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Sandi's Puzzles

Sandi has decided to end this series due to dwindling participation. The puzzles and answers from previous weeks, months, and years may be found below.

This was the term for something which contained 60-140 gallons of liquid or 750-1,200 pounds of tobacco and wasn't an animal part though it sounded like it.

Answer: hogshead

Often in documents, even today, you will see n.m.i or n.m.n. What do these initials stand for?

Answer: N.M.I. indicates a person who has no middle initial; N.M.N. means the person had no middle name. It is recorded that President Harry Truman had no middle name. He added the middle initial S. which stood for nothing so he wouldn't be shown as Harry N.M.I. or N. M. N. Truman.

What fruit was never eaten in earlier times because "if a hog won't eat it, why should I?"

Answer: A tomato. Often considered a vegetable, since it grows above ground, it is also considered a fruit.

A man writes his will and leaves certain items to his wife to use during her natural life. But most put in the clause limiting her receiving these bequests. How did he limit her?

Answer: At a widow's remarriage she normally reverted back to inheriting 1/3rd of the remaining estate or a child's portion.

In former times, a barber swept up the hair from the floor and saved it. It was later sold and used as a reinforcing agent for something else - not for wigs! What was it used for?

Answer: Plaster; the hair was called Plaster Hair. It could be used in concrete also, and sometimes horse hair was used.

If you see "call (or called) term" in records what did this mean?

Answer: A called term is one where a county (or city etc.) court calls a special session to handle something that can't wait until their regular meeting time. This might be a will, a murder, or some business that must be handled immediately.

Susan was excited when she finally found the name of her grandam. Whose name did she find?

Answer: Grandmother

In his will, a man lists his heirs - wife, sons and daughters, possibly grandchildren, brothers or sisters. He also names his natural son. Who is this?

Answer: an illegitimate son that he has named as his own for inheritance purposes.

In Colonial times one might see a record saying that an individual had a "new mother." Who was she?

Answer: Step-mother.

What was the individual called who was in charge of a temporary military prison during the Civil War?

Answer: Provost Marshall

What was known as "Brown Bess"?

Answer: This was a moderate length shoulder weapon with an effective range of under 50 yards. "Brown Bess" was the common nickname for this gun - used by our early pioneers and in the Revolutionary War.

Many pioneer women were proficient in working a girdle wheel. Was this a contraption to help them get a girdle on or something else?

Answer: This was a small spinning wheel that could be attached to the waist of the weaver.

What is meant when a farmer racked up something at night?

Answer: To rack up meant putting out feed for the horses for the night.

If you're not faint of heart, a person called a pure finder collected something which was used to cure leather. What in the world did he collect?

Answer: a pure finder collected dog manure and sold it to the local tanner where it was used in the process of tanning leather.

What was the first university established in Kentucky and where was it located?

Answer: Transylvania University in Lexington, KY which was founded in 1780 before KY became a state.

Where would one likely find a puffer? What did he do?

Answer: A puffer was a man hired by an auctioneer to "puff up" or encourage higher bidding on a house, land or anything being sold. He merged with the crowd and encouraged individuals to bid higher. They were also known as shills.

Who was a cushion thumper?

Answer: This was an old term for a minister, usually Methodist, who preached loudly and with great enthusiasm. He was said to be pounding the pillows/cushions.

In earlier days you might see a person preparing leather breeches beans. What were they doing?

Answer: Green beans were strung using a needle and thread and then hung out to dry. They were leathery when dried. They were used for storing through the winter.

What was a woman called who was a widow and had dower from her deceased husband? Only one answer accepted and again the answer begins with "d".

Answer: Dowager

What was the term used on census reports for an individual who could be a sister or female relative of the head of household or sometimes not be related at all, and helped taking care of the house? They were not servants. As a clue, the word begins with the letter "d."

Answer: Domestic. This can give us a possible clue as it could be kin to the head of household or his wife if married.

A term often seen in court documents is "by next friend" or "by next best friend." Who could this "next friend" be and who needed him?

Answer: A next friend was an individual appointed by the court or family to represent an infant, minor (under 21) or an individual who could not speak for himself due to physical or mental problems. He was not to be a guardian by state law but many guardians were appointed as next friends.

What little animal was used to suck blood out of a patient's wound as a method of healing?

Answer: Leeches.

We have heard the expression "don't throw the baby out with the bathwater." In the past, what did this expression really mean and why would a baby possibly be thrown out with the bathwater?

Answer: An old expression with various newer meanings meant that when the family took their bath in the old tub, the father normally went first, then the mother, then the children. By the time the baby had his bath, the water was pretty dirty. Thus the warning of not seeing the baby and tossing him out with the dirty water.

An old term - what were small clothes? This didn't mean clothes were for a small person!

Answer: This was the name for breeches/britches which just came down to the knee. Many well-to-do men in Barren Co and others wore these.

This is the name given by the early settlers for a something where they saw animals gather. It provided something very much needed by them.

Answer: A salt lick. Salt was necessary for preserving their meats and for cooking.

We all know what a tasty pudding is, but what were puddings (not plural of pudding!)?

Answer: That was the name for intestines.

What is the name of the court in KY that hears civil matters, capital offenses & felonies, divorces, adoptions, termination of parental rights, land dispute title cases & probated cases? I need the name it is known by in Kentucky, not other states.

Answer: Circuit Court

What was the word used in the old wills that indicated that all had been done - bills paid, money received that was due the deceased, property distributed, etc.? It was the final ____.

Answer: Disposition

What were soldiers called who were permanently in the army as opposed to militia who were in volunteer groups?

Answer: They are the Regulars.

Later used to refer to US Army infantrymen, this term originally referred to a brick made out of mud and dried in the sun. What was it called?

Answer: They were called dough boys.

This man was charged with checking that a merchant didn't short a customer when weighing meats, etc. What was he called?

Answer: gager

If your Kentucky ancestor was Dutch, they would serve a raisin pie at one occasion. What occasion?

Answer: A raisin pie was usually served at a funeral.

We often see the term "last will and testament" in records. But, what is an "unsolemn will"?

Answer: An unsolemn will is one that did not name an executor.

You've likely heard the expression "kith and kin." Who were the kith?

Answer: Kith refers to friends, neighbors, acquaintances.

If you see the term "natural father," what does this indicate?

Answer: The term "natural father" indicated that the father was not married to the mother.

Used in several types of documents one might see the term "child of tender years." This referred to a specific class of children. What did it indicate?

Answer: a child of tender years denoted on from age 0 to 14.

You might have seen the term "de bonis non cum testamento annexo" on a legal document. What does that mean?

Answer: This is a Latin term meaning that the Executor of an estate (deceased had a will) either died or failed to complete his duties and the Court had to appoint an Administrator to take over the duties. The will was "attached" meaning that the provisions of the will were honored.

what is the term used showing that you have a direct line descendancy from your ancestor which would not include aunts, uncles, cousins, etc.

Answer: Lineal

In old land records this word refers to a right-of-way, a barn, house, fence, etc. - something which is attached to or pertains in some way to the land involved. What was the word?

Answer: appurtenance [uh-PUR-tn-uhns]

This was a prison run by the Confederates during the Civil War that was located in Georgia. It had the reputation of being the worst prison for captured Northern soldiers. What was its name?

Answer: Andersonville

This man (1815-1891) acquired several thousand notebooks of papers, interviews of pioneers, etc. It includes records from IL, KY, Northwest VA and other areas. Who was the man and where are the papers stored?

Answer: Lyman C. Draper, manuscripts known as the Draper Papers, are housed In the Wisconsin Wisconsin Historical Library.

This man, very much needed in earlier KY days, made casks, barrels, wash tubs, pails, butter churns and other wooden vessels. What was he called?

Answer: He was a cooper.

What do the initials d.s.p. mean on a death record?

Answer: d.s.p. is the Latin abbreviation for decissit sine parole or died without issue.

The Court issues to the Sheriff a fi fa. What Latin word does this stand for and what is the Sheriff to do with it?

Answer: Fi Fa stands for the Latin phrase fieri facias meaning "cause to be done." In older days, this document was given to the Sheriff who went to the property owned by an individual who owed a debt to someone and didn't have the money to pay it. As much of the debtor's property as necessary was sold off to pay the debt.

The word I'm looking for can mean 3 things: two or more persons holding property together; an act of joining as in marriage; and, in early days, property given to a wife instead of her dower. What is the word?

Answer: jointure.

What caused a "dry bellyache" in older terms?

Answer: A dry bellyache is another name for lead poisoning.

Some men earned their wages by being candy butchers. Where did they work and what did they sell?

Answer: A candy butcher was a salesman who sold not only candy but trinkets and other items at train depots, circuses or walking down the street.

We know that when a husband died, the widow would usually get her dower or 1/3rd interest of the estate. What could a widower get if his wife owned property in her own name or had inherited but hadn't disposed of by will or prior sale and they had a child or children who could legally inherit? What was this called?

Answer: Curtesy or courtesey

Most settlers owned a bed and bedstead. What was the bedstead?

Answer: Although most definitions of bedstead say this is part of a bed (frame, mattress, etc.) in pioneer inventories this meant the bed coverings. This would be quilts, blankets or any material placed on a bed.

We were all excited when the 1940 federal census was released. There was one thing that was different however. Randomly it seems a large X with a circle around it is shown on each household canvased. What was that for?

Answer: An X with a circle around it on the 1940 census indicates the individual who provided the information to the census taker.

If you are walking down the street in some town in the 1800's and hear someone yell "gardydoo," what is about to happen and what do you need to do?

Answer: This term, known throughout many foreign countries as well as early America, meant look out below or get out of the way as someone was getting ready to dump the slop bucket or chamber pot from an upper story window.

In the earlier days in Kentucky and elsewhere, people built unusual houses where the house was two story in the front but only one story in the back, having a sloping roof down to the one story. What was the purpose of this?

Answer: Two-story houses were taxed at a higher rate than one-story houses. So people built these "salt houses" with a sloping roof down to a lower level and they could only be taxed as one-story.

When we see Jr. or Sr. after a surname, we assume it is son and father. But that was not always the case. What else could it mean?

Answer: Jr. and Sr. could also refer to other family relationship such as nephew-uncle, etc. It was also frequently used when there were two men in the same area with the same first and last surname who were not related to keep them separate.

When men wore them, they were called pantaloons. What did women wear that could be described as long bloomers or drawers with a ruffle at the bottom which showed under a woman's or child's dress in the early 19th century?

Answer: The proper name was pantalets.

If you see in a will the term "now wife" what does this mean and what does it do for her?

Answer: This indicated the wife to whom he was married at the time he wrote his will. He may or may not have been married previously. This protected his wife as to her inheritance.

We may call it a type of cast iron frying pan, but in pioneer days women had a different name for it. It had 3 long legs to raise it above the coals of the fire. What very usual name was it known as?

Answer: a spider

If an individual went to a slop store what was he looking for?

Answer: A slop shop was a store where ready-made and lower quality clothing was sold.

In earlier days in Kentucky, there were three ways a woman could own property in her own name or own slaves. Name two of the ways.

Answer: Single women could buy, sell and own in their own names. Married women could only own, buy or sell something that was willed or deeded to them specifically such as a father who willed a daughter land or slaves. If not specified to her alone, it belonged to the husband. Sometimes a married woman could petition the courts for the ability to buy, sell or own something due to unusual circumstances (criminal record of husband, insanity, etc.)

The term "Old Southwest" was originally used to parts or all of 9 states. Who is brave enough to name those states?

Answer: The Old Southwest included: Missouri, Mississippi, Arkansas, Alabama, Louisiana, Texas, and parts of Tennessee, Kentucky, and Panhandle of Florida.

In the early settlement days of Kentucky, pioneers moved into a particular place for protection against Native American attacks. What was this?

Answer: A fort, also known as a stockade.

Speaking of undertakers, in the early 1900's and for some time, undertaking parlors often shared facilities with what other business?

Answer: The most often used location for a funeral parlor in earlier days was in a furniture store. The owner would sell furniture, including coffins, on the first floor with the funeral parlor on the 2nd floor. Other locations could be used also.

Funeral home directors were originally called undertakers. What did that word mean?

Answer: An undertaker was so called because he was undertaking the responsibility of the funeral and burial, not because he was putting them under!

In the early days, when laying out the roads in a county, what were some of the first roads established and why?

Answer: Most of the first roads established led to the water grist mills. This was a source for food for the people.

What was the name of the legal body in Kentucky that preceded the establishment of the Circuit Court?

Answer: The Court of Quarter Sessions preceded the Circuit Court in Kentucky.

Here's the definition; give me the correct term: "an attempt or offer to beat another, without touching him; as by holding up one's fist at him in a menacing manner; striking at another with a cane or stick, though the party missed his aim; presenting a gun, when loaded, at a person; drawing a sword or bayonet; throwing a bottle or glass, with intent to wound or strike."

Answer: Assault

When an individual died intestate, how long legally did the Administrator have to complete all the reports (inventory, sales, dower, settlements, etc) and return them to the County Clerk's office.

Answer: There was no time limit. Some settlements took 10 years or more to be completed.

What is the day after Christmas called in Canada, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand but not in America?

Answer: Boxer or Boxing Day. [Best Submitted Answer: "This is the day when UPS and FedEx throws out all the boxes not delivered before Christmas!"]

What was the name given the time when a woman could change her wardrobe from black to shades of gray or pastel?

Answer: After being in full-mourning and wearing black; the next step was called half-mourning when a lady could move from the black clothes to lighter shades and enter back into a little more activity.

What was a migratory divorce?

Answer: This is a divorce where the filing party or both move to another state where it is easier to get a divorce.

In older wars in Kentucky and elsewhere, men could serve either in horse or foot units. What were these two classifications?

Answer: the cavalry and infantry.

Why are there so many counties in Kentucky? Other than Texas, Kentucky has the largest number of counties. There was a law which explained this. Can you find it? It is not because Kentucky is large!

Answer: A county seat had to be located no farther away that a man could travel by horseback in one day.

Scenario. A married woman owns land in her own right, likely granted to her by her father or other situations. While she is married, her husband has control of all her land. Who does the land go to upon her death?

Answer: The husband did not receive land belonging to his wife at her death. He never owned it; he controlled it. At her death, the land would go to her heirs - their children. If no children, then to her closest heirs. When you find a deed where a man is selling land and his wife was interviewed privately by the County, this meant that it was her land and not his. She had to give permission for the sale or the land or it wasn't sold!

What would a bed wrench have been used for?

Answer: a bed turner was an instrument used to tighten the ropes on an old bed.

When a man wrote his will he had to have at least two witnesses. But certain individuals could not be a witness. These men were sane, not criminals and weren't disbarred from being a witness for someone else. But, they could not be a witness to this specific will. Who?

Answer: Any individual named as a beneficiary in a will could not be a witness to the will.

There were 2 major reasons that people had to "remove" a certificate for land they had been be legally granted. This meant that they gave back the land to the court. What were the TWO possible reasons they had to do this?

Answer: There were two main reasons that an individual had to give back land to the County. (1) Due to a surveying error, the land had already been granted to an earlier claim. It would revert to the original owner and the man would be allowed to locate on other unclaimed land. (2) The land was found to be on military land that had been set apart for soldiers and officers of the Revolutionary War.

This will apply primarily to Baptist church members but many other denominations have a similar situation. The scenario: a man joins the church. He gets into trouble and is excluded from the church. Later he comes back, repents or confesses and the church lets him be "restored" to membership. He immediately asks for his letter dismissing himself from the church. Why would he do this?

Answer: It is likely that the man was either moving or another church of the same denomination had formed nearer to him. He would not be allowed to join there unless he had a letter of dismissal from his old church. So, he had to restored at his old church, then he could ask for his letter.

If you hired a drowner, what was he expected to do?

Answer: He irrigates the crops and lands.

If a person was laying in a narrow bed, describe it.

Answer: A narrow bed refers to a coffin or, sometimes a grave.

How well do you know your Kentucky geography? Where in the state would you be most likely to find the remains of the railroad track that was used for the Underground Railroad?

Answer: There are no remaining railroad tracks for the Underground Railroad because it was not a railroad. The term is used to describe the routes that slaves took in their quest for freedom. It covered walking, going by boat, going from safe house to save house, etc.

The term "8 day man" was used in America during a certain period of our history. When was it used and what did it mean?

Answer: An 8-day man was a derogatory term for Rebel soldiers who only served for a short time in the Civil War.

A 2-parter. What was the name given for a woman who acted in the capacity of settling an estate when no will was left and what was the name given for a woman who was appointed by the deceased husband who left a will?

Answer: A woman was designated as an Administratrix if her husband left no will. She was an Executrix if he did.

What were two usual ways that the connecting points of property lines were marked by surveyors in the 1800s in Kentucky?

Answer: Rocks and trees. Marks were carved or painted on rocks - they could be moved or plowed under. Slashes or initials would be carved in trees - trees died and were cut down. Thus, often the land had to be resurveyed.

Seen often in Circuit Court cases, there was an expression denoting that a wife had deserted her husband and he was filing for divorce. It was said that she had left his ___ and ___. What was that term?

