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Kephart, Huffman, Brown, Polsgrove
Posted by: John Bristol (ID *****0723) Date: September 18, 2006 at 10:23:11
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Please send any personal replies to: jbristol@bignet.net

A few weeks ago someone sent me information about a marriage between a Sally Polsgrove and James Wilson in KY in 1814. Also some analysis about the various ages given to Catherine Polsgrove, md. Nathaniel Brown in 1804. The idea is that Cate was a daughter of the widow Brown and Jacob Polsgrove instead of Barbara Biddle and Jacob.

As far as Sally is concerned, if she actually existed, she must have been a daughter of Mrs. (Brown) Polsgrove or perhaps even the widow of Jacob!!! Without a court record or Bible record, there is no proof she was more than a figment of someone's imagination -- or worse, she was invented to throw a monkey-wrench into the factual data we already have on Jacob, Barbara and Mrs. Brown. However, this has led me into considerable research about people I am barely related to, i.e., the Browns, and I will pass along what I have learned so far.

Nathaniel Brown had a son named Brightberry whose name is one of those you hope will lead to more information because of its uniqueness. And so it did. I found a prominent Brightberry Brown in Virginia -- BUT I found a whole lot more. This B. Brown was the youngest brother of one Barzillai Brown by 20 years. Barzillai was reported as moving to Shelby Co, KY, after the RW. He was indeed in the RW. He was married to one Frances Kephart. Names of children not given on these sites.

This looked promising so I went looking for Kephart Information (Kephart/Kiphart/Gebhart/Gephart) and when I found a good web site, I also found that none other than Phillip Huffman had married a sister of Frances named Katherine. By this wife he had a daughter named Katy who was born in 1792 and died in 1896 (104) years!!! He also had a sister, Elizabeth, who married a brother, Henry, of these two sisters. Abraham Kephart, another brother, brought his family to Henry/Shelby counties as well. After Phillip and Margaret died as is believed in Kentucky most of his family from Fulton Co, KY removed to Missouri However there are still some Huffmans in Fulton Co in the 1850 and 1860 Censuses
(Fulton CO, KY CENSUS              1850              1860
William                                   37              46
Mary J.                                   43              52
Marion       *                            --              28
John L.                                   13              23
William                             11              21
Ann                                    4              14)

What this looks like is that when Barzillai Brown died (ca 1789-90) his widow, Frances, married Jacob Polsgrove. So, by this means Jacob P. and Phillip Huffman became brothers in law. Years later when Phillip H. married Jacob's daughter Margaret, they became father and son in law as well. IF THIS IS ALL TRUE WE NOW KNOW THE NAME OF THE WIDOW BROWN WHO MARRIED JACOB POLSGROVE. We do not know when or where.

Some clue may be of help here in that there was an overland trail from Brown's Cove in Albemarle CO, VA which led across the mountains to a town called Old Fields in what is now West Virginia not so many miles west of Capon Bridge where Jacob Polsgrove was living near his cousins the Millslagles also from PA and Germany. In 1806 younger brother, (of Barzillai, Sr.), Brightberry built a road through there. What may have happened is that Barzillai Brown was taking his family and some kinfolk, Kepharts, Huffmans and probably some others (Lewis family?) to Shelby CO, KY, and along the way met up with the Polsgroves, probably some Harrods and Wilsons, from Hampshire CO, VA (W.VA) around 1790. Jacob was still in Capon Bridge, or went back in 1792 to witness a deed with his cousin George Millslagle. Another possibility is that Jacob was already somewhere in Virginia, as there is a town called Columbia Furnace and Jacob was almost certainly a furnace man. This is also not far from "Brown's Pike". But how and where they met will be a big mystery for some time.

I have no reason to believe that the blended family in 1810 in Pendleton CO, KY, under Jacob's name were all "Browns" as some of them also may have been Harrods and Wilsons. Half of George's children married Harrods and they are not found so plentiful in any other 1810 census in the neighborhood.

I continued looking for other websites hoping to find some answers to these and other questions, when to my chagrin I found a widow, "Franky Brown", in Shelby/Franklin co, KY, who in 1840 received a widows pension (RW) at the age of 85. My first thought was, "So much for speculation and getting our hopes up." But I continued digging around and found a William Brown, RW pensioner, who had died between 1832 and 1840, in KY, and I went looking for him. And then I found another William Brown as having married one "Frances Lamond," 23 Dec 1779, in Cumberland, PA. But I see no conflict here needing a resolution. NOTE: These could be one and the same family.

So, there you have it!!! No other competitors for Frances Brown, who, by the way as you may recall, had a daughter known as "Franky", half-sister of George Polsgrove who was born in 1792. The names, family associations, dates and locations give almost unimpeachable witness to the truth of this hypothesis, even if documentation is still missing.

The * above next to Marion Huffman causes me to ask whence came this name as it is the Middle name of our own Missouri branch of George M. Polsgrove [md. two Sammons cousins named Nancy (not simultaneously)] and whether the name signifies some other earlier family connection about which we know nothing.

Those who know me know that I will put nothing on the Polsgrove website at Rootsweb that is not documented. Undocumented "Reports" at LDS and Ancestry.Com do not count as documentation.

I have no more time to spend on this branch of the family so I leave it to you, their descendants, to do the remaining work. So gobble all this up, sift it and sort it, damn it or praise it, distill it or spill it, deny it or apply it.

Oh, and my apologies to those who believe all these people always traveled by water and not overland, if what I have reported here suggests otherwise.

Good luck.

John Bristol


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