About Me

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Just to tell you a little about myself, my name is Vickie and I was born and raised in Kentucky. 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 courthouse 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.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

The Riggs Family & Mark Twain in Missouri

My next blog post while on our vacation from May 23rd to June 5th is after we left Kansas City and before we headed on over to Kentucky.  This day was Friday, May 26th and we followed the trail that my husband, Roy's 2nd great-grandfather, Nathaniel Riggs, followed back in 1834, except we started at the ending spot in Independence, Missouri.  Nathaniel had been part of Zion's Camp with the Prophet, Joseph Smith and had joined the camp near his home in eastern Missouri when the camp stopped to recruit more members somewhere between Paris and Florida, Missouri.  Nathaniel had joined the Mormon Church in 1831, less than a  year after it had been established.  I have a book entitled, "Sacred Places, Missouri A Comprehensive Guide to Early LDS Historical Sites, Volume 4" which told about the camp and where the trail followed and so that is why we took the roads we did across the state from west to east.

We went from Kansas City to Independence then over to Richmond where we got on MO10 and stayed on that road until we got to Carrollton, where we got on Hwy 24 and followed it over to Keytesville.  We stopped in Keytesville and took some pictures of the historical marker and the county boundary sign, because my good friend Malia's, mother-in-law had ancestors, Houston Moore and Thursa Ann Miller that were married there on 18 September 1838. Here are the county boundary sign, city limit sign, and the historical markers from Keytesville.

After leaving Keytesville we stayed on Hwy 24 and followed it until around the tiny town of Goss where we turned south on to Hwy U and followed it east over to Mark Twain State Park.  We went through the visitor center and took the tour there since Roy and I are both related to Mark Twain. Roy through his Mom's side, through their Reynolds line and me through my Daddy's side through our Clark line.  Mark Twain is Roy's 8th cousin twice removed and he is my 4th cousin three times removed from our common ancestors.  Mark Twain Lake is right by the tiny town of Florida, Missouri and this is where Samuel Langhorne Clemens, better known as Mark Twain was born in 1835. The Clemens family lived in Florida until Mark was about 7 or 8 years old when they moved up north to Hannibal, Missouri where Mark grew to manhood.  Following are just a few pictures of the Visitor Center and some of the area around there.

The Clemens home, that has been preserved.

Some of Mark Twain's famous sayings.

Mark Twain Lake from the Visitor Center.

The town of Florida, Missouri.

Roy's ancestor, Nathaniel Riggs who was with Zion's Camp owned almost 400 acres of land in Monroe County, Missouri and this property was located approximately 4 miles south and east of Florida, Missouri.  Nathaniel probably even got supplies from Mark Twain's father as Mark's father owned the mercantile store there in Florida when Mark was born and until the family left and went up to Hannibal, Missouri.

There was also one of the earliest branches of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, the Mormons, at the Allred Settlement just a couple of miles south of Florida, Missouri and we believe this is probably where Nathaniel meet with Joseph Smith and decided to join up with Zion's Camp and go over to Independence, since his property was only a couple of miles from the Allred's.  This area is about 130 miles northwest of St. Louis.

I had found on the BLM site the land grants that Nathaniel had and so we were able to go very close to where his property was located.  Most of it is now under water as there was a dam built back in the 1960's or 70's I believe it was, that now covers a lot of his property,  I found maps that showed the modern roads and then we were able to drive almost right up to the property lines in some places.  We did take quite a few pictures and got really close, if not right on some of the land and it was so cool to be able to feel the presence of this family, the struggles, the hardships, the love that was probably felt while they lived in this area.  Following are just a few pictures of where Nathaniel's property was.

After leaving Monroe County, Missouri we headed southeast to Lincoln County, Missouri and the area that Nathaniel Riggs, parents and some of his siblings lived.  Nathaniel's father, Bethuel Riggs was a Baptist Minister and started a church in his home just north of Troy, Missouri in either 1813 or 1823, depends on which history what the year was, but nevertheless he did start a church which was called the Sulphur Lick Baptist Church.  I personally believe the year was really 1823 as I don't find him in the state of Missouri for the first time until 1809 when he came to Missouri and first settled on Dardenne Creek, in St. Charles County, where he lived for the next eight years.  He then left St. Charles County and settled north of Troy, Missouri by the Sulphur Lick Spring.  If he indeed lived for eight years on Dardenne Creek then that would put the year he first moved into Lincoln County at around 1817.  However, I have found him listed on a state territorial census record in 1817, living in Upper Cuivre Twp, St. Charles County, Missouri Territory so he could have moved up to Lincoln County shortly after that time.

