Almost 100 years of naturalizations makes this word-for-word transcription from the court records of Greenup County an essential research tool for anyone with ancestral ties to this area of Kentucky. Adding to the interest of this book are sections on Revolutionary War pensions and lunacy inquests, which provide unusual glimpses of the social services in nineteenth century America. The author has alphabetized all the surviving records by surname and includes a cross-referencing system to the original volume of court order books from which they are taken. Naturalizations gives the date and place of the petition for citizenship (first papers) and the granting of citizenship (final papers) as well as the country of origin. Sometimes a physical description of the applicant is given. Revolutionary War Pensions gives (when available) the date and company of service, the applicant’s age, dependent family members and, to prove indigence, a list of property often right down to forks and spoons with their value at the time. Lunacy Inquests gives the reason given by the jury for finding the person in question to be a lunatic or an idiot and follows that individual through the court system by way of inquests held periodically to note any change in circumstances or to pay the person’s committee for the costs of care provided during the preceding year. It is interesting to note the reasons given; they range from never having spoken a word to “bitter inheritance” to the consequence of sickness or injury.
Patricia Porter Phillips
(1995), 2015, 5½x8½, paper, alphabetical, 190 pp.