Godfrey Isaacs and Keziah Johnson

Godfrey Isaacs was born about 1793 in North Carolina.  He was the son of Samuel Isaacs and Nancy Baldridge.  He married Keziah Johnson on 20 February 1812, in Floyd County, KY.  

20 Feb 1812 Godfrey Isaach and Patrick Johnson are bondsmen for the marriage of Godfrey Isaachs and Keziah Johnson.  [I give my consent for my son to marry Keziah Johnson. 18 Feb 1812, Samuel Isaachs.]  Annals of Floyd County, Kentucky, pg. 132.

Keziah was born about 1794 in Virginia or North Carolina to Patrick and Delila Johnson.  Both the Isaacs and Johnson families moved to Floyd County from Virginia.

There were two Godfrey Isaacs in Clay County in 1820.  One had four males under 10 and 2 females under 10 in the household.  The other had three males under 10 and 1 female under 10 in the household.  The age of the adult male and adult female in the household were the same.  I think these two Godfreys were probably the same person.  There might have been a counting error either the first or second time the children were counted, or perhaps Keziah had twins between the visits.   

If we assume that there was really only one Godfrey Isaacs in Clay County, we still have to account for yet another Godfrey Isaacs who was also in the 26 to 45 age group, but enumerated in Estill County on the 1820 Kentucky census.  Distinguishing between these two families has been difficult because both Godfreys generally lived in the same areas; their children were about the same ages, and they seemed to both like the same given names.  It helped when I discovered that the "other" Godfrey (Betsy)  left considerable property in Jackson County that was divided among his children after his death.  Knowing who didn't belong to Godfrey (Keziah)  helped narrow the field.  The Godfrey who married Keziah Johnson was a nephew to the other Godfrey (Betsy).  The Godfrey who married Betsy Howard was a brother to Samuel Isaacs who married Nancy Baldridge.  Both Samuel and Godfrey (Betsy) were sons of yet another Godfrey.  

We don't know all the children of Godfrey Isaacs and Keziah Johnson.  On the 1860 census, Godfrey and Keziah had unmarried children Samuel (22) and Rebecca (21) living with them.  But these children were not listed on the 1850 census with their parents.  However, they do seem to be accounted for on the 1840 census of Laurel County which listed 1 male under 5 and one female under 5.  With the help of another Isaacs researcher, we might have made some headway identifying two other children of Godfrey and Keziah's.  [See the discussion of Godfrey and Keziah's children below.]   If we look at the 1820 and 1830 censuses we find additional children we have not identified.  However, those that were under 5 in one census year and were not listed in the next census year, were most likely, but not necessarily, deceased.  It would be nice to have a family bible surface somewhere to answer all our questions.

Godfrey and Keziah, as well as their children Andrew, Rebecca and Samuel all died in September 1863 of typhoid fever.  

Jackson County Court Records, February term, 1864:

p. 372 Ordered that G. Isaacs Jr be appointed administrator of the estate of G. Isaacs Sr., decd. He came forward with bond and Fielding Isaacs as security

Children of Godfrey Isaacs and Keziah Johnson

1. Jacob Isaacs was born about 1813.  He married Rebecca Bowman, the daughter of Jacob Bowman and Elander Evans on 9 August 1832 in Clay County.  Jacob married 2nd Sarah Landrum about 1863.  He died July 1877 in Williamstown, Grant County.  

2. Isaac Isaacs was born about 1815.  He married Vicy Triplett on 23 February 1834 in Floyd County. They had one son, Linville, who was born about 1835. Vicy deserted Isaac after two years of marriage. The divorce papers are in the Kentucky State Archives in Box 208, Bundle 415.  The year 1836 is written on the outside of the bundle.  That date coincides with the date that Vicy supposedly deserted Isaac.  However the divorce was not granted until Tuesday, 24 March 1857. 

While she was doing some original research in Laurel County several years ago, Susan Isaac, an Isaacs researcher, found a marriage bond for Isaac Isaacs and Susannah Huff dated 6 September 1841, that had been misfiled.  I don't know if an actual marriage took place since there wasn't a marriage return recorded.  (However, the absence of a return is not uncommon.)  Isaac Isaacs and Susan Huff had at least twelve children between the years 1839 and 1862.  I have no idea if Isaac and Susan were ever legally married.  

