jump to navigation

They May Not Have Known Each Other, But They Sure as Hell Chewed Some of the Same Dirt February 17, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, family, history, non squitur, silliness.

My paternal grandparents met and married in Phillips County, Kansas in the 1920s.  They may have known each other well before that, but they married around 1930.  My grandfather’s surname was obviously Roach.  My grandmother’s was Pennington.  God rest both their souls.

150 years earlier, my great-great-great-great-great grandfather Francis Roach was a very early settler of Kentucky.  He arrived there perhaps 4 years after Daniel Boone led the first permanent party of white settlers across the Cumberland Gap in 1775 (an earlier attempt in 1773 had to be abandoned due to attacks by indians).  Francis served in the Revolutionary War under General George Rogers Clark.  A little bio on Francis:

Personal Information:
Born:  April 1739 in Fairfax Co., VA
Family: He was married.
Death:  9 Jul 1845 at his son David’s house at Lamb’s Point (Worden) [106 years old!]Military Record:  He enlisted in 1779 and again in 1780 when he served with Capt.Dougherty on the frontier. He went with his captain in the service of his country under the command of General George Rogers Clark in 1782, and in 1786 he fought the Indians under the command of General     Benjamin Logan. During the campaigns into the Indian country in the present state of Ohio, in one he helped cut up and destroy their corn at “Old Chillicothe of the Little Miami”. Mr. Roach had drawn a pension of $24.67 a year since 1832 (he was 93 when he applied).Burial:  Hamel Tp.

Narrative:  Being an orphan boy, he was bound to a master, who removed with him to North Carolina in early life, where he married. In 1779 he emigrated to Kentucky, where he spent the first six years in a fort at Dougherty’s Station, near Danville in Mercer Co.; and after residing in several other parts of that state (he is on the 1799 tax list for Christian Co., KY – 299 acres), moved to Madison Co., Il living there till his death.

Francis was a man below the middling stature, of a swarthy complexion, gray eyes, and of active bodily faculties, which he retained to a remarkable degree till his last illness – was naturally of a cheerful disposition, rather weakly the first thirty-one years, which probably taught him how to be prudent in managing his health, having enjoyed, uniformly, (with the exception of two or three attacks of fever and ague) good health during that period. He was always an early riser – a day rarely dawned before he was out of bed – winter and summer.  [Well he certainly didn’t pass that trait on to me]

Mr. Roach was always a temperate man, using ardent spirits only in the shape of “morning bitters”, as was the custom of the day – ate meat generally at every meal – never liked or drank coffee [so that’s where it get it from!], but tea occasionally for the last ten years, and totally disused ardent spirits for the same period. He became a professor of religion, and joined the Methodist Episcopal Church in the year 1787, in which he remained a devout member the balance of his life. [as were at least some of his descendants 200 years later]

After he was 100 years old, his eyesight became so dim that he could with difficulty discern one person from another – being guided more by their voice than otherwise. He never had the benefit of an education, and consequently had not much need for spectacles.

Mr. Roach was a hatter by trade, but most of his labor was spent on the farm, which never ceased as long as his eyesight served him. He was seen cutting corn stalks in the field with a hoe after he became a centenarian.


Daniel Boone had a sister named Hannah.  Hannah married another Revolutionary War soldier named Richard Pennington.  They, like Francis, moved from North Carolina to Kentucky in the late 1770s.  In fact, Hannah and Richard belonged to the first worship house set up in Kentucky, the Mulkey Meeting House, the later version of which still stands to this day, and outside of which Hannah’s earthly remains lie.



While these families crossed the Cumberland Gap almost contemporaneously and lived in relatively close proximity for some times, they rapidly scattered within a few years. The Roaches in particular seemed to have a serious case of wanderlust, picking up and moving every 20 years or so.  And not just across town, but to entirely different states, when to do so involved great danger and a journey of weeks or months. After Kentucky they went to Illinois, then Iowa, and finally Kansas.  Why those good Southerners went to Yankee land I have no idea………well, actually I do, they were not big on fighting for the right of a handful of very rich and decadent men to own slaves.  In fact all my forebears who fought in the Civil War – and there were quite a few – fought for the North.  I’d have to check, but every single one of them may have.

