Ponderings upon J.M. Weddle, Jr., Elizabeth (Huffman) Kissee, and his/their children
submitted by
Jim Garner

I. The will of John Milton Weddle, Jr. (transcription included)

Paragraph 2: Mentions "my beloved wife Julia Weddle".

Paragraph 6: J.M. seems to take particular pains to call attention to which children were his and Julia's. He speaks of "having five children by my wife Julia Weddle": Mary, Ruben, Sopha, Cloda, & Joseph; "mine & Julia's 5 children"; "the above named five children"; "at the death of my wife Julia Weddle I want my farm equally divided between our five children".

Paragraph 7: Mentions, without stating relationship(s), as devisees or as having previously received part of his estate, Emilia Dunbar, Margaret Wilson, Martha Sharp, and the children of Charlote McWilliams.

Paragraph 8: In the first sentence, J.M. writes "I have give and bequeth to my other seven children which is my first children..." and ends the paragraph with "...I feel that I have done them all equal justice." but does not mention any names.

Paragraph 9: J.M. writes that he has paid "Jas. S. Weddle one mare", etc; has "paid or give Wm. H. Weddle in the land I let him have..."; had "paid or give Perry Weddle $150", etc.; and has "paid or give J.C. Weddle one nag at $75", etc. These four were to receive an additional five dollars each from his estate.

Paragraph 10: Gives and bequeaths additional real estate to the children of Margaret Wilson and an additional $10 to Martha Sharp to be paid out of his estate.

II. Observations

Of the ten "known" children of J.M. and/or Elizabeth, eight apparently are mentioned here. (Those not named are Mary Kissee/Weddle and Franklin Weddle.) However, the fact that eight children are mentioned by name creates a sticky wicket, since, in paragraph eight of his will, J.M. specifically states "I have give and bequeath to my other seven children..."

Of the ten children, William is specifically identified by his marriage record as the child of J.M.; Franklin had consent of J.M. Weddle for marriage; and Perry, John C., Martha, and Emily are identified by their death certificates (abstracts included) as the children of John. M. and Elizabeth Huffman/Kissee. From this and from J.M.'s will, the wicket gets stickier yet, since only Mary, the oldest, is not identified or implied in some manner as a child of J.M. Jr.

When in Somerset in the autumn of 1999, I tried without success to find the first two guardian-ship books of Pulaski County. (The record of J.M. "adopting" six of the kids should be in one of those two volumes.) Therefore, with reluctance, and solely for the purpose of argument, I must rely on a secondary source. In a letter to me from Mary Weddle Kaurish (now deceased) postmarked 5 June 1984 (letter not dated), she wrote,

"I have records (court) on John M. Weddle Jr. He adopted James Weddle in 1855 shortly before he [James] married. His [James'] name was Kissee. His [James'] mother was Eliz. Kissee...Shortly after 1855 he [John Jr.] adopted the rest of the children except the first one Emily Kissee who was married before 1855, to a Tarter."

In a follow up letter from Mrs. Kaurish, postmarked 15 October 1984 (letter not dated), she wrote "Children by 1st wife - Emily (m. Wyatt Tarter), James S., Wm., Perry, [John] Crittenden, Margaret, Martha." I assume the last six are the ones John M. adopted, and that Mrs. Kaurish obtained this information from the above mentioned court records. In this letter, Mrs. Kaurish also stated,

"Record of Mrs. Lou Ard, granddaughter of Emily Kissee Tarter. Mrs. Ard was 90 yrs. old in 1971 - dead now. Emily Kissee was married before John M. Jr adopted the rest of the children. Mrs. Ard said Eliz. Kissee was common law wife of John M. John M. was the father of Emily too."

So, then, I pose two questions:

1) Were John M. and Elizabeth married, and 2) which of the 10 known children of John M. and/or Elizabeth actually were John's?

III. "Marriage" of John M. Weddle & Elizabeth Huffman Kissee

I believe John M. and Elizabeth were never married. The nine oldest children (Martha was not yet born) are listed with the Kissee surname in the 1850 census, and Emily & Charlotte were married under that name. Also, in John M.'s will, he goes to great lengths to identify the five children by Julia but refers to the others simply as "...my other seven children which is my first children..." without mention of a 'first' wife.

