Madison County Families

Kentucky Pioneers and Their Descendants

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This site created by and maintained by Robert J. Parks, 11 Regents Park Lane, Frankfort, KY  40601-3845

© Robert J. Parks 2009-2015

Historical Context:  Documents, articles and links that provide historical context to the lives of Madison County families

Slavery in the Families

In recognition of Black History Month, I researched slave ownership among my ancestors.  On my mother’s side nearly all my ancestors in the 1800-1860 period owned slaves.  On my father’s side only a couple did.  While some patterns are evident, nothing clearly explains the differences between the two sides of my family.  What is evident is that the number of slaves and the number of slave owners in Madison County grew steadily from Daniel Boone’s arrival to the end of the Civil War.  

Census of Agriculture 1850

The 1850 Census of Agriculture for Madison County, Ky., lists 1,256 farm owners and information about each farm:  number of developed acres of land, number of undeveloped acres of land, the value of the land, the value of farm implements and the value of livestock.  

Via an optical scanner, the information was transferred to a spreadsheet from Linda L. Green, Kentucky 1850 Agricultural Census for . . . Madison . . . Counties, Willow Bend Books, 2003.  For presentation here, misspellings and other errors were corrected, the total farm acreage was calculated, and the names are put in alphabetical order by last name.  

To facilitate comparisons, the median and average values for each category of information have been calculated.  

Madison County Agriculture 1850

Using information from the Census of Agriculture and other sources, this article describes farming in Madison County in 1850.  Oxen were common sources of power , and hogs and sheep dominated livestock production.   Corn, oats and flax were the leading crops, but the typical farm grew a wide variety of crops as self-sufficiency, not specialization, was the norm.  

Morgan’s Men

The day after the Confederate victory in the Battle of Richmond, emboldened Madison Countians began organizing a cavalry regiment that would ride with the dashing Gen. John Hunt Morgan but end the war as prisoners at Camp Douglas in Chicago.  Several also died there.  

Driving Hogs to Virginia in 1842

Sidney Dozier recalls driving 1,100 hogs from Richmond, Ky., to Richmond, Va., in  1842 along with 10 other young men, most of them from the Red House area.  Before Richmond had a railroad, driving livestock on foot  across country was the only way to deliver  animals to market.