Elijah Herndon

Elijah and Catherine Herndon


Written by William Russell Stevens and published in the Falmouth Outlook July 28, 1978. Additional information comes from the family files at the Campbell County Historical & Genealogical Society in Alexandria Ky.


Elijah Herndon was born in Goochland County, Virginia November 27, 1774, the son of Lewis Herndon and Frances Thompson.  Lewis was the eldest son of James Herndon c1716-1764 and Valentine Haley who died in Goochland County in 1799.  James was the youngest son of Edward Herndon 1678-1758 and Mary Waller.  Mary was the aunt of John Waller who purchased Kunta Kinte in 1767 of the Roots fame.

Lewis Herndon with his family and slaves moved to Woodford County, Kentucky where his will was drawn up September 17, 1789, and it was probated in Scott County July 1796 shortly after his death.  Elijah appears on the Scott County tax lists for 1796.  Sometime before 1800 Elijah married and moved to Campbell County where he is listed on the census.  The name of his first wife is unknown, but the names of the children are in the Herndon Family Bible.

Children of Elijah Herndon and 1st Wife

1. John T Herndon b-5 Mar 1800; m-Malinda Cravens 21 Mar 1824 in Carthage
2. James Herndon b-30 Aug 1801 in Carthage; d-16 Oct 1855 in Carthage; m-Betsey Tarvin 8 Apr 1822 in Carthage
3. Isabella Herndon b-12 Sep 1803 in Carthage; m-John Rusk 24 Oct 1832 in Carthage
4. George R Herndon b-22 Jan 1806 in Carthage. d-13 Dec 1867 in Carthage; br-Mt Gilead; m-Susan J Herndon 14 Oct 1830 in Franklin Co KY
5. Elisa Herndon b-22 July 1808 in Carthage; m-Fountain Riddell 19 Nov 1827 in Carthage
6. Frances Herndon b-15 Apr 1810 in Carthage; m-Joseph Ball Dameron 9 Dec 1828 in Carthage; d-30 Oct 1850 in Carthage and was buried in the Old Mt Gilead Cemetery in Carthage

Children of George R Herndon and Susan J Herndon (1806-1898)

1. Lewis F Herndon b-1832 in Carthage
2. William P Herndon b-1834 in Carthage; m-Mary C Cryer 7 Nov 1862
3. Martha E Herndon b-1836 in Carthage
4. John W Herndon b-29 Dec 1836 in Carthage; d-19 Nov 1916 in Carthage; br-Carthage Grave yard; m-Martha J Ratliff 29 Oct 1868
5. Eliza J Herndon b-1839 in Carthage; m-Andrew K Johnson 25 June 1862
6. Mary F Herndon b-1841 in Carthage; m-William Mell 17 Oct 1860
7. Elisha P Herndon (m) b-26 Dec 1843 in Carthage; d-9 June 1866 in Carthage; br-Mt Gilead Cemetery; m-Martha J Colvin 10 Dec 1856

On April 10, 1806 Elijah Herndon purchased 130 acres of land in Carthage from Benjamin and Jeanette Beall for $260.  In 1810 Elijah had a household of four males, three females, and one slave.  On August 30, 1813 he mustered into Captain Squire Grant's Company of the 4th Regiment of Kentucky Mounted Volunteer Militia at Newport.  They marched north to Ontario Canada under the command of General William Henry Harrison where they defeated the British and killed Tecumseh at the Battle of the Thames.  Elijah mustered out November 8, 1813.  He was paid $11 a month plus 40 cents a day for his horse. According the pay records in the Archive Building, he received $25.54 for his services and $28.40 for his horse.

A family story states that Elijah and his slaves built the brick home on Washington Trace Road in 1818 out of bricks used as a ship's ballast for his second wife Elizabeth Sadler.  He married her in Madison Co Kentucky, 7 Dec 1812. His next child born was Susan in 1820.  According to Robert Herndon possessor of the bible who died in 1973, the Herndon House was used by Harriet Beecher Stowe in part of Uncle Tom's Cabin.  Mrs. Stowe lived in Cincinnati for 18 years until 1850 and did visit Northern Kentucky. The slave quarters were in the basement of the home on Washington Trace.  This home is still standing today and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.

Child of Elisha P Herndon and Martha J Colvin

William H Herndon b-15 Oct 1857 in Carthage; d-25 Sep 1914 in Carthage; br-Grandview

Child of Elijah Herndon and Elizabeth Sadler (1792-1821)

1. Susan Herndon b-20 Apr 1820 in Carthage; m- ? Lancaster

Elizabeth died shortly after Susan was born and Elijah married Catherine De Moss (widow of Joseph Barker) in Pendleton County on June 23, 1821.  She was born 3 Oct 1791, the daughter of Peter DeMoss and Catherine Houseman. 

