© by Holly Timm
[originally published from December 1986 to January 1990
in the Harlan Daily Enterprise Penny Pincher]
It will take some time to get over two hundred columns converted, uploaded and listed here. As they are ready, a short description of the subject matter and surnames will be added to the list below. A few will have editorial notes regarding added information or corrections. As always, correspondence is welcome regarding the material presented.

The material is unchanged except for the paragraphing (newspaper columns make for awfully short paragraphs) and minor typographical corrections. A few of the HEADLINES have been subtitled as they were unclear or downright misleading.


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  1. WITCHES INFESTED HARLAN COUNTY IN 1850'S
  2. Wood Lyttle's tales of witches in Harlan from his interview with Rev. James Jay Dickey.
    Surnames: LYTTLE, CLAY, TURNER, STURGEON, BAILEY, SLAVES: Dinah and George

  3. COUNTY LATE ATTRACTING SETTLERS
    Pre-settlement appearances in the Kentucky mountains.
    Surnames: COLVIN, SALYERS, BOWLING, FLANNERY, SHORT, COX, FRASER, DANIEL, ALSOP, DORTON, and HOWARD

  4. HARLAN COUNTY HAD FEW SLAVES
    Slave ownership in Harlan County, mostly household slaves with few owning many slaves.
    Surnames: BALL, BAILEY, BLAIR, CRAIG, CAWOOD, GREEN, TURNER, BRITTAIN, HOWARD, WHITE, RICHARDSON, BINGHAM, TAYLOR, SALYER, SLAVES: Dolly, Caty, Lucy and Peter

  5. HARLAN COUNTIANS FAVORED NORTH
    General background on Civil War partcipation.
    Surnames: FARMER

  6. JAMES HUFF WAS EARLY HARLAN COUNTY DOCTOR
    Pre-settlement excursion into Harlan area chasing indians which included James Huff and other early surnames in the area.
    Surnames: HUFF, LIVINGSTON, CALLAHAN, HOBBS, VANBEVER, ELY, YOCUM, DOTSON, JONES, BENGE

  7. BROCKS, TURNERS, HOWARD WERE EARLY HARLAN PIONEER FAMILIES
    Actually contains more about other families that were in Harlan early along with the well-known Brocks, Turners and Howards with particular detail on the Noe family.
    Surnames: BLANTON, HOWARD, BROCK, BRITTAIN. ASHER, DANIELS, COX, SPURLOCK, BREWER, LEE, THOMAS, NOE, FARMER, HARRIS, HALL, JONES

  8. BENJAMIN BLANKENSHIP COMMANDED HARLAN BATTALION
    Civil War activities of Ben Blankenship and the units he commanded.
    Surnames: BLANKENSHIP, BLAIR, CLARKSTON, CORNETT, CREECH, DIXON, FRANKLIN, HALCOM, INGRAM, MORGAN, SERGENT, GILLIAM, SMITH, OSBORN, JONES, EVERSOLE, CARDWELL, MUNCY, LEWIS

  9. MANY HARLAN COUNTY FAMILIES LACKED SONS TO CARRY NAMES
    Discussion of the Eager family which consisted mostly of daughters.
    Surnames: EAGER, CLARK, JONES, KING, LYTTLE, WOODARD, WILSON, RICE, DURHAM, FARMER, SKIDMORE, POPE

  10. SPELLING MAY CHANGE, DEPENDING ON WRITER
    Discussion of variations in spellings of surnames and christian names
    Surnames: SAYLOR, SALYER, OSBORN, HELTON, MELTON, LEE, FEE, STEP, ESTEP

  11. HARLAN COUNTY HAD ITS SHARE OF COLORFUL CHARACTERS
    Assorted outlaws and other characters from harlan's past.
    Surnames: FEE, CLEM, HALL, CLAY, IRVIN, FARMER, TURNER, LYTLE, MIDDLETON, FIELDS, PACE, FORRESTER, OSBORN

  12. WHERE DID HARLAN'S SETTLERS COME FROM
    General description of the origins of Harlan's settlers
    Surnames: BURKHART, BRANSON, FEE