The comment by Mrs. Ard, born c. 1881, that Elizabeth was the common law wife of John M. also bears consideration. Mrs. Ard possibly knew John M., and most likely knew at least some of his first set of children, including her grandmother Emily. It is also of interest to note that in the Pulaski County vital statistic records, John M. Jr. was shown as 'single' (instead of widowed or divorced) when he married Julia Warner. Finally, though by no means conclusive evidence, is the lack of a marriage record in Pulaski, Russell, Wayne, or Casey county.

The following paragraph is unadulterated speculation. Proceed at your own risk.

Assuming then that John M. and Elizabeth never married, the question then becomes 'Why?' Under the rule of Occum's Razor (the best answer is the simpliest answer) leads to one conclusion: they couldn't. The most likely obstacle would be that Elizabeth Huffman Kissee and her first husband, Jesss Kissee, were never legally divorced.

IV. The children of John M. Weddle (first set)

I believe that of the ten "known" children of, John was father of at least the nine youngest ones. (I have too little evidence to comment about Mary but tend to believe her father was Jesse Kissee.) Though not absolute proof, the death certificates both of Emily and Martha (next to oldest and the youngest, respectively) indicate John M. as the father. John M. (apparently) adopted James S., William, Perry, John C., Margaret, and Martha, six of the youngest children, in 1855 & 1856, and Franklin's marriage record indicates that John gave his consent for the marriage. By 1855, Mary, Charlotte, and Emily, the three oldest children, already were married and/or over 21.

If John were the father of at least nine of the children, why then did he specify "seven" in his will, and apparently name eight? After much head scratching, hair pulling, and muttering things most unChristian about revered ancestors, I believe the answer may hinge on an unwritten but implied word in John M.'s will. Consider the following, with the implied word added in italics: "...my other seven living children..."

Of the ten children, Mary and Franklin aren't mentioned in the will. However, a Mary Kissee, apparently this one, married James Madison Norfleet on 1 June 1851 in Pulaski Co., KY and they had several children. By her not being mentioned in J.M. Jr's. will, Mary possibly/probably was the daughter of Elizabeth & Jesse Kissee, not Elizabeth & J.M Weddle, Jr. This needs much more research.

As far as Franklin, Pulaski Co. marriage records indicate that Docia (Molen) Weddle (Franklin's wife/widow), her second marriage, married 24 Nov. 1864 Archibald D. Taylor. The Adjutant General's report for KY (Union) states that a Franklin Wedle enrolled 27 August 1861 in Company F, First KY Volunteer Cavalry; that he was mustered in 28 Oct. 1861 at Camp Dick Robinson [KY] as a private for three years; and that he died 'at home' on 25 March 1863. The 1870 and 1880 Pulaski Co. census records (no page/hh# references available) of the Archibald D. Taylor household include no children of an age (even close to an age) to be Franklin and Docia's. If Franklin died without issue, that would explain why his name was omitted from JM Jr.'s will.

Still left, however, is the problem of seven stated and eight named children. A closer look at the wording of the will may clarify this anomaly. In paragraph six, he wrote "...I give Charlote McWilliams John M Williams [sic] wife ther children lives in Missouri ten dollars each." If I read this correctly, he left ten dollars to each of Charlotte's children but nothing to her. This implies, to me, that Charlotte was deceased prior to late 1889.

V. The ineviatable questions

* Is there any record (census, etc.) to indicate children born to Elizabeth Huffman/Kissee prior to Mary ca. 1832? (Printed records indicate that Elizabeth married Jesse Kissee some eight or nine years prior to Mary's birth.)

* Does Jesse and/or Elizabeth show up on the 1830 census? (When in Kentucky in 1999, I took an extremely hurried look in the 1830 statewide census index and saw neither of them listed. Neither that index nor my eyes, however, are of the most reliable calibre.)

* Assuming the list of adopted children Mrs. Kaurish sent is complete, why was Franklin (born

c. 1838) not also adopted?


1850/1860 Census Records -- JM Weddle & Elizabeth Kissee

(both transcribed from very dim microfilm copies)

1850 Pulaski County KY, page 134

HH # 134

Weddle, John M. 42 KY farmer

Cox, Thomas 29 KY merchant

HH # 135

Kizzee , Elizabeth 43 KY none

, Mary 18 "

, Emily 16 "

, Charlotte 14 "

, James 13 "

, Franklin 11 "

, William 10 "

, Perry 8 "

, Crittendon 6 "

, Margaret 2 "

1860 Pulaski County Census, page 236

HH # 1603/1547

Weddle, John M. 52 KY farmer

, Julia 18 " [wife]

, Perry 18 " [son]

, Crittendon 16 " [son]

, Margaret 11 " [dau.]

