James Isaacs was born about 1804, probably in Virginia. He was the son of Samuel Isaacs and Nancy Baldridge. He was first married in Perry County, KY. However, Perry County has suffered two major natural disasters and the only book left with early marriages is one that lists only the groom and the name of the man who performed the marriage. We don't know the name of James Isaacs' first wife. The Perry County Marriage Book states, "21 August 1823 – James Isaacs married by John Morris"
James married a 2nd time on 22 August 1847 in Madison County to Mrs. Elizabeth Davis. James and Elizabeth combined two large families, although it seems Elizabeth left most of her older children in Laurel County with family and friends. The Laurel County Court records list some of the Davis children and with whom they were living.
Laurel County Court, November term, 1843, p. 305
The 1850 Madison County census taker did not distinguish between Isaacs and Davis children, and as a consequence, it has been difficult to identify the various family members. The 1860 census provided some clarification, however, as it often happens with research, more questions surfaced than were answered.
During the November 1858 term of the Jackson County Circuit Court John Clemons was indicted for malicious stabbing. James Isaacs, whose son James R. married John Clemons daughter, Mary Jane a year earlier, put up the bond for John Clemons' bail.
On the 17th of January, 1859, Samuel Isaacs, the oldest son of James Isaacs was murdered. During the June 1859 session of the circuit court, the Grand Jury issued an indictment against James R. Isaacs for manslaughter. James R. Isaacs was found guilty of manslaughter during the November 1859 term of the Circuit Court and John Clemons' case was continued. During the same session of court (November 1859) James Isaacs Sr. and his son George W. Isaacs were indicted for murder. John Clemons' case, as well as the cases of James Isaacs Sr. and George W. Isaacs were continued until the next session. (The Circuit Court met every June and November.) It is interesting to note that during the November 1859 term, John Clemons submitted a bill to the Commonwealth for $3.75 for guarding James R. Isaacs. The invoice was verified and paid. The indictments against John Clemons, and James and George W. Isaacs were continued during each succeeding session of court until the June term, 1862 when the case against James Isaacs Sr. was discontinued due to his death.
During the November term, 1863 the indictment against John Clemons was dismissed. There was no additional information given in the court records. George W. Isaacs' case was continued during every court session until the November term, 1867.
I don't know the relationship of all these events to one another. I guess it is possible that they are isolated incidents, but that supposition seems to strain credulity.
The court records indicate that James Isaacs Sr. died prior to June 1862. His heirs were listed several times in various land records and other probate actions.
Jackson County Land records, Book 1:
Jackson Co. Land Records, Bk. 2
Children of James Isaacs
I have listed the children that seem obviously to belong to one wife with that wife. There were some children who appeared on the 1850 or 1860 census who were difficult to place; as well as some individuals listed as heirs on the deeds that I cannot place. A discussion of those children appears after the list of the children of James Isaacs and Elizabeth Davis.
Children of James Isaacs and his first wife
1. Samuel Isaacs was born about 1826 in Clay County. He married Jane Johnson the daughter of Herod Johnson and Elizabeth Isaacs on 16 September 1847 in Madison County. The marriage bond was dated 15 September 1847 with Fielding Isaacs as bondsman and Elizabeth Johnson as the mother of the bride. James Isaacs and Elizabeth Isaacs Johnson were siblings, so Samuel and Jane were first cousins.
Samuel was listed as the husband of Jane Johnson in the Floyd County Land records concerning her deceased father's estate.
Samuel and Jane had two daughters, Elizabeth Jane, born 13 December 1849, who appeared with her parents on the 1850 Madison County census and Lavina whose birth was recorded in the Madison County Vital Records, "Lavina Isaacs born January 1853 in Madison to Samuel Isaacs Jr. and Jenny Johnson." Jane's death was also recorded in the Madison County Vital Records, "Died 3 October 1853, Jenny Isaacs, married, age 30, of consumption."
Samuel married 2nd Elizabeth Harrison, daughter of John B. Harrison and Sarah Brockman, on 6 March 1854 (bond) in Madison County with John B. Harrison, giving consent. They had three children, James B. born in June 1855; Sarah born in 1857; and Samuel Preston born 23 August 1859 (Jackson County Vital Records).