Answer: Bed and board. She was not only leaving her marital bed but his protection and provision of her.

Who am I describing? (1) a person who sided with the Colonial side against the British during the Revolutionary War, or, (2) a person who was against Andrew Jackson's ideas and principles, or, (3) a political party.

Answer: Whig

Who kept rogue money and what was it used for?

Answer: Rogue money, as it was called in Scotland, was a tax paid by a county. The funds were used to apprehend, prosecute and maintain criminals in jail.

What was the name of the fee imposed in order for qualified men to vote?

Answer: poll tax

This war was fought from 1846 to 1848. What was it called, who was involved and what caused it?

Answer: The Mexican-American war was fought when Mexico was unhappy with the United States taking some of their lands in Texas and other states that bordered Mexico.

In the past, where would one find a lapstone?

Answer: A lapstone was used by a cobbler. He laid the stone on his lap and bet the leather to soften it.

In looking at our male ancestor's pictures in the past, we sometimes see them with beards, mustaches and long hair, sometimes pulled back in a ponytail. What would we see if the man yelled out "I'm pilled!"

Answer: The poor man was in total shock! He was bald.

Since many people in south central KY had Scottish ancestry, there was a particular type of cloth that many women made. It was a combination of two materials - one type was for the filler and the other type for warmth. What is the hyphenated word that describes this material?

Answer: Linsey-woolsey

Some towns had 2 men who were called searcher and sealers. They looked for one thing, either approving or denying. What did they do?

Answer: These men checked leather goods to be sure they were of good quality and then put a seal on each piece to verify it had been inspected.

A certain plant found in some counties in Kentucky was supposed to have medicinal value and was harvested. One area of Kentucky is known by the name of this plant.

Answer: The Pennyroyal/penniroyal plant is of the mint family. A large section of Kentucky lies within what is known as the Pennyroyal area [aka Pennyrile].

If you had to go to the leach house, where would you be going and what happened there?

Answer: A leech house was a hospital. But, a leach house was a place at a tannery where pelts were cleaned of hair and debris.

What legal word am I describing - only one word accepted! "To encourage, incite, or set another on to commit a crime; to command, procure, or counsel him to commit it."

Answer: abet

Something very important about this Tuesday, May 30th in Kentucky. What?

Answer: On May 30, 1792 the Kentucky Constitution was approved and on June 1, 1792 Kentucky became a State.

Schools in the 1800's were one-room school houses with a teacher hired by the school board. Parents wishing their children to attend such a school had to pay for their enrollment. What were these schools known as?

Answer: subscription schools

Our earliest ancestors came to America by ship. There was a special area - cramped - on the ship where most of the menial laborers that were employed by the captain were housed. What was this area called?

Answer: This was known as the "Glory Hole." The quarters on a ship that are occupied by the stewards or stokers.

Many of us have Scottish ancestry. If we had been invited to a celebration where we were expected to leave small change to help certain people, what would we be attending?

Answer: A Penny Marriage. People left change on the table to help pay the expenses of the wedding.

We all know what a bigamist is - a man who is married to two women at the same time without a divorce from the first. This was also spelled bigamus. But a man could be called a bigamus for another reason and it was legal. What had this man done?

Answer: There are two answers; I was looking for the fact that he married a widow. The other option means that he was married twice.

What is a sleeping partner? Is it someone who snores? One who stayed up too late and can't keep his eyes open? Who is he?

Answer: A silent partner

What is the name for the following definition: Nominal or worthless bail. Irresponsible persons, or men of no property, who make a practice of going bail for any one who will pay them them a fee therefor. (Blacks First Edition).

Answer: Straw bail

A man has something described as rack sided. What is it?

Answer: The farmer has a type of barn called a rack-sided barn. Follow this link for a photo.

A man's estate is being inventoried prior to public sale in the 1800's. The men doing the inventory noted "other old iron". To what were they referring?

Answer: Pieces of old iron laying around with no value in itself but could be used again.

What was a marriage called between two Quakers who were married in a civil ceremony rather than in a church ceremony?

Answer: Marriage contrary to discipline or married out of unity.

You see a strange squiggly circle on a document with L. S. written within it. What was this?

Answer: This was a seal used on official documents when wax seals were no longer used. The L S was for a Latin term meaning "the place of the seal."

Why could a minister or a Justice of the Peace and even the County Clerk be much busier during the fall and winter months? This does not have anything to do with crops or deaths or elections ... but something happened more often during the fall and winter months that would keep them busier than usual. What and why?

Answer: The majority of weddings took place in the fall or winter.

If an individual signed his name "John (X) Smith," we assume he could not write. But, it could mean something else. What was another reason?

Answer: A holdover from earlier days, some people signed their name with an (X) when they could write. It was their Seal. Remembering in days gone by when the king or someone signed a document, they'd stamp a seal after their name to guarantee its authenticity? This tradition continued among certain people. They weren't kings or anyone super special, but they wanted their seal. Over the years the (X) got between their first and last name instead of at the end. In the majority of cases as time passed, it did indicate that someone else signed for a person who could not write.

In the Victorian Age, many etiquette books were published for young ladies with the rules and regulations on behavior and dating. Many warned the ladies not to set their heart upon the "fashionable stupid gentleman" who was most often well dressed and educated or of "high society." What were these young men called? It's a term that is still used but with an entirely different meaning and is more of a slang word. (Hint: 4 letters long.)

Answer: Young ladies were warned not to fall in love with a dude.

What would a goose herder do to help the ladies in the community in older days?

Answer: Having nothing to do with geese, this gentleman was a tailor. In older days, only females were considered talented enough to make clothing. However, a few men were talented and entered the field. They were rather looked down up for some time; many were traveling tailors.

Terms can change as we have learned. We all know what a penthouse is now. But in older times, a penthouse was something totally different. What was it?

Answer: A penthouse could mean two things: (1) a lean-to shed outside of a building or even an out house. (2) a room where the blacksmith would shoe horses.

What was a corduroy or bang-up road?

Answer: This was a way for people to traverse over deep mud holes or swampy areas in early roads. Trees were cut down and branches cut off. Then the trees were laid across the wet area to form a wooden "road" so the wagons (or later cars) could get through.

A groom-to-be normally had a surety/security with him who signed the marriage bond for the upcoming wedding. There was a cost to the bond, normally $100 in the mid 1800's. The marriage went off without a hitch and the couple lived happily ever after. What did the county do with the bond money that had been paid?

Answer: No money exchanged hands between the groom or his securities and the County Clerk when the marriage was celebrated successfully. The bond was just a promise that if the marriage didn't proceed (because one or either was already married, was mentally challenged or was a criminal) it would be paid.

It is 1865. A man comes to the County Clerk to obtain a license to marry his sweetheart. The Clerk is supposed to fill out an application which lists the man's residence, name, age, the # of marriage, his occupation and place of birth of he and his parents. He also has to do the same for the woman - name, residence, age, # of marriage and where she and parents were born. But, it does not ask for her occupation. Why?

Answer: Most women during that era didn't work outside the home so the category wasn't necessary.

If you see a date written: 12 Nov inst. or Wednesday 12th inst. what does that mean?

Answer: Inst meant this day, this month or this year. If a document read "surveyors to meet 13 Nov inst. it meant that they were to meet 13 Nov this year.

Here is a typical marriage bond form information: John Anybody to Matilda Somebody.He resides Barren County, age 24, 1st marriage, farming; he born Barren Co, parents born VA. Bride resided Warren Co, 19, 1st marriage; she born Warren Co, father born NC, mother born SC." NOW - at the bottom of the bond the Clerk has written: "Male is 21 years old; certificate from mother under oath of Peter Somebody that she gives permission for marriage." Question 1: How old is John Anybody? Question 2: Why did her mother have to give permission?

Answer: The groom was most likely 24. The age 21 written by the Clerk meant that he was 21 or older. The bride was underage so had to have parental approval. In this case the mother gave permission meaning that likely the father was deceased or unable to give consent.

In the mid 1800s or so most people didn't own a piano or even have song books. But the town usually had a drummer or more. What kind of drumming would he do?

Answer: Though there were drummers in the military, this drummer was a traveling salesman. In the olden days, he would load up his wagon with everything he thought the settlers would need and ride the county "drumming up business."

An animal was overrunning Barren and other counties in the area. What was the animal and how could settlers profit from them?

Answer: Wolves! Settlers would bring the scalp in and be paid for each depending on age/size.

What did the US government enact in 1862 that ran through 1895; was abolished and begun again in 1913? Clue: This had to do with the Civil War.

Answer: This was the beginning of income taxes; enacted to pay for the Civil War.

This is hard unless you do some research. South Central KY people were involved in this and there are 3 questions, can you get them all? Civil War era. It involves the 22nd Regiment USCT. (1) What does USCT stand for? (2) What honor was bestowed on them after President Lincoln's death? (3) What were they involved in after his death and before returning home?

Answer: USCT refers to United States Colored Troops. They had several honors including getting a Medal of Honor, being called on to accompany President Lincoln's funeral parade and being sent to Maryland to hunt for Lincoln's assassin.

You are looking for official adoption papers for an ancestor that occurred in 1803. Where would you find these legal forms?

Answer: You can't find the official adoption papers in 1803! They didn't exist! Until the 1850's, adoptions were handled differently. The State Representative would take a request to "take in a child" or from a father claiming an illegitimate child as his own so he could inherit from him and the court would approve or disapprove. Or, the child was just "handed over the fence" to a neighbor or relative to raise. Indentureships were different in that, even though the child moved in with the family to which he was identured to learn a trade, he still was a part of his own family. Thus, no adoption papers would be found anywhere.

What would you find in the County Clerk's office that is a gage or dead-gage?

Answer: a mortGAGE which is a dead gage or pledge for whatever profit it yields. A conditional conveyance of land or property designed as a security for the payment of money, the fulfillment of some contract, or the performance of some act. To be void upon such payment. An example would be an individual who had to mortgage his land, house, property, etc. in order to pay a debt. Upon payment of the debt, the mortgage was satisfied.

What is the name of the repository in Kentucky where most of the original documents from the counties (primarily Circuit Court cases), microfilm, Vital Statistics, etc. are located and can be researched?

Answer: The Kentucky Department of Libraries and Archives. (KDLA). A wonderful place to research!

In the 1870's there was a little town called Omega in south central Kentucky. The town still exists but has a different name. What do we know the town as today?

Answer: The little town of Omega is now known as Canmer in Hart County.

Women were classified in the past as either feme sole or feme covert. Which classification allowed the woman to all rights and privileges to buy, sell or transaction business in her own right?

Answer: A fem(e) sole was a single woman and she could buy, sell, own land in her own rights, sue and be sued. Once married, as a fem(e) covert, she lost all these rights and the husband had full control.

A law passed in 1833 by the Kentucky Legislature greatly affected slaves and slave holders. Can you find out what this law was?

Answer: In 1833 the KY Legislature passed a law forbidding the importation of slaves into the state for "merchandising" - i.e., for sale. They could bring slaves in for their "own personal use" but had to appear before a County justice of the peace and sign an oath that they were not selling slaves. Normally when the Legislature approved, a slave could not be sold for 5 years. This law was abolished in 1849.

You have completely lost a child in the records. You can't find a death record, a cemetery record, a marriage or an obituary. Death records and cemetery records for that time were recorded and they weren't omitted accidentally. They were too young to serve in the military, they were not in prison, they didn't move. . But you know he/she existed and from tradition survived. What else could have caused their disappearance from the records? There are two possibilities, can you guess even one of them?

Answer: Two reasons you might not be able to find an individual who just disappears from the census records would be: (1) He has been adopted. This would be as the result of a re-marriage and the child is adopted by the new husband, or, in the case of illegitimate children when the birth father acknowledge the child to be his and adopts. This is the only way the child can inherit from him. (2) A simple name change. There are many examples of people just requesting their name to be changed with no reason given.

I'm going to give you three nicknames that were common in the 18th & 19th century. I'm asking you to tell me what the "real" names were: Bige, Cager, Donia. There might be more than one name this could represent, I'll be lenient! Have fun!

Answer: Bige= Abijah; Cager=Micajah; Donia= Fredonia or Caledonia

Judge Judy might ask if the litigants have a contract at which she can look. They sometimes have a parol. What is this?

Answer: This is an oral contract. It could, at times, be a written contract but if so, had never been notarized or attested to (sealed).

There was a disagreement over the boundaries between North Carolina, Tennessee and Kentucky; what was the individual's name this was named for?

Answer: This was the noted (Thomas) Walker line.

If a widow sold the land on which she had dower right and bought different land, what happened to her dower right?

Answer: The widow's dower is a "life estate" which means that it is hers only until she dies or remarries. In both of these instances, the dower is then passed on to the heirs. However, on a one-by-one basis, a widow could petition the General Assembly of Kentucky to sell her dower land. She would show that she was going to re-invest in other land. Many times this was granted because her dower land was of poor quality (normally 3rd rate land which was not able to be cultivated). If the new land was of better quality, it would be to the benefit of the heirs. Her petition could be approved or denied.

A possibly difficult 2-part question. What in Kentucky was a private law and where would you find it recorded?

Answer: A private law or private act was one handled by the General Assembly for one individual or family or event and not for everyone. Examples would be divorces, name changes, adoption etc.

Where in Kentucky would you find the River Styx?

Answer: The River Styx flows in the lower level of Mammoth Cave in Edmonson Co KY. Here you will find blind fish due to the lack of light in the area. The river flows outside and joins the waters of Green River.

This gentleman worked at an establishment in the early days of Kentucky. Neighbors weren't too happy to have the business close by but it was a necessary business. The gentleman was a fell monger. Where did he work and what did he do? I need both answers.

Answer: He scraped the hairs off of skins at a tanyard.

In County Court documents where would you most likely see the word nuncupative and what did it mean?

Answer: This is an oral will, normally called a death-bed will. It required at least 2 witnesses.

There were men in each county who were appointed by the County Clerk Judge to ride their horses around their county a certain amount of hours each month. What were they called?

Answer: They were called Patrollers.

What is a called session of the County Clerk or Circuit Clerk?

Answer: County & Circuit Courts usually met once a month. If there was something the Judge deemed too important to wait until the next meeting he would "call" a special meeting to handle the situation(s).

John Smith took on the burthen of a will. What was he taking on?

Answer: The individual has agreed to take on the burden of acting as Executor of the deceased's estate. If there is a will, there is an Executor; if there is no will, it's an administrator.

We all likely know someone who is a kidder; they're fun to be around! But, in old legal terms, kidder meant something entirely different. What was he doing and why?

Answer: A kidder was a huckster or a criminal really. He tried to corner the market, especially in grains, in order to get a better price. It was an illegal practice, and still is.

In the mid 1800s, what was the legal age when a child could chose their own guardian if one or both of their parents had deceased?

Answer: The age at which boys and girls both could chose their own guardian was at age 14.

When a new road was established in the early county days, the route was often divided into precincts with a man in charge of each precinct. He was to keep the road open and "in good repair." However, he was allowed "hands" to help him. Who were these hands? It wasn't just any man available and I I'm not looking for names! They had to meet certain criteria to be his hand.

Answer: Hands were males qualified to work (based on age and physical condition) that lived along the route of the proposed road or alteration to same. Since there might not be enough men able to work (which included slaves), it was normal for the Court to issue orders to any male living from 1 1/2 to 2 miles on either side of the road to work also.

When a person died intestate and no one came forward to volunteer to administer the estate, the County Judge appointed a particular person to do something with the estate. Who was appointed to do this, what did he do and for an extra bonus, on average, how long did the Court wait until this person was appointed?

Answer: If a person had been dead about 3 months and died without a will, and If no one during this time had applied as Administrator, the Court appointed the Sheriff as Administrator. He was to take charge of the estate, have it appraised and sold, then return an inventory to the Court.

There were appointed men to do a specific job by the County that were called processioners. What was their primary job?

Answer: Processioners were like surveyors but they surveyed for a different reason. They were called on to re-survey lands where there was a dispute over boundaries between land owners. Boundaries had been marked with a slash in a tree - possibly cut down or on a rock - possibly plowed under. They were also called on to lay out land for the widow's dower in her husband's lands. They were sometimes called Commissioners. Land had to be divided out after the widow got her portion to children, if any, named in the will. Each had to be about the same size and have access to the road and to the waterway.

In what books in Kentucky would you find some or all of the following: Name changes, legitimizing marriages, divorces, restoring maiden names, claiming children as your own when they were illegitimate in order to inherit, assistance given to certain citizens, boundary changes, railroad accidents, over-ruling of county decisions and much more?

Answer: The State Legislature handled the cases shown in the puzzler too. The minutes of each session were recorded in books called "Acts of the Assembly", "Session Books" or other similar names. Many of these are now available on-line, some of the older books can still be found in libraries or in the libraries of County Judges.

You know your ancestor died in Barren Co before the days when death certificates were kept. You have found no mention in the newspaper of the time, you can't find the burial place. You can't find a will; either it wasn't recorded or he died intestate. There were no funeral homes at the time. What book in the County Clerk's office likely recorded his death - maybe not the exact day but within a month normally?

