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Below is a family biography included in History of Kentucky, Edition 1 by J. H. Battle, W. H. Perrin and G. C. Kniffin and published by F. A. Battey Publishing Company in 1885.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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REV. ROBERT F. BIRKHEAD was born in Nelson County, Ky., August 27, 1828, and is one of three living children born to the Rev. Jesse and Abigail (Peak) Birkhead, both natives of Washington County, Ky., and of Irish and English descent, respectively. Jesse Birkhead was married in his native county, where, and in Nelson County, he was engaged in agricultural pursuits. In 1833 he came with his family to what is now Ballard County, and subsequently improved a farm, on which he resided several years, when he sold, and again bought wild land in the same neighborhood. Here he improved another farm. He continued to reside in the vicinity of Milburn until his death, January 29, 1877, in his eightieth year. Both himself and wife were from early life devoted members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Soon after he came to western Kentucky, he was licensed to preach, and was one of the very earliest pioneers of Methodism in Jackson’s Purchase. Although he was only a local minister, he traveled and preached almost constantly for more than forty years, his field of labor including all of the Purchase District in Kentucky, and extending from Paducah to Mill’s Point, or Hickman. Father Birkhead was also a member of the Masonic fraternity. Rev. Robert F. Birkhead was employed on his father’s farm until he was sixteen years old, after which he lived with a Mr. William Pile until he was twenty-one years old. He then taught and attended school for some two years. He then engaged in agricultural pursuits, and has been so employed ever since. He now owns a well improved farm near Arlington. Mr. Birkhead was married in February, 1853, to Mrs. Susan M. Pile, a native of Washington County, Ky. To this union were born two children—one son and one daughter—both of whom are living. Mrs. Susan M. departed this life December 2, 1855; she was a devoted and consistent member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. October 23, 1856, Mr. Birkhead married Miss Eleanor P. Mix, a native of Henry County, Tenn. One daughter has blessed this union. Mr. Birkhead and wife are, and have been from youth, devoted members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, in which church he has been a local minister for the past ten years, and has had charge of a mission for four years of that time. He has been a member of the Masonic fraternity for more than thirty years, having filled various offices in the order, and was W. M. of his lodge for one year.

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This family biography is one of 186 biographies included in the Ballard County, Kentucky section of The History of Kentucky, Edition 1 published in 1885 by F. A. Battey Publishing Company.  For the complete description, click here: History of Kentucky, Edition 1

View additional Ballard County, Kentucky family biographies here: Ballard County, Kentucky Biographies

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