Four Sisters

In my previous post I mentioned some court documents that I was waiting eagerly to get. I’ve received them, and it is going to take awhile to make sense of all of what I have. The indictment against Jacob Myers for Felonious Assault with Intent to Kill on first glance looks more like a ‘he said, he said’ deal. It is easily one of the most difficult to read documents I’ve attempted. The language is colloquial, the spelling is creative, and the handwriting is poor. As for the divorce between Jacob and Amarilla Myers, it was ug-ly. I knew he would have said something bad about her, but I was not prepared for his vitriol. Yikes. It’s easy to guess that this was a thoroughly loveless match from the beginning. Jacob simply did not like Amarilla at all. Sadly there is no mention of children or even a pregnancy.

The court record I’m most capable of making sense of right now is the civil suit that Amarilla brought against Jacob for not paying her the one third of the profit he made from selling land in which she had a one third stake. The amount she claimed he owed was $500, that she claimed he refused to pay. I haven’t yet seen the document that signed that one third stake over to Amarilla after their marriage, but I know from a distant relative that it exists. Legally, she was entitled to that $500. There is no judgment in this file; it is unknown if he was ever forced to pay her what he owed and promised (he told her he would pay her if she signed the deed; she signed the deed; he reneged).  I don’t know if he even appeared because the summons was delivered by the sheriff to “a free white person over the age of 16, a member of Jacob Myers family’ on 1 April 1857 after the Sheriff failed to find Jacob in his county.

What does this have to do with four sisters? The juicy bit of this file is the list of witnesses Amarilla had called to testify on her behalf. I’m inserting this census record from the previous post to refresh our memory about who are these sisters.

1850 Cox family in Clinton County, KY
1850 Cox family in Clinton County, KY1

The father is John S, the mother is Martha (G), the sisters are Lucrecy C., Winey A., Lucinda P. and Leann E. I speculate that Winey A is Winey Amarilla.

Here are the marriage records I found on Family Search

Cox, Lucretia married Ashlock, Francis P Cox, Lucinda married Summers, Richard

Myers, Jacob married Emariler CoxCox, Leann E married Soloman Wisman

Lucretia first married Francis P Ashlock, Amarilla married Jacob Myers, Lucinda married Richard Summers, and Leann (transcribed Sean, mistaking an ‘L’ for an ‘S’) married Solomon J S Wisman. At the time of the civil suit–17 Sep 1856-Apr 1857, Leann was still a girl living at home.

Witnesses called in Myers v Myers civil suit.
Witnesses called in Myers v Myers civil suit.2

The first name that jumped out at me from the list was Lucretia Ashlock. The next name of prominence was M. G. Cox. This is Lucretia’s mother; we know from the 1860 census that Martha’s middle initial was G. On paper, she is probably Amarilla’s mother too, as well as the mother of Lucinda and Leann.

When the witnesses were called Lucinda and Richard Summers had just been blessed with their second known child Preston Summers, so neither of them were called. However, three of Richard Summers’ siblings were called: Simon Summers, Jonathan Summers and Luanna Morrow, wife of William Morrow. From the 1860 census for Putnam County, Missouri, it appears there are close ties between the Morrow, Summers and Logsdon families. Isaac Fowler and his wife Mary Logsdon are next door neighbors of Martha and John Cox in 1860. Benson Williams might be Phillip B. Williams who lived two households away from Scott B. Wright, also close neighbors of John and Martha Cox. The people on this list of potential witnesses are poster children for FAN: Friends Associates and Neighbors.

Clearly Amarilla knew these people well enough to call upon them as witnesses for her claim and quite possibly her character. If Amarilla isn’t a biological child of John and Martha G Cox, then she’s at the very least a cousin. I think she’s one of four sisters. Now if the DNA would just support that belief, I’d be in business.


1 1850 US Census, Kentucky, Clinton, District 2, pg 188A, HH# 62

2 Putnam County Courthouse,1601 Main St. Room 204, Unionville, MO 63565, Circuit Court Case #31


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