Thursday, September 15, 2011

My Brickwall Bolens

My Bolens have given me a hard row to hoe the past few years. I've tried everything to chip at this Bolen brickwall. I've gotten a small piece chipped out every once in a while. I just got back from a trip from Kentucky for a reunion. But on the way down I had decided to stop off at a couple of courthouses. I've been trying to find something on a connection to this Henry Bolen, a possible father for my 3rd great grand uncle, George Bolen, and his sister and my 3rd great grandmother, Nancy Ann (Bolen) Lovell. I discovered that my uncle George had moved around quite a bit coming from Wayne County, KY where Nancy had married Jonathan Lovell and then they all moved to Jefferson County, Indiana and then George moved back to KY to Russell County where he married Elizabeth Johnson and then to Casey and then Hart and then Meade counties, Kentucky and finally back to Indiana where he settled back down next to his sister's family again.

So on my trip down I decided to look for more clues. On the Tax Lists I discussed in my last post I found that he had paid taxes on land in both Casey County and Russell County, Kentucky. So I stopped by first in Liberty, Casey County, KY and looked through their land records database which has been nicely indexed. Couldn't find anything there. I double-checked the books just in case something was overlooked when it was indexed. I couldn't figure out why George had paid taxes here but could find no land records - unless he had rented or mortgaged land frome someone else.

My next stop was in Jamestown, Russell County, KY. We were running close to closing time so I grabbed my digital camera. I could just photograph any records I found. I finally found a deed for George Bolen selling 50 acres to a William McNeely. And on the next page is was involved in another deed with a James A. Wilson. That one rung a bell - the Andrew Bolen that appeared in all the same tax lists had been married to a Nancy Wilson. That one helped me to tie this Andrew closer to my George - one more little chip! Just a few more minutes before closing - so I decided to photograph the index with spellings of Bolen to Bowling etc. I could examine this more in detail when I got home.

There's another Bolen that seems to be in the same places as George too. I have run across a John Bolen but since it's such a common name down there I haven't looked into him, just taking note when he appears. So when I found a land record with him and his wife, Celia (Sharp)Bolen, that grabbed my eye. So I photographed this one also. Doing this helped me to get another chip out of that brickwall. This land record named Celia and her siblings in a land record and named her deceased father, Isham Sharp. One of her brothers, by the name of Joel Sharp was also named in the deed. That is the name that grabbed my attention next. Where had I seen that name? I checked back through all the census records I had for my Bolens. There he was, a Joel Sharp was in the 1830 census in Jefferson County, Indiana next to a John Bolen and a few pages over from my Bolens. They had to be connected - I think I'm putting together a family - one chip at a time.

Since I started following around George I've found other family members that normally I wouldn't have found simply by staying in Indiana with Nancy's family. Since I haven't been able to find out much on Nancy I think if I can put together her family one sibling at a time I can round out her family and maybe make a connection to this Henry. I've found going through the index that I photographed a couple of other deeds I would like to take a look at. I'm thinking I might have to plan another quick trip to KY soon.

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