The Family of Charles I. Medaris 


of Adair & Russell counties KY (5 pages)

Colbert Medaris, son of Charles & Barbara (Grider) Medaris, married Millie E. Bradshaw (also referred to as Milly, Amilla, Emeline, Emily, & Emma), believed to be the daughter of Isaiah & Sarah "Sally" (Miller) Bradshaw of Adair County, on 15 November 1848 in Adair County KY. (Minister's return only.) Colbert died intestate before 8 May 1850; on that date, the following was recorded in Adair County Minute Book H, page 59.


At a County Court continued and held for the County of Adair at the Courthouse in             Columbia on Wednesday the 8th day of May 1850.

Present: Eli Wheat, Edmund T. Willis & Hugh G. Atkins, Esqr.

The widow of Colbert Medaris having relinquished her right of administration on the             estate of her deceased husband as appears from an instrument of writing produced to the Court and       now ordered to be filed with the administration bind which may be executed. [Administrator's bond     & the "instrument of writing" referred to above not found.]

On the motion of Isaiah Bradshaw the administration of the estate of said decedent   is granted him, he having taken the oath required by law and executed & acknowledged bond in            the penal sum of three hundred dollars with William Bradshaw his Security. Continued as the law             directs.

On the motion of the Administrator of the estate of Colbert Medaris, deceased, [it     is]             ordered that William Bradshaw, Cyrus Wheat, Alban Bradshaw, and John Sullivan be and they are        hereby appointed Commissioners who or any three of them being first duly sworn do appraise the        slaves if any and personal estate of said decedent and report & c.


The inventory & and appraisal was produced in court on 18 May 1850. No slaves were listed; the personal property was valued at fifty three dollars, sixty-two & a half cents. The property included a horse & mare valued at ten dollars each and a man's saddle, a bridle, & a blanket with a lump sum value of fourteen dollars.


Colbert & Millie Medaris had one known child, Charles I. (middle name possibly Isaiah, after his Bradshaw grandfather), born 15 August 1849 or 1850, probably in Adair Co. KY. Charles I.'s grave marker & death certificate both specify 1849, as does the 1900 Russell County KY census. That year, however, is questionable. He does not appear on the 1850 Adair Co. census with the persons I believe to be his mother & Bradshaw grandparents; no mention is made of him as an infant heir in the above or related documents, nor is mention  made of appointment of guardian for him. (No guardian bond found in the 1849-1853 era in Order Books, etc.) Based on this (lack of) evidence, I believe Charles I. was born in August, 1850.


1850 Adair County KY census record, District 2, HH 67

Isaiah Bradshaw           56        NC

Sarah        "                  51        VA

Emeline Made?s           22        KY (believed to be Charles I.'s mother)

Sarah E. Bradshaw       17        KY

Gideon      "                  18        KY


On 5 September 1854, Adair County, Milly E. Bradshaw, age 27, widow, born in and a resident of Adair County,  married John R. Wheat, age 54, widower, born Adair Co.; Charles appears on the 1860 Russell Co. census with this family.


1860 Russell County KY census record, HH 63

John R. Wheat  49        (all born KY)

Amilla   E.    "                32

Bramlet W. "   (male)    20

Charles I/J. Medaris     10

Isaiah M. Bradshaw      20       


In Adair Co. Deed Book S, pp. 73-74 (23 February 1861) "John R. Wheat & Emily E. Wheat his wife" are mentioned (among others) in a list of the "children and heirs at law of Isaiah Bradshaw deceased".


On 4 November 1869, Russell County, Charles married Mary Perryman (born 21 or 31 Dec. 1846, died 16 Feb. 1908), daughter of Washington & Nancy (Murrah/Murray) Perryman at the "home of the Bride's father". Charles and Mary are found in the 1870, 1880, and 1900 Russell County census records.