Samuel's death date was listed in the Vital Records of Jackson County as 17 January 1859. He was murdered. His death left his first two children, Elizabeth Jane and Lavina without either parent. In 1860 Elizabeth Jane was living in Jackson County with her mother's brother, Elijah Johnson (p. 843, 22/22) and Lavina was listed as Lavinah Isaacks and was living with her maternal grandmother, Elizabeth Isaacs Johnson Tillery (p. 866, 181/181) also in Jackson County.
Jackson County Court Records: Feb. 1863 p. 323:
All five of Samuel's children were listed in Jackson County Court Records as defendants in a suit brought by Philip Marcum.
Pg. 309: Oct. 1875 Jackson Circuit Court suit of Philip Marcum, plaintiff against Samuel Isaac heirs, and John Farmer, commissioner, do convey to Philip Marcum all right title and interest of Elizabeth Isaacs, Levina Isaacs, Preston Isaacs, James B. Isaacs and Sally Isaacs, heirs at law of Samuel Isaacs decd, 150 acres at the waters of Birchlick Fork of Indian Creek, on 18 Sept 1876.
2. Lucinda Isaacs was born about 1828 in Clay County. She had several children before her marriage on 28 November 1867 in Jackson County to John Richmond. Her brother, James R. was the bondsman.
3. Louisa Isaacs was born about 1829 in Clay County. She apparently married Jesse Johnson sometime around 1858, but I can't find a marriage record. Jesse and Louisa appeared on the 1860 census with a one year old daughter, Esther. The older children in the household are probably Jesse's children from a pervious marriage. During the June 1866 term of the Jackson County Circuit Court, Jesse and Louise Johnson were charged with failing to appear to file a deposition regarding a suit filed by John Stephens against James Isaacs Sr.'s heirs.
I am not sure if they were "non-residents" of the county or of the state. But I could not find them on the 1870 census. However, Louisa was listed as a heir to her father in probate actions in 1865 and 1874.
4. Lewatty Isaacs was born about 1831 in Clay County. She married Joseph A. Isaacs son of Samuel ( 1794-1859) and his wife Sarah, on 17 July 1854 in Madison. Since Samuel was a brother to James, Lewatty and Joseph A. were first cousins. Joseph died before 1860, when Lewatty was listed alone with her children on the 1860 census. On 22 June 1861, Lewatty married Isaac Harrison, the son of George Harrison and Rachel Isaacs. Since Rachel Isaacs Harrison was a sister of James Isaacs, Lewatty and Isaac Harrison were also first cousins. Isaac Harrison appeared on the 1860 census living with his mother. However, he might have been married before his marriage to Lewatty. The Madison County Vital Records listed the birth of a Rachel Harrison to Isaac Harrison and Mary Blanton on 15 Feb 1856. During the June 1863 term of the Jackson County Circuit Court, Isaac Harrison and Lewatty Isaacs were indicted for adultery. During the November 1863 term, the case was dismissed.
5. Hezekiah Isaacs was born about 1835 in Clay or Madison County. He appeared in the 1850 as "Esikiah." He married Rebecca Sloan in Madison County. The Madison County marriage records only listed a bond date of 9 June 1856, but Hezekiah listed the actual marriage date of 10 June 1856 on his Civil War pension application. James Smith and Sarah Johnson witnessed the marriage. Rebecca was the daughter of Hardin Sloan and Nancy Isaacs. Since Nancy Isaacs Sloan and James Isaacs were siblings, Rebecca and Hezekiah were first cousins. Hezekiah was a Corporal in Company A, 47th KY Volunteer Mounted Infantry. He enlisted July 3rd, 1863 and was honorably discharged December 26th, 1864. According to the Civil War pension papers, Hezekiah died 14 June 1902 in Bighill, Madison County and Rebecca died September 19th, 1907 in Bighill, Madison County, Kentucky.
Washington D. C. 25 May 1899
Will you kindly answer, at your earliest convenience, the questions enumerated below? The information is requested for future use, and it may be a great value to your family.
1. Are you a married man? If so, please state your wife's full name, and her maiden name: Rebecka Isaacs, Rebecka Slone, age 57 years.
