and Trinvilla Lyon age 2.

            After the death of Minerva, David married Susanna O’Bryn and had two more children: Lou Ellen and Marinda.

            We are still collecting stories and pictures for Magoffin County’s Sesquicentennial book for 2010. 

            We do want to tell you that this is the time to send in a recipe with family picture for the cookbook that the historical society is producing.

            Maybe we could get Val McKenzie to send in the recipe for the cake he brought in a few days ago for my belated birthday.  He usually drops in about the time of my birthday when we are having cake. He missed it this year and when he did come by he brought his own cake! 

            You may contact us by mail at Box 222, Salyersville, KY 41465 or email

Back to Archives

Home Family Photo Albums Family Reunions Founders Days Links Membership News Our Beginnings Pioneer Village Publications MCHS Order Form Talk to Todd

Send email to MCHS with questions or comments about this web site.
Last modified:      Saturday, January 07, 2012