There is safety as well as security in numbers, and before the advent of the railroad and adequate communication systems, most families moved in groups, an important consideration when researching. The Ely, Judy, and Utterback families were no exception. As I continued cleaning up my information (in anticipation of a hiatus from fact finding to focus on fiction) the probing of proximity became my go-to tool.
First, a reminder, my current cleanup centers on the family of my great-great grandmother Gillian Virginia Morris who married Gabriel Ison. They are the parents of my grandmother Mary Elizabeth Ison. The two previous posts (Parts 1 and 2) outlined new and reviewed information on the Morris and Salling (Sally) family who ended up in Chariton and Ralls County, Missouri. Gillian’s parents were Peter Philander Morris and Elizabeth Ely. So what do we know about this Ely family?
Isaac Ely arrived in Hampshire County, (West) Virginia by 1767. He purchased a land grant from Lord Fairfax on either side of the Cacaphon (Cacapon) River at this time, this according to many genealogies providing very accurate detail. Lord Fairfax was “Baron of Cameron in that part of Great Britain called Scotland” so most of his grants were given to those loyal to him, usually of Scottish descent. I have yet to find the document for this land grant. Still, Isaac’s will, which I will discuss later, verifies the information.
On or about 1777, Benjamin Ely, Isaac Ely’s only son, married Mary Scott whose father was also a landholder in Hampshire County. William Scott’s will, dated November 22, 1767, divided his estate equally between Mary and his wife Sarey (Sarah).[i] Isaac Ely witnessed the will. On February 9, 1779, Sarey and Mary transferred the rights to 96 acres on both sides of Little Cacapehon, which had been surveyed on May 22, 1755, for Mary’s father William Scott.[ii] Benjamin had also purchased 30 acres on both sides of Little Cacapehon Creek on July 29, 1778,[iii] and 426 acres on the waters of the Old Road Run and Buffaloe Gap Run on December 6, 1778.[iv]
Three important asides regarding research in general:
- I discovered Benjamin’s grants at the Library of Virginia website while looking for the 1767 purchase under the NECK… Never underestimate the value of the University of Virginia site for VA research. It is invaluable.
- The Ohio Genealogical Society offered a one-year FREE subscription to Find My Past to all members. The more sites to search the better. Have I told you lately how much I love OGS?
- The New Newberry Library Atlas of Historical County Boundaries is back on-line. This fabulous interactive resource helped me determine the following Bourbon County/Clark County link.
By 1791, based on the Kentucky Early Census Index, Benjamin Ely move his family to Bourbon County, Kentucky. It is no wonder that his father gave 1/3 of his Hampshire County Estate to his wife Sarah, a sum of 10 pounds to his only son Benjamin, and the rest of his estate to William, IF he stayed on the Hampshire land grant. It was William alone who registered his grandfather Isaac Ely’s will in the county court on February 15, 1796, soon after his death.[v]
The 1800 Kentucky Tax List includes Benjamin Ely on the Clark County rolls as well as Isaac Ely. This Isaac was Benjamin’s oldest son next to William. Isaac was also his grandfather’s namesake and my 3x great grandfather. He had just married a Mary Polly Judy in 1798.
Finding the October 13, 1798, marriage record for Isaac Ely and Mary Judy[vi] was a major accomplishment—well, actually it was pure serendipity. While painstakingly sifting through the Clark County, Kentucky records for 1798 one-by-one, I discovered it, with oddly spelled surnames.
On another note of serendipity, my own nearly marriage of nearly 47 years began on October 13th just like Isaac and Mary Polly Judy Ely.
The Ely family and the Judy family lived just miles apart, both in Clark County. As I’ve said many times, place matters.
Next week: the Judy family and the Ely family’s move to Missouri.
Meanwhile, I’ve completed my update to the Morris(s), Ely, Judy, and Utterback family sheets. You can find them here and on the new Convergence on Missouri tab at the top of the page.