  13. THE GENERAL STORE WAS SHOPPING MALL OF EARLY HARLAN
    Tidbits from a charge account book from Unthank & Adams, a mid 1800's general store in Harlan County.
    Surnames: TURNER, UNTHANK, HOWARD, EAGER, JONES, METCALF, BRANSON, SMITH, ELY, JOHNSON, BAILEY, HENSLEY, LYTTLE, CLEM, CALDWELL, NAPIER, SLUSHER

  14. INSIGHT IS GIVEN INTO THE LIFE OF A CIVIL WAR SOLDIER
    Incidents involving Clabe Jones and the Harlan County Battalion in the early months of the Civil War.
    Surnames: JONES, MORGAN, CAUDILL, POWELL, JONES, HALL, FRASIER, BANKS

  15. JOHN SHELL'S AGE MAY HAVE BEEN SLIGHTLY OVERSTATED
    A discussion about the why and why not of John Shell's age with some information on his family.
    Surnames: SHELL, FRY, DIXON, IRVIN, CAWOOD, OSBORN, NANCE, HUFF, HOSKINS, FRENCH, CHAPPELL, FARLEY, DUFF

  16. CHILDREN WERE OFTEN "BOUND OUT"
    A description of the practice of binding out or apprenticing young children with specific examples from Harlan County records.
    Surnames: JONES, LANSDOWN, MARK, HARRIS, OSBORNE, GRILLS, EARNEST, BROWNING, NOE, RUSSELL, BLEVINS, HENSLEY

  17. EDUCATION HARD TO COME BY IN EARLY HARLAN COUNTY
    Early education in the Kentucky mountains.
    Surnames: FEE, BRITTAIN, PARSONS, COLDIRON

  18. MANY NATIVE SONS WERE IN THE 4TH KENTUCKY INFANTRY
    A brief account of the activities of the Union unit, the 4th Kentucky, in which men from Southeastern Kentucky served.
    Surnames: HOWARD, DAY, ESTEPP, HOGG, WOLLUM, KELLY, BAKER, MADDEN

  19. REGIONAL MIGRATION CAME FOR VARIETY OF REASONS
    Discussion of why and where Harlan area families moved onwards
    Surnames: GREEN, FEE, NOE, HELTON, SEWALL, SHUMATE, TURNER, HENDRICKSON, BALL

  20. EARLY MARRIAGE RECORDS SCARCE
    Locating early marriage records and why many can not be found.

  21. INTERMARRIAGE NOT UNCOMMON IN EARLY APPALACHIAN FAMILIES
    Examples of several large Harlan families that intermarried.
    Surnames: FARMER, LEDFORD, SKIDMORE, NOE, ASHER, OSBORNE, TURNER, BAILEY, MIDDLETON, WYNN, SAYLOR, BLANTON, HELTON, BROCK, STEPP, HOSKINS

  22. ONE EARLY OBLIGATION WAS WORKING ON COUNTY'S ROADS
    Community responsibilites and maintaining the roads.
    Surnames: CREECH, FIELD, BALL, WOOLUM, HENDRICKSON, MILLER, SAYLOR, MARK, BENGEY, GREEN, BARNETT, JACKSON, FEE, LEWIS, HOGAN, DORTON

  23. EACH MEMBER OF A PIONEER FAMILY WORKED TO SURVIVE
    Day to day tasks, particularly those of the children.
    Surnames: PARSONS

  24. INDIAN BLOOD RUNS IN MANY HARLAN COUNTY FAMILIES
    Traditional and documented Native American bllod in Harlan area families
    Surnames: SKIDMORE, FARMER, CALLAHAN, KING, JONES, SIZEMORE, COLE, BOWMAN, ELDRIDGE, BRITTAIN, ELY, BARBOUR, FUGATE, MOORE

  25. HENRY SHACKLEFORD FOUGHT IN REVOLUTION
    The family of Henry Shackleford
    Surnames: SHACKLEFORD, SHIELDS, LEE, CRUMP, MIRACLE, SPURLOCK, HOSKINS

  26. TRADITIONAL TALES USUALLY CONTAIN A GRAIN OF TRUTH
    A traditional tale about the massacre of a Noe family.
    Surnames: NOE, IRVIN, FORRESTER