, Martha 9 " [dau.]

HH # 1604/1548

Weddle, William 21 " farmer

, Margaret 18 "


Pulaski County Kentucky Will Book 7. pages 195-197. Complete & verbatim, including underlined words. //...// indicates word marked out on original document.

In the naim of God, Amen.

I, John M. Weddle, of the County of Pulaski & State of Kentucky, was born 12 day of Dec'r 1807, now being of sound mind & disposing memory for which I thank God & calling to mind the unceartinty of human life & besirous [sic] to dispose of all such worly property as hath pleased God to bless me with & I do hearby revoking all other former wills by me heartofore maid & do maik publish & declar this to be my last will and testament.

I will and beqeath [sic] to my beloved wife Julia Weddle the farm upon which I now live upon including all my farm some 160 or 70 acres be the same more or less with the improvements to hav & to hold, during hir life together with all the household property & kichen [sic] furature also one horse sadle & bridele & one cow & calf & all the plows & gearing & equipage thereto & all the meet //corn// corn & hogs & wheat & one wagon owned by me also one hundred Dollars in cash ----- I want Joseph to live with his mother & if he marries still live with her do rite & help her & take her counsel.

I want Julia to hav full controle & management of the farm & property and after Joseph gets twenty

[page 196]

years old I want his mother to give Joseph half the profets maid on the farm & send him to scool & do a good part by him till he gets twenty years old.

I give to my son Ruben Weddle the farm he now lives upon the boundary I bot [sic] of L.B. Weddle excepting 3 orn 4 acres I sold J.C. Weddle balance some 61 acres at the price of six hundred dollars, which is to be counted out of his part of my estate.

I give my daughter Sopha Marsee F. Marsee wife the land he now lives upon which sho the boundary by a bond he holds on me for three hundred & thirty five dollars to be counted out of hir [sic] part of my estate.

Having five children by my wife Julia Weddle Mary Brown Davason Browns wife & Ruben Weddle & Sopha Marsee H.F. Marsee wife & Cloda Weddle & Joseph Weddle the youngest I want my estate equally divided among mine and Julia's 5 children so the above named five children will be maid equal according to the provisions maid in this will[. Y]ou will find an account in my papers what each one has got want you to settle by it & at the death of my wife Julia Weddle I want my farm equaly devided between our five children.

I give and bequeath to Emelia Dunbar wider of Ruben Dunbar, des't. Two Hundred dollars. I have paid her one hundred and thirty five dollars balance due her $65, I want paid out of estate. See her acct. Margaret Wilson Jo Wilsons wife I hav give one mule at $75 & peace of land at $60 other property & money over $150 & I give Martha Sharp J.G. Sharps wife some 75 acres land wher [sic] L.B. Weddle lives worth over $150. I give Charlote McWilliams John M Williams [sic] wife ther children lives in Missouri ten dollars each.

I have give and bequeath to my other seven children which is my first children one hundred and fifty dollars each & has paid them in land & other property and nots I hold on them - besides what I gave them before as I took great cear to [give them a start] fix them up so they they [sic] could live. I feel that I have done them all equal justice.

I have paid Jas. S. Weddle one mar at $60 & notes I hold on him over $150. I have paid or gave Wm. H. Weddle in the land I let him hav [sic] his wife sold Miss Cambell $150. I have paid or give Perry Weddle $150 in the price of the land he lives on. I paid or give J.C. Weddle one nag at $75 & other property or money $150 & a good deal more he has got cense & I further give and bequeath Jas. S. Weddle & Wm. H. Weddle & Perry Weddle & J.C. Weddle five dollars mor to each one.

I further give and bequeath to Margaret Wilsons children the forth part of the McDaniel land nobs hus claim I bot [sic] & Martha Sharp $10 to be paid out of my estate

[page 197]

& I do hearby constitute & appoint my son Ruben Weddle & my two sunen laws Davson Brown & H.F. Marsee exectors of this my last will and testament empowering them to make deeds to any & all lands that I hav sold acording to the face of the bonds they hold on me & further to see & make deeds to any lands or peaces of lands now possest by me if it's best for the heirs except my house tract which I leave in possession & in the hands of my wife Julia Weddle & I want you to counsel with Julia & direct her & Joseph how to manage & all counsel together for the best & all do rite & live in peace & the God of peace will bless you & your children & posterity. I exort you all to seek & serve the lord while you live on earth that we may all meet again in the brite [?]mantions in heaven thar to live throughout eternity neaver to part no more. This 15th day Dec'r 1889.