Isaac Isaacs died prior to November 1869, when his son Andrew Isaacs was appointed administrator of his estate.  Susan was listed as a widow on the 1870 census of Jackson County.

3.  Andrew Isaacs was born about 1819.  He married 1st Mahaly Lakes/Lax, daughter of Carter Lakes/Lax and Edy Skinner, on 27 April 1840 in Estill County.  She must have died soon afterwards, because he married Lucinda Carpenter 28 September 1841 in Laurel County.  Lucinda was the daughter of Stephen Carpenter and Nancy Walker.  Andrew served during the Civil War in Company A, 47th KY Volunteer (Mounted) Infantry as a 2nd Lieutenant.  He died on 2 September, 1863 in Jackson County of typhoid fever. An account of Andrew's death, as well as that of his parents and brother and sister was given in a deposition by Elizabeth Truett, on behalf of his brother, Godfrey, who had also served in the Civil War.  The complete account  is listed under the Godfrey and Lydia Isaacs link.  This is an excerpt from Elizabeth Truett's deposition:

Question: Did you wait on any of his [Godfrey Jr.'s] father's family in their last sickness and death, if so state which of them you waited on and in what order they died giving the name of each and about how long between their deaths.

Answer: I did wait on them, but I cannot state what year it was or whether it was before the war or not. I waited on Andrew first, then his mother, Aunt Kizzy, then Becky her daughter, then Samuel another son and then old man Godfrey. They all died, I think it was in the latter part of the summer and beginning of the fall. They all died the same fall. Andrew first, then the mother and daughter in one day and Sam soon after. The mother, daughter and Sam were all hauled off for burial at once, and shortly after that his father died.

Funeral services for Andrew were held in the Annville Baptist Church in Laurel County.  Andrew is buried in the Annville Cemetery.  Lucinda received a pension for Andrew's Civil War service.  She died 25 April 1873, in Jackson County.  Two of her children,  Mary and Lydia were minors at that time.  Their uncle, Godfrey Isaacs was appointed their guardian.

Jackson County Court Records, May term, 1873:

p. 379 On the motion of Godfrey Isaacs ordered that he be appointed guardian to the minor children of Andrew and Lucinda Isaacs, decd. to wit: Godfrey Isaacs administrator of estate of Lucinda Isaacs decd, her son John waiving the right.

4. Rhoda Isaacs was born about 1824. She married James Hillard on 13 April 1842 in Laurel County.  I can't find her on the 1850 census, but she and James were listed on the 1860, 1870 and 1880 Jackson County censuses. During the June 1863 term of the Jackson County Court, the Commonwealth brought charges against James and Rhoda Hillard, and it was ordered that the cause be continued.  The records don't indicate what those charges were.  The cause was again continued during the June 1864 and the November 1864 sessions. During the June term, 1865 the Commonwealth brought separate charges against James Hillard to which he plead guilty and was fined $2.50.  The cause against James and Rhoda Hillard was again continued. During the November 1866 term the defendants were granted separate trials.

p. 477 Commonwealth plaintiff against James & Rhoda Hellard, defendant 

On motion of James Hellard, defendant, separate trial granted, defendant James Hellard waived an arraignment and plead not guilty whereupon came the following jury...[who rendered the] verdict, "We of the jury find the defendant guilty and sentence him to the penitentiary for the term of one year. When upon he was remanded to jail."

During the April 1878 term of the Court, James Hillard was found not guilty of house burning.  During the April 1880 term of the Court Robert Jones sued James Hillard for non-payment.  Apparently James Hillard bought a piece of property from Robert and Polly Jones on the waters of Big Clover Bottom Creek, that was bordered by some trees on Robert Jones' current property and continued to the fence of James Hilliard's property.  The court decided that James Hillard did owe the Jones' the money and he was ordered to pay.


James Hillard was living with his son Jacob Hillard in Jackson County in 1900.  He was listed as a widower.


5.Godfrey Isaacs was born about 1825.  He married Lydia Morris in Owsley County in about 1846. Lydia was the daughter of George Morris and Elizabeth Johnson.  Godfrey served during the Civil War in Company D, 7th KY Volunteer Infantry, as a 2nd Lieutenant, and in Company A, 47th KY Volunteer (Mounted) Infantry as a 1st Lieutenant. Godfrey was granted an invalid pension for his Civil War service in 1875.  Some of his neighbors conspired to have his pension revoked, claiming that his illness was not the result of a disease contracted during the war, but rather the result of hereditary frailties. The pension was revoked in 1877, but after a special investigation, it was re-instated.  The special investigator called the conspirators ignorant and mean spirited.

