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
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
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,
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