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Tine Lapsley: Settler's kinship - Old Liberty, Russell Co., KY

One of the all time great Adair County favorite sons, is most frequently listed as being born 'near Columbia.' The author of this essay, which is based on her own research and which may be controversial, asks why his birthplace is not listed as Russell County, KY. Her research contends that while the birthplace was in Adair County at the time, the boundaries change in about 10 years, and his birthplace in now in what is today's Russell County.
Comments are welcome

By Tine S. Reynolds, a Lapsley descendant

Where was Col. Frank Lane Wolford actually born?

That was about two centuries ago, but we have determined an answer!

Since this famous Kentucky Civil War hero was connected with the Lapsleys, a founding family in Russell County (formerly Adair), we have discovered more about the colonel through the research about the Lapsleys and their home community of Liberty Church and Schoolhouse, Rt. 92. John Wolford and James Lapsley, Sr., were in the same kinship group when settling on the frontier at what later became this Old Liberty.

Also, in this kinship group were some of the Lesters and Hayes, and they all settled extremely near each other, originally noted as “Cabin Fork.”

The colonel’s father was John Wolford, who came to KY at the same general time as the Lapsleys (the last trip), and thus became part of a kinship group that stayed together for a while as they were pioneering.
In Garrard Co. before moving down to what is now Russell Co., this man married Jenny, the oldest daughter of James Lapsley, Sr., the founder of the Lapsley homeplace farm between Montpelier and Jamestown.

Evidently this Lapsley settler let them have some land near his own residence.

Ever hear of anything like that occurring? Sounds familiar….

While living there Jenny died in childbirth after having ten children with John Wolford.

Then soon John Wolford married Mahala Lane, the sister of Sarah Lane, James Lapsley’s daughter-in-law, and the Wolfords continued living at the same spot on old Lapsley land and so were there when this Frank Lane Wolford was born in 1817.

Sometime after that the father moved his family to Casey Co., where more of the Lane family resided, thus joining another of their kinship groups.

Articles have been published quoting a letter written by Tom Selby who about 1945 lived in the same quadrant as the birthplace.

He quoted my grandfather, John VanCouver Lapsley (on the original Lapsley farm) as specifying the JLW birthplace.

This turns out to be on the rolling land above the old Peter Cave and down the little Hurricane branch from the apple brandy stillhouse operated 40 years later by Joshua Hudson in 1854.

This land is just less than a double-mile northeast of Old Liberty Community Church, Rt. 92, Russell Co. and, of course, just across the fields from the Lapsley homeplace.

So the question now becomes: Why is Russell Co. not listed as the birthplace of Col. Frank Lane Wolford?

We understand this land was in Adair Co.when he was born, but within the next ten years split off into Russell Co.

This story was posted on 2015-02-26 06:50:17
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