Monday, May 13, 2013

The Kernachan's

In researching  my last post, Who was Jannett Mumford, I came across a lot of Scotch and Irish settlers, who arrived prior or during the time of the American Revolution and immediately became patriots. These sons of Eire or Scotia were not down-trodden, half-starved refugees of a potato famine, but educated and skilled craftsmen, doctors, lawyers, merchants and gentlemen farmers, like Robert Adam, the Maffetts, John Hogg, and many others. They came and married and did business with the sons of Quakers and daughters of Virginians. Patrick married Patience, Duncan married Phobe and all as well and the fabric of America was being woven.

William Malone

The Kernahans of Lauderdale County, Alabama were no different. They were not a large family, there was Abraham and Robert. Although I have not yet came across a document that identifies them as such, they were probably brothers.

In the 19 page Divorce Settlement of Dr. George Washington Booth and his wife Mariah Booth Winfield Maffett Booth, Robert Kernachan is a major player. It is to him, the trusteeship of the property of Mariah Booth and her daughter Mary Ann Maffett, is given, after it is taken from Dr. Booth and from Mariah's former brother-in-law, Dr. William H Maffett of Fayetteville.

Who was Robert Kernachan, so entrusted with her estate?

Link to Rebecca Elliotts will

In my prior post, linked above, Martha Kernachan is named as an heir and near kin of Rebecca Booth Elliott, the aunt of both Mariah and her husband/first cousin, George W. Booth.

Martha was a Booth. Robert was her husband, and therefore an 'In-law" of Mariah.

William Malone

The Kernachan Cemetery in Lauderdale County, Alabama, was surveyed  on April 5, 1989 by Orlan Irons. It is located off of Gunwaleford Road.

Listed are the following interments:

NAME                          Born          Died   Inscription/Comments
KERNACHAN, Robert                       14 Jan 1869 aged 76 years
WILLIAMS, Isaac B.      5 Apr AD 1812 5 Mar AD 1853 aged 39 yrs 11 mos 10 das
WILLIAMS, Maria C.**       6 Apr 1822    1 Sep 1851 aged 29 yrs 4 mos 25 das
   **Consort of Isaac B. Williams & daughter of Abram & Martha Kernachan
KERNACHAN, R. T.                        28 Mar 1868 aged 40 yrs 6 mos 9 das
JONES, Martha Tazewell     7 Apr 1845   15 Jun 1846 aged 1 yr 2 mos 8 das
JONES, Infant             22 Sep 1843    1 Oct 1843 
     inf son of James C. & Martha B. Jones
JONES, William Edward      2 Aug 1860   15 Oct 1882 
     son of James Carey & Matilda Bloomfield Jones
JONES, Sallie Bloomfield  11 Aug 1868   29 Mar 1883 
     dau of James C. & Matilda B. Jones
JONES, James Carey        30 Jul 1819   12 May 1885 father
       Matilda Bloomfield 16 May 1826   11 Oct 1885 mother; nee Kernachan
KERNACHAN, Abraham                      12 Mar 1833 aged 50 yrs; 
     born in County Donegall, Ireland
Some of these tombstones are broken, and some are out of place.

Location of Kernachan Cemetery

The Kernahans became entangled with other members of the Booth family as well.

Abraham Kernachan and Martha Booth had one son and 5 daughters:

First were the twins:

Muriel G Kernachan and Mariah C Kernachan were born on April 6, 1822.

There are no marriage  records on Muriel, so she likely died as a child.

Mariah C Kernachan married Isaac B Williams. Both are buried in the Kernachan Cemetery.

Eliza Ann Kernachan was born Dec 3, 1823. She married first cousin Francis Harwood Jones, son of Francis F Jones and Nancy Ann Booth Jones. She died a young bride at the age of  22 in 1845.

Matilda B Kernachan was born May 16, 1836. She married James Carey Jones, also a first cousin and a brother to Francis H. Jones who married her sister Eliza.

Only son, Robert Thomas Kernachan II (named for his uncle and probably his grandfather), was a Confederate Veteran who died in 1869. He married cousin Ann Elizabeth Ellen Simmons, daughter of  John J. Simmons and Rebecca Ann Charlotte Jones Simmons. Her mother would go on to marry John Nicholas Malone of Limestone County, Alabama. All present Alabama Kernachans are descended from their 3 sons: Robert T Kernachan III (1855), John Simmons Kernachan (1857) and William Jones Kernachan (1859). All three sons made their mark in Alabama history. More on them later.

Mary Lucy Kernachan, the youngest, was born September 24, 1829. She was the first wife of John Nicholas Malone, who later married her cousin Rebecca Ann Charlotte Jones Simmons, mother of her sister-in-law, Ann Elizabeth Ellen Simmons. They had 3 children together before Lucy died in 1849: Algernon Kernachan Malone (1846), Robert Booth Malone (1847) and Sarah A "Sally" Malone (1848).

In several newspaper articles and pieces of business, we found out a little of who the Kernachans were.:

From the Nashville Christian Advocate: Oct 2, 1851

     Maria Williams, wife of James Williams, Daughter of Abram and Martha Kernachan, died September 1, 1851, in the 30th year of her age. 

