The First Wortham Born In Kentucky
Samuel Wortham, born Dec 5, 1794, in Nelson County was the first
Wortham born in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. He was the first
of eleven children born to Charles W. Wortham and Lucretia F.
Hackley. Charles had been brought to the Kentucky District of
Virginia by his guardian and step-father, Samuel Stigler who
had married Charles' mother, Ann Wortham after the death of her
husband in Middlesex County, Virginia.
On October 20, 1814, Samuel married Elizabeth Foushee, in Nelson
County. That same year, he was part of the Kentucky Volunteer
Militia, having enlisted at Bardstown in Nelson County. The
Treaty of Ghent, signed on Christmas Eve of 1814 officially
ended the War of 1812, therefore it is doubtful that Samuel
actually participated in any organized military action.
Samuel and Elizabeth's first child, Charles M. Wortham was born
on October 22, 1815. He would be the first of eight children
born to this couple. in 1816, at age 22, Samuel first appeared
on the Grayson County, Kentucky Tax Rolls when he was taxed for
one slave and one horse. He owned no land, but paid a poll tax
on himself, indicating that he was residing in Grayson County.
He continued to appear on the Grayson County records through
1820 and in 1822 through 1824, he was found back in Nelson
County where he owned 100 acres of land on the Lick Crick
watercourse. He is not found in the Nelson County tax records
for three years, but reappears there in 1828, at which time he
paid taxes on 80 acres of land in Hardin County, situated on
Rough Creek, 1 town lot in Leitchfield in Grayson County, as
well as his 100 acres in Nelson County, the county of his
residence. He appeared on the Nelson County Tax Lists through
1831 and continued to pay taxes on land in both Nelson and
Hardin Counties. In 1829, he owned 228 acres in Nelson County
and 180 acres in Hardin County.
In 1832, Samuel was living in Hardin County, where he was
appointed Commissioner of Revenues for the Eastern District of
the county, and in February of the next year, he was selected to
serve as County Justice, a position that he would hold through
At age 50, in 1844, he was licensed as a Cumberland Presbyterian
Minister and served in that capacity in the Stephensburg area.
Samuel is on record as having performed a marriage ceremony in
1868, the same year as his death. In 1851, he was the Grand
Master of Masonic Lodge #212 in Stephensburg. He was active in
the Lodge until his death at age seventy-four on October 19,
1868. He is buried alongside his wife Elizabeth at White Mills,
in Hardin County, Kentucky.
REPUBLISHED FROM THE WORTHAM FAMILY NEWSLETTER, VOLUME 31, MARCH