30. The James Kennedy Family Previous topic Parent topic Child topic Next topic

Table 1-25. Four Generations of Ancestors of Leah Lanham

1st 2nd 3rd 4th
Leah LANHAM (b.1785;d.1830) Thomas LANHAM (b.1757;d.abt1840) Stephen LANHAM (b.1726;d.1806) Thomas LANHAM (b.1700/01)
Sarah (b. abt1702)
Leah BEALL (b. abt1730)
Patience SAPPINGTON (b.1764;d.1836) John SAPPINGTON (b.1723) Nathaniell SAPINTON JR. (b.1688)
Margaret HARTLEY (b.abt1692)
Margarett _______ (b.abt1725)
Leah LANHAM, oldest daughter of Thomas and Patience Lanham, was born abt. 1785, d. abt 1830. She married James Kennedy, 1 Aug 1804. Consent by Thomas Lanham, Father of Bride, Bondsman, Stephen Lanham1 (probably her uncle Stephen but it could be her brother Stephen). According to the 1850 census, James was born in Virginia2. There is no known relationship to any of the other Kennedy’s who settled in, or around, Madison Co., KY, including the Garrard County Kennedy’s who have been thoroughly researched by Gerald Tudor. So James is still a mystery and we’re still looking for his origins and family.
1810 and 1820 census reports do not show James and Leah in Madison County. On 25 Jan 1830, James (who signed with his mark) sold personality to his father-in-law, Thomas Lanham, including two featherbeds, a bolster and counterpain, a pot, a kettle, pair of pothooks, some glass, cupboard, table and six chairs, a chest, a grind stone and cooper tools. We can’t read too much into this because Thomas Lanham frequently loaned/gave money to his kids.
The 1830 census, taken in June, shows James Kennedy, Sr. with one female, 45 and over (Leah), and nine children. A note of interest is the census also shows Mary West and three children are neighbors. We believe Leah, only about 45 years of age, died shortly after the census was taken and the children probably were farmed out to aunts and uncles. Leah had 16 brothers and sisters so there were plenty to go around. It appears that Leah named her children after her brothers and sisters. With an absence of names in the earlier census reports, it is difficult to identify the individual children – birth dates are estimated based on marriage dates and later census reports. James was listed as father of the bride or groom in several marriage bonds from 1832 – 1845.
A household for James is not found in the 1840 census, however 14 Nov 1842, James Kennedy granted Tract and Personality to Mary West3. James Kennedy, 67, and Mary West, 47, are married 15 Nov 18424. During the 1840s, there were a large number of land transactions within the West family in the Otter Creek, Clear Creek, Muddy Creek regions.
We have been unable to find either James or Mary in 1860 but all of Mary’s children have finished selling off property in Madison County and are living in Missouri. We have no knowledge of burial places of any of the Lanhams or Kennedys.
The census taker, in 1850, Madison Co., Dist. 1 lists both Mary and James as Canada, however it is clearly a mistake of spelling because Mary is shown with her son William and James is shown with Mary’s daughter Angeline and her husband George Anderson, next door. On 25 Jan 1847 Mary Kennedy gave permission for son Luke to marry Martha Grooms.5
We have been unable to find either James or Mary in 1860 but all of Mary’s children have finished selling off property in Madison County and are living in Missouri. We have no knowledge of burial places of any of the Lanhams or Kennedys.
The following are the children of James and Leah (Lanham) Kennedy:
i. Daughter, Polly/Mary Kennedy born in 1805, and married Thomas H. Ward, 21 Jul 1824. Bond by Jesse Lanham, brother of her mother Leah Lanham. Consent by James Kennedy, father of the bride.5. In 1830 census, Thomas and Mary are found with two small daughters and a small son in the Western Division of Madison County. Thomas died before the 1850 census which found the widow, Mary Ward, 44, with all 12 of her children at home. (See below for continuation of this line) In 1853, Polly, 48, married (2) widower William T. Ellington, 66. John White, bondsman.6 . In 1860 census, she was the widow Mary Ellington, with sons Thomas Ward, 22; John Wesley Ward, 19, and Levi Ward, 18. In 1870, she was living with son, John Wesley and his wife, Anna Baxter, in the Athens district of Fayette Co. The Ward family Bible gives the date of her death as 10 Oct. 1872.
