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Below is a family biography from the book, 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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WILLIAM J. KERR was born near Georgetown, Scott County, Ky., July 30, 1820, and is the only living child of William and Cecilia (Anderson) Kerr, both natives of the “Old Dominion,” and of Scotch and English descent respectively. Subject’s father received his education and learned his trade, that of a saddler and harness maker, in his native State. Soon after his marriage he removed to Georgetown, Ky., where he followed his trade for some twenty years. In December, 1824, he came with his family to Hickman County, Ky., and settled on a military claim on the Mississippi River, four miles south of Columbus and near what is known as the chalk banks. Here he commenced to improve a farm and was also extensively engaged in furnishing wood for steamboats on the river. His death occurred in August, 1825. After his death his widow and children continued to occupy and improve the farm, which soon became one of the best improved as well as one of the richest in the county. The death of Mrs. Cecilia Kerr occurred at the home of our subject, September 20, 1863, in her eighty-eighth year. She was a life-long and devoted member of the Church of England. Her father, Richard Anderson, was one of the pioneers and most noted financiers of Richmond, Va. William J. Kerr’s early life, in fact all his life, was passed on the old home farm, which he owns and to which he has added other lands, now owning a well improved farm of 350 acres. For twenty-five consecutive years Mr. Kerr was, by election of the people, justice of the peace for Columbus, Hickman County, and during all that time no appeal was ever taken from his decisions. Mr. Kerr has been thrice married. On March 10, 1847, he married Miss Jane S. Creig, a native of Virginia, who departed this life on the 10th of the following December. Mr. Kerr was next married, February 20, 1850, to Miss Elizabeth P. White, a native of Fulton County, Ky., and a niece of the Rev. Willis White. To this union were born nine children, seven of whom—three sons and four daughters—are yet living. Mrs. Elizabeth P. Kerr died April 12, 1872, a member of the Presbyterian Church. Mr. Kerr married his present wife, Mrs. Mary J. (Blair) Davidson, on February 12, 1874. Mrs. Kerr is a member of the Baptist Church. Mr. Kerr is a member of the Masonic fraternity, having been W. M. of his lodge for some five or six years. He is, with perhaps one or two exceptions, the oldest living settler in the Purchase, having lived in Hickman County for more than sixty years.

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This family biography is one of 142 biographies included in the Hickman County, Kentucky section of the book, 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 Hickman County, Kentucky family biographies here: Hickman County, Kentucky Biographies

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