  27. TURNER CONSIDERED $45 A FAIR PRICE FOR CHICAGO VISIT
    George Turner writes in 1893 to James M. Nolan who is visiting the Chicago World's Fair with fellow Harlan Countians Henry L. Howard and John S. Bailey about local gossip and with comments on the trip.
    Surnames: NOLAN, TURNER, HOWARD, BAILEY, SKIDMORE, HURST, HEENAN, HARRIS, JONES, NOE, SHACKLEFORD, BALL

  28. WIDE VARIETY OF FOODS WEREN'T AVAILABLE TO EARLY SETTLERS
    The food and beverages of 19th century Harlan

  29. MOST EARLY SETTLERS IN THIS AREA WERE EX-SOLDIERS
    Actually primarily a discussion of the Revolutionary war pension applications of James and Thomas Howard
    Surnames: HOWARD

  30. PERMANENT SHELTER WAS OFTEN SECONDARY TO PIONEERS
    There are no surnames mentioned in this description of settlers first arriving in the area.

  31. LATE-ARRIVING SETTLERS USUALLY WERE MET BY RELATIVES
    The Lankford family from Claiborne County, Tennessee
    Surnames: LANKFORD, POSEY, CHADWELL, BRITTAIN, CLOUD, IRVIN, STURDIVANT, JONES, HOWARD, SKIDMORE, OSBORN

  32. DRAPER AND DICKEY COLLECTIONS ADD TO HISTORY OF STATE
    A brief overview of the Draper and Dickey material.

  33. TAKING THE FIRST STEPS IN GENEALOGY
    A very basic getting started on your family tree

  34. FAMILY SPLITS ARE SOMETIMES EASILY EXPLAINED
    Why do families split up?
    Surnames: MIDDLETON, TURNER, EVERSOLE, CAMPBELL, CLAY, CORNETT, DIXON, BAILEY, YOUNG

  35. MARITAL SPLITS ARE NOTHING NEW
    Divorce in 19th century Harlan County.
    Surnames: HOWARD, BROCK, JENNINGS, SAYLOR, SARGENT, CORNETT, ELY, HELTON, HENSLEY, FOSTER [FORRESTER?], MANNING, CREECH, ANGLIN, NOE, FARMER, GRAY, PACE, HALL, SKIDMORE

  36. RECORDS OF FAMILIES BECAME DIVIDED AS COUNTIES FORMED
    The family of Edward and Hester "Hetty" Brock Gross.
    Surnames: GROSS, BROCK, MOSLEY, HOSKINS, BURKHART, CLEM, LONG, WALDRUP, RICE, HOWARD, GREEN, COLDIRON, JOHNSON, SIMPSON, SAYLOR, SMITH, BAILEY, LANKFORD, NOE, HALL

  37. DEED BOOKS RECORDED MORE THAN PROPERTY TRANSFERS
    Discussing finding genealogical nuggets in land records
    Surnames: FEE, BRITTAIN, CHADWELL, POSEY, BURKHART, FARMER, LEWIS, BASHAM, ELY, SEWALL

  38. ONE-PARENT HOUSEHOLDS OFTEN COMBINED HOUSEHOLDS
    The family of Richmond and Dorcas Pace and of James and Margaret Lyttle and of James and Dorcas
    Surnames: LYTLE, PACE, KING, TAYLOR, FARMER, LEDFORD, BRANSON, MURRAY, HALL, ANDERSON, JONES, FIELDS, HENSLEY, WYNN, OSBORN, HOUSTON

  39. GENEALOGY SOMETIMES REVEALS SKELETONS IN CLOSETS
    References in Harlan Court Minutes to the trial of Hezekiah Clem
    Surnames: CLEM, HALL, FARLEY, HUFF, CLARK, BROWNING, FARMER, IRVIN, LEWIS, SMITH, BALL, JENNINGS, UNTHANK, NOLEN, DANIELS, HENSLEY, FOUCH, JONES, MILLS, OSBORNE, CRIDER, TURNER, JONES, KELLY, HOWARD, GREEN