1870 Russell County census record, Rowena, Pct. 3 (HH not noted), 3 August 1870

Charles Medaris           20        (all born Kentucky)

Mary L      "                 23

Zack Bradshaw            22


1880 Russell Co. census, dwelling # 113, family # 117                                              

John R. Wheat              70        KY      married

Emilia E.   "                   50        KY           "

Dwelling # 113, Family # 118                       

Chas. Medarus             30        KY           "

Mary         "                  33        KY           "


On 22 October 1886, (Russell Co. Deed Book O, pp. 156-158) Charles I.'s mother and stepfather, A.E. & John R. Wheat, sold to him adjoining tracts of land in Russell County totaling 111 acres "upon the following conditions, that is, said Medaris is to board said Wheat and wife and furnish them fuel and wait on them when necessary during their natural lives...and if said Medaris should not live to carry out this contract then Mary his wife is to have a lien on said premises for all the services and expenses of herself and husband in furnishing and waiting on said Wheat and wife as above named..."

/s/ John R Wheat

/s/ Emily E. X Wheat


1900 Russell Co. census abstract, Jamestown Ky, Precinct # 6, HH # 141, ED 15 (or 19), SD 102, Sheet 7, 12 June 1900.

Charles J/I. Medaris     head                 50        Aug., 1849       [all born KY]

Mary                "           wife                  53        Dec., 1846       m. 30 yrs; no children, living or dead

Mary E.[sic]    " [sic] mother 72        Nov., 1827     widowed; 1 child [sic]; 1 living

Rachel McElroy            domestic           46        Aug.,1853      single; no children

Lucy           "                cousin  10        Aug., 1889        "

George M. Hudson     cousin    15        Mar., 1884        "

(Millie, shown here as Mary E.,  had an unnamed son who was born born and died 13 October 1856 in Russell Co., KY  by her second husband, John R. Wheat.)


As indicated in the 1900 census, Charles I. and Mary had no children. However, on 14 November 1904, Russell County, Charles "adopted" (i.e., was appointed guardian to) G.M. (George Marvin) Hudson, "a minor" (Russell Co. Guardian Bond Book ?3, page 427). George Marvin took the Medaris surname sometime between then and his marriage two years later. Russell Co. Marriage Book 14, page 451, shows that George M. Medaris, 23, son of Ellen Hudson, married Myrtle Ross, 21, daughter of I. and Kate (Hartfield) Ross, first marriage for both, on 22 December 1906. (More information about George Marvin's Hudson line may be found in "My Hudson Family", by Hollis Hudson, undated, Russell County KY Library, family vertical folders.)

George Marvin was born 18 March 1884 and died 20 February 1959; Myrtle was born 3 Oct 1885 and died 21 Feb 1985. Both are buried in Mt. Pleasant Methodist Church Cemetery, Russell County, on Hwy 90, about one-half mile west of the Hwy 379/92 intersection.


George Marvin and Myrtle Medaris had two known children:


1) Mary C. Medaris, born 10 Oct.1909, died 12 August 1987, buried Freedom Cemetery, Adair Co., married Lucien E. Kimbler in Russell Co. on 23 Dec. 1928 at the residence of Marvin Medaris (Russell Co. Marriage Book 28, pg. 50). Her obituary lists as survivors husband Lucien; sons James, Joe, Otha, & Tommy; and daughters Allene, Betty, and Virginia. The KY birth certificate abstracts show nine Kimbler children born to Mary Medaris (various spellings), all in Adair Co (birth order): Allene F., George L., James Elbert, Joe L., Robert G., Betty J., William, Virginia, & Thomas H. Kimbler. [Thomas "Tommy" killed in a logging accident in Adair County, 1 June 2000.]


2) Joe Allen Medaris, born 22 Aug 1918, died 9 May 1996, married when/where? Helen Tarter (marriage record of Roger Dean Medaris, Russell Co. Marriage Book 54, pg. 187). Their children were Wayne Allen and Roger Dean. (Will of Joe Allen Medaris, Russell Co. Will Book 14, pp. 289ff.)


On 28 February 1959 (Russell Co. Miscellaneous Records Book 1, pg. 214) Joe Allen Medaris & Helen Medaris his wife and Mary Kathleen Kimbler & Lucien E. Kimbler her husband, signed an agreement that " consideration of the love and affection they have for their mother and mother-in-law and also for [her] better maintenance, support, protection and livlihood...", Myrtle Medaris was to receive "any and all interest or distributive shares" from the estate of their father/father-in-law, George M. Medaris.


