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Kentucky History

Centenary of Catholicity in Kentucky

by Hon. Ben J. Webb

Originally published in Louisville, by Charles A. Rogers, 1884

The History of Catholic Families in Kentucky 

The Hon. Ben. J. Webb's "The Centenary of Catholicity in Kentucky" 

***NOTE:  While this book is available elsewhere as a free download, we think that you may want to consider owning your own copy for the $3.00 we charge for three reasons:

  1. Convenience:  you will not need to find the book on the web to refer to it, and there are no limitations about printing out or saving individual files or chapters of this version.
  2. Format:  not only are our scans considerably higher resolution than typically found on free downloads, but the fact that ours is in familiar PDF format makes use of the file particularly convenient.
  3. Annotations:  our copy was annotated by Ignatius Spalding -- and our sense is that his annotations add considerably to the value of the book.***

[1884], by the Hon. Ben. J. Webb.  594+ pages, including index.  If you have ancestors who were involved in the migration of Roman Catholics from Maryland to Kentucky and points north, south, and west in the years just following the American Revolution, this book will at a very minimum provide background information about the migration and the way Roman Catholics made their way and were treated in America in the early years.  Catholicity in Kentucky is likely to provide you with far more than that, however.

Catholicity in Kentucky discusses the history of the Roman Catholic settlement of Kentucky in settlement-by-settlement detail.  It identifies the early clergy and prominent laity, the arrival of the missionaries and the foundation of the various religious orders, convents, cathedrals, colleges and missions that constituted so much of the history of the Roman Catholic Church and of Roman Catholic families who settled in Kentucky.  The author makes a point of saying that his intention was to provide family historians with information about families who were part of the Catholic migration from Maryland to Kentucky.

To provide a sense of the scope of the families discussed in the book -- some at great length, here is a quote from the Preface:

Among these names, alike familiar to the Catholic ear in Maryland and in Kentucky, may be mentioned the following:  Adams, Alvey, Aud, Bean, Beaven, Boone, Brewer, Beckett, Blandford, Bowlin, Blacklock, Boles or Bowles, Burch, Cecil or Cissell, Carrico, Clark, Clements, Clarkson, Cambron, Coomes, Cooper, Craycroft, Dant or Dent, Downs, Drury, Elder, Edelin, Elliott, Fenwich, Forrest, Fowler, Gardiner, Gwynn, Greenwell, Gettings, Hayden, Hardisty, Howard, Hamilton, Hill, Hutchins, Jenkins, Jarboe, Johnson, Lancaster, Livers, Lucas, Luckett, Montgomery, Mattingly, Miles, Medley, Mills, Mudd, Norris, Osborne, Payne, Queen, Raley or Raleigh, Rapier, Rudd, Rhodes, Roby, Spalding, Sanders, Speaks, Spink, Sansbury, Sims, Smith, Thompson, Tucker, Wathen, Wheatley, Willett, Weatherington, Worland, Yates, and numerous others....

Then we have others that are as distinctly Irish, such as Bryan and O'Brien, Byrne, Dolan, Donohoo, Fagan, Flannigan, Gannon, Gallahan, Hagan, corruntion of O'Hagan, Hughes, Kelly, Mahony, Mollahorne, corruption of Mollihan, McAtee, Nally, Neeley, O'Neil, Roney, and possibly, Riney, by some written Raney.

The copy of Catholicity in Kentucky that we scanned to produce this project is unique:  it was owned by one I. A. Spalding -- and we assume that the owner's name was Ignatius A. Spalding.  The footnote on page 109 of the book mentions three descendants of Benedict Spalding with this name.  These were the Ignatius A. Spalding who married Ann Pottinger, and his son and grandson.  One of these men -- and we are not likely to ever know which one, annotated this particular copy of Catholicity in Kentucky, making a number of corrections and additions in names and places.  All his annotations are legible in the scanned copy. 

This is an extraordinary book.  It is essential for any family historian with roots in the migration, for any student of the history of the American frontier, and for anyone interested in the history of the Catholic faith in America. 

See the index of Catholicity in Kentucky as it appears in our republication.

View the table of contents of Catholicity in Kentucky to get a sense of the scope of this book.

This huge book, as annotated by Mr. Spalding, is available as a download. 609 pages, in PDF format, for $3.00.



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