  40. TAX ROLLS PROVIDE WEALTH OF EARLY INFORMATION
    Tax Lists as a source of genealogical information and background.
    Surnames: CAWOOD, SHACKLEFORD, KELLY, MORGAN, McGEORGE, UNTHANK, BALLENGER, CREECH, TURNER, HOWARD, OSBORNE, EVERSOLE, HUFF, BAILEY, PARSONS

  41. APPLICATIONS FOR WAR PENSIONS IS SOURCE OF INFORMATION
    Overview of pensions and the information to be found there
    Surnames: NOE, HALL, CAWOOD, OSBORN

  42. MOST OF THIS AREA'S HELTONS SHARE A COMMON ANCESTOR
    Family of John Helton and of his son Shadrach and wife Mary Brock
    Surnames: HETLON, BROCK, SAYLOR, HOSKINS, JACKSON, GREEN, COLDIRON, SIMPSON, HOWARD, NAPIER, BROWN, TAYLOR, LANKFORD, FARLEY, NOE, CREECH, SHACKLEFORD, LEE, LAWSON, ASHER, OSBORNE, GROSS, McQUEEN, JOHNSON, ROBINSON, HOLT, DEES, STEP, WILDER

  43. MENTION OF HELTON DRAWS INQUIRY
    More on James Helton, son of Shadrach and Mary Brock Helton
    Surnames: BROCK, HELTON, BRUMMIT, OSBORNE, STEPP, SCOTT, HENSLEY, OSBORNE, SIMPSON, NOE, SLUSHER, DAVIS, BLANTON, SHEPHERD

  44. MOUNTAINS WERE LAST AREA OF STATE SETTLED
    An overview of the formation and changes in Harlan's boundaries

  45. MORE THAN ONE FAMILY NAMED HALL SETTLED IN THIS AREA
    A discussion of the possible relationships between early Hall families in the area with particular detail about the Alfred and Roxanna Hall family of Letcher County.
    Surnames: HALL, LEWIS, EARLY, BRANSON, PAULEY/POLLY, FRANKLIN, CORNETT, DAY, HALCOMB

  46. PERSONAL CONNECTIONS ADD SPARK TO HISTORICAL EVENTS
    The Civil War experiences of Ira D. Hall, son of Alfred and Roxanna Hall, includes the transcript of a letter written by Ira while stationed probably at Cumberland Gap.
    Surnames: HALL, CORNETT, SERGENT, LEWIS, HOWARD

  47. OUR HISTORY SHOULD BE FOUND AND PRESERVED
    General information about the early county and preservation of history.
    Surnames: BRITTAIN, HOWARD

  48. A LOOK AT THE EARLY PROMINENT FAMILIES OF THE AREA
    Three of the most prominent and powerful families in the Harlan County - Lee County, Va., area were the Brittains, Cawoods and Hamblens.
    Surnames: BRITTAIN, CAWOOD, HAMBLEN, TURNER, GRAHAM, RUSSELL, BOWLES, POSEY

  49. EARLY HARLAN COUNTY DIVORCE PETITION CONTAINS UNUSUAL LETTER
    Most of this column is taken up with a transcript of a fascinating letter written by Thomas M Harris to explain or excuse his abandonment of his wife and children.
    Surnames: HALL, CORNETT, SERGENT, LEWIS, HOWARD

  50. LATE GOVERNOR PARDONED SOLDIERS INDICTED FOR WAR RELATED ACTIVITY
    Joseph Well's petition for pardon for Civil War activities.
    Surnames: WELLS, STURGILL, GILLEY, MORGAN, BAILEY, CAUSEY, MIDDLETON, LANKFORD, BAILEY, HOWARD, UNTHANK, BOWMAN

  51. DETAILS OF INCIDENT LEADING TO HANGING RECALLED
    The hanging referred to is that of Hezekiah Clem in 1860 for the killing of Benjamin Irvin in 1859. The information in this column is from the court case primarily.
    Surnames: CLEM, IRVIN, MIDDLETON, HOWARD, MILLS, JENNINGS, UNTHANK, DANIELS, FARMER

