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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
June 2, 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.

We were pleased to have Cora Lou Montgomery Sherborne and her husband of Indiana, Pennsylvania visiting last week. They had learned about the Magoffin County Historical Society through our Facebook page and came to research her eastern Kentucky roots. Most of her family lived in the neighboring counties of Floyd and Johnson. The research on her family is not complete but we believe we have added enough information to her ancestor chart so that she can continue working on it.

We will begin with her mother’s family. George Washington Wells (20 Aug 1891 Johnson Co. KY-28 Jun 1954 Floyd Co. KY) and Cora Belle Goble (25 Sep 1896-12 Apr 1986) were our visitor’s maternal grandparents. They lived in the Auxier community of Floyd County, KY. The cemetery where they were buried was removed to the Auxier Relocation Cemetery due to being in the Dewey Lake flood plain.

George Wells was a son of Lewis W. Wells (14 Mar 1857-8 Jan 1934) and Margaret Jane Hopson (1857 VA-19 May 1925 Floyd Co. KY). Lewis and "Jane" were married in Floyd County on 31 July 1879. Lewis was a son of George Wells and Nancy Butcher who were both born in Virginia. Margaret Jane was a daughter of Confederate soldier (11th Inf.) Evan M. Hopson (1826 NC d. 1903) and Sarah Ann Newberry (1827 VA d. 1880).

George W. Wells’ wife Cora Belle was a daughter of James Sheridan Goble (14 Jul 1873-25 Feb 1958 Floyd Co. KY) and Florence Wells (2 Dec 1873-4 Aug 1942). In 1940 James "Jim" and Florence lived with their widowed son Paris Wells in the Auxier community. Also in the household was Jim and Florence’s son Ted Wells who was a rural school teacher. Jim and son Paris both worked in the coal mines.

Jim Goble was a son of Dr. Isaac Goble who was a 1st Lieutenant, Union, in the Civil War. Isaac was born in 1831 and died 13 Feb 1915. His wife was Emily or Emaline who was born in 1833.

Jim Goble’s wife Florence Wells was a daughter of Charles Morgan Wells (1838-1914) and Susannah Dingus (1844 Scott Co. VA-1912 KY). Susannah was a daughter of George Dingus of VA (1811-1875) and Margaret Addington (1814-1877).

Incidentally, George and Margaret Dingus are also the ancestors of our local Dingus families. We can only imagine the pleasure the late Calvin Dingus would have had to meet one of his kinsmen. Calvin was a well-loved and widely read columnist for the Salyersville Independent. Calvin was born in 1929 and died in 2004, a son of Russell Frank Dingus, grandson of William M. Dingus and great-grandson of George and Margaret Dingus.

Next we will report on our visitor’s paternal family. Her father was a son of Dayrus Montgomery (1889-1977) and Lula Hale. We have not yet completely solved the question of Lula’s parents. She was born in March of 1894. Her father is known to be George Hale b. 23 Sep 1867 d. 28 Aug 1933. He is buried in the Hale Cemetery at Blue River, Floyd Co. KY. George’s wife was Kate Hale, dau of Ben and Elizabeth Hale. George’s parents were Samuel Hale and Eady Helton who were married in 1860 Magoffin Co. KY. Samuel was a son of John Hale and Vina Stone. His first wife was Eda Helton (1844-1878) who was the mother of all his children except the one child of his second marriage who died as an infant.

Eda Helton was a daughter of Andrew Jackson Helton and Delphia Wireman. Andrew J. was a son of Samuel Helton and Margaret "Peggy" Clemons. Peggy married 2nd to Moses Hoskins and they are buried on Lakeville Road in the Moses Hoskins Cemetery. Delphia was a daughter of John Wireman and Rebecca Carpenter.

Silas Montgomery, known as "Si", was born in 1869, the son of Samuel Montgomery and Catherine Sizemore. This family lived on Gun Creek near Royalton, KY.

Si married first in 1888 to Jane Fletcher who was born in 1872, a daughter of Meredith Fletcher and Margaret Whitaker. Meredith was a son of George Fletcher. Margaret was a daughter of Mark Whitaker and Peggy Cundiff. The information on this family came from Col. Morris O. Fletcher.

Meredith was first married to Cynthia Cole, a daughter of John Wesley Cole and Caty Minix. They had one son Smith Fletcher b. 1859. Meredith married 2nd to Margaret Whitaker and they were the parents of (1) Mary Fletcher m. Crit Montgomery, (2) Martha Fletcher m. George Montgomery, (3) Shannon Fletcher, (4) Milton Fletcher, (5) William Fletcher), (6) Nancy Fletcher m. Si Montgomery, (7) Simon Fletcher and (8) Charlie Fletcher b. 1877.

Si Montgomery’s second wife was Cora Wireman b. 1885 d. 1975, dau of George "Dry Gourd" Wireman and Rosanna Wireman. Si and Cora were the parents of (1) George Montgomery m. Opal Howard and Wealthy Wireman, (2) Luther Montgomery m. Orcie Minix, (3) Burtle Montgomery, wife of Keiser Wireman (she died at age 99 on 28 Oct 2015) and (4) Rebecca Montgomery, wife of Olllie Cornwell and Brownlow Arnett. Rebecca died recently on 21 Apr 2016 at age 97.

Now, back to our currently unsolved ancestry question – who was the mother of Lula Hale, wife of Dayrus Montgomery? Family members have mentioned a Nancy E. Brown as her mother. A death record given in November of 1980 gives her parents as George Hale and "Nannie" Brown. Census records, as well as the family history of the Andrew J. Helton family contributed by researcher Delphia J. Hicks, seem to indicate Lula was a daughter of America F. Brown. America's age varies from each census year; from 1856 in 1860 to 1862 in 1900 Floyd County census. At that time she was listed as a widow and a servant in the home of Samuel Hale and wife Cynthia Stephens. America stated she had 5 living children of 5 born, one was Anna Brown b. April 1898. Also in the home was Loulie Hale b. Mar 1894, and listed as granddaughter. This would be correct as George Hale’s mother Eda Wireman had died and his father had remarried to Cynthia Stephens in 1879.

Anyone who can help with more or corrected info is invited to write Magoffin County Historical Society, PO Box 222, Salyersville, KY 41465 (email:

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