Kentucky Maddox's

Many eastern colonial Maddoxes settled the near west--Kentucky

To avoid confusion, first KNOW THIS:  Kentucky from 1780 to 1792 was part of Virginia, a royal land grant that stretched west to the Mississippi River. It was called Kentucky County--a virgin wilderness untouched by Indians except for summer hunting expeditions. 
After the Revolutionary war, the cash-poor new United States handed out Land Grants, to soldiers because they couldn't pay them for their fighting.   After 1780 many moved westward.

Thousands of pioneers left Virginia and Maryland in "The Great Migration," a grueling and dangerous trip!  Early on, the trails were more like paths winding over the Alegheny Mountainst (shown in green, above.)

  Some Maddox families from the St. Marys, Md area traveled in open ox carts; some in one-seater buggies with baggage piled on top, some on horseback, others on foot pushing their belongings in a wheelbarrow towards the Ohio River... where they boarded barges and headed to Kentucky and Ohio. Whenever they met along the trail, they shared news about the location of the best land or conditions of the road ahead.  Some took a northern route to use the Ohio River.  Others moved south through Virginia along the Great Valley Road over the mountains to the Wilderness Trail towards Central Kentucky or south into Tennessee.

Many were hurrying toward the confluence of the Monongahela and Ohio River to a frontier outpost called Fort Pitt. Along its river banks were boatyards and sawmills where large barges called flatboats could be purchased. The streets were crowded with wagons. Rough-looking rivermen stood around the docks hoping for a job steering the flatboats to Limestone, Ky., a debarkation point on the Ohio.
Further down the Ohio, at Cincinnati and nearby Covington, Ky., is the mouth of the northward flowing Licking River  Some of our Maddox's settled along the Licking in extreme northern bluegrass part Kentucky.

Flatboat on the Ohio River to Kentucky.   Below: the Trail Westward.  Source: Snow Hill Remembered

Above: Maryland Maddox's probably took a difficult wagon trail from Maryland over mountainous Allegheny's (in black) on the Braddock Road over the Cumberland to Ft. Necessity and finally along the National Road (later US 40 Hwy)  to Ft. Red Stone (now Brownsville.)  There, the settlers began a river trip by flatboat down the winding Ohio River to Kentucky.     Central Virginians took a southern route over the mountains into Tennessee and upward to western Kentucky.  Routes traced here on a map with modern state boundaries.

The History of Northern Kentucky is graphic and adventurous after the Revolution when the Maddox's and many others migrated eastward.   The best read is in the "History of Maysville and Mason County Kentucky."   A well-done history starting in the late 1700s... treacherous stories of the earliest settlers, fighting many attacks from Indians and the political trials of starting a new state.   Before 1800, Mason county was HUGE--a big piece of the Kentucky (Virginia territory.)
(Maysville, 1821, public domain)

And eventually as more settlers came, they broke the county up into several smaller ones, including the present day Campbell County, along the northern-most tip of Kentucky and right south of Cincinatti Ohio.   It's exciting to be found in Kentucky Historical sites (which is FREE), and also (which is NOT FREE.)   The famous Daniel Boone lived in Maysville, the county seat of the monster once called Mason County KY. 

Maryland Maddoxes to Northern Kentucky
In 1784, it's reported, (William) Notley Maddox arrived and then this Notley Maddox brought his large family from Maryland to what finally became Campbell County Kentucky, and specifically "Grant's Lick, Ky."   We don't know if he stopped at Maysville's for awhile like many did to hang out in a safer settlement, or went a bit more westward to what is now Grant's Lick, Ky in what's now "Campbell County"  and settled on their own.   The Maysville History doesn't mention this Notley but in his will cited here.  

In the very detailed story of Maysville KY, they have Daniel Boone and plenty of people but not our Maddox guy until they publish his 1801 will in the back of their History!   No matter WHAT Boone's romantic adventures are published, we have him FIRMLY several times signed and written in the long but original and proven "History of Maysville and Mason County Ky"  circa 1800+"  (We havent seen the internet document but on the fee-based

  Again in those days it was hostile Indian territory and whites from the east were only arriving.   This Maddox family was an early arrival.  (On left an artists rendition of Daniel Boone, one of the founders of nearby Maysville, Ky)

  Notley Maddox and his wife Violetta "Tarvin" (unproven parentage in MD), had nine children in ages from 23 to just seven.  This line of Maddox-- believed from Samuel Maddox b.1634 of Maryland--settled in Kenton, Mason, and Campbell counties on the northern Ohio River border.  (We know these children, proven from his explicit will (printed in original posts and the history of Maysville and Mason Ky book).  The only thing we DON'T know is if in 1801, he called himself "William Notley Maddox" (reportedly his brother) or not.   We just have the will itself.  