Answer: You will find records of deaths in the County Order books kept by the County Clerk. Both those who died leaving a will and those who died intestate are cited.

Kentucky has 120 counties. Most of the counties were named for noted people in the history of Kentucky or the USA. 30 of our counties were named for one particular group of people from Kentucky. What were these 30 people known for?

Answer: 30 counties in the state of Kentucky are named for soldiers in the War of 1812.

In an entry found in one of the books cited last week, a citizen was ordered to buy some blowing tools and bring them to the County Clerk's office. What were blowing tools?

Answer: Blowing tools were a small set of blasting implements, used for forming the hole for the blasting powder and ramming after the powder is placed. It would have been used for blasting rocks out of the old roads, building new roads or bridges, etc.

In Kentucky, in what book would you find some of the following: Revolutionary War records, administrators & executors for those who died, names of deceased citizens, allotment of widow's dower, guardianships, indentures to apprenticeship, road establishments or improvements, payments to the needy, elections and more?

Answer: In Kentucky, these records would be entered in the County Order Books. The Circuit Court also has Order Books; the examples I gave would be in the County Clerk's Order books.

If, in reading your ancestor's will, you note the term "natural child," to whom was he referring?

Answer: A natural child was an illegitimate child. In order for the child to inherit in a will, the father had to acknowledge the child was his.

In addition to doctors and midwives submitting their reports of births and deaths during the time Sutton's Law was in effect, who else in particular could turn in reports; he saw the people every year and likely the residents weren't all that thrilled to see him!

Answer: The person charged under Sutton's Law to gather the lists of births and deaths from the previous year was the tax collector/tax assessor (usually the same person). He was sometimes paid 3-5ยข per name. He would ask the family, or collect information from the doctor/midwife. These were turned into the County Clerk's office and entered in ledgers. A copy was sent to the state. All that exists today are the microfilmed copies of those ledgers. County Clerks hated this extra responsibility and kept very poor records in some counties.

We all know what the morgue is. But, there is another morgue that is most helpful to researchers. Where would we find this morgue?

Answer: The newspaper office has a morgue where all the old papers are kept.

Most of us are familiar with the vital statistics records of births and deaths kept during certain time periods before Kentucky began issuing birth and death certificates. It has been said that a certain percentage of births and deaths during that time frame were never reported. What percentage of births and deaths were estimated to have been reported? I'll allow you a 5 point spread of the actual percentage suggested.

Answer: It is estimated that only 45% of the birth and death records were recorded on the vital statistics before KY began issuing birth and death certificates.

A treaty in 1783 allowed America and thus Kentucky the right to navigate a certain river. 3-part question: (1) what country granted this right? (2) What country disliked this right strongly, and (3) what river was it?

Answer: (1) Great Britain (England), (2) Spain, (3) Mississippi River.

In what year did Kentucky become a colony in the United States?

Answer: Kentucky never was a colony. It was a county in Virginia and then a state.

The owner of a certain farm creature was always hoping that she would find a large lafter - for her family and possibly for sale. What creature and what's a lafter?

Answer: you were hoping that your chickens laid a lot of eggs.

A two-part question. (1) what was the name applied to this style of house? Two stories in the front, one in back with roof sloping down. (2) why did people build houses like this?

Answer: The house described was called a Saltbox house. It could help in many ways, but the primary reason was that it was taxed lower. A single-story house owner paid less taxes than for a 2-story house.

If you were tracing your family tree from Kentucky back to England in its earlier days and you saw the date of birth occurring "1 Elizabeth I" what is this dating method called and what does the "1 Elizabeth I" mean?

Answer: This was called a Regnal Year based on the reign of a monarch. In my example this was the first year of the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1st.

A man left a will listing his wife Mary; son James; son William and daughter Permelia. He also listed his Aunt Elizabeth, Uncle Jacob and cousin Robert. Who are the heirs; who are the legatees?

Answer: Although there is a difference of opinion on some legal sites, normally heirs refer only to the wife, children, grandchildren, etc., blood descendants of the deceased. Legatees refer to all those who receive from a will - aunts, uncles, neighbors, etc. Thus an heir would also be a legatee.

In 1873 a druggist in Lousville invented a product called "Taffy Tolu". It is still greatly used today under a different name. What is it?

Answer: He invented that which our teachers told us to spit out if she caught us - chewing gum!

A ragman was an individual who picked up rags and cloths and re-sold them to make money. Who was the principal buyer in early KY days who bought from him and used the rags in a process that produced a product almost every one used?

Answer: The town tanyard used a vast amount of old rags and cloth. It was not pleasant living next to a tanyard with the smell of rotting rags and the smell of the animal hides themselves!

If your ancestor had a gold coin which showed a bird on one side and was worth $2.50, what was it called?

Answer: a quarter gold eagle.

Barren County was formed primarily out of Warren County land. What is the term used when speaking of Warren County in relation to Barren County?

Answer: Warren County is known as the parent county of Barren County.

People believe(d) that a certain object, when placed on the bite of a rabid animal would draw the poison out of the individual and save his life. What was this called and where did it come from?

Answer: The madstone was used to pull poison out person's system when bit by a rabid animal. The stone came from a deer or other cud chewing animal (white deer preferred). It was soaked in milk and applied to the bite. If it fell off, the animal was not rabid. If it adhered, it was left on until it fell off, doused in milk again and re-applied until it would stick no longer. The success rate was quite astounding.

If you walked by a shop in a town in the 1800's and saw an sign saying: "Special sale on slumgullion" and you bought it - what did you buy and what would you do with it?

Answer: This was a meat stew, normally of inferior quality.

Until about the 19th century, how did record keepers designate two unrelated people with the same name? How did they designate people with the same name if there were more than two? There are two possible answers I will accept.

Answer: There were many ways that record keepers differentiated between people with the same name. A Jr. might not be the son of a Sr.! Other designations could be I, II and III; Big John Smith, Little John Smith; John Smith son of the carpenter; John Smith of Blue Spring; Red Smith and Black Smith (color of hair) or John Smith the Elder and John Smith the Younger.

An old object was used in the early forts of Kentucky in order for the occupants to tell if Indians were approaching. It had a special name as it was different from other objects used later on by almost everyone. What was it called and an extra bonus if you can describe it!

Answer: The object used was called "Jacob's Ladder" which allowed the settlers to climb up and see if the Indians were outside. It had wooden or metal rungs with rope sides.

If neighbors had a problem, you might hear them say that something is higgledy-piggledy. To what were they referring and what was wrong?

Answer: Higgledy-piggledy means in disarray, out of order, disorderly. In genealogical and historical usage, this indicated that thee was confusion in which lot or acre ground belonged to which person. With the marking of boundaries with rocks (which became buried) or a slash on a tree (which died and was cut down), property lines were often in a state of higgledy-piggledy, resulting in the land having to be re-surveyed.

In larger cities in Kentucky and elsewhere there were, in early days, narrow and often very muddy streets. Traveling was difficult due to the condition of the city streets. A special conveyance was used to transport the deceased to the cemetery. It was not a wagon or horse/ox cart. What was this called?

Answer: Transportation in larger cities in the past for funerals was done by way of a "funeral trolley." A special trolley car was built, large enough to carry the coffin, pallbearers and mourners. It took them to the gate of the cemetery along a spur track. There the coffin was placed on a flat car by the pall bearers and taken into the cemetery. After the graveside service, the trip was made back into town.

Not many of the early pioneers could not afford store-bought furniture so the man of the house built most of the needed furniture. But they many times did have "fancy chairs." What were those?

Answer: Although sometimes referred to as Hitchcock chairs, the early pioneers who built their own furniture, built a simple wooden frame chair. However, to make it look "fancier" and perhaps resemble one of the expensive Hitchcock chairs, they often painted designs such as flowers, etc. on the chair.

If you met a sandwich man walking down the streets in older Kentucky, how would you describe him?

Answer: A sandwich man is one wearing a sandwich board ... a board front and back of him with advertising on both sides, held together with straps of some sort.

On the 1880 US census (and likely others), the census taker might question the validity of some of the answers given to the questions by the respondent. People might fudge on age, education or health issues. Some families wanted to hide the fact that one or more of them had certain conditions that might show them in a poor light to the government. If the census taker didn't believe what the individual was saying, he might make a note of it on the form. But, he was also allowed to do something else in particular. What could this be?

Answer: If the census taker did not believe the homeowners' answers as to health, education, etc. he was allowed to ask the neighbors.

Here is the definition, I need the exact name - two words: A document which mentions a fact which was not the reason for which the record was made. For example, a deed which mentions a daughter for whom there is no birth certificate and substantiates her birth.

Answer: The most common name given to a document of this sort is collateral record.

In Colonial times and beyond you were invited to an event. The host or family presented you with a gift - normally rings, scarves or gloves. It was not a birthday celebration, an anniversary, a wedding, the birth of a baby, victory either military or personal or a holiday. For what event were these gifts given and why?

Answer: Gloves, rings and other gifts were given by the family of the deceased to friends and family attending the funeral. These gifts were paid for out of the estate of the deceased and in some instances, the cost grew so extensive that there was litle or nothing left of the estate.

Where would you search to locate an official death certificate for Susie Sunshine (ok, fake name!) who died in Wayne County, KY 27 October 1907?

Answer: There would be no official death certificate! Death certificates were not issued in KY until 1911. There might be lists or references to her death, but no official document.

Prior to 1850, how did sheriffs, coroners and justices of the peace get into office in Kentucky?

Answer: Until stripped of his power in 1850 to appoint many county offices, the Governor appointed sheriffs, coroners and justices of the peace.

Now for the menfolk during this same time frame, farmers and even some town folks raised something. It was not a crop, not livestock. but it provided not only for the family but for sale. There were even associations where people could learn the latest techniques. What was it?

Answer: A large majority of individuals during the time frame of the 1880-1890s (before and after) were bee keepers.

What piece of equipment did many women own in the 1880's and 1890's that we think of as being more modern?

Answer: The two things women were using in the 1880s and 1890s were the sewing machine and the washing machine.

In the listing of inventories and estates for those individuals dying intestate, one will see entries for (1) Inventory and appraisement of estate), (2) widow's dower and children, sale(s), if applicable. Another item shown is settlement. Does this close the records on this estate? If yes, explain why; if no, explain why.

Answer: The words you are looking for is FINAL SETTLEMENT. If the estate is very small and there are no children under the age of 21, Settlement could end the process. But, in a great many, a settlement can be just a yearly report. Guardians had to give their reports, investments made had to be settled yearly, possibly other assets or liabilities came to light, etc. A Final Settlement means the process is over. Some cases last up to 20 years before a final settlement can be made.

What were two things (of several) that a guardian of an infant/child was required to do?

Answer: Although a child never normally resided with his or her guardian (but did in certain instances), the guardian was required to pay for, out of the child's estate, for medical bills, schooling, clothing and education. Annually he had to submit a report to the County Clerk showing the total costs to the estate and the income to the estate from selling or renting land and/or slaves, investments, money that had been owed to the estate, etc.

We always have heard the term "last will and testament." Today they mean the same thing and is usually just called a will. But in earlier days, they meant two different things. What did each mean in the disposition of an estate?

Answer: The will normally covered the land owned by the deceased; the testament covered the personal property.

In many old deeds the term "more or less" was used. More or less what and why was it used?

Answer: More or less refers to the acreage being sold or bought in a deed or in the surveying of land. Since measurements were not always accurate due to the lay of the land and the surveying instruments, this meant there might be a little more land than shown, or a little less. It was also a protection to the seller of land if the acreage came in a little short!

A person has died intestate. What did the county justices have to do first?

Answer: The first thing the County Clerk's office had to do when they were notified of the death of an individual who didn't leave a will (intestate) was to appoint an Administrator to oversee the estate, arrange for an inventory of the estate to be taken, sell the estate, pay all debts and receive all funds due the deceased. An Executor was named by the deceased in his will but an Administrator had to be appointed by the Court.

When a child was indentured to another person to learn a trade, there were four educational things that had to be taught to the child. Can you name them?

Answer: Reading, writing, arithmetic and the Rule of Three. The latter was an ancient way of determining the value of a fourth number when the first three numbers were known. It was sort of like algebra.

Just for fun this time. In the early steamship days, animals as well as people rode the ships. One animal was especially offensive and something had to be done before it was herded on board. What animal was this, what happened to them and what expression do we use still today that came from this?

Answer: The expression came from needing to wash down the hogs before they were loaded on the ship - hogwash!

If you see the word spa in an old document, would would that stand for?

Answer: Spa is an abbreviation that was used for subpoena.

What county in Kentucky was formed after a dispute over a railroad?

Answer: Metcalfe County

What was an annual funeral?

Answer: In earlier times there were problems involving funerals. Sometimes the minister was not available since he normally served many churches. Secondly, in the winter time the ground was frozen and it was impossible to inter the deceased. The body was sometimes kept in the smoke house until the ground thawed. Thus began the tradition of the annual funeral. The minister would come into the area and the families would meet at the cemetery where their beloved was buried. He would preach a long sermon extol all the deceased who had died since the previous year, a normal funeral message. Then he would travel to the next cemetery where the family was gathered, often holding a photograph of their deceased (sometimes in their coffins which was a popular trend). These funerals came to be called annual funerals.

What was the process called in the past in Kentucky when a child went to live with another family in order to learn a trade?

Answer: The term most commonly used was "Indentures of Apprenticeship." This was commonly called the "binding out of the children." The practice was eventually discontinued due to abuse of the rules and many times physical abuse of the children.

At the end of the Civil War and the death of President Abraham Lincoln, what opportunity was given to the Confederate soldiers by the US Government?

Answer: At the end of the Civil War, amnesty was offered to Confederate soldiers if they pledged allegiance to the US Government. If approved by President Johnson, they would again be able to vote, hold political office, etc.

You just found some paperwork describing land that your ancestor owed in Barren County. It is signed "Daniel Curd, BCS". What does the BCS stand for?

Answer: BCS or SBC would indicate that Daniel Curd was the Barren County Surveyor.

There were three ways a Baptist church member (and other denominations) could leave the church. Name them.

Answer: The three ways an individual leaves the Baptist Church (or some other Protestant denominations) is 1) by death, 2) the transfer of letter to another church "of like faith" called dismission, or 3) by being removed from the church because of something against the tenets of the church (drunkenness, fighting, gambling, etc) which is called exclusion.

In earlier times, a bond had to be posted for an upcoming marriage. Normally this bond was paid for by the father of the groom; sometimes by a brother, a mother, the bride herself or others. What happened to the bond money if the wedding took place?

Answer: In all reality, no money changed hands at all. Where some thought that the County Clerk had received the bond money and then returned it if the wedding took place, no money was collected unless there was a reason the wedding couldn't occur - one party already married, a mental condition, a criminal record, etc.

The definition is: a phonetic algorithm for indexing names by sound, as pronounced in English. Used frequently in the past by genealogists, what is this called?

Answer: Soundex

In deeds you will often see the abbreviations asse and assg. What do those abbreviations stand for and what do they mean?

Answer: These abbreviations means assignee and assignor. An assignee is the same as grantee, a person receiving land (in the case of deeds), i.e., the buyer. An assignor is the same as grantor, i.e., the seller.

In some historical accounts reference is made to a "silent city". What is this?

Answer: Silent city is a term referring to a cemetery. Also called the City of the Dead.

Two dear ladies had died and the town was in mourning. In her obituary Mary Jones was shown as the relict of John Jones. In the other Sarah Smith was shown as the consort of Sam Smith. Define relict and consort.

Answer: Relict means the spouse is deceased. Consort means the spouse is still living.

In old land grants, one might see the following: John Smith, 450, 20 Oct 1798, 1 h Blue Spring. We know that John Smith is the one wishing to purchase land from from the State. The 450 represents 450 acres. The date is the day the land was surveyed. Blue Spring would be the nearest waterway. But, what would the 1 h represent?

Answer: 1 h refers to one hectare; a unit of measurement approximately 2 acres in size.

In land grants one will note often that there is shown "none" as the waterway. Or, in some deeds, no waterway is named. What did this mean? This is harder than you think, only once answer will be accepted; you must be specific!

Answer: Land would be shown with reference to the nearest waterway if the landowner made use of it in any way- such as hauling water back to the house, watering his livestock, etc. or, of course, it ran through his property. "None" would be shown if no waterway ran through his property or he didn't use the waterway for the above.

If one was faithful in attendance at church in many areas in earlier times, he might be a pew fellow and maybe pay a pew rent. What is a pew fellow and what was pew rent?

Answer: A pew person was one who sat in the same pew every week. For this privilege he or his family had to pay "rental" to the church to help defray the church's expenses.

In the early 1800s (sometimes earlier) when many towns were formed in Kentucky, each homeowner had something hanging over their door, sometimes with their name or initial on it. What was it and what was it used for?

Answer: A leather bucket hung above each door with the homeowners' name or initial of last name carved on it. In case of fire, the homeowner was expected to take the bucket down and join in the bucket brigade.

You're reading a deed from 1800 and in the description of the property is a mention of a trace. What was that?