According to one history I found, Bethuel started the church in his own home and then around 1827 or 1828 they built a meetinghouse approximately four miles west of his home.  That church was replaced in the 1850's with a new building and when we went to the church, which is one of the oldest continuous Baptist Churches in the state of Missouri, the date on this newer brick building said it was built in 1977 and it is on the same spot as the original church which was built in 1827/1828, how cool is that????

Bethuel Riggs was born in Mendon Twp, Morris County, New Jersey on December 13, 1757 and died on July 25, 1835 in Lincoln County, Missouri. He was married to Nancy Lee on February 15, 1778 in Wilkes County, North Carolina.  Nancy was born in about 1758 and died sometime after Bethuel, but before 1840 it is believed.  They became the parents of nine children with Roy's ancestor, Nathaniel being their youngest.  The other eight children were the following: Jane Riggs, 1781-1959, married Clayton Webb; Elizabeth Riggs, 1783-1851, married Andrew F, Smith; Mary Riggs, 1785-1855, married James Shaw II; Jonathan Riggs, 1788-1834, married Jane Shaw; Margaret Riggs, 1790-????, married ? Durham; Sarah Bell Riggs, 1792-before May 1869, married Statia Webb Sr.; Rebecca Riggs, 1794-1871, married Leonard Armstrong; and Samuel Riggs, 1796-1835, married Elizabeth Sutton.

Bethuel Riggs was also a Revolutionary War soldier and served at the battles of Ramsour's Mills, Catawba River, Guilford Courthouse and Kings Mountain. He had enlisted as a private, but was at the rank of captain when he was discharged after the war.  His son, Jonathan Riggs also served during the War of 1812 and in the Indian Wars as a  Lieutenant under Captain Callaway and because of his bravery his was made a general of the militia and was known as General, Jonathan Riggs until the day he died.

Here are some pictures of the church and the cemetery by the same name which is just a couple miles further west from the church as well as a video I did at both places, the Sulphur Lick Baptist Church and Sulphur Lick Cemetery.

The following is the video I did at the church.

The following is the video I did at the cemetery.

It was such a neat experience to be able to walk on the same ground some of our ancestors walked. They felt so alive while we were there and we could feel their spirits and almost hear them talking to us, asking us to never forget the hardships, the things they did to help make this country a free place for us as their descendants to live.  If you get the chance, walk in the footsteps of your ancestors, you won't regret it.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Family Visits, Cemeteries & Friends

Well there is no particular order to my posts from our trip, just as the moment moves me to write about the next little things we did while we were gone.

For this post I will be talking about all my family and friends that we were able to see while we were in Kentucky.  I also have a couple of videos of the cemeteries where my Mom's parents and my Dad's, mom and stepdad are buried, all there in Crittenden County in Western Kentucky.  My Mom's parents are buried at Deer Creek Baptist Church Cemetery in Sheridan and my Dad's mom and stepdad are buried at Sugar Grove Cumberland Presbyterian Cemetery, not far from Marion.

My Mom has three sisters still living and they all live in Henderson, Kentucky her brother, Guy lives in Florida so I did not get to see him.  They are the children of Ermon Fraley and Daisy Loftis, with Barbara the oldest, then Amy and last but not least Iva.  Guy was born after my Mom and before Amy and my Mom was born after Barbara.  They lost a little sister and brother when they were young named, Connie Rose, 1947-1950 and Edward Jewell, 1952-1954.  Connie was born after Amy and Edward was born after Iva, and my Mom, Erma Jean died almost 6 years ago.