Whoever he was, his children intermarried with other families like Harris, Spalding, Gosney, Losey, and more to began their new lives.
   (We have some books (Snow Hill Remembered) and documents (by Wiley) that mention Notley but not clerk's online or early Maryland or Kentucky census entries.)   Our documents came from 3 independent genealogists (Richard E. Stevens, Roberta Wiley, Fredonia Maddox) who did extensive research and published it the hard way...before the internet.   Yes, they do admit some assumptions!  (At right, marker for Wesley Gosney and Rachel E Maddox (Dau of Notley Maddox b 1802 Mason Co Ky and Theodosia Caldwell b 1824, Campbell Co Ky)

 Click here to see the stories we compiled:

 Early Kentucky/Mason County excitement
Maddox Spellings.  In anycase, first know this:  Literacy 250 years ago wasn't so good.  So even County Clerks spelt names as they sounded.  A Maddox, could have been spelled, Mattox, Maddix, Maddock.   Notley might have been spelt "Notly", even "Motly".  See what we're dealing with?   Computer searches look for exact spellings and that's not how clerks always spelled them!   So when searching, don't be too specific, try alternate spellings!
Link to earliest Maysville Ky in far northern Mason County.  A gateway LINK!

Even better, drilling down to Campbell County Rootsweb History - great site!
Note especially, this Rootsweb sub-site with photos from all over and one of our friends submitted some Maddox lineage there.
     (You could visit Campbell County, it's right south of Cincinatti across the big Ohio River.)

Virginia Maddoxes to Western Kentucky

Another line of Maddox arrived a few years later.  Revolutionary War soldier John Maddox  III brought his wife Ellinor Aston and their children over the Cumberland Gap from Goochland County in Central Virginia, southwest through Tennessee and up into Kentucky.  This Maddox, and others, settled in western Kentucky to make names for themselves.

Kentucky Census Rolls -NEW!

We have some Census and tax rolls listed by County for various spellings of Maddox, Maddux, Mattox, etc from 1780 to the mid 1800s Click to browse the list.
Frontier recreators like these help us see how
our ancestors would have looked and carried


Do you have other Maddox KENTUCKY settlements not listed here?  Write the webmaster with your group story and a couple early pictures!

World War II - homefront munitions 

   Fireworks Experiment Kills One, 
Injures Another
 (The Courier Journal on July 5, 1942  )

  One man was dead and another recuperating after his right arm was amputated last night following a home made fireworks display at 3 p.m. yesterday in the backyard of the home of one of the victims, 2334 Bolling. 
   Killed almost instantly was Joe C. Maddox, 41, a carpenter.  His neighbor, Richard Plamp, 53, machinist is at SS. Mary and Elizabeth Hospital recuperating from the amputation. 
   Frightened neighbors said the blast was terrific.  Trees were barked  and boards were shorn from fences while pieces of the mysterious "bomb" spread over an entire block. 
   Although a description of the "bomb" was not obtained, police said they believed Maddox had found it at Fort Knox, where he was employed.
   Police Lieut. John Messmer, in charge of the police laboratory said last night that a study of fragments indicated the "bomb" had been a 37 mm. shell.
   Plamp told police:  "Maddox called me to his yard and said 'Look what I've got; I'm going to hit it with a manner.' " He said Maddox struck the object and he remembered nothing else. 
   Maddox was dead on arrival at General Hospital in a police ambulance.  He is survived by his wife, Mrs. Carrie Maddox; three daughters, Mary Etta Maddox, Lucille Maddox and Martha Jean Maddox, and his parents, Mr. and Mrs. R Maddox all of Louisville. 

Settlers leaving the east were looking for land and escape of colonial war with Britain but they found a bloody frontier war with Indians instead.

 In 1784, William Maddox arrived and then Notley Maddox brought his large family from Maryland to Kentucky. 
He and his wife Violetta Tarvin, had nine children in ages from 23 to just seven.  This line of Maddox--from Samuel Maddox of Maryland--settled in Kenton, Mason, and Campbell counties on the northern Ohio River border.  They intermarried with other families like Harris, Spalding, Gosney, Losey, and more to began their new lives.
   John Maddox was another who settled there.  And also came Reverend John Jackson Maddox.

Kentucky was largely settled after the Revolutionary War when soldiers served--not for money which the new government didn't have for it's soldiers-- but for grants to Indian land out west in the place called Kentucky.  After the war, many soldiers migrated westward to pioneer this land.  Which they had to clear and then farm.  Risky business because Indians living there did not welcome these eastern colonists! 

Here's some lineage recorded by an early Kentucky Census.