Answer: A trace is a path, road or trail. It was usually first used by buffalo who followed the same route and pack down the ground. The Indians used these also, and later the early settlers. Many of the roads we now use follow the old traces.

In the 19th century many doctors were warning women that this new type of activity could cause some of the following problems: a worried or exhausted face, dark shadows under her eyes, clenched jaws and bulging eyes. What were women starting to enjoy that would cause this warning?

Answer: Doctors were warning women not to ride bicycles! Men considered this their personal activity and disliked women riding. Thus doctors put out warnings against "bicycle face" to discourage ladies from riding bikes.

An old-time profession that still exists today was that of a wrinkle chaser. What did he do?

Answer: This individual ironed the wrinkles out of leather in shoes!

As of January 1, 1913, the U. S. Postal Service was allowed to deliver something unusual as long as it weighed no more than eleven pounds. This was discontinued in 1920. What was it?

Answer: The public used to be able to mail babies and small children. By 1913, the postal service put a weight limit of 11 pounds on shipments. It wasn't a regular occurrence but did happen!

When we look at the land grants for Metcalfe County, KY, there are fewer than the surrounding counties. There are several reasons for this. Can you give me two reasons.

Answer: Metcalfe County was formed in 1860 so many of the land grants would be found in counties which formed Metcalfe. By 1850, the most of the land grants were over though they continued through the years. Metcalfe County is a small county.

"Ye Old Blacksmith Shop." How do you pronounce "Ye"? Simple question - but could I be tricky?

Answer: Ye is pronounced THE. It all goes back to the English letter called a thorn. A thorn reprsents the "th" sound. But, when written, it looks like a "y". So "Ye Olde Barber Shop" really says "The Old Barber Shop."

You finally find your male ancestor on an old church roll. But, his wife is not listed. There are 4 possible reasons she is not listed. It wasn't because the church clerk forgot to list her! What four reasons can you think of?

Answer: Many reasons might exist including: she had been excluded, had deceased, they were married but the clerk hadn't updated the church roster, she might be a member of another church, possibly divorced.

In earlier times in some areas of the county, an individual was hired by the family to do this. It had to be done monthly or a fine would have to be paid. After he finished his task, another individual had to inspect his work - and used either a tree or ladder to do so. What were the two individuals called or what did they do?

Answer: It was a chimney sweep and a chimney viewer. This had to be done to prevent house fires.

The poor mother was almost beside herself. One child was fussing and she gave him some meeting seeds. The other constantly needed a new nappie. She was ready to run out the door to her seit! Define meeting seeds, nappies and what was a seit?

Answer: Meeting seeds - seeds, normally dill, given to a child to calm them, particularly at church; nappies - diapers; seit - dwelling house.

John was sick and finally called for the old medic to come to the house. The doctor arrived at the cabin and examined John. John was sure he had BRIGHT'S DISEASE but the doctor made the following diagnosis: John was suffering from APHONIA complicated by CHILBLAIN. His DYSOREXY was due only to CORYZA. Define BRIGHT'S DISEASE, APHONIA, CHILBLAIN, CORYZA and DYSOREXY!!!

Answer: Bright's Disease: Chronic kidney infection. Aphonia: Laryngitis. Chilblain: Swelling of extremeties due to the cold. Coryza: a cold. Dysorexy: reduced appetite.

What was the name of the document that stated that a settler had permanent claim and was the first purchaser of a piece of land?

Answer: Patent

In a will, the deceased husband uses the statement: "all my estate, real and personal, to my beloved wife to be hers for her natural life..." What did he mean?

Answer: During her widowhood. If she remarried what he willed her normally would go to the children or other heirs as it was felt the new husband would provide for her.

Give me one good reason you are unable to find your ancestor's birth certificate in KY who was born in 1903.

Answer: Birth certificates were not required until 1911.

Except in rare instances, why were so many counties formed in Kentucky and how many counties are there?

Answer: 120 counties. The county seat had to be no farther than one day's ride from the individual's residence.

Name a Kentucky county that is not named for an individual.

Answer: Many counties were not named for individuals and these would include Barren, Cumberland, Ohio, Rock Castle and many more.

If you noted in your researching that you had an ancestor who said he was born in MT, where was he born? This would be prior to the 1850 census.

Answer: Missouri Territory

There were 13 original colonies that became states. Of these 13, what number was Kentucky?

Answer: Kentucky was not one of the original 13 states. However, it is interesting to note that when Virginia joined the Union, we were part of Virginia; so we sort of joined a lot earlier. When Kentucky became a Commonwealth in 1792, we officially joined the Union.

Many counties in Kentucky operated a pest house. What was that?

Answer: A pest house was a separate facility used to house those with diseases such as TB, cholera, etc. If operated by the county, it was often found at the county farm/poorhouse.

Why would the same individual or family be listed on two different census records int wo different places, for the same year? Various answers accepted.

Answer: There are many reasons why an individual or family could be found in two different census records. They possibly moved between when they were counted in one area and were re-counted in their new residence. They possibly were counted at their home by someone living there, but actually be working in a different area and counted there also. Other reasons are also possible.

In 1880, the Mammoth Cave Stage Coach was robbed on its way from the cave to Cave City. An innocent man was almost hung for this crime, but just in time, the real robber was found. Who was it?

Answer: Jesse James and his gang.

In Kentucky which county officer is charged with the annual tax collecting?

Answer: The Sheriff collects taxes.

What did these people have in common in earlier days in Kentucky? A minister, a war veteran, a widow, the poor, the disabled and white females?

Answer: None of them had to pay taxes.

This individual could do the following: Maintain order, carry concealed weapons, execute warrants in various cases, deliver notice of ejectments, check for violations of hunting laws, enforce game and bird laws, destroy gambling devices, arrest people involved in riots, conduct prisoners to jail and other duties. What was his title - and it wasn't the sheriff.

Answer: a constable.

Who had to come to the County Clerk's office in 1866 and complete a form normally known as the "Declaration of Marriage"?

Answer: At the close of the Civil War, all freed slaves were required to come to the County Clerk's office and register their marriages which had been performed according to their custom before emancipation. Their names were shown and the number of years they had been married.

There was a 2nd page to the 1840 Federal Census. Whose names might appear on it?

Answer: The Revolutionary War Soldiers who were living in the county.

The term hereditaments is found in many wills. What are they?

Answer: Anything that can be inherited.

What event in primarily Kentucky and West Virginia began with a stolen hog, a doomed romance, a Southerner who fought for the Union during the Civil War was branded a traitor and an election day brawl?

Answer: The Hatfield-McCoy Feud

We know that a Jack-in-the-box is a toy where a clown pops out of a box when the handle is wound up. It is also the name of a fast food place. But WHO was a jack-in-the-box, i.e., a human?

Answer: To be a jack-in-the box meant one thing to the settlers and for many years beyond. He was a nice enough chap, but was known to be quite lazy. When something needed to be done, people looked for him and he had disappeared! He avoided work whenever he could!

Western Union, which has its roots back to the early 1850's, was a vital communication link for our ever expanding population. At the end of each sentence on the telegram was the word "Stop." Why did they use that instead of a period?

Answer: In telegrams, all four letter words were free. Punctuation cost money. So Stop was soon used to indicate the end of a sentence.

In looking at some genealogy family trees, an abbreviation is often used when referring to a wife - shown F.N.U. What does this mean?

Answer: First Name Unknown.

Before 1940, there was an interesting difference in how parents chose the decor for the baby's room or his/her wardrobe. Now what could that be? Only one answer accepted.

Answer: Before around 1940, according to the Smithsonian Institute, baby boys wore pink and baby girls wore blue!

Something very special is about to happen next month that has researchers abuzz! What is it?

Answer: the release of the 1940 census.

What two things did law prevent heirs who were named in a will from doing with reference to the will and the settlement of the estate?

Answer: An heir was not allowed by law to witness the will and he could not appraise the estate.

What are three words that were/are used for the individual who promised to pay the county if a contract was broken (failed to pay on a deed, wasn't able to marry legally, for someone taking office, etc)? These are 3 separate words often used interchangeably.

Answer: security, surety, bondsman.

In the earlier days, who took care of the indigent or mentally handicapped citizens, or those without immediate families before there was such a thing as a poor farm or institutions?

Answer: Private citizens in the county could bid to take care of the indigent, ill or mentally challenged. The county then paid that individual money out of the county funds to provide clothing, food, shelter and medical care, normally annually.

In older wills there was sometimes a special provision made, not involving bequests to the heirs etc., that set aside something he owned for a special purpose. This was not money, dower or physical buildings or equipment. It is a clue for researchers looking for something specific. What could this be?

Answer: In some of the old wills, there was a provision by the deceased to set apart land, usually an acre, to establish a family burial ground. This was many times referenced from owner to owner in later deeds. When the land was sold, that designated land was not included in the sale; it stayed apart from the land sold. In later years, many times the references to the cemetery land was omitted and sadly, many old burial grounds were plowed up by later owners.

What does it mean when an Administrator is appointed at the death of an individual but that person left a will and an Executor was normally appointed?

Answer: When there is an administrator bond "with the will annexed" it means that the deceased did leave a will but there was something wrong. In most instances, the deceased did not name an executor. Or, he did not have any witnesses. This occurred sometime with a "death bed will". In some instances, there was a question about the validity of the will or the executor but most of the time it was the failure to name an executor. If there was no executor named, the Court appointed an administrator to handle the estate with consideration of the will's wishes.

What are session books?

Answer: Though many books may be referred to as session books commonly, when referring to a book by this term, one is specifically speaking of the minutes of the General Assembly of the state. Court reporters took lengthy notes of the acts of the Assembly and these were recorded in hardback books called Session Books. Although difficult to locate in some areas, many County Judges have kept these books and some libraries have them but many have been thrown away when they became old. There is massive information in these books including divorces, separations, special provisions for people, name changes and "adoptions" as well as the normal appropriations and establishment of offices.

In earlier times and in some areas until this day, fire hydrants are referred to as fire plugs. This term was used in the past for a particular reason. Why? Remember, think older times!

Answer: Wikipedia gave the best answer: The concept of fire plugs dates to at least the 17th century. This was a time when firefighters responding to a call would dig down to the wooden water mains and hastily bore a hole to secure water to fight fires. The water would fill the hole creating a temporary well, and be transported from the well to the fire via bucket brigades or, later, via hand pumped fire engines. The holes were then plugged with stoppers, normally redwood, which over time came to be known as fire plugs. The location of the plug would often be recorded or marked so that it could be reused in future fires. This is the source of the colloquial term fire plug still used for fire hydrants today. []

Dancing was a popular amusement in pioneer days although many churches frowned upon the practice. In the following lists of dances popular at the time, which dance wouldn't you want your young person to participate in? Reels, St. Vitus, waltz or quadrilles?

Answer: St. Vitus Dance is a disease, commonly in children (but can occur in adults) also called chorea. It causes muscular twitching.

A child is shown on the 1850 census but is not found on the 1860 census but you're sure they are still living. Where could they have gone? Give me 3 reasons you might not find them.

Answer: There are many reasons one could not find children listed on one census and not the next: died, married, were indentured to another family and incorrectly listed with the surname of this family, missed by the census taker and many more.

You are looking in a cemetery for a husband and his wife's graves. You find the husband's grave, but the wife's grave is not to be found. There are several reasons why you can't find it - give me two reasons. I will accept a variety of answers.

Answer: A spouse might have remarried and is buried with his/her new spouse, the stone might have been missing or no stone at all, the spouse might have moved in with one of their children in another area, she/he is not really dead at all; might have moved to another area for better land, hunt for gold, etc. etc.

In the old marriages one could find (1) marriage license (application to marry), (2) permission slip, (3) marriage bond, (4) completed license signed by the minister & witnesses and (5) marriage return. What were marriage returns and who completed them?

Answer: Once a year, ministers were required by law to submit to the County Clerk a list of all the marriages they had conducted during the year. This was to show the name of the bride and groom and the date of marriage. These lists will be found at the County Clerk's office either with the marriages for that year or possibly in a separate book.

If a man had been appointed as guardian for the minor children of a deceased individual, what did he have to do annually?

Answer: The primary requirement of a guardian was to prepare an annual report of the expenditures out of the estate for the child(ren) - clothes, food, medical, etc., and the income received from the rental of land, slaves, sale of crops.

In the past, when a man died leaving a wife, the widow had two options as it pertained to what she received by the will of her husband. What were her two choices?

Answer: The widow could either except the provisions made for her by her late husband, or renounce his will (as it pertained to her) and take instead her widow's dower.

You are looking at an old deed. It shows the signature of the seller and the buyer. It has the signatures of witnesses. There is another name with initials beside his name. It could be BCC, CCC, ECC, GCC, HCC, WCC, etc. Who is this man and what do the initials stand for?

Answer: The County Clerk needed to sign the document. This was shown as CC with the first letter denoting the county in which he served. BCC would indicate Barren County Clerk; WCC is Warren County Clerk, etc.

In reading through Circuit Court records, the words spa appear frequently. What was a spa?

Answer: spa is the clerk's abbreviation for subpoena.

What was the specific title of the men who were ordered to survey the land and determine the boundaries, quantities and water sources in the distribution of that land to the heirs of a deceased individual? Only one title accepted!

Answer: a processioneer.

Name this town, in Barren County, that was named by Dabney L. Nunnally, local storekeeper. He couldn't write very well so he named the town after numbers that he could write and people could read.

Answer: Eighty Eight.

There are 4 different types of deeds that can be found in a deed book. Name 2.

Answer: he four major types of deeds are: Deed of sale (indenture), Deed of Gift, Mortgage and Strawman.

How many witnesses were required by law in Kentucky for deeds, wills and other legal documents?

Answer: Two witnesses were required in Kentucky, a change from Virginia law which required three witnesses.

The first oil well in the US was accidently drilled by John Croghan, who was actually drilling for salt. It was bottled as medicine and sold under the label 'American Oil'. What was the town and county where this occurred?

Answer: Burkesville, Cumberland Co, KY

Virginia, unable to pay their officers and soldiers, awarded land as payment. Where was the land set aside for them in Kentucky?

Answer: South of Green River

Other than in the coroner's office, where would one find a morgue that would be of interest to a researcher?

Answer: Newspaper offices normally have a morgue - a room where the old papers are stored and most can be searched by researchers.

You are looking at an old will from the 1800's and see the term "taken under the will of". What would this mean?

Answer: This means that an individual was named in a will and accepted (took) what was bequeathed to him.

When looking for an old deed, we refer to the grantor or grantee index books. What six things will be shown in the index book about the deed? I need all six!

Answer: The deed index books normally show the following information: Date of transaction, name of seller (grantor), date of grantee (buyer), brief location or description of land (nearest waterway, size etc), type (deed, mortgage, power of attorney) and the deed book and page number where the deed will be found.

In early days in Kentucky, settlers looked for something that was important to them as well as to many animals. What would this be that both needed?

Answer: Salt was critical for the early settlers so having a salt lick on one's property was a great advantage. Later it was discovered that oil reserves were often found at the same place.

Why, in the sale of lands in the past, was the wife interrogated "separate and apart from her husband"?

Answer: This was the way the County Clerk could hopefully ascertain that the woman was agreeing to the sale of the land since it would have been part of her dower at the death of her husband. Law required for her to be questioned separately to show she was agreeing to the sale willingly.

The person who operated a water grist mill was called a miller. What did a millwright do?

Answer: A millwright is the man who designed, built and maintained a grist mill.

Land was rated as 1st, 2nd and 3rd rate on tax records. What did this mean?

Answer: Lands were classified based on the quality of the land. 1st rate land was nearest a waterway and the richest. Originally, 1st rate land was reserved for the soldiers and officers of the Revolutionary War who settled here; later sold if they didn't move here. 2nd rate land was still productive land but farther from the waterway. 3rd rate land was of the poorest quality; often rocky and hilly. Tax rates were higher the better the land.

What was the first newspaper printed in Kentucky, beginning in 1787 in Lexington KY?

Answer: Kentucky (Kentucke) Gazette.

The name Polly appears in many older documents in KY. What was Polly a nickname for?

Answer: Mary

In which county-level office in KY would one find wills, deeds, indentures to apprenticeships and guardianships?

Answer: County Clerk's office

Monroe Co was founded in 1820 Where would one find the records of the county from 1798-1819?

Answer: Barren and Cumberland Counties.

When a couple was to be married in early KY days, a bond had to be taken out prior to the marriage. It was usually signed by the groom and his bondsman (security/surety). (1) why was this bond necessary and (2) and when was the money paid to the county?

Answer: The marriage bond was posted by the groom and his bondsman who was usually his father, brother or a close relative. Sometimes it was posted by a widowed mother or friend. It was a guarantee that the groom was legally able to marry, i.e., he was not already married, a criminal or of unsound mind. No money changed hands if the marriage went forward. If it didn't, the groom and/or his bondsman paid a fee to the county.

An old-time barber often performed two other tasks in early settlement days. What were the two other jobs he did?

Answer: surgeon and dentist

Seen very often in the inventories of estates in the past, a sad iron was often listed. What was it?