ii. Daughter, Sarah/Sally Kennedy born in 1810 and married Hardin Golden, 8 June 1832. Richard Golden bondsman, James Kennedy father of the bride. 5 This was a second marriage for Hardin and he died before 1850 leaving Sally with 4 children. In 1850, she is found living near Mary CANADA and James CANADA. In 1853, she married (2) William Crews. Bondsman was William T. Ellington.6. William Ellington was Mary/Polly Ward’s second husband.
iii. Daughter, Margaret Kennedy born in 1812 and married William Messick, 6 Feb 1838, Richard Golden bondsman, James Kennedy father of the bride. 5
iv. Son, Thomas Kennedy born about 1815 and married Elizabeth Messick, 20 Jul 1840. William Messick bondsman, James Kennedy father of the groom.5
v. Daughter, Leah Kennedy born in 1816 and who in 1850 was living with her aunt and uncle, Sarah Lanham and John Sappington. Sarah Lanham married late in life, staying home to take care of her father, Thomas, till his death in 1840, after which she married a cousin, John Sappington. They opened their home to various nieces and nephews over the years. The 1860 census shows Leah living with her aunt and uncle Margaret Lanham and Zepheniah Fowler in Montgomery Co. Kentucky.
vi. Daughter, Jemima Kennedy born about 1822 and married 21 Dec 1842 to John White, Samuel White bondsman, James Kennedy father of the bride.5 John White, was the bondsman some 20 years later when Polly/Mary married William Ellington after Thomas H. Ward had died.
vii. Daughter, Martha/Patsy Kennedy born in 1824 and married Benjamin Golden, 12 Jul 1845. Richard Golden bondsman, James Kennedy father of the bride.5 FG. Her birth date was determined by her age 36 shown in 1860 census. They moved to Rockcastle for several years. And in 1860 they were back farming in the Western Subdivision of Madison County with children: Jonathan N, 13; George W., 11; Oscar H., 8; Ann H., 6; and Edna C., 3.
viii. Son, James Kennedy born in 1825, James, was living with Uncle John and Aunt Sarah Sappington in Montgomery Co. KY. His sister Leah is there, also, along with cousin Thomas S. Ward, 14, son of Mary/Polly and Thomas H. Ward. By 1860, James, now age 35, cooper, is living in the household of Zepheniah Fowler, whose wife was another of Thomas Lanham’s children, Margaret, so he moved from one aunt to another. He also brought his wife, Cynthia. We haven’t found a marriage for that couple, but they sold property together years later and appear to have been married, not other siblings.
Clearly, we are missing two children who were shown in the 1830 census. Mary/Polly was already married and living away from home. There is a surprising 5 year gap between the births of Mary/Polly in 1805 and Sarah/Sally in 1810. Perhaps children were born and died or perhaps we have just not found one or two others.
A possible child might be William Kennedy, b. 1808 who married Polly Guire, 10 Mar 1820. Bondsman John Guire. Possible children suggested by other researchers have proven to be thoroughly documented as part of the Garrard County Kennedy’s.
1. Madison County Kentucky Marriage Records Vol I, 1786-1822, compiled by Bill and Kathy Vockery.
2. US Census 1850
3. Madison County Mrg. Contr. -1-149
4. Madison County Marriages BK 3W-34
5. Madison County Kentucky Marriage Records Vol II 1823-1851, compiled by Bill and Kathy Vockery.
6. Madison County Kentucky Marriage Records Vol III 1852-1876, compiled by Bill and Kathy Vockery.
We want to thank Suzanne Thompson – Hoffmann, suzannet@bhoffcomp.com, for providing the following information on Leah Lanham and descendants. Suzanne descends from Leah and James Kennedy -> Mary/Polly Kennedy and Thomas H. Ward -> John Wesley Ward and Anna Baxter (Anna being the granddaughter of Archibald Lanham who was Leah Lanham’s brother) -> William Jackson Ward and Lottie Brower -> Minnie Irene Ward and Arnold Lillegaard -> Charlotte Suzanne Lillegaard Thompson-Hoffmann.