Witnesseth /s/ John M Weddle

/s/ A.W. Cain M.D.

/s/ C.C. Gossett Jun'r

State of Kentucky

County of Pulaski Court

I, N.L. Barnett, Clerk Pulaski County Court, do certify that the foregoing instrument of writing purporting to be the last will and testament of John M. Weddle, dec'd, was at the April Term 1891 of said Court produced in open Court and proven according to law to be wholly in the handwriting of the testator by the oaths of A.W. Cain M.D. and C.C. Gossett Jun'r the two subscribing witnesses thereto and same was adjudged by the Court to be the true last will and testament of said John M. Weddle, dec'd and ordered to be admitted to record as such, which is now done accordingly.

Given under my hand this 30th day of April 1891.

Att: N.L. Barnett, Clerk.


DEATH CERTIFICATES -- Children of John M. Weddle, Jr.


County: Pulaski, KY County: Russell, KY (lived at Ono)

Vot. Pct: Harrison Vot. Pct. Jamestown

Informant: L. Hughes* Informant: C.R. Dunbar, Ono, KY

Personal: male, white, married Personal: female, white, widowed

Birth date: 12 May 1842 Birthdate: 7 February 1834 Pulaski Co.

Death date: 9 April 1931 Death date: 5 July 1913 @ 4PM

Age: 88 yr. 10 mo. 27 dy. Age: 74 yr. 4 mo. 28 dy.

Spouse: Rhoda Weddle ----- ----------------------

Father: John M. Weddle, born KY Father: John M. Weddle, born KY

Mother: Elizabeth Huffman, born KY Mother: Polly [sic] Hoffman [sic]

Burial: Weddle Ctry. Burial: Caney Fork Cem., Ono



County: Pulaski, KY

Vot. Pct: Faubush # 14

Informant: L. Hughes*

Personal: male, white, married

Birth date: March 13, 18__ (illegible)

Death date: August 10, 1915

Age: _1 yr. 4 mo. 27 dy (first digit of "yr" illegible)

Father: John Weddle, born KY

Mother: Elizabeth Kissee

Burial: Weddle graveyard

*In both cases, the signature appears to match that

of the attending physician, Dr. Leonidas Hughes.



County: Pulaski, KY, lived Cains Store

Vot. Pct: didn't copy down

Informant: John G. Sharp, Cains Store

Personal: female, white, marital status not indicated

Birth date: 9 December 1850

Death date: 6 November 1916

Age: 65 yr. 10 mo. 28 dy

Father: John M. Weddle

Mother: Elizabeth Kissee

Burial: JM Weddle cemetery, 8 Nov. 1916

Att. Phys: Dr. Brent Weddle

?? CHILDREN of J.M. Weddle and/or Elizabeth Huffman Kissee

(italics indictes named in John M. Weddle Jr.'s will)

Mary ca. 1832 possibly/probably d/o Jesse & Elizabeth (Huffman) Kissee; needs more research

Emily 7 Feb. 1834- 5 July 1913* d/o Elizabeth per marriage record, 1851;d/o John M. Weddle & Polly Hoffman per dth. cert.

Charlotte ca. 1836

James S. 10 June 1837 - 17 Feb. 1905

Franklin ca. 1839 m. Docia Molen (gr-dau. of Jacob Tarter),consent of J.M. for marriage, 25 July 1859 Pulaski Co.

William H. ca. 1840 s/o J.M. per marriage record, 1859

Perry 12 May 1842 - 9 April 1931 s/o J.M. Weddle & Elizabeth Huffman, per death certificate

John Crit. 13 Mar. 1844 -10 Aug. 1915 s/o J.M. Weddle & Elizabeth Kissee,per death certificate

Margaret ca. 1848 m. 1st, William J. McDaniel, 7 Feb 1867 Pulaski Co.m. 2nd Joseph 'Jo' Wilson, 16 Jun 1870 Pulaski Co.

Martha 9 Dec. 1850 - 6 Nov. 1916 d/o J.M. Weddle & Elizabeth Kissee, per death certificate


weddlejm.wpd revised 5 January 2003 (c) 2001 James D. Garner

Last Update Friday, 28-Dec-2012 01:41:22 EST

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