Sherlene\’s G-LOG

Making Sense of the Census (Fording the Langs, at Present)

Sarah or “Sally” Lankford (b. abt. 1783, Lincoln Co. KY, d/o Joseph and Mary __, d. abt. 1856, Whitley Co. KY), mother of seven

NAME: More than one researcher has listed Sarah and Sally Lankford, as two separate daughters of Joseph and Mary Lankford. Pending documentation that they are two persons, I have merged them as one daughter, “Sarah,” nicknamed “Sally.” –shb 30 Jan 2006 [Note: Regarding my conclusion, Barry D. Wood writes, 6 Aug 2006: “Before the 20th century, Sally was solely and only a nickname for Sarah. Martha L. Green can certainly be forgiven for not knowing that, as in our time people are always choosing nicknames as the legal given names of their children, but in colonial times it was not so. Joseph Langford’s daughter Sarah is the identical person as his supposed ‘other’ daughter Sally.” –shb 6 Aug 2006

BIRTH: Sarah was under age 18 in 1800 (Ida-Rose Langford Hall, in her “Descendants of Fielding Langford” book). –shb 10 Oct 2004

ABT 1783–BIRTH IN LINCOLN COUNTY, KENTUCKY/DAUGHTER OF JOSEPH LANGFORD: Information courtesy of Shi Wordsworth, forwarded to shb, 23 Jan 2006. Shi says her information is based on research by Martha Langford Green, who names Sally’s father as Joseph Langford. –shb 14 Oct 2003, 24 Jan 2006

1797-1798–JOHN FARRIS APPOINTED “SALLY” LANGFORD’S GUARDIAN: E-letter, 29 Jan 2006, from Shiron Wordsworth to shb: “This past weekened, I was in touch with a gentleman researching original tax records and land grants in what was once Lincoln County, Kentucky. This gentleman assured me there is evidence that Mary Langford, Joseph’s wife, died about 1797 or 98. In 1798, John Farris was appointed the legal guardian of Sally Langford, who was a child of Joseph and Mary Langford. John Farris was married to Jenny Langford, another daughter of Joseph and Mary. The logical conclusion to be drawn from that guardianship is that Jenny and John assumed responsibility for the minor child of Jenny’s parents, at her mother’s death.” –shb 30 Nov 2006 [Note: I believe the “gentleman” referred to was local historian, Jeff Renner, who has been most helpful, answering my queries. I had the pleasure of meeting him at the May 2007 Stephen Langford Memorial Reunion, in Mt. Vernon, Kentucky, when he showed us how to find the still-standing chimney/hearthstone of my ancestor, Walker Lankford currently thought to be Sally’s brother–shb.]

WAS SALLY’S MOTHER MARY STILL ALIVE? I sent this letter to our Langfords, 11 July 2006, that I prefaced with Barry Wood’s response, 10 July 2006, to my thought (along with the above-mentioned, unnamed researcher) that Sally Lankford’s choosing her sister Jenny’s husband John(son) Farris as her guardian means that her father Joseph’s wife Mary (my ancestors) had died. Wrote Barry:

“Not to be a wet blanket, but I don’t agree that Mary (Warren) Lankford had to be dead in order for Sally to choose someone else as her guardian. Minors under 14 didn’t get a choice. Above 14 (at least in some states), they could make a choice other than the mother, even if the mother were still alive. To restate the obvious, the child was still considered an ‘orphan’ if his or her father was deceased, even if the mother were still alive. There could have been many reasons, above and beyond the death of Mary (Warren) Langford, for Sally to choose her sister’s husband as her guardian. These reasons would have included the general societal assumption of those times that men were better at dealing with such matters.

[Note: Shi Wordsworth wrote that Sally was already living with the Farrises before she named head of the household, Johnson Farris, as her guardian–shb.]

“I’d be more impressed if the tax lists for this period reflected that property which Mary had occupied following Joseph Langford’s death was taxed to his heirs or estate starting in 1797 or 1798.