Answer: A very heavy iron, normally pointed on both ends. Some had a metal handle, some wood. The iron had to be heated on the stove or fireplace. Normally, women had two irons; they ironed with one while the other was heating up.

What do these initials mean ? s.l.g (based on a Latin term).

Answer: s.i.g. is Latin for sine legit - without legitimate issue (children).

When a person failed to pay the taxes due on his property, the property was sold by this person at public auction. A deed was issued by this individual and can be found listed in the grantor index under his name? Who is he? Only one answer accepted.

Answer: Sheriff.

What was the last county formed out of part of Barren County?

Answer: Metcalfe County.

If someone called you a sheep's head, how was he describing you?

Answer: Stupid, dense, dumb, etc

Couples could be fined for self-marriage. What had they done? Only one answer is correct.

Answer: Self-marriage referred to a marriage where the bride and groom married without parental consent. Sometimes couples could sue the parents and win if they felt the consent was being withheld unfairly.

If someone was speaking of doing something treeksin, to what was he referring?

Answer: This meant three weeks thence.

If your house had some painted paper, what did it have; must be specific - what was it AND what made it different?

Answer: an early wallpaper that had to be painted by hand.

If a person was "outgoing" in a certain denomination, what was happening to them?

Answer: Outgoing is a Quaker term which meant being removed from the church for violation of a church rule. One example would be marrying a non-Quaker.

In the early 20th century, who were the "teenage tramps of America"?

Answer: A group of young men (and sometimes girls dressed as boys) who rode the rails over the United States looking for work to help support their family during and after the Great Depression. Many of the boys joined the CCC.

Who would you have expected to find in the Libby Prison?

Answer: Libby Prison was a Confederate prison in the Civil War for Union officers and was considered one of the worst, if not the worst.

This is a person who was appointed by a court to represent another person who is incapable of managing his/her own affairs due to age or mental capacity and was only good for this one court action. What is the THREE word title for this person?

Answer: Guardian ad litem

Today, a comedian or a performer is thankful to have one of these so he can earn some money ... but in olden days, this word referred to a 2-wheeled, lightweight carriage. What word am I looking for?

Answer: a musician is thankful to get a gig and our ancestors loved a ride in a gig on a cool moonlit night.

This was the burial place - either part of a cemetery or a separate cemetery where those who were paupers, those who committed suicide or those who had been executed were interred. The name sounds like a place where a worker in clay might be found.

Answer: Potter's field

Think KY in the early 1800's. One man had an unusual sounding occupation; he was a pounder. This name might not appear in the records but he was there and he had one job. What was it?

Answer: A pounder was the county official appointed to handle the stray livestock brought to the county pound or pen. He attempted to locate the owner; if found, they paid a fine. If not found, the county sold the animal and kept the money.

In some areas in the past one might meet a bewitched widow. Who would you be meeting?

Answer: This described a woman whose husband had deserted her. Until he returned or his remains were found, she was unable to re-marry.

In the earlier day in KY, one might come across a witness tree. What were you seeing? (Not a tree that witnessed something.)

Answer: a surveyor's mark on the tree (or could be made on a stone) to mark the corner of a tract of land. Some definitions say the initials "wc" were also carved indicating witness corner. This worked well until the tree died or the stone was moved; then the land would have to be re-surveyed to try to establish the corner again.

The card game of bridge has long been popular, and is based on an earlier game. From a start beginning in the 1500s, possibly earlier, this game remained popular into the 1900s. It was played with four players who formed two teams. What was this popular game called?

Answer: Whist, also spelled whisk and other spellings.

Where would one find the 1790 federal census for VA (including of course KY) and the 1800 census for KY? I'm not looking for tax records, but for copies of the actual census.

Answer: The 1790 VA and 1800 VA & KY censuses were burned during the War of 1812 by the British in Washington, DC.

This was a popular way to view photographs from the 1850s to the 1920s. Two identical pictures were placed side by side on a card and then viewed through a lens which resulted in a three-dimensional picture to be seen. What were these pictures called?

Answer: Stereographs allowed a 3-dimensional picture to be seen.

When settlers first started into KY, they followed a path made by something which was wide enough for two wagons to pass side by side. What made this path?

Answer: Buffalo normally traveled two abreast and followed the same trails each time. This pounded down the soil and their width closely approximated the width of the pioneer wagon. Early roads, known as "traces", were traveled then by the Native Americans and later the white man.

Many epidemics have swept through the country and world over the years. What disease killed untold thousands in 1918 and 1919?

Answer: the Spanish flu or influenza.

Where would you find a ledger stone and what was its purpose?

Answer: A ledger stone was placed over the top of a grave. In some instances, this stone might be laid flat over the grave, but normally it was the top cover of a vault or box that was built around a grave. Most of these boxes were about waist high and of concrete (or stones), with the lid being the ledger stone. The name and dates were engraved on this stone.

What town in south central KY was occupied by Rebel troops for 5 months and then with Union troops for two years during the Civil War, had it's railroad bridge destroyed and a pontoon bridge burned? The town had the following forts or hills where enemy troops could be spotted: Underwood, Baker, Webb, Hobson, Hines, Bailey, Wilcoxand Grider.

Answer: Bowling Green

A term not heard any longer but pioneers knew to look out for the window peeper. Not a "peeping Tom" as we think of the term now, this fellow could cost a family $$$. Who was he?

Answer: A window peeper was a tax collector, especially during the time when citizens were taxed for the number of windows they had which had glass in them.

An old expression used by the mountain men was that someone has his bark on. What did this mean?

Answer: The man was very courageous.

Here is the definition; please tell me what two words I'm defining: The crime of theft of another's property or money under a statutorily defined value, in which the value is of a lesser amount.

Answer: Petit (pronounced petty) larceny

Jimmy Jumpinghigh was arrested in the 1920's for making and selling jake. What was he selling?

Answer: Jake was sold between 1920 and 1930 and caused no health problems. It was an alcoholic mixture of moonshine (primarily) and Jamaican Ginger extract. Sometime other ingredients were tossed in to give it color such as tobacco juice, etc. In the spring of 1930 the manufacturers of jake decided to add a new ingredient, an industrial chemical called tri-ortho-cresyl phosphate. The new ingredient was added to help adulterate, or water down, the jake. It was tasteless, soluble with alcohol, and cheap. It also turned out to be highly toxic, particularly to the spinal cord. Those affected by jake had an unusual walk called soon "jake walk" or "jake leg."

Where would you find the book which lists marriage licenses issued and often, marriage returns?

Answer: In Kentucky, all marriage records are housed at the County Clerk's office in each county.

If you've traced your ancestry back to Colonial times and saw the title Mrs. before a lady's name; what did this mean?

Answer: Mrs. was an abbreviation for the word mistress; a title of respect which could apply to both single and married women.

If old George was arrested for tippling, what did he do?

Answer: A tippler was a drinker, normally obtaining the alcohol from a tippling house which was an unregistered roadhouse/bar/tavern.

If Susan Smith was an oratrix, what did she do?

Answer: An oratrix was a female plaintiff in a court of law.

In some old deeds, one might find the term "march stone." To what is this referring?

Answer: A March stone was a stone or rock used to mark the boundaries of property.

How many years after the census is taken will it be released for public viewing and thus, what year will the 1940 census be ready to see? Only one answer is correct.

Answer: The 1940 census will be released in 2012, 72 years after it was taken.

People were at times warned to watch out for an epizootick. What was that?

Answer: This refers to a disease found in animals, primarily cattle, which could be transmitted to humans. Old-timers, to this day, use this word to describe "anything that ails you."

If the early settlers would have to had paid federal income taxes, the form might have asked them to enter their hangbies. What were they wanting to know?

Answer: A hangby or hangbies (plural) were dependents, primarily children, who still resided with their parents - sometimes a sarcastic term for those who were old enough and should have been living on their own.

A fun break from the serious. Expressions we use every day have many urban and fanciful definitions. There are often many explanations and tales as to the original meanings. One of these is the older expression many of us have heard was to "mind our P's and Q's." We knew this meant to behave! What is the origin of this expression (there are several and are acceptable.)

Answer: P's and Q's had several possible origins. The main two are for pints and quarts at the old pubs; the other is being careful to get the p's and q's right on the old printing presses since they were hard to distinguish. There are many other possibilities.

On some census records, it might be noted that an individual is superannuated. What does this mean?

Answer: This meant many things, including being old, decrepit, too old to contribute to society.

When taking the oath of office in Kentucky by any state or county official, they have to swear that they will not do something. This dates back to the beginning of the state and is under great debate now as to whether it should not be a part of the oath. What do they have to swear not to do?

Answer: Officials have to swear that they have never engaged nor will ever engage in a duel.

In older times prisoners - non-clergy - used a neck verse. What was that and what did it gain them?

Answer: a neck verse is the beginning of Psalm 51 which was read aloud by criminals who claimed the benefit of clergy.

Where would one have found a knitting cup?

Answer: A knitting cup was a cup of wine passed around immediately after a wedding ceremony to those who assisted in the ceremony.

What was the age difference between an infant and an infant of tender years?

Answer: An infant was a child between the age of 0-14. An infant of tender years was from age 14-through age 20.

A man's name appears on the tax records in 1821 and no more. You've proven that he was still alive and living in the same county. There are five possible reasons what he doesn't show up in the tax records, give me two.

Answer: There are many reasons why an individual might not show up on the tax records when you know he was there: (1) Taxes waived due to age; (2) waived for doing something for the county; (3); didn't pay taxes that year under protest of being over-taxed; (4) name misspelled; (5) someone else paid for him and listed under their name; (6) paid in an adjoining county and more.

What title was, and still is, given to Justices of the Peace when in County Court session?

Answer: Squire or esquire.

English citizens were bound under a law stating that only royalty could have middle names. This carried over to America, especially in VA. Thus one will not find too many children with a middle name in the earlier days in VA - and then into KY. Parents got around this law in an unusual way. Can you give me an example of a girl's name where the parents circumvented the English law? ( Several choices available).

Answer: First and middle names were combined Roseann, MaryAnn - and the most common, Georgeann which was written many times George A. like a boy's name.

What or who is a oratrix?

Answer: An oratrix is a female plaintiff in a Circuit Court equity case.

Before emancipation, were slaves allowed to bring suit in the Circuit Court?

Answer: Yes, in certain circumstances, a slave could bring suit.

Dr. William Sutton, a KY physician and member of the KY Medical Association, was responsible for a law being passed in Kentucky which remained in effect for 10 years. This law is a major source of information for the KY researcher. What do we know it as?

Answer: Dr. Scott's law provided for the recording of births, deaths & marriages by the County Clerks. The clerks were not happy with this law as it caused them more work but we are thankful that they were recorded as vital statistics.

What am I describing? It could be used on cold or rainy days in a dugout home; it could be used in burying the dead; it could be used for the soldiers during the Civil War; it could be just looked at and admired; it could be a necessity in a pioneer home and used by adults and children alike. I'm looking for a specific answer, not a general term!

Answer: a quilt

Divorces in Kentucky are handled by the Circuit Court's office. However, in early days, divorce petitions could be sent someplace else for hearing and approval/rejection. Where was this?

Answer: The General Assembly. Many people seeking a divorce went straight to the General Assembly instead of having the Circuit Court of their county handle it.

In what year did Kentucky begin issuing birth and death records?

Answer: Birth and death records were kept as far back as 1852 "hit and miss", but were just recorded in the County Clerk's records; no certificates were issued. Kentucky began issuing birth and death records in 1911.

You are at the County Clerk's office and look at the will index book. You find the will you are looking for and then go to the appropriate will book to read the will. What is different about the signatures of the will maker and his witnesses?

Answer: These signatures were actually written by the clerk who recorded the will in the will book; not the actual signatures of the will maker and witnesses.

During the Revolutionary War, many people did not serve in active battle but provided assistance as wagoners, furnishing weapons & ammunition or supplies etc. This service was referred to as ___ service.

Answer: Patriot

One of the early occupations seen on the census records is that of a framer. What did a framer do?

Answer: A framer built the "skeleton" of the house with others completing the house.

When a grist mill was to be built, the owner had to appear before the County Court and ask for an ad quod damnum. A jury had to be sent out to see if the mill or mill dam would damage the lands of neighbors and two other specific other things. What two things other than the land itself might be damaged? (late 1700s through mid 1930s primarily).

Answer: Two main items always mentioned in the ad quod danumns of water grist mills was a report as to any damages incurred on the mansion house and orchards of the neighbors.

In Kentucky, when children were indentured or "bound out" to another individual to learn a trade, what age for both the boys and the girls ended the indentureship? (need age for both).

Answer: In Kentucky, boys were indentured until age 21; girls until age 18.

When a written will was presented to the court, what was required before the will could be recorded as the true will of the deceased?

Answer: When a will was produced in court, the first requirement was the testimony of two subscribing witnesses attesting the signature of the deceased and that they have seen him sign the will. If only one witness appeared, the will was not "proven" and put on the next month's docket for further proof. If the other witness had died or moved from the state, someone had to come into court and attest that the handwriting of the second witness was legitimate.

Administrators were appointed as commissioners to appraise the estate of an individual who died without leaving a will. They had to take an oath to administer the estate and enter into bond with one or more securities. What clue can you find in the two sample appointments: First appointment: John Smith entered into bond of $500.on the estate of Abraham Smith. Second appointment: Peter Jones entered into bond for $5,000 on the estate of Joshua Jones. (I am not looking for relationship of the administrator to the deceased).

Answer: Larger bonds were required for larger estates.

In the past, many forerooms were used for the funerals of family members. What was this?

Answer: The parlor was often used for viewings and funerals. This is the primary reason that funeral homes when they came into vogue, were known as funeral parlors.

After emancipation, certain former slaves were required to go to the County Clerk's office and fill out a form. Which free blacks had to go and what did they sign?

Answer: Slaves who had been set free after the Civil War, and were married, were required to go to the County Clerk's office and register their marriage. The form shows their names and the number of years married.

Counties and states in the past had trouble finding the landloupers. Who were they?

Answer: A landlouper can be a vagabond, a vagrant, one who flees the country because he has committed a crime or owes a debt.

When we think of shaving, we think of someone shaving off hair, or earlier, shaving hair off hides before tanning. But there was another meaning to shaving and when this was done, it resulted in a change in something we use every day. What was being shaved?

Answer: Some people shaved the edges of coins and saved the silver or gold which they redeemed later for cash. This made the weight of the coin less and worth less. The government stopped this practice by milling the edges of all but pennies and nickles.

In older deeds one might find the stipulation that the money due for the land be paid in specie payments. What did this mean?

Answer: Specie payment refers to payment in precious metals such as gold or silver coins. Many people did not trust paper money.

In older times and in some churches a gift or payment was made to the church on the decease of a parishioner. It was brought in with the corpse when it came to be buried and was offered to the church as satisfaction for any negligence or omissions of the deceased which they might have been guilty or in payment of tithes he might not have paid. What was the term used for this gift? Today this term is still used regarding death but has an entirely different meaning.

Answer: Mortuary

We all know what a gossip is; someone who can't keep a secret to themselves. But, in earlier times a gossip meant something else entirely. What did it mean?

Answer: A gossip used to refer to a Godparent or a close friend, sometimes a midwife.

Kentucky shares this unusual distinction with Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Virginia. What is this distinction?

Answer: All these states are known as Commonweaths.

If, in a will, you saw the following "all my younger children," who would be included?

Answer: When younger children are referred to in a will, this means all the man's children except the eldest son(s). The other children had less rights than the eldest son(s). Daughters who were older than the eldest son(s) were still considered younger children.

What is a secondary record in genealogy?

Answer: Documents showing facts which were supplied by a person who was not present at the event or who was present but a considerable amount of time had elapsed before the facts were recorded.

In early settlement days many pioneers lived in half-faced cabins. What were these?

Answer: A half-faced cabin was a temporary house or shelter erected while the pioneers cleaned the land and otherwise got settled in. It consisted of three sides and a roof, with one side open (normally on the south) where blankets or animal skins could be hung to protect against bad weather and the cold.

Kentucky was always been blessed by a large number of able lawyers. Some might have known as "Philadelphia lawyers" however. What did this mean?

Answer: A Philadelphia lawyer was noted not only for his expertise in the law, but in his ability to find every loop-hole in the law for the benefit of his client, sometimes known as shysters because of their trickery.

In reading old pioneer documents, one will often see the following: &c. What does that mean?

Answer: &c was an abbreviation for etc.

Why would a sheriff's deed be issued and where in the deed book index would you find it listed?

Answer: A sheriff's deed was issued when property was sold "at the courthouse door" for non-payment of taxes. The Sheriff was responsible for the sale and the transaction would be recorded in the regular deed books, listed under the Sheriff's name.

One often sees names abbreviated in documents. What do these abbreviations mean? (1) Hy; (2) Jnon; (3) Jno and (4) Abrm?

Answer: The abbreviations stand for Henry, Jonathan, John and Abraham

Many times in olden legal records the term "my next best friend" is shown when a lady or a child is involved in the proceedings. What did this mean?

