About Me

My photo

Hi, My name is Vickie and to tell you a little bit about myself, I was born and raised in Kentucky and the majority of my ancestors have been in Kentucky since the 1790’s. I have always loved history, a good mystery and puzzles and that is what Family History Research is all about. As a child we would take day trips on Saturdays and head down some dirt road looking for old cemeteries. A lot of the time we weren't looking for anyone in particular, we just like to read the epitaphs. We would have a picnic lunch packed and have lunch at whatever cemetery we were at. If the weather was bad my Dad and I would go to a court house and dig through old records in musty old basements looking for our ancestors. So as you can see I have had an interest in Family History for quite some time.View my complete profile

Monday, April 27, 2015

Reed Renshaw

My third great-grandfather is this week’s installment and he is from my daddy’s side of the family, through my grandmother, Jessie Doss.   This grandfather’s name was Reed Renshaw, who was born February 7, 1807 in Knox County, Tennessee the son of John Renshaw and Nancy Reed.  Reed was the oldest son and second child of the seven known children born to John and Nancy.

Reed’s siblings were the following: Matilda Renshaw 1805-1881 who married John Cansler, Temperance Mary Renshaw 1809-1846 who married Plinny Philip Cansler, Enoch Renshaw 1811-1900 who married Melinda McCord, Emily Renshaw 1813-1896 who married Thomas Jayne and then Hiram Bixby, Calvin Renshaw 1815-1816 and Wylie Renshaw 1818-1859 who married Elizabeth Cansler.  Only Reed and Matilda were born in Knox County, Tennessee all the rest of Reed’s siblings were born in Christian County, Kentucky.  The Renshaw siblings married Cansler siblings, who were Lucetta’s cousins, her aunt, Elizabeth Golden Cansler was their mother.

Reed was only one years old when his parents left Tennessee and came to Kentucky in 1808, settling in Christian County on the Brush Fork of the Tradewater River.  Just ten years later, Reed and his parents had moved on to Madison County, Missouri in the summer of 1818.   Reed’s father, John apparently went back and forth from Missouri to Kentucky and while he was back in Christian County, Kentucky on business, he took sick and died on September 9, 1822 at the home of James C. Clark.  Four years later Reed, his mother and his siblings packed up their belongings and went back to Christian County, in the spring or summer of 1826.

Reed mainly worked as a farmer and lived in the Hamby Precinct in Christian County from around 1826 to 1839.  It was while living here in Hamby that he met and married his wife, Lucetta Clark a daughter of Joseph Clark and Mary Ann Golden.  Reed and Lucetta were married September 27, 1827.   The James C. Clark mentioned in the above paragraph was Lucetta’s oldest brother, so these families had known each other for a while before Reed and Lucetta were married.

Sometime around 1839 or 1840, Reed and his family moved to the Bainbridge Precinct, also in Christian County, where he farmed until 1875.  Reed and his wife were members of the Universalist Church from at least 1842, until their deaths.  Reed was also an active member of the order of AF & AM, which stands for Ancient Free and Accepted Masons and was a Republican in politics.  He was a butcher in his early life and for many years was a Magistrate of the county and was also appointed postmaster on November 1, 1855 for Wooldridge's Store in Christian County.  Reed also owned at least three slaves which were listed on the 1850 slave schedules, a female age 40, a boy age 14 and a girl age 6.  In 1860 he only had a young man age 23, which could have been the boy from 1850.  Sometime after 1880, Reed and Lucetta moved into Hopkinsville, where they resided until their deaths.

Reed and Lucetta were the parents of eleven children, namely: Finis H. Renshaw 1829-1915 who married Luvenia Jane Woosley, Emily M. Renshaw 1831-????, Luretha A. Renshaw 1833-1925 who married James W. Woosley, James Clark Renshaw 1835-1919 who married Martha Jane Francis, Eliza Mildred Renshaw 1835-1896 who married Wilson Henry Woosley (my direct line), Enoch B. Renshaw 1838-before 1850, Sophronia E. Renshaw 1840-1903 who married John W. Jones, Dorothy Jane Renshaw 1842-1862 who married Jackenia P’Pool, Amanda C. Renshaw 1844-1886 who married Samuel H. Averett, Adelia E. Renshaw 1847-1887 who married William T. Williamson and Joseph Reed Renshaw 1850-1912 who married Mary M. Yancy.  Three of these Renshaw siblings married Woosley siblings this time.

The following picture was one my dad had, had for many years and I am not sure who he got it from.  A note my dad had with this picture, said that on the back of the original was written Renshaw, then with Reed and Lucetta and question marks.  I would like to think it is them, but I don’t know for certain that it is.  The way this couple looks in this picture and the clothes they are wearing, make me think the picture was probably taken in the late 1870’s or early 1880’s, which would fit perfectly to be Reed and Lucetta.

Reed lost his lovely bride of 56 years, when she passed away November 23, 1883 and he followed almost ten years later, dying on October 15, 1893.  Reed and Lucetta are both buried at what was once called the Curde Cavanaugh Cemetery but is now called the Cavanaugh/Renshaw Cemetery.  You can find this cemetery by going to the intersection of Hwy 68W & Hwy 91N in Hopkinsville, then go down Hwy 91N for approximately 8.9 miles, then make a slight right onto the Old Princeton-Hopkinsville Road for .6 miles and the cemetery is just off on the right hand side of the road.  I was at this cemetery back in July of 2001 and there were only a handful of markers left and Reed and Lucetta’s were no longer there.  Unfortunately many small family and country cemeteries are falling victim to vandals and thieves in Kentucky, probably elsewhere to but I know Kentucky has been extremely hard hit.  Thieves will take the nicer granite stones and grind them down and make new stones.  I wish someone would reach right through the ground and grab one of these thieves and give them a good shake and maybe it would stop all the looting.

Fortunately for me though my daddy took pictures of Reed and Lucetta’s tombstones years ago, so I do know what they did look like and they are the following pictures, along with a picture of one of their grandson’s tombstones that I took in 2001.  George W. Woosley was a son of Reed and Lucetta’s daughter, Eliza Mildred Renshaw Woosley. 


  1. Great story- I am learning so much about our family. Thank you for sharing!

  2. I continue to "dig my roots and branches".

  3. Just read your latest chapter. Very interesting. That is horrible about the grave markers. I didn't know this was happening. So sad.

  4. Wonderful that you have these photos for this story!

  5. Hi. Do you know the name of the female slave he owned.

    1. No I don't but I will do some looking and see if I can find anything.