Thursday, January 26, 2012

Hannah Kennison, daughter of John Kennison

Last week I wrote about James A. Ferrel, whose parents were James and Hannah Kennison Ferrel.
I decided to renew my search to learn more about Hannah Kennison. This has been a difficult search because Hannah married James Ferrel in 1789, had four known children and then she died between 1795 and 1800. There are few records for women that early.  I have worked on this off and on over the years but have never found anything that was promising-just the names of John Kennison and Abraham Kennison in Jefferson County Kentucky tax lists during 1789, which is when Hannah and James married, also in Jefferson County, Kentucky. 

So with my renewed search I found a court record of John Kinnison of Jefferson County Kentucky in April 1788, appointing his friend Abraham Wells of Nelson County as his attorney.

John and Abraham Kennison were listed in the 1789 tax list for Jefferson County, Kentucky.

I searched for some census records and found the following:

1810 Jefferson County Kentucky Census:
John Kinnerson           1male under 10           1 female under 10
                                  1 male 16-25               2 females 16-25
                                   1 male over 45            1 female 26-44
                                                                      1 female over 45

This is the earliest census reading that I have found in Jefferson County for the name Kennison (or close versions to that).  

While searching the Family Search website, I came across Kentucky Marriages, 1785-1979.  I searched for Kennison in Jefferson County and found the following:

Hannah Kennison married James Terral                   1789                parent: Jno. Kennison

Sarah Kennison married James Adams                    1791

Isaac Kennison married Ann Buniss                         1792

Jermious Kinnison married Elizabeth Cox                May 1796

Temperance Kennison married George Rice            8 Mar 1802

Amelia Kennison married John Plaster                     29 Jul 1802     parent: John Kennison

Nancy Kennison married Elijah Cochrane                15 Jun 1815    parent: John Kennison

This was a huge find!  The record gave Hannah’s father’s name!  Her father was John Kennison! (Notice that James Ferrel’s name was listed incorrectly-if I was only searching for James Ferrel I would never have found this record!).  My first assumption was that Amelia and Nancy were sisters to Hannah, since their father is also listed as John Kennison.  But I need to keep in mind that Hannah may have had a brother named John who could be the father of some of the above named.  For now I have them listed as sisters of Hannah, but more proof is needed.

John Plaster (married to Amelia Kennison) is listed in the 1810 and the 1820 census’ of Jefferson County, Kentucky.  It appears that he had about four sons and four daughters, based on those census readings.

Elijah and Nancy Kennison Cochran are listed in the 1850 Jefferson County, Kentucky census:

1850 Jefferson County, Kentucky Census:
Elijah Cochran         66  VA
Nancy                     49  KY
Nancy                     16  KY
Rice                        15  KY
Temperance Burk    27  KY

This census reading leads me to believe that Rice Cochran may have been named after George Rice, who married Temperance Kennison in 1802.  My guess is that the Temperance Burk listed in the census reading is a daughter of Elijah and Nancy Kennison Cochran.  This leads me to believe that Temperance Kennison Rice was probably also a sister to Hannah Kennison.  Temperance Rice is listed in the 1850 Jefferson County Kentucky census as age 63, born in Virginia, living alone.

Interestingly enough, I have also seen an undocumented listing of a marriage of Amelia Kennison Rice marrying John Plaster.  So there is the possibility that Amelia was married to a Rice before she married John Plaster.

I have not been able to locate any records on the other Kennison's listed in the above marriages.  That needs to be an on-going search.

I am quite happy to have learned what I have with this renewed search: Hannah Kennison's father was John Kennison, and she had two possible sisters-Amelia and Nancy.  It also appears that Temperance Kennison may have been a sister to Hannah. 

Hannah Kennison married James Ferrel in Jefferson County, Kentucky 3 August 1789 and they had four known children:

1)     Unknown male Ferrel who married Sophia Reagan.  They had one known child: John James Ferrel, born in 1822 in Indiana.
2)     Samuel Ferrel who married Eleanor Graham in 1824 in Vigo County, Indiana
3)     Andrew Ferrel who married Susannah Colyear in 1813 in Franklin County, Indiana.  Andrew is listed in the 1820 and 1830 census’ for Vigo County, Indiana and appears that he had five daughters
4)     James A. Ferrel, was born in 1795 in Lexington, Kentucky.  He married Martha Dickerson in 1814 in Butler County, Ohio.  They eventually settled in Vigo County Indiana and had thirteen known children. (these are my great-great-great-great grandparents)

It appears that Hannah died between 1795 and 1800.  It is not known where Hannah died.  James Ferrel remarried in July of 1800.  He married Rosanna Ray in Hamilton County, Ohio.  Hannah’s four children were all under the age of ten when she died, so Rosanna immediately became a step-mother to those four children.   James and Rosanna went on to have seven more children. The family was living in Vigo County Indiana by 1820.

I am fascinated by this family and will continue to look for more information on the Kennison family.  Hopefully, over time I will have some updates for this search!


  1. Temperance Burk listed in the census reading is a daughter of Elijah and Nancy Kennison Cochran.Yes, Sue, Temperance Cochran Burk is my g-g-g-grandmother. I've been searching for our Cherokee roots. Have you found any Native Americans in your family tree? I thought I'd find it with the Kentucky side of my family. I live in Texas, born in Louisiana. Patty T.

  2. Hi Patty! Thanks for commenting. It is very interesting to come across another Kennison researcher! I have not come across any Native Americans in my family, although my father thought that we had some. I assumed he meant in the Adamson line, but I have not found anything there. Maybe her meant the Ferrel line!!

  3. Thanks for answering, Sue! My grandfather, William Berry Parker, told his kids that his grandmother was a full-blooded Cherokee. Unfortunately, he died in 1947 so there's so much we don't know. His mother was a Dillard from South Carolina, her ancestors having come from Scotland in early 1700's. His grandfather was Benjamin Franklin Parker of Tennessee, who was married to the daughter of Temperance. I'll keep searching because I KNOW we have Native American roots on that side of my family---chiefly because of the physical attributes of some of my family. It's fascinating, isn't it to find who we are. Great talking to you!