Letters To The Editor

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 November 2015

"Genealogy Helpline" Helpful
Dear Editor:
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 them again.
Thanks so much for The Explorer.
Shannon Devore
P. O. Box 97
Perry Park, KY 40363

Moses Stepp Came
To Pigeon Roost In 1826

Dear Editor:
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 as 1855.
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 of Moses.
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).
Homer Muncy
6335 Meathouse Road
Pilgrim, KY 41250

Enjoys The Magazine
Dear Editor:
Thanks so much for publishing The Kentucky Explorer.
I am 77 years old and really enjoy the magazine. Each issue is so interesting.
Keep up the great work.
Mildred Barnett
1 Clem Hoskins Boulevard, #2F
Campbellsville, KY 42718

From Floyd County
Dear Editor:
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 Hayes.
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 work.
Rev. Ralph Hall
42 Hayes Branch
Hi Hat, KY 41636

The Kentucky Drifters
Dear Editor:
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.