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  Magoffin County Historical Society 
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This article, written by the Magoffin County Historical Society,
was taken from the
DECEMBER 7, 2017
  issue of

The Salyersville Independent 
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.

Helping a visitor with family research often brings us new information on our county ancestors. This has been the case with the family of visitor Gerald Risner.

Geraldís paternal grandparents were Elvin Risner (b. 1887) and Nellie Dykes. The Risner part of his family was not too hard to research as we had the Risner and Reed family books to guide us. Elvin was a son of William "Alley Bill" Risner and his 2nd wife Elizabeth Walters. Alley Bill was a son of Eli Risner and Polly Fletcher. Alley Billís wife was a dau of Felix Walters and Nancy Reed.

When we began looking for Elvin Risnerís wife Nellie the searching got a little more difficult. Nellie was born 3 Oct 1891 in Oklahoma and died 5 Sep 1963. Nellieís father was Martin V. Dykes b. 1862, son of James Dykes and Arty Salyer. We have a good account of James and Arty Dykes in our Civil War books. Their son Martin first shows in the census in 1870 as an 8 year old with siblings, Abner, Nancy J., George W., John, Mary and Butler. By 1880 the family lived on Middle Fork and Martin was shown as age 19. Other children in Jamesí and Artyís household were Mary, Butler, Henry C., Nathan and Ben F. Dykes.

Martin Dykes married 14 Jun 1883 in Magoffin Co. KY to Louisa Reed b. 1867, dau of James Reed and Emily Prater. James Reed was a son of Daniel Reed and Martha "Patsy" Lewis. Emily was a dau of Robert F. Prater and Mary Henry.

Eastern Kentucky doesnít have an 1890 Federal Census but Oklahoma does. We found a Martin V. Dykes at age 26 living in Canadian Co. OK in 1890. By 1900 Martin Dykes lived on Johnson Fork and his wifeís name was given as "Sarah". Sarah was born June 1874, 26 years old, she and parents born in KY. She reported they had been married 4 years and no children had been born. In the home were the following children: (1) Lily Dykes (she was b. 8 May 1884 m. 1901 in Magoffin to Nathan Reed b. 1877, son of William Reed and Margaret Patrick. Lily died 4 Sep 1933 and Nathan died in 1913, both are buried in Osage Co. OK); (2) George Dykes b. 1887 (not found after 1900), (3) Nellie Dykes (our visitorís ancestor, see above, death certificate lists Louisa Reed as mother), and (4) Edward Dykes b. 1894 (is in fatherís home in 1910 Johnson Fork at age 16 but not found later).

It would appear that the parents of these four children were Martin Dykes and Louisa Reed. There was no later info found on Louisa Reed Dykes nor could we find further info on the "Sarah" in the 1900 census.

On 20 May 1903 Martin V. Dykes married in Magoffin County to Lucinda Patrick. Her parentage is not yet known. She was located as a three year old in the home of one Lucinda Patrick (age 48) b. 1812 in the 1860 Magoffin Co. census. Also in the elder Lucindaís home were Mary Jackson age 25, Allen Patrick age 20, Jane Patrick age 13, Bryce Patrick age 10, Green Jackson age 8, Samuel Jackson age 4. In 1870 at age 14, she was listed as "servant" in the home of Thomas and Jane Whitley.

We found these children for Mart and Lucinda in the 1910 through 1940 Magoffin census records: (5) Grogertine Dykes b. 1901, (6) Rosa Dykes b. 1903, (7) Frank Dykes b. 1904 d. 1970 (m. Nellie Patrick Ė they are buried in Oklahoma), (8) Ogal Dykes b. 1908 d. 22 Mar 1987, (9) Ruth Dykes b. 1910 m. in 1925 to Elliot Arnett, (10) Mabel Dykes m. -?- Taulbee, (11) Tony Dykes, (12) Roscoe Dykes and (13) Van Burin Dykes. Their places of residence through 1920 was Johnson Fork, in 1930 Gifford and in 1940 Spruce Pine Creek.

Visitor Gerald Risnerís maternal grandparents were Kanawha "Canoy" Patrick and Rebecca "Becky" Jane Whitely. Canoy was born in 1880. He was the appointed postmaster of Merta, KY on 8 Jul 1915 and served until 14 Apr 1917 when the post office was discontinued and mail sent to Fritz, KY. Canoy was a son of Green Patrick and Mahala Alsept. Green was a son of Lewis Patrick and Lucy Adams. Mahala was a dau of Robert Alsept and Jane Risner. Robert is usually listed as a son of Henry Patrick and Elizabeth Alsept. Jane was a dau of Michael Risner and Sarah Howard.

Canoy married 2 Feb 1902 in Magoffin to Rebecca Whitely. Rebecca was born 15 Apr 1881 and died 22 Nov 1975 in Ohio. She was well known in her Kentucky neighborhood as a midwife. Canoyís age was given as 49 and his occupation was general store merchant in the 1930 census. He died sometime before the 1940 census as Rebecca was listed as age 53 and widowed in that census year. She and several members of her family moved to Ohio after 1940.

Rebecca was a dau of Tom Whitely/Whitley and Jane Patrick who were married 25 Apr 1865 in Magoffin County. Tom was born in 1845 and died 7 Sep 1926. He is buried in the Alsept Cemetery, reportedly a son of Reuben Arnett and Sena Whitely.

Tom and Jane Whitely were the parents of Emily Whitely (m. Jefferson Williams), Mary Alice Whitely, Jacob Whitely, Lucinda Whitely (m. Sublett Alsept), Cora Whitely b. 1879 (m. Gratz B. Arnett), Rebecca Jane Whitely b. 1881, Sena Whitely b. 1882, Beecher Whitely b. 1887 and William Tom Whitely b. 1890 (m. Mary Risner).

Perhaps a reader can help us add to this information. Our mailing address is Magoffin County Historical Society, PO Box 222, Salyersville, KY 41465 or email (

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