We meet with them a number of different times while we were there and had a great visit with each one of them.  We even all met at Cracker Barrel in Henderson for lunch one of the days we were there.  I was wanting to video and ask my aunts questions, but they were not wanting to be videod, I barely got pictures, but they answered quite a few questions for me, so that will have to do, but maybe next time I can talk them into it.  😉

Saturday night before we left that following Monday to come back home, Aunt Barbara had a family get together at her house and just about everyone that lives close by came.  We had fried chicken, veggie casserole, fresh tomatoes, green beans, cole slaw and jello salad, enough to feed an army at least.  For dessert there were brownies, chocolate cake and my Aunt Amy made me a raisin cream pie just like Mamaw, her momma use to make.  I hadn't had one in years and it was delicious.  There were two slices left when we left that night and I got to bring them with me and had them for a midnight snack, well it was actually closer to 10 then midnight, though.  I know I should not have eaten the one slice well off three slices, before the night was over, but what can I say when you haven't had something for so long and it's there right in front of you!!!  My blood sugars actually weren't that bad the next morning, so there must not have been a lot of sugar in it thankfully.

Every time I was snapping pictures, Aunt Barbara would move and they were all pretty blurry, so all I got was a semi blurry side view, I need her daughter, Phyllis to take a picture for me and send me one if she can get her Mom to stand still long enough that is.  Aunt Barbara is just like Mamaw was, always moving and doing and being a wonderful hostess.

I got Aunt Amy to look at me for a minute and my cousin, Phyllis is in the background.

Aunt Iva hates for her picture to be taken as much as I do, but I got one when she wasn't looking. 😄

My cousins. Teresa and Debbie's, granddaughters dared Aunt Iva to throw her leg up in the air like they were doing.  She tried it but Lillie had to help her hold her leg up.  😉

Aunt Iva and I have a special bond, I was the first granddaughter of my Mom's parents and Iva's first niece and so there are a number of pictures of her and I together, including these two here.

Here are some of the rest of the bunch from supper on Saturday night.

Uncle Joe, husband of Aunt Amy.

My husband, Roy with Uncle Roger, husband of Aunt Iva.

Aunt Amy's daughter, my cousin, Teresa, with her granddaughter, Piper.

Debbie's granddaughter, Lillie on the left and Teresa's granddaughter, Nevaeh on the right.

Aunt Amy's youngest grandson, Little Guy's son, Brennan.

My Aunt Amy's daughter, Debbie, my crazy cousin, love her tons, she is being goofy as always.

Three of my cousins from left to right, Phyllis, Teresa, her daughter-in-law, Amanda and Debbie.  They told me to do some photoshop on them, but I love them just the way they are.

We had such a good visit that night and it was wonderful to be able to laugh and joke and reminisce about all those who have gone before us.  Phyllis' dad, Uncle Leon, Teresa and Debbie's dad and brother, Uncle Tommy and Little Guy, my Mom and Dad and of course, Mamaw and Papaw who we all loved dearly.  Family is special and I am so thankfully that family is eternal and that we will all see each and everyone of them again.

On Wednesday, May 31st, Roy and I along with Aunt Barbara, Aunt Amy and Uncle Joe and Aunt Iva all went down to Marion and went to the cemetery where Mamaw, Papaw, Connie and Edward are all buried as well as a number of other family members.  Here are just a few pictures from that day.

My Papaw and Mamaw

Their daughter, Connie

Their son, Edward

Papaw's daddy and stepmom, Robert Fraley and Mary Belt.  Papaw's Mom died in the flu epidemic of 1918 when he was 4.  I just loved visiting Papaw and Mamaw Fraley in Sheridan when I was a kid. He always had the prettiest garden, just like his son, my Papaw did.  Aunt Amy told a story while we were there by their grave about Papaw Fraley.  She said she remembered how her grandpa would be out working in the garden, plowing with his old mule and he would be singing at the top of his lungs, "When the Roll is Called up Yonder", then the mule would stop or do something and he would cuss a blue streak and then pick up the song where he had left off and keep on plowing. 😄

Papaw's half-brother, Bobby and his wife Juanita who just passed away on April 7th.  She had sent me a Christmas card and ask if I was coming home this year and to make sure I stopped by to see her while I was in and I was planning on doing just that.  She was a sweetheart and I always loved visiting with her with I was home.  I sure missed seeing her this time.  😢

Roy and Aunt Barbara as we were walking back to the cars.