” BW”

Shiron Wordsworth’s response, next day, to Barry’s letter of 10 July 2006:

“In thinking about Sally, I remembered that she was mentioned in Joseph’s will which was written in 1783, and there appears to be a younger child in the family, Joseph. So Sally was at least 14 in 1797, and possibly older. I don’t know what Kentucky’s laws were in 1797, with regard to minors choosing a guardian, so I guess it’s possible that she was old enough to choose Johnson Farris as guardian irrespective of her mother.

“Maybe our researcher might be of some help here. He says that “the land that Mary Langford had in 1797 was on the West Fork of Dick’s River according to the tax list. It had been entered, etc. for John Farris.”

“I don’t know whether this is an indication that Mary gave her land to John Farris while she was still living or if this indicates that she was dead at this time. It does seem interesting that in 1797, John Farris’ name is mentioned in connection with land Mary had paid taxes on, and in that same year, John Farris assumes guardianship of Mary’s daughter, Sally. I do remember the researcher saying that after 1797, he finds no mention of Mary in the records. But maybe he hasn’t gotten to that record yet.

“I just wish that Stephen Langford had been the surety on Johnson Farris’ bond and not William Allen who must have been a good friend of John Farris. But the compassionate side of me wants a Langford to have stepped up to the bar of justice and proved the value of that young woman’s life. Stephen certainly had the means to do such a thing. Well, rats!” [Note: Shi is a descendant of Stephen Lankford, but stays current on our research involving our ancestor, Joseph Lankford, as we are convinced that Stephen and Joseph are related–we just can’t prove how, at this point–shb.] [Note: DNA evidence about such a relationship has not been encouraging, to say the least.] –shb 6 Jan 2007

My brother-in-law Barry Wood responds to Shi’s e-letter, 12 July 2006: “Good points. I’m not 100% sure, as far as Kentucky is concerned, on the choice of guardian statute. It has been too many years since I was researching the families of my two great great great granduncles, Daniel and John Hufford / Hoffert, who were killed by robbers around 1819. I seem to recall reading records of some of their children choosing guardians after age 14.

“In mentioning both Daniel and John, I should qualify that by saying that although I’m 100% sure that John was murdered, returning home (probably from Lexington) after having sold his crop, with Daniel, it’s a family memory that he died in the same fashion, but I haven’t seen a contemporaneous newspaper account to confirm. This seems to have been a major reason, again, according to the family story, why most of the Huffords left Kentucky. In any event, I had other orphaned ancestors in Ohio a few years later, and there they definitely acquired the right to choose their own guardian (subject to approval by the court) when they turned 14.

“Barry” –shb 12 July 2006

Sherlene’s response to Barry’s letter of 10 July 2006 (much of this was copied to all our Langfords or to those most active, doing family research):

“Barry, it’s never a ‘wet blanket’ to shed light on ancestral history and correct a misperception. Thanks for the insight about reasons for assigning guardianship. I’m wondering if the fact that Sally was in court and the names of Charles Warren and Stephen Lankford were mentioned that same day really means that they were all in court together. Do you know, Barry? Did they make road assignments without those involved being present
there in court to accept the assignments? On the surface it seems likely that they all traveled in together down the Old Wilderness Road and Logan’s Trace to the courthouse at Stanford and that’s why their names were involved in court matters on the same day.

“Attached [also to Sally’s media file–shb] is a drawing of the Logan Fort site, where the original Lincoln County courthouse was built in 1786 (the case involving Sally’s guardianship and mention of Charles and Stephen took place eleven years later, on 10 Oct 1797). This drawing was posted at <,&gt;
with this label: ‘Original courthouse on this site was in 1786. Records contained in this
building date back in 1779, some written on sheepskin. The Fiscal Court room contains some of the finest portraits of Lincoln County judges.’ [You might want to go to the site to see the drawing, as it did not copy over very well–shb.]