Godfrey's father and mother, Godfrey and Keziah, as well as his older brother Andrew, younger brother Samuel, and younger sister Rebecca, all died in 1864. Godfrey Isaacs Jr. was appointed the executor of his father's estate, and later the guardian of his brother Andrew's minor children..    

Jackson County Court Records, February term, 1864:

p. 372 Ordered that G. Isaacs Jr. be appointed administrator of the estate of G. Isaacs Sr., decd. He came forward with bond and Fielding Isaacs as security

p. 375 G. Isaacs Jr. produced a contract between himself and his father G. Isaacks Sr. that gave him a bay mare and a note on R. Green.  (24 January 1864)

According to his Civil War pension documents, Godfrey Jr. died 28 February 1896, in Egypt, Jackson County, and his wife Lydia died on 10 January 1913 in Jackson County..

6. **Elisha Isaacs was born about 1828.  He married Amanda Vance, the widow of Joshua Childers 23 April 1852, in Grant County, bondsman, Jacob Isaacs.  Grant Co. Bond Book, 1847-1855 pg. 147.  

Elisha must have had an accident or gotten sick, because the Grant Co. Order Book C., p. 649, dated Oct 1855 lists claims against the Grant County Court for services rendered:  ...to J.A. Johnson for medical attention to the widow Milton and to John J. Hicks, and to Elisha Isaacs.

On the 1860 census, Amanda was again listed as a widow.  Abstracted County Records by Janet Pease list Amanda's death, " Amanda Isaacs, 79, white female, died 17 August 1898 of stomach trouble and old age, widowed, housekeeper, born in Grant."

  **I am not completely sure that Elisha was a son of Godfrey and Keziah.  But at this point it seems to be the "best guess."  

7. Eleanor Isaacs was born between 1830 and 1832.  She married James H. Collins on the 8th of April 1850 in Laurel County.  The vital records of Laurel County show that they had a son Harden on 6 February 1852; a daughter Mahala on 1 December 1853; and a daughter Rebecca on 4 December 1855.  The vital records of Jackson County show they had a son James F. on 10 April 1858.  They appeared on the 1860 census of Jackson County, but I can't find them on the 1870 census.  

On the 6th of June, 1885, Nelly (Isaacs) Collins, while living in Dwarf, Perry County, applied for a Civil War pension on behalf of her deceased husband's service, but was rejected. Evidently there were several problems with her application.   The dates on the application (in 1885) differed from the vital records and the county marriage record.    She listed her marriage as the 9th of April 1853 in Jackson County, but a deposition from the Laurel County clerk included in the application listed the marriage as  the 8th of April 1850 in Laurel County.  She listed the children's birth dates as:

Hardin - 16 February 1854
Mahala - 3 December 1856
Rebecca E. - 1 December 1858
James Dilliard (not F. as listed in the vital records) - 9 April 1860
Samuel J. as 9 August 1862

The Kentucky vital records ended in about 1860 so we didn't find a record of the birth of Samuel J. Collins.  But I would imagine that he was probably born in 1860 or 1861.  On the 1880 census (Perry County) he listed his age as 20. Samuel was listed on the census as maimed, crippled, bedridden or otherwise disabled.

In addition to the problem with the dates, Nelly listed her husband as having been a private in Co. C, commanded by John Wilson of the 8th Regiment of Kentucky Infantry.  She explained that he was furloughed on the 1st of October 1863 because he had typhoid fever and he came home.  He died on the 15th of October, 1863 in Jackson County. Apparently the James Collins who had served in that company was alive and already receiving a pension in another county.  She thought her husband might have served under the name James Hudson since he sometimes used that as an alias, but the description of James Hudson didn't match her husband.  She did find a different James Collins that she felt was most likely her husband, but apparently this James Collins was listed as deserted, not furloughed.  I assume at this point Nelly was disillusioned enough that she didn't fight anymore.  She never received a pension.