  52. MARRIAGE, OFFSPRINGS OF GEORGE AND ELIZABETH CRIDER RECALLED
    The children of George Crider and his three wives, Elizabeth, Susannah and Martha.
    Surnames: CRIDER, KELLY, BAILEY, BALL, SERGENT, FARLEY, BOGGS, KIRK, SMITH, POPE, FEE, HENSLEY, ROBBINS, LUNDY, HARRIS, SHUMATE, CREECH, LEE, HUFF, DAY, BURGIN, WYNN, IRVIN, NAPIER, BRANSON, FARMER, TURNER, FARMER, CORNETT, MARK, LYTTLE, SHOPE

  53. A LOOK AT 1896 BUSINESS, PROFESSIONAL LISTINGS IN HARLAN COUNTY
    In 1896, a statewide listing of businesses and professionals was published covering the year 1895-1896. At that time Harlan County and its county seat, then known as Mount Pleasant, was an isolated area but the length of its listing was surprising. The list itself mentioned only the name and occupation of various individuals some of whom are listed here with some additional information. Notice that many of them were related to each other in some way.
    Surnames: BAILEY, JONES, LEDFORD, BROWNING, NOE, HOWARD, LEWIS, COLDIRON, BALL, EVERSOLE, FARMER, FEE, FORRESTER, FRENCH, FARLEY, CLEM, KELLY, RICE, HURST, HEDRICK, SMITH, TURNER, WARD

  54. COUPLES INDICTED IN 1836 FOR ADULTERY
    Discussion of several indictments for adultery in the 1830's.
    Surnames: SALYER, BISHOP, ROSE, STEELEY, ARNETT, BRITTAIN, MARSEE, LANKFORD, HALL, BROCK, SIMPSON, FARLEY, NOE, THOMAS, OSBORNE, STEPP, TURNER, DEAN

  55. WILLIAM TURNER: A LOOK AT HIS LIFETIME AND FAMILY
    Life of William Turner, son of William and Susannah Bailey Turner.
    Surnames: TURNER, BAILEY, CLAY, SEWALL, SHUMATE, CAWOOD, MIDDLETON, WYNN, JENNINGS, BRITTAIN, POSEY

  56. FOUR FIRST COUSINS WERE AMONG THOSE LISTED IN 1896 PUBLICATION
    Among the professional and business men listed for Harlan County in 1896 Gazette mentioned a couple of columns ago (#52) were four first cousins and the husband of yet another cousin, grandchildren of Adron and Hannah Lewis Howard.
    Surnames: LEWIS, HOWARD, PACE, SMITH, CREECH, NOE, SERGENT, KELLY, HUFF, COLDIRON, BINGHAM, CALDWELL, BLANTON, MORRIS

  57. MORE ON THE FAMILY OF ADRON AND HANNAH HOWARD
    Further discussion of the children of Adron and Hannah.
    Surnames: HOWARD, LEWIS, PACE, NANTZ, BISHOP, ALLEN, SMITH, BALL,COLDIRON, BROCK, KEETS, MORRIS, MYERS, WILLIAMS, ROARK, JENKINS, ESTRUDGE, FEE, MORGAN, YATES, BLAIR, CREECH, SERGENT, KELLY, HUFF, NOE, NOLAN, MIDDLETON

  58. INFORMATION SOUGHT ON 1880 MURDER
    A look at information available on the murder of William F. Gilbert on 30 July 1880.
    Surnames: GILBERT, FARLEY, TURNER, CLAY, SETSER, LANKFORD, NOE, LYTTLE, POSEY, BRITTAIN

  59. WAS ROGER OR SAMUEL THE FATHER OF WILLIAM CORNETT?
    Discussion of the contradictory information as to the parentage of William Cornett.
    Surnames: CORNETT, BENGE, LEWIS, CALLAHAN, DAVIDSON, SMITH, MORGAN, ELY, JWNNINGS, WYNN, RICE, HURST, KELLY, SETSER, BLAIR

