Sorting Out Kentucky Kinfolk

Yesterday I went through my notes and looked up information on Mandy’s ancestors in Kentucky. It’s rather tricky with all the intermingling among the families and the names they had in common. I’m sure that everyone in Magoffin County, or has ever lived there, is related to one another. As I’m sifting through the information, I have to be careful, lest I become totally confused.

I found two Civil War records for Ambrose Mullins, one for the Confederacy and one for the Union. I think there may have been two individuals by that name, born just a few years apart, so it’s probable that one fought for the Union while the other fought for the Confederacy. The time periods don’t overlap. The Confederacy record is early in the war while the Union record was later. I suppose it’s possible that one person could have fought for both sides at different times but I don’t think it’s very likely, even if it is an interesting idea.

While looking for information on Mandy’s 2nd great-grandfather, Charlie Mullins, I found a few posts in the Ancestry/Rootsweb message boards that caught my interest. Apparently, there’s a story that he was born a Howard but was raised by Ambrose Mullins and Clerinda Watkins. Of course, I haven’t found anything to back that up but it’s worth noting.

My preliminary research seems to indicate that Ambrose Mullins had three to five wives, depending on which tree you look at. All seem to agree on three of them: Marian Rowe, Barbara Watkins, and Clerinda Watkins. That would make Arty Mullins (wife of Irvin Bailey) and Charlie Mullins (father of Jasper Mullins) half-brother and sister. It also appears that America Bailey, who married James Prater, and Irvin Bailey are brother and sister. America is the mother of Darcus Prater who married Charlie Mullins. Irvin married Arty Mullins and they are the parents of Add Bailey.

Browsing through the message boards I see there’s some doubt as to the parents of Ambrose Mullins. Most information shows his father as Isaac but at least one poster declares his death certificate shows his father as George. There even seems to be some doubt as to who Isaac’s parents were. I’ve seen information that says William “Coonie Bill” Mullins and Ruth Foster and I’ve also seen Ambrose Mullins, Jr. and Nancy Mullins. It’s hard to tell from records. I’ve read that there is someone who is doing DNA testing to determine the lineages. I wish him luck.


3 Responses

  1. Rick. I am descended from Isaac Mullins to Ambrose Mullins to George Mullins to Charley Mullins [my grandfather]. I have been doing DNA testing on the Mullins/Howard question. We placed a Civil War Marker on Ambrose Mullins Grave. Email me at
    Bob Whittaker

  2. […] directed by and starring Mel Brooks, probably the only Jew to ever play the role of Adolf Hitler) Sorting Out Kentucky Kinfolk Kentucky genealogy is challenging, at least for this online, long distance, and unrelated amateur […]

  3. […] Sorting Out Kentucky Kinfolk Kentucky genealogy is challenging, at least for this online, long distance, and unrelated amateur genealogist. Over the past few days’ I’ve been researching Mandy’s roots and the deeper I dig, the more tangled the roots become. It seems like everyone has the same names and there’s so much intermarrying among the families that even having a program doesn’t help. Mandy tells me there’s probably only about a dozen surnames in the entire county. It’s a good thing I enjoy a genealogical challenge. […]

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