Jackson County Court Records, February term, 1864, p. 376.  Nelly Collins produced a note (on 24 January 1864, the same day her brother Godfrey produced his note) from her father, Godfrey Isaacs Sr., that if she would take care of him as long as he lived, he would give her his worldly goods for her own use.  

In 1880 Nelly Collins was living with her daughter Mahala and her son in law Lewis Holiday in Perry County.  Nelly's son Samuel was living with them and designated disabled.  A Martha Collins, age 10 was also living with them, but I am not sure of her relationship.

8.**Jackson Isaacs was born about 1830 in Owsley County according to his Civil War military service record. Owsley County was created in 1843 from parts of Clay, Breathitt and Estill counties.  And parts of Owsley were taken to form Jackson County in 1858.


I can't find Jackson Isaacs on the 1850 census but a Jackson Isaacs did marry Mary C. Pierce on 25 April 1851 (bond) in Grant County.  Jackson's brothers, Jacob and Elisha were both in Grant County in 1850 and it seems likely that Jackson was there as well.  He might have been working as a laborer on some farm and not enumerated. 


There is an entry in the Jackson County Vital Records: "James William Isaacs, son of Jackson and Polly Isaacs born August 1859 in Jackson County recorded in Jackson County"


I haven't been able to find Jackson and Polly Isaacs on the 1860 census, although they were most likely there as Jackson was indicted by the Jackson County Court for "weaponry" in November 1859.  Jackson enlisted in Co. G. 3rd KY Volunteer Cavalry on 29 October 1861 at Richmond, Madison County, KY.  He listed his age at the time as 31.  He was 6 feet 1 inches tall, with a fair complexion, blue eyes, brown hair, and a farmer, by trade.

Jackson was appointed Saddler in the place of John King on 17 January 1862.  His military service record listed him present on all bi-monthly company muster rolls through 31 December 1862, but he was absent without leave on the company muster roll dated 31 October 1862.

Jackson received a medical discharge in Tennessee on the 8th of January 1863, "having only one eye with which he can see but imperfectly, being entirely blind in  the other before he entered the service"


There were three references to Jackson Isaacs in the Jackson County Circuit Court Records:


November Term, 1860, 3rd day

p.168 Commonwealth, plaintiff against Jackson Isaacs � Indictment - weapons

    Ordered that this cause be continued and that an alias summons issue to Grant County.


June term, 1862, 2nd day

p. 208 Commonwealth, plaintiff against Jackson Isaacs, defendant: 

    Ordered that this cause be continued and that further process issue


June Term, 1863, 1st day

p. 230 Commonwealth, plaintiff against Jackson Isaacs, defendant

    Ordered that his case be abated on act of death of defendant.


I don't know anything  more about the death of Jackson Isaacs or about what happened to his family.


**I am not completely sure that Jackson is a son of Godfrey and Keziah.  But at this point it seems to be the "best guess."  

9. Rebecca Isaacs was born about 1838.  She died September 1863 of typhoid, along with her parents and brothers.  I don't believe she ever married.

10. Samuel J. Isaacs was born about 1839.  He married Nelly B. Harrison on 16 July 1861 in Jackson County. He died in September 1863 of typhoid, along with his parents and siblings.

According to the census records, Godfrey and Keziah's children, Godfrey Jr.  and Rhoda were both born about 1825.  Godfrey is quite consistent, being 25 in 1850, 35 in 1860, 45 in 1870 and 55 in 1880.  I haven't found Rhoda on the 1850, but she is 35 on the 1860, 45 on the 1870 and 57 on the 1880.  It is possible that they were twins, more likely that they were born very close in age to each other.  It is also a fact that in the 1800's people did not keep tract of their age as diligently as we do today.  Since, with only the records I have available, it would be impossible for me to know the true birth order of these Isaacs children, I have simply assigned them an age, trying to conform to the information available.

Barry Isaacs' analysis of the land records concerning Godfrey and Keziah

Godfrey and Keziah began by purchasing a Land Grant on Beaver Creek in Floyd County that was surveyed in March 1825.  They continued buying land through September 1831.  Beginning in February 1834 they were selling land on Beaver Creek.  They continued selling land in Floyd County on Beaver Creek through November 1839.  The Right and Left Forks of Beaver Creek form just south of Martin in present day Floyd County. 

