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

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This article, written by Todd Preston, president of the Magoffin County Historical Society, was taken from the
August 18, 2016  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 $32.00 per year out of state.

All of us here at the Magoffin County Historical Society want to wish Betty Jo Arnett Lykins a very happy birthday! Betty always puts her whole heart into whatever she tackles, be it her family, her job as a schoolteacher or as a volunteer for the historical society. Betty is our special Magoffin County treasure!!

Our work load has increased somewhat as we have been working with the city of Salyersville to prepare for the 3rd Annual Heritage Days celebration. The Magoffin County Historical Society will be conducting an Opening Ceremony on Wednesday evening, August 31st here in the Pioneer Village to start off the scheduled events. We will be sponsoring the School Events for grades K through 5 on Friday, September 2nd. We have invited the Magoffin County Library personnel to hold their area authorís book signing on that day, also. We have asked the State Road United Baptist Church to hold services in our log church on Sunday, September 4th. Many more activities will take place from Wednesday through Sunday and will be announced by the city planners.

We have enjoyed an upsurge of visitors for the past several weeks. For some of them it is the first time they have visited our genealogy library and we have had the pleasure of seeing several who have stopped by many times in the past. One of these is Jason Hunter of Greenwich, OH, a descendant of Kels N. Risner and Emily Hoskins. Jason would like to learn more about Emilyís family. We know there are many relatives in the area who possibly have family stories they could share with Jason and our historical society.

Kels Risner was born in 1843 and died in 1932, a son of Elias Risner and Mary "Polly" Fletcher. Kels was a Civil War soldier in Companies D and F, 14th KY Inf. of the Union Army. He and his wife Emily had these children: (1) Grant Risner b. 1868 m. Cynthia Ellen Back, (2) Thomas Hallock Risner b. 1870 m. Cora Patrick, (3) Sarah Risner b. 1871 m. Marion Collinsworth, (4) Robert Lee Risner b. 1872 m. Loretta Holbrook (these were the grandparents of David Risner, a noted researcher of eastern Kentucky families), (5) Artelia "Tead" Risner b. 1874 m. John McFarland, (6) Cynthia Risner b. 1876 m. Elbert Johnson and Wise Henry Hogston, (7) Eunice "Sug" Risner b. 1878 (with her parents in 1900 Magoffin census) m. in December of that year to Brice Clemons, (6) Hattie Risner died young and (7) Joseph Risner died as an infant.

Kelsí wife Emily was born 21 Apr 1849. She was a daughter of John Robert Hoskins and Sarah Allen. John Robert Hoskins was born in 1822, the son of Moses Hoskins and Margaret Clemons. Sarah Allen was John Robertís first wife. She was born in 1820, a dau of William Allen and Caty Gearheart.

Besides Emily Risner, John Robert and Sarah Allen Hoskins also had the following children: (2) Moses Hoskins (minister and Civil War soldier), (3) Cynthia Hampton, (4) William Hoskins, (5) John Hoskins, (6) Allen Hoskins, (7) Rhoda Collinsworth, (8) Martelia m. 1st a Brown and m. 2nd a Collinsworth and (9) Louis/Lewis Hoskins

After Sarah Allen Hoskins died John Robert married secondly in 1878 to Perlina Patrick, dau of Lewis Patrick. Perlina and John Robert were the parents of these additional children: (10) Miles Hoskins, (11) Margaret Flint, (12) Benjamin Hoskins, (13) Sarah Gullett (she and her sister Sophronia married brothers, sons of Madison Gullett), (14) Sophronia Gullett, (15) Priscilla May, (16) Lucy Ann Bailey and (17) Robert Hoskins, Jr.

Sarahís father William Allen was born in 1783 and died in 1854 Breathitt Co. KY. His death date is reported in the Breathitt County vital Statistics with the notation "found dead in woods". His gravesite eluded us until 2010 when Joe M. Allen of Van Cleve, KY found a marker with the initials "W. A." and the date "1854" carved into an old field stone. With the help of several descendants, the Magoffin County Historical Society was proud to be able to set a marker at the gravesite with known information about him. The original marker was not disturbed.

We are not yet certain of the burial site of William Allenís wife Caty Gearheart. She was born in 1792 and died in 1860, a dau of Adam Gearheart and Margaret Spurlock.

It has been a nostalgic week for us here at the Magoffin County Historical Society. Our elation at getting the pictorial volume of the 2010 Magoffin County Sesquicentennial volume into print has been greatly affected by the loss of one who worked so diligently to help us make the book a reality. Jack Sizemore, his wife Lori and other members of his family, especially his son Jeff and daughters Jill and Teresa entered into all the activities of that year, making them more enjoyable for the rest of us. Not only did Jack participate but he photographed nearly all of the activities and contributed the pictures to the historical society for use in the book. Jack helped set many memorial markers for early settlers of our area and worked in many other ways to preserve our genealogy and history. He was the kind of man who saw a need and set to work to fulfill that task. He will be greatly missed. His memory will serve as an inspiration and encouragement to all of us to carry on our work.

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