I don’t know if my dad has ever established that the Roaches and Penningtons knew each other at this early date, but given that there were probably not 500 whites in all of Kentucky at this early date it’s possible. It has been established via genealogy that these are the same Roaches and Penningtons. Amazing that descendants of these families would, 3 or 4 generations later, wind up marrying.  In the words of Gunny Highway, they may not have known each other, but they sure as hell chewed some of the same dirt.

So, yes, I am also distantly related to Daniel Boone.



1. MFG - February 17, 2017

That’s amazing Francis lived that long. I imagine his offspring were able to share his first hand accounts of the Revolutionary War well into the 1900s. Shows how close our generation was to the founding fathers. Putting contemporary immorality aside, the country has fallen apart largely because the early 1900s generation that served as the last link to the country’s founding passed away by 2000. With that generation gone; there’s no connection to the original American founding and spirit.

This family tree reminds me of the biblical family tree and how Abraham knew Noe during the last years of his life. (Hope you can make the Kolbe talk tonight).

dfw - February 20, 2017

I think it’s incredible that my father’s parents — born 1909 (born and raised in Iowa ) said they had met Civil War veterans. In fact my grandfather’s grandfather was a Civil War veteran – enlisted in the northern forces as a teen. My grandfather knew his grandfather and I knew my grandfather. So I knew someone who knew a civil war veteran. My grandparents lived into their nineties — into the 2000’s. I was born in 1962.

2. Margaret Costello - February 17, 2017

Distantly related to Daniel Boone? That is so cool:+) God bless~

Steven - February 17, 2017

Not that distant! He is a great-great-great (etc) uncle! I loved reading this. Recently a niece of mine did an extensive genealogy, trying to find just how we are related to Mary Todd Lincoln, but there were so many Todds at that time, my niece gave up the attempt. My great-great- grandmother was a Todd. A bunch of them moved to South Dakota during and after the Civil War, and the first territorial governor was Mary’s first cousin. Likely, I am related to that Todd. But, like I said…

So. Many. Todds.

3. A Mom - February 17, 2017

Daniel Boone was a “Yankee” from Pennsylvania. (Couldn’t resist)

On a more serious note, that is amazing information that you have about your ancestors! Being able to look back into the past and read such detail about your distant relatives is fascinating.

Tantumblogo - February 17, 2017

It’s all thanks to my dad and his mom. Beautiful woman named Evelyn. Please pray for all my family, they did right by their lights but none were in the Church. God bless you.

4. Baseballmomof8 - February 17, 2017

That was just awesome….I know so little about my family – only that my mother’s father was NYPD (died 1937) and my father’s grandfather was a CA Supreme Court justice…. his Bar number is “5” 😀

5. Tancred (@sedgladium) - February 18, 2017

Are you related to Archbishop John Roach? Now that would be impressive and kind of ironic.

Tantumblogo - February 18, 2017

Yes John Roach, but the Collin County judge, not the archbishop.

6. domzerchi - February 18, 2017

Francis Roach’s story reminds me of one of my ancestors’ stories. Benjamin Ishmael enlisted as a private in the Revolutionary war as a 40-year old bachelor, and went on to raise a large family in Kentucky. His numerous descendants spread across the continent, though some remain in Kentucky.

I was visiting “Abraham Lincoln’s New Salem Village” museum, near Springfield, recently and learned that my third-great-aunt’s father-in-law wrestled Abraham Lincoln. Her brother-in-law was babysat by Abraham Lincoln.

Tantumblogo - February 18, 2017

Awesome. Thanks,

Sorry comments are closed for this entry

%d bloggers like this: