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New Clues in Old Kentucky

This year I am focusing my research on my third great-grandparents, Thomas Reed (1783-1852) and Ann Kirkham (1782-1869).

The first step was to review and analyze all the material I have collected concerning their children. They had five who reached adulthood:

  1. Robertson Mitchell Reed (1808-1871).
  2. Eliza Reed McAlister Walton (1810-1886).
  3. Jane Reed Galbreath (1817-1899).
  4. Caleb Reed (1818-1903).
  5. William Reed (1822-1845).

To accomplish this task, I emptied my Reed bin of everything concerning Thomas and his children. I also pulled all the pertinent Reed folders from the genealogy filing cabinet I inherited from a Reed cousin.

Much of her material duplicated my own research, and I was able to discard many extra copies of documents. Then I made sure to enter all the evidence into my database.

In the filing cabinet, I found a few papers I had not seen before.

One was an 1817 Kentucky land conveyance to Thomas Reed and his two brothers Caleb and John. The grantor parties included a man named Robert Robertson. I know nothing of this man, but I have often wondered why Thomas named his eldest son Robertson. Was the Robert Robertson in the land transaction the inspiration for Robertson Reed’s name? Was he related to Reeds?

The other discovery I made concerned a childhood friend of Thomas’ son, Caleb. The friend’s name was Robert Boyd, and I learned they had known one another in Spencer County, Kentucky. The two of them relocated to Coles County, Illinois and eventually married Carter sisters.

Now I am wondering whether Caleb Reed and Robert Boyd were more closely related than just in-laws. Caleb’s maternal grandmother was Jane Boyd, so it is possible that Robert Boyd was a member of her family.

A Boyd researcher has told me that they have reached a brick wall with the Kentucky Boyds. This line is crying out for further research. Perhaps the Reed/Kirkham connection to the Boyds offers a valuable clue.

Reviewing Reed documents already in my possession has uncovered some interesting avenues for learning more about the Reed family. The Robertson and the Boyd affiliations might give me a better understanding of my Reed line.

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