  60. JOHN W. GILBERT CAME TO COUNTY FROM VIRGINIA AS A YOUNG MAN
    The family of John W. and Hannah (Farley) Gilbert of Harlan County.
    Surnames: GILBERT, FARLEY, TURNER, CLAY, SETSER, WYNN, BALL, CORNETT, CREECH, SMITH, LEWIS, NAPIER, STEWART

  61. COUNTY HAD REBEL SYMPATHIZERS DURING CIVIL WAR
    Rebel Harlan Countians file for pardons for wartime activities
    Surnames: MIDDLETON, TURNER, BLEVINS, FIELDS

  62. TRACING THE FARLEYS' STEPS FROM VIRGINIA TO HARLAN COUNTY
    The early Farley families of Harlan County, Kentucky
    Surnames: FARLEY, THOMPSON, SERGENT, WALTON, STANTON, CLAY, HOWARD, KELLY, SMITH, LEDFORD, MARKS, CRIDER, NOE

  63. INQUIRY LEADS TO MORE DISCUSSION OF FARLEY ROOTS
    More on the early Farley families of Harlan County, Kentucky, inclduing the family of George T. Farley
    Surnames: FARLEY, THOMPSON, HOWARD, BANKS, MADDEN, JOHNSON, CLEM, FRENCH, LANSDOWN, HENSLEY, LANKFORD, LYTTLE, CARMICAL, HARRIS, JONES, HELTON, BALL, CORNETT, BRANSON

  64. WYNN FAMILY - EARLY YOCUM CREEK SETTLERS
    The Acles and Lucy Turner Wynn family of Harlan County.
    Surnames: WYNN, TURNER, MUNCY, BAILEY, DAUGHERTY, MIDDLETON, JONES, BLEVINS, STEWART, HENSLEY, MADDEN, CLOUD, SHOEMAKER, PACE, ELDRIDGE, SETSER, CLAY, HALL, GILBERT, SERGENT, GOODMAN, SHORT, KELLY, CREECH, ROBBINS, SMITH, LEDFORD

  65. TRACING THE IRVIN FAMILY ROOTS
    The Benjamin and Elizabeth Irvin family; includes a Civil War incident.
    Surnames: IRVIN, EAGER, CLARK, CLEM, LANKFORD, OSBORNE, FORRESTER, SKIDMORE, BALL, SCOTT, FARLEY, HEDRICK, RUSSELL, RICHARDSON, SMITH, FEE, HALL, NOE, FARMER, WILSON, SHELL, CREECH

  66. SORTING OUT DETAILS FROM PAST IS SOMETIMES TRICKY
    BOGGS, CREECH, LEWIS, HALL, GILBERT, BROWNING, TURNER, HOWARD, HENSLEY, NOE, CLEM

  67. EARLY CENSUS RECORDS NOT VERY INFORMATIVE
    This column says very little about the early census records but rather deals with taking of the census, describing how errors creep in... ride along with Tom Jones and see how mistakes happen!

  68. FREQUENT MOVEMENTS COMPLICATE RESEARCH
    The Anderson & Mary Long Blanton Family
    Surnames: BLANTON, LONG, OSBORNE, HELTON, LEWIS, NOE, HOWARD, HENSLEY, HARRIS, SAYLOR, BROCK, SLUSHER, NOLAN, COLDIRON, JENNINGS

  69. THE TURNERS OF GREASY CREEK
    The William & David Turner families in what became Leslie County
    Surnames: TURNER, MINIARD, SMITH, NANTZ/NANCE, HOSKINS, HOWARD, HENSLEY, COOTS, SHEPHERD, LEWIS

  70. THE TURNERS OF GREASY CREEK
    More on the William & David Turner families in what became Leslie County
    Surnames: TURNER, MINIARD, LEWIS, BEGLEY, BAILEY, WILLEFORD, WILSON, HOLCOMB, EARLY, JENKINS, FARMER, HARRIS, CLAY, THOMAS

  71. MINIARD CLAN SHARED COMMON ANCESTOR
    Family of Israel and Mary Turner Miniard
    Surnames: MINIARD, TURNER, CORNETT, MIDDLETON, ELLIS, MAGGARD, LEWIS, JOSEPH, BAILEY, NAPIER

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last edited Saturday, 23-Jun-2012 14:15:52 MDT