Answer: My next best friend referred to anyone qualified to represent a woman, child or one unable to speak for themselves in a legal case. They were known as guardian ad litems - which means for the duration of the case.

What four clues would the following tell you? "Sam Schwartz posted bond with his surety William Smith. He was marrying Susie Jones. There was a consent form from her mother, Mary Peters.

Answer: Clues and facts that need to be investigated on the bond include: (1) Sam Schwartz is the groom, of age since no consent form shown. (2) William Smith is the surety; he likely related to the bride as she was to be represented by the surety; (3) Susie Jones is the bride; might have been married before since her surname is different from her mother's. She was underage (21) since she had a consent. (4) Mary Peters was the mother; she could have been married before instead of her daughter - possible was a Williams by first marriage? Or possible a Jones.

In the pioneer times and beyond, what time of the year did a majority of the marriages take place and what do you think was the reason?

Answer: The majority of weddings took place in the winter months after the crops were in.

If someone tells you "you've really overbugged on the land", what are they really telling you?

Answer: You've been swindled; you paid too much for the land!

What does o.s.p. mean on a document?

Answer: o.s.p means obit sine parole - died without issue.

On the light side this week, many southerners speak of a gully washer. What are they speaking of?

Answer: A gully washer is a heavy rain.

The first census in Kentucky is from 1810. What document is commonly used by researchers as a substitute census for the 1800 census?

Answer: The tax lists.

Marriage bonds were required by KY law. Who paid the bond and why was there a bond?

Answer: The marriage bond was normally paid by a male member of the bride's family if the groom could not pay it alone. It was to represent the bride's side of the family. No money changed hands if the marriage was performed. This was to ensure that the groom was not a felon, a bigamist, mentally challenged or left the woman at the altar. Sometimes, if no male relative was available, a friend, the County Clerk or even the bride acted as surety.

If one saw the notation "jMeth" in a record, what would this indicate?

Answer: jMeth was a Quaker abbreviation indicating that a member joined the Methodist Church.

What business in the early settlement days of KY would have had a bark(e) room or a bark(e) house?

Answer: You would find a bark(e) room or house at a tannery.

If parents introduced their child as their God's sake child, what did this mean?

Answer: A foster child.

KY was one of five states that, when admitted to the Union, did not require something of its inhabitants in order to vote. What was not required of them?

Answer: KY and four other states did not require voters to be land owners.

Many early immigrants came from Norway, but if a person used a norway in early America; what was his occupation?

Answer: A norway was a whetstone, thus the man's occupation was a miller.

This is still done today, but not called the same. In olden days it as called the "parity of hands." What does this refer to? (This has nothing to do with gambling or card playing.)

Answer: Parity of hands referred to the checking of signatures on legal documents to be sure the name was authentic, not forged.

What Indian (Native-American) tribes were part of the "Five Civilized Tribes" in the 19th century?

Answer: Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek and Seminole.

When the first settlers came to KY, they often had a dugout (not a dug-out). What was this?

Answer: A dugout was a house made by digging a squared hole in the side of the hill. The roof was often lined with timbers to keep the dirt from falling in and a make-shift door was covered with material or animal hides to keep the weather out. Sometimes a fireplace was built near the door.

Gov. Isaac Shelby put out a call for help in the early 1800's which resulted in many south central KY men responding. Why did he need help?

Answer: The War of 1812

What were the two main routes into Kentucky in early settlement days?

Answer: Cumberland Gap and the Ohio River

What was the passageway called between two sections of a log cabin which had only a roof?

Answer: Dog trot.

If your house had a buttery, what would we call it today? Of course, it doesn't have anything to do with a type of bread or butter! There are a couple of answers I'll accept.

Answer: pantry or larder

Although not a problem in Kentucky, early residents of the eastern shores of the US who were planning a sailing trip might be watching expectantly for a "gentleman of fortune." Who was he?

Answer: Ahoy matey, the answer is a pirate.

If an individual was said to be a "long tongue" what did they mean?

Answer: A long tongue was a well known expression known to many of our parents and grandparents and could represent any of the following: a liar, an orator who talked too long, a braggart, a tale teller or a gossip.

This war was known in Europe as the Seven Year's War, but fought on the eastern shores of America, it had another name here. What was it called?

Answer: French and Indian War

What was a gallow tree?

Answer: A gallows tree was a tree using for hangings.

This town in South Central KY was first known as Cross Plains, then by the colorful name of Chicken Bristle. What is it known as now and what county is it located in?

Answer: Savoyard in Metcale Co used to be known as both Cross Plains and Chicken Bristle KY

This county was named for a Captain who was a Lexington lawyer and a merchant who was also an officer in the War of 1812. He was murdered by the Indians after being wounded at the Battle of River Raisin. Two counties had land taken from them to form this county in South Central KY. What county?

Answer: Hart County.

If you were attending a special event and saw a "dog hanging" (not a dog that was hanging!), (1) what was the event and (2) what was it used for?

Answer: Found at wedding feasts, this was a collection of money for the bride and groom.

In what county document might you see the Latin term "Mensa et thoro"? What did that term mean?

Answer: This was not a divorce, but a legal separation and would likely be found in Circuit Court records.

As you know, in Kentucky there is a Circuit Court and a County Court. The County Court still exists by that name. However, another court preceded the Circuit Court which was abolished and replaced by the Circuit Court. What was this called?

Answer: Court of Quarter Sessions. They only met 4 times a year and as the counties grew, this court was abolished and the Circuit Court formed.

Sounding like an animal, this individual was also known as a hawker or huckster and was not well respected by the local businessmen. By what other name was he known?

Answer: One of the nicknames of a peddler was a badger. This is likely where the expression came about someone badgering you to do something or buy something.

What is another name for defendant - a legal term for a person who has been accused of committing a crime and must prove that he is without guilt?

Answer: Appellee or litigant

I have a full cousin. What is the more common term?

Answer: A full cousin is a first cousin.

What did a land grabber do? (don't just say that he grabbed land!)

Answer: Land Grabbers took land illegally by fraud.

A father-in-law normally is thought of as your spouse's father. But in Colonial days, the father-in-law could also be someone else. Who?

Answer: A step-father was often referred to as a father-in-law.

Could an illegitimate child inherit from his father and if so, how?

Answer: To be able to legally inherit in the estate of a father of an illegitimate child, the father had to acknowledge that the child was his and petition through the local court or the General Assembly of that fact. An illegitimate child could receive from the will but not be among the legal heirs until a petition was made and approved.

If you were one of the following, you could not serve in a certain capacity in the county: A slave, single, under 21 years of age, a civil officer, a surveyor of a highway, owner of a grist mill, tavern keeper, vendor of ardent spirits, or one who has bred a horse in the previous six months for pay. What position could you not serve?

Answer: These individuals could not serve on a Grand Jury.

When a guardian was appointed for an infant or child, what did that guardian have to do every year?

Answer: The guardian had to appear before the County Court yearly and turn in a report on the welfare of his ward including income earned through rent of land or slaves, sale of crops, etc. and all expenses such as clothes, education, etc.

What Latin words were used in legal documents when referring to a single woman and what Latin words described a married woman? Which of those two ladies could buy and sell in their own names?

Answer: Feme sole referred to a single woman and feme covert referred to a married woman. The Feme sole could buy and sell in her own name and transact business; the feme covert was under the control of her husband and he alone would handle legal transactions with few exceptions.

In the early days of KY statehood, you know that your ancestors were divorced. But, after searching all the county records, you can't find a record of their divorce. Where else can you look within the State.

Answer: An excellent answer is found in the pdf document located here. We are taking the liberty of posting it below:

  1. Most divorces before 1850 were granted by the legislature. They can be found in W. T. Smith, A Complete Index to the Names of Persons, Places and Subjects Mentioned in Littell's Laws of Kentucky: A Genealogical and Historical Guide (Baltimore: Clearfield Publishing Company, 1994). Another source is Karen Mauer Green, The Kentucky Gazette: 1787-1800 and The Kentucky Gazette: 1801-1820 (Baltimore: Gateway Press, 1983).
  2. The Circuit Courts, often referred to as "Sitting in Chancery," had jurisdiction over divorce cases from at least 1809 and those records were maintained on a county by county basis. Before 1792, when Kentucky was created from Virginia, records of any divorces would be found in Virginia.
  3. Records of judicial divorces can be obtained from the Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives using their "Divorce Record Request" form. Go to their website for more data:
  4. Information on divorces granted since June 1958 can be obtained from the Office of Vital Statistics, Department for Health Services, 275 East Main Street, Frankfort, KY 40621.

If you see a notation on a census record or elsewhere F. P. C., what does this mean?

Answer: FPC represented free person of color.

Immigrants to Kentucky from England were familiar with a special day called St. Thomas Day. On Dec 21st, many knew it as the day when children went begging in the streets. What was the name by which the latter called it?

Answer: December 21st was known also as "mumping day". Children went mumping or begging for corn, etc. on this day.

This plant belongs to the mint family and is supposed to have medicinal properties. A variety spelling of this name describes a large portion of the State of Kentucky where this plant once bounded. What is the name of the plant?

Answer: One of the large regions of Kentucky is know by the beautiful plant called Pennyroyal, or as it is also called Pennyrile.

Children in the past might like to spend hours playing in the somerland. Where were they playing?

Answer: Somerland is land that lies fallow all summer.

Dr William Sutton was the first President of the Kentucky State Medical Association. He caused to be passed, in 1852, a law called the Sutton Law, that is a tremendous help to genealogists in researching their ancestors in Kentucky. This law was abolished in 1862. What did the bill require?

Answer: Sutton's Law mandated the keeping of vital statistics for the state which included births, deaths and marriages. This law was in effect for various years 1852-1874, some counties kept past that date. It was abolished due to errors in reporting, incomplete reporting or violations of privacy. It would be 1911 before KY began issuing birth & death certificates.

The first deed to a piece of land from the government was called what?

Answer: a patent.

Who is this man? His father had definite ties to Kentucky. During his lifetime, he was involved in the assassination of three Presidents of the United States. As a young man, his life was saved by the brother of the man who assassinated one of the Presidents. At his death, another assassinated President was buried 25 feet away from him.

Answer: Robert Todd Lincoln felt he would jinx Presidents of the United States after being involved in or close to three assassinated Presidents. When he died, there was a question where he should be buried with some family members wanting her to be buried by his father, Abraham Lincoln, in Springfield, IL. However, it was decided to bury him at Arlington Cemetery; where his grave is about 25 feet from another assassinated President, John F Kennedy.

In earlier days, what did a processioner do and why did he have to do it?

Answer: A processioner was appointed by the Circuit Court or the County Court to re-survey land. This was done normally when there was a boundary dispute between adjacent property owners or before land could be devised to the heirs of the deceased land owner. The original surveys were most often marked by trees with slashes on them, marked rocks or poles in the ground. Over the years the trees died, the rocks were displaced and the poles lost. The processioner tried to re-establish the original lines.

During the Civil War, soldiers often wore hats they nicknamed "haver" hats. Why were they called this?

Answer: The haver was a hat that was used to carry small supplies or food and many soldiers called it this because if you needed something, the hat would "have 'er".

Many old churches and one-room schools in Kentucky had two front doors. Why?

Answer: One door was used for the women & little children; the other door for the men in churches. Some churches even had a partition in the church separating the genders. In schools originally, the boys sat on one side and the girls the other, thus the double doors.

Tax records for each county list much information including the name of the male head of household, check marks for then number of males in the household over 16, number of horses, slaves, carriages, billiards table, who surveyed the land, who entered the land etc. If the individual owned land, the number of acres is listed and the location based on the nearest waterway. Also for land owners there is a column in which was entered 1, 2 or 3. What did this number indicate?

Answer: Land was graded according to quality. 1st rate land was nearest the waterway and thus richer; it often went to the soldiers first. 2nd rate land was farther away from the waterway but good land. 3rd rate land was the farthest away and not as rich, but basically was still good land. Taxes were based on the quality of the land and most land is shown 3rd rate.

If a settler accidentally moved onto land that really belonged to a soldier of the Revolutionary War or on land that was already owned by someone else, what happened? Was there a penalty; was he thrown into jail or what action was taken?

Answer: The settler who accidentally settled on land set aside for soldiers and officers of the Revolutionary War or who, because of a faulty survey, settled on land that was already owned was allowed to file a removal certificate with the county clerk. This was in effect giving the right to the land back to the correct owner. He then was allowed to enter more land in the county at a different location.

After the Revolutionary War, the State of Virginia couldn't pay its soldiers and officers. So, instead, they gave them something else. (1) What did they give them and (2) where was it located?

Answer: There is a detailed description of the land set aside for the soldiers and officers of the Revolutionary War, but in brief, the land was in Kentucky and was bounded by the Green River. All lands south of the Green River was military land for the soldiers. After a certain number of years if no soldier claimed their land, it was offered up to the general public.

In the 19th century, there was a term used in legal records - "double-shotted children". What did this mean?

Answer: Double-shotted children was an old term for illegitimate twins.

On the 1900 federal census there were three terms used to classify people who lived in a facility, or boarding house or a private home, away from their home. These were: Roomers, Boarders and Lodgers. Each meant a separate thing; they were not the same but were often all shown as the same by some census takers. Which of these three categories meant a person who resided (perhaps paying rent) in a household on a day-to-day basis but it was considered his/her primary residence. This was even if the person had another permanent residence, and might not even be there when enumerated.

Answer: Roomer The definitions are as follows:

Roomer is a person who resided (perhaps for rent) in a household on a day-to-day basis, but it was considered his/her primary residence(if the person had another, permanent residence, he/she should be enumerated there, even if he/she was not actually present at the permanent residence at the time the enumerator came around).

Boarder - a person who lives in the household - and receives meals as part of his/her rent or work agreement - boarders often actually worked on the farms or in the place of work of the head of the household, especially in the 19th century. If the person had no permanent home, he was enumerated as part of the household in which he boarded(which was the norm).

Lodger - a longer term tenant (much like a person who lived in a hotel) who rents one or more rooms, which were usually furnished. He/she might, or might not, also have meal privileges.

What is the repository in KY for the old Circuit Court records and many other old papers pertaining to the history of our State?

Answer: The KY Department of Libraries and Archives.

Midwives were normally available if a doctor wasn't for that special event. What is an older, less common term for midwife?

Answer: Grace Wife.

Now known as the parsonage; what was the older term for the housing provided a minister during his stay at a church? Hint: neither rectory nor vicarage is the answer I seek.

Answer: An old term for both the land and the building is glebe.

In later times, these individuals were well respected, hard working and heroic. But, during the Revolutionary War they would be found functioning between the American and British lines and were vicious men who plundered and killed. One term for them was skinners; what was the other term?

Answer: Those heroes of the west were known as cowboys; quite a change from the original meaning!

Even a tee-totler in Colonial times knew about a drink called a flip. It was a combination of beer, sugar and rum and commonly drunk by the menfolk. It had a distinctive flavor because something was inserted into the drink just before serving. What was inserted that gave it an unique flavor?

Answer: A flip was given that extra zing by inserting a hot poker (also called a loggerhead) into the drink before serving to give it a special taste.

In the Civil War, what were the soldier's necessaries? This does not mean everything that the soldier needed, but something specific.

Answer: A soldier's necessaries meant one thing. The government only provided a certain amount of clothing/uniform for the soldier. The soldiers were expected to supply the rest at their expense. - clothes which were referred to by the term necessaries. Rebel soldiers had to provide much more due to the lack of funds of the Confederacy.

What was my occupation? It was illegal for me to make it, I normally hid deep in the woods, I might have to do a lot of shooting but a lot of honest citizens wanted my product?

Answer: Moonshiner

In early days in Kentucky, if someone was suffering from the sloes, what did they have?

Answer: Sloes was another name for milk sickness which was a disease causing vomiting, constipation and muscular tremors. It was caused by eating the meat of, or drinking the milk of, cows who had ingested poisonous plants.

I'm bigger than a hill but smaller than a mountain. What am I?

Answer: Knobs. They are erosional remnants of a prominent escarpment that separates the Mississippian Plateau from the Outer Bluegrass region. It is a ten to fifteen mile wide region that developed where resistant caprocks of sandstone and limestone overlaid easily eroded shale and siltstone. Over time, drainage systems cut through the softer rocks, leaving behind the rounded mounds that today we call the Knobs. The sharp slopes of the Knobs are mostly composed of shales.

One will often find the word trace used in speaking of early Kentucky. What was a trace?

Answer: A trace is a road or path.

When the pioneers were laying out the original old roads they were thankful for a native animal. What animal and why?

Answer: The bison, commonly known as buffalo in KY, once roamed in large herds. They always followed the same path and due to their weight, pounded the soil down and became our early roads. It is also stated that they traveled two abreast which was the approximate width of the old pioneer wagons, or if walking 4 abreast, the width of two wagons able to pass each other.

For many years in early Kentucky and elsewhere, livestock ran free and were not fenced. They were caught and taken to the stock pen at the county court house to be claimed. The clerk always looked to see if the animal had a GAD. What was he looking for?

Answer: A gad was a mark or cut in the ear of the animal to prove who owned it.