2. When, where and by whom were you married: 57 [meaning 1857] at Hardin Slone in Madison Co. Ky, J. Asbell
3. What record of marriage exists? 41 years.
4. Were you previously married: [blank]
5. Have you any children living, if so, please state their names and dates of birth. 4: Martha Isaacs borned October 6th, 1867, Frnklin Isaacs was borned October 29th, 1870, Simon Isaacs was borned December 1st 1873, Granville Isaacs was borned January 24th, 1879.
Date of reply June 15th, 1899
6. James R. Isaacs was born about 1837 in Madison County. He married Mary Jane Clemons, the daughter of John B. Clemons and Catherine Winkler on 16 January 1857 in Laurel County. Mary Jane was born 31 August 1840 in Madison, and died 6 November 1923 in Sand Gap, Jackson County. On the 1900 census, Mary was listed as the mother of three children, two living.
Certificate in Case of Marriage:
Jackson County Court Records, June term, 1859:
p. 40 Indictment against James R. Isaacs for manslaughter
p. 41 James R. Isaacs is charged with manslaughter. His bail is $1500.
Trial Records at Frankfort, Franklin, KY
The actual trial transcripts no longer exist, so we might never know who James R. was convicted of killing. Was it his brother, Samuel, who was murdered during the same time period? This seems somewhat unlikely considering the level of family support regarding bail, etc. Was it someone who murdered his brother? Jackson County death records also list the death of John Morris, 73, who was murdered on 20 January 1859. Could James R. have been indicted for the the murder of John Morris? In 1874 James R. Isaacs and Job Morris each had to sign a peace bond (Jackson County Circuit Court Order Bk. 3), agreeing not to comment an offense against each other. Job Morris was the son of V.W. Morris who was the son of John Morris. Maybe there was a feud and it was still going on 15 years later.
I received this from Donny Perry, a descendant of John Morris:
Donny Perry also mentioned that he received this explanation from Martha Jo Carr, "Apparently [John Morris was] murdered after testifying against the Bakers in the murder trial of George Baker."
Donny Parry was also kind enough to send me copies of some Madison County Court records that indicate that the conflict between the Morris and Isaacs families started even earlier:
I am not sure if the Samuel involved in this suit was James Sr.'s brother "Mystery Sam" or James' son Samuel who was murdered in 1859. Since James Sr. paid the bail for all of them, it seems more likely to me that it was James' son Samuel, who was involved in the assault.
During the November term, 1858, James R. Isaacs' father in law, John Clemons, was indicted for malicious stabbing, and also for perjury. It was during the very next session of the court, June term 1859, that James R. was indicted. It is hard to believe that the indictments of James R. and his father in law were unrelated. Especially since James Isaacs, the father of James R. paid the bail for John Clemons. During the November 1859 session of the Circuit Court, James R.'s father and brother George W. were also indicted for murder. In spite of all these indictments, James R. Isaacs was the only one who actually served time in prison. The charges against the others were all eventually dropped for various reasons.
On the 1860 census James R. Isaacs was listed as an inmate in prison in Frankfort. His sentence was for two years. After his release, James R. enlisted on 5 August 1861 in Company E, 1st KY Volunteer Cavalry, as a Private. At the time he indicated he was 25 years old, 5 feet 11 inches high, fair complexion, blue eyes, light hair and a farmer by trade. He said he was born in Madison County. He was granted a disability discharge on the 14th of February 1863 at Louisville, Ky. He had cardiac disease and tuberculosis deposits. He died 16 April 1880 in Jackson County of a gun shot wound.
7. George W. Isaacs, in his Civil War Pension application , said that his father always told him he was born 28 April 1838. However on the 1900 census he said he was born in April of 1837. On a pension deposition in 1911 he said he was born on April 28th, 1840. He married Elizabeth Sloan daughter of Hardin Sloan and Nancy Isaacs in Jackson County on 15 July 1858, at the home of Hardin Sloan. Edward Gabbard and Samuel Isaacs were witnesses.
