Patricia Craig Johnson --- Searching for My Ancestors --- Sharing My Life Stories

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Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Why I Love Madison County Kentucky

In August 2011 I spent three days in Madison County Kentucky. I liked it there and I felt at home there. I knew about my Farris and Campbell families from there and that was my main reason for going there. I learned some new information about them, visited the courthouse, visited the libraries, studied the back roads on a map I found in the motel, and drove around where I thought I would be near where they lived in the 1780/1790s. All in all I had a fantastic adventure just doing my regular poking around. Hmmmm, "poking around", another term for genealogy. But now, as impossible as it sounds, I think I have to go back there.

Since I have been back home I have discovered new information about my Thompson and, my Craig families -- and guess where they were? Madison County, Kentucky! Because it will be quite awhile before I can return there to pour over the tax lists and land records and court order books, I have to be content to find what I can on microfilm. The first one I ordered was the Madison County tax lists, and today I went to the Family History Center to read it. I was motivated to read it today because a big winter storm was predicted for Colorado tomorrow and it is usually best not to drive unless absolutey necessary. Matter of fact as I write this story the storm has already arrived and it looks like it could be a challenge for those that have to get out early in the morning.

At any rate the film turned out to be well worth my time. It starts in 1787 and that is one year after Madison County was formed from Lincoln County. Lincoln County was one of only three counties in Kentucky in the beginning, but soon new counties began forming and now the State of Kentucky has 120 counties.

From this single microfilm:
1.I learned that Hugh Campbell and his brothers were in Madison County on the July 21, 1787 tax list at the beginning of the county, and probably before.
2. I learned that his son, Benjamin, first appeared on the 1789 tax list, which means he was born about 1768, 21 years before his first tax list.
3. Michael Pharis/Fariss first appeared there in 1789. His brother, Thomas Jr, and father, Thomas Sr, were there in 1787. I suspect the two Thomases sent word back to Pittsylvania County, Virginia to Michael about the abundance of land in Kentucky.
4. Closs Thompson was on the first tax list on July 7, 1787.
5. John Craig was first on a Madison County tax list on June 17, 1795. This agrees with the affidavit of Richard Wade that said he first met John Craig about 1794 in Madison County, Kentucky. John Craig was in Madison County until 1802 and I know he was in Wayne County, Kentucky by 1804. I am sure he never imagined he would have such a nosey and persistent descendant.
6. Feaby (Pheby) Fariss was on the 1800 tax list and had 72 acres of land. Her land was entered in the name of William Dryden. Her husband, Michael Fariss died in 1799 and all of his tax list entries showed no land. So did Pheby take the initiative to buy land after her husband died? Her son, Dudley Fariss, first appeared on the 1800 tax list as well, indicating he was now age 21.

I can't help wondering if these folks could have known each other. Of course, the Campbell and the Farris families did as evidenced by the marriage of Benjamin Campbell to Chloe Farris in 1791,in Madison County. The Craig and Campbells would become acquainted in two generations in Wayne and Clinton Counties when David Craig married Abigail Campbell. The Thompsons were in the same neighborhood as the Campbells as they both were in the newly formed Campbell County, Kentucky for a short while. The Campbells moved south to Cumberland County and the Thompsons went east to Bath County. Apparently none of their children managed to meet and marry ----- or I wouldn't be who I am.

Now you know why genealogy is so addictive. It is an ongoing jigsaw puzzle with real live puzzle pieces.

This microfilm was a genealogical treasure. Now I must decide what to order next from Madison County Kentucky. I have a feeling I am going to be researching there for the near future.

The images above are a map showing where Madison County is in the State of Kentucky and one of Silver Creek. Silver Creek is a 40 mile long creek that starts south of Berea, Madison County and terminates northwest of Richmond, Madison County where it empties into the Kentucky River. The Farris and Campbell families lived on Silver Creek.


Marmalade said...

Where is the Family History Center in Madison Co KY?

GenPatty said...

I have no idea, I live in Colorado didn't see one in Madison County Kentucky. Patj