Hopefully they don't shoot me, but I was recording as we were walking around the cemetery.  The following is the little video I did there.

After we left the cemetery we all drove back into Marion and went to The Front Porch for a fantastic lunch of catfish, hush puppies, coleslaw, beans, tomato relish and cornbread.  If you haven't eaten there and you are in the area you really need to try it, the food is fabulous.  I stop in every time I am home.  It was the first time Roy had eaten there though and he said, if we lived there he would be eating there at least once a week.  It is located at 914 S. Main just as you are going out of town on towards Princeton.

After lunch, Barbara, Amy, Joe and Iva went back to Henderson and Roy and I went out to Sugar Grove Cumberland Presbyterian Cemetery where Mama Jessie and Pa Corley are buried and then on to the Ferry, the Garden and the Cave afterwards.  I took some pictures and did a video so you can see what a pretty spot they are in.

Don't they have a pretty view....

The following is a short video clip from their graves.

On Friday, June 2nd, Roy and I went and visited with Uncle Bobby and Aunt Charlene down in Franklin, Kentucky and we got some of pictures of them.  I forgot to get one of Michael, Mandy, Abby and Colin who stopped by to visit while we were there.  Michael and Mandy are their son and daughter and my cousins and Abby and Colin are Mandy's kids.  Uncle Bobby is child #10 of Mama Jessie's and my Daddy's baby brother.  We took them out to supper at a restaurant in Portland, Tennessee not far from their home for catfish, what can I say I love catfish and so does Uncle Bobby. Uncle Bobby always reminds me that I said Bobby before I said Daddy when I was a baby.  While Daddy was at work Uncle Bobby would come to our house there in Marion and play with me and so he got me to say Bobby first. 😊 The following are two pictures of the houses we lived at in Crittenden County when I was a baby and that Uncle Bobby would come too, teaching me to say his name.

We also met with Uncle George child #4 of Mama Jessie and one of Daddy's older brother's on May 30th, but I will be doing a separate post on him, because I was able to do a number of video clips of him talking about the family and telling stories.  Uncle George and Uncle Bobby are the only two still with us of my Daddy's siblings, their last sister, Violet, who we all called Aunt Sis, just passed away this past year on November 18, 2016.

Uncle Bobby & Aunt Charlene

Uncle Bobby, Aunt Charlene & Roy

Uncle Bobby, Aunt Charlene & Me (Vickie)

Since I forgot to get pictures of Michael and Mandy and her family I went to Mandy's facebook page and got some cute pictures of her kids, Mandy and her husband, Tony.  We didn't see Tony or Logan that day, but I usually do when I am visiting.

Mandy & Tony

The kids first and last days of school for 2016/2017, Abby, Colin & Logan

I took this picture of Uncle Bobby's family when I was home in 2015 and it has Michael in it.

We also went to Newburg, Indiana and visited with my cousin, Peggy and her two daughters, Becky and Melissa and Melissa's husband, Jon for a few hours on Monday, May 29th.  Peggy is Mama Jessie's oldest grandchild and the oldest child of my Daddy's half-brother, William Teague.  Mama Jessie had 50 grandchildren and I fit there in the middle somewhere.  I have never counted to see exactly what number I am though.

Peggy & Vickie

Peggy & her daughters, Melissa & Becky.  Becky had a stroke last year and is slowly regaining some of her mobility, but is doing really good for as bad as her stroke was.  She lives in Indianapolis but was down visiting with her Mom and sister for a month.

Melissa & Jon

Me, Melissa & Becky


Whenever I am back home I always make sure I am there over at least one Sunday, so I can go to church and see all of our old friends that have been there since my Dad and Mom started going to church there when I was four years old.  My Daddy joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in 1952 in Visalia, California and my Mom joined the church in 1962 in Henderson, Kentucky and I was baptized when I was 8 years old.  Here is a picture of the building I was baptized in 51 years ago, with the bigger part having been added on a few years later after I was baptized there and a picture of me in front of the old part of the building as well.