If parents were subjects of the King of England, living in America before the Revolutionary War, there is one thing they could not do at the birth of a child. What strange rule was this?

Answer: Children born in America before the Revolutionary War to then British citizens were not allowed to have middle names. According to English law, only children of royalty could be given such.

The term silent brigade was another name for what notorious group of people after the Civil War?

Answer: The Night Riders. For more details see this Wikipedia article.

When this individual died, the heirs held their breath at the reading of the will because they knew he was a muck worm. What had he been?

Answer: A muck worm in my example was a miser.

A murder has occured in 1840 in south central KY. There is a trial at a later date. Two types of evidence are gathered during the time of the finding of the victim and the end of the case - evidence and direct evidence. What is the difference?

Answer: Direct evidence is obtained at the time of the event; evidence can be gathered at a later date.

This gentleman left thousands of notebooks of papers and interviewed hundreds of pioneers. In these interviews he asked many family questions that give an abundance of genealogical information. Who was he and where are his papers housed?

Answer: Lyman C. Draper, papers housed at the Wisconsin State Historical Library.

If a legal document was signed with an (X) instead of the name, did it mean: (a) the individual could not write; (b) the individual could write; (c) could be either.

Answer: People who could write sometimes could sign with an (X). It was a tradition from the past where individuals had their own seals which made a document official. Not having a seal in early America, some used the (X) to indicate their seal. Health and disability could also cause them to sign with an (X) of course and they could be found on death-bed wills.

In old wills, we read that so and so leaves this as his "last will and testament." What couldn't be left, in it's original meaning, (but not particularly now) in the testament but could be left in the will?

Answer: Originally, land was not transferred by the testament; only personal property.

If one was found in timberland and arrested for bloody hand, what was he accused of?

Answer: They were caught "red handed" - In English laws this meant someone accused of killing the king's deer even though they couldn't find the carcas - just the blood on the hands. Later in America it could be called poaching.

What were the 3 classifications of land in early KY as found on the tax records and which one was the best and why?

Answer: Land was rated as 1st, 2nd & 3rd rate land. The richest land was 1st class as it was nearer the waterway and richer, normally less hilly. At first 1st rate land was reserved for the soldiers and officers of the Rev. War.

If I were speaking on the topic "Put Some Meat On Their Bones," what do you think I would be urging you to do in genealogical terms?

Answer: Putting meat on the bones is simply finding out all you can about your ancestors in addition to dates. Who were their friends and neighbors, where did they go to church, what was their occupation, did they have military service; newspaper clippings, pictures, etc. They were real people, picture them that way!

What is special about the 1890 federal census?

Answer: In addition to being the first census to be recorded by what would become computer methods, there is no 1890 census left. It was burned in Washington when an employee tossed a smoldering cigarette into a stack; it caught fire and what wasn't destroyed by fire was ruined by the water used to put the fire out. Only a few reports still exist; none for KY.

If I am working on my "arbor consanguinitatis", what am I doing?

Answer: In simple terms, you're working on your family tree. For a more detailed explanation, see this page. Here is an image of one.

In genealogy, what are secondary records?

Answer: Secondary records are simply documents stating facts supplied by a person who was not present at the event being described or by a person who was present but who had allowed a goodly amount of time to pass before recording the event. This makes it less accurate.

Where would you see an out-crier?

Answer: An out-crier was an auctioneer.

In an inventory you see that the deceased had several hoggets. What did he have?

Answer: A hogget was a sheep or colt after it was one year old and had not been sheared.

Who could claim to be a freeborn person?

Answer: The individual not only had to be free himself, but his parents had to be free also.

If you were using stocking apples, what would you be preparing?

Answer: apple cider

Shinplasters are normally said to be a plaster or poultice applied to sore shins and legs. But during a period of history in America they referred to something else. What did it apply to and during what event in America?

Answer: Shinplasters: A derogatory name for fractional paper money issued during the the Civil War in 3, 5, 10, 15, 28 and 30 cent amounts to stop hoarding of silver coins. It quickly became torn and dirty. For a picture and further definition, go to this website.

If a friend or relative asks you to be a mainprize for them, in pioneer times, what would they be asking you to do?

Answer: This means he was asking you to go bail for him or act as his surety.

In some areas, some people were described as being "on sufferance". What did this mean?

Answer: They were living on charity, sort of like a pioneer version of welfare.

What was the name of a celebration held 2-3 days after a wedding in pioneer times?

Answer: Infare (A house-warming; especially, a reception, party, or entertainment given by a newly married couple, or by the husband upon receiving the wife to his house.)

What type of cow was a milch cow?

Answer: milk cow

Who was the only KY Governor inaugurated in Elizabethtown instead of Frankfort at the request of his wife, and died days 5 after he was sworn in?

Answer: John Helm

Who was the Kentuckian who was a hero in the Revolutionary War, served as Governor once and was called to serve again as Governor when KY boys marched into Canada?

Answer: Isaac Shelby

In the 1860's someone might be called a doughface. Who was he and why was he called this?

Answer: A doughface was a Northerner durng the Civil War who supported the South and did not oppose slavery.

If you saw the initials F L T on a tombstone, what organization did the deceased belong to? What do these initials stand for?

Answer: F L T stands for Friendship, Love and Truth and is used by the International Order of Odd Fellows.

In October 1779 the State of Virginia authorized something that assisted their citizens who were moving to the County of Kentucky. What was it?

Answer: The building of the road leading over the Cumberland Gap.

Many KY residents came from Scotland where there were many clans. There were also family groups that were not clans but were under the protection of the clans because of some service they had offered a particular clan as in battle or supplies, etc. What were these groups called?

Answer: Septs

What is the common name, clear into the 20th century, when a single lady made two two meals and put them in a decorated container? This would be auctioned to raise money for various things and the winning bachelor would have dinner with the preparer of the food he bid on.

Answer: Full meals, likely of fried chicken, biscuits and a desert were packed in boxes and neatly decorated with ribbons and bows. They were then taken to a box supper where the men could bid of them with the money donated to a worthy cause. A smaller version of this could be a pie or a cake supper.

What is the difference between a testee and a surety?

Answer: A surety, also known as a security, was one who guaranteed payment of a debt if the debt-holder failed to pay. Many people were bankrupted when they were forced to pay as a surety. A testee is an old term found on many legal documents of the past and meant simply witness.

If a settler owned headright land, does this mean he served in the Revolutionary War? Yes or no, explanation welcomed!

Answer: No, in Kentucky headright land was given to the head of a household who would settle upon it.

If, in a cemtery transcription book, you see the letters oss, what does this mean?

Answer: OSS means on same stone; sometimes shown as OSSW - on same stone with.

If you saw an hourglass carved on a tombstone, what would this indicate?

Answer: The passage of time, time has run out, time passes swiftly; various indications of time.

If someone had to go to a farmery, where did he go?

Answer: Infirmary

One thing pioneer homes had and used up to the mid 20th century was an "oliver's skull." What was the more common name for this necessity?

Answer: It's a chamber pot, probably called "oliver's skull" because of its resemblance to the helmets worn by Oliver Cromwell's army in England.

You wouldn't have wanted to meet the deathsman in times past. Why not?

Answer: He was the exeutioner or the hangman

What was the name given to a piece of property that had been divided off within the city limits, usually cited when a new town was being established?

Answer: lots

If a subpoena had been issued on an individual and it didn't accomplish what was intended, the judge could order an alias subpoena. What was that?

Answer: One issued after the first has been returned without having accomplished its purpose. (The question kind of tells what the answer is [grin].

This was the forerunner of a bicycle. It consisted of two wheels connected by a bar on which the rider sat while he pushed the ground with first one foot then another. A little faster than walking, what what this "speedy" vehicle called?

Answer: A Dandy Horse

After the settlers cleared the land of trees, bush, etc, the land was often enriched with manure and fenced with moveable fences to hold cattle. What was the term that described the above?

Answer: The act described was called cowpenning.

What were mug books in the late 1880's - 1890's and where might one find them today?

Answer: Mug books were a collection of biographies printed by an independent printing firm. They were written by the subject or his family, and there was a fee. The longer the bio or if a picture was included, the higher the cost. These were also known as vanity books.

If some of your neighbors were known as outpartners, what did they do for a living?

Answer: These were not a nice kind of neighbors; outpartners were thieves.

In Colonial times, this man was not quite an Esquire (or Squire), but he still held a position of great influence or wealth and deserved to be known as this.

Answer: While we think of him as a nice man who opens the doors for the ladies and remembers our anniversary, a gentleman meant much more in older days. It was a title of honor, slightly less than a squire.

In wills or in listings of estate property in the 1800's, the term furniture is used. What was considered furniture?

Answer: Furniture was described as any moveable property. In some areas, even livestock were considered furniture.

This word meant someone who owed another in a debt or contract and also one who was indentured. What is the word?

Answer: bound

English is a hard language to master as many words have multiple meanings. There are 3 possible definitions to the word "late". If you saw the following statement in a legal document of the olden times in KY, what two things could it mean? "Mary Jones late of Barren County Kentucky."

Answer: The term late was used to describe someone who was deceased, or someone who formerly lived there.

If someone was called your own cousin, exactly and precisely, what relationship was he/she to you?

Answer: Your own cousin was your first cousin, children of your aunt and uncle.

On what form (or microfilm) would you look to find who died between June 30 to June 30 of the census years?

Answer: Mortality Schedules

We are all familiar with the Freemasons, who are members of the Free and Accepted Masons, but what was the true freemason, having nothing to do with this Lodge?

Answer: A freemason is a stone mason who was above the grade of rough mason, and was qualified to carve freestone (limestone and sandstone).

If you son announces he wants to be a fluttergrub, what does he want to do?

Answer: A fluttergrub was a field worker.

If you were working on an origo familaris what would you be doing?

Answer: You're doing your family tree!

During the early settlment days in Kentucky, people often lived at forts for protection from the Indians. These were safer and fortified. Many forts used "Quaker guns". What were these and why were they so named?

Answer: Quaker guns were fake weapons made out of a tree and made to look like a real weapon to convince the Indians that they had more weapons. These were found at many of the early Kentucky forts. They were so named because they couldn't do any harm and for the Quaker's pacificism.

How did Virginia pay its soldiers and officers for service in the Revolutionary War: (1) with what? and (2) where?

Answer: The State of Virginia paid its soldiers in land. In Kentucky, these lands were located south of the Green River.

In wills there might be an in terrorem clause added. What did this clause dictate?

Answer: The in terrorem clause prevented someone from doing something contrary to the will. Example: "You will receive an inheritance IF you do not marry so and so." Or a son who has disappeared may inherit IF he returns and takes care of his family.

If you are reading old tax records and see an individual listed as an inmate, what was this referring to? I am not looking for someone who resided in a home for the aged.

Answer: In old tax records an inmate was also known as a tenant farmer. He did not own the land but was renting it or living on the land owned by someone else. He would be taxed only for his own personal property.

This term could really confuse the researcher. We think of a husband being the spouse of his wife. But what did it also refer to in many old records?

Answer: A husband could also refer to a farmer, short for husbandman.

Ladies in the past rejoiced over the invention of the dumb-betty while servants were thrilled over an invention by Thomas Jefferson - both shared the same name. What were the two items?

Answer: The old washing machine that helped so many housewives and Thomas Jefferson's dumb waiter were both nicknamed "dumb betty."

There were Whigs and Democrats in the early days of politics in KY. What was the party called during the 1850's who wanted the government controlled only by native born citizens?

Answer: The Know-Nothing Party

In what document would you see the term "more or less"?

Answer: Deeds. This protected the surveyor and others if they had mis-measured the acreage while being chased by Indians, fording creeks and climbing hills!

The term "divorce of bed and board" was often used in early divorces. Who did it affect and what did it prohibit?

Answer: It prevented re-marriage, particularly for the man; was used normally when there was abuse of the wife.

What happened in early settlement days if an individual in KY accidentally settled on land that had been promised to a soldier of the Revolutionary War?

Answer: If a settler accidentally claimed land that really belonged to a soldier or officer of the Revolutionary War, they were required to "remove" the certificate for the land. However, they were able to re-settle with no penalty on other land. This happened many times because of the inaccuracy of the early surveys.

What nickname was given a man who shirked his duties during house or barn raisings? (Answer is a man's name.)

Answer: Lawrence

When was a niece not a niece? In some old documents, a niece referred to someone else. Who?

Answer: granddaughter

In the 1800's newspapers ran notices for it. Private invitations were issued. People came for miles to watch, sometimes climbing trees or on the roofs of nearby buildings just to see. What event was this?

Answer: a hanging

This was a device on runners which was very handy for traveling through wet springs or mired land. It was usually pulled by a horse.

Answer: mud sled

This expression, often found in deeds, refers to the most common way that real estate is owned, and is usually the most complete ownership interest that can be had in real property. Land granted this way to a person is granted with no limit put upon who he may sell or give it to. What is this expression?

Answer: fee simple

I could be several things including a tool once used by a chair maker; an apprentice in a printer's shop, a portable furnace used in a foundry or another word for an invention. What am I?

Answer: a devil

It could be partly brick, stone or even clay - or all three. The top could be logs, tin or sod packed tightly - or a combination of all three. It could be 6-10 feet tall, with or without glass. It reminded one of an quilt put together from scraps of various kinds of materials. What was it?

Answer: A patchwork house.

In early settlement days of company, this word described a fortification made from trees. The branches of the trees faced toward the enemy and were sharpened to points to repel the enemy. What was this called?

Answer: A fortification made from sharpened and pointed trees aimed outwards was called an abatis. For more information, follow this link.

This lady was a great help at childbirth and was commonly called a midwife. However, there was another term used for her that would remind one of popular children's television program of the 1950's. What was she also called?

Answer: Another name for a midwife was a howdy wife.

In the early settlement days what was a bearing tree and what was it used for?

Answer: A bearing tree was one that marked the corner of a survey. A slash was put in the tree to indicate this was one corner of the property line.

To be considered an orphan in the early statehood days, two requirements had to be met. What were they?

Answer: To be considered an orphan, one or both of the parents had to be deceased and the child a minor.

This man was a house owner who had the privilege of voting. He owned his own fireplace where he could cook in pots and pans. What was he called?

Answer: A potwalloper was a house owner who was allowed to vote.

If your ancestors came from Ireland, as a young person they might have attended an inexpensive open-air school in Ireland. What was it called?

Answer: An outdoor Irish school was called a hedge school.

What was the term for a highly qualified carpenter who worked on houses?

Answer: Housewright

In pioneer Kentucky days there were two kinds of these called blab and subscription. What were they and what was the difference between the two?

Answer: There were two types of schools in early days - the blab school and the subscription school. The blab school students learned by recitation; they had no text books or paper. The teacher taught; they listened and recited back the answers. The subscription schools were the one-room schools with a teacher, had books and supplies; parents paid the teacher for each session their child attended.

In a legal document, such as a probate of an estate, will or other document, you see the initials d.w.i. What did this mean?

Answer: died without issue

This is a town that is shared by both Barren and Hart Co. It had a rather unusual name, supposedly given by early settlers when they noticed a large depression in the ground where something had been basking, rolling around and possibly cooling off from the summer's heat. What town is it?

Answer: Bearwallow, KY

If your ancestor used a mash hammer, what occupation would he have?

Answer: stone mason

In years gone by, citizens often had to watch out for those who robbed and pillaged during the night. What were these bad guys called?

Answer: Moon men

Children loved them, mothers needed them in order to keep the children quiet during the very long church services. What were they?

Answer: To keep childen quiet during long church services, mother's often carried "meeting seeds" for the children to eat during the services. The seeds were most often dill seeds which were supposed to make the childen subdued.

A famous Union General, during the Civil War, had a particular grooming style that was soon copied by many of the Union troops. The Confederates, not to be outdone, changed the style a little and called this grooming style something else. The Confederate name exists to this day and was made very propular by a very famous musical entertainer. Who was the Union General and what is the grooming style called?

Answer: General Burnsides, Union leader in the Civil War grew a mustache which curved up on the ends and grew in with hair coming down past the ears. His men decided to grow this hair on the side of the face and called them burnsides. The Rebs liked the style, minus the mustache, and not wanting to honor an enemy, called the hair growth sideburns.

If you owned a hide of land, how many acres did you own?

Answer: A hide of land was from 60-120 acres.

This man had to be courageous and very strong while doing a very dangerous job. He worked with a raw product that sounds like a farm animal and his occupation sounded like something a duck would be called. What was his occupation?

Answer: A puddler worked with pig iron.

If your ancestor listed his occupation as a limb trimmer, what did he do for a living?

Answer: Though it sounds like someone who would trim trees, a limb trimmer was an old name for a tailor.

What would the following mean: Ind. W. C.

Answer: Ind. W. C. was Indian Wars Widow's Certificate.

Many county courthouses were burned during the Civil War or due to natural causes, such as Monroe and Hart Co. A relief book was created (although maybe not directly named such) for this occasion. What was recorded in this type book?

Answer: A relief book, of various names, was maintained to re-record deeds when the original records were destroyed by fire or other accidental destruction.