George W. Isaacs was indicted for murder along with his father during the June 1859 term of the Jackson County Circuit Court. He was granted bail but the case never came to trial. Finally, eight years later, during the November 1867 term, George W. presented to the court a pardon that he had been granted by the governor of Kentucky, Thomas E. Bramlette.
Nov Term, 1867, 1st day, - Commonwealth, plaintiff against G.W. Isaacs, defendant, charge: Murder
On the 1900 census, Elizabeth listed her birth as November 1840. George and Elizabeth were first cousins. George served during the Civil War in Company A, 47th KY Volunteer Mounted Infantry. He died 22 April 1911 in Jackson County.
Washington D. C. January 15th, 1898
Will you kindly answer, at your earliest convenience, the questions enumerated below? The information is requested for future use, and it may be a great value to your family.
1. Are you a married man? If so, please state your wife's full name, and her maiden name: Elisabeth Slone
2. When, where and by whom were you married: Jackson Co. Ky by I.G. Faubush, July 15th, 1858.
3. What record of marriage exists? Bible Record and Record in Clerks office of J.C.C.
4. Were you previously married: No
5. Have you any children living, if so, please state their names and dates of birth. Yes
Martha E. Isaacs was born August 5, 1873, Nancy B. Isaacs was born October 25, 1876, Sarah E. Isaacs was born August 10th 1878, John R. Isaacs was born February 13th 1880.
Date of reply May 4th, 1898
State of Kentucky
County of Jackson
The affiant and claimant George W. Isaacs this day personally appeared before me, a County Court Clerk, within and for the County aforesaid and being by me duly sworn states that he is a pensioner certificate #350 957; that he now has claim for pension pending under Act of Feb 6, 1907 that there is no public or baptismal record of the date of his birth; that there is no family record of his birth, known to him.
He states that his father always told him that he was born April 28, 1838 and that he has always recognized said date as the date of his birth; that the records show that he was married July 15, 1858 and that on the date of his marriage he was 20 years of age, as he was informed by his father. He states that he is, he verily believes, 70 years of age April 28, 1908, and that he can furnish no better or more accurate proof of his age than as aforesaid stated, his father and mother both being dead.
Subscribed and sworn to before me by George W. Isaacs this June 20, 1908.
State of Kentucky
County of Jackson
On this the 10th day of February 1911, personally appeared before me, a County Court Clerk within and for the county and state aforesaid, George W. Isaacs who being duly sworn according to law declares that he is 70 years of age and a resident of Sand Gap, county of Jackson, State of Kentucky; and that he is the identical person who was enrolled at Camp Nelson (KY) under the name of George W. Isaacs on the 3rd day of July 1863 as a private in Co. A., 47th Regiment of Kentucky Volunteer Infantry, in the service of the United States in the Civil War and was honorably discharged at Lexington, Ky on the 26th day of December 1864. Height: six feet; complexion, dark; color of eyes, blue; color of hair, dark; that his occupation was a farmer; that he was born April 28th, 1840 at Sand Gap, Ky.
That his several places of residence since leaving the service have been as follows: in Jackson Co Ky from discharge to about 1873 then in Rockcastle Co. Ky till about 1890 and from 1890 to present in Jackson Co. KY. Pension certificate #350957.
8. Elizabeth Isaacs was born about 1840 in Madison County. She was 10 on the 1850 census, but doesn't appear with her family in 1860. However, she would have been 20 and possibly married. An Elizabeth does not sign as an heir on any of the various land sales regarding James' estate. There is a possibility that she is the unknown Jane that does sign all four of the deeds (see deed discussion below) or she could have died prior to 1860.
9. Zachariah Isaacs was born about 1842 in Madison County. He appeared on the 1850 census as "Euriah." A record of his death was listed on the Madison County Vital Records: "Zachariah Isaacs, 12, male, born Madison, died 1st August 1856, falling accident in Madison, son of James Isaacs."
10. Silas Isaacs was born about 1844 in Madison County. He married Sarah Casteel, the daughter of John Casteel and his 2nd wife Sally Ann on 14 June 1869, in Jackson County.
