For years, there has been a mystery surrounding my 3x great grandparents, Isaiah West and Zemiah/Zerurah/Zeniah/Rura Black. Thanks to a new 5th cousin connection, I have a much clearer timeline in my head for what really happened. Not to mention I want to get my greedy hands on the Barton papers in Pendleton County! My brand new 5th cousin Christy wrote up a timeline that I think makes perfect sense. That inspired me dig up some of the records to back up that theory. Great teamwork if you ask me! I want her to have the credit for the theory, because once I started reading what she wrote it made a lot of sense to me! Christy is descended through Isaiah’s sister Sallie Ann West-McClanahan, who will come into play later in the timeline. 😉
April 30, 1853
Isaiah West and Samuel McClanahan swear out a marriage bond for Isaiah and Samuel’s daughter, Zerelda Jane McClanahan.
May 4, 1853
Isaiah West and Zerelda Jane McClanahan were married in Pendleton County, Kentucky. Marriage Certificate, Marriage Register
March 5, 1856
Isaiah West and Zerelda McClanahan have a son named Henry A. West in Pendleton County, Kentucky. Birth Record
Sometime after Henry’s birth Zerelda dies (allegedly). I haven’t found her death record yet.
August 11, 1860
In Falmouth, Pendleton County, Kentucky, the US Federal census is taken. Samuel McClanahan is recorded first. Sallie West-McClanahan is recorded right after. Living with her is a Zacariah West, age 35 and Henry West, age 5. Right after that, John Black is recorded with his family, which includes Rachael Black, age 23.
October 30, 1861
Izah West and John F. Black swear out a marriage bond between Izah and Zemiah Black. The marriage is to take place on November 4, 1861 at John F. Black‘s residence. The marriage bond lists Izah as 30 years old, but lists this is his second marriage. Zemiah is listed as 24 years old and this is her first marriage.
November 4, 1861
Izah West and Zemiah Black are married at “her father’s house” in the presence of J. Willson, F. McClanahan and Walter Macketee. Marriage License and Certificate.
August 6, 1870
In Berlin, Bracken County, Kentucky, the US Federal census is taken. Isiah West and his wife Zeruah are counted with two children Jackson and Susan. Another child, Lafayette West seems to not be there. Also living in the household is 14 year old Henry West.
September 1, 1877
Henry A. West and Martha (McClanahan) Thornberry are selling off a piece of Samuel P. McClanahan’s land to a James B. McClanahan. Further cementing Henry A. West as Samuel McClanahan’s grandson. This is the final reference I have to Henry.
Isaiah West and Zernie West are counted in the 1880 United States Census with 5 children. None of them are Henry. The sad part about this being that if Henry was still in their household, it might have said son listed as his relationship.
February 28, 1899
Jack West marries Laura McClanahan in Bracken County, Kentucky. His father is listed as being born in Bracken County, Kentucky. His mother is listed as being born in Pendleton County, Kentucky. This is Jack’s first marriage and Laura’s second. Marriage Record Page 1, Marriage Record Page 2
The 1900 United States Census is the last time I see Isaiah or Zemiah. Though I don’t know what to really call her because she is something different on every record. In this census Zemiah says she has given birth to 10 children, with only 5 living. Elizabeth, Michael, Edith are living with her. Jackson and Lafayette are married with families. A child, Isaiah M. West who was months old in 1880, is not listed in this census. I already have 5 children found, so I am assuming Isaiah M. West has died. That leaves 4 more children I need to see if there are birth and death records for.
Jack and Laura West are living in Falmouth, Kentucky with her son Burg and their child together Ester. Also living in the house is Sallie McClanahan. She is listed as Jack’s Aunt. According to my new cousin, Sallie wills Jack her land as a repayment for him taking care of her in her later years. I really want to get my hand on these E. E. Barton papers. 😉
December 10, 1908
Edith West marries Anderson Curtis at the residence of James William Applegate (husband of Elizabeth West). Her father is listed as Isaiah West and mother as Ruie Black. Both are listed as being born in Bracken County, Kentucky. Marriage Record Page 1, Marriage Record Page 2
Aug 4, 1912
Isaiah and Zemiah’s son, Michael West passes away at the age of 35. His father is listed as Isaia West and his mother is listed as Rura Black. Both are listed as being born in Bracken County, Kentucky. The informant on the record is Elizabeth West‘s husband, James William Applegate. Death Record
July 30, 1938
On July 30, 1938, my 2nd great grandmother, Elizabeth West-Applegate passed away. On her death certificate her mother is listed as Zeroah Black and father as Isaiah West. Both are listed as being born in Bracken County, Kentucky. The informant for the record was Elizabeth’s husband, James William Applegate.
1930s and 1940s
The E. E. Barton papers. A very prominent lawyer in Pendleton County was very interested in Northern Kentucky genealogy. He spent over 50 years researching but in the 1930s and 1940s he interviewed residents and transcribed records from the courthouse. These family notes should be treated the same way family bibles are, as secondary sources, but they are still so valuable. Also, I don’t know the copyright on these papers so I’m not going to post them here. I know there are volunteer groups working to transcribe them to the web, and I believe the “originals” are in possession of the Pendleton County Historical and Genealogical Society in Frankfort. To find out more, read this great article by Cheri Daniels. I’m going to be looking more into that soon!
Christy sent me a couple of examples that back up her theory about Isaiah’s marriage. In the examples it mentioned that Henry West m. in Pendleton County, went west. It also says Lafayette went west with Henry. Now I’ve been looking and I found Lafayette out “west” but no sign of Henry yet. Lafayette was in Missouri in 1900 before reaching Colorado and settling. I haven’t entered all that into the website or my program yet, or this entry would never get finished! Maybe I will do a Lafayette entry on his own someday. 😉
My next step is to search out some more records. I have two goals I want to accomplish. This first one is to document the variations in Zemiah‘s name to try and have an idea of what her actual name is. The second goal is to have as much evidence as possible that there is one Isaiah West, who married two different Z-ladies, as I call them. 😉
These are the records I will be searching for in the future:
- Zerelda McClanahan‘s death record. It should be sometime between 1856 and 1861.
- Birth records, if they exist, for all of Zemiah and Isaiah’s children.
- Death records for all the other children of Zemiah and Isaiah.
- Find Edith West-Curtis‘ death certificate. I know where she is buried, so I just have to find out where she died.
- Lafayette West in the 1870 Census. Maybe he is living with a family member? Or maybe his estimated age was off in 1880.
- Marriage record for Henry West in Pendleton County, Kentucky.
- Marriage record for Lafayette West and Mattie O’Neal. I have them in the census until 1940, but haven’t found their marriage record yet.
- Marriage record for James William Applegate and Elizabeth Susan West.
- Death Record for Henry that will hopefully show his mother’s maiden name. He was young when she died so it could go either way on that one.
I really enjoyed making this timeline and I think I will do at least one a week! It really helped me have to gather all my records and re-examine them.