In some wills, the husband who is making his will refers to his "now house". What was this? What would he mean by his "now wife"?

Answer: A "now house" would be the residence of the individual at his death; possibly can indicate a prior residence. A "now" wife would indicate his present wife; possibly could indicate he as married before.

What is the difference between named executor or being named administrator of a person who has died?

Answer: An executor was named by the individual writing the will to handle the estate. An administrator was named by the court to handle the estate because there was no will.

If you heard that someone had a dilling, what would they have and what would it tell you about them?

Answer: Although many definitions can be found for dilling, this normally meant a child born to older parents.

In some wills and deeds one might see a "come and get it" clause. Who was being encouraged to come and get it and what might they get?

Answer: The come and get clause, which was never worded this way, was an enticement for a wayward family member to return to the fold. Examples would be if a son would return and take care of his parents he would inherit land; or if a daughter who had married and moved away would return and settle next to her parents, she would get the house, or possibly a relative who had moved to parts unknown could be located and come back, they would inherit.

The minister or justice of the peace who married a couple in the early days of the county filled out a piece of paper giving their names and the date he married them. This was turned into the County Clerk yearly. What was this piece of paper called?

Answer: The marriage return was completed by the minister and turned into the County Clerk.

In olden days, where would you see someone "takin' on" (taking on) and what where they doing?

Answer: "Taking on" normally referred those those who were crying and moaning in a funeral procession. They could be family members or a hired mourner.

If you are more angry, you might be madder. But if you ordered some madder in the past, what would you be preparing to do?

Answer: Dye some cloth. Madder was made from the madder plant and was used for dying clothes.

In an old inventory taken after the death of an individual are many items that were sold. One of these reads "2 flays - $1.00". What were flays?

Answer: whips

What is milkmeat?

Answer: Milkmeat was any food made with milk such as cheese or custard.

In genealogy terms, what is a real daughter?

Answer: A real daughter is a DAR term. It indicates a woman whose father gave service is some capacity in the Revolutionary War.

When an individual sat up all night at a wake with a corpse, there was normally one special light in the room. What was it called?

Answer: A light for a person who sat up with a corpse was called a watching candle.

Not too many words begin with an X but an X meant a lot in olden documents. How many of these abbreviations starting with X can you figure out?

  1. (X)
  2. xch
  3. Xn or Xr
  4. xped

Answer: Aan (X) normally represented the mark of an individual in lieu of a signature for whose who could not write. Xch meant exchange. Xn or XR indicated Christian. Xped meant individual was christened.

At Christmas time, many a lady would hope that her husband had met up with a fumer? Why?

Answer: The lady was surely hoping her husband would stop by and pick up some fragrant perfume from the local fumer - or perfume maker.

What were you normally attending if you took a break for dinner on the grounds? I'm looking for one specific event that gave rise to this term.

Answer: Dinner on the grounds was a noon meal at a revival meeting. It could also be at an all-day singing or church homecoming.

If a man was strapped in a chair and fellow citizens pelted him with objects and called him names - maybe even duck him under water, what was that type of chair called (non electric please!).

Answer: Though known by some as a dunking chair, a cucking stove was the term used as a form of punishment in the early days. It was a chair where the guilty party was strapped and where he could be pelted by objects, yelled at or dunked into the water

Sometimes in estate settlements, an official known as a public guardian would become involved. What was this official's role and/or responsibility?

Answer: When minor children were heirs in an estate, the court would sometimes appoint a public guardian to insure that their rights as heirs were protected. In some counties an individual served in this capacity on a regular basis. For example in the 1930 census for Jefferson County KY, Ben J. Johnson is shown with public guardian as his occupation.

What was the term used for rails and slats forming a bed frame which were laid from each side of the corner of a cabin to a single vertical post which made a simple moveable bed?

Answer: jack-bed.

Erysipelas was a disease with symptoms of fever, redness and swelling of the skin which was also called St. Anthony's Fire. Many pioneers believed that this disease could only be cured by a part of an animal that was rarely seen in early America. What animal and what part of that animal?

Answer: The blood from a black cat

In many churches one man took charge of the business meetings, What was the title given to this man while leading the business meeting?

Answer: Moderator

You have found an old letter in your great-grandmother's trunk and eagerly start reading. The great-grandmother keeps talking about taking a midwinter vacation to see their family. When were they going to take that vacation?

Answer: Midwinter is an old name for Christmas.

Quakers had a special term for the wedding of a Quaker to one of another faith. What was this called?

Answer: Marriage out is a Quaker term meaning one of their own has married one of another faith.

This was a poultice of natural or man-made material which was soaked in warmed sweet milk. It was such an important item that it was often willed to family members and guarded carefully lest someone steal it. What was it called and what was it used for?

Answer: A madstone was made of natural or man-made materials which had been soaked in warm sweet milk. In most areas, the prefered madstone was a stone from the stomach of a deer, preferably a white deer (if any were around!) Anyone bitten by a animal raced to the owner of a madstone to have it applied to the bite. If the stone did not stick to the wound, the animal was not rabid. If the animal was rabid, the stone would adhere itself to the wound and when the poison was drawn out, would fall off. It was then washed and hidden away again. They were considered very valuable and were often willed to the family and were targets of theft many times. Folk lore, possibly, but many stories have been told of the power of the madstone.

Not many pioneers would be found without a kimmel. What did they use it for?

Answer: A kimmel was a round wooden tub used in salting meat.

When applying for a pension for services during the Revolutionary War, depositions were taken by the County Clerk of the applicant who had to show cause why he needed the pension. If the old soldier stated that he just owned a run-down cabin, had sickly children and a jade, what would a jade be?

Answer: When applying for a pension for Revolutionary War service, the old soldiers often felt the need to make their conditions seem almost hopeless with sick children, wives out of their minds, falling down farms and likely a jade - a worn-out horse!

When pioneers could not afford to put in a wooden floor in their cabins and didn't want to walk on dirt, they often used this and created fancy designs. What did they use?

Answer: Although the pioneers might have used animal skins, dried blood mixed with clay, straw and other substances to put on the dirt floor of their cabins, one of the most common things used was sand. This was found from pre-Revolutionary days and for many years afterward; the woman of the house would swept into pretty designs. After wooden floors were more common, sand was still used as a scrubbing powder.

We all know how many men sit on a jury. But what happened when the courts couldn't find enough qualified to serve? They drew from the audience and these individuals were called what? (I'm not looking for alternates - a much older term).

Answer: When it was impossible to find enough people to fill a jury, people from the audience, called talesmen, were summoned to serve.

(1) What was the old term for a small temporary prison and (2) what is a latter nickname for the same thing?

Answer: Originally called a goose house, this was a a small temporary prison. Later on, we referred to it as a hoosegow, a play somewhat on the word.

In looking at old plat maps, one might find many gores. What are you looking at?

Answer: A gore is an irregular piece of land left over after other surveys have been made. It is most often found where a river is used as one of the boundaries or in a hilly region.

If you are transcribing inscriptions from an old tombstone and see a name on the bottom or on the backside followed by the abbreviation sc, how is this individual related to the deceased and what does the sc stand for?

Answer: SC carved by an individual's name on a tombstone, away from the deceased's name and dates, is the name of the man who engraved the stone - i.e., the sculptor.

Situation: Your ancestor was born in 1791 and said later that he was born in Barren Co. Where would you look for any possible official records on him?

Answer: If a man said he was born in Barren Co in 1791, we would have to trace the following counties since Barren was not a county in 1791! Barren was formed in 1798 from parts of Green (questioned by some) and Warren Co. Warren County was formed in 1797 from Logan County. Logan County was formed in 1792 from Lincoln County. Lincoln County was formed 1780 from Kentucky Co VA. Green Co was formed in 1792 from Lincoln and Nelson Co. Thus the primarily counties where records might exist are Warren, Logan, and Lincoln with possibly Green and Nelson. Since he was still living in Barren Co, it would do no good to check the counties who spun off from Barren Co. Records were not transferred from county to county when new counties were formed.

Early pioneers, scouts, surveyors, soldiers and others often got a horrendously painful condition of the feet. What was this called in the 18th century (not the current or latter-day term) and what caused it?

Answer: Scald foot was the term given to individuals whose feet were exposed to the elements, primarily from walking in water or damp soil. The skin on the feet would become inflammed and fall off.

If your mother told you to finish your slip down and your stomach churned at the thought of it, what would she want to to finish?

Answer: Slip down was curdled milk.

What was the term used for a pair of heavy outer pants worn for horseback journeys?

Answer: A heavy outer pair of pants worn for horseback journeys were called sherry vallies.

What was the name given to a stagecoach-like wagon used to transport lunatics to insane asylums or prisoners from jail to the penitentiary? Can you describe what it looked like?

Answer: The term "Black Mariah" was used to describe the vehicle in which mentally ill people were taken to the mental institutions in those days, and it was also the term used for such a vehicle that transported criminals to the state prisons. Typically, when mentally ill people were aboard, it had an escort of one or two men on horseback, who went ahead and cleared the road of traffic, as the coach travelled as fast as the horses could carry it, and towns were avoided, if it was possible to do so. Black Mariah predates the more common term many of us have heard - paddy wagon.

Tuberculosis of the glands, joints and bones was known by a name not heard much in current times. What was it called?

Answer: "Scrofula, tuberculosis of the glands of the neck, was formerly known as 'the King's evil,' and it was believed in England and France that it could be cured by the touch of a king. 'Touching' was practised by the Stuarts up to the time of Queen Anne. The superstition also arose that it could be cured by the seventh son of a seventh son, 'never a wench being born between.' Such men were known as 'strokers.'" (taken from the online edition of The Western Mercury located here.)

In reading the old Kentucky deeds, one will notice many times that the "wife was examined separate and apart from her husband" as to whether she agreed will the sale of land or property. We know that this indicated that she was being asked if she was selling this land of her own free will and not being forced into it by her husband. But, it also tells us something else quite important. What was it?

Answer: The practice of examining privately, apart from her husband, by the justices, had to do with the selling of her property. She had to agree to the sale without undue pressure by her husband. This can be a definite clue that some of HER land was involved in the sale! If this clause appeared at the end of the deed, it would indicate that some or all of the property being sold was hers, not his, that she had likely inherited.

In many parts of of the country, especially in the southern states, there were seldom found closets in homes and clothes were stored in trunks. Other than lack of space in the smaller homes, what else kept our ancestors from hanging their clothes in a nice tidy closet?

Answer: In many parts of the south, home owners were taxed for every room in the house. Closets were considered a room. In order to keep from being taxed, many homes did not build closets into their houses. At various times and in different locations, window glass was taxed as well as the width of the houses which resulted in many early homes not having paned windows and tall, narrow houses!

A term is used in many old wills in which the late spouse gave to his wife certain things "during her natural life". What did this indicate?

Answer: While most of us think that the term "during her natural life" in a will refers to the lifetime of the widow, it meant instead as long as she remained a widow.

Have you ever really looked at the bronze statues of soldiers on horseback that are found in many parks and throughout the country honoring military heros or great leaders? There are three types found - one with the front feet of the horse in the air - one with one front foot of the horse in the air and the last with all four feet of the horse on the ground. What was the significance of the horse's position in relation to its rider.

Answer: Tradition says that a monument with both horse's feet in the air meant that the soldier was killed in battle; one foot in the air meant the soldier had died later of wounds sustained in battle and all feet on the ground indicated he had died of natural causes. But, although many still believe this to be a clue as to the outcome of the soldier's life, it is an urban legend which sprang up after the Civil War. There is no proof that the position of the horses' feet meant anything. It was merely artistic liberty taken by the sculptor!

For more information, see this Washington Post article.

What is the definition of a paper town?

Answer: A paper town was a town than lived in the imagination of the developers. It was laid out on paper, likely shown in the deed books - plotted out and lots sold. But, the town never developed for some reason. It was simply a town on paper, or a paper town.

We all have heard the term "out house" which normally referred to an outside privy or latrine. But in the old deeds and other documents that term meant something else. Give me at least one example of what would be called an out house and one example of what it would not mean [besides latrine/privy].

Answer: An out house commonly referred to a building for household use such as a summer kitchen or wash house. It did not refer to barns or other farm buildings.

What was the title of the man whose responsibility it was to carry out an execution? The same title was given to a leader or a chief or the commander of a whaling boat.

Answer: Headsman

Who would have been half-baptized?

Answer: A half-baptism was a deathbed baptism given privately.

What book in the County Clerk's Office would you check to find a list of buyers of land so you could find a deed?

Answer: Grantee Index Book

If you heard someone yell "gardydoo" loudly, what was about ready to happen and what should you do?

Answer: If someone yelled gardydoo you'd better move! This meant "beware of the water" and was a warning to passersby that a bucket of slop was about to be thrown out an upstairs window!

There was an old expression "on tick". What did this refer to?

Answer: On tic means on ticket or on credit.

In many old records you will see the abbreviation O.S. What does this stand for?

Answer: O. S. refers to Old Style, the calendar before 1752. For more information, try this site.

What is the term that you have seen used many times in my order book posts used to describe a tavern/inn or other place of lodging that sold alcohol, but also served food and had a place for boarding livestock?

Answer: An ordinary

What was a lardering stick used for?

Answer: A lardering stick was a tool used to pierce holes in poultry while it cooked.

Where would you go to see a kuntiput?

Answer: One would find a kuntiput in the traveling circuses who came to down - he was a clown!

In earlier settlement times buildings were often erected that were known as joint stores? What were they?

Answer: A joint store allowed a general store to build on the first floor and the Masonic Lodge (sharing with other organizations) would meet on the second floor. The cost of the roof was shared by both. When the lodge could afford it, they would build their own building and move out, letting the general store to expand.

What was the term used to described a person who owned land and farmed it without outside help from slaves but only by his family?

Answer: A person who owned land and farmed it with no assistance other than that of his family was called an independent planter

What is the term used when less that twelve members of a grand jury agreed on a subject causing the case to be be dismissed and the accused free? I am not looking for a tie verdict or a hung jury. Another older term was used which would also describes an individual of questionable ability.

Answer: Ignoramus

What was a person called who lived on property he did not own as seen on old tax records? I am not seeking the words tenant, sharecropper or squatter.

Answer: A householder was a person who lived on property which he did not own. When found on a tax list, this means that he is just a resident, not an owner.

What was the name given to a will that was believed to have been written by a person entirely in his own handwriting?

Answer: A will believed to have been written by a person entirely in his own handwriting was called a holographic will.

If an individual died intestate and gave all his property to his heir-at-law: (1) What does intestate mean? (2) Who was normally the heir-at-law?

Answer: One dying intestate died without a will. The heir-at-law was normally the eldest son who would inherit all of an intestate person's real property. For additional information follow this link.

This was the Latin term for an order written by a court to a person demanding that he bring into court another person who is detained by the first person. What is the term which is still used today?

Answer: Habeus corpus

What was the term used by physicians to describe a disease that was progressing more rapidly than normal? This will be found in many old death records.

Answer: A disease that was progressing rapidly was said to be "galloping."

Our American currency is divided into various denominations. And, with the passage of time, each denomination has acquired a "nickname". What denomination is commonly known today by something that was traded in the early settlement days and what was traded?

Answer: a buck. Dollar bills are referred to as bucks. This dated back to the time when things were paid for by trading buck (deer) skins.

We've likely all heard the expression, two bits, four bits, six bits, a dollar. Coins used to be clipped into bits with each piece of the coin worth a certain value. What was the term for half of a bit or 1/16th of a coin?

The answer is fip. The following paragraph is copied from an Old Coin Shop webpage:

Prior to the Civil War, half dimes circulated alongside many odd foreign coins. Spanish coins in particular were square pegs trying to fit in the round holes of the decimal system. The Spanish real (bit) and half real (half bit) circulated as twelve and six cents, respectively. Very worn pieces were colloquially called the levy, a corruption of eleven pence and fip (five-and-a-half pence) - terms dating back to colonial times. When sold for bullion at the mint, these worn pieces were discounted, valued only at a dime and half dime, respectively.

In older times, a person was often said to be suffering from falling-sickness. What is the modern term for this condition?

The answer is epilepsy.

Not to be confused with a ship or firing guns from a ship, this was a type of newspaper which was placed in prominent places so everyone could read it. It was almost a gossip rag and dealt more with fights, crimes and deaths, sometimes the more gruesome the better. What was it called?

It was called a broadside.

An extra plank was placed on the the far side of a wagon used to haul corn. As the ears of corn were thrown by those harvesting the corn, the ears would bounce against the plank and drop into the wagon. What was the plank called?

Answer: a bang board

What was the term for a wooden coach that was shaped like a watermelon that was slung on several through-braces, drawn by four horses and carried 6-9 passengers? Today this term is used for a man who tells other men what to do on a sports field. The answer is a two-word one and I need both parts.

The answer is a football coach. It was shaped like a watermelon or football.

If you sent your husband to the mercantile for some hippins, would would he be purchasing?

Hippins were coarse cloth diapers.

What was a battling stick?

This was a heavy paddle or stick used to beat clothes after they had been soaped - a substitute or predecessor for the washing board.