Charles I.'s stepfather, John R. Wheat, died c. 1890 (the appraisal & sale bill for the estate of John R. Wheat was filed on 28 Oct. 1890 (Russell Co. Inventories, Appraisments, and Sale Bills Book 1, pp. 353-354); his mother apparently died between 1900 and 1910 (no will or estate settlement found in Russell Co.); and his wife Mary died in February 1908. On 9 May 1909, Russell County, Charles I. Medaris, son of Colbert & Amelia (Bradshaw) Medaris, age 59, born Adair County and a resident of Esto, Russell County, his second marriage, married Laura M. Pierce, daughter of D.F. & Lucy C. (Selby) Pierce, age 27, born Russell County and a resident of Esto, her second marriage. (Russell County Marriage Book 15, page 469). Russell Co. Marriage Book 12, pp. 280-281 shows the marriage of Laura M. Pierce, 18, 1st marriage, to W.T. Hale, 24, 1st marriage, on 27 Nov. 1900 "at residence of bride's father D.F. Pierce". Although I have no proof, I believe "W.T." was William Tarlton Hale, the son of Francis M. & Elizabeth (Corbin) Hale. His grave marker (Hale cem., Russell Co.) shows he was born 1876 & died 1961.


1910 Russell Co. KY census, SD 11, ED 221, Dwl # 266, Family # 275, Page 124B, 4 May 1910

Charles I/J. Medaris     head                 61        married "0" years          (all born KY)

Laura               "           wife                  28        married "0" years          no children, living or dead

George M.       "           son                   26        [failed to copy] [failed to copy]

Mirtle R.           "           dau.-in-law       25                   "

Mary C.           "           grand-dau.          6 months

Winfield S. Ross           ?ward               13       


A son, Charles Colbert Medaris, was born to Charles I. & Laura on 2 February 1912 (KY birth certificate abstracts. His surname is given as Medoris; mother's name Laura Pierce.) On 17 January 1932, Russell County, Charles Colbert Medaris, age 19, son of C.I. & Laura (Pierce) Medaris, married Elva Holt, 15, daughter of Luther & Pink (Aaron) Holt at D.F. Pierce's (Russell County Marriage Book 30, page 79). The SSDI shows Elva Medaris 12 May 1916 - 29 June 1993; last residence Muncie, Delaware Co., IN; SS # issued IN, and the KY on-line birth certificate abstracts shows  Elva Holt was born 12 May 1916 in Russell County; her mother's name is given as "Pinkey A. Aron".


Another son, Hughes Medaris, was born to Charles I. & Laura on 22 August 1916. The KY birth records abstracts give his mother's name as "unknown Medaris" but the 1920 census (below) shows him as Charles & Laura's son. Court records of a lawsuit suit filed in 1937 (Russell Co. Civil Orders Book 28, pg. 576) mentions that C.C. Medaris by "...agreement with his brother Hughes Medaris...". Also mentioned in this suit is Dorothy Medaris. She apparently was the wife of Hughes, but I didn't find the marriage record in Russell or Adair County. The SSDI (on-line Social Security Death Index) records show that Hughes Medaris was born 22 August 1916 & died 7 August 1989; last residence Union City, Randolph Co. IN. The SSDI also shows a Dorothy Medaris born 15 May 1912 & died 5 Sept. 1996; last residence Indianapolis, Marion Co. IN but this is not Hughes' wife. (The "last residence" as shown in SSDI is not a reliable indicator of where the person  died. It might be the actual last address but also can be that of a legal guardian, attorney, next of kin, etc.)


1920 Russell Co. KY census record, Russell Springs, Pct. 6, SD 11, ED 257, Sh. # 16, Dwl/Fam. # 302, pg. 46A, 26 & 27 June, 1920.

Charley I. Medaris        head of house   70        he/parents born KY      can read/write    owned farm

Laura               "           wife                  37        she/   "         "      "        cannot "/"

Charles C.                    son                     7        he/     "         "      "        attending school

Hughes             son                    * 3 3/12 "  /    "         "      "


Dwl/fam # 303

George M. Medaris      head of house   35        he/parents born KY      can read/write      farm mtg'd.

