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07 May 2012

A Pre-Conference Report from President Jeff in Cincinnati

CGS President Jeffrey Vaillant is attending the National Genealogical Society's Annual Family History Conference in Cincinnati, Ohio. He sent this "pre-conference" report:

Some of my people came from Boone, Campbell, and Kenton Counties in northern Kentucky which is just south of Cincinnati where the NGS event is being held. So since I'm "in the neighborhood" it's a great opportunity to do some research in advance of the conference.

Today was my day in Campbell County which has TWO places where records are kept – Newport  and Alexandria. The first stop was Newport since it is close to Covington where I am staying. Close is nice if one wants current (1850+) records. The staff there was helpful in pointing me to Alexandria where the old records (pre-1850+) are kept.

We all understand that it is great to have indexes as a clue to where to look and it is great to have cousins who are working the same lines. The combination made it possible for me to find a photocopy of the original marriage license for my ggg-grandfather, Robert Pierson. The good news is that someone took the time to make a copy of all the original documents and place them in a binder at the county clerk’s office. And some good soul made an index of the binder’s contents, which are not in chronological order. The earliest records start in 1799 (when Kentucky became a state). The record read as transcribed:
Know all men by these presents that we Robert
Pearson & Arch Render------
are held firmly bond unto Isaac Shelby
Esq Gov of the State of Kentucky This
successors (?) in the sum of fifty pounds
current money for the payment
where of we the s’d Pearson & Render
[do bind] ourselves and heirs [Ex & Admin]
[jointly] & severally firm[ly] [by these] presents
As witnesses our Han[d] & seals this 1st day of
September 1815. The condition of the obligations is that
when as there is shortly a marriage
intended to be solemnized between
The above bond Robert Pearson-----
& Nancy Render [now if there be no just cause to
obstruct] the same then this [obligation] to be void or else remain in full force & virtue
Robert Pearson==Seal
Arch Render==Seal
It was necessary to look at several similar documents of the time to decode all the missing words since the original copied was in extremely poor condition. On the back of the copied document (like many others) was stamped NO INSTRUMENT RECORDED. There was no paper on the marriage license actually being used for marriage.

The other virtue of the original copies and index was a long list of relevant marriages that took place between 1800 and 1838. Nancy Pierson died about 1835-37 and Robert remarried; however in the Campbell county records I could not fine that second marriage.

Since the Clerk’s office was overwhelmed by other activities, I was left on my own to explore other volumes on the open shelves. Oh, is that fun. I went after land records which are indexed and had a list from a cousin; however, I was unable to find in the index any land for Pearson/Pierson or those identified. Perhaps the records ended up in Kenton or Boone County, although the land was in Campbell County.

There are the Will books from 1799 to look at and the Book A or first volume has been copied, which allows good copies to be made. Further back is the Leathers line and there were a lot of Leathers in Campbell County. The specific last will and testament of John Leathers (dated 27 May 1812 and probated November 1817) was photocopied so I can transcribe it soon. Robert Pearson along with Archib’d Render and John Leathers (son) purchased part of the estate!

And the original court order books were on the shelves. In the December 1797 Court “On the motion of Archibald Render….orders that a license be granted to him to keep a tavern in this county for one year…” As one recognizes this puts one character in our family in the county very early!

—Jeffrey Vaillant

Read the entire series:
Report #1: 2012 NGS
Report #2: 2012 NGS
Report #3: 2012 NGS
Report #4: 2012 NGS
Report #5: 2012 NGS

Copyright © 2012 by Kathryn M. Doyle, California Genealogical Society and Library