Or, Subtitled: “There is after 175 years of farming an air of peace and plenty — good homes, big barns, fat cattle, tall corn and tobacco, set mostly in wide valleys between low hills“
It has been quite some time, hasn’t it, since I told readers following my series of postings about Thomas Whitlock (abt. 1745 – 1830) that, having disposed of his land in Wythe County, Virginia, in May 1805 and moved to Cumberland County, Kentucky (perhaps with a brief sojourn in Surry County, North Carolina), I’d complete Thomas’s story by discussing his years in Kentucky? After I promised to do that, I spent two weeks at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, and since that time, have been busy sharing notes here on items I found during that research trip which fill in gaps in previous postings on this blog.
The previous posting ended its chronicle of Joshua Wilson and Mary Rice’s lives on 13 January 1812 as they relinquished to John Postlethwaite the inn they had leased from him in Lexington, Kentucky, and had managed for eight years. The posting states that at this point, the Wilsons moved from Lexington to Louisville, Kentucky. Robert C. Jobson thinks that they had actually moved to Louisville by 1811, prior to the 13 January 1812 relinquishment of their lease on Postlethwaite’s inn. In his 1983 Filson Club History Quarterly article chronicling the life of Joshua and Mary’s grandson John Clark Bayless, Jobson says that Joshua Wilson first appeared on the scene in Louisville in 1811 as a “wealthy entrepreneur.” According to Jobson, the Wilsons’ soon-to-be son-in-law Abijah Bayless arrived in Louisville the same year when he began a dry-goods mercantile business there.
Or, Subtitled: “At the head of the table, laid out with great neatness, plenty and variety, sat our well-dressed hostess, who did the honors with ease and propriety“
This is the first of a two-part series that will document the life of George Rice and Elizabeth Brooks’s daughter Mary Rice and her husband Joshua Wilson. This posting focuses on the couple’s years in Virginia and then in Bardstown and Lexington, Kentucky. The next posting will focus on the final period of their lives in Louisville, Kentucky, and Corydon, Indiana. Several of the children of George and Elizabeth Brooks Rice shared an interest in inn- and tavern-keeping. As we saw in a previous posting, soon after they arrived in Kentucky from Virginia, Mary Rice Wilson’s sister Ruth and husband Micajah Roach purchased an inn in Bardstown from Joshua and Mary Wilson. And in a later posting, we’ll see that Mary and Ruth’s brother George also had a tavern in Winchester, Virginia. I call these establishments inns-cum-taverns because they were akin to the public houses of the British Isles in which locals could eat and drink, and also in which travelers could find lodging.
Or, Subtitled: “Your Orator Further Sheweth” — Valuable Inheritances and Predictable Litigation
With this posting, I’m climbing back up the Brooks family tree and starting to track lines stemming from another daughter of Mary Brooks, the earliest Brooks ancestor I’ve been able to prove. As I’ve indicated previously, Mary died testate in Frederick County, Virginia, with a will dated 9 July 1786. In her will, Mary named children Mary (Hollingsworth), Elizabeth (Rice), Thomas, Sarah (Asdril [i.e., Ashdale]), Susanna (Haynes), and James. As the posting I’ve just linked says, I have not been able to discover the name of Mary’s husband, or her maiden surname, or where this family lived before I first catch sight of them in Frederick County, Virginia, records in March 1767.