Myrtle R.                      wife                  34        she/    "        "     "           "      " /    "

Mary K.                       daughter           10        she/    "        "     "        attending school

Joe A.                          son                  * 1 5/12 he/     "        "     "

*the 3/12ths & 5/12ths apparently refer to age in months; if so, neither is correct.


According to the KY birth certificate abstracts, Charles & Laura's daughter Emma C. Medaris was born on 9 Feb. 1922 in Russell County; Emma's mother's name is given as Laura Pearce. (These abstracts give only the name of the child & the mother's maiden name). In the Phelps Cemetery (see below), there is a grave marker for Emma C. Medaris 9 Feb. 1922 - 10 Feb. 1922.

Charles I. Medaris died 14 February 1929 and was buried in the Phelps cemetery on 15 February. His death certificate (1929 certificate # 07704) has the following information:

Charles I. Medaris; white male; married; born 15 August 1849; lived in French Valley voter precinct; died in Russell Co. KY at age 79 years, 6 months, 29 days; father Colbert Medaris born "USA"; mother Emma [sic] Bradshaw, born "USA"; informant Marvin Medaris, Russell Springs KY; died at 3 a.m. 14 February 1929 from "heart lesion"; attending physician Dr. J.B. Tarter.


In 1938, via a Master Commissioner's sale, Laura Medaris, C.C. Medaris, Elma or Elva Medaris, Hughes Medaris and Dorothy Medaris, grantors, sold property to C.C. Medaris, grantee (Russell County Master Commissioner's Deed Book 4, pp. 390-91). This sale apparently was to settle the estate of Charles I. Medaris pursuant to the lawsuit mentioned above.


This appears to be the same property that C.C. Medaris & wife Elva of Famland (Randolph Co.) IN sold to Homer & Alta Foley on 13 October 1941. (Russell Co. Deed Book 19, pg. 145.) If so, it's the property that later became Lakewood Country Club on Hwy 379, about 1/3 mile north of the Hwy 379/92 intersection. Medaris Marine (now JamesTowner Inc.), founded by Joe Allen Medaris, is almost directly across the road.


Four Medarises are buried side by side in the Phelps cemetery on Hwy 90 in Russell County, about one and a quarter miles east of the Hwy 379/92 intersection. These are (left to right):


C.I. Medaris 15 Aug 1849 - 14 Feb 1929

Mary, wife of C.I. Medaris 21 or 31 Dec 1846 - 16 Feb 1908 (see note 1 below)

Emma Medaris 9 Feb 1922 - 10 Feb 1922

Louis Dale Medaris 30 June 1938 (only date on marker; see note 2 below)

1) Mary's grave marker is quite worn; the words "wife of" are nearly illegible, and the day of her birth is difficult to read; I believe it is 31 December. The only Phelps-Medaris connection of which I am aware is through Charles' stepfather, John R. Wheat. John R.'s first wife was Martha Phelps, the daughter of Shadrack Phelps & Cealah Stapp, the original owners of the property where the Phelps cemetery is located.

2) KY death cerificate abstracts indicate Louis D. Madoris, age under one year, died in Russell Co. on 30 June 1938. Addendum 12/23/00: The actual death certificate indicates Louis Dale was the stillborn son of Charles Colbert & Elva (Holt) Medaris.


The SSDI indicates a Laura Medaris born 4 July 1881, died  __ Dec 1974; last residence Houston, TX. This, however, is not Laura (Pierce) Medaris, widow of Charles I. Medaris.


Interestingly enough, Charles I. Medaris and his second wife, Laura M. Pierce, apparently were double second cousins once removed through the Medaris-Grider lines. The lines of descent are:


1) Charles I. Medaris (1849/50-1929), son of    *              1) Laura M. Pierce (c. 1881-unknown), dau. of

2) Colbert Medaris & Milly Bradshaw, son of                *              2) David F. Pierce & Lucy C./K. Selby, son of

3) Charles Medaris & Barbara Grider, children of           *              3) John Pierce & Ann Grider, dau. of

4)             Rice Medaris & Rachel McPheeters *              4) James Grider & Sallie Medaris, children of

4)             John Grider & Isabel Blair                                   *              5)             John Grider & Isabel Blair

*              5)             Rice Medaris & Rachel McPheeters


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