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."
actual letters from November 2015
Thanks to The Kentucky Explorer for the "Genealogy Helpline."
I have found more names that have connected to my ancestors,
especially on my grandmothers' sides.
I have found two cousins on the Beatty side and two cousins on
the Smith side.
I talk once a week with Faye Cram of Brazil, Indiana. We are
so much alike. Our great-grandfathers were Henry and Joshua Smith
of Franklin County, Kentucky.
I enjoy reading The Kentucky Explorer, because there are so many
interesting stories and genealogy.
I gave the Owen County Library all my old issues for the genealogy
room. I've gone back to the library to check them out and enjoy
Thanks so much for The Explorer.
P. O. Box 97
Perry Park, KY 40363
Moses Stepp Came
To Pigeon Roost In 1826
Moses Stepp reportedly has two birth years. Military records
give Moses Stepp's birth year as 1763 and his death date as 1855
or 1856. An old stone at his grave at Pigeon Roost in what is
now Martin County reads his birth year as 1735 and date of death
I found where he fought in the Revolutionary War for three short
periods and also fought Indians and Tories in South Carolina
and Tennessee. Later in life, he was the first settler/hunter
to come into the valley of Pigeon Roost around 1826.
Pigeon Roost got its name because pigeons would come in to roost
late in the evening. There were so many they darkened the sky
and broke branches off the trees. The settlers soon found that
they were good to eat and wiped them out over time.
As a former history teacher, I find this as an interesting piece
of history that a Revolutionary War soldier came to Pigeon Roost
to spend his life.
Moses' wife was Sally Jackson, who I believe died in another
state. A tombstone for Moses' daughter, Mary Stepp Howard (1806-1880
or 1890) and husband, James Howard, is located above the grave
I have not researched the lines, but I would say Moses Stepp's
descendants are numerous. By typing in the name, many choices
of information are available on the Internet.
My wife, Betty, and I had never been to this cemetery prior to
August 5, 2015. Before this the Department of Parks had kept
the cemetery mowed, but this year, citing lack of funds, it has
not been done. So, my wife and I returned that evening and mowed
and raked the grass before we took these pictures.
"Find A Grave" has an incorrect address listed as Threeforks,
Kentucky. Enter Laura, Kentucky, in a GPS and it should provide
directions to KY 1714 at Pigeon Roost (the cemetery is about
three miles on the left).
6335 Meathouse Road
Pilgrim, KY 41250
Enjoys The Magazine
Thanks so much for publishing The Kentucky Explorer.
I am 77 years old and really enjoy the magazine. Each issue is
Keep up the great work.
1 Clem Hoskins Boulevard, #2F
Campbellsville, KY 42718
From Floyd County
I was born in Melvin, Floyd County, Kentucky, on April 30, 1936.
My wife, Claudette Hayes, was born at Hi Hat, also in Floyd County,
on February 9, 1941. Her parents were Claude Hayes and Opal Brown
Claudette and I went to Wheelwright High School and were married
on December 3, 1957. We had four children: Ralph Keith Hall,
who was killed by a car as he crossed the road in Bristol, Tennessee,
in 1966; Rhonda Hall Clay, who lives in Louisville; and Rita
and Tony, who both live at Hi Hat. We have eight grandchildren
and 15 great-grandchildren.
I was a schoolteacher, and Clau-dette is a hair stylist. We pastor
the Church of God of Prophecy at Ligon in Floyd County.
I have pastored for 49 years. I have written five books, which
are available at ralphhallbooks.com.
Claudette and I have our problems, but love and being good friends
have kept us together for 58 years. The real keeper is Jesus
whom we both love and serve. He is the glue that makes a marriage
Rev. Ralph Hall
42 Hayes Branch
Hi Hat, KY 41636
The Kentucky Drifters
In the 1950s country bands were popping up all over Eastern Kentucky.
A band called the Kentucky Drifters got together around 1951.
Many of the musicians in the band were part of the Crisp family.
They played a lot of the honky-tonks in the Huntington (West
Virginia)-Ashland (Kentucky)-Ironton (Ohio) Tri-State area, in
the late 1940s and 1950s.
Denny Crisp sang and played the guitar. He was part of a lot
of country bands over the years. He started the Rockdale Country
Music Hall in the 1950s which ran for a few years.
In the 1980s, Denny and Phyllis Crisp had a country opry called
Coalton Jubilee in Boyd County, Kentucky. This program ran for
about ten years. Phyllis was a great country music singer.
Denny and Phyllis had five children who all played music. Rodney,
the youngest, could play any instrument with strings. Amber Crisp
Martin sings at Shepherdsville, Bullitt County, Kentucky, and
Corydon, Indiana, at the Corydon Jamboree. Amber has a CD called
Enter In and Denny wrote the title song.
Denny and his sons, Ronald and Rodney, often go to Shepherdsville
and to the Corydon Jamboree to put on a show with Amber. When
the Crisps are booked, the show is a sell out.
Denny plays old traditional country music. He still likes to
sing "Waltz Across Texas." Denny is one of the legends
of the past. Even though he is 83 years old he still knows how
to put on a good country music show.
A. V. "Ott" Ratliff
1012 Raceland Avenue
Raceland, KY 41169
These are just samples of
the many letters in each issue of The Explorer.