“Stanford was named for Benjamin Logan [was his home town Stamford, in England?–shb], a hero among early settlers for successfully fighting off Indian attacks. Logans Fort was located near the existing Stanford downtown district, and Stanford became the County seat. Crab Orchard is a small town in eastern Lincoln County, located about ten miles southeast of Stanford. Several sites say that Crab Orchard was probably named for a stand of crab apple trees, which delights me, since Dan and I unknowingly planted a crab apple in our front yard 10-15 years ago that is a source of delight in spring for it’s lovely, fragrant pink blooms and, in fall, for it’s bright-colored leaves. (However, it’s a royal pain, otherwise, to have to clean up mounds of fallen tiny apples that attract deer to our front yard in winter, if we don’t get every single one up before the snows fall). Anybody have a good crab-apple pickle recipe or other good use for this miniature fruit?

“My Langford mother also had a crab apple tree in her yard, but I think she took it out because she got tired of cleaning up the fallen fruit. Perhaps on first planting it, she knew its historical significance.

“Crab Orchard was at the end of Logan’s Trace of the Wilderness Road and was an early pioneer station. There are several mineral springs in the area, and from 1827 until 1922 taverns and hotels were located at Crab Orchard Springs. Charles Warren was granted a license to keep a tavern on 18 Oct 1796, nearly a year before this 1797 session where Sally chose her guardian. I’m wondering if his tavern was in Crab Orchard, since his daughter Mary Polly married our Walker Lankford, who hailed from there.

“I like to think that Stephen came down the Wilderness road that day with a carriage drawn by fine Kentucky horses, attended by one of his slaves. Perhaps along the way he picked up the rest, including, perhaps, Walker (son of Joseph), Walker’s sisters Sally and Jenny, and Jenny’s husband, John[son] Farris. Did Charles Warren join them, since his name was also mentioned, on a road matter, in court that day? (His daughter Mary/Polly Warren, age 13-17 at the time, married Walker Lankford nearly three years later, in September, 1880.)

“How long do you think it took a horse and carriage to travel ten miles on an October day? I can see them returning to Crab Orchard for a Kentucky chicken picnic near a stand of red-leafed crab apple trees–perhaps staying to visit longer and lodge with their Crab Orchard relatives.

“Sherlene” –shb 11 July 2006

WILDERNESS CONDITIONS: (See notes under same heading, notes of Sally’s mother, Mary Lankford–shb.) –shb 30 Jan 2006

1800, FEBRUARY 25–MARRIAGE OF “SALLY LANGFORD” TO CORNELIUS GATLIFF: Kentucky Vital Statistics, compiled by Annie Walker Burns (Frankfort, Kentucky), 1931, p. 25, searched by shb at the FHL, Salt Lake City, Utah: “Gatliff, Cornelius – Langford, Sally, 2-25-1800, [witness] Langford, Mary mo.” –shb 10 Oct 2004 [Note it was this entry that helped me decide that Jean Langford is Sally’s sister, since Sally was already listed as a child of Joseph and Mary, but all I had for them was a “Jenny,” who could be Jean. However, the witness for both Sally and Jean was listed the same, as “Langford, Mary mo.”] –shb 10 Oct 2004

