Todd County Kentucky Genealogy

The county thus organized and named is situated in the southern part of the State, on the Tennessee line, and in the eastern border of that section of Kentucky arbitrarily called the Southwest. It is bounded on the north by Muhlenburg County, east by Logan, south by Montgomery, in State of Tennessee, and west by Christian, and contains about 330 square miles. The county lies partly in the Green River Valley, and partly in that of the Cumberland River, and represents the characteristics of both valleys. The dividing line between these valleys passes in a northwesterly direction through Todd several miles above Elkton, throwing the northern portion into the ” Green River Country,” and the southern in the Cumberland Valley. Curiously enough, in this county, the characteristics of these valleys are transposed; the Green River portion is broken and underlaid by freestone, and lies within the mineral belt, while the lower part belongs to the cavernous limestone’ formation, and possesses those rich agricultural characteristics which have made the Green River Country famous as the great wheat producing area of the State. The Russellville and Hopkinsville road, passing northwesterly through Elkton, forms the general dividing line between these two sections. South from this the surface is a gently rolling expanse of arable country, with little timber and much lowland, ‘which for the lack of good artificial drainage is much of the year under water. North of this road the surface begins immediately to show the gradual rise and broken character which in the farther limits of the county develops into almost impassable cliffs, rising abruptly to the height of 300 feet in places. The main stream of the county is the Elk Fork of Red River; this taking its origin in Nance Creek and Sampson’s Branch, just north of Elkton, flows a southeasterly course to Allensville, flows thence in a more southerly direction, and crossing the Tennessee line forms the corner from which the lines of the county are projected. Three and five miles above the point where the Russellville and Hopkinsville road crosses the east line of Todd County, Double Lick Fork and Breathitt’s Branch cross into Logan County to form the Whippoorwill, and drain that portion of the country between Elkton and the dividing ridge northeast of the county rural picturesqueness is not excelled by any other locality in the State. The visitor is shown many places of natural interest, and others about which tradition or the vivid imagination of a later day has framed ” legends strange to hear.” The ” Narrows ” is a natural wagon trail-the only one by which the rocky barrier may be passed in many miles of its extent, which affords a good opportunity to gain some idea of it as an obstacle to travel. Sweating stones, almost as phenomenal as the sweating statue of old, are pointed out. These are vast masses of rock standing high up from the ground, in isolated positions, the surface of which is continually covered with a moisture so profuse as to drip to the ground in trickling streams. This seems to be the normal condition of these objects, and the ” oldest inhabitant,” who is everywhere noted for his close observation, is said never to have seen them in any other condition. This was suggested by the ” guide ” as typical of the mental state of one who should attempt to gain a livelihood by farming in this portion of the county, but for the fair fame of Todd this impertinent analogy should be scouted. The “Indian Ladder is a luxuriant, wild grapevine which has thrown out its tendrils along the face of the cliff, and grasping one tree or shrub after another has drawn itself with cords of strength from one point to another until it has reached a dizzy height. It is said that it leads to and covers the entrance to a considerable cave which in the olden time afforded shelter to the discomfited savage or a safe outlook to the runner of the tribe. Neither the cave nor the Indian is to be seen from the comfortable footing below it, and the ” evidence of things not seen,” probably rests entirely upon the conscience and imagination of the person who kindly shows up the region to the visitor. Besides these, there are buzzard roosts and dens of fabled monsters (now happily extinct) which, to use the language of the auction bill, are ” too numerous to mention.”

The lowlands of Todd, while of more utility and, therefore, less romantic, are not entirely devoid of natural objects of peculiar interest. Of these Pilot Rock is perhaps the. most striking. This is a vast mass of rock some 200 feet high, resting upon elevated ground and entirely isolated. Its summit is a level area of about half an acre in extent, covered with a small growth of timber and wild shrubbery, and is a pleasant resort, frequented by picnic parties from the neighboring country. It stands north of Fairview on the line between Christian and Todd Counties, the larger portion of the rock lying within the limits of the latter. Its elevated summit, which is gained without much difficulty, affords a fine view of the surrounding country for many. miles, presenting a prospect beautiful and picturesque. In the leafless season and a favoring atmosphere, it is said Hopkinsville, twelve miles away, may be distinctly seen from its summit, and in pioneer days it was known far and wide as an infallible landmark, hence its name. The cavernous limestone shows here the characteristics to be found elsewhere. Sink-holes are frequently found, but none of such character as to render them objects of especial interest. The tunneling of the Elk Fork a few miles in its course below Elkton, is characteristic of the rock formation found here. At the point where the river sinks out of sight, it originally flowed around and at the foot of a mass of rock some fifty feet high. A fissure made in its rock bed some forty feet from the base of the cliff, gave the water opportunity to burrow an underground passage which, gradually enlarging, has afforded passage for an increasing volume of water. Save in a very low stage of water a part of the river finds passage by its old course; the rest, dropping through the fissure in the bed, passes for several hundred yards under the obstructing mass of rock. The contracted form of the opening causes the descending water to take the form and bustle of a whirlpool, but it evidently falls to no great depth as it emerges into the open country without the precipitation of a spring, with a smooth, gliding motion which is gained in the short passage.