According to federal censuses Godfrey & Keziah were in Clay in 1820 & 1830, Estill in 1840 and Laurel in 1840 & 1850.  I think it is rather obvious that many of the 1820 & 1830 Clay census records were actually for residents of Floyd.  I do believe Godfrey (& Keziah) moved closer to his Uncle Godfrey (& Betsy) in Estill in time for the 1840 census.

   Isaacs, Godfrey Floyd, KY 50 3- 4-1825 T Fk Barren Cr
   Isaacs, Godfrey Floyd, KY 50 3-141825 T Br Beaver Cr

C-23 19 July 1826 Thomas Evans, coroner of Floyd Co. and William Isaacs.
On the 8th of June 1826, Thomas Evans received an execution in favor of Jacob Maye against the estate of Thomas Brown, James Camren, Abraham Wireman, John Evans, Joel Martin, Joseph Garbhart, James Pigg and William Johnson, sureties of Stephen Harper, late collector of the levy of Floyd Co. sum of $296.00. So. T. Evans levyed an execution against the land of William Johnson containing 150 acres. It being the tract of land where Godfrey Isaacs now lives. It was sold to the highest bidder, on 17 July 1826 and that was William Isaacs for 18 dollars and 1/4 cents.

C-96 28 Aug 1827 William Isaacs sold to Herrold Johnson the above land. Godfrey Isaacs still lived there. The price was never mentioned

C-320 29 Sept 1831 John Johnson sold to Godfrey Isaacs 100 acres on Beaver Creek for $300.00. Attest: Harod Johnson, Samuel Isaacs, William Isaacs   ---Signed: John and Polly Johnson

C-449 8 Feb 1834 Godfrey Isaacs sold to William Isaacs jr., 50 acres for__hundred dollars. The amount cannot be read, too faint.

E-259 29 Jan 1839 Godfrey Isaacs, for $50.00 sold to Ephraim Hammons, 50 acres of land on Beaver Creek. With: John Johnson, Abisha Johnson

E-260 29 Jan 1839 Godfrey and his wife sold to Ephraim Hamon, for $300.00, 100 acres of land on Beaver Creek.

E-275 18 Nov 1839 Godfrey Isaacs of Laurel Co. sold to Ephraim Hammons of Floyd Co. for $100.00, 50 acres of land in Floyd County on Beaver Creek. Wit: Lewis Wright, Abisha Johnson

From Estill they move to Laurel:

Son Andrew starts by buying land in Laurel County that was surveyed in November 1842, and father and sons (Godfrey, Andrew and Godfrey, Jr.) continue buying and selling land until that portion of Laurel is changed to newly formed Jackson County in 1858.

Laurel County Land Records

Isaacs, Andrew Laurel, KY 50 11-22-1842 10 Laurel Fk

1 Dec 1842 --B-76D Laurel County to Godfrey Isaacs, 50 acres for $2.50, vacant land on Mill Creek, a branch of the Laurel Fork.

24 Feb 1845 -- B-392 Laurel County to Godfrey Isaacs, 200 acres for $10.00, vacant land in Laurel County.

24 Jan 1846 -- B-409 Laurel County to Godfrey sen 400 acres on the Rockcastle River.

9 Feb 1846  -- C-157 Ezakiel Forbes of Laurel sold to Andrew Isaacs for $100.00, 50 acres of land on Rockcastle River.

30 Mar 1846  -- B-410 (a) Laurel County to Godfrey Isaacs, 200 acres for $10.00, vacant land on the waters of the Laurel Fork of Rockcastle River.  (b) Laurel County to Godfrey Isaacs, 300 acres for $15.00, vacant land  Isaacs, Godfrey Laurel, KY 300 11-16-1846 24 Laurel Fk

8 Sept 1847  -- C-244 William H. Randall (commissioner), sold to Godfrey Isaacs 50 acres of land for $27.00.

8 Sept 1847  -- C-249 William H Randall (commissioner), sold to Godfrey Isaacs 50 acres of land for $10.00. He was the highest bidder.

26 Jan 1848  -- B-447 Laurel Co to Godfrey Isaacs and Henry Morris Jr., 2000 acres of vacant land in Laurel County on the waters of Rockcastle River at 5 cents an acre.

