Extant Digitized Period Kentucky Records Expand Colvin Study Knowledge Base

Charles and Jemima marriage registry listing. Source:

Charles and Jeremiah marriage registry listing. Source: “Kentucky, County Marriages, 1797-1954,” http://www.familysearch.org.

A few months ago, I began collecting data on the heirs of  Charles Colvin (III) (1802-1885) who’s interred in the Old Powersville Cemetery, Powersville, Bracken County, Kentucky. Charles’ spouse, Jemima Ashbaugh, (1804-1878) is also there as are two of their heirs.[1]  Charles is a grandson of  Charles Colvin, Sr. (~1745-1810) through his son, Charles B. Colvin (1770-1840).  School studies interrupted that collection, but since last week was my last final for the semester, I’ve been able to return to collecting data and scans of original documents and the results are impressive. In terms of  his spouse and heirs I’ve been able to locate and verify all  eight of  the them which consist of four girls and four boys born between 1830 and 1843. Among the males, two served in the Civil War in Company A, (a.k.a. “Jenkins’s Cavalry”).

One particularly troublesome question, however,  was discovering the maiden name of Charles (III)’s wife: Jemima Ashbaugh. Some indexes listed her name as Blades, which struck me as bizarrely incorrect given that one of Charles’ daughters,  Hanna R. Colvin, (1837-1880) had married on December 20, 1880, a  James William Blades (1842-1920).[2] Fortunately, the  digitized 1829 Bracken county marriage  registry revealed Jemima’s true maiden name, although the handwriting was slightly illegible. [See image].

Another digitized original record located was the full pension records of  Charles “Charley” Hamilton Colvin, (1843-?) Charles (III)’s youngest son which gave his Civil War service particulars and even noted how his cavalry unit had surrendered to Federal troops in 1865[3] His digitized Index Record cards also substantiated his military service.[4]  Luckily, Charles spent no time as a POW and was  paroled within days. From the same batch of military records, I was able to see that  Charles’ second eldest son, Levi A. Colvin, (1838-1930) had likewise served in the same cavalry unit as his brother,  “Charley.”[5] Both men survived the war.

In addition to marriage and military records, digitized census records reviewed between 1850 and 1920 for this family group  also helped to establish both the heirs’ birth order, as well as who married and who remained single. For example, although Charles Hamilton Colvin was of age to marry in 1864 when he enlisted into Jenkin’s Cavalry, he nevertheless remained single even up to the time he applied for his veteran’s pension in 1912. By then he was sixty-nine years old.[6] Such was also the case for his sister, Mary J. Colvin, who, in 1880, at age fifty-four, was the sole caregiver for her father – by then a widower , age seventy eight.[7]  His wife, Jemima had died two years earlier in 1878.[8] Within five years of that census, Charles himself passed away in 1885, and Mary J. Colvin died the next year in 1886.  They are both interred in the Old Powersville Cemetery, in Bracken County, Kentucky.

While much information has been collected through the digitized records, much remains unknown. Charles Hamilton Colvin’s death date and place, for example, is something of a mystery, as is the death date and place of Charles Colvin (III)’s first born: Rachael C. Colvin. Likewise, the wife of Levi A. Colvin remains unknown. However, a recently located birth record of his daughter, Martha Jane “Mattie” Colvin (1876-1935) gives the mother’s name as Mary E. Jett.[9]   Thus, the quest  to fill in these and other blanks in the family history record of these descendants remains  ongoing.


[1] The internments of Charles Colvin (III), his spouse, as well as their daughter, Mary J. Colvin, and their son, Jacob W. Colvin, are identified at their respective Find-a-Grave.com memorials. During my initial visit,  few were linked to one another, and much info was missing. Thus, digitized records were supplied to the memorialist by this researcher who graciously made many corrections and linked the various family members together. Of the remaining six  children, three of their interments have been located; three have not.  The burial places of Joseph Allen Colvin (~1841-1916), Charles Hamilton Colvin (1843 -?), and daughter, Rachael C. Colvin (1830 – ?) remain unknown.

[2] James William Blade and Hanna R. Colvin marriage bond. “Kentucky, County Marriages, 1797-1954,” http://www.familysearch.org.

[3] “Charles H. Colvin” pension record, http://www.ancestry.com.

[4] “Charles H. Colvin” military service records, http://www.fold3.com

[5] “Levi A, Colvin” military service record, http://www.fold3.com

[6] “Charles H. Colvin” pension record, Ancestry.com.

[7] Charles Colvin household, 1880 U.S. Federal Census, Brooksville, Bracken County, Kentucky, http://www.ancestry.com

[8] Jemima Ashbaugh Colvin memorial, http://www.findagrave.com

[9] “Martha Jane Colvin” birth registry listing, 12 August 1876, Bracken County, Kentucky, http://www.ancestry.com


About Alex Colvin

Senior, History, minoring in Anthropology, University of Houston. Charter President, Walter Prescott Webb Historical Society, (Webb UH Main 2014-2015) University of Houston. Additional publishing credits can be found at the link:
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