Sunday, March 6, 2011

The Kirtons of Kentucky

For the foreseeable future, I will be using Sundays to post different stories pertaining to my genealogical research. Some will be interesting vignettes that I've picked up along the way (and continue to accumulate), while others will simply explore the different branches of the tree that I'm uncovering, which may help others find their own ancestors at some point.

To kick off our first "Family Sunday," I'd like to relate what I've discovered about a piece of my mother's heritage, specifically, her paternal line.

The earliest "Kirton" I have been able to trace is Richard Kirton who was apparently born around 1830 in England. He married Ellen Hyler sometime around 1854 and the two of them were living in Kenton County Kentucky before their first child was born. They had two sons, Nelson W. (b. June 4, 1857) and Sidney (b. Feb 2, 1859).

Sidney married Anna Slocumb (b. 1854) on August 1, 1877 in Hamilton County, Ohio. They had two daughters (Roberta & Irene), who may have never left home. As late as the 1920 census, they were both still single and living with mom and dad in Covington, Kentucky. Roberta was about 40 by then, and Irene was around 36. Perhaps they started families late in life? That's one thing I'd like to find out.

Meanwhile, Nelson Kirton married Carrie Drusilla Wallwork (b. 1855) on June 6, 1877 in Covington, Kentucky. They also had at least 2 sons, Newton Charles (b. March 15, 1878) and Sidney (b. Feb 1880).

This younger Sidney Kirton married Edith Estell on July 28, 1900. I have not been able to find out how long they were married, or if they had any children. I do know that Sidney died single in 1932. According to his death certificate, he had been working as a butler in Columbus, Ohio.

Newton, on the other hand, married Caroline Elizabeth Horner on July 21, 1896 in Hamilton County Ohio. They had 3 sons; Julius John (my great-grandfather, b. March 15, 1897) and the twins, Robert Nelson & Alfred Sidney (b. June 6, 1901). Newton died of a stroke on December 2, 1918 in West Virginia. His widow, Caroline, got remarried to Thomas Jefferson Butcher on September 5, 1919, in Newport, Kentucky, and they were still together for the 1930 Census.

Robert Nelson Kirton married Vera Gates on September 5, 1919 in Newport, Kentucky. -Updated- However, by 1935, Robert was apparently married to Oma Eunice Rhodes. I have not learned if Robert had children with either wife. He died on April 16, 1953, in Cleveland, Ohio.

Alfred Sidney Kirton married Virgeline Martin before 1930. I haven't discovered if they had any children, but I found that "Virgeline Kirton" of Kenton, Kentucky lived until March 12, 1988 (info courtesy of the US Social Security Death Index).

Julius Kirton & Mary Nelson
on their wedding day, 1917

Julius John Kirton married Mary Alice Nelson in 1917. They had two children; John Julius (my grandfather, b. February 4, 1918) and Mary Alice (b. May 7, 1920). Julius died on November 23, 1959 in Stamford Connecticut, while his wife lived to a ripe old age of 81 (passing away on September 28, 1974 in Florida).

Mary Alice Kirton married Carl Pennington.

John Julius Kirton married Mary Nadine Forthman (who always went by Nadine). They had three children, Clifton, Diana (my mother), and Stephen. John Julius died in April 1967 of an apparent stroke (though my mother always said it was a heart attack). Sadly, his children have also passed on in recent years.

For those of you who haven't fallen asleep, I hope you have found something of value in this recitation of my discoveries. These findings are by no means comprehensive, and there is still much to uncover, but I'm making progress. There is only so much I can do on my own, so if anyone has any additional information at their disposal I would be pleased to see it.

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