Children of James Isaacs and Elizabeth Davis
1. Cyrus Isaacs was born about 1849 in Madison and appeared on the 1850 census. There was not a Cyrus listed with the family on the 1860 census, but there was a Lewis age 11. Cyrus and Lewis were most likely the same person. Neither a Cyrus nor a Lewis signed any of James' probate related papers in Jackson County, but they were all signed by a Masiah, an heir I can't identify. Maybe Masiah was Lewis, was Cyrus, who knows? The 1870 Jackson County census listed a Cias Isaacs 21, married to a Samira. The census indicated that they had been married in December of the census year, which would be December 1869. On the marriage record of Tyree Isaacs in Estill County in 1895, Tyree was listed as the son of Cyrus Isaacs and Samera Bicknell. Maybe Cyrus was Lewis was Masiah was Cias, who knows? I can't find a Cyrus/ Cias/ Lewis or Masiah on the 1880 census, but on the 1900 census there was a Farley Isaacs who was listed as being born in Sept 1882. He living with his grandparents Tyra and Ann Beckell. On his death certificate, Farley Isaacs parents were listed as Cyrus Isaacs and Myra Becknell. (The information about Farley came from Geneva Rudolph and Darlene and Charles Isaacs.)
2. Fielding Isaacs was born about 1851 in Madison County. He was living with his parents in 1860 and with his widowed mother in Jackson County in 1870.
3. Elender Isaacs was born about 1853 in Madison County. She was listed on the 1860 census with her parents and on the 1869 probate record of her father, but she was not with her mother in the 1870 census. She would have been 17 and could have been married.
4. William R. Isaacs was born about 1854 in Madison County. He signed his name William Riley on all the probate related documents. He was living with his widowed mother in 1870. He married Nancy ___ and was living in Estill in 1880.
5. Hardin Isaacs was born about 1857 in Madison County. He married Surilda Bicknell on 1 March 1876 in Estill. The marriage certificate listed Hardin as 18 and Surilda as 13. Hardin's widowed mother, Elizabeth Davis Isaacs and several of her children were living with Hardin and Surilda in 1880 in Estill County.
6. Andrew Isaacs was born about 1859 in Madison County. He, his mother and his sister Emily were living with Andrew's older brother Hardin and his wife Surilda in Estill County in 1880.
7. Mary A. Isaacs was born about 1860 in Madison County. There was a Mary Jane who signed two of the four probated related documents. I assume that Mary Jane and Mary A. were the same person. She appeared as Mary A., a 10 year old with her widowed mother on the 1870 census in Jackson County. Mary Ann/Mary Jane was not listed with her mother and siblings on the 1880 census in Estill.
8. Emily Isaacs was born about 1862 in Madison. She was most likely the Emily Isaacs who married Dair Lawson on 20 December 1877 in Jackson County, with Elizabeth Isaacs and Godfrey Isaacs witnesses and Dar Larson and Anderson Carpenter bondsmen. They were married near H. Pearson's house in Jackson County, according to the bond. This record was almost impossible to read. Geneva Rudolph told me that the name of the groom was actually Dan Harrison or Larrison. Emily, her brother Andrew and her widowed mother were living with her older brother Hardin and his wife Surilda in Estill County in 1880. Emily was listed as a widow on the census. Emily married again in Estill County: "Ansil Bicknell (23, 1st marriage) to Emily Isaacs (20, 2nd marriage), 21 April 1881. Ansil D. Bicknell was the son of Tyree Bicknell and Mariam Willis.
Children from the 1850 Census
1. Isaac was born about 1846, he was 4 on the 1850 census, listed as Isaac Isaacs. On the 1860 census there was an Isaac Davis 14, living with James Isaacs. Since the 1850 census did not distinguish between Isaacs and Davis children, it is possible that Isaac was a Davis. Since he was 4 in 1850 his birth was probably in1846, long after November 1843, when the Laurel Court, recognizing Elizabeth as a widow, made arrangements for her children. If he was a Davis there are two possibilities that I can think of: (1) Isaac might have been a grandchild of Elizabeth, but her oldest child listed in the Laurel County court proceedings was Martha, who was 11 in 1843. I suppose it was possible that Elizabeth had older children since she would have been about 20 when Martha was born. But usually even though children 14 and older have more legal rights than those under 14, they are still mentioned in the proceedings. (2) Isaac might have been an illegitimate child of Elizabeth Davis, a child born after the death of her husband.