   Isaacs, Godfrey Laurel, KY 220 4-22-1850 34 Raccoon & Indian Cr
   Isaacs, Godfrey Laurel, KY 458 4-24-1850 34 Raccoon & Horse Lick Br
   Isaacs, Godfrey Laurel, KY 112 4-24-1850 34 Raccoon
   Isaacs, Godfrey Laurel, KY 250 4-23-1850 34 Laurel Fk M Fk Ky
   Isaacs, Godfrey Laurel, KY 270 4-27-1850 34 Buzzard Roost
   Isaacs, Godfrey Laurel, KY   65 4-24-1850 34 Raccoon Cr
   Isaacs, Godfrey Laurel, KY 540 4-26-1850 34 Buzzard Roost

21 Oct 1850  -- D-1 Joseph Terry of Madison sold to Godfrey Isaacs 100 acres of land on Rockcastle Ck for $87.50.

   Isaacs, Godfrey Laurel, KY 180 4-7-1851 55 Laurel Fk
   Isaacs, Andrew Laurel, KY 150 4-8-1851 36 Laurel Fk Rockcastle R

14 Apr 1851 -- C-491 Pleasant Parker sold to Godfrey Isaacs 100 acres of land on Pond Creek on the Rockcastle River for $60.00.

1 Sept 1852  -- C-595 Godfrey and Keziah Isaacs sold to Robert Morris of Owsley Co. 50 acres of land for $100.00.

25 Apr 1853  -- D-93 Stephen Carpenter and Amanda sold 50 acres on ____  Creek to Henry Forbes for $50.00. Andrew Isaacs was a witness.

13 May 1853  -- D-1 Godfrey and Keziah Isaacs sold to Cornelius Moore, 300 acres in Laurel Co. on the Laurel Fork of Rockcastle and Pond Creek for $100.00.

20 Jan 1854-- B-486,7 Laurel Co. to Godfrey Isaacs 50 acres in Dist #2, to Owsley Co. Line, on the right side of the Laurel Fork.

 4 Aug 1854 -- D-91 Godfrey and Keziah Isaacs of Laurel sold to Morgan Forbes a tract of land on the Laurel Fork of the Rockcastle River containing 50 acres for $50.00.

4 Aug 1854  -- D-92 Godfrey and Keziah Isaacs sold to Forrester Allen a tract of land on the Laurel Fork of the Rockcastle River containing 50 acres for $100.00.

5 Aug 1854  -- D-92 Andrew and Lucinda Isaacs sold to Forrester Allen for $50.00, 50 acres more or less.

5 Aug 1854  -- D-96 Andrew Isaacs and Lucinda sold to Morgan Forbes for $100.00.

5 Aug 1854  -- D-102 Andrew Isaacs and Lucinda sold 50 acres to Ellis Forbes for $100.00

5 Aug 1854  -- D-96 Andrew Isaacs and Lucinda sold to Morgan Forbes for $100.00.

5 Aug 1854  -- D-102 Andrew Isaacs and Lucinda sold 50 acres to Ellis Forbes for $100.00

18 Mar 1857  -- D-308 Godfrey Isaacs of Laurel sold to Preston Pennington.

9 Mar 1858  -- D-470 Godfrey and Keziah Isaacs sold 320 acres to Harrison Adkins for $175.00, [ I am not sure about the amount, it was hard to read]

   Isaacs, Godfrey Laurel, KY 200 3-26-1858 55 Laurel Fk
   Isaacs, Godfrey Laurel, KY 200 3-26-1858 55 Laurel Fk Rockcastle Fk
   Isaacs, Godfrey Laurel, KY 170 3-27-1858 55 Laurel Fk
   Isaacs, Godfrey Laurel, KY 200 3-27-1858 55 Laurel Fk
   Isaacs, Godfrey Laurel, KY   80 3-28-1858 55 Alum Caye Br
   Isaacs, Godfrey Laurel, KY 200 3-29-1858 55 Allum Cave
   Isaacs, Godfrey Laurel, KY 160 3-30-1858 55 Laurel Fk

There is also ONE record for Godfrey's son Isaac Isaacs, who was apparently moved/moving to Madison Co.

4 Aug 1854  -- D-101 Isaac Isaacs of Madison sold to Morgan Forbes for $100.00.

Note that Isaac and Vicy Triplett's son Linville Isaacs was born in Estill County in the late 1830's and Isaac's daughter Mahala was born in Madison County in 1852.