Children of Elijah Herndon and Catherine DeMoss

1. Evaline Herndon b-16 June 1822 in Carthage; d-9 Apr 1908 in California Ky. m-William Harrison Yung 27 Mar 1838 in Carthage
2. Mary Gregg Herndon; b-25 Feb 1824 in Carthage; m-William Evermont Bryan 21 Oct 1845 in the family home in Carthage; d-Alameda California
3. Rebecca M Herndon b-8 May 1829 in Carthage; d-16 Jan 1904 in Ford Co Illinois; m-Andrew W Mahaffey 22 Nov 1849 in Carthage
4. Fletcher Herndon b-15 Jan 1832 in Carthage; m (1) Helen Marie Rardin 20 Sep 1858; m (2) Mary Jane Tarvin 7 Apr 1870; d-20 May 1920 in Carthage; br-Mt Gilead Cemetery
 5. Demarius F Herndon b-21 Feb 1835 in Carthage; d-13 Dec 1927 in Carthage; br-Alexandria; m-Joseph Jasper White 1 Jan 1856 in Carthage

Children of Mary Gregg Herndon and William Evermont Bryan

1. Margaret Catherine Bryan b-21 Aug 1846 in Carthage; m-John R Morris
2. Alonzo Worth Bryan b-30 Sep 1848 in Carthage
3. Elijah Hampton Bryan b-20 Dec 1850 in Carthage
4. Mary Demarious Bryan b-25 Nov 1852 in Carthage; d-Oct 1862 in Sly Park California
5. William Fletcher Bryan b-3 Aug 1855 in Virginia Flat California

Children of Fletcher Herndon and Helen Marie Rardin

1. Mary Gregg Herndon b-19 Jan 1861 in Carthage; d-17 Dec 1943 in Silver Grove; br-Flag Springs Cemetery; m-Raleigh B Tarvin 29 Nov 1883
2. William Fletcher Herndon b-21 Jan 1867
3. Emma Herndon b-4 Oct 1869; d-26 Oct 1869
4. Ida May Herndon b-4 Oct 1869 in Carthage; d-24 Oct 1943 in Dayton KY; br-Evergreen; m-William Edward Nelson 13 Mar 1887

Children of Fletcher Herndon and Mary Jane Tarvin

1. Clifford Herndon b-29 Oct 1871; d-2 Feb 1890
2. Edward Bonnie Herndon b-29 June 1873; d-26 Jan 1954
3. Flora Gregg Herndon b-15 Aug 1875; d-17 Jan 1971
4. Otto Elijah Herndon b-25 Sep 1880 in Carthage; d-15 Jan 1940 in Carthage; br-Carthage m-Edith D
5. James Herndon b-13 Oct 1882; d-20 Oct 1882

Children of Demarius F Herndon and Joseph Jasper White

1. Mary Hester White b-21 Feb 1857; 26 Jan 1930 in Beardstown Cass Co Illinois; m-Thomas Augustus Flora 21 Aug 1852 in Carthage
2. James Wesley White b-14 Mar 1859; d-31 Jan 1903 in Ford Co Illinois
3. Lena Agnes White b-27 Feb 1861; d-27 Sep 1949 in Carthage; m-Jacob W White 26 Nov 1884 in Carthage
4. Fletcher Atwood White b-21 May 1864; d-19 Mar 1931 in Ford Co Illinois; m-Anna B Hunt 31 Aug 1890
5. Joseph Hiner White b-4 Oct 1871; d-22 Mar 1936; m-Louella Revel 17 Feb 1894 in Carthage

During the winter of 1843-44 Elijah and his wife Catherine deeded one-half acre to Thomas Tarvin, John C Tarvin and William I Newman, trustees of the Carthage Methodist Church.  The church was organized at the home of Elijah and Catherine and the earliest burial in the cemetery was Raleigh Tarvin in 1846.

On December 29, 1847, Elijah made a will.  He died July 26, 1849 and it was recorded August 27, 1849.  The home and land was willed to Fletcher. By decree of the court of June 24, 1850 Demarius took herself out from under the control of her mother and named a new guardian her half brother Zeno Barker.  Fletcher did the same thing and selected another guardian. 

On March 15, 1853 Mary Gregg and her husband William Bryan embarked on a steamboat at Cincinnati for St. Louis and on to California.  They settled in Alameda. Catherine died April 21, 1857 and was buried next to Elijah in the Old Mt. Gilead Methodist Church Cemetery.  Her estate was put up for sale and everything to the last spoon is recorded in the inventory in the sale book at the court house in Alexandria.

When Fletcher died 20 May 1921, the Herndon land and homestead was surveyed and divided among the heirs with Eddie Bonnie Herndon, Fletcher's son, getting the house and 12 acres.  In 1926 the house was bought by Lisle McArthur. It was later sold to the McCormick family.

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