It is always such a great feeling to walk in there and see all our old friends, the White's, Coots, Walters, Gregory's and Davis'.  The White's and Coots families all came to Henderson around the same time and were members of the church already and became immediate friends with my parents around the time I was baptized.  The Walters, Gregory's and Davis' joined in the late 60's and early 70's and have been there ever since.  We had lunch with the White's on the first Sunday and lunch with the Davis' on the second Sunday we were there.  They have and will always be wonderful friends and until my girls were grown they thought the White's grandkids were their cousins, because we would always go and visit them whenever we were in Kentucky, just like we do our blood relatives.  I was so busy visiting and talking that I forgot to take pictures again, but facebook comes in pretty handy for that kind of thing.  I hope they don't shoot me for swiping some of their pictures.

The first picture is the White Family in 2016, Pat and Tom are in the middle with their 3 daughters, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, they are missing one great-grand that was born after this picture was taken.  We saw all of them but Emily and her family who live in Wyoming.  My Mom and Pat were best friends and did stuff together all the time when I was a kid growing up and we were always at each others homes.

JR & Mary Coots in 2017, JR and Pat are brother and sister, their parents were wonderful people.

Marsha Walters Carrier in 2011

Keith & Lee Walters in 2015, Keith & Marsha are brother and sister.  Their Mom, Jerry and my Mom were great friends back in the day.

Jim & Terry Davis in 2016

Jim & Selena Gregory in 2009, I also saw Jim's dad, Richard, but didn't get a picture of him either.


My Papaw and Mamaw lived out on a little hill about halfway between Henderson and Owensboro near the tiny little community of Hebbardsville for over 40 years.  Their neighbors were some of the sweetest people you will ever meet.  Granddad and Momma Mayes wanted my grandparents to be their neighbors and so they gave them 3 acres of land for one whole dollar and on that land my Papaw built their house and lived there till the day they died.  Granddad and Momma's daughter, Mary and her husband, Jack and their children, Peggy, Patsy, Don and Ricky lived next door to them. Ricky was their youngest and was my age and we probably climbed every tree and swung on every grapevine in the gully between the two little hills that those houses set on when we were kids.  We called them Granddad and Momma and Aunt Mary and Uncle Jack and again, no blood relation, but some of the best neighbors and friends you could ever ask for.

Aunt Mary and Mamaw both worked at Henderson Middle School as cooks and were working there when I was in middle school in 7th and 8th grades. After Papaw passed away in 1994, they kept a close eye on Mamaw and made sure to check on her daily.  All my aunts and uncles lived in town about 20 or so miles away so they weren't out there every day and it was so nice to know that Mamaw was being watched over.  Aunt Mary would call every night and read some scriptures to Mamaw and on Sunday's they would pick her up and take her to church at Cash Creek Baptist just down the road a mile or two.  Ricky and Don kept the yards mowed and they eventually even took out most of the trees in the gully between the hills so they had a clean line of sight to her house.  If a car they didn't recognize went down her lane one of them would show up almost immediately to make sure they were on the up and up.

When I came to town almost every year, if there was something that needed fixing around Mamaw and Papaw's place I would try to take care of it while I was there.  Back in the day I didn't have money for a rental car and so I would drive Papaw's car or truck to pick up what I needed.  After Papaw died they sold those, so if I needed anything at a hardware store I could count on Don to pick me up in his truck and take me to Owensboro to pick up what I needed and then he would help me install or fix what was needed.  The following are some pictures of Mamaw and Papaw's place that I took when they were still there and then a picture of Aunt Mary, Don and Ricky when we stopped by to see them on this trip.

The lane leading to their house.

Papaw's pink dogwoods next to the carport.

Papaw's barn, it has been torn down now, but man we played in there a lot.

Their house on the hill.

Picture taken on May 29th, from left to right: Ricky, Aunt Mary & Don.  Don said he would be 71 the following day and Aunt Mary said she was going to be 89 in two weeks.  Wonderful people and they were so happy we stopped in to visit and I am so glad we did.

Family and friends is what it is all about.  Knowing that these relationships will still continue no matter how far apart we may all live or how often we might see each other, our love for each other continues day after day.  There are so many that have passed on now, but like I said before, I know we will see all of them again, because life is eternal after all.  💖💖💖