In the 1870 census an Isaac Isaacs age 24, married to Alsay Johnson, seems to show up out of nowhere. His marriage bond was listed in Jackson on 30 August 1867. James R. Isaacs was his bondsman. He was living next door to James' daughter, Lewatty Isaacs and her 2nd husband Isaac Harrison in 1880. Isaac and Alsay had children named James, Rhoda, Ambrose, Hardin, all the right names to belong to the James Isaacs family, but I can't place him. Maybe he was Isaac Davis, who decided to take the Isaacs name, since he was raised by James, or maybe there was a separate Isaac Isaacs born in 1846 that just didn't appear on the 1850 or 1860 census. Since his name wasn't listed on any of the above deeds as an heir, I think it is doubtful that he was a son of James Isaacs.
2. Rhenny was born about 1846, she was 4 on the 1850 census. Rhenny was most likely Sarena an illegitimate daughter of Lucinda Isaacs. Sarena was living with her mother in 1860.
3. Lovency was born about 1847, and was 3 on the 1850 census. This name didn't appear on the 1860 census in James' household. There was an Elizabeth Davis age 13 living with James Isaacs. Maybe Lovency was Elizabeth? It is possible that Lovency/Elizabeth was also an illegitamate child of Elizabeth Davis, a sister to Isaac above. But since Elizabeth and James were married in August of 1847, it doesn't seem very likely. I don't know if Lovency is traditionally a Davis name, but it, and all its variations appears frequently in the James Isaacs family. It is also possible that Lovency was another illegitimate granddaughter of James Isaacs.
Children from the 1860 Census
1. James age 12. James Isaacs Sr. already had a son James R. born about 1837, who was incarcerated in Franklin County in 1860. Elizabeth also had a son James by her first husband who would have been 22 or 23 in 1860, so it is unlikely that this child belonged to either James Sr. or Elizabeth Davis. It seems more likely that he was a grandchild or some other relative.
Children/heirs listed and not listed on the deeds
I am going to refer to the deeds as follows: 1st - George's deed, 2nd - James R's deed, 3rd - Hardin's (Sloan) deed, 4th- 1869 deed.
Masiah/Messiah Isaacs signed all four of the deeds, but I can't identify him. I have speculated that he might be Lewis/Cyrus. However there is a vital record in Jackson County concerning the death of a Sarah Isaacs, age 13, female, who died 14 March 1854, kicked by a horse, daughter of Mcsh Isaacs. The name is really hard to read, but this is what it looks like to me. If anyone has a clue about this Mcsh, I would sure appreciate the information.
Jane Isaacs signed all four of the deeds, but I don't know who she is either. She can't be Mary A. (sometimes a Mary Ann is referred to as Mary Jane or vice versa), because Mary A. is already listed as an heir on George's deed and Hardin's deed. Jane might be Elizabeth, the daughter of James Isaacs and his first wife, who is 10 on the 1850 census. Elizabeth does not appear with the family on the 1860 census, but as I mentioned earlier, she would have been 20 years old and might have been married or out of the house working. It has been suggested that this Jane might be Elizabeth Jane the eldest daughter of Samuel Isaacs, James's deceased son. We just don't know. This might be one of those mysteries that is never solved.
In addition to Jane (mentioned above) the 1869 deed was also signed by a Sarah Isaacs, James Isaacs, Lovica Isaacs and Louvina Isaacs. Samuel Isaacs, the deceased son of James, had children Sarah, James and Lavina. If Lavina were Lovica or Louvina then we have accounted for three of the four. Lovica (?) is really hard to read on the 1869 deed and so is Lovency (?) on the 1850 census. I have found no other record of Lovica/Lovency and with other similar names like Lavina, Lucinda, Louisa and Lewatty in James' family, it is very difficult to keep track of all these girls.
Those heirs that did sign, didn't necessarily sign all the deeds. Hezekiah signed the 1869 deed and was listed as someone with no interest in the other three deeds. Fielding didn't sign George's deed. Elender only signed the 1869 deed, and as I mentioned earlier Mary A. only signed the George and Hardin deeds.