GREAT-GRANDSON ACCUSED OF MURDER/DAUGHTER ANNE ESTRANGED? From e-letter by Patricia or “Pat” Hickerson to shb, 23 Jul 2007: “A distant cousin of mine Charles Finley, great grandson of Cornelius Gatliff and Sally Lankford, purportedly engineered the assassination of Governor elect of Kentucky, William Goebel, in 1900. At least Goebel was shot from the window of Finley’s office in the Frankfort state building where he was a legislator. He and his cohorts, the so-called ‘mountain men’ from Whitley County, fled into Indiana for a couple of years. Then Finley resumed his ‘distinguished career in Kentucky, later going to Washington as an elected congressman! Finley’s father also supposedly cheated my great-grandfather Wm. Meadors (no relation to the Gatliffs except that my grandmother married Charles Adkins, son of Cynthia) out of the coal/oil deposits (later sold to Mobil and then to the govt.) on his farmland. Finley claimed Cornelius had bitterly opposed the marriage of his grandmother, Anne Gatliff, to his grandfather and that, to his knowledge, Anne was permanently estranged from Cornelius and Sally. I have to laugh at the supposed conversation about ‘those no-good Finleys’! My uncle, now dead, was still trying to get back the rights to the coal-rich land of his grandfather in the 1980s. Pat” –shb 23 Jul 2007

1836, 5 JUNE–HUSBAND CORNELIUS GATLIFF MADE WILL–GRANTS HER AND SON JOHN SPEED THREE OF HIS SLAVES. Cornelius appointed two of his sons, “Joseph L. Gatliff” and “Charles H. Gatliff” as executors of “this my last Will and Testament.” In his long will, “Cornelus [sic–shb] Gatliff of the County of Whitley and State of Kentucky” named “my Wife Sally Gatliff” and gave her and their son “Speed” the “third part containing the dwelling home and other improvements where I now live,” along with the “balance of My cattle not disposed of otherwise together with farming tools & other articles be[l]onging to Me and not herein Named,” and “”my three slaves Poll, Dick, and Ben, to the proper use and benefit of my said Wife during the Monety [minority] of my said Son John Speed and on his arriving at the age of Twenty One years the right in full of and to the said Ben to Vest in him, the balance to be and continue to ]”be] the use of my said Wife during her life, and then to decend and be the property of my said Son John Speed.” Sally also got “My cultivator Mare together With all My household and Kitchen furniture and utentials of every discription thereunto belonging, along with (with son John Speed), “My hogs & Sheep.” In addition, Cornelius declared that “My Youngest Yoke of Oxin & unbroke Steers I allow to be Sold and the proceeds applied to building a comfortable dwelling house for my Wife” . . . . “and I earnestly request and enjoin it on my children that they pay due res[p]ect to their Mother and render her all comfort and assistance in their power through life.” –shb 6 Jan 2007

ABT. 1856–SALLY LANGFORD GATLIFF DIES, IN WHITLEY COUNTY, KENTUCKY. From e-note by Patricia or “Pat” Hickerson to shb, 23 Jul 2007: ” . . . . in Ron Jost’s supplemental Gatliff book, I find that Cornelius married Sara Langford February 25, 1800 in Lincoln Co. KY, daughter of Joseph Langford [matches my information–shb]. She was born about 1780, in Virginia [I had 1783, in Lincoln County, Virginia–shb] and died about 1856, in Whitley County, Kentucky” [I only had her death as “aft 10 Oct 1797–shb]. –shb


January 7, 2008 Posted by | Genealogy/Langfords/Iowa Langfords, Kentucky Langfords, Virginia Langfords | Leave a comment

Cornelius Gatliff (b. 25 Mar 1777, Botetourt County, VA, d. Aug-Oct 1836, Whitley Co. KY), m. Sarah/Sally Lankford, d/o Joseph and Mary,

1777, MARCH 25–BIRTH, IN BOTETOURT COUNTY, VIRGINIA. As posted by Bob Francis, on RootsWeb, at, accessed 22 Jul 2007, by shb: “GATLIFF, CORNELIUS (1777–). Son of Charles and Christiana Gatliff ws born March 25, 1777 in Botetourt County, Virginia. (1).” –shb 22 Jul 2007

HAD CHILDREN BY HIS SLAVES, ALONG WITH HIS FATHER? See letter I wrote to Bob Francis, notes of Cornelius’ father, Capt. Charles Gatliff. –shb 22 Jul 2007

