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 April 2005
I would like to have some of the old-fashioned ox heart tomato
seeds and yellow and white dent corn seeds, not hybrid.
I would be grateful if someone would share these seeds with me.
2076 Hannah Lane
Grayson, KY 41143
I am so happy that I was introduced to The Kentucky Explorer
by a cousin, Kenneth Dale Walt. It is amazing that there are
so many people researching their family trees. I love the pictures
and the memories of others. Since I subscribed my husband and
I have met and exchanged visits and pictures with many cousins
we never knew existed. Some were so close by that we could quickly
drive to their home. I also trade e-mails with many other cousins
from many different states who have helped me so much with names,
dates, and some very precious pictures.
While I have gotten a lot of help from the magazine, no one has
been able to help me find any information on my second great-grandfather
Simpson Kilburn. By the two census I have found in Breathitt
County he was born ca. 1869 in Kentucky, as were his parents.
He married Martha Jane Bowman in Kentucky (possibly Jackson County).
Martha was born in Jackson County, the daughter of William Major
Simpson Bowman and Mary Ann Stevens. Simpson and Martha's known
children were born in Breathitt County: Nora, March 1893 (married
James Gross); Mary Jane, October 1894; Lilly May, July 1898;
Brack, July 1899; Hattie, 1902; Opsie, after 1910; and Ollie,
Simpson Kilburn was recorded in Breathitt County Census in 1900
as Simson Cilbourne and in 1910 as Sim Cilborn. His wife Martha
Jane Bowman Kilburn died December 24, 1953 in Butler County,
Ohio. Her obituary states that her husband Sim died 40 years
earlier. She came to Ohio 35 years earlier. She had surviving
her at that time three daughters: Mrs. Earl Muncy of Irvine,
Kentucky; Mrs. Mary Anderson, Paintsville, Kentucky; and Mrs.
Hattie Barnett, Hamilton, Ohio; two sons, Brack Kilburn, Hamilton,
Ohio; and Ollie Kilburn, Irwin, Kentucky; and two sisters: Mrs.
Hulda Barrett, Lebanon, Ohio; and Mrs. Lula Kilburn, Lowe, Kentucky.
I have always thought it odd that Martha's father's name was
Simpson and she also married a man named Simpson, but family
members are adamant that his name was Simpson. I would appreciate
contact from anyone with information on any of the above, especially
Family stories vary as to what happened to Simpson Kilburn. One
story says that he ran around a lot, and at one time Martha caught
him with another woman. A fight broke out, and the other woman
was said to have cut off Martha's hand with a knife, and Martha
may have killed Simpson and the other woman. Another story says
that Simpson got another woman pregnant with no answer for how
Martha lost her right hand. The truth in these stories isn't
known for sure. It is true that Martha Jane (Bowman) Kilburn
had a wooden hand. She always wore a black glove over it (see
photo at left).
Anyone with information on any of the above names please contact
me. Also, I would appreciate old photos or history of Breathitt
28 Thornhill Drive
Hamilton, Ohio 45013
I would like information regarding the Biggs-James feud in Carter
County, Kentucky. I was told that the conflict between the families
began over an incident during the Civil War. I do know that my
Great-Great-Grandfather James was murdered.
Jennie James Ragland
2403 Ford Avenue
Owensboro, KY 42301