My ancestor Mary/Polly Peel was married to John Bohannon in Calloway County, Kentucky, on 31 July 1836.[1] I had found no documentary evidence identifying Mary Peel’s parents other than the fact that there is only one Peel family in the county. A triangulated DNA segment shared with two other Peel descendants added weight to that superficial identification.

However, I had not really done thorough research in the county until May 2017. Although I had searched available probate records and deeds, I had not searched in the court records which are remarkably easy to do in this county. The loose court files are held by the genealogical society which is handily located in the basement of the courthouse. The court file which revealed Mary Peel’s connection appeared in the court case initiated by her brother Henry in 1857.

The petition nicely summarizes the relationships:


Marshall County, Kentucky, Circuit Court file #23, Henry Peel vs. James E. Ford & John Peel, petition in equity, 1857; Marshall County Genealogical Society, Benton. The files have been placed in manila folders and alphabetized by plaintiff.

Marshall Circuit Court

Henry Peel against James E. Ford & John Peell

Petition in Equity

   Plaintiff Henry Peel states that on the 

21st day of March 1835 one Hugh McCracken conveyed

one hundred acres of land then situate in Calloway but

now in Marshall County Ky. to plaintiffs Mother

Elizabeth Peel for & during her natural life and then to

her the heirs of James Peel, (plffs father,) that said Eizabeth

was the widow of said James Peel Decd said Deed is

here filed as part hereof, and reference is made to the 

same for a more particular description of the land

that said Elizabeth by her said husband had seven children 

to wit, Elizabeth, who has intermarried with Jesse

Thompson, Mary Ann who has intermarried with

John Bohannan, David Peel, Ava, who married

__ Moore who is now dead, John, Nancy who married

W. W. Gilbert, said Nancy is now dead & Henry Peel.

[1]FamilySearch ( accessed 6 January 2018), digitized FHL microfilm no.1942719 > image 162, Calloway County, Kentucky, Marriage Register, p. 127, Bohannon - Peale, 31 July 1836. This register is a typescript. In an email dated 9 February 2017, the county clerk stated that they no longer had the originals. The state archives has not yet been searched. 


0 #1 Dana R Leeds 2018-01-07 04:08
What a great find!

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