1827, OCTOBER–SON CHARLES AND RACHEL WERE DIVORCED, IN PULASKI COUNTY, KENTUCKY. A racy account of counter-accusations of Charles and Rachel and accounts of witnesses, in court, as part of divorce proceedings, are posted by Arnold Taylor at –shb 6 Jan 2007

1836, JUNE 5–MADE WILL, IN WHITLEY COUNTY, KENTUCKY. As published in the Whitley County, Kentucky Will Book 1, 1818-1854, by Stephen H. Broyles, searched by shb, 5 Jan 2007, at the Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah (Call No. US/Can/976.9132/P26), p. 41[initialling anything in brackets that I insert, and bolding names mentioned, as inserted by Broyles (but it did not show up here)–shb]:

“October Term 1836
The last Will and testament of Cornelus Gatliff Decd was produced in Court, proven by the Oaths of Joseph Gilliss and Eli Snyder Subscribing Witnesses thereto which is ordered by the Court to be recorded (which is as follows)

“In the Name of God Amen
I Cornelus Gatliff of the County of Whitley and State of Kentucky being in great bodily pain, but of Sound and disposing Mind and Memory and Wishing to settle my Worldly affairs whilst I have Strength and Capacity so to do do Make this my last Will and Testament Hereby revoking any former Will or Wills heretofore made by me, And first
To my Wife Sally Gatliff and my three Sons

p. 71
“Silas Mc Gatliff, James B. Gatliff & John S. Gatliff I give the land whereon I now live together with a tract adjoining the same Between Me and Burton Litton containing in all Seven hundred and fifty acres to be eaqually [sic–shb] divided in three shares agreeable to quantity and quality as near as may be and My Said Wife and My Son Speed is to have the third part containing the dweling [sic–shb] home, and other improvements where I now live. The balance to be divided betwe[en] my son Silas Mc & James B. by themselves, or in case they cannot agree by referee [?] chosen by them

“2nd To my daughter Jane Faris I give my Negor girl Harriet to her only [p. 42–shb] proper use apart from the controal [sic–shb] of her husband and to dispose of said Girl at her death as she may deem proper, Provided however If the said Jane should die without sons then the children of the said Harriet if any to be the property of my five Sons eaqually.

“3rd To my daughter Anne Finley I give my Negro girl Lane in her own right and her heirs forever

“4th To my Wife and my Son John Speed I give my three slaves Poll, Dick, and Ben, to the proper use and benefit of my said Wife during the Monety [minority] of my said Son John Speed and on his arriving at the age of Twenty One years the right in full of and to the said Ben to Vest in him, the balance to be and continue to [“be”] the use of my said Wife during her life, and then to decend [sic–shb] and be the property of my said Son John Speed

“5 To my four sons Joseph Langford, Charles Harbert, Silis McGun [sic–I had it previously as “McGuire”–shb] and James Britton, I give my three Slaves Jesse, Peter, and Rafer and my said Sons in consideration of Said bequest are Jointly to pay one Moiety of a debt owen [sic–shb] by my father and myself in the Northern Bank

of Kentucky, and they are not to sell or transfer their title of interest in said Slaves except in the family

“6th to my son Charles Harbert I give and bequeath the Land on which he now lives to the use of him and his heirs forever

“7th The fifty acres of Land including the Mill together with said Mill I leave to my Wife and children not to be disposed of in any Other Way during her life

“8th One tract of one hundred Acres lying on Gelico together with an entry of fifty acres adjoining the Same. all which I Value at three hundred dollars Also one tract on Cumberland River of fifty acres which I value at one hundred and fifty dollars and I advise that the above Lands be not Sold untill they will fetch Said Sum So much of the proceeds of of [sic] Said lands to be applied to the Schooling of My son John Speed as will give him a good education. the residue to be divided amongst my Sons eaqully [sic–shb]

“9th Out of the proceeds of the Sales of the grain and Liquor now on hand I allow So much as will pay for a good Saddle and bridle and a good Suit of Clothes for each of my three younger Sons to be applied to be applyed [sic] to that use the residue to the use of the fam[i]ly

