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Caves of Montgomery Co, KY
Posted by: Larry Martin (ID *****3997) Date: January 11, 2009 at 19:14:43
  of 1277

This is my third post to the Cave forum and I hope it generate discussions concerning the Caves of Montgomery Co, KY.

It appears there were three Cave families who settled (at least for a short time) in Montgomery Co, KY.

Two brothers, Benjamin and William were in Montgomery County when it was first formed in 1797. A third brother Jonas arrives around 1806. Jonas is listed in the 1807-1808 tax lists and makes a death bed Will in 1808 (court records). In this Will (named James, but crossed out with Jonas), he mentions his brothers Benjamin and William and leaves property to Letty Randall (no relationship given) as well. Based on his oral death bed Will, it is safe to assume that he didn't have a wife or children with him in Montgomery County. This Jonas lived in Buncombe Co, NC until around 1806. Benjamin eventually moved to Ohio around 1809. At least two of his children stayed behind (Benjamin and Emmanuel, as they are mentioned in tax records) until 1814. They then joined their father in Ohio. I don't believe any of this family remained in Kentucky, let alone Montgomery County.

So William Cave appears to be the sole progenator for all Caves that show up in post 1814 Montgomery County records. William is known to have the following children: John, William, Lettie, Nellie Ellen (or Eleanor), and Mary (Polly) Cave.

He may have had one more daughter named Sally. I believe the William Cave listed in the 1790 Greenville, SC census is this William Cave. That census shows 5 women; thus, if it is the same William Cave, he probably had 4 daughters.

There are records In Montgomery County of a Thomas Cave, son of a Sarah Cave who was deceased by Mar 1808. He was six years old, but William Cave was going to "apprentice him out" to learn the art of farming. Sarah and Thomas are a mystery. Who were they, and why was William concerned about the welfare of Thomas? If the father was a Cave (and the son of William...why not mention the father). I suspect that Sarah is William's daughter and she had the son "out of wedlock." Thomas may be his grandson; however, social customs may have prevented this from being common knowledge (and, especially recording such a relationship in court records). I could never find any solid leads on Thomas, however he does appear to come and go in the Montgomery County records. Every once in a while a Thomas Cave seems to show in the tax records..all the way thru 1838. But, due to handwriting or damages, the Cave name usually looks like Caves, Care, Cane, Case, etc. So, if anyone knows more about this Thomas, please let me know. Anyway, something to think about.

His daughter, Lettie (or Letty) Cave was apparently married to a Randal or Randall. She was first mentioned in the Will of Jonas Cave. I suspect this was because she had young children and her husband had recently died (or left her). When you look at the 1810 census for William Cave, Sr. there are several unaccounted for young people. I suspect most are the children of his brother, Benjamin, who was in Ohio. Others would be Lettie and her daughter, Minerva Randall (mentioned in William's Will of 1830). There are also several unaccounted for young people in the 1820 census for William Cave, Sr. as well (2 boys and a girl). It is possible that Lettie had 3 children and she died sometime between 1810 and 1820. One female, age 15-19, is still living with William in the 1830 census. This must be Minerva. If the other two children were Lettie's they must have died or married. Again, this is speculation, but hopefully it generates some comments.

His son, John Cave married a Polly Reely on 11 Oct 1820 (some researchers show 11 Oct 1819, though I believe the 1820 date is the correct one). Why? John does not show in the 1820 census as head of household; however, an adult male is living in the William Cave, Sr. household. This must be John and he is still single. John first appears in the 1810 tax records and continues thru 1827 when he disappears. A John Cave (of right age) shows in the 1830 Fayette Co, Indiana census. A John Cave (of right age) also appears in the 1840 Blackburn Co, Indiana census. John and Mary also show in the 1850 and 1860 Blackburn census records. John and an unnamed female last show in the Montgomery Township region of Blackburn County in the 1870 census. Here, John is 85 and was born in South Carolina. I do not believe they had any children who lived to have offspring. Hopefully, someone can correct me on that assumption.

Another son was William Cave, Junior. He married Martha "Patsy" Martin, daughter of Mrs. Polly Martin (widow) in Jan 1822, Montgomery County, and died in Dec 1824, Montgomery County. He had a house near the forks of Spencer Creek (court records after he died). They had two children Morton and William T. (again, mentioned in estate settlement court records). The last KY official record I have for Patsy was the 1831 Montgomery County tax list. She and her two children eventually moved to Putnam County, Indiana. There are court records that show her settling accounts back in KY (from Putnam) in 1835.

This family disappears (at least I can't find them) until the mid 1850s. Morton Cave is prominent in local Nemaha County, Kansas Territory politics. Morton, William, and their mother, Martha can be found in the 1860 and 1870 Kansas census records. Morton (1824 KY - 1870 KS) had one son who had children. Charles M. Cave married Jessie and had two daughters, Mary Cave (b. abt 1897 NE) and Florence Cave (b. abt 1901 NE). They were all living in Dawson Co, NE per the 1920 census. William (1825 KY - 1870/5 KS) married Louisa Cordill and had 4 children: Theodore Cave, John M. Cave, Martha Cave, and Ida May Cave. Theodore Cave (b.abt 1863 KS) was in the 1920 Saquache County, Colorado census and was still single. John M. Cave (b. abt 1863 KS) was in the 1920 Merrick County, Nebraska census and was still single. I do not know what happened to Martha Cave (b. abt 1864 KS) and Ida May Cave (b. abt 1865 KS). Martha Martin Cave, widow of William Cave, and mother of Morton and William, died June 1867 and is probably buried in a Seneca cemetery. She is listed as Martha Hougham in the 1865 Kansas state census (living with Morton Cave). May have married a Johnathan Hougham back in 1838, and sometimes went by Martin and sometimes went by Hougham.

William Cave, Sr.'s daughter, Mary "Polly" Cave, married David Rice on 31 Mar 1818 in Montgomery County, KY. Some Rice researchers claim (not my research) that the Rice family left Montgomery County around 1833 and moved to Gallatin and Carroll Counties, KY. I don't know much about the Rice family; however, it appears the David and Mary Rice family listed in the 1850 Gallatin census is the same family. Some Rice researchers show David Rice born 9 Nov 1790 KY and died 9 Nov 1865 KY. They show Mary born abt 1791 Ky and died 9 Jan 1878.

The remainin offspring of William Cave, Sr. is Nellie Cave (sometimes called Ellen or Eleanor). Records vary, but the consensus is that she was born 20 Mar 1780 NC and died 20 Jan 1863 in Powell Co, KY. She married Joseph Hon on 25 Sept 1795 in Clark Co, KY. I'll post more on this family in the HON forum.

So, to summerize, William Cave, Sr. had 5, possibly 6 children. William Cave, Jr. died in 1824. John (if my assumptions are correct) left KY after 1827 and ended up in Washington Township, Blackburn Co, Indiana and died after 1870. Mary "Polly" Cave, with her husband David Rice, left Montgomery Co around 1833 and ended up in Gallatin Co, KY. Lettie Cave married a Randall and probably died before 1820.

When William Cave, Sr. died in 1839 all of his children had died or moved away, except Nellie Eleanor Cave Hon. He more than likely spent his last few days, weeks, or even years living with this family on or near Cane Creek in present day Powell County. After 1939, there are no more "Caves" living in Montgomery Co, KY. I would love to hear from any Cave descendants, but especially any who descend from William Cave, Jr. or Lettie Randall as I'm curious if any descendants of these lines know about their Cave connections.

Looking forward to comments that either support or contradict my research. It can only get better if you respond with your own research (ladened, hopefully, with sources).



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