Bluegrass Kentucky


   
Maddox ancestors took an arduous trek from eastern Maryland into Virginia's western frontier for the purpose of claiming new land. They settled along a tributary of the Ohio River called the Licking.

The Licking River in Kentucky's northern region is known as the "Outer Bluegrass." The Licking is unique for it is among a few rivers in the world which flows north. During the 17th and 18th centuries, the Shawnee inhabitants of the state called the Licking "Nepepninethipi," or Salt River. Later, the Licking allowed settlers easy access through the lush forests of the northern Outer Bluegrass region.

Northern Kentucky has ancient, beautifully rounded hills, thanks to warm Gulf winds that kept Ice Age glaciers primarily in Ohio, Northern Kentucky. Rivers and creeks etched through the landscape sculpting places once inhabited by Indians. During the 18th Century, the region was settled by Old World ancestors whose descendants live there today. "Settlers" is a word which describes "people who tame a wild place."  The Maddox families, as well as the Harrises and others, created the region's communities. They came into a wilderness, purchased land and began communities along the Licking. Our ancestors tamed a wilderness making it their own! 

Above: relief map of Kentucky.  Campbell County is at the very northern tip.  Below: 1818 map of counties;  Cincinnati was just a few hundred houses just north of Campbell County, across the Ohio River.  Earlier maps describe southern Ohio as "Indian Territory."  In 1840, the western part of Campbell County (left side shown below) became Kenton County, separated by the Licking River. Most Maddox farms were located approximately where the "B" of CampBell is shown, east of the Licking.

Campbell county as it is today, only 12 miles across at the widest point. It is bordered by the Licking on the west and the Ohio on the east.    Few Maddox's remain but the farms once owned by men like Notley Maddox, JJ Maddox, Charles Maddox, BA Maddox, SA Maddox were scattered north of Grant's Lick. (left) Neighboring farms were owned by Harrises, Gosneys, Loseys and others whose kin married Wm. Notley Maddox descendants.
Changing County Names and Boundaries

As the Declaration of Independence was being signed in 1776, the State of Virginia formed Kentucky, Montgomery and Washington Counties out of Fincastle Co., Virginia. By 1780, Kentucky County was divided into three new counties that placed Northern Ky in Fayette County.

In 1789, Fayette was split along the Licking River into Woodford County in the west and Mason County in the east. By the time of Kentucky's statehood in 1792, the area west of the Licking was named Scott County while the eastern part remained Mason County.  Three years later Campbell County was formed which included all of Northern Kentucky and even into today's Grant County. After the Treaty of Greenville was signed with native Americans in 1795, Kentucky's population growth took off, and by 1840 there were enough citizens living in the northern region to create three counties: Boone, Kenton and Campbell. These county dates and names are important to genealogists who must know where to look for ancestral records.


Bluegrass region towns near where Maddox's lived

Kentucky was admitted to the Union as the 15th state in 1792, (giving the flag 15 stars) and many hoped the thriving village of Washington, with its 199 logs houses and 462 people would be the state capital.

Much history was forged there. Daniel Boone stopped many times on his travels through Kentucky. Harriet Beecher Stowe while visiting one of her pupils at Col. Marshall Key's home, witnessed a slave auction in front of the courthouse. Her experience influenced "Uncle Tom's Cabin," one of the contributing causes of the Civil War.

Confederate Gen. Albert Sidney Johnston grew up in Washington; while James A. Paxton, Washington inn keeper, helped the underground railroad by hiding runaway slaves under his stairwell at Paxton Inn. 

Federal Hill, an imposing manse overlooking the town, was built by Thomas Marshall Jr., s/o Col. Thomas Marshall, staff officer to Gen. George Washington, whose son John Marshall became Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court 1801-1835.


Maddox Road, off Pleasant Ridge Road, Campbell Co, Ky.  The 1883 Atlas shows Maddox families living along here.

  -Source: Ron Strickley, Newport Ky

 Sightseeing Northern Kentucky

A five minute drive south of Maysville on U.S. 68 takes you up a steep hill from the river to Old Washington, Mason Co.'s historic village frozen in time. The town's narrow main street was cut hundreds of years ago by buffalo heading for salt licks south of town. The village was founded in 1785 on part of a tract purchased from Simon Kenton for fifty cents an acre.

  Located four miles up the Buffalo Trace from the Ohio River landing at Limestone, the village was a welcome stopping place for heavily laden travelers and their animals who spent an entire day struggling up the steep hill from the river landing. Settlers, adventurers, hunters & traders all required lodging & protection from Indian attack. As more people moved west on the Buffalo Trace, later called Smith's Wagon Road to Lexington, Washington grew rapidly from a way-station to a flourishing commercial center. In 1790, it had the first post office west of the Alleghenies. Later the Buffalo Trace became part of the National Road from Lexington to Zanesville, Ohio

 Museum and genealogy documents

At Mason County Historical Museum in Maysville, tourists can view slides, old papers and documents [Wm. Notley Maddox file], photos, artifacts, river dioramas, displays & exhibits geared for young and old.  Housed in a century-old restored building listed on the National Register, the museum along with its historical genealogical library and art gallery, entertains and educates in an accurate and well-illustrated blend of pioneer history.

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