New Todd County Kentucky Genealogy

Benjamin Helm Bristow

Besides its contributions to the file of either army, Todd County claims the nativity of two of the leaders in this contest, who according to the ” eternal fitness of things ” were arrayed on either side. On the side of the Union was Benjamin Helm Bristow. He is second in a family of four children, and was born at Elkton, Ky., in July, 1832. After gaining the rudiments of an education here, he was placed at an early age in Jefferson College, at Cannonsburg, Penn. After completing the course of study prescribed by this institution he returned to Elkton,…

The Baptist Church, Todd County, Kentucky

This church is also connected with the earliest settlements in the State. Its earlier history in Kentucky is marked by several important dissensions which caused divisions which greatly retarded the growth and influence of the church. Its largest strength came from the Old Dominion State, who were of the ” Iron Jacket ” or ” Hard-shell ” school, as they were popularly known. This church profited also by the great revival of 1800, but their meetings were generally free of those peculiar manifestations known as the “jerks or rolling and running exercises.” The early church grew rapidly until 1802, when…


The early sports were allied to useful occupations. Quiltings, wool-pickings and spinning-bees were made up by the women, when the afternoon was given to work and the night to games, the young men coming in to share the entertainment and escort the girls home. House-raisings, log-rollings and husking-bees were occasions when the men after a hard day’s work would spend, the evening with the young women invited in. As society developed, however, the times showed “smart signs of wickedness ” in place of these earlier amusements. Horse racing, shooting matches, raffling and dancing came in to disturb the staid people…

Allensville Precinct, Todd County, Kentucky

THAT part of this county now embraced in what is known as the Allensville District, is probably one of the earliest settled portions of the county, and is bounded on the north by District No. 4, Elk-ton; on the east by Logan County; on the south by District. No. 8, Hadensville; and on the west by District No. 5, Trenton. Except upon the east, the boundary of the district is but poorly defined, being very irregular, and it is almost impossible for one to estimate the exact size of it. Suffice it to say that the district is one of…

Act of Legislature

The text of the act is as follows : SECTION 1. Be it Enacted by the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, That from and after the first day of April next, all that part of said counties of Logan and Christian, contained in the following boundary, to wit: Beginning on the Tennessee State line, at the present corner of the counties of Logan and Christian, on said State line; thence on a straight line to the Muhlenberg County line, two miles east of the present corner of said counties of Logan and Christian, on said Muhlenberg County line;…

A Kentucky Barren

The name popularly applied to the region embraced within the limits of Barren, Warren, Simpson, Logan, and the lower part of Todd, Christian and Trigg Counties, is very misleading to the modern ear. To the pioneers of the early part of this century, impressed by the stern experiences of frontier life, it meant a land ” where every prospect pleases” the eye only to dupe the understanding. They had been brought up in a timbered country, and had been educated to believe that it was necessary not only to their comfort but to their very existence. They had an exaggerated…

1 2 3 4 5 6

11 thoughts on “Todd County Kentucky Genealogy”

  1. Carolyn Jennett

    The 1870 census of Todd County , Hadensville P.O. Includes William Furnish, age 20, school teacher, b. kY, living in the household of John H. Hooser. William ultimately married Hattie Hooser in Todd Co. in 1872. Family tradition states that William had a boys’ school which burned down. William and Hattie were counted in Lyon County, KY in 1880 where his occupation continued as a teacher. If a school did exist it may have been located in Lyon Co.
    Have you any information about such a school? Newspapers for the area seem non-existent.
    Thank you for considering this question.

  2. I am trying, unsuccessfully, to locate any information on my great grandmother Queen Vashti Martin Murphy. She was married to JW Murphy and had my grandfather Marion F Murphy. I found her mother listed at Drusilla Martin Daniel but no father listed. I am trying to find out if she was born in Kirkmansville or where. Any help would be very greatly appreciated. Kim

    1. Hi there, it seems we are related. Were you able to find any info on your ancestors? I’d love to compare research.

      1. Julie- the Murphy line is a family that married into my Lawrence (Father’s). I haven’t done any real research on them but my email is Let’s connect by email and go from there. I am from Keysburg Logan CO, Allensville Todd CO area with both of my parents. Becky Lawrence Kendall

    2. Hello Kimberly:
      I am a descendent of the same Murphy line in Todd County as Queen Vashti Martin’s husband, John W. Murphy. I researched my ancestors for seven years ending 1996. That was before the internet was really a ‘thing’ so it was much slower going than today. I am now retired and have begun filling in blanks such as extended families like John W. Murphy, and to find documentation for conclusions I had based on the ‘right place at the right time’ method. Not sure how much you have on John’s family or would be interested in knowing from me, so please let me know where you are on that and I would be glad to help if possible.

  3. I am searching for info on Daniel C Jackson 1835-1910 (Trenton Todd Co Ky) married to Martha Moody 1843-1908. He is a cousin but I don’t have any grandparents for him or anyone further back. Parents are John M Jackson/Nancy Redd Daniel.My direct email is Except for this particular family I have an extensive amount of research on the Jackson family and am willing to share. Becky Lawrence Kendall (Jackson,Prince,Bagby,Burchett main lines in Kentucky).

    1. I believe the Daniel C Jackson you are looking for is one of my many great x3 Jackson uncles. His brother, John W Jackson,
      is my great great grandfather and was the only one of this large family who moved away from the area where Daniel and his brothers and sisters lived. He moved to Boone County MO @1859 or so. I have info on this family also and would really appreciate knowing what you have and sharing what I know. I am especially interested in getting past the brick wall I’ve hit. So far the earliest of the Jackson and Daniel families I have are the parents of Daniel and my gg grandfather John W (and the other 7 children), the same names you have – John M Jackson and Nancy Redd Daniel. Where did you find your info? I’ve never found anyone with the same info I have until now.
      I hope to hear from you soon
      M Simone Eichelberger

  4. I’m looking for the black clardy’s families. many of them took on the name after slavery and owe lots of land in the now Fort Campbell,Ky

  5. I am trying to find an obituary of Nannie Shoemake who died in 1955 and is buried in Stokes Community Cemetery. She was a Carter and married to Charles Shoemake.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Pin It on Pinterest

Scroll to Top