If you notice, in the cemetery, her husband is "Isaac B Williams".

From Newspaer Abstracts from The Huntsville Daily Mercury, contributed by KL Stacy, 

Florence Notes  Nov 22, 1885

A Young Man Kills himself accidentally

"Mr. Robert T. Kernachan, one of our most popular and worthy young men, was wounded  Thursday evening by the accidental discharge of his gun, and from  the effects of which he died yesterday. He leaves behind a wife and two little children, and a host of friends  to mourn his sad and untimely end. He will be buried today at the family burying ground in Colberts Reserve in this county. "

The Nashville Christian Advocate, about the same time reported:
Robert T Kernachan died near Florence, Alabama, November 20, 1885 in his 31st year of age of accidental gunshot wound; married Blanche Moore, Jan. 18 1881, two children.

The two children were John Simmons Kernachan and William J. Kernachan, both who grew up to be distinguished men.

NASHVILLE CHRISTIAN ADVOCATE, V. 29, #6. February 6, 1869
ROBERT KERNACHAN d Jan. 14, 1869, aged 73rd year; native of Ireland; came to Philadelphia, Pa. at age 6 and then to Lauderdale Co., Ala. where he died; joined MEC in 1821 or 1822.

Note: MEC stands for "Methodist Episcopal Church"

"Sister" KERNACHAN born Mecklenburg Co., Va., Nov. 3, 1791; died March 1, 1847; moved to Tenn. in 1818; married Abram Kernachan (died March 12, 1833), 1820, and settled in Lauderdale Co., Ala. the same year; four daughters and one son. She married, as a widow, to Robert Kernachan, May 1834.



Kernachan PlantationLauderdale

In 1810, the Chickasaws complained that between 4000 and 5000 people had illegally invaded their territory. By 1816, Isaac Barker, a government agent reported 200 to 300 families living around the Shoals of the Tennesse River, which included the Muscle Shoals area in Lauderdale County, Alabama.

Abraham, or Abram, as he is often seen, was born in Donegal, Ireland. We know that he arrived first in Philadelphia, in 1799,  and that at some point prior to 1820, he had removed to Tennessee. The obituary for Martha Booth Kernachan states that they married in Tennesee about 1820. Younger brother Robert Thomas Kernachan would later join Abraham and Martha in Lauderdale County, Alabama, but another younger brother, Andrew, would remain in Shelby County, Tennesse. He was the father of two daughters who would remove to Cincinatti, Ohio. Several of the Alabama Kernachans would later visit Cincinatti. William Jones Kernachan is recorded as having been born there, and the obituary of Francis Harwood Jones, who married Abrahams daughter Eliza, states that they lived for a little while in Cincinatti. Francis H. Jones was also a cousin of Eliza Kernachan, being the son of Francis F Jones and Nancy Ann Booth, sister of Martha Booth Kernachan.

Inventory Book "A" of Lauderdale County, Alabama records 22 patents of land to Abraham Kernachan dated February 6, 1822 in Township 3 South, Range 12 West.

This township borders the Tennesee River (Pickwick Lake) to the south. It continues across the river into Colbert County, Alabama.

The Kernachan Cemetery which contains the remains of Abraham and his brother Robert lies in Colbert County. The Kernachan plantation lie in Lauderdale County.

April 6, 1822, Twins Muriel G and Mariah C Kernachan are born.

On April 25, 1822 Abraham Kernachan record his livestock mark as "a swallow fork in each ear". p 116

December 3, 1823 Eliza Ann Kernachan is born.

On October 20, 1823, Abraham is recorded as living in the community of "Smithsonia".

May 16, 1826 Matilda Bloomfield Kernachan is born.

1826 Abraham Kernachan files a lawsuit in Lawrence County, Alabama suing his brother-in-law, Harper Booth. Another party mentioned is another brother-in-law, Francis Jones, husband of Nancy Ann Booth Jones. Abraham wins the suit and Harper Booth has to pay him the $1279.25 that was borrowed in 1822.

September 19, 1827 Robert Thomas Kernachan II is born.

September 4, 1829 Mary Lucy Kernachan is born.

In the 1830 census, Abraham was the Head of Household of nearly his own town, with a total of 55 persons in his household. Many small towns did not have that many citizens.

He grew Cotton.

Abraham Kernachan
[Abraham Kernahan] 
Home in 1830 (City, County, State):Lauderdale, Alabama
Free White Persons - Males - Under 5:1 Robert T II
Free White Persons - Males - 20 thru 29:1 Likely an employee
Free White Persons - Males - 30 thru 39:1  Robert
Free White Persons - Males - 50 thru 59:1   Abraham
Free White Persons - Females - Under 5:1 Mary Lucy
Free White Persons - Females - 5 thru 9:3 Mariah, Matilda, Eliza
Free White Persons - Females - 30 thru 39:1 Martha
Slaves - Males - Under 10:6
Slaves - Males - 10 thru 23:9
Slaves - Males - 24 thru 35:5
Slaves - Males - 36 thru 54:5
Slaves - Females - Under 10:8
Slaves - Females - 10 thru 23:6
Slaves - Females - 36 thru 54:4
Slaves - Females - 55 thru 99:3
Free White Persons - Under 20:5
Free White Persons - 20 thru 49:3
Total Free White Persons:9
Total Slaves:46
Total - All Persons (Free White, Slaves, Free Colored):55

The one male between 20 and 29 was probaly an employee, like the John Cradock living with Robert in 1850.

