Each month, The Kentucky Explorer magazine receives literally scores of letters from our faithful readers. Whenever possible, we try to publish as many of them as possible in the 12 pages we have set aside for "Letters to the Editor."
Here are actual letters from our December 2004/January 2005 issue:
Treasured Old Photo Found
When my brother, David W. Centers, passed away last year I found a photo, among his genealogy papers, of a beautiful young woman holding twins. Luckily, someone had written on the back "Rosie Barnett." I wanted to know who she was and my family's connection to her? There were no Barnetts in my family tree. Her name was just enough information to start the quest for her history and identity. With access to a computer and genealogy software, within an hour I was fairly certain that I had answered most of my questions about the young woman and her twins.
I knew that the lady probably came from Wolfe, Morgan, or Breathitt County, since these counties are home to our Centers/Taulbee/Turner/Brewer family. Luckily, I happened to start with the 1930 Breathitt County census and hit the jackpot. There I found a Rose Barnett who was the mother of twins. In 1930 the George Barnett family lived in Elliotsville, or Quicksand, Breathitt County. George was age 59 and Rose was 58. They had three boys: Luther, Ollie, and Roy; and, just what I was looking for, a set of twins; Alfred, age 21, and Clayton, age 21. Surprisingly, Clayton was a girl.
I then went back to the 1920 census and found other children: Dovie, Della, and Bessie. This time their home, although the location had not changed, was listed as the Quicksand/Portsmouth area. Then, looking at the May 12, 1910, census, I found one more child; Agnes, age 11.
All of this was very interesting, but it still did not explain how my family came to possess a photograph of this young mother and her babies. I could see no connection between our family and the Barnetts. From her age on the census I knew that Rose was born in 1871. So the first time she would be counted on the census would be 1880. I found four Roses born in 1871 in Wolfe, Morgan, and Breathitt counties; but only one (Rose M. Harper, Breathitt County) revealed any sort of connection with my family's history.
As a nine-year-old, Rose M. Harper lived with the George Johnson family on Johnson Fork. Her sister, Rhoda S. Harper, age seven, lived nearby with Charles and Mary Johnson. Their neighbors were William Shackelford and his first wife, Zerilda. That was the connection to my family. When my grandmother was eight years old and Rose was nine, they lived close to each other on Johnson Fork. Perhaps, they were playmates. Many years later in 1921, my grandmother, Nannie Belle Brewer Turner, married Mr. Shackelford.
I would love to hear from anyone who has more information on Rose Barnett. I want to return this photograph to her family, and I know they will treasure it.
1918 Yancey Avenue
Montgomery, AL 36107
Info. Wanted On Sid Hignite
I am writing first of all to thank you for publishing such a fine, well-written, and informative magazine. It is outstanding.
In the May 2004 issue of The Kentucky Explorer, on page 38, there is a picture of men at a mining camp office in the Hazard area. I would like to know if any reader has any information on the photo. My grandfather, Sid Hignite, worked at the Indian Head Coal Mine at Bulan, Perry County, Kentucky, and also in other areas of Hazard from about 1920 until 1947.
Sid Hignite was killed in a car accident in 1949, and we only have two pictures of him. I think he is the man at the far left of the picture. I would like any information that could be provided as to who the man is, or if anyone remembers the Sid Hignite family. My mother recalls that they lived in the mining camp of Hilton and that Allis was within walking distance.
I am also looking for the father and mother of Henry J. Hignite. Henry was born May 1850 in Kentucky and died March 3, 1932, in Perry County.
Any information would be greatly appreciated.
Kathy J. Harville
923 W. Pine Hill Road
London, KY 40744
L&N Train Wreck
I have searched for answers about a L&N train wreck which occurred on February 13, 1946. During the wreck two men were injured; one died at the scene; and one man, Jasper Marlowe, my father, lived to get to Hazard (Perry County), Kentucky.
The wreck happened between Barwick and Altro in Breathitt County, Kentucky.
I heard The Kentucky Explorer printed an article about this wreck in 2000. I would like to have a copy of this magazine if anyone has one available.
Mrs. J. Marlowe Blackwell
419 Riddell Court
Irvine, KY 40336