“10th Having Made a Survey of five hundred Acres in partnership with Joseph Gillis one half of which belongs to me the proceeds of which when Sold I allow to be divided eaquilly amongst my five sons also the part I hold in a tract of Land purchased of William Earlies heirs I give to my five Sons jointly

“11th To my Son Joseph Langford I give one hundred & Seven Acres of Land lying adjoining the land I one [sic, own or once] deeded to him also three cows and calves

“12th One hundred acres of Land purchased at Sheriffs Sale the property of my brother James Gatliff

I authorize and direct my executors hereinafter named on the said James Gatliff paying Sixty dollars to convey all my interest in the said Land to the said James Gatliff, and in case the said James Will not agre e to pay that Sum, then my said Executors are directed to pay the said James one hundred dollars out of the joint funds of my five sons and the said Land is to be the Joint property of my Said Sons. [p. 43–shb]

“13th A tract of one hundred or perhaps More Acres of Land lately deeded to me by my father and which is Known by the reavess place I give to my five Sons jointly

“14 My cultivator Mare together With all My household and Kitchen furniture and utentials of every discription thereunto belonging I give to my Wife – My hogs & Sheep I leave to my Wife and my Son John Speed

“15th My Youngest Yoke of Oxin & unbroke Steers I allow to be Sold and the proceeds applied to building a comfortable dwelling house for my Wife to my five Sons I give my Stallion, My Brimer Mare and two Yearling Colts to be their joint property to My Son Silas Mc I give the Mare he now Claims to My Son James B. I give My Kit Mare and to my Son John S. I give the Mare he now Claims and my Yearling Brimer Colt, and to my grandson Cornelius Findley I give my Yearling Colt double head The balance of My Cattle not disposed of otherwise together with farming tools & other articles be[l]onging to Me and not herein Named, I leave to my Wife for the use of herself and fam[i]ly

” All Debts due me I allow my executors to Collect and pay all the debts I Owe and if the ballance

on settlement should be against Me It Must be paid by my Sons jointly and I earnestly request and enjoin it on my Children that they pay due res[p]ect to their Mother and render her all comfort and assistance in their power through life

” And I appoint Andw Craig and Joseph Gilliss Guardians to my Son John Speed during his Minority

“And I hereby appoint Constitute and Ordain my two Sons Joseph L. Gatliff and Charles H. Gatliff Executors of this my last Will and Testamint

“In Witness whereof I Cornelus Gatliff the Testator have hereunto
Set my hand and Seal this fifth day of June in the Year of our
Lord one thousand eight hundred and thirty Six

“Cornelus Gatliff

“Signed Sealed and delivered in the presence of us whose names are
hereunto Subscribed
Joseph Gillies )
Eli Snider )

“Codocil June 6th 1836
The clause of my Will wherein I leave my horse Mare and the Coults to my Sons I reverse and alter So far as it respects one of the Yearling Colts called Nancy which I give to my daughter in law Elisabeth Gatliff to her own perticular use

“C. Gatliff

J. Gilliss )
Eli Snider )

“Codocil 2nd
I hereby appoint Nathan Cox Executor to this my foregoing Will jointly with my Sons Named in the last Section of Said Will Witness my hand this seventh day of August 1836

“Cornelus Gatliff

Joseph Gilliss )
Silas Mc Gatliff ) [p. 44–shb]

October Term 1836
The last Will and Testament of Cornelus Gatliff Decd was produced in Court proven by the Oathes of Joseph Gilliss and Eli Snider Subscribing Witnesses thereto which is ordered by the Court to be recorded
“A Copy Test Andw Craig clk” –shb 6 Jan 2007

January 7, 2008 Posted by | Genealogy/Langfords/Iowa Langfords, Kentucky Langfords, Virginia Langfords | 9 Comments