A history of Lauderdale County states that the major Cotton mills were established between 1836 and 1840.   The Cypress Creek area of Lauderdale saw the devopment of the Kernachan Mill and the Skipworth Mill, which would later be purchased by Mr James Martin and Mr. Levi Cassity and renamed the Globe Factory or called the Cypress Mill.

March 12, 1833 Abraham Kernachan died.

In May of 1834, his widow, Martha B Kernachan, married his brother Robert Thomas Kernachan, Sr.

The Kernachan name has many variations. There were quite possibly more relatives left in the Philadelphia area, some may have even moved to New York.

Variations found are: Kernighan, Kernohan, Kernachon, Carnachen, Carnaghan, Carnalan, Carnaman, Carnan, Carnilon, Kennon.

They were first found in County Donegal, Ireland, where they held a seat from early times. Abraham's Tombstone reads:

"Abraham Kernachan b 1783 Corrigan Co, Donegal, Ireland    d 12 Mar 1833 in Lauderdale County Alabama".

While the only siblings we can be sure of is Robert, who married his widow and John, who remained in Ireland and is mentioned in Robert's will, and whose descendants may have came to claim an inheritance, and Andrew, who remained in Tennesse, and whose daughters the family still had interactions with, there is a mention of a Revolutionary War soldier:
William Carnahan or Kernachan , enlisted 13 April 1791 Private Pennsylvania line. Enlisted at Little York, PA.
He applied for a pention Nov 1, 1818, at age 68, in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. The 1820 record lists him with wife Grissel, 74 and 2 children living in the home. (Grandchildren perhaps?). This would have William born about 1750. Maybe he was the father of the Kernchans, or some other relative.

There is an 1869 record of name changes in Pennsylvania wherein a William Henry Kernachan changed his name to William Henry Kenyon. Perhaps he wanted to sound less Irish.

Robs Kernahan
Home in 1840 (City, County, State):Lauderdale, Alabama
Free White Persons - Males - 10 thru 14:1   Robert II  13
Free White Persons - Males - 20 thru 29:1   Employee ?
Free White Persons - Males - 40 thru 49:1   Robert    47
Free White Persons - Females - 10 thru 14:1  Lucy 11
Free White Persons - Females - 15 thru 19:2  Eliza 17, Matilda 14 (Mariah married, Muriel deceased)
Free White Persons - Females - 40 thru 49:1  Martha  48
Slaves - Males - Under 10:19
Slaves - Males - 10 thru 23:10
Slaves - Males - 24 thru 35:9
Slaves - Males - 36 thru 54:5
Slaves - Males - 55 thru 99:1
Slaves - Females - Under 10:15
Slaves - Females - 10 thru 23:10
Slaves - Females - 24 thru 35:5
Slaves - Females - 36 thru 54:4
Slaves - Females - 55 thru 99:3
Persons Employed in Agriculture:40
Free White Persons - Under 20:4
Free White Persons - 20 thru 49:3
Total Free White Persons:7
Total Slaves:81
Total All Persons - Free White, Free Colored, Slaves:88

By 1840, Roberts' Household had grown considerably. In a history of Lauderdale County, for the year 1860, he was listed as one of the largest planters in the county, along with George Armstead, Nathan Boddie, William H Key, Robert M Patton and others.

The court records hold summons for Roberts service in several different years:

April 4, 1844 Petit Jurors:
Robert Kernachan, farmer, Sinking Creek

Sept 29, 1845 Summoned to Grand Jury: Robert Kernachan, farmer, Sinking Creek

1850 Traves Jurors:

Robert Kernachan, farmer, Sinking Creek

April 13,1857
Robert Kernachan, farmer, Reserve

While the elder Robert was serving on the Jury, Robert, the younger was appearing in court. He had multiple problems of his own.

They both appeared in the 1850 census:
R T Kernahan
[Robert Thomas Kernahan Sr
Birth Year:abt 1794
Home in 1850:District 1, Lauderdale, Alabama
Family Number:801
Household Members:
R T Kernahan56
John Crodock22

R T Kernahan
[Robert Thomas Kernachan jr
Birth Year:abt 1827
Home in 1850:District 1, Lauderdale, Alabama
Family Number:800
Household Members:
R T Kernahan23

In 1843, another mention of Robert Kernachan, Sr., was in the court papers:

In the matter of Robert Kernachan, Trustee, etc. of Mariah B Moffett, a decree was rendered by the chancellor removing the said trustee, and appointing James C Malone